You are on page 1of 54



International Education: Inspiring Students Locally

to Succeed Globally

“Whether it’s a summer course, a semester immersion, or a degree program, study abroad can be
one of the most rewarding experiences in a young person’s life. International students enrich
classrooms and communities with their ideas, perspectives, and culture. And when they return
About the International 2 home, they bring new knowledge, new perspectives, and a deeper understanding of the world”.
Visitors Leadership Pro- From:
Video Message on International Education Week 2011
from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

About the 9 To listen to the whole message and learn more about International Education Week, please visit
E-Teacher Program
As the new Cultural Affairs Officer at the We also had a few Junior English Lan- every season it has been offered.
U.S. Embassy in Romania, I am pleased guage Fellows at universities who taught With so many successful programs, we
to greet the English teachers‘ commu- courses on English teaching methods for thought we should put together a publi-
About the 25 nity. Let me say up front how much I‘m students preparing to go into teaching cation by and for ELT professionals, and
English Language Fellow looking forward to meeting with as upon graduation. here it is. It was created in celebration
many of you as possible during my term. Many of you have participated in our of International Education Week 2011,
I am impressed, and so are my col- digital videoconferences with American but with your contributions it can con-
leagues, with the level of English young specialists on teaching democratic princi- tinue to appear and carry articles about
About the 41 Romanians speak so correctly and confi- ples through English. Others have par- your experience as participants in pro-
dently, and I‘m sure this is due to your ticipated, together with small groups of fessional exchange programs. These can
Study of the U.S. hard work and desire to learn English. students, in the Teaching Tolerance inspire your colleagues to try various
Institutes Program As you know, the U.S. Embassy in Bucha- through English Summer Camps that the models and methods in their own class-
rest has supported, and will continue to Regional English Language Office at the rooms, adopt or adapt them to the needs
support, reform of the educational sys- U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, has of their students and never stop learning
About the 46 tem. We have brought programs here been running every summer for six and growing professionally.
Teaching Tolerance sponsored by the U.S. Department of years. Several Regional English Lan- I would like to use this opportunity to
State; we have designed programs and guage Officers have participated in the thank the Ministry of Education, Re-
through English Camps activities locally for teachers and stu- conferences organized by the Romanian search, Youth and Sports for its contin-
TTTE dents of English; we have funded their Association of Teachers of English (RATE) ued support for our programs. It has
participation in international programs or its regional branches. been a successful partnership that we
The American Corners in the U.S. or elsewhere; and we have We have been happy to sponsor the value and wish to continue and grow.
encouraged alumni to come back and participation of Romanian EL teachers in I congratulate everyone of you for your
Program in Romania
share. TESOL conferences in the United States or efforts as educators, and I wish all of
Over the past decade, we annually in regional professional conferences in you the best in your careers. I invite all
brought Senior English Language Fel- Europe. And, over the years, the Interna- of you to use the ELT resources you‘ll
lows to conduct in-service training for tional Visitors Leadership Program find out about in the following pages
young teachers within the first five years (IVLP), the State Department‘s flagship and I hope to hear more about the suc-
of their careers, mostly from rural and exchange program, has included many cessful activities you conduct with your
economically disadvantaged areas. teachers and inspectors of English from colleagues and students.
Within 10 years, the program reached Romania. Edwina Sagitto
almost all Romanian counties; some We also have nominated teachers for Cultural Affairs Officer
were visited more than once. participation in the E-Teacher Program U.S. Embassy, Bucharest

Anca-Mariana Pegulescu, PhD

ELT Inspector General
Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports
I took part in the International located at Hudson Hotel, very near Central tives of Angola, Costa Rica, Egypt, the Repub-
Visitor Leadership Program from March 27 to Park. We attended the 42d TESOL Convention lic of Tajikistan and Senegal. The main
April 17, 2008 and such an event was at the and Exhibition. The theme of the event was theme was TESOL in the community. We
same time a challenge and a reality. The Building Communities of Practice, Inquiry and visited schools and observed classes at New-
project had the theme Teaching English as a Creativity. More than 7600 ESL/EFL profession- comer High School. I liked the way support
Second Language and was administered by als from 96 countries took part, best in their staff members were working collaboratively
the Academy for Educational Development profession, ranging from pre-k-elementary with teaching staff members and students,
and sponsored by U.S. Department of State. schools, middle schools, secondary schools, 4- serving as liaisons between parents and
I could observe and understand year colleges, graduate and postgraduate insti- community agencies to provide social, health
the organization and methodology of a wide tutions. I was impressed by the opening ple- and mental health services and promote
variety of ESL teaching programs and teacher naries quality (names like Lia Kamhi-Stein, educational success. Students are here pro-
training practice in the United States, includ- Sandy Briggs or Penny Ur brought topics like vided with the proper academic grounding
ing bilingual programs in elementary and Building Classroom Communities Through for moving to the comprehensive high
secondary schools. The variety of programs Teachers’ Lived Experiences, Creating Inde- schools. Our visits included also Intrax Inter-
incorporated English programs for immi- pendent Language Users or Correctness and national Institute (welcoming more than
grants, college preparatory programs, com- Correction) of the sessions referring to mentor- 8ooo students annually and providing inter-
puter-assisted language learning, adult basic ing (I attended Angi Malderez‘ workshop on national students with quality English lan-
education, TESOL conference and applied Mentoring as Support for Teacher Learning – guage programs including ESL classes,
linguistics. exploring different ways of thinking about TOEFL, TOEIC preparation, Business English),
The Washington, DC program was kinds of support a school-based mentor can American Language Institute, San Francisco
the opening moment and it introduced me to provide) as well as by the working atmosphere State University, Mountain View-Las Altos
the world‘s capital with everything that of several workshops I attended (having as a Adult Education Center. The last mentioned
means political life (White House, the Capitol topic successful classroom activities). I could institution assists adults in completing
Hill), cultural and educational activities (the compare with what was happening in the school equivalency as well as pursuing life
Academy for Educational Development, the Romanian educational system and retain the long learning goals. Among teacher training
Smithsonian Institution and the J.F. Kennedy domains that have not been so much explored institutions Transworld Schools from San
Center) as well as the mission and activities of by the Romanian professional associations‘ Francisco, offer internationally recognized
the American Federation of Teachers. conferences I usually attend (I am referring to teacher training (CTESOL – Certificate in
New York City – the largest city RATE and AsMeRo): computer-assisted language Teaching English to Speakers of Other Lan-
in the United States, considered to be ‗the learning, international teaching assistants, guages) and ESL programs to both native
country‘s leading financial and commercial teacher education, video and digital media, and non-native speakers.
center‘, is generally viewed as one of the curriculum/materials
world centers of finance, theater and fashion, development, integrated
with Wall Street, Broadway, the Fifth Avenue. skills.
It also means the symbol of freedom and After New York
democracy with the Statue of Liberty, wel- the group divided into four
coming all the tourists eager to be near it or teams and we traveled to
the immigrants wanting to remain in the city. San Diego, San Francisco,
New York, situated at the joining of the Hud- Portland, Oregon and Seat-
son and East rivers, is a city of islands. Our tle, Washington.
group, including 24 representatives of 24 I was assigned
countries from all over the world (continents San Francisco group, to-
like Europe, Asia, Africa, South America) was gether with the representa-

The project closing and evaluation were done not letting any activity drag too long;
in Boston that is a major Atlantic seaport and spend extra time motivating students;
the largest city in New England. Boston holds a make everybody in the class feel part
unique position in the annals of American All the other three groups shared what was of a team;
history. Boston was the cradle of the citizenry‘s really important during the visits and we mix up different techniques in the
revolt known as the Boston Tea Party. Here concluded on the following general common same class (visual, audio, oral, writ-
was heard the revolutionary slogan ‗taxation aspects: ten) and accommodate all the learning
without representation is tyranny‘. Past into in large classes teachers have difficulties styles in the class.
present mingles in the cobblestone streets, evaluating students and monitoring Such teaching styles are still
bold buildings of government, marketplaces. individual progress; debated as student teachers‘ education has
Here are found the world- renowned Ballet, the real danger here is that some stu- undergone major changes in Romania. The
Opera Company of Boston. The city is also a dents can become passive; Romanian educational system is experiment-
leading educational center in the United States. higher level students can assist lower ing decentralization that is a common real-
We visited The Boston Language Institute, the level students and teachers should bal- ity in the American educational system. The
Center for English Language and Orientation ance their talking time versus students American education budget is 10% funded
Programs, Northeastern University, Harvard talking time ( concise directions on by the federal Government, 70% by the state
Institute for English Language Programs. I board); the school belongs to and 20% from the
particularly enjoyed the Museum of Fine Arts teachers should openly speak about the local taxes. Public education is free and
that houses and preserves preeminent collec- cultural differences if they do exist in the goes until 16 years of age, while private
tions and works of arts. It provides information class; education displays religious programs.
and perspective on art through time and teachers should manage different levels Detailed comparisons can con-
throughout the world. I also visited J. F Ken- of motivation, reluctance and fear. tinue but the conclusion is that teaching
nedy Library and Museum, dedicated to the Back in Romania I presented to my English as a second language in Romanian
memory of American Nation‘s thirty-fifth presi- colleagues inspectors the most important as- (or as a modern/foreign language) is per-
dent. This institution aims to advance the study pects of such a life long learning experience formed in a great majority by qualified/
and understanding of President Kennedy‘s life and I especially insisted on strategies linked to trained teachers who continue their profes-
and career and the times in which he lived. For our students‘ language learning objectives. sional development through training
any visitor it is also an opportunity to under- That is why even today Romanian teachers of courses, seminars, conferences, blended
stand better America‘s political and cultural English can insist on: learning. The majority of our students dis-
heritage, the process of governing and the changing activities gradually (serious – played good results in their final exams
importance of public service. fun –serious – fun); where the evaluation of linguistic compe-
teaching things that are relevant; tences represents a compulsory test.

