Karen completed the TESMC Tutor Training in 2008. She is an EAL/D visiting teacher.
Did you find the tutor training to be valuable?
Extremely. The tutor training course was very thorough and gave me a detailed understanding of all content within all modules. The tutor training manual is brilliant – easy to follow, and full of extra comments to assist presenters in clarifying various points during discussions.
In what ways did it impact your own teaching?
It made me more aware of the language demands of and differences between spoken and written texts. It exposed me to several teaching strategies that i now use regularly, including the use of barrier games in oral language development, constructing visual organizers, building nominal groups, and using dictogloss with EALD students. I also use the teaching and learning cycle with my EAL students. This cycle helps me to ensure I have provided the students with enough exposure to a genre before expecting them to produce their own written or oral text.
When you ran the participant course, did you and the participants find it to be engaging?
Absolutely. The modules are logically sequenced and there are many opportunities to reflect on your own teaching practice throughout the course. I love the fact that the entire course is designed with EALD students and teachers in mind, so ALL modules are highly relevant to the day to day planning and teaching of EALD students. The participant workbook is fantastic, and a real positive of the course is that it’s very interactive. The activities participants engage in during each module are interesting and enjoyable to complete, and the activities are structured so that participants are armed with the knowledge they require prior to completing each activity.
Did teachers use their understandings from the course in their teaching?
I know I do. I use both lesson ideas and planning tools in my EALD planning and teaching.
Would you recommend the tutor training and/or the participant course to other teachers? Why, why not?
Yes, I can highly recommend both. The participant course gave me so much more insight into structuring my units of work and understanding how language works. It is probably the best PD I have done in my 24 years of teaching!
The tutor trainer course gave me even more confidence in talking to colleagues about planning for and working with EALD students.
Have you used your understandings from the course when you prepare the normal EAL/D PDS that you run?
Yes, and I still do. I use information from module 1 (ESL students and what they bring to the learning context), module 3 (oral language development and the use of barrier games), modules 5 and 6 (reading strategies for EAL students and using visual organisers), module 7 (making nominal groups and the dictogloss activity), and module 9 (effective assessment of student texts)
Any other comments?
If an EALD teacher were to do any professional development course, this would be the number one course I would recommend for a thorough overview of all aspects of EALD teaching and learning.
Karen Bowden EAL/D Visiting Teacher NCR