VicTESOL Symposium – August 2019
Steven delivered a hands on and engaging workshop where participants learned about the idea of using gestures to teach new vocabulary to EAL students. He spoke about the connection between speech and gestures and in this workshop. Among other things, participants experienced learning a new language using gestures to represent phonics (sounds on fingers), phrases and sentences (words on fingers) and to elicit sounds or words from students. Steven’s presentation left participants with new ideas to consider using with their own EAL students.
Session summary by Yan Yao Choong, VicTESOL committee member
VicTESOL Symposium – August 2019
Jodie Whitehurst took us on a captivating journey during her interactive workshop “Using drama techniques in the teaching of adult EAL” by inviting us to participate in several authentic drama-based activities. The room was filled with a sense of excitement and trust and the participants transformed into the learners who had to perform and act in order to see in action the empowerment of drama activities in the classroom. Jodie offered us her insights and knowledge that comes from her personal expertise and experience with drama in an EAL classroom. Plus, working with others gave us the opportunity to come out of our comfort zone, open our mind and have fun as we all worked collaborative to achieve the same goal: optimal learning experience for our learners!
Session summary by Leah Kontos, VicTESOL committee member
Download a PDF of the presentation here:
Rebecca Grimaud, Hân Trinh, Hayley Black – Carringbush Adult Education
In this workshop Rebecca, Han and Hayley shared their experience incorporating action research into the classroom. They explored approaches to teaching digital and traditional literacy skills to low language and literacy learners. They shared ideas and activities that they have trialled, including using technology, gestures, learner-centred tasks and students’ L1 in the classroom to help students to learn English.
Rebecca has been a teacher in a variety of settings in England, France and Australia for over ten years. She joined Carringbush as a literacy volunteer in 2017 and now teaches low level literacy learners two days a week. Rebecca also teaches French at a local Primary school. She is interested in the use of gestures and explicit pronunciation to help learners increase their confidence in speaking.
Hân has worked as an ESL teacher in Vietnam and Australia for more than 5 years. She studied her Masters of TESOL in Melbourne and joined Carringbush teaching team in 2018. Hân has mainly worked with low level literacy learner groups at Carringbush and is interested in teaching explicit pronunciation and incorporating multilingual teaching approaches into her practice.
Hayley Black is an EAL teacher with a secondary school media and EAL teaching background and a Masters in TESOL. She currently teaches beginner level EAL classes at Carringbush Adult Education. Hayley has taught in the Victorian school system as well as teaching and volunteering overseas in Korea, Nepal and Japan. Her professional interests focus on pedagogical development for teachers working with adults at the Foundation level.
Greg Gow, Program Coordinator, Schools Support Program & Matt Rodger, Schools Support Officer West Region, Schools Support Program
‘School is where you need to be equal and learn’: Insights from students of refugee backgrounds on learning and engagement in Victorian secondary schools (2019)
This report presents the findings of a research project conducted by the Schools Support Program at the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (Foundation House). This project sought out the insights of students of refugee backgrounds on the barriers and facilitators to learning and engagement at school. Focus groups were conducted at three Victorian secondary schools, with 51 students (aged 13-19). The students were all from refugee backgrounds and had arrived in Australia within the past seven years. Through this project the Schools Support Program was able to learn directly from students of refugee backgrounds and position them, through their lived experience, as experts on ‘what works’ to support them at school.
In this webinar, Greg and Matt take you through the findings of this report and provide insights into how this report can inform practice at your school.
VicTESOL’s Teaching and Learning Cycle project, launched in 2018, was made possible by the generous support of a Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) Common Funding Agreement (CFA). VicTESOL has also contributed to this project.
VicTESOL enlisted the specialist Prof Beverly Derewianka, an expert in EAL and mainstream language education and literacy, to work with a team of teachers from various schools in Victoria. They spent several days studying the Teaching and Learning Cycle, then went back to their schools to produce a Unit of Work relevant for their specific context.
We are proud to share these Units of Work with the education community.