Conferences, IATEFL, learning, literature, teaching, technology, TESOL Greece, young learners

Literature Strikes Back! – Guest Post by Dimitris Primalis and Chryssanthe Sotiriou #iatefl13

Dimitris Primalis
Dimitris Primalis

Dimitris has been teaching EFL for 20 years. His experience covers a wide range of groups including young learners, teenagers, adults, exam prep classes and Business English. He has also written 5 test booklets for Macmillan and is a freelance materials designer. He also served as TESOL Chair and very successfully ran this year’s TESOL Greece Convention.

Chryssanthe has obtained a BA in English Literature from the English Department of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and a postgraduate diploma with distinction  in Translation from the University of Mons-Hainaut in Belgium, being a scholar of the ‘Alexander Onassis’ Foundation.chryssanthe

They will also be presenting Literature strikes back! The return of a vanishing art or how to teach literature with technology at IATEFL Conference on Wednesday , 10th April at 15:05 (Hall 11b).

Thought that literature is dead with the advent of technology?  Shouldn’t books be permanently exhibited in history museums next to dinosaurs and other fossils? Can a computer whiz kid be persuaded to read a romantic novel written by Daphne du Maurier?

For those of us who thought that literature had been wiped out by the invasion of technology in our daily teaching, the answer is : literature is too hard to die!!!

Web 2.0 tools, YouTube clips and social media/collaborative platforms seem to have become powerful allies of books in teachers’ efforts to stimulate learners ‘  interest and initiate them in the magical world of words.

Brought up in a world that gadgets are deified, teenagers  only find it natural to spend more time tapping or clicking; browsing webpages rather than reading the masterpieces their parents and parents once loved. Is mere exposure to genres found on the internet enough to help our learners enrich their vocabulary and use proficiently a wide range of linguistic features that will need later on in their personal and professional life? Let’s compare a typical story on Facebook and one in a book. They may both narrate a similar story but they employ different means of illustrating the story line. The former may feature videos or photos, emoticons and chunks of language whereas the latter uses  a wide range of words to convey feelings, describe actions and background and convey messages. Students can benefit from both worlds provided that teachers adopt a clearly structured methodology. It is pedagogy that makes the difference and technology is its most powerful ally.

Apart from enriching lexis, literature can also serve as a stimulus for discussing ideas and morals while provoking heated debates on eternal dilemmas. Love, friendship, struggle for  wealth and power, leadership, corruption, ethics are only a few of the issues that  are raised through literary texts and our students cannot afford to miss them.

Literature empowers, enlightens and broadens horizons … it simply allows you to dream and use your critical thinking instead of reacting mechanically.

Thank you so much, Chryssanthe and Dimitris!

ELTChat, life, poetry

A Traveller’s Journal – A Poem Read by Mieke Kenis (@mkofab)

Local station – photo taken by @sandymillin (from #eltpics)

It is time on the blog for another poem, read by the fantastic Mieke Kenis. Thank you so much, Mieke, for giving it exactly the emotion I wanted it to have!

I wrote this one in 1999, when I was twenty years old.

A Traveller’s Journal

life, poetry

Gypsy – A Poem Read by Brad Patterson (@brad5patterson)

Brad Patterson, originally from the US and located in France, is a fantastic person I have the honour to call a friend and a great educator. Brad writes a blog where he shares a lot of his love for etymology and writes about many topics which make us all think.Brad and his company Edulang have started a great initiative called Pay What You Want. Definitely worth looking at and contributing to!

I am very fortunate to have Brad read this poem, which I wrote when I was 20 years old. He has rendered it so beautifully…but enough from me – over to Brad! Thank you so so much!

Gypsy – Read by Brad Patterson

life, poetry

Hair – A Poem Read by Mieke Kenis (@mkofab)

Mieke Kenis

It all started last night when Mieke Kenis, a super person and educator from Belgium, and I were chatting about how we both love poetry – Mieke told me she reads poems sometimes and records them on Audioboo. I love her voice and the way she reads. So then I told her that I (think I) write poems, so I recorded my poem Hair on Audioboo. Mieke listened to it and returned me the nicest present ever – herself reading Hair, in the absolutely most beautiful way. She gave such life to my poem, it really moved me and I thank her so very much for that. Here is the recording of Mieke reading it so beautifully:

Hair – Read by Mieke Kenis, Written by Vicky Loras

Thank you so much, Mieke!

* Mieke has started a blog.

30 Goals, culture, diversity, edtech, education, education reform, ELTChat, finnedchat, learning, lesson plans, parents, RSCON3, teaching

Interview with Timo Ilomäki

It is a great honour to have Timo Ilomaki on my blog. He is an educator and student counselor from Finland and Coordinator of Entrepreneurship and Social Media Network. He also writes a very interesting blog on the use of technology in education http://educationtechnology-theoryandpractice.blogspot.com/ Timo is very active on Twitter and is one of the people who started #finnedchat, a weekly discussion on Finnish education. He and his partner Aki Puustinen are doing amazing things for education, so stay tuned and follow them on Twitter and their blogs!

Kiitos, Timo!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

30 Goals, caregivers, edtech, education, education reform, ELTChat, finnedchat, learning, lesson plans, More Than 140, parents, RSCON3, teaching

#MoreThan140 – Meet Aviva Dunsiger

Meet Aviva Dunsiger, an educator from Ontario, Canada and share her passion and enthusiasm for education! Listen to the amazing things she does with her kids in class.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

To receive updates about other “More than 140″ interviews, make sure you follow Matt Ray (@mrmatthewray) and Vicky Loras (@vickyloras), follow the hashtag #MoreThan140 and watch this blog.

30 Goals, culture, diversity, edtech, education, education reform, ELTChat, finnedchat, learning, More Than 140, multiculturalism, parents, RSCON3, teaching

#MoreThan140 – Meet Sue Annan

Get to know more about Sue Annan, a fantastic teacher of English as a Foreign Language and teacher trainer, who lives on Jersey Island, an island between England and France. Sue talks about her work, social media and music…enjoy her interview!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

To receive updates about other “More than 140″ interviews, make sure you follow Matt Ray (@mrmatthewray) and Vicky Loras (@vickyloras), follow the hashtag #MoreThan140 and watch this blog.