The institution offers continuous training courses not only to primary, secondary and higher education teachers, but also to undergraduate students of teacher training courses around the world. Through these courses, the institution aims at creating space for personal development and highlights the need of approaching continuous training from the dialogic connection between theory and practice.
English teaching for specific purposes.
Exploiting information and communication technology
The teaching of reading strategies to apply in the English classroom.
(A general view of English literature to use in the classroom.)
According to the Argentinian philosopher, José Pablo Feinman, students from the primary and secondary levels have serious issues dealing with reading comprehension activities and vocabulary, due to the lack of literature in the classroom. Besides improving reading comprehension and vocabulary skills, there are other benefits that come with the use of literature in the classroom, but, as teachers, we should ask ourselves whether we are ready or not to accept the challenge. The course English Literature: A Bird’s Eye View aims at presenting an outlook of some essential aspects of English literature through a journey from its beginnings until today, bearing the historical and social characteristics of each time; this gives teachers taking the course more resources to introduce literature in the English classroom and contributes to their personal development. At the same time, the course helps teachers gain more self-confidence while teaching literature and favours their students’ reading strategies and critical thinking development.
Short stories about crimes and detectives can be used by many English teachers, as they generally are of student’s interest. Students are usually attracted to stories with a felony as a trigger and a detective as the main character. In this sense, suspense becomes an additional source of interest when learning a language. This type of literature, often considered minor literature, has acquired more and more recognition in the literary world thanks to writers like Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. Teachers should resort more frequently to these stories, knowing who their writers are, their characters and how they are written, in order to fully exploit these works with students. This kind of literary expression offers teachers the opportunity of finding new sources of motivation for students to become more engaged with the language learning process. The goal of this project is to share some ways to work with these stories so they can be applied in the classroom without difficulty.
This course is especially useful for teachers who intend to work in secondary or higher education levels, in the occupational or professional areas. Reaffirming the fundamental position that reading has in globalisation, an ESP workshop meets the need of ensuring a quick increase of reading comprehension. For that reason, our proposal is for teachers to develop teaching strategies that facilitate reading comprehension in EFL of technical, scientific and academic texts within a specific area of study.
Exploiting information and communication technology, as well as the implementation of authentic resources as didactic material, has a predominant role in optimising the quality of education in the 21st century. Therefore, this course aims at incorporating new technological tools in the classroom, providing teachers with the knowledge needed to carry out innovative classroom projects. In addition, distance learning is a form of education that cannot be ignored, because it involves giving the same opportunities to people who live in distant places and have no access to in-person education. As teachers, we should incorporate to our lessons the valuable tools that communication advances and vertiginous technological changes provide us, and so, be in line with the demands of contemporary society.
The dramatic changes in industry and business, together with globalisation, accelerated the companies’ need to count with skilled people, not only in the administrative and sales areas, but also in English, as it is a language used in international transactions around the world. In this sense, companies are demanding their employees to be trained in the English language and they resort to English teachers that are generally educated in English for business purposes. As an educational institution of foreign languages, we have received a large number of requests for training courses of business English. The purpose of this course is to foster linguistic competence in reading comprehension and the acquisition of technical vocabulary related to the organisation of a company and the different types of commercial organisation.
Edgar Allan Poe’s stories are very much used by English teachers as reading material. However, the author’s life is not known, other than his condition of a “very poor author with a difficult personal life.” This course intends on showing the real Poe, the creator of detective stories; the author of works addressed by Freud to study the Dissociative Personality Disorder; the author that also used humour in his writings; the man that anticipated the commonly known “black holes.” Knowing the author helps us comprehend his works better, knowing why, how and which of his thoughts and parts of his personal life are described in them.
A vast teaching experience has allowed us to observe that many students present some difficulty when developing, devolving into and applying reading strategies in their mother tongue and thus, transferring them to a foreign language. This course was born thanks to many teachers, specially those working in state schools, who have manifested the need of going deeper into the didactic strategies related to the four macro-skills in English. The objective of the course is to give its participants strategies that will make it easier and increase reading comprehension in EFL. During this workshop, participants’ natural reading comprehension strategies will be developed, so they can later help their own students acquire those strategies by themselves. Many students are not able to apply any reading strategy when reading texts in their mother tongue, and even if they do, that does not mean they are able to transfer them to a foreign language. It is worth noticing that reading is an ability that has to be thought of. The strategies acquired by the participant teachers will be easily transferable to their students.
Bearing in mind the characteristics of adolescents, literature helps them participate in active learning experiences with their classmates. Literature opens their eyes to a new world that they want to know and that can help them move from concrete to abstract thinking. Literature is the language of feelings; it is the subject that allows us to discover values. Literature gives us the possibility of discussing values with our students and it also helps them be more creative, good readers and more fluent in English. It is often discussed among teachers whether it is necessary or not to include literature in their lessons and many of them come to the conclusion that they do not know how to do it.
La clase de inglés como lengua extranjera es un espacio ideal para aplicar técnicas de enseñanza alternativa que permitan introducir variedad, creatividad y colaboración entre pares en el trabajo áulico. El trabajo basado en proyectos educativos presenta ventajas que no deben ser desaprovechadas y que estimulan la motivación, elemento imprescindible asociado a un proceso de aprendizaje exitoso. Al mismo tiempo, al trabajar en proyectos educativos, tanto alumnos como docentes se involucran en una tarea cooperativa que necesariamente implica llegar a acuerdos, colaborar, negociar y aplicar estrategias de integración grupal. En nuestra tarea como formadores de formadores hemos observado que muchas veces los docentes de inglés no se animan a innovar sus estrategias didácticas basados en un temor infundado a lo nuevo y diferente. A través de la discusión teórico-práctica y la puesta en marcha de proyectos áulicos en la clase de inglés se podrá observar que el aprendizaje del idioma resulta mucho más significativo ya que se contextualiza el objeto de estudio (la lengua) y el alumno se encuentra inmerso en un marco referencial que le permite manipular el idioma y resolver situaciones comunicativas reales para llegar a un fin: el producto final del proyecto. Creemos que el trabajo por proyectos educativos en la clase de inglés enriquece en gran manera la experiencia de aprendizaje de los alumnos, tanto a nivel lingüístico como interpersonal.