Workshops: Young Learners – part 1

One of the workshop categories this year is teaching young learners. As we’ve already said, teaching little ones is going to become more and more important with each passing year and so we hope to encourage and equip our colleagues who teach primary-aged kids with the tools they need.

There’s a wide variety of teacher trainers coming from all over, so we think you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs. Here are the first 4 we’d like to introduce.

Dana Hanesová (UMB, Slovakia)

dana hanesova“What shall I do when …?” (YL: A1-A2) Saturday, Workshop E

This workshop is for anyone teaching young learners at primary schools and who has any questions about what to do if /when … In the first half,we will share together our experiences/ hindrances/ issues/ questions/ doubts about our own English teaching. Thus several support groups will be formed around certain issues. Then, using various innovative approaches and also video presentations of how real teachers have dealt with some of the issues in their teaching, real solutions will be found. DVDs (and methodological notes to go with them) will also be available.

Dana studied teaching English as a foreign language both at Comenius
University in Bratislava and Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, where she has been a teacher trainer since 1993 and now serves as an associate professor. In 2010 she also became involved in teaching English at the primary level. Her main research interest is ELT methodology, including CLIL, with various age groups of learners. Dana has written 5 books and about 100 studies, some focused on shifts from ‘teaching facts’ to ‘teaching to think’. She loves to experiment with various innovative teaching methods and to apply her findings in her teaching.

Barbi Bujtás (Hungary)

Let some Minecraft in! (YL: A1-A2) Saturday, Workshop G

Barbi Bujtas
Photo courtesy of Mike Harrison

If you teach young learners, most probably you have heard about (or played) Minecraft, a cult game popular with most of our learners. In my experience, merely uttering the word Minecraft opens doors to those little ones in our classes who seemingly cannot pay attention to school lessons: the multitaskers for whom a traditional exercise is just not engaging enough, the ones who often get the ADHD label, the ones who cannot grasp the concept of English as a means of communication, etc. I will share some ideas that have worked for me and transformed the meaning of language learning for my students.

Barbi is a freelance EFL instructor in Balatonfüred, Hungary. She has been teaching for 15 years in various teaching environments from one-to-one to high school, depending on local demands. Her professional interests are Dogme, ICT, engagement, materials design, and teachers’ communities.

Eva Balážová (Slovakia)

eva balazovaScaffolding for speaking in CLIL (YL: A1-A2) Friday, Workshop C

English at CLIL lessons is a means for achieving a content goal. Both CLIL teachers and CLIL students use English for reading, listening, writing or speaking about the content. However, young CLIL learners can rely only on their A1 – A2 English language proficiency. The workshop shows a series of practical scaffolding activities that help children to speak in English with confidence.

Eva has devoted her broad teaching and teacher training experience to professional teacher development. She studied English at Matej Bel University as well as completing ELT methodology courses in Exeter and Oxford. She’s also an approved Oxford Teachers’ Academy trainer. Eva has considerable expertise in reading skills and reading literacy development and worked as an Oxford University Press ELT Consultant and speaker for eight years. Currently, she runs her own educational project Lingua Credo in Zvolen.

Jana Chocolata (CZ)

Primary CLIL: English naturally (YL: bilingual primary), Saturday, Workshop F

Would you like to combine what you normally do in class with your pupils with English and turn it into a meaningful input? In this workshop, a series of activities will be presented to give participants an idea of a purposeful and enjoyable use of English in their P.E., Maths, Arts, Music and other classes.

Jana has been teaching English for almost 20 years and is currently a teacher trainer at the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Education, Masaryk University in Brno. She has taken part in a number of national and international projects, e.g. CLIL do škol, Dystefl and Neflt. Her research focus is on pre-service teacher education and in teaching young and very young learners.


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