Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Joint teacher training event in Almendralejo, Day 1

Poster on the wall presenting the partners 

Monday April 2nd, the first day of our joint teacher training event at IES Santiago Apostol in Almendralejo started early in the morning when we walked together to the school and received  a very warm welcome by the Spanish crew and some group pictures were taken.

From the left: Doroteja, Mateja, Javier, Oskar, Leena, Terhi, Agnes, Ildiko, Marika and Piedad

Javier Cerrato and Piedad Mesias introduced us to some of their colleagues and then Javier guided us around the school building. During the tour we, among other things, visited Monica's English class of 12-year-olds, heard a lovely music performance by Maria's class and met some older students of laboratory technology who are going to take part in an Erasmus+ program in order to do their practical training in another country. They told us about their possible plans. In addition, we saw the chemistry lab where food quality assessment is studied by the vocational students.

After the interesting tour we listened to Javier telling us how the bilingual program is arranged in IES Santiago Apostol.

The bilingual classes not only study English and French in their language lessons but they also use English in some other lessons, for example Maths, Arts and Music. The coordinator of the language projects in the school is Javier Cerrato who supports the subject teachers when they're planning their lessons. Also their American language assistant Jacob Cotton is available to help the teachers. Jacob will also give us a talk to inform us about his scholarship.

During the longer pause we enjoyed coffee and cakes surrounded by the school staff who were eager to ask us questions about our project, our schools and our countries. It gave us a nice opprtunity to compare the education systems and many practical issues about our work. 

After the pause we got the opportunity to see some examples of web applications like Voice thread and Voki which are both useful tools for teachers when they want to have their students work on oral tasks. Javier showed us what kind of tasks his students had done for our project and every one of us was invited to create an account and try how to use it.

Voice Thread and Voki

School days at IES Santiago Apostol end at 14.05 and that was when we enjoyed a delicious lunch together with our hosts in the school cafeteria. We would still continue the day's program with a CLIL session (CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning). 

So, beginning at 16.30, Miguel A. España, Teacher of English at IES Tierrablanca gave us a lecture on CLIL. He covered some basic theoretical background of language teaching but the workshop also included several examples of practical activities that we could apply when planning and inventing activities based on Bloom's taxonomy for language lessons.