Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №5/2009

NOVELTA Winter School – A Season For Authentic Learning

There is a joke among EL teachers in Siberia: when the temperatures drop down to -30C, it means that it is time to go to the NOVELTA Winter Methodology School. About 200 school and university teachers from the region flocked to the Novosibirsk Technological University on January 29-30 to listen to fascinating lectures, and to take part in various workshops conducted by American and Russian specialists.

The opening session saw a room crammed with about fifty university teachers who came to watch David Fay, EL Fellow currently based in Moscow, do his Ad-Busting. What is it, and how does it help to develop critical thinking? Another word for “busting” in this context

Elena Meleknina
will be “deconstructing”. David Fay showed a wonderful presentation featuring some well-known advertisements, like the familiar one with Marlboro Country (cigarettes), and demonstrated how any such ad can be changed into something different. Then he distributed a number of ads to his workshop participants, and suggested that they think up some modifications. Allow me to present an example of my own critical thinking. An advertisement for “Shopping Transformation”

Allyson Kellum
can be turned into one for “Sloppy Transformation”. Has it ever happened to you that you went into a store attracted by some advertising, bought something, and then discovered it was no good for you? Hence “sloppy”. There were numerous examples and exercises on proverb-busting, too. David Fay also made a plenary presentation called “What Is Authentic in the ELT Classroom”.

Valentina Afonasova
Allyson Kellum, a young EL Fellow currently based in Vladivostok, conducted a fascinating workshop and made a very modern, innovative plenary presentation called “Internet Resources: Applications for English Lessons”. Her handout gave many links to web sites, blogs, chatrooms, forums, podcasts. One can find a lot of materials on her subject at www.english-internet-resources.blogspot.com. Allyson is clearly an adept at everything web-connected. She is also a great teacher. Her meticulous presentations, and attention to her listeners, were a step-by-step, hands-on experience on how and why to use the web in the classroom.

Marianna Malinovskaya of Koltsovo, a scientific-research town in the Novosibirsk region, is well-known among her colleagues as a dedicated EL teacher. She is also Macmillan representative in Siberia. Her workshop “Blended Learning: Multimedia Resources for ELT” was devoted to the many new resources offered by Macmillan Publishers. Marianna convincingly demonstrated the use of multimedia in the classroom, and explained how it can become an integral part of the whole process of teaching and learning.

In spite of the frost, the atmosphere at the winter school was warm and friendly. Elena Melekhina, NOVELTA president, Valentina Afonasova, organizing committee, and the whole English Language Department staff of the Technological University, worked hard to make this event “an affair to remember”.

By Nina Koptyug ,