International Visitor Leadership Program

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the U.S. Department of State‘s premier professional exchange pro-
gram. Launched in 1940, the IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between
the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign lead-
ers. These visits reflect the International Visitors‘ professional interests and support the foreign policy goals of the United
There is no application for this program. International Visitors are selected and nominated annually by American Foreign
Service Officers at U.S. Embassies around the world.
The International Visitors Leadership Program has recently celebrated its 70th anniversary.
PAGE 4 Roxana Marin, George Coşbuc National Bilingual College, Bucharest

Few experiences compare in im- nitely in the long-lasting, if not lifelong, cate- like what one sees in sappy Hallmark movies
portance to my participation in the Interna- gory. Also, the program exposed us to an – but onwards and upwards I went, and now
tional Visitors Program. In 2006 I was invited incredible variety of communities, projects, CARE – Center for Action and Responsibility
to apply for the Grassroots Activism stream. institutions and even climates – which is not in Education – is an integral part of the
My work as a human rights and anticorruption mentioned here only as a joke in fact. The school community, and it has actually re-
activist has been equally important to my aridity of New Mexico is a key factor to the cently won the school substantial points with
teaching all along my career. Due to my Roma local politics, and virtually everything is about a quality certification body. We are unique
heritage, these two things became obligatorily water rights for New Mexicans. I had not once because all our activities are alumni-run or at
intertwined from the onset, and thus I have before thought about the importance of water least alumni-supported. The initial grant
often used my teaching as a platform for rights until then. There were many other eye- allowed us to secure the room that the school
activism. In the late 90‘s it was not a common opening or simply very touching experiences: allows us to use. We secured it by investing
occurrence to have high school students offer meeting Libertarians ―in the flesh‖, hanging the money in equipping the room and putting
to help with community organizing in Roma out with Native American chiefs, watching the it at the school‘s disposal for any type of
slums or, as a result of their participation in stream of day-workers coming in and out of extracurriculars, not just those we run. In
anticorruption groups, refuse to use house- the U.S. at the border with Mexico, learning other words, any initiative a teacher or group
hold objects or simply goodies that their about the ways in which educators in the of students may have, from an arts club to a
parents had received as bribe. Naturally, it South are trying to make sure an increasing workshop on project management for teens,
was not easy to have number of immigrant kids are not deprived of there is a homebase that has everything they
students willingly and their right to education. need. And that is CARE. We operate on a pay-
actively participate in I would recommend the IVP pro- it-forward sort of principle, whereby alumni
activities of a type that I gram to any educator for at least one of the provide mentorship and resources for specific
designed as experiential interactions we had, nevermind their totality. activities, either weekly or periodically.
learning opportunities for Your approach to teaching can simply not Besides running our own clubs – public
remain the same after you‘ve experienced speaking, debate, addiction studies, arts –
Ro what you have as an International Visitor. we have also partnered up with a good num-
aM Ah, and I simply love how one must always ber of programs and organizations: gender
na use caps for these two words. In truth, they equality and LGBT issues with ACCEPT,
the are special. H.Arta/Timisoara, ALEG/Sibiu, Roma culture
mn and human rights with Agentia Impreuna,
i at C
AR ARDOR and OvidiuRom, icons of communism
them, E— with Auburn University in the USA, nonformal
but iou education with KaebNai in Basque Country.
clearly stemming from cti The concept we operate on could not be
my human rights and anticor- finalized outside the experience and support
ruption activism. Things changed provided by my participation in the Interna-
incredibly after my participation in tional Visitors Program. Besides the grant
the International Visitors Program. that enabled me to set the Center up, my
But before I begin to elaborate on the mechan- And now to why my IVP experi- understanding of how alumni support educa-
ics of this incredible impact, I would like to ence has had such a huge impact on my ca- tion in the U.S. was instrumental to clarifying
bring back a few highlights of my experience reer, as well as a good few hundred young my vision.
during the actual program. The benefits of people. After I returned I was invited to apply And the story continues… It is a
participating are manifold, and they range for an IVP Alumni grant. The 3,000 dollars I never-ending string of opportunities and
from personal to professional in a wide array. got allowed me to fulfil an old dream: setting challenges, challenges and opportunities…
I met people from 4 different continents and up an alumni-driven centre of extracurricular Once an International Visitor, always an
each difference and similarity we discovered activities at my school. Many of my Romanian International Visitor. The words are magic,
was a wow factor. The friendships established peers said at the time that this was a scenario that‘s why we spell them with capitals.
during those incredible four weeks are defi- that was never going to work, it was too much
PAGE 5 Magdalena Man, former ELT Inspector
Braşov County Inspectorate for Education

languages and teacher education. Research on topics related to

Besides the professional visits and literature, arts, education, social life, person-
meetings, I also had the possibility to see alities of American culture and civilization,
representative monuments of American culture history has offered students the chance of
and civilization (The Capitol and The Smith- approaching American society from different
My American experience started sonian Institutes, White House Visitors Centre, perspectives.
in the spring of 2003 with the visit of an Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Both students and teachers bene-
English Language Fellow (ELF) in Brasov. At Arlington Cemetery in Washington DC; New fited from the valuable help of an American
that time thirty young teachers of English York by night and by day). Walking in the consultant, Ms. Jen MacArthur, senior Eng-
from Brasov and the county attended training street and shopping, dining out and talking to lish Language Fellow at US Embassy in Bu-
sessions during the weekends and had team- people were all valuable American experiences charest.
teaching sessions with the ELF in their own for me. The final products of the project
classes during the week. The program proved Coming back, I transferred to my were the students‘ papers presented both in
to be a success, both for us, the School In- students some of my experiences related to the front of their peers and publicly and a bro-
spectorate in Brasov (teachers, schools and American culture and civilization I ‗witnessed‘, chure including the 30 summaries of the
myself, the language inspector) and for the especially people‘s tolerance, their democratic papers.
ELF, who underlined the commitment of the behavior and the fact that school is a serious
The English Language Fellow - a suc-
teachers, their enthusiasm and open- matter. cessful training program
mindedness. As an inspector of English in Brasov
It was the beginning of an county I tried to offer colleagues another per- In the fall of 2006, Cynthia Yoder,
―adventure‖ that developed in the years to spective on education, a training-learning Sr. English Language Fellow, ‗landed‘ in
come, covering more and more areas of my process entirely focused on the students and Brasov to begin a training program with
professional life, reflecting positively in the their needs. newly certified teachers. What a luck to have
work with my students and with my fellow again an American trainer at home, I
The Uncle Sam Events - a successful thought, and so it was. Twenty-four very
teachers of English. In the following pages I
project young teachers met Cynthia and they started
will try to give a glimpse of what these ex-
periences were and how they influenced our In July 2005, Doina Teodorovici (a their adventure together. The young teachers
lives. visitor in the 2004 program) and I applied to mastered their subject (language and content
the Alumni Grant Program; we dreamt at a – its logical organization and evolution, in
The International Visitor Program – a
project to bridge our American experiences and connection with other subjects and the real
successful experience
students‘ thirst for an American perspective on world), but had only theoretical knowledge
My long-lasting cooperation with things and life; and we won it. of teaching methodology. They lacked teach-
the Public Diplomacy Office started in 2005 The project was meant to support ing experience, they lacked reflecting skills,
with the invitation to participate in the Inter- the promotion of the American culture and they were unaware of the complexity of the
national Visitor Program. The visit to the civilization issues within the optional curricu- curricula and its structure, they were unfa-
United States was carefully designed and well lum for the bilingual and intensive English miliar with school environment and organ-
balanced so that at its completion I had a classes. It was launched in schools in the fall of izational culture.
clear image of the American teaching- 2005, the target group being made of 11th and All these were challenges young
learning system. Visits to different schools, 12th graders, who attended bilingual or inten- teachers had to face. Thus the training fo-
discussions with policy makers, officials and sive English classes, and their teachers in cused on teaching strategies and techniques,
teachers in schools, both private and public, schools in Brasov. the way the teachers should use their knowl-
offered me opportunities to get familiar with The project aims were to promote edge creatively, on class observation and
various aspects of the American school from American culture and civilization issues, to feed-back, on peer observation, on reflective
the central decisional level (Washington, DC) encourage teachers‘ involvement in out-of-class skills, on lesson planning (selecting and
through the tertiary and secondary levels activities and net-working, to develop students‘ offering students specific knowledge taking
down to the nursery one. School visits and integrated communication skills (networking, into account their learning capacity, needs
the exchange of opinions and experiences library research, internet, IT literacy, practic- and interests – needs analysis), on student-
with fellow teachers was probably the most ing language), to develop students‘ presenta- centered teaching and on class management.
interesting part of the visit tour as it gave me tion skills, to refine their writing skills, to Cynthia Yoder not only had training classes
an instructive insight of the educational provide schools and teachers with additional with the young teachers but she also visited
system and different approaches to teaching material on American issues. their schools and worked together with them
Magdalena Man, former ELT Inspector, Braşov County Inspectorate for Education

