Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №7/2004

In this issue you can see the materials prepared for publication by a group of teachers from Gubkin, Belgorod region. For us it was the realization of our earlier dream of involving teachers into the creative process of making the newspaper; and for teachers it was a test of the pen, a good chance to become acquainted with the newspaper and the editing process, as well as an implementation of assistance to their colleagues all over Russia. We do hope that this first experiment will prove to be a good beginning towards a long-term collaboration and cooperation between our newspaper and its readers.

Newspaper English as a Helping Hand

Семинар для учителей английского языка школ города и района

The period from October till the middle of December was really a busy time for the English language teachers in Gubkin: the poetry contest; a refresher course; meeting with American teacher of history Bruce L. Damacio; the town contest of projects “My Native Place”; the masterclass “Newspaper English as a helping hand”. Though different in themes, all these events seemed to have much in common: the active participation and interest shown by teachers.

The title of this report was the name of the seminar held on December 17, 2003 in Gubkin Methodological Centre.

Alyona Gromushkina, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper English, and Olga Boltneva, a regular contributor to the newspaper and YES-club adviser, made a one-day teacher training visit to Gubkin. Their main task was to develop participants’ skills to select and utilize newspaper English materials, and to develop new useful materials for teachers of the English language.

The beginning of the seminar brought a very pleasant surprise to us. About 30 issues of the newspaper English were presented to all participants to mark the beginning steps of the work of the seminar.

Teachers were told about the newspaper, about its main rubrics. Teachers asked the guests about their attitude toward the unified state exam and to the textbooks by V. P. Kuzovlev. (It happened that in Belgorod region we are obliged to use that textbook.)

Also all the urgent, topical problems of current language education in almost every sphere: international examinations, different kinds of testing, etc., were covered.

Olga is full of bright ideas concerning the use of newspaper materials. She charmed us by her resourcefulness. It was a real revelation.

The Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper English reminded the teachers of Thomas Edison’s quotation, “Imagination is better than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” And then the participants were offered to imagine themselves being an editorial of the newspaper English. Their task was to compile an issue of the newspaper, to make it as useful and as interesting as possible according to their practical teaching needs.

The teachers were divided into five groups. All the groups got fairy-tale names: Princesses, Gnomes, Elves, Fairies and Princes. Why? I think is it because the arrival of our guests to a small provincial town was also like a fairy-tale.

Teachers chose the following rubrics for their work: Around Russia, Focus on Literature, Classroom Activities and Focus on Language.

The teams had only one hour to create materials for the newspaper.

Alyona brought some articles, and letters from other readers of English with her.

Thus, the team responsible for the “Focus on Literature” page used the essay “J.R.R. Tolkien and the Fantasy Genre” created by Natalya Aleksandrovich (Anapa).

The plan of the lesson “The History of Money” by Guliya Shaikhutdinova from Salavat helped the “Gnomes” to make their page “Read & Discuss” on the theme “Money in the USA”.

L.Oleinikova’s (Irkutsk) ideas helped the team of “Princes” create their “Classroom Activities”– page devoted to adjectives.

For the “Methodology” rubric Olga Fedechkina, Olga Gorelykh and Helen Finkova created a lesson for the students of the 11th form “Known and Unknown English-Speaking Countries”.

The team “Elves” (Ludmila Korneva, Nataliya Borovinskaya, Galina Bogdanova and Liliya Petrova) decided that Gubkin is the best place in the world and wrote about it in their project “Around Russia”.

The seminar provided a good opportunity for teachers to work together. Ralph Waldo Emerson was quite right when he said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

When all the materials were ready, the teams of teachers presented them to their colleagues.

The best projects got special prizes – books of the publishing house The First of September and special issues of the newspaper English.

The final turned out to be full of warm words. Alyona Gromushkina and Olga Boltneva complimented the participants on being so responsive and active. They believe the seminar will further involve teachers of Gubkin in being active readers and authors of the newspaper English.

We thank Alyona Gromushkina and Olga Boltneva for coming to us and for organizing this wonderful seminar.

By Elena Babina, Gubkin