This post popped up on my Facebook timeline yesterday from fellow teacher and teacher trainer, Mark Andrews. Mark lives with his family in Hungary, but as I type this he is running a summer course in Devon. Doesn’t it sound great…?
Pubs, cafes, the beach and buses were our classrooms.
Convinced that focussing on the local in ELT whether in a predominantly English speaking country or not is a way of developing both English skills and more general educational understandings.
Tintagel tomorrow. Greetings from Devon Unplugged at SOL – Sharing One Language“
Amid the often self-promotional shouting within social media, I seem to find Mark’s reflections tremendously encouraging. No, inspiring. No, calming. All of these. I feel that I’ve educated myself to some degree in the ways of the unplugged teacher. But it’s getting a bit noisy out there. Less talky, more do-y, more sharey about the do-y. This is how we’re really affecting each other, isn’t it?
Having a pub manager share his experience; bringing in experts on fish, surfing, The National Trust. It’s brilliantly simple. It’s relevant, interesting and unusual. I think these are sort of golden ingredients for teaching and learning.
Now, onward to how I can bring local into my classrooms. I can’t do it this as extensively as Mark in his shorter course, because my courses are a year-long, but I see definite scope for a greater and more imaginative integration of it in my courses.
My “local” is also Slough, so not nearly as picturesque as Devon’s beautiful countryside. But it’s “our local” and we can make the most of it. I will think further and get back to you.
How could you maximise your local and your local contacts?