on designing and applying effective and The visit was also important for me, for the
attractive teaching strategies related to School Inspectorate in Brasov and for the
envisaged aim and content and taking into teachers of English in the county.
consideration individual and group age The Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program – a 2008, spring – I traveled to the States on
characteristics; urging the students to get successful exchange my exchange visit to Wendy Blume‘s institu-
involved in the learning process. 2007, fall – Ms. Wendy Blume began her tion, Camden Community College. This visit
You can imagine how happy the students exchange visit in Brasov, Romania, as part of offered me the chance to get familiar to
were, since most of the young teachers were the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program for another level of American education, higher
employed in rural or small town schools. administrators. Ms. Blume was, at the time, education, its organization and impact on
In January 2007, Cynthia Yoder the dean of Camden Community College, New society.
and myself were invited to present the suc- Jersey. For her, this six-week visit was an Both visits, Ms. Blume‘s and
cessful experience we had in Brasov, in opportunity to discover, for the first time, the mine, meant a deep mutual understanding
Budapest, at the annual program meeting Romanian system of education. She witnessed of each other‘s countries, social and educa-
―Linking English Language Programs with the process from the inside, visited schools, tional systems, culture and civilization.
Mission Objectives‖. Our presentation enti- observed classes, talked to teachers and stu- In conclusion I can say that the
tled ―Working with newly certified teachers‖ dents, attended teachers‘ methodological most important things I have learned about
was based on the observed teachers‘ profes- activities and the ―ELT Across the Curriculum‖ the United States and the Americans are
sional development during the training teachers‘ conference in Brasov, visited sites in tolerance, democracy and equality, respect
period and on their personal more positive Brasov and the surroundings and also places for the man and its values, for law and
feelings towards the teaching profession. in Romania. regulations.

Camelia Bojescu, ELT Inspector

Vaslui County Inspectorate for Education

I was most fortunate to be selected 16th of April – 7th of May 2005. The program
as one of the participants in the International included meetings in Washington D.C., Burling-
Visitor Program (IVLP) in 2005. The IVLP is ton - VT, San Diego – CA, Minneapolis – MN, and
sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the a cultural weekend in New York – NY.
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the To give an idea about the real spiri-
Office of International Visitors (which manages tual and informational dimension of this visit, I
and funds the International Visitor Leadership have to say that I met the representatives of the
Program), also by the Local Program Sponsors; Institute of International Education in Washing-
my program was coordinated by the Institute ton, D.C., who gave my colleague Magdalena Man
of International Education. (former ELT inspector in Brasov), and myself a
The aim of the IVLP is to build very warm welcome and informed us about all
mutual understanding between the United the details of our visit, together with our inter-
States and other nations through carefully preter, Ms Irene Vianu, an American citizen of
designed professional visits to the U.S. for Romanian origin. Also in Washington, D.C. we
current and emerging foreign leaders. The were informed on the U.S. education system, the
visits reflect the visitors‘ professional interests U.S. language policy, the EFL Teaching in the
and support the foreign policy goals of the U.S. U.S. and also on the federal role in education and
government. Each year, 4,500 participants from English language programs by institutions like:
all over the world are selected by U.S. embas- the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department
sies to travel to the U.S. to meet and confer of Education, Georgetown University, the Interna-
with their professional counterparts. Thus, Camelia Bojescu (right) and Magda Man (left) tional Center for Language Studies, the American
they gain a greater understanding of the cul- at TESOL University (the Department of Language and
tural and political influences in U.S. society Foreign Studies, TESOL Program), the Commis-
and enjoy their experience of the U.S., of the governmental organizations, the arts, public health, sion on English Language Program Accreditation,
American people and of their culture. international security, business and trade and other the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign
Visitors in the program represent government, fields. Language, the TESOL representatives, Rock Creek
politics, the media, education, non- My three-week visit to the U.S. took place between International School, the Center for Civic Educa-

tion and George Washington University. What kept my attention through-

Besides these very enlightening and fruitful out this visit was the focus of educational
meetings, where we exchanged opinions on factors at all levels to enhance the study of
the study and teaching of foreign languages, foreign languages, EFL in the case of immi-
in general, and especially about EFL, we grants and non-native speakers of English,
seven meetings - three of them visits to public
could visit the capital city of this large and together with a special care for the students‘
schools. At San Diego State University–the
important country, we saw important places own culture, traditions and language back-
American Language Institute, San Diego Com-
in its history and culture (the White House, ground. I was impressed by the bilingual
munity College District–Continuing Education
the Capitol Building, the Library of the Con- programs offered by elementary schools,
Center, Sweetwater Union High School District,
gress Building, the Lincoln and the Jefferson high schools and colleges in order to help
Kit Carson Elementary School, San Diego State
memorials, the Washington monument, the their students learn a new language while
University–Language Acquisition Resource
National Cathedral, the Smithsonian Institu- they still develop knowledge and skills in
Center and Catholic Charities, we explored
tion, the National Gallery of Art, the National their mother tongue. I think this is a very
language learning and bilingual education at
Museum of the American Indian, the Arling- good illustration of the student-centered
the primary level during visits to local
ton National Cemetery in Alexandria). approach (moreover, since 2005 was de-
schools; and we also explored the integration
The cultural weekend in New clared by the State Department of Education
of technology and teaching methods to en-
York made us see the ‗glamour‘ of the art- the Year of Education in the U.S. with the
hance language learning, we found out about
ists‘ world since we were accommodated in a motto ‗No child left behind‘) as well as a
evaluation and testing of language programs,
Broadway hotel and had the flash of the good cultural and democratic lesson with
about English and foreign language instruc-
advertisement signs right in front of our respect to preserving what is characteristic
tion for adults in encounters at San Diego
eyes. The connection with the artistic life for a cultural group (language, traditions,
State University, the Community College and
was even closer since the organizers pro- customs, history). And this is what I told my
the Catholic Charities. We also had the time to
Camelia Bojescu, Teacher of English, ELT Inspector, Vaslui County Inspectorate for Education

