For our second post on mediation we spoke to Ángel Briones, a teacher at EOI Embajadores in Madrid. Over the past year Ángel has been writing materials to both teach and assess his students around mediation. He is currently working for Pearson to design extension mediation activities to accompany our new general adult course book, Roadmap. Here’s what he had to tell us about some of the things that need to be taken into account when writing mediation tasks.
Question: Angel, you have been involved in writing teaching and assessment activities around mediation for your students. What are the biggest challenges in your view?
The buzz word around the Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas (EOIs) in Spain this year is mediation and the importance of teachers at these centres getting to grips with the concept cannot be stressed enough. In a series of three blog posts we will be taking a look at some of the key issues surrounding this topic.
For our first article we reached out to Manuel del Rio and Francisco J. Pose, two of the teachers who provide teacher training at the EOI in Santiago de Compostela. Among the courses the EOI will be offering as part of their summer training programme for teachers is one led by Manuel and Francisco on linguistic mediation. We had a few questions on mediation and we figured getting in touch with them would be a good place to start to get some clear answers. Here’s what they had to tell us:
Question: Let’s start with the elephant in the room: What is the big deal with mediation? Is it really all that important in our daily lives?
Guest post by: Karen McGhie
Karen McGhie is Head of Teacher Training and Development at London School in San Sebastian. She will be speaking on Embracing Translation in the Classroom with her colleague Iñigo Casis at the 3rd Annual ELT Conference in San Sebastian on March 30th.
‘Teacher, he’s molesting me!’ Imagine my reaction when, as a newly qualified English teacher in Spain with very little knowledge of Spanish, I was confronted by this comment from a 10-year-old student. Little did I realise back then what an important false friend this was in English and how many times I would have to remind students of this mis-translation in my subsequent years of teaching (and will have to for many years to come).
Ok, so after that trip down memory lane, let’s kick things off with a little quiz. Are you ready?
Can technology help teens when learning a language or is it just a distraction? Is bilingual education the way forward or can it confuse younger learners? We use lots of games in primary classes, but do they actually serve an educational purpose?
Over the coming weeks our Teacher Trainers will be attending three key conferences in Andalucía for English Teachers interested in upping their skills and keeping abreast of the latest trends in the profession. All of the talks will focus on external exam preparation.
Written texts: A thing of the past?
The advent of digital technologies and the rise of the internet have altered the way we read and write considerably over the past few decades, but it has also increased access to written texts and made them easier to produce, share and publish. And we are not just talking about posting on social media either. The rising popularity of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) and CLIL, or the use of English in the workplace means both students and professionals are increasingly exposed to written English. So despite the general perception that we are witnessing the demise of these skills, they very much remain a central part of how we study, how we work and how we interact. Consequently, assessing these skills is as important as ever for us as language teaching professionals.
Our Teacher Trainers will be involved in two conferences this Saturday 17 November which will almost certainly be of interest to you if you are in either Valencia or Barcelona.
Michael Brand will be taking part at the ACEICOVA People Teach People Conference in Valencia with two talks, both in the Salón de Actos G. At 11.45 he will be giving the talk Making all the right noises: a closer look at B2 speaking skills, and at 14.15 you can hear To C1 and Beyond! Hitting the high notes with advanced learners.
Brian Engquist will be in Barcelona at the 6th Annual ELT Conference put on by Exams Catalunya. His talk, Making all the right noises: a closer look at B2 speaking skills, begins at 15.45 in the auditorium.
And if you would like to see any of our materials visit our ELT Consultant Lola Martinez at our stand in Valencia and Marta Cervera in Barcelona.
Hope to see you there!
Listening: a vital skill
One of the first things new teachers learn is that simply exposing students to lots of listening will quickly increase their ability to communicate orally. Even beginners armed with a very limited repertoire of vocabulary and grammar can often get their ideas across provided they generally understand what other people are saying to them. In fact, Feyton is often cited as estimating that listening makes up a full 45% of what we do in a language. So invariably the assessment of listening will be of paramount importance in the overall evaluation of our learners’ communicative ability. And yet it remains one of the most elusive skills to reliably test.
Do you know Pearson’s new Primary course Team Up!? If you don’t, check it out! Team Up has been shortlisted for an English Language Award 2018.
The English-Speaking Union (ESU) has celebrated the highest quality English language teaching material for almost 50 years. This international educational charity and membership organisation aims at providing people with communication skills, confidence and opportunities that help them exchange ideas and opinions.
Once again Pearson’s team of Teacher Trainers will be on the road the next couple of Saturdays to take part in the British Council’s annual Teaching for Success Conferences in cities across Spain.