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How can teachers meet the challenges of multi-level classes? It helps if we distinguish between planning and preparation...(more)

PRESENTATIONS
Abstracts

Abstracts of Three Presentations:
1. Teaching Better, Preparing Less, with Zero Preparation Activities
2. A Tale of Two Teachers, or Back From the Brink of Burnout
3. Break Through to Fluency


1. Teaching Better, Preparing Less, with Zero Preparation Activities
Laurel presents workshops similar to this to teachers all over the country. The activities -- and the principles of good teaching that emerge during the workshops, have proven useful to mainstream content teachers, language teachers, and teachers of gifted students, students with learning challenges, and deaf students.

Note: This presentation can be from one hour to three days in length. Teachers experience the activities in an active workshop format, then pair off to discuss how they can use each activity with their current students.

How can teachers meet the challenges of multi-level classes? It helps if we distinguish between planning (the vision we have of our students' goals and how to help them get there) and preparation (what a teacher needs to sit down and do to get an activity ready for class.)

Planning will always be an essential element of effective teaching, but over-preparation can lead to exhaustion.

Fortunately, many of the most effective activities for learning require no preparation by the teacher before class. Laurel Pollard, co-author of Zero Prep: Ready-to-go Activities, and Zero Prep for Beginners, will demonstrate classic zero-preparation activities.

Participants will add to their repertoire of routines, activities that are easily adapted for different ages and suitable for teaching any content material. The activities engage each student at his or her level of competence, activate students' best learning strategies, and draw on various "intelligences."

When teachers use these proven classroom activities, they have more time for long-range planning, their creative juices flow more easily, and their classes become more lively and student-centered. Students learn more, and teachers can relax, reflect, and recover their vision.

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2. A Tale of Two Teachers, or Back from the Brink of Burnout
(Given as a "Spotlight Session" at TESOL 2002 in Salt Lake City and as a keynote address for TexTESOL and Northern Illinois Adult Education)

In this address, which can be from 45 to 90 minutes in length, Laurel uses the humorous framing device of a melodrama to present insights that have proven useful to teachers in reducing stress and avoiding burnout.

Note: Laurel also presents an expanded version of this address in workshop format rather than as a plenary address. Teachers have more time to explore time management techniques and stress reduction strategies.

Meet Dudley DoItRight and Clarissa CaresALot. They became teachers because they want to help, want to be useful. They quickly discovered there is no end of need out there and that the resources they need arenÕt always available. Their classes are becoming more diverse, presenting new challenges. They are working harder and harder to make things right, working so hard that they sometimes lose touch with their creativity and with the enjoyment and satisfaction that teaching once brought them.

Follow them as they walk the perilous paths that lead to burnout. Discover along with them the insights and strategies that guide them out of danger. Rejoice with them as they rediscover their creativity and clear thinking and achieve the life of their dreams Š the life of your dreams!

Participants will find in this workshop:
  • Recommended books on time and stress management
  • Strategies that empower students to take charge of their own learning
  • Tips for reducing paperwork and simplifying classroom management
  • Simple assessment techniques
  • Stress-relieving exercises
  • Effective 'antidotes' to feelings of inadequacy
  • Help in prioritizing
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3. Break Through to Fluency with Now You're Talking!
Audience: ESL 7-12, Higher Ed, Adult Ed, EFL, General Interest
Level: High Intermediate - Advanced ESL/EFL students


Help your students break through to fluency with Now You're Talking! an intermediate level fluency workbook for adult students. Laurel Pollard, co-author of the book, will demonstrate activities that build trust, provide "starter" ideas, and are so engaging that students say more than they ever thought they could. Join us! Handout included.

Laurel Pollard, co-author of the book, will demonstrate activities that can easily be used with whatever texts teachers are currently using.

This book focuses on basic human issues that students are eager to talk about, such as:
  • Childhood memories
  • Misunderstandings
  • Choosing friends
  • Managing time
  • Making decisions
  • Hopes and dreams...
In short, Now You're Talking! is about being human, with all its confusion and joy.

The book is filled with classic fluency-building activities that provide vocabulary and "starter" ideas, give students a chance to gather their thoughts, build trust, and are so engaging that students say more than they ever thought they could.

For the teacher, Now You're Talking! provides opportunities to be a facilitator, standing back while students take over -- after all, they're the ones who need the practice. The teacher can assist where needed, note errors for later focused practice, or simply stand back and enjoy as students use English for real communication.
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