vided us with tickets for one of the best- colleagues when returning home, as well as
visit sights in San Diego (the island of Coro-
known musicals ‗Chicago‘ in the classical my students and their parents. This is ex-
nado, the old town San Diego, the Seaport
theatre atmosphere of the ‗Ambassador‘ actly what I have been trying to do ever
Theatre on Broadway Avenue. Of course, we since when sensing the needs of my stu-
The last stop my colleague and I
could not miss seeing the famous Central dents: I have tried to teach them English, to
had in the U.S. was again back north of the
Park, Empire State Building, Rockefeller open their mind on the American culture,
country, in the twin cities of Minneapolis and
Center, Guggenheim Museum, former Ground comparing it to the Romanian culture,
St. Paul. The program in this city was very
Zero, the Grand Central Terminal and, at a emphasizing the differences between these
dense and complex. We had 13 meetings in
distance, the Statue of Liberty, walking or two cultures, but also the similarities, try-
only three full days, to get information on the
traveling by bus, metro or train. ing to develop their civic spirit and to build
state-level policies and standards, on the
Our itinerary in the U.S. included the community spirit the way I had the
certification for foreign language teachers, on
visits to two Burlington area universities: the chance to see when visiting schools, educa-
the secondary school ESOL and foreign lan-
School for International Training and the tional institutions in the U.S.
guage programs, on the participatory teaching
School of International Studies at Saint I consider myself fortunate to
and learning styles, on the methods of enhanc-
Michael‘s College, where we had appoint- have had the chance of being a beneficiary
ing the students‘ learning experiences and on
ments and observed four courses in order to of the International Visitor Leadership Pro-
community involvement with education and
see how students are prepared to teach gram, but so do my colleagues and my
civic education from such institutions as:
English abroad and in the U.S. and how students, since ‗America‘ – the United
Minnesota Department of Education in Rose-
American culture and democratic values are States of America – has always constituted
ville, World Cultures Magnet School and Ad-
integrated in the curriculum. Moreover, we an attraction for people in my country, due
ams Spanish Immersion Elementary School in
had the chance to learn about in-service to its history, its culture, its greatness and
St. Paul, Alliance Française, Minnesota Inter-
teacher training programs and how English its world political and economic influence.
national Center, Washburn High School and
programs for recent immigrants are designed So it was easy for me to get impressed with
the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. We
and applied. what I saw during my visit and it was easy
also had the chance to explore the twin cities
Next on our program was a trip for me to impress my colleagues and my
in crossing them many times on our way to
to the west coast, in San Diego, close to the students with the aspects from my visit I
the appointments we kept and admire the
Mexican border and on the Pacific Ocean shared with them. I think I ought to say that
architecture (the new one and the very well-
coastline. In San Diego, the weather was the impact of the program was maximum on
preserved old one), as well as the public care
splendid, with showers that jammed the me as well as on the others I disseminated
for the citizens and their welfare.
traffic, which could not stop us from having the information to.
The E-Teacher Scholarship Program offers understanding of the theory and applied use of a specific academic discipline at a university, e.g.,
English teaching professionals living outside of Critical Thinking (CT) principles and practices in the business, medicine, or law
the United States the opportunity to take one of seven English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom by -Vocational English for Specific Purposes (VESP),
innovative, online graduate level classes through the engaging in the following activities: which addresses the needs of learners studying at a
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the -Reading and discussing professional information vocational or technical secondary school
University of Oregon. The courses explore major areas and articles to develop an understanding of CT -English for Occupational Purposes (EOP), which
of the academic specialty of Teaching English as a theory and practice and its relationship to current addresses the needs of individuals already in the
Foreign Language (TEFL). topics in language pedagogy workplace who need English as a tool for their job
The E-Teacher Scholarship Program is open to non- -Identifying, evaluating, and applying materials and The course will address the need for training in
U.S. citizens living outside the United States. Inter- techniques to enhance CT practices in the classroom ESP to promote education and economic develop-
ested English language professionals should contact -Interacting with colleagues regionally and interna- ment at the local and national levels.
the Public Affairs section of their local U.S. Embassy tionally who share an interest in stimulating CT in Methods Course I: Survey of Best Practices in TESOL
for up-to-date information. U.S. Embassies manage their EFL classes This course is designed to provide participants
the selection and nomination of candidates. -Creating teaching plans that demonstrate under- with current methodologies associated with teach-
The Office of English Language Programs standing of course topics ing English language learners (ELLs) of different
does not accept direct applications. -Adapting and enhancing existing materials and ages in various learning contexts. Participants will
COURSES techniques so they are more appropriate and effec- read, write, discuss, and research a wide variety of
Building Teaching Skills through the Interactive Web tive CT tools in each participant‘s specific teaching strategies and techniques for teaching English to
This course is designed to deepen participants‘ setting speakers of other languages (TESOL). While explor-
understanding of the theory and applied use of English as a Foreign Language Assessment ing best practices for teaching listening, speaking,
computer assisted language learning (CALL) princi- This course is designed to introduce the partici- reading, and writing, including grammar and
ples in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) pants to the theory and practice of foreign language vocabulary, participants learn how to create an
classroom. This course strives to accomplish the assessment and testing. Participants will explore effective and communicative language classroom
following goals: the following topics: for ELLs. In addition, participants will examine
-Model innovative online teaching practices -Differences between assessment and testing and what best practices mean in the context of teaching
-Improve understanding of and actively engage in the how they can be used to make effective decisions to English in the 21st century, where English is an
analysis and systematic adoption of innovative mate- support teaching and learning international language and the use of English
rials and tools for English Language Teaching (ELT) -Important concepts to consider when developing incorporates modern technologies. Through indi-
-Offer opportunities for EFL educators to observe and assessments and tests, such as validity, reliability, vidual learner-centered activities and small group
analyze real-world application of such new materials and practicality, as well as different kinds of assess- collaboration, participants in this course will put
and practices ments and tests (formative, summative, diagnostic, theory to practice using an experiential approach.
-Provide educators with support and problem-solving proficiency, achievement, product-oriented, process Methods Course II: Developing EFL Literacy through
mechanisms as they implement new materials and -oriented, alternative assessments) Project-Based Learning
practices in their teaching -Test specification writing, item development, Participants in this course will learn about both
-Act as a train-the-trainer model so that participants analysis, and editing, and the creation of a final the theoretical and practical aspects of project-
can move forward with concrete dissemination plans assessment instrument that is reliable, valid, and based learning (PBL) through a review of current
Teaching English to Young Learners (TEYL) useful articles and videos on this topic along with partici-
This course is designed to introduce participants to -Rubric development to assist with grading and pation in class projects and discussions. Topics
the theory and practice of teaching young learners in scoring and to make the assessment process trans- covered in the readings include theoretical founda-
the EFL classroom. The course will investigate ap- parent to all stakeholders tions of PBL, learning objectives and course design,
proaches for teaching language within a meaningful Reading materials, presentations, and online re- alternative assessment, motivation, collaborative
context as well as the different techniques for making sources will provide the foundation for interactive and cooperative learning, learner autonomy and
language input more comprehensible and encourag- discussions on practical applications of all issues learning styles. Video segments include insights on
ing student participation. We will look at the major discussed throughout the course. The assignments the planning and implementation of PBL in lan-
principles that govern language teaching based on will help participants expand their repertoire of EFL guage learning classes, teacher interviews, student
the four skills—listening, speaking, reading and assessment strategies and will prepare them to testimonials, PBL in action in a classroom setting,
writing. share their findings and conclusions with the local and models of assessment for PBL. Participants will
In addition, we will study both traditional and mod- community. have many opportunities for focused and contras-
ern instructional strategies and techniques for teach- English for Specific Purposes (ESP) Best Practices tive analysis of classroom practices in the videos,
ing EFL and look specifically at the application to The goal of this course is to develop participants' with ongoing guidance in developing appropriate
young learners, including the classroom language knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward designing, application of observed techniques in their local
necessary to teach English through English. Through implementing, and evaluating English for Specific English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teaching
academic reading and writing assignments, individ- Purposes (ESP) courses based on best practices in environments. Video footage will be available
ual learner-centered activities, virtual collaborations the field. Because the foundation of this course is in through the YouTube-UO website.
with a mentor, and online discussions, participants in best practices, new and experienced ESP practitio- Participants will be required to complete individ-
this course will explore various aspects for teaching ners are welcome from all areas. For example, ual and group projects in order to experience PBL
EFL to young learners. participants may choose to focus on the following from a student perspective and to gain insights and
Critical Thinking in the English as a Foreign Lan- courses: understanding of the benefits and potential chal-
guage (EFL) Curriculum -English for Academic Purposes (EAP), which ad- lenges of PBL from an instructional standpoint.
The goal of this course is to deepen participants' dresses the needs of learners preparing to study in
PAGE 9 Cosmina Almăşan, Octavian Goga National College, Sibiu

The teaching profession is never to think outside the box, to breach the professionals from all over the world and
a boring one, but every once in a while we barriers of traditional teaching and studying their contribution to the course was valu-
find ourselves trapped in the routine we one discipline and to approach it differently, able because it was based on their profes-
follow without being aware of it, and if while putting to use the transferrable skills sional experience. The trainers were also
something jolts us out of our complacency, that will equip them for success. very competent in their role as guides and
it is worth pursuing and rewarding in the I was lucky enough not to be prompters, as they introduced topics of
end. For me, that something was the realiza- alone on this new path, but to be accompa- discussion that everybody benefited from.
tion that many of my high school students nied by professionals whose ideas, experi- We all ended up developing our knowl-
pursue a career in the field of economics ence and enthusiasm have given me the edge, skills and attitudes toward design-
and that it would be useful to them if I strength to pursue this project with more ing, implementing and evaluating ESP
could try to introduce them to the fascinat- confidence. These professionals were my courses based on best practices in the
ing world of business and do this in English. trainers and colleagues from the Spring field.
A legitimate question might be: 2011 online ESP Best Practices course or- Based on the information from
Why teach Business English to students who ganized by the University of Oregon, Lin- the course, I could approach the task more
are still completing their general education guistics Department, American English professionally, following the required
and who have not opted for an economics Institute (UO AEI) in the period April 4 – steps I had not been familiar with. The
school? The answer is quite simple: general June 10, 2011. My participation in this way in which the planning of the course
education and occupational training are no program was made possible by a tuition must be done was made very clear
longer antagonistic, as the formation of scholarship from the U.S. Department of throughout the course, offering us practice
citizens and workers are now intertwined. State as part of the E-Teacher Scholarship in elaborating a Target Situation Analysis
As Enrique Pieck points out, ―To be pre- Program- English Teacher Professional (TSA) (target learners‘ goals, needs, de-
pared to cope with change and accept per- Development Distance Learning Program. sires), a Present Situation Analysis (PSA)
manent learning, to adapt oneself to a soci- The course was meant to give the partici- (current level of knowledge, ‗wants‘ in
ety built around knowledge and be compe- pants instruction in the most recent English regard to English language teaching) and a
tent in it have become essential conditions language teaching methods and techniques, Context Analysis (stakeholders, teaching
for social interaction, everyday living and while also introducing them to American environment, nature of the course, teach-
[…] for employability.‖ (6) educational values and it did just that. It ing resources). Needs analysis is one of the
Designing an ESP course for my was the first time I had used the distance characteristic activities to be undertaken
students was a challenge that I welcomed: it learning technology to interact with U.S. when teaching an ESP course and its im-
gave me the impetus to do research in an experts and fellow teachers and it was a mediate result is that it makes the course
area of English language teaching I had not unique experience. focus on specific language, tasks or skills,
tackled before, but which has gained The ESP Best Practice Course thus catering for the interests of the
ground constantly since the 1960s. Educa- was an extraordinary opportunity for me to course beneficiaries. This analysis is meant
tion in the 21st century focuses on bringing learn by sharing and by doing, which is a to identify the ―training gap‖ (Frendo 15)
practical, life education to self directed method rarely applied in our country. This which the teacher would need to address
learners and an ESP course on Business is what made it challenging at the begin- through the course design to make the
English would fit perfectly into this category ning, because we were asked to offer con- instruction learner-centered. It was useful
of educational efforts. Attempting to teach stant feedback to the other participants‘ to find out that "ESP is an approach to
ESP is therefore a challenge mainly due to posts, but in the end, exercising critical language teaching in which all decisions
the interdisciplinary nature of this enter- thinking skills was extremely useful and as to content and method are based on the
prise. It requires teachers and students alike rewarding. The participants were devoted learner's reason for learning" (Hutchinson

