Sunday, March 22, 2015

TESOL Greece Convention 2015 - Impressions

Or another title would be: How I got to love Krashen...

I am going to start from this!! Everybody was talking about Dr. Krashen's coming and how important he is and what they learned from his books at the university and I really could not understand why...
I mean whenever I tried to read something from Dr. Krashen, I could not understand a thing.... I felt like an imbecile - I said no way am I going to stay for an hour to pretend to understand...
I went....
To my surprise he is nothing like I expected him to be...
A really intelligent man with good sense of humor! He greeted us with the Balkan salutation. Being a Treky myself, I thought this was a good start...
And then he started talking about the reasons why we learn a language and that the students never cared about grammar.... And I said to myself... hey I am thinking just like that.
"No one is learning the language; they are all interested in the topic"
He said how important TPRS in learning is... he actually called it the future!
Since my presentation is based on TPR (S) I was ecstatic!!!

And then on the interactive plenary with Dr. Krashen and  Burcu Akyol, and Dr. Crystal , Agnes Mariakaki and Luke Meddings, they all mentioned how important motivation is and why students should read what they like and not do tests and exercises from "the book".
Dr Krashen also mentioned a case example that a teacher in the States had the students talk about themselves as an ice breaker game instead of actually using "the book" - which was exactly what I had been doing last week in my class...
And I thought... ok he's one of us people!!!
The convention of course was not all about dr. Krashen! I have been to a lot of interesting talks.
Like "how to make your students happy" by Nick Micheloudakis. (who is an incredible speaker btw)
He told us about the 3 ways of life, gave us lots of examples and we also played games, talking to each other about our happy moments!
Something that we could use in our class. He had us write 3 positive things about someone else in the room! To my surprise, three wonderful ladies had written about me as well (and yes Nick was right! It felt really good!!

Talking about love in the air, of course I could not have missed the presentation of one of my favourite people in Athens, Mr. Theodore Lalos.
As always Theodore impressed us with his skills and talents talking about literacy and young children. He had designed (all by himself) original and innovative games to get his students' attention. I think that Theo has a lot more to give (since I had the luck of a private mini presentation with more of his work!!)

Being at the convention with so many familiar people was a real experience. One of those very special people is Ms Sylvia Guinan.
A really resourceful presentation with a lot to offer! I just admire Sylvia so much. Not only because she is a wonderful teacher. She is the most courageous person I know!! She has strength and she is not afraid to move on! Sylvia rocks!!!
Last but not least was Luke Meddings plenary talk this morning.
I will just quote: "If we don't have freedom to teach, it becomes useless"

It was a great convention and a wonderful experience.

You can see talks and interviews following this link:


Silvers said...

Thank you so much Theodora.
Even if I seem strong, encouragement means a lot to me - This convention has been something special:))

Ayat Tawel said...

Thank you so much Dora for this post, in which you managed to take us to the convention and feel the atmosphere there. I always enjoy reading your blog as your words seems to be very simple and to the point but still informative & make me feel I am listening to you chatting naturally and excitedly about an amazing experience .. thank you and good luck !!

Theodora Pap said...

Sylvia it was a huge pleasure to meet you in person!!! Keep up the good work!
Ayat thank you for your kind words! I hate academic speech and I am NOT good at it either!!!
Hope to see you some time in one of the conventions!