In February, teachers of Faculty of Humanities of National University "Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic” joined the ten-day online conference “Global Teachers' Festival”, focused on the issues of teaching English and a foreign language. Teachers from Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Cambodia, Spain, Germany, India, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Malta, Qatar, Georgia, Egypt, the USA, Argentina, Chile, Indonesia, Panama, Tunisia, the Philippines, Turkmenistan, Oman, Jordan, Peru, Catalonia, Brazil, Macedonia, Myanmar and Uruguay discussed the current problems, the improvements of teaching methods and the search for new effective technologies for successful foreign language learning.
Academicians of Faculty of Humanities, Doctor of Philology, Professor of Germanic Philology and Translation Department Tetiana Kushnirova, PhD in Philology, Associate Professor of Germanic Philology and Translation Department Anna Pavelieva and Teacher of Germanic Philology and Translation Department Svitlana Halaur joined the scientific discussions. In January and February, the philologists already participated in courses from an American analytic company.
During ten working days, there were three scientific and educational webinars each day at 12:00, 17:00 and 23:00. Organizers made it possible for many participants from all over the world to join at least one of the webinars.
The participants received certificates confirming their participation in every webinar and a free access to books and additional materials of McMillan Education.
According to Doctor of Philology, Professor of Germanic Philology and Translation Department at National University "Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic” Tetiana Kushnirova, the importance of such scientific events is hard to overestimate.
“Each day, leading English language teachers from various countries held three webinars lasting for 6 hours in total, dedicated to the important issues of teaching English, such as the criteria of choosing vocabulary to study in class, the use of stories for attention and creativeness boost, and such life skills as critical thinking, CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and SEL (Social and Emotional Learning), the use of language of opinions, that is fixed expressions and phrases that should be used when expressing one's opinion, and exercises to practice it; we learned about breathing techniques and articulation used by famous singers, which should be used while teaching correct English pronunciation.
The seminars were held by experienced trainers, Roy Norris, Vivienne Lambert, Carol Read, and Simon Gfeller, who were eager to share their secrets for language teaching. For me, the acquired knowledge will be useful in working with students. I think my colleagues also got a very handy experience and new practical skills,” the scientist commented.
The discussions included the issues of a positive learning environment - in particular, everyday support of students with cooperative learning, one of the most popular teaching methods abroad; the growing popularity of distanced inclusive education, and practical exercises for thinking skills development.
Teachers Joanne Ramsden, Nathan Waller, Nick Beare, Laura Patsko, David Spencer, Matt Hayes, Jonathan Hadley, Rhona Snelling, John Cruft, Chia Suan Chong, Emma Reynolds spoke about Global Citizenship Education (GCE), when and how this kind of teaching evolved and how to integrate it into English classes; Students’ Global Skills and the whole range of skills they cover; Visual Literacy technique, that is language teaching with the help of pictures, videos, social media and so on, and mental practices to reduce stress after classes.
According to Associate Professor of Germanic Philology and Translation Department, PhD Anna Pavelieva, all the presentations were multi-faceted, illustrated with practical exercises and examples from student books, and will definitely be useful to practicing teachers. “I liked that all the participants were divided into groups after the webinars, so that they had a chance to discuss the material of the presentation with their colleagues. This way, we could exchange experience with our colleagues from Slovakia, Germany, Peru, Brazil, England, Qatar, and Malta,” the teacher said.
“I liked the webinars dedicated to the preparation of distanced classes most of all,” Teacher of Germanic Philology and Translation Department of National University "Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic” Svitlana Halaur added. “Taking into account the world pandemic, this issue is still very relevant.
I was greatly impressed by the webinar on digital teaching held by Mark Arthur. Alejandra Ottolina and Derek Spafford shared their experience on developing the practical skills of teaching English for groups with a large number of students, and Carol Read spoke about the ways to balance at the edge of fantasy and reality for the development of students’ linguistic skills.”
During the conference, the teachers of Faculty of Humanities of National University "Yuri Kondratyuk Poltava Polytechnic” learned about the innovations in the field of teaching English, had a chance to reflect on the existing problems of foreign language teaching and receive useful pieces of advice from experienced trainers.
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