Join the associated Ning

to participate in discussions, view or download
video and other materials from the sessions, and
access recordings of the webinars.
PAGE 10 Cosmina Almăşan, Octavian Goga National College, Sibiu which more informed choice. At the end of the

provide a way for learners to access up-to- course the students felt more confident in
date, authentic audio and video materials in their ability to interact with other speakers
any content area that interests them. I found in simulated business situations, to make
a wealth of materials on these and other presentations, to use appropriate vocabu-
websites that I put to use successfully with lary to socialize and to react to various
and Waters 19).
my students. business situations. They had been faced
These preliminary stages helped us clarify
The ESP Best Practice Course has definitely with situations in which they needed to
the course of action to be followed and
been a fantastic opportunity for me. Profes- find information or make assumptions to
allowed us to draw a course map based on
sionally, I have improved my knowledge of solve problems, plan a reasonable ap-
very clear decisions concerning the learn-
the language by taking in some specialist proach to a problem, design business
ing activities.
vocabulary and I have varied my teaching strategies. The planned activities not only
Another aspect that I particularly appreci-
methods in order to meet the needs of the enriched the students‘ vocabulary and
ated was the hands-on approach: the par-
learners. Bringing a new perspective to the improved their fluency, but also broadened
ticipants designed and sequenced objec-
classes – the challenges of everyday business their understanding of business, and gave
tives, planned and shared learning activi-
life – using carefully planned activities and them valuable lessons for the future.
ties, elaborated assessment tools to be
authentic materials added both variety and The fast pace of change in the modern
used for specific activities. It was made
meaningful communication to the study of society and the shift in approaches to life
very clear to us that authentic materials
English. It has also been beneficial for my in general require a change in the way in
are the most valuable, especially in the
school, as a Business English course is now which we perceive the teaching-learning
case of ESP; they are not created for the
taught by one of my colleagues who devel- process and in the aim of our educational
purpose of language teaching, therefore
oped an interest in this area after finding out efforts. It is generally acknowledged that
the language used in such materials
more about how to plan an ESP course. I was the task of teachers in the 21st century is
―reflects the genuine purpose for which
glad to share my experience and my re- becoming more and more difficult. I think
the material was created‖ (Ellis and John-
sources with colleagues from my school and Karl Fisch best sums it up in his ―Did You
son 157). In attempt to assist us in select-
from another local school, who have ex- Know‖ series "We are currently preparing
ing the most appropriate materials, the
pressed an interest in developing profession- students for jobs that don't yet exist, using
trainers provided us with a complex list of
ally as well. On a personal level, it also gave technologies that haven't been invented, in
resources to be found online. What I found
me more confidence to try and tackle new order to solve problems we don't even
particularly useful was the reference to
situations (and teaching new variations of the know are problems yet." (http://
podcasting sites such as http://
language) in the future. As my target learn- All we, http://
ers were high school students who were still can do therefore is help them acquire the, http://
considering their options in terms of possible ability to deal with the unforeseen, by, http://
careers, I was glad to notice that taking the being flexible in our teaching approach, http://
Business English course helped them make a and moving with the times.

Ellis, Mark, and Christine Johnson. Teaching Business English. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994
Frendo, Evan. How to Teach Business English. Edinburgh: Pearson Education Limited, 2005.
Hutchinson, Tom, and Alan Waters. English for Specific Purposes: A Learner-Centered Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987
Pieck, Enrique. Work - oriented education for youths and adults . BULLETIN 50: Santiago, Chile, December 1999

The Voice of America continues to reach out to new audiences in innovative ways, and now VOA is using Facebook to teach English language
lessons as part of its popular on-line learning program called The Classroom. Here‘s how it works. Four times a day, the icon on VOA‘s Learning
English Facebook page changes to indicate a live, on-line class is ―in session.‖ Students can submit questions and be part of a free, hour-long,
interactive language learning experience that uses materials and lessons from The Classroom, which is now averaging more than 180,000 users a
month. One of The Classroom‘s Facebook teachers calls herself ―The English Doctor.‖ When her class is ―in-session,‖ users will be learning from
Nina Weinstein, the author of dozens of books on teaching English as a foreign language. Another VOA Facebook teacher,―The English Traveler,‖
also has classes twice a day, and there are plans to add more instructors to the line-up. You can get to the Facebook class directly from
In addition to Facebook lessons, The Classroom also has a new Business Wordbook with hundreds of business terms, pictures and sample dia-
logues to help users learn American business English.
For more about VOA Learning English visit For more about any VOA programs, or for the latest news
and information, visit
PAGE 11 Camelia Păgilă, Acad. Marin Voiculescu School, Giurgiu

My one in a life- odds. useful Web 2.0 tools tool ,which was
time chance was to The first week was the first fruitful experi- going to help me save and share the sites
attend the 10-week ence. I created a blog on important to me . Furthermore it helped
online course on using the instructions me find bookmarks from other users on
Building Teach- in ―Blogger how-to‖ and shared the URL my network.
ing Skills through the Interactive with the group. Having created the blog on During the course our instructor, Deb-
Web, offered by University of Oregon, Blogger, I wrote about what I had done orah Healey, fed us with a lot of manda-
Linguistics/American English Institute , and what I had learned in the course until tory readings and even extra. I spent
between June , 21st and August , 27th then. The next week I participated in the hours and hours reading and not in vain.
2010. weekly discussion about web searching. One of the main advantages of this way of
This course is designed to deepen par- After being fed with amazing articles I laid studying was that we had to apply what
ticipants' understanding of the theory my hands on different search engines, I we had learned and discuss on our read-
and applied use of CALL (computer as- analyzed them in terms of use in my own ings on the Nicenet site. Even more, at
sisted language learning) principles in classes and shared their advantages and the end of each week we had to reflect on
the EFL classroom. It strives to (1) model disadvantages in posts on Nicenet, which what we had read, learned, discovered or
innovative online teaching practices, (2) included the web page, the search term, created the previous week.
improve understanding of, and actively and my recommendations about the search For instance in the third week, after
engage in, the analysis and systematic engine. Another difficult, at first, task reading the webliography, we had to
adoption of innovative materials and seemed to be the ABCD (Audience, Behav- explain how we might use technology to
tools for ELT, (3) offer opportunities for iour, Condition, Degree) model for behav- improve our students‘ aural/oral skills in
EFL educators to observe and analyze ioural objectives. But all things are diffi- at least one post on Nicenet . I found out
Camelia Păgilă’s
2010 - 2011 class blogs real-world application of such new cult before they are easy. After reading that I should try to create authentic
materials and practices, (4) provide about the ABCD model, I shared some environments of learning, which should educators with support and problem- behavioural objectives for a class on the always have the following features: visi-
solving mechanisms as they implement Nicenet platform and I have been using bility of the speakers, participation of the new materials and practices in their them so far in all my lesson plans. Even listeners, environmental features, and
teaching, and (5) act as a train-the- more, with the help of Bloom‘s Taxonomy I real-life language features. I realized that trainer model so that participants can found out the appropriate action verbs I should integrate listening with other
move forward with concrete dissemina- able to help me align objectives to an teaching activities –for example some tion plans. observable behaviour and effective in useful practice may be obtained by the
The course period was one of my busiest making them clearer for my students. Even use of pair-work or group-work (students
periods of learning. A huge variety of better, though, was to think at higher take turns to repeat the listening part)
Camelia Păgilă’s cultures gathered online with a com- levels of Bloom‘s Taxonomy and how to and when students‘ listening is improved
2011 - 2012 class blogs mon aim: teachers who wanted to learn get my students to analyze a particular through repetition to some extent, a role-
more, who spent their summer holi- cause critically or provide reasons why playing and imitation are appropriate to
days in front of their computers, pray- something occurred. Moving my learning them. It is a process where remembering
ing for the Internet connection to last objectives beyond the lowest levels of is changed into understanding. This way
long enough to do their tasks. Over- thinking, I realized how to improve my the oral activities improve students‘ aural
worked, under paid, teachers contin- courses .Another useful thing was learning abilities.
ued their labour of love against all how to use ―‖ ,a free and After listening, reading the materials is

