My Share - Ideas That Work

Roger Ferrari; Sophie Otsuru; Ben Rentler; Malcolm Swanson
14 November, 2020 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

We all have ideas that help make our classes better for us and our students. Come and hear about some activities and approaches that our speakers have found useful in their teaching.
This session will be presented live over Zoom..

Roger Ferrari: Non-Verbal Cues in the Classroom
Classroom lessons follow a structure as set out by the teacher in accordance with their lesson plan. An average class may drift between periods of teacher instruction, peer-to-peer practice, free group practice and so on. While we may use the voice for instruction and direction using non-verbal cues to, for example, start and stop activities can be an efficient tool in the classroom. This presentation looks at various non-verbal audio and visual cues that can be used in the classroom which can be applicable for classes across a wide range of size, level and age.
Roger Ferrari is a teacher at Fukuoka University Wakaba High School. He has been teaching in Japan and London since 2006. He recently presented at PanSIG on the use of etymology in the English classroom.

Sophie Otsuru: Pictures as Speaking Prompts for Tests
To assess speaking skills many options are available: roleplay, individual or group presentations, flashcards or picture description. In this presentation I will argue in favour of the final option: using pictures as speaking prompts. Because picture description tasks represent a real challenge for students who need a framework to display the extent of their language capacities and show some fluency, I will suggest an ideal framework that has worked particularly well for the Pearson Progress Test. The second part of the presentation will offer participants time to do the task themselves, record their performance, assess it, and discuss their performance in small groups. I will conclude with descriptors for 2 levels: CEFR A2/B1 and B2.
Sophie Otsuru has been teaching English for Academic Purposes for almost 10 years. Her research interests range from psycholinguistics to assessments.

Ben Rentler: Facilitating Interactive Learning Online with Nearpod
The coronavirus has caused many universities around the world to hold classes online and teachers have been struggling to make the transition from face-to-face to online. In my presentation, I will showcase the online lesson tool known as Nearpod. The presentation will offer some solutions on how to make online classes interactive. Specifically, I will talk about using Nearpod to facilitate effective discussions, reading activities, vocabulary activities, and student paced assignments. Additionally, I will show how Nearpod can help inform our future instruction through its post-class reports feature. Although Nearpod cannot solve all our online teaching challenges, it can act as a platform to facilitate interactive classrooms for some activities that benefit both teachers and students.
Ben Rentler is an English lecturer at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan. He has been working in English education for over six years teaching in junior high schools and universities in America and Japan. His research interests include willingness to communicate, CBLT, understanding technology acceptance, translanguaging, and independent learning.

Malcolm Swanson: Class Management Apps
Particularly for those of us teaching multiple courses in different locations, class management can be a nightmare. Grades, attendance records, and lesson details all need to be collated and maintained. The release of tablets like the iPad has offered numerous ways for handling these tasks more efficiently. In this session, I will introduce two apps that I use extensively, and demonstrate their use.
Malcolm Swanson teaches at Seinan Jo Gakuin University in Kitakyushu. His interests include integrating technology into classrooms and course building with lesson management systems.

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