Sunday, 30 March 2014

Spread Literature into the world! Links and Slides of our Presentation

Here you will find all the links of the videos and  music which are uploaded related to our project Spread Literature into the world! - full version
Liteature project
GRGPS- Spread Literature into the world DEMO
GRGPS- Literature project - Part 1
As much as you can - Kavafis (song)
The seagull - Elytis (song)
There is also SlideShare upload of the  Poems - Text of our presentation at TESOL Macedonia-Thrace Convention as well as trhe Power Point at TESOL Macedonia - Thrace Convention

As a follow up activity, I asked our students to write their thoughts on padlet. Not all of them have done it yet. Furthermore, the primary school pupils have  blog where they are abut to share their opinion.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Listen to your Eyes- Julia Alivert & Jeffrey Doonan, TESOL Greece Convention, March 2014

A journey into Art. How can Art be introduced in EFL classrooms? Why should it be used? What can learners gain from this? Julia and Jeffrey introduced us to different kinds of Art.
There is Museum Art with all the famous masterpieces displayed and there is Street Art. Which one is better? Should there be any comparison between the? Aren't they the two sides of the same coin?
By exposing learners to Art in ELT students can express their feelings, their knowledge is expanded, they have a deeper insight into culture, society, political situations and their generation. They broaden their horizons.
We had the chance to see how the Greek myth of the fall of Icarus was illustrated by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1558. Three associated poems followed- by W.H. Anden, William Carlos Williams and Edna St. Vincent Millay. The core meaning of the painting? Life goes on. 

Then we were amazed by how the historic bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War was illustrated by Pablo Picasso, Israeli and Palestinian children and an anonymous street artist on a wall ( a photo taken by Jeffrey). All so different but still so impressive.

The leaflet that Julia and Jeffrey distributed is very informative a definitely keepsake. There are so many invaluable photos of Art masterpieces, poems, activities; how a theme like a kiss or a social, political event is perceived by artists and poets.
All tasks focus on observation and deeper critical thinking. On its last page it is noted that these activities are more applicable to teenage learners of B1 to C1 level. However, Art in ELT can be used in younger age groups and lower level target language levels. We should just change the perspective.
In my view, it depends on teachers' willingness to introduce Art in their classroom, let their students bring Art in it (as Julia and Jeffrey encouraged us), let them express themselves!
Julia and Jeffrey, thank you for opening new paths of teaching for me!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Using Authentic Materials in ELT - Igor Gavilan, TESOL Greece- March 2014

I had the great opportunity to attend Igor's presentation on Saturday after having met him at Friday's dinner for out-of-town speakers. He is warm, friendly and I could clearly recognise his Brasque origins. I was sure that his presentation would lead me to new, innovative paths of ELT.
First, he showed us an example of a Brain study- to break the ice, as he said. We were all proved to be strong minds. Then, he surprised us with a Flamengo move. It was so simple but then so impressive at the same time; hot to grab an apple from a tree, bring it to the moth, bite it, throw it to the ground and step on it! We are all Flamengo dancers now! 
Then he proceeded with samples and activities of using authentic materials. He had an information card from his hotel through which we could practise Passive Voice. Then we had to design our own movie ticket including the main points of Price, Row, Seat, Date to introduce new vocabulary. A very interesting speaking activity was how to make a flat story entertaining by using some prompt  sentences. I loved the activity of listening practice. He used and Robbie Williams' song 'Angel' to show us the levels of difficulty according to learners' needs.
He pointed out that it needs preparation and extra work on our part but it is worthwhile because we expose our students to authentic situations, which is not always achieved with coursebooks. He shared various links like ellloBreaking News EnglishStorybird that can be used and he ended with the phrase-I'll try to pass it as precisely as I can- the good teacher is the one with PASSION!
It was a real privilege to attend your talk, Igor!
Thank you for sharing all this information!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Now that curtains have fallen down...


