Teachers from Clubclass Malta recently attended a workshop delivered by leading EFL author and personality Antonia Clare. Antonia is a teacher trainer, conference speaker and writer. Her special interests include the use of video and new technologies in ELT, creativity and the psychology of language learning. She has taught and trained in many countries around the world and co-authored a number of popular course book titles such as Total English, Language To Go and Speakout, all of which have been a great success with EFL teachers the world over!
In the first session – Taking Flight from the Intermediate Plateau, Antonia discussed how many learners encounter problems when moving from Intermediate (CEFR B1) to Upper Intermediate (CEFR B2) levels of language proficiency. From her experience she discussed how they struggle to perceive their language progress and often feel frustrated as they have reached the dreaded learning plateau. The workshop then looked at how learning works and focused on practical strategies and activities to help learners take off from a learning plateau.
During the Second Session – Language, Learning and the Creative Mind, Antonia looked at how learning a language is an inherently creative task. The learner does not simply repeat the words, phrases and grammar that they are exposed to but adapts that language to construct new meanings, relevant to their lives and to their own developing L2 identity. The workshop examined the value of creativity in the language learning process and explored ideas for engendering creativity in our learners, as well as in ourselves.