July 21st, 2011

British Council, once again, held a training for English Teachers in Jakarta. The training is called “Premiere English Skill”. At first, we were a little big confused with the theme. Since they came up with the name Premiere League. As long as we knew, Premiere League is a football competition in England and Britain. So, what does this football competition have something to do with the English teaching?

Being curious, I finally joined the training. It was held on Thursday, July 21st, 2011 in Universitas Paramadina, Jakarta. They invited almost 500 English teachers, starting from Elementary to High School English teachers. Unfortunately, only around 170 teachers came. They were from Jakarta, Bekasi, Depok, and Bogor. Anyway, it was big enough. I mean, handling 170 teachers surely needed effort and much activities so they wouldn’t find it boring. Thanks goodness that we had Ms. Itje Khodijah as our trainer. We often heard about her credibility in handling this kind of training. And finally we really got her as our trainer! 🙂 Bravo Ms.Itje.

As good as she is as a trainer, the training itself was really interesting. Even she could make us listen to her attentively. Her way of speaking is really smart, she really care about us. And in the training also we knew what is the connection between the English teaching and Premiere League. They took the Premiere League as the context of their material. So, we are not talking about football, instead we teach English through football. They are 20 stories in the large book and it story depicts one football club in Premiere League. There is one story that seems to happen in each club there. The material is really useful and helpful for us, English teachers, since it can broad our material in teaching English. However, we can give a little adjustment to our class. I mean we don’t have to really copy all the material available, but we can adapt it and put it in a way that suitable for our students. It is really interesting material indeed.

We also get some new horizons about teaching English. Ms. Itje said that there were 7 points to remember in language learning.

Language learning MUST:

1. Involve activities with balance of VAK (Visualize, Auditory, Kinetics) -> here, we need to move around, talk to the students.

2. Be in clear and meaningful context, eg: football, football players -> setting up a context that consists of opening, body and closing.

3. Involve a variety of activities (stir and settle)

4. Be based on real language use (there is no authentic texts has always have only one type of the text).

5. Involve the four skills interactively -> LISTEN the language and then SAY the language.

6. Make the students feel that the language they learn is theirs.

To make the English teaching to students INTERACTIVE:

a. Be in clear meaningful context.

b. Use visual support -> human brain work with pictures a lot.

c. Involve a variety of activities.

d. Be based on real language use.

e. Provide language prompts.

Each activity needs at least the following steps:

  • Preparation (Presentation)
  • Core Activity (Practice)
  • Follow up (Production)

In short, this training was really useful for English teachers. Beside the knowledge, we can make new friends from other schools. Nice place for socializing. 🙂