Professional Development of the Department of Foreign Languages. Part 1
The beginning of the academic year is always busy for the Department of Foreign Languages at State University of Telecommunications and this one is not the exception as the stuff of the Department are always active participants of the professional development (PD) events.
This autumn is rich in remarkable PD Pearson ELT Webinar Series (October 21-25), Dinternal Education 2019 Business Partner Webinars (October – November, 2019) and Pearson Conference REFORMING HIGHER EDUCATION IN UKRAINE (November 8-9, Kyiv). The Department of Foreign Languages took part in all of them. Organized by Pearson, which our Department has partnership with, all of the webinars as well as the Conference are of very high quality, innovative and reflect the needs of higher education in Ukraine and, what is great, are free for the participants.
What is so special about all these PD events?
The 2019 Pearson ELT Webinar Series is from the world-renowned English language teaching experts:
- What is Plurilingual Pedagogy and What Role Can It Play in EAP and Academic Writing classes in Higher Education? (October 21, 2019) was presented by Steve Marshall, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. In analyzing the data, the athor suggests that teachers in EAP and academic writing classes in English-medium higher education should break free from the English-Only mindset, embrace other languages and cultures, and encourage their students to actively use their other languages in the process of learning English.
- The webinar From Stress to Success: Supporting Rigor in the Transitions Classroom (October 22, 2019) was presented by Lia Conklin Olson, PhD. The adult ELL instructor and curriculum designer for twenty years and an adjunct professor for the Teaching English as a Foreign Language program at Hamline University explored transitions-level methods and materials that move rigor from a source of stress to success!
- The webinar Harnessing Higher-order Academic Skills to Develop Language (October 22, 2019) was presented by Carol Numrich and Frances Boyd, colleagues at the American Language Program of Columbia University. With specific examples, they demonstrated activities that develop note-taking, presentation skills, and application of grammar and vocabulary to varied academic tasks.
- The webinar Can Pronunciation Be Taught? Theory, Politics, and Practice (October 23, 2019), presented by Joan Saslow, a foreign language teaching specialist and author, offered a positive approach to the teaching of pronunciation and demonstrate specific practical activities that lead to better pronunciation.
- One more webinar presented by Sara Davila was From the Classroom to the Boardroom: Language Learning and the Future of Skills (October 24, 2019) examined the research used to uncover the workplace skills of the future and the connection to language education relevant to any teacher working in language education today.
- The webinar Rivers of Learning: Measuring Success for Teachers and Students (October 24, 2019), presented by Dr. Ken Beatty, Anaheim University TESOL Professor, an author/co-author of 77 textbooks for Pearson including Learning English for Academic Purposes, looked at how success is influenced by three factors: one, teachers’ training, experiences, and passions; learners needs, desires, and ambitions; two, the contexts for teaching and learning; and, three, the materials we use. Success can be measured in how these flow together to reach teachers’ and learners’ goals.
- Next webinar University Success: Building Readiness for Rigor (October 25, 2019) was presented by Christina Cavage, an ESL Director, Coordinator and Professor and presenter at TESOL, National Education Computing Conference (NECC), and the League for Innovation. Her webinar walked participants through techniques and strategies that build linguistic, cultural and academic skills.
- The webinar Adapting Not Creating: Maximizing Student Work Without Extra Teacher Work (October 25, 2019) was presented by Sara Davila, a teacher trainer and subject matter expert working in applications of research informed practices in the context of language development. She spoke about digital content, blended learning, or print books: teachers make daily decisions on how to leverage content to achieve the best learning for students. In this session, she examined how to make adjustments using high and low-tech solutions to improve alignment to measurable program outcomes, add scaffolding, and increase challenges, without adding more work for busy teachers.