We couldn’t miss the PASE European Congress of Language Teaching Specialists 2015 organised by PASE Association(Stowarzyszenie PASE). We listened to many talks and discussions that made us mull over language teaching and teacher’s role. From the perspective of lesson authors the key issues are teaching goals, topic choice and creation of teaching materials. Below we have compiled speakers’ reflections that are useful for teachers who create handouts themselves.
How to teach?
Nowadays education systems focus on testing and test preparation. As Piotr Steinbrich (Pearson Polska) argued, we should re-define educational goals so that learning can develop critical thinking and student’s autonomy.
How to select lesson topics?
In the way that goes beyond vocabulary or grammar teaching. It should assist learners to broaden their horizons. It can be achieved when the selected topics are up-to-date, engaging and surprising. They do not allow our students to remain indifferent. It point was made by Christina Latham-Koenig (Oxford University Press – ELT). She demonstrated how everyday situations and author’s experiences can inspire to create captivating lessons.
How to create your own teaching materials?
The poster child is Anna Wrzesińska (Centrum Języka Rosyjskiego Rosjanka) who wrote and published a Russian course book on her own. In her talk she described step by step this process. So how to prepare your own exercises? Hanna Kryszewska (Uniwersytet Gdański, Humanising Language Teaching) presented an inspiring approach. She emphasized the importance of teaching expressions and phrases instead of isolated words. We could also see her exercises based on this principle. Another intersting perspective was presented by Agnieszka Gągała (e-DOS). According to her neurodidactic approach we should select and create tasks in the way that stimulates brain activity because it results in effective learning.