The Office of English Language

Programs promotes quality English
teaching by providing academic
Teach English Exchanges expertise, consultative assistance,
Learn English Resources and materials resources for English
American Culture Publications teachers and learners worldwide.
improving my teaching with
d f
nia.p technology I thought more about
t atoma
: _ R my students and I created a
roje _Pagila
n p
tio er SWOT analysis on them. After having read
g r adua E-Teach everything with a fresh and keen eye I
se _
a’ s cour 200904 thought all my students‘ needs could have
gi l ts/
e l i a Pa projec as a common root the fact that I hadn‘t
See eteach
er/ pages, their titles, the target stu- thought to address all their learning styles.
n . edu/ dents, why I thought it would work, and why All their weaknesses could exist because of
b c .uor I thought it would be useful. I also developed the external threat coming from me –that I
://u ABCD objectives to go with those pages.
http had not taken into consideration their
After being introduced to PBL, our trip of different ways of learning. Their internal
also a good opportunity for others
discovery was guided toward WebQuest , a strengths and the external opportunities
to practice their listening, which at the
technology-enhanced cooperative and collabo- made the perfect blend of a great base for
same time makes students be accustomed to
rative way of putting it into practice . Most or planting technology in diverse ways. So,
varied accent.
all of the information that students explore the next step, take action!
Furthermore, accuracy of pronunciation
and evaluate comes from the World Wide Blogs strike the perfect balance of provid-
through reading is improved. Then, doing
Web, it usually involves group work, and it ing information anytime and anywhere,
blank filling and writing down their opinion
can be as short as a single class period or as social networking and interaction, and the
about listening materials will help students
long as a month-long unit. Students have to ability to openly share thoughts and
understand them correctly and fully.
learn how to learn, and learn how to work achievements. To address all learning
Usage of more (than the usual 3 of mine)
with each other. The teacher, as a designer, styles in my final project I believed the
skill-building sites (already added up in my
builds the base of resources which is used by blog enhanced with multi-media was the
―delicious― treasure) helped me create a
students to complete the task. WebQuest has solution. Besides engaging students in their
wider and more efficient way to capture my
been designed to help students develop their learning I can also use it to extend collabo-
students‘ interest. Introducing them to the
high order thinking skills: critical thinking, ration with classmates from all over the
world of web tools is the best way to ex-
problem solving, analysis skills, and their world.
plore and develop their higher order think-
decision making skills. Anyway, it is a tool This course outlined the development of an
ing , more valuable because such skills are
that requires a certain level of reading ability interactive, technology-based teaching
Camelia Păgilă, Acad. Marin Voiculescu School, Giurgiu

more likely to be usable in novel situations

and it can‘t be used with beginners. In the strategy using interactive tools. This way I
(i.e., situations other than those in which
same time it cannot be helpful to teach fac- have created my final project, the class
the skill was learned). Then we had to
tual pieces of information .By using multime- blog, which was put in practice immedi-
appreciate how much some websites could
dia, WebQuests also help with multiple intel- ately after graduation. My paper was cho-
help involve our students in real-world ,
ligence work, addressing to all of them. In sen as an exemplary high quality piece of
authentic materials with the help of text,
the same time I was introduced to rubrics. work and published online to serve as a
video, and voice tools. At that point on our
Having clear criteria to assess will prevent me work sample for prospective E-Teacher
Nicenet discussion about this topic there
of evaluating holistically, subjectivity will be educators and as concrete evidence of
was a huge amount of information about
lower, and my students will have clear objec- participants' success.
aural/oral skill-building websites which I
tives to go for. Moreover, involving them in
had to explore and bookmark on my Deli-
creating some can definitely help them clarify “[Education]
cious page.Week 4 made me aware that the
their process of thinking and organizing. consists mainly
Internet spans an unlimited array of web-
The next week were the chance of discover- in what we have
sites extremely helpful for enhancing each
ing useful materials about learner‘s auton- unlearned”.
of the English skills. The week‘s discussion
omy, about free tools to create exercises or
made us read some articles about how to Mark Twain
tests to print or on line and discuss about
use computers to enhance ways to teach
learning styles and ways of tapping them
reading and writing. We had several multi-
with technology. “The object of
skill websites on our list this week and the
From week 6 we had to put together our teaching a child is
list became even larger after my colleagues‘ to enable him to
final project whose first points to think
posts. Individually we had to find two or get along without
about were ―Who are the learners?‖
more specific web pages that would work a teacher”.
and ―Issue or problem to be addressed
for us in our class. I investigated and in- Elbert Hubbard
that technology can help with‖. Aiming at
cluded the specific web address (URL) of the
PAGE 13 Simona Anca Mazilu, Mihai Viteazul National College, Ploieşti

I am more than grateful for Brief course description The elements of thought (reasoning);
having been given the opportunity to apply This 10 week-course is designed the universal intellectual standards; the
for the Critical Thinking in the EFL to deepen and fine-tune participants‘ under- essential intellectual traits (virtues);
(English as a Foreign Language) Cur- standing of the theory and applied use of and strategies
riculum – one of the major areas of the Critical Thinking principles and practices in B. Lesson and Unit Plan Redesign:
academic specialty of Teaching English as a the EFL classroom by engaging in the follow- Developing critical thinking for stu-
Foreign Language (TEFL) - offered through ing types of activities: dents;
the University of Oregon, Linguistics/ (1) read and discuss professional information Redesigning instruction to include
American English Institute, as part of the E- and articles to develop a deeper understand- critical thinking;
Teacher Scholarship Program. ing of current topics in language pedagogy
The course introduces the most Instructional strategies: affective, cogni-
as they relate to general critical thinking tive;
recent English language teaching methods skills;
and techniques, offers the opportunity to Assessing critical thinking skills;
(2) identify, evaluate, and select web-based
engage in an innovative distance-learning Evaluating teachers‘ critical thinking
materials and tools for use in the classroom;
program that employs the latest develop- approach and application of critical thinking
(3) interact with colleagues regionally and
ments in modern technology, and provides tools.
internationally who share similar pedagogi-
direct access to U.S. experts with whom C. Developing an Action Plan for Implementa-
cal interests;
participants might not normally have the tion of Critical Thinking:
(4) create classroom materials and projects
opportunity to interact. that demonstrate an understanding of course Identifying constraints and finding
What did I hope to learn? topics, and solutions;
(5) adapt and enhance existing materials so Formulating an action plan;
As a teacher trainer I was
highly motivated to work with ―Critical that they are culturally and age appropriate Looking critically at critical thinking
Thinking in the EFL Curriculum‖, for their schools‘ local curriculum. There is a substantial amount of
especially on account of my ever-growing Course Goals work in this course. I had to put aside 4-6
interest and continued activity in the field. hours each week on average to do the read-
By the end of the course, participants are ings on current issues from online journals,
As a dedicated promoter of educational expected to:
debate, with emphasis on developing sound reports, and guides etc, participate in discus-
• Understand and explain critical thinking sions, and complete the tasks. I had to take
reasoning and logical argumentation, as concepts and patterns;
well as powerful advocacy skills and pro- time to think about my weekly schedule and
• Identify relevant resources for developing to plan so that I could do a little course work
active citizenship within students, I trusted and using critical thinking;
all my skills and abilities would be en- each day or every other day instead of wait-
• Identify and analyze teaching techniques ing until the end of the week.
hanced and taken to a higher level of un- and materials to incorporate critical thinking
derstanding and expertise. in Post-course reflection
In addition, I hoped my ability teaching and learning; After nearly ten weeks of intense immersion
to do thorough academic work and my • Apply critical thinking to classroom teach- in a highly challenging and intellectually
general computer literacy would be en- ing and materials development: redesign and rewarding course, here I am, pondering
riched and bettered in terms of practicality implement instructional units and lesson which “three significant ideas that I have
and efficiency, so as to benefit my students plans with activities that require critical learned from reading, discussing and/or
even more. After many years of devoted thinking. completing the tasks” to choose from the
study and work, not only at my school, but oceans of new information, with a view to
also in other teaching/learning environ- Course Topics
elaborating on their impact upon my grasp
ments, I was confident that, by applying A. Developing Critical Thinking Skills for the and application of critical thinking. Which-
the newly acquired knowledge and innova- Teacher: ever my choices may be, focusing on solely
tive teaching techniques in the EFL class- Understanding critical thinking; three feels as relative to me as grossly unfair
rooms and engaging in a multitude of Applying critical thinking to teaching; to the host of other pertinent ideas that I have
critical thinking activities, I would provide to leave out.
Bloom‘s taxonomy;
my services as a teacher and colleague in Upon reflection, I will look at the following:
the best way possible. Socratic questioning;
PAGE 14 Simona Anca Mazilu, Mihai Viteazul High School, Ploieşti

