On December 14th, at the beautiful location of Les Lazaristes, we gathered for the traditional TESOL Macedonia Thrace Christmas event, with talks, storytelling, games, songs and lots of presents.
Our first speaker, Dr. Ziaka gave a very interesting talk on the ins and outs of CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). Dr. Ziaka’s talk was definitely a crash course in CLIL, covering from the most basic questions- what is CLIL? - to the most specific ones – how do we teach it?
Probably the most important points raised were that CLIL leads to purposeful communication as it is not focused on language learning for its own sake but for that of content. Another important point noted by Dr. Ziaka was how the learners do more language without having more homework, how it raises the learners’ self-confidence and motivation. This became obvious to those attending when Dr. Ziaka showed us a video of a 9 year old learner giving a presentation, in English on solar energy, based on his own research and using his own notes. What more could a teacher want?
This was definitely a most interesting talk and hopefully a practice which will become nationwide in the near future? Fingers crossed!
After CLIL, it was time for some fun with Despoina Vardaki, Kathy Kyriakidou and Elpiniki Psomataki.
The ladies put us in the festive spirit with a dramatized Christmas story, with games where participants could join in, songs with kinesthetic elements to get us moving and poetry. But the most beautiful part of all was seeing the children who came along, having fun with all these activities.
I’m sure those who attended left with a smile on their faces, and a little more festive than before they came!
By Natasha Loukeri