PH International

TPD-TEL Winter Camp for Teachers Successfully Starts the First Phase of the Program

Georgia | Transcaucasus Professional Development for Teachers of English Language | 2 Mar 2016

On February 17-27, TPD-TEL Program hosted a Teacher Training Winter Camp (WC) in Armenia. The main goal of the WC was to develop professional and personal linkages between English teachers that have an impact on Georgian, Abkhaz and Armenian youth and to introduce civics-content-based English language learning mechanisms and approaches that expand opportunities for youth to productively interact and engage within and between conflict-affected communities in years to come. Another goal of the TPD-TEL Winter Camp was to help teachers develop their skills in teaching communicative, competency-based English language courses, and planning lessons that incorporate civic education content. To this end, the course objectives addressed lesson planning and methodology, learner assessment, classroom management, cooperative learning and teacher reflective practice. The first 6 days of the camp were dedicated to interactive workshops and input sessions, during which participants were able to learn practical teaching techniques that support learner-centered, communicative classrooms. During the remaining 3 days, participant teachers had an opportunity to apply their learning and deliver English language lessons to 10 Armenian Access program students. The second part of the camp combined three elements: 1) an observed practicum, where teachers applied their learning and students were taught English lessons; 2) additional training and feedback for teachers, and 3) student recreational activities (all in English). Winter Camp was followed by a Follow-on and Support Component that aimed to encourage and support teachers to apply their new knowledge and skills in their schools and communities after the WC and share lessons learned and best practices with fellow TPD-TEL participant teachers through social media (Facebook group) and e-mail. In the final stage of the Winter Camp, teachers took responsibility to conduct at least two lessons based on the information and new methodologies they learned throughout the camp. Materials that teachers shared (through the Facebook group and e-mail) after conducting the lessons in their schools and communities as part of the TPD-TEL Winter Camp Follow-on were: • Lesson plans • Handouts (lesson materials) • Reflection pieces (self-assessment) • Photo/Video materials. Teachers stayed closely connected throughout the follow-on period. They commented on each other’s work and encouraged each other to do more to develop further.