Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Creating Lessons using Narratives: a Workshop by Carol Griffiths & Jiydegul Alymidin Kyzy - Report

Following the plenary presentation by Carol Griffiths, this was a very interesting workshop, during which we were encouraged to put into practice what was discussed in the plenary talk.

“Stories are universal and enjoyed across all ages and cultures”. Therefore stories can be an invaluable motivation to engage attention across a range of learning styles. The subject of this wonderful presentation was how to use narratives, stories to develop both receptive (listening and reading) and productive (speaking and writing) skills. Ms. Griffiths discussed issues such as motivation, attention, learning style, input and output and illustrated how an original story, written by students can be sequenced as a prompt to teach.

In the actual workshop, Jiydegul Alymidin Kyzy summarized what was presented in the plenary and we then moved on to a very stimulating activity.
The participants were given an authentic text and had to work in groups in order to find activities that would cover all five sections of an ELT lesson (Speaking & Writing, Listening, Reading, Vocabulary & Pronunciation and Grammar).

We were divided into groups of five and each one had to work on one particular skill and then presented our “work”. Each group generated a list of some very interesting suggestions including:
  • Using synonyms to practice vocabulary;
  • Replacing words from the text and having students find them;
  • Correcting grammar mistakes;
  • Students talking about an experience similar to the one described in the text and, as a follow-up, writing an essay about it;
  • Rearranging jumbled paragraphs to practice Reading Comprehension; or
  • Identifying topic sentences in paragraphs.

These were only a few of the ideas presented.

All in all, it was a really motivational workshop which provided us with lots of material and ideas for our lessons.

 By Theodora Papapanagiotou

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