TASK 3: YOUR SKILLS

  • TECHNICAL SKILLS

I am a self-taught ICT user, which I see as both an advantage and a disadvantage.  I have learnt to use a variety of tools to support my teaching needs, and enjoy exploring the creative possibilities as I learn.

During my PGCE, I supported all my presentations with Powerpoint, and explored its potential for visual and animated input, the focus being on retaining audience attention.  My interest in this in two-fold: firstly, I have experimented with the animation options to simplify complex concepts or diagrams into more manageable chunks and build the completed image up gradually – this was my first attempt…

Jean Piaget   Powerpoint presentation – see slide 3.

019 020 021

Secondly, and rather ironically, I am uncomfortable delivering presentations, most likely because it is not something I am ever required to do in my job role.  My solution to this is to create visually stimulating, animated and interactive Powerpoint slides, thus distracting audience attention away from me 🙂  These screenshots are slides from my PGCE Conference Paper.

PGCEConfPaper_slide1   PGCEConfPaper_slide2

More recently I have been let loose on Moodle, which has proved to be a wonderful outlet for my obsession with visuals and multi-media; as well as being an amazing learning platform which really appeals to students, I have also used Moodle to investigate motivational issues within specific cohorts and the impact of Blended Learning on learner engagement.  Using a VLE has enabled me to explore the use of additional simple but effective online tools – Padlet, Animoto, Fotor, Lino, Audioboo, Mentimeter – to upload photo and audio files, and to create talking walls.

handshakes_padlet_screenshot   padlet_e1jcp_screenshot

PEDAGOGICAL AND PROFESSIONAL SKILLS

I am an experienced teacher of EFL and ESOL, and have delivered a wide range of courses both in the UK and abroad.  I deliver courses at the full range of levels from Pre-Entry to Level 4 in a variety of venues, from local colleges and universities to industrial on-site learning centres to local community centres.  I am currently delivering an accredited Level 1 programme within a local FE college.

I have strong communication skills and the ability to communicate with individuals with little or no understanding of English; some of my students have never attended school in their own countries, some are illiterate and/or innumerate, and some have never accessed a computer, so I routinely support the most basic functional skills needs alongside ESOL input.  My students probably represent the most diverse group within adult education, and are often from groups which are under-represented or marginalised within mainstream society and education; empowerment, inclusion, equality and social justice are recurrent themes within my work context, and therefore it is essential that my knowledge of corporate policy on Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity, Vulnerable Adult Protection and Safeguarding is robust and current.

  • COMMUNITY LEARNING PROJECT

talk-english     Talk English Project

Talk English Project, Bradford district: newspaper article

I have most recently been involved in promoting the Talk English Project in Bradford, the purpose of which is to provide free English drop-in sessions for adults who have limited communication skills in English, and to encourage language acquisition, social integration and an increasing level of self-confidence.  The project is run with the support of volunteers (‘Friends’), and drop-ins are held in community venues and local colleges throughout the region.

  • LEARNING STYLE

Strong visual-kinaesthetic – I appear to have missed out on the auditory gene.  I am creative, curious, experimental, test boundaries,  and enjoy the challenge of dealing with unfamiliar materials, media and tools – both physical and electronic.

  • TEACHING / DELIVERY STYLE

The use of visual stimuli dominates my teaching and delivery style, but I see this is something of an advantage when working with E2L learners at all levels.  I love anything visual, colourful or unusual since it stimulates immediate and various responses from the students; my resources always contain images or some visual input to aid understanding, generate vocabulary or to enable discussion.

TASK 2: Post a picture and / or video

Two recently uploaded youtube clips from the Active Change Foundation, who are currently promoting the #not in my name campaign, which voices the rejection of IS values and actions by British Muslims (uploaded Sept. 2014).

I encourage a learning environment of open discussion and the freedom of personal expression on a range topical issues which we negotiate as being relevant to the cohort.  I first learned of the Active Change Foundation last week, and despite this being a topic of enormous concern at the present time, I have been reluctant to incorporate such politically volatile content into lessons.  However, as from today, the UK will be engaged in airstrikes on IS, the consequences of which are far-reaching for everyone, so I am anticipating requests for open discussion on this topic.

From a learning perspective, I think these video clips are succinct, powerful, impact strongly on the viewer, and also demonstrate the potential of sharing material online and targetting far-reaching and ‘unknown’ audiences.