Ten Access Instructors attended the "Innovation in English Language Teaching" Teacher Training
May, 4 2015
One of the major goals of Access Program is to foster and maintain the spirit of continuous education and improvement for Access instructors and students. For this reason, in March-April, a team of highly qualified Access trainers organized a thematic-oriented teacher training "Innovation in English Language Teaching" for 10 novice Access teachers and teacher assistants from 5 regions of the country, such as Ribnita, Grigoripol, Causeni, Hincesti, and Edinet, which provided sharing of experience and inspired each participant to improve their educational style, based on best Access practices and successful case studies.
Being financially supported by US Embassy to Moldova and provided by the American Councils, the training provided a 3-stage instruction process: face to face trainings, online instruction and mentoring, and independent practice. To this extent, both Access teachers and teacher assistants were invited to discuss and express their opinions on the up-to-date EFLT methodological topics, referring to integrating technology, media and interactive activities into Access teaching-learning-evaluation process.
During "Innovation in English Language Teaching" training the participants were mentored online by a group of 8 professionals, current Moldovan and US experts in education, language didactics, and extracurricular activities through an individualized approach. This way, each one received online support while realizing Assignments' tasks, which were published on a specially designed training blog .
At the end of the training each Access instructor created her/his own blog for the Access classes, where he/she shared with her/his students the civic-engagement projects and lesson plans developed while using up-to-date teaching approaches acquired during the training blended learning. Among these could be stated the following blogs: Enjoy Your English, Live Your Life-Access Causeni, and The Alchemy of Teaching.
Daria Prozorovschi, Access teacher, Hincesti: "Now I realize that the major difference between the regular type of teaching and the blended one we usually use in the Access Program is that the students develop their metacognitive awareness, and that the teachers are only the instructors. From now on, I will try to implement this training method by using modern technologies, such as computers and projectors, so that my Access students can efficiently work on various projects (e.g., Writing Letters to Santa) and homework assignments (e.g., Making presentations and short movies)".
Margarita Bicec, Access teacher assistant, Hincesti: " This training expanded my skills of teaching the English Language as an Access instructor by using new technology and innovative approaches. At the end of this marvelous course, I started using acquired methodologies and sharing my experience with other colleagues from Access".
Emma Matreniuc, Access teacher from Edinet: "While participating in the Access training, I learned that the rubric is a useful tool to grade, score and evaluate my Access students' achievements. Through this, the teacher assesses any type of students' work. Rubric saves time, makes evaluation more objective, provides transparency for students. It will help me to follow the progress and development of Access students' abilities. Using rubrics in both traditional and with online instruments makes the process productive and easy".
Natalia Constantinov, Access teacher from Grigoriopol: "Thanks to this teacher training I discovered how useful blogs could be in EFL and Access teaching, since it provides: reading, learning from comments, spelling tips, building social relations with the readers and other bloggers in different communities around the world, etc. For the Access Program the blog I created will serve as an instructional resource, where we will be able to discuss different topics, events and programs. It will be an effective way to integrate the teacher and the students into learning process through a collaborative feedback."
Mihai Soltan , Acces teacher assistant, Ribnita: " Now I see the task as an activity done with a certain aim, and I do consider that Task-based Learning is more effective for Access than regular learning, because being focused on the task, students learn much better. They become more proficient in what they learn while performing a task, especially when the task is connected to students' real-life language needs".
Taking all into account, it could be finally stated that following the Life-long learning philosophy, the "Innovation in English Language Teaching" Access teacher training strengthened the Access teachers' status of the 21st Century Educator; thus increasing the quality-based Access students' instruction.