Posts tagged ‘reflection’


I have known about NATECLA since my early days of teaching in the UK, when I first started working I had a vague awareness that my colleague was on the local committee, NATECLA news and a copy of Language Issues was usually to be found in the office and each year someone from the department went to the national conference, but it was only about 3 years ago that I became a member myself.

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Taking a Reflect Approach



Our class wall

Five weeks into the new year and I finally took the plunge to try the Reflect Approach with my E1 group.


We’d done some work the week before on countries and nationalities and this week I wanted them to focus on the geography around their home countries. I’m very fortunate to have a wide range of nationalities in my class so I organised the four groups to each have a least three nationalities in it.

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What CPD? What’s CPD?

September 26, 2012reflections,
What is it about CPD that is so challenging for tutors to recognise or define? The opening of my presentation at the FE Teaching and Learning Conference asks this question and I give some examples of where I have heard tutors struggling with this.

CPD and reflection: a lesson

Liquid Gold By kevin dooley

Covering a session on the level 5 literacy and numeracy specialism this week I got to try out some of the ideas from the Lazy Teacher’s Handbook.

I started the session asking the new trainees to stand in alphabetical order by name, then by their original subject specialism. So far so normal – this was followed by numerical order by length of time teaching, then length of time since took cert ed/PGCE which showed a group of people at one end brand new to teaching, the other end a couple of people with 15 years experience and a mid range of 7-12 years.

The next task is the slightly adapted ‘Thinking Line up’  out of the Lazy Teachers Handbook. I split the class into two groups (a six and a seven) and asked them to rank order themselves in terms of how confident they are in defining CPD. There was one very strong reaction as someone headed for the door! (i.e., he felt very unconfident about this) There was a few rumblings from this, and the general feeling in the room was that people weren’t too sure about it.

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First ESOL classes – planning decisions


Resources for class, and not a photocopy in sight

I’m very excited about going into my first ESOL class this morning, and pretty much as usual I have lots and lots of ideas and now it is decision time as to what to include. I think making these decisions about choosing, ordering and linking activities is what makes ‘planning’ the challenge that it is, and not having met a group this adds to that challenge.

My first decision is around whether I think it’s more important to share some information about myself so the students can get to know me a little, or whether to go straight into name games. I think I will start with a quick Q & A: I’ll write the following on the WB:

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first class reflections

September 12, 2012ESOL,

I have had a very lovely morning, and of course didn’t get through all my planned activities. The group are lovely. They are from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Poland, Nepal and China and have been in country from between 1 ½ years up to 30 years! We did lots of ‘organise by alphabetical/numerical order’ activities giving opportunity for everyone to learn each other’s names. I think I just about have everyone’s and some of the stronger students could remember everyone’s too, but it was challenging for some of the students. Need to recap this next week, for me definitely although for them they will have met 3 more times before then.

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Sharing an ESOL class


Picture from @sandymillin


Woo hoo. Very excited about having an ESOL class again this year. I’ll be sharing the group with the fabulous @tferguson . She’ll be the personal tutor for the group and meet them three times a week, I will be the second tutor who meets once a week.


It’s the ESOL staff development day today & I gate crashed Sam’s session on ‘sharing classes’, where lots of great ideas were shared about how to overcome the ‘no time/not in the same office’ communication barriers. Thea and I have agreed that in the first two weeks it’ll be inductions, getting to know you activities and diagnostic activity & our first meeting has been arranged to them discuss how to move forward with the class.

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blogging on the train 1 : designing a bottom-up, student-centred, syllabus-driven technology in learning course


Three and a half weeks into a lovely, leisurely non-work summer I’m stretched out in first class heading for a weekend of Olympic Sport-foolery. Small nuggets of Brain Activity have been needling away, so thought I’d jot them down quick and get back to holiday mode.


At the forefront of this Small Brain activity is the Technology in Learning course I will be delivering from January. Discussions at the Doncaster un-conference (  I attended last month centred around learner-led, bottom-up approaches to teaching and learning and one session was on how could the un-conference format be used in other ways.

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Passionate about teaching

At the RSC-YH 2012 e-learning conference I was one of seven people who spoke for 3 minutes about their passion for teaching in an ‘un-workshop’. Here, I want to share that passion in 300 words.


Wordle from presentations on ‘passionate about teaching’


People. People are what make my job so important to me. Being in the classroom with ESOL students and playing a role, either as teacher or teacher trainer, in providing opportunities for communication, either planned or unplanned. In an observation last week one student told me how much she liked my dress and how the colour suited me. I love that, as nervous as I know it is to have an observer in the room for the teacher, I was approachable enough for an E1 language student to talk to me, in her 2nd/3rd/4th language, in front of the whole class. 

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Coach. Mentor. Friendly Critical Friend. Muse.