Now that the end has come and we all go back to our towns and work, I really wish to share my feelings and thoughts of my participation at the Convention. The experience has been exhilarating and emotions overwhelmed me during the long weekend. I met fellow teachers whom I used to meet online for the first time, I attended inspiring, motivating talks and presentations, I had long talks with warm, friendly colleagues during lunch breaks and coffee. The events in the evenings were great fun!!! We had such a good laugh! 
What can I say about the board members and the supporting staff... I couldn't have felt most welcome!!! Always with a big, warm smile, ready to answer all our questions and help with our presentation preparation!

TESOL Greece, thank you for giving me the chance to participate and present my students' efforts and hard work in our project! 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Meet the interviewers: Natassa Papakonstantinou!

Mission accomplished! Last but not at all least, Natassa was so kind to send me her replies to my questions! After this last post, I am getting even more eager to meet these lovely ladies in person. This time next Friday, I hope we will be enjoying our dinner in Athens! See you there, TESOL Greece interviewers! 

And now... it's Natassa's turn:

1. What did you want to become when you were a child?                                                         
     A pop singer! My favourite song was Άσπρο-Μαύρο" by the Cypriot singer Alexia. I used our living room as my personal stage and a candlestick as the microphone.

2. Why have you become a teacher?
In spite of the above answer, I always knew I wanted to become a teacher. I am happy that I have followed the teaching path because it makes me happy, and I hope my students as well.

3. Have you ever regretted becoming a teacher?
How can you regret being a teacher! It is the 'healthiest' job in the world; having children of all ages around you.
They keep me young and make me wiser.

4. You avoid people who...?
I avoid people who know only how to do one thing well, viz. to give advice!

5. Tell us about your biggest dream.
My biggest dream is to become a mother. Yes, I have my students whom I consider as my children, but I would like to be blessed with my own, and a happy family life one day.

6. What is your favourite colour and why?
My favourite colour is red because it reflects passion, life and optimism.

7. Which city would you like to visit?
I am happy when I travel; no matter where.You can be happy in the least expected places and unhappy in the most romantic destinations. For me, the perfect destination is where I will be with people I love and who love me.

8. What is your favourite piece of clothing?
Mmmm...not exactly piece of clothing ...I love hats ...winter hats, summer hats :)

9. Have you ever cheated in a test?
I swear that I have never cheated in a test ...I just didn't have to; but cheating has its magic, I suppose, for some people!

10. Describe your desk.
My desk... wooden, round, usually tidy.

11. Who is your favourite character either in a book or movie?
One of my favourite characters is not a person but a dog called Hachi who became famous for his loyalty to his master.

At the end, she thanked me  for interviewing her.  This is the first interview she has ever given and she really enjoyed it. The pleasure was all mine!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Meet the interviewers! Elinda Gjondedaj

Meet Elinda, TESOL Greece Blog administrator! She keeps us posted about the latest news and events of TESOL Greece!

Here are her answers to my relentless questions:

                 1. What did you want to become when you were a child?

           Well, I always wanted to become a singer. My best friend and I had a band and everything. We used to meet every weekend and rehearse our songs eith my karaoke machine. Somewhere inbetween, I realized that I can't really sing! I think we were 9 or 10. 

         2. Why have you become a teacher?

         I became a teacher because of the children. I work with very young children and they never cease to amaze me. They always have something interesting to say, their minds are always working. It can be challenging at times, but I love the challenge! What is more, my high school English teacher motivated me with his unique teaching style. I loved his dedication and commitment to the profession.

      3.  Have you ever regretted becoming a teacher?

        Teaching in Greece in an era of economic crisis is sometimes tough. Some days are hard. However, it is the best thing I have ever done.

      4.  You avoid people who...?

       …are grumpy. People who do not appreciate anything.

      5. Tell us about your biggest dream.

My biggest dream is setting up my own school and my two children running in the corridors

6. Which city would you like to visit?
           NEW YORK, NEW YORK!

      7. Have you ever cheated on a test?

      No, I was too afraid to do it!
      8. Describe your desk.
      What about a photo? This is my desk at work (a lab in the Faculty of English Language and Literature)

     9. Who is your favourite character either in a book or movie?

        Benjamin Button

Thank you, Elinda, for sharing all these facts with us! It was a pleasure!