Ras Al Khaimah: RAK Chapter/TTD SIG Event: Teaching and Learning in a Post-Traditional Classroom

Despite the rainy weather, we had a good turnout for our third event which was organised jointly with the TTD SIG. More than 20 committed teachers attended.

In the opening presentation, Dr. Racquel talked about teaching in a post traditional context where changing the physical layout of your classroom will help establish a new dynamic that is more conducive to collaborative learning. In the post traditional classroom, the T shares rather than delivers information, thus provides the students with more opportunities for negotiating information and making meaning based on their various learning styles.

The presenter stressed the importance of raising students’ awareness about their learning styles and guiding them to find out what type of learners they are.

Dr. Racquel also shared a number of strategies such as the hamburger model for guiding and scaffolding student writing as well as the SQR3 method to help promote active and effective reading.

Faiza gave a presentation called “Fuel Creativity”. The emphasis was on higher order thinking skills. This workshop was packed full of practical ideas and tips for classroom activities with many opportunities for pair and group work and feedback. Faiza modelled good teaching practice as she presented the material, often incorporating competition and reward. She emphasised the learning benefits of a creative teaching approach. These include:  promoting team and collaborative work, maximizing engagement and challenge, improving social and communicative skills, developing critical thinking and making learning more fun for the students. This was a very useful hands-on presentation

Bachar Lakhal cascaded a workshop that was delivered by Lindsay Clandfield in the 2015 TESOL Arabia Conference. He presented a new perspective of looking at lesson stages and interaction patterns, taking into account the augmenting use of technology in today’s classroom. This perspective provided the audience with an opportunity to reflect on how to structure and organize lessons in a way that is most conducive to learning. It also offered a simple and memorable way of perceiving lesson stages and interactional patterns in the presence of screen technology in the classroom. The message was for teachers not to be too tempted by the use of screen technology to the extent that they would shift back to the old practice of frontal teaching, rendering the use of screens, in reality, counterproductive.

By Bachar Lakhal