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TEFL Masterclass – Adapting Materials to Create Online & Hybrid Lessons

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What you will learn

Adapting lessons to make them meaningful to students’ lives in 2021 means that you won’t have to work so hard to engage them in your lesson. They will already be eager to discuss the topic due to its relevance and importance to their current language needs.

In this workshop we will look at some examples of ways to create your own materials to model target language or supplement the textbook, updating activities to online or hybrid platforms through tasks which stimulate students’ imaginations and keep lessons enjoyable and fun! 

We will explore ways to incorporate this into your planning through sample lessons for Lower and Higher levels that will provide suggestions of ways to try this in your lessons, while providing a safe space for learners to develop their language skills in a rapidly changing environment.

We hope that this workshop will inspire you to get creative with the range of online resources available as well as producing your own original materials!

About the trainer

Aoife Tamura – Teacher Trainer & Academic Coordinator @Atlantic Language.

Aoife has been involved in developing courses for Teachers and Young Learners for the past 10 years at Atlantic and has been a Teacher and Teacher Trainer in both Ireland & Japan since 2001. She currently oversees Erasmus Courses for Universities, Secondary Level Institutes and Primary Schools based throughout the EU.

She has also developed many specialised courses in the area of Teacher Methodologies for Educators, delivering training or training trainers, in areas such as CLIL/Innovative Methodologies/Learner Motivation/ Engaging Young Learners/ Digital Tools as a Trainer, Course developer & Centre Manager for Young Learners and for partner Erasmus organisations on behalf of Atlantic Language for a number of years.

Workshop Summary

Embracing the New Normal in Education

The speaker introduces a workshop designed for teachers adapting to online or hybrid teaching environments. The transition to digital platforms has marked a significant shift from traditional teaching methods. Over the past year, many teachers’ teaching methods have undergone more changes than in the previous two decades, reflecting the adaptation to a mix of online, hybrid, and socially distanced classroom settings.

The Importance of Adaptability in Teaching

The need to adjust teaching practices to fit the evolving educational landscape is highlighted, drawing inspiration from Stephen Hawking’s belief in adaptability as a form of intelligence. The speaker emphasises the necessity of tailoring teaching methods and materials to stay relevant and engaging, which includes updating the target language to address current topics and personalising lessons to bridge the gap created by online or hybrid learning environments.

Incorporating Real-Life Relevance into Lessons

The speaker discusses the integration of current events and the personal experiences of students into the curriculum, making education more pertinent and engaging. This strategy prepares students for the new realities they face, such as online job interviews and the need for enhanced social English skills. Task-based learning, guided by David Nunan’s principles, serves as a fundamental approach in designing lessons that equip students for real-world scenarios.

The Evolution of Teaching Methods

Reflecting on her journey of transitioning to online teaching, the speaker shares how she has adapted her teaching style to meet the challenges posed by digital classrooms. This adaptation includes the incorporation of current news stories into lessons and the personalization of grammar exercises with students’ names, aiming to maintain relevance and engagement in learning.

Conclusion: Adapting to Ensure Relevance and Impact

In summary, the shift to online and hybrid teaching has necessitated significant changes in teaching styles, materials, and methodologies. By focusing on personalization, current topics, and real-life task preparation, educators can enhance the effectiveness and enjoyment of learning. As the educational community navigates this “new normal,” sharing experiences and strategies for adaptation is crucial for maintaining the relevance and impact of teaching.

Reflective Questions

Have a quick think about the reflective questions below in order to get the most out of the workshop:

  1. Have you found it difficult to engage students online with materials that were previously popular in face to face classes?
  2. How have your students’ needs and interests changed over the last year?
  3. Are the textbooks you are using up to date?
  4. What changes have you had to make when lesson planning?

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