TOOLS workshop in MPRCFebruary 20, 2013
Yesterday was the day when Marijampoles profesinio rengimo centras team of TOOLS project introduced Clilstore and the whole project system to a big group of Marijampole teachers of foreign languages. The course was advertised through the Department of Education of Marijampole Administration, and at least 18 teachers registered for the course and tested the clilstore system. The workshop took place in Marijampole VET Centre with teachers from our institution participating as well. The group was really big- 20 teachers occupied every seat of IT class, because for Clilstore we certainly needed internet connection. We were glad to welcome teachers of various ages and representing different schools. A pleasant surprise was seeing teachers not only from the town, but from smaller towns of the region as well.
Teachers from gymnasiums usually don’t work with clil method, because the decision to apply it belongs, as a rule to either general policies of education or at least a choice of the whole institution. However, the teachers were pleased to discover multiple ways of applying the tool simply to teach their subject- a foreign language. Everyone knows that language is taught/learnt by topics, e.g. family, school, eating out, travel, etc. The Clilstore and the system offer an interesting supplement to the items and exercises provided by textbooks. Moreover, every teacher agreed that each class has its own “greedy” students, who cope with every task much quicker than the rest of the group and are asking for more all the time. Clilstore is an attractive way to satisfy those greedy students. They can be involved in the topics to suit their specific interests, thus building their intercultural knowledge and understanding. The key issue is that the learner is gaining new knowledge about the ‘non-language’ subject while encountering, using and learning the foreign language, and this process of language learning is simplified through engagement in “real life” stories and issues, that the students can choose themselves. The choice on YouTube, TED and other popular network don’t show any signs of short supply. In the workshop the language teachers’ community of the region was represented by specialists of the English, German and Russian languages.