Sunday, November 10, 2019

2019 Dream to the Power of N: New Taipei City

Sharing EMI, Skype sessions, and lesson planning strategies with a live demo and a series of hands-on tasks

This series of workshops are held in each city and county around Taiwan annually. I had the honor to get invited by the event planner, who is also a fantastic English teacher that many look up to, and shared this passion of life with forty or so teachers of New Taipei City. I enjoyed using only English to share my activity ideas and lesson planning strategies, with the teachers involved in the tasks. The following are the eight stages of my presentation in the format of ABCD Learning Objectives:

1. English-Medium Instruction Principles
With the listening comprehension game, teachers working in groups of four are able to finish the task collaboratively and have a basic understanding of KISSER. 

2. A Skype Session Demo
With the activity, A Cup of Conversation, teachers are able to go into the English mode by interviewing each other and then interact with a native speaker via Skype. 

3. Skype Settings
With the PPT slides of some important Skype settings, teachers are able to experience how to configure audio and video settings, add contacts, and make a test call. 

4. School Life
With the activity, Backs to the Board, teachers use English to get their partner to shout out the preferred words and phrases about school life. 

5. Skype Models
With some factors in mind, including the number of students, the topics, the setup, and the time frame, teachers are able to talk about which model best fits into their setting. 

6. Backward Design
With the deck of cards, teachers working in groups are able to elaborate, order, and rank the cards of connected tasks aiming to help every student better prepare for a Skype session according to the principles of this teaching approach. 
7. How to Talk about Anything in English
With the assigned topic, My School, teachers are able to create a mind map, put three key phrases for each category, decide on the structure, write a paragraph, and decide where to put the blanks. 

8. Gallery Walk
With the mind maps and the worksheets, teachers are able to elaborate on their step-by-step tasks. 

I did an outstanding job today. It would also be a great comeback story in my career as a keynote speaker at workshops. Last year, I lectured too much. I was eager to show off my fluent English and all the fantastic things I've done in my school. With the lesson plans and video clips, I thought I proved to the participants that I was a doer, not just a talker. I assumed that they would pick up the skills and give a try in their English class. Well, it did not turn out that well, and I felt so guilty about it.  

Then I began to revolutionize my way of presenting. I'm good at task-based lesson planning, so why not think of workshops as a class? In a three-hour-long class, you wouldn't lecture for the first half and then do activities the second. People get bored quickly when you ramble about something irrelevant to their needs. Besides, information overload is a presentation killer. However, time passes by fast when it is fun and dynamic, complete with the skills you pick up along the way. People would be so motivated to apply what they learn, too. Today, I once again proved it worked like magic.  

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