As with most ELT lessons, nearly all CPD events (such as summer camps for teachers) fail to make use of the one ‘resource’ that the students/learners bring with them. In the case of the former, knowledge of their L1, and, in the case of the latter, the knowledge and skills based on their long/short experience of working in the classroom.
Most summer camps, training events, are based on the idea that participants come together to listen to, and perhaps to work with, experts, and then apply some of what they learn in their classroom. This is also what happens in a traditional classroom. However, recently, there have been considerable challenges to what happens (or should/could happen) in schools with ideas such as ‘the flipped classroom’, Dogme, as well as doing things in novel – even opposite – ways. (See, e.g. Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite Paul Arden 2006)
The Bridge Camp 2016
Where: Stará Turá
When: 1st – 6th August 2016
Who to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bridge Camp 2016 participants will be expected to do a considerable amount of ‘homework’ (pre-course work/preparation) to gain the best out of the week. Thus, instead of finding about novel ways of working in the classroom and subsequently applying these back in their schools, they will be able to practise (take risks in a safe environment) some of these activities with other course participants. The course will enable those who attend to be active presenters rather than passive participants. YES, it will involve a lot of hard work and the willingness to try out new things – new ways of working with learners.
However, not everything will be classroom focussed. There will be opportunity to address issues re ‘mind, body and soul’ – daily yoga sessions, experimenting with different types of food, relaxation, dealing with stress et al.
By the end of the week, you should feel relaxed, energised and able to go back to work armed with new/novel ideas and the willingness to try them out.
As well as ‘formal’ sessions, there will be an opportunity for more informal activities in the evenings and again these will reflect the interest of the participants. It is YOUR course and YOU should have a hand in devising and delivering it.
The curriculum (content) of the course will be partly determined by the strengths/weakness of the participants and there will be ample opportunity to learn from one another. The final programme (subject to change) will emerge when the participants have returned their application forms. Some, if not all, of the following topics/areas will be addressed: NB this will require a considerable amount of pre-course work AND you will be asked to lead the presentations for some of these activities during the week.
In other words, you will be asked, indeed encouraged, to take risks.
Inventing and sharing ice-breakers, warm-up exercises.
Flipping the classroom – how and why?
How to Dogme?
What is ‘creativity’ and how do we use it in the classroom?
Diversity and inclusion – sexism, racism and other isms (P.A.R.S.N.I.P.).
Silence in the classroom.
Getting a lot out of a little.
Quizzes and other puzzles.
Using our knowledge (sic.) of the world in the classroom.
The use of ‘doodles’ in class.
Using poetry and art in class.
Humanising Language Teaching.
Ways of evaluating lessons and courses.
Ways of reflecting and recording reflective practice.
+ suggestions from the participants.
„The course may not change your life but it will certainly change the way you look at your work. Perhaps the opposite is also true. The course may not change the way you look at your work but it will certainly change your life“!
the Bridge team