1. The interrelationship between the Ele-

ments of Thought/Reasoning, the Intellec- In the EFL classroom:
tual Standards, and the Intellectual Traits, Students had to take an article that had
as major components of critical thinking: gies to explore, while bearing in mind the been assigned to read for class, and com-
I have learned that: existence of both affective and cognitive strate- plete a template specially designed for
the elements of thought inform us gies, with their macro-abilities and micro- analyzing the logic of a piece of writing.
that all reasoning has a purpose, is an skills; Specifically, they had to identify and state
attempt to answer questions or solve 3. Constraints on Teaching Critical Thinking: the elements of thought/reasoning in it:
problems, is based on assumptions, is Week 8, with its wealth of readings and re- the purpose of the article;
framed by a specific viewpoint, is quired assignments was most enlightening: I the key question that the author is
dependent on information, data, and had the chance to learn about the various addressing;
evidence, contains inferences, or constraints on teaching critical thinking, about the main assumption(s) underlying
interpretations - which lead to con- an entire range of obstacles that are holding us the author‘s thinking;
clusions - is expressed through con- back, sometimes even unbeknownst to us, the main point(s) of view presented
cepts and ideas, and has implications becoming aware of such a multitude of limita- in the article (What is the author
and consequences; tions with their subtle and complex implica- looking at, and how is this seen?);
the universal intellectual standards - tions – being critically important at all stages the most important information
clarity, accuracy, precision, rele- of the instructional process: (facts, experiences, data the author is
vance, depth, breadth, logic, signifi- Students‘ limitations (―Taking Students‘ using to support their conclusions) in
cance, fairness, etc. – are used to Limitations into Account‖, by Richard the article;
analyze and assess the quality of Paul & Linda Elder) and their cognitive the key concept(s) and idea(s) read-
reasoning, as a guide to better and development, especially ―dualism” and ers need to understand;
more refined thinking ; “multiplicity”, with its “epistemological the main inferences/conclusions in
the universal intellectual traits – nihilism” so typical of sophomores, and the article;
intellectual humility, intellectual how I can design and organize instruc- the main implications and conse-
courage, intellectual empathy, intel- tion with such valuable insights in mind quences
lectual autonomy, intellectual integ- (―Perry on Cognitive Development‖); As follow-up and follow- through activities,
rity, intellectual perseverance, confi- The climates of constraint – law and students participated in:
dence/faith in reason fair-mindedness order; the conservative climate; the a peer assessment session (group
– are interdependent and develop climate of pathology and pessimism; the work), in which they had to analyze and
best only in concert with each other. competitive climate – that are sure to critique a classmate‘s project, by following
The elements of reasoning enable us to discourage teaching for meaningful the same template for analyzing the logic
analyze our thought, the standards are learning and critical thinking (―Climates of an article;
there for us to assess and evaluate our use of Constraint/Restraint of Teachers and self-assessment individual work, in
of the elements, and the consistent and Teaching‖, by Catherine Cornbleth); which they applied the same checklist for
disciplined application of the standards to Teaching for the test (―What‘s Wrong reasoning (see the eight elements above) to
the elements leads to the development of with Teaching for the Test?‖, by Jack a piece of their own creation.
intellectual traits in the mind of someone Kaufhold) - I elaborated on it in my Some other mind-opening activities for my
who is steadily turning into a cultivated experience-sharing piece; students were related to:
critical thinker. The relationship between incompetence applying the universal intellectual stan-
2. Designing or re-designing a unit or a and lack of awareness of incompetence – dards – clarity, accuracy, precision, rele-
lesson activity with the help of Bloom‘s another possible constraint to have in vance, depth, breadth, logic, significance,
Taxonomy of Learning Domains– Original, mind when designing critical thinking fairness to thinking, in order to ensure its
Revised and Digital Versions: lessons (―Incompetent People Really Have quality, the ultimate goal being for these
Following the thinking process, Bloom‘s No Clue‖, by Erica Goode) standards to become part of their inner
Taxonomy, whatever the version, is a con-
Integrating critical thinking skills into voice, guiding them to reason better. Spe-
tinuum that can guide me, from LOTS cifically, students had to give a speech on a
the EFL/ELT context
(Lower Order Thinking Skills) to HOTS prepared topic, while their peers in the
(Higher Order Thinking Skills), in writing Aiming at sharing my understanding of the
audience had to assess their oral perform-
instructional objectives – aware of the theory and the applied use of Critical Thinking
ance based on the standards as marking
difference between goals and objectives and principles and practices, I engaged in the
in choosing what Critical Thinking strate- following types of activities:
PAGE 15 Simona Anca Mazilu, Mihai Viteazul High School, Ploieşti

identifying the essential intellectual yet fully rewarding 10-week course has im-
traits or virtues – intellectual humility vs. pacted my understanding and application of
intellectual arrogance; intellectual courage critical thinking in that it has provided me as
vs. intellectual cowardice; intellectual At ELT Conferences: an educator with transformative methods to
empathy vs. intellectual narrow- The 18th TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, Northern engage, enlighten, and empower my students
mindedness; intellectual autonomy vs. Greece Convention: Theme: Education: light to reach their full potential, with invaluable
intellectual conformity; intellectual integ- my fire!, 19-21 March 2011, where I con- tools and tips to foster a positive learning
rity vs. intellectual hypocrisy; intellectual ducted a Critical Thinking workshop entitled: environment, as I journey on the road of
perseverance vs. intellectual laziness; “Quality of Education: Teaching through effective and successful teaching.
confidence in reason vs. distrust of reason Thinking”.
and evidence; fair-mindedness vs. intellec- At the Teacher-Training Center (CCD) in Ploi- Imparting all this incredible and novel ex-
tual unfairness – while listening to sample esti, my home town, where I held a work- perience to my students and fellow profes-
speeches in point; for example, Steve Jobs‘ shop on the principles and practices of Criti- sionals is not only a moral duty for me, but it
famous ―Commencement Address” deliv- cal Thinking for my fellow teachers. has also become a passion. Why? Because a
ered to the graduates of Stanford University rich intellectual environment is possible only
Final remarks
in 2005. with critical thinking at the foundation of
All things considered, the highly demanding education.

Cristina Stoica, Ion Ghica Economic College, Bacău

A Romanian teacher was made. I consider this is one of the most interesting
given the opportunity to lessons because admitting you have made a mis-
take the online course take, you have already started correcting it.
English for Specific The HOW was made of the tools we
job. The course addressed the need for training in
Purposes (ESP) Best used, which were specific to an online course: it
English for Specific Purposes to promote education
Practices through the used a forum like page where the participants had
and economic development at the local and national
University of Oregon, to post their opinions on different topics or on our
Linguistics Department, American English Institute mates‘ ideas which were outlined after studying
What I found interesting during this
(UO AEI) during Spring Term 2010 (April 05 - June and researching online articles and books. The IT
course can go under two headlines: WHAT and HOW.
11, 2010). I was one tiny voice among the many tools helped the participants highlight the perma-
The WHAT consisted of a very well organ-
others from all over the world: Portugal, Colombia, nent connection between theoretical elements and
ized content, meant to help the participant under-
Namibia, RSA, Vietnam, Rusia, Sudan, Peru, Taiwan, our personal teaching context.
stand and use it to design a course. First of all we
Malaysia, Senegal. All these elements found their natural
discovered how to choose who our ESP target learner
The course was designed to develop par- place in my activity. Being a teacher in a Commer-
would be. The identification of the target group was
ticipants' knowledge, skills and attitudes toward cial High School where there are no Business Eng-
followed by a needs assessment, by formulating
designing, implementing and evaluating ESP (English lish classes, all I learnt during this online course
goals and objectives for our course. We developed a
for Specific Purposes) courses based on best practices helped me design an optional course provided in
course outline and we found out how to sequence
in the field. Teachers could address the needs of pre- the ―Inventing the Business‖ club in my school. My
topics and tasks. These were not only empty, theo-
experience learners (preparing to enter a specific students had only positive reactions because for the
retical elements, created on an artificial basis. There
discourse community) who need English for Specific first time they came across topics, they developed
was a special part meant to develop participants‘
Academic Purposes (ESAP) at universities, or who Business English communication skills they could
skills of selecting authentic materials, evaluating the
need Vocational English for Specific Purposes (VESP) use in their present and future real life.
current ones and create instructional activities to
at vocational and technical secondary schools. Other In this way, the chain which started
accompany an ESP text. We came across methods and
teachers/trainers at private language schools or in with identifying a more or less theoretical target
strategies of implementing the course. Another
university ESP departments might target English for learner finished at a superior level with providing
important part was to have an insight into the au-
Occupational Purposes (EOP) courses in the business the course we designed to our real students who
thentic assessment methods and also into our own
sector, intended for experienced learners already in developed real life skills to be used in real con-
teaching approach, as we were supposed to classify
the workplace who need English as a tool for their texts. All I have mentioned until now may seem
"The Ten Worst Teaching Mistakes" we had ever
Cristina Stoica, Ion Ghica Economic College, Bacău PAGE 16

complicated, making our minds going to analyze/ synthesize authentic information

and fro and asking the big question: who is connected to this profession. The ESP
the windmills‖ called ―specific purposes‖
the ESP teacher who should find the right teacher has to easily and quickly adapt to
to protect his Dulcinea (his students)
way through this intricate network? the field he/ she is teaching. He has to
against the dangers of being deceived by
English for Specific Pur- bring his Rocinante - the tools, methods,
the harsh reality. He is always helped by
poses (ESP) Best Practices provided by strategies and principles – to help him get
his Sancho Panza (ESP teaching methodol-
the University of Oregon made me answer to the end of his journey among authentic,
ogy) who is always ready to take control
like that: the ESP teacher is a General up-to-date and relevant content provided by
over Don Quixote‘s imagination. Just like
English teacher used to dealing with books, experts in the field.
Don Quixote, our ESP teacher starts the But unlike Don Quixote, our ESP
chalk, tape recorders but who deep inside journey of his life when he tries to mix
is a kind of Don Quixote ready to jump into teacher will hopefully not get back to the
their subject which is English with profes-
the deep, turbid waters of English used in harsh reality of being just a plain English
sion in English. He always knows less about
the real context of everyday life and ―tilt at teacher, but will continue his quest for as
the profession than his students, but he has
long as he wants or is able to.
to teach his students give/ receive/

Gabriela Puşcălău, Calistrat Hogaş National College, Piatra Neamţ

We live in a time of challenges and new experiences, a time in which the brought together and, besides the rich cultural diversity among us, there was also a
teaching activity is no longer limited to the space of the classroom. The internet is wide range of backgrounds and experiences in teaching English. The topics we
the key to international communication and cooperation and it helps us go be- discussed in our online meetings were: the role of ESP, Needs Assessment, Curricu-
yond the boundaries of everyday life. lum Design, Genre Analysis, Materials Development and Implementation.
I had the chance to be selected in a group of highly enthusiastic teachers and, I started thinking about the benefits of ESP training in our context: improved skills
under the guidance of a great course instructor, Jennifer Rice, we faced the chal- for work and increased work opportunities. Training in using Business English can
lenges of a new and exciting adventure in the world of ESP. I was accepted into give employees the ability to establish solid connections with global trade companies
the Summer 2011 online teacher training course with the University of Oregon, and facilitate communication by passing language barriers. The skills developed in
Linguistics Department, American English Institute (UO AEI): English for Specific ESP courses such as discussions in pairs, working with others, expressing opinions
Purposes. The course was 10 weeks in length: June 20-August 26, 2011 and my can be directly transferred to society. The personal benefits concern the ability to
participation in the course was made possible by a tuition scholarship from the understand/make yourself understood and act properly in a specific language envi-
U.S. Department of State. Since 1977, the American English Institute at the Uni- ronment.
versity of Oregon has provided high-quality English language training to interna- Thinking about my own teaching context, I realized that the teacher has an impor-
tional students and educators. For ten weeks, as a group of 23 people, we worked, tant role as she/he has to adapt to the oncoming situations. In this context, being
studied, did our homework, met on the course platform, and shared thoughts and grammatically correct is less important than making oneself understood. Students
ideas, analyzed and offered suggestions, agreed or disagreed, everything under need to understand language and do so with accuracy and at a certain speed. They
the vigilant eye of our instructor. It was an opportunity for participants to prac- have to be able to express their ideas, act properly and respond to the linguistic
tise their English and establish new relationships with people from different demands generated by the contemporary world. We, the teachers, can offer students
teaching environments, each with his/her way of approaching the teaching pro- a friendly perspective to unfamiliar pathways, the possibility to develop skills in
fession and eager to share and acquire knowledge. comprehension, which are absolutely necessary if they wish to succeed in their
By the end of the course, participants were expected to: differentiate between ESP future careers.
and English for General Purposes (EGP); evaluate the effectiveness of their current The ten weeks of the course passed so quickly that we hardly noticed we had got to
materials and methods; adapt authentic texts and select teaching points for their the end of it. It was by all means useful because it made us think, ask questions,
learners; create a personalized "ESP Toolkit"; communicate more effectively in look for answers and communicate. We felt very close to people we had never seen
English by having participated in course activities; gain support and inspiration and we had only met inside the virtual world. When it was over, I started missing
from a collaborative network of ESP practitioners through new friendships and homework and getting on the course platform to meet my colleagues from the wide
stronger professional relationships. world.
We were asked to think of the role of ESP in our educational systems, both at I have been to the University of Oregon only virtually, but I think the words of Rich-
national and local levels. The picture we got was a very interesting one as the ard Lariviere, President of the University, best express what I feel now: ―If you have-
course participants came from different countries and areas in the world: Mauri- n't already, I invite you to visit the University of Oregon. Walk the sidewalks, explore
tius, Republic of Moldova, Burma, Brazil, Turkmenistan, Iraq, India, Kazakhstan, our buildings, sit under our trees, and talk with our faculty members and students.
Uzbekistan, Portugal and Romania. It‘s such a small world, after all… We were This place will inspire you to grow, to learn, and to succeed‖.
PAGE 17 Monica-Catia Giuchici, Traian Lalescu High School, Reşiţa

As the rapidly changing global Yet the most relevant out of the complex House of Caras-Severin County, and The
environment requires ever array of processes has proved to be, at least School Department of Graz, Austria, under
new entrepreneurial skills and from my perspective, the strategies meant the title, ―An E-Teacher Professional
abilities to become performing individuals, at scaffolding alternative assessment scales Transatlantic Experience‖. Being an exam-
the present article challenges all methodo- along a process of transfer of power as well ple of good practice, the course has been
logical and professional developmental as transparency within the teaching- disseminated through the local and re-
approaches by presenting an American learning-evaluating paradigm. As such, I gional media, i.e., ―Banat TV‖, Radio
teacher-training experience at personal, have experienced a multilayered assess- Resita ―Dragostea Mea‖, and the local
cognitive, meta-cognitive, and social lev- ment algorithm including personal self- newspapers. Due to its positive impact,
els, all wrapped into using technology in and peer-assessment grids, in terms of both Caras-Severin School Inspectorate and
the EFL classroom. research and personal development, assum- The Teachers‘ House of Caras-Severin
It was a short hot summer professional ing responsibility or team-playing spirit, County have included the event in their
course that the author undertook within on a collaborative basis. This was meant to offer for the teachers of other subjects.
the time span of July 24-August 14, 2010, be only a starting point for my realm of And yet I consider the above-mentioned
as the result of a first rewarding experi- interest as, from this point on, I have be- experience a never-ending journey of
ence acquired along a former three-month come engaged in materials writing for personal and professional development
online course ―Methodology II: Developing national exams and competitions within the well-known adage ―Think
EFL Literacy through Project-Based Learn- (proposing exam items and schemata of globally, act locally‖, as our former
ing‖, developed by the University of Ore- assessment at county and national levels, twenty-six member UMBC-UO team has
gon (AEI-American English Institute), only writing articles for several magazines and been enriched by a new group of other
to be further expanded within a face-to reviews, ―Managing Change‖, ―Personal twenty-six e-alumni that we have joined
face course organized by the UMBC-UO Paideia‖or ―RATE Issues‖, the latter being online, starting with the fall of 2011, due
Consortium under the patronage of US the Romanian Association of the Teachers to our great UMBC teachers. As such, Walt
Department of State, Washington, DC and of English online magazine). Whitman‘s famous line ―/We/ are large,
bearing the title ―E-Teacher Professional All the information gathered along the we contain multitudes‖, can become the
Workshop‖. And it proved to be a profes- course has been creatively integrated new millennium philosophy for any en-
sional feast indeed. within a thirty-six hour course – ―A Two- deavor as the one I have witnessed, par-
Teachers, teacher-trainers, representatives Fold E-Teacher Professional Development ticipated in, and so much treasured.
of regional and national boards of English Kit‖ for twenty-five teachers of English and
out of twenty-six countries sprinkled over teacher-trainers of Caras-Severin County
four continents joined the e-alumni UMBC- held between October 16-November13, Key words:
UO team that ―fed‖ us from the Grail and 2010. Moreover, the course organically
the Chalice with a vast array of topics: integrated a multiple assessment strategy professional development
Strategies for teaching and reading, Criti- approach, starting with everyday feedback
cal Thinking, Learning styles and strate- sessions (terminology game/exit ticket), cognitive/meta-cognitive
gies, Intercultural communication, CBI only to finally be double-checked through a
(Content-Based Instruction), or Teaching mini-conference organized on November assessment strategies
methods, all interwoven by the collabora- 13, 2010, based on the trainees‘ online
tive-constructivist approach and 2.o Peda- projects. scaffolding
gogy. As a result, we have been friendly Which is more, the author delivered a
and empathically included into an English workshop on October 22, 2010, within the team-player spirit
carousel, involving strategies for teaching, ―International Didactics‖ Seminar, an
training and evaluating. educational joint venture between Caras-
Rodica Rogoz, EL Teacher & Head of Languages Department
Dr. Ioan Meşotă National College, Braşov

It might seem curious that a teacher with bers, up to the final moment of present-
over 30 years of experience in teaching ing our work results in front of our
English to high school students like virtual class and instructors. What made
myself, tens of methodology courses this experience remarkable was the fact
attended over the years and even a text- that, just like in a real classroom situa-
book written in collaboration would tion, we too faced the burden of indeci-
jump at the opportunity of participating sion when it came to choosing the topic
in a methodology course offered by the or selecting the relevant ideas and
United States Embassy through its cul- materials for our project and finally
tural programs, but this is exactly what I doing the needed work while having
did last year when I applied and was ac- also moderated the discussions), turned into other personal and professional commit-
cepted for the E-Teacher Program that I am an exciting exchange of ideas during which ments in our lives. Also like in real life, we
about to describe. What spiked my curios- teachers from around the globe shared their too faced the disappointment of being let
ity was not only my life-long interest for views and expressed their teaching frustra- down by a group member or of being over-
learning new things, teaching methods in tions, often coming to similar conclusions: worked because some peer chose to do less
particular, but also the opportunity of that we all faced problems like overcrowded than his/her best. Last but not least, when
learning things differently. The course classrooms, lack of sufficient time or materi- the final deadline for submitting the project
held by the Linguistics Department of the als, curricular restraints, but trying out new came, we too felt the excitement and anxi-
Oregon University was to be an online things or using alternative methods of ety of the project validation by the others,
course and the participants a select group teaching, like the project-based learning, we because each project was not only graded
of 25 teachers of English from all over the could overcome some of the difficulties. We but also verbally evaluated by everybody. It
world. Little did I know that at the end of agreed that enthusiasm helped, but what was an experience hard to forget!
the intense ten weeks of reading, debating mattered most was expertise and this course Apart from this practical activity that we all
and working that stretched from April till offered us exactly this kind of opportunity: went through, another practical application
June 2010, I would feel an acute sense of to enrich our methodological and pedagogi- of the concepts and methods learned in the
loss at parting with my newly found online cal knowledge. course came at its very end, when each
colleagues and with our instructors, Char Another fascinating thing about the course teacher "student" had to create a project
Heitman and Robert Elliott. and its "blackboard" was the fact that any fit for classroom use. It could be either a
Since I myself had chosen to participate in query one had could be answered almost in real project done with our students, or one
the course called "Developing EFL Literacy real time by colleagues or instructors, either done on paper, a lesson plan which re-
through Project-Based Learning" