uninspired….

I have to say, I have a great deal of respect for those bloggers who manage to sit down and fill their blogs with useful things every week. I am in awe of them as I am totally uninspired. Even after having read blogs about blogging (yes, they really do exist!) I just can’t seem to get into the flow. It’s not that I have nothing to say, but more the doubt as to whether it’s actually any good. I suppose the point is, you don’t know if you don’t try – so here goes nothing….. Last week we had our bi-annual meeting with all the university English teacher trainers. This is always useful, inspirational and great fun – my colleagues are passionate about their work and basically a fun bunch to hang around with. Anyway, I discovered something interesting in a comparison of our methods of teacher training. At my institute we follow the skills rather slavishly (reading, listening, writing, speaking, grammar, culture…..). The students are required to read the theory (we use Kwakernaak and Brown and the odd article as our mainstay) and they mail us their remaining questions which we then incorporate into our classes. Clear so far? There is of course a line of general didactics and pedagogics where they learn about adolescent psychology, lesson planning, classroom management etc but my function and that of my colleagues is the MFL-specific didactics. At all the universities our students come to us with a MA and leave with a MEd. So what is this difference I noted? Well, at a couple of the other universities, they spend the first few months in an intervision-like setting where the students bring in their own issues, problems etc to do with their classroom practice (English issues) and only later in the year do they dive into the theory. Though black and white, the difference is that we try to combine the theory and practice from day one whereas my colleagues start with the practice and move onto the theory. I’m curious to know how other people (teacher trainers) do it. Anyone reading this out there who’d be willing to give me some ideas and explain why they have made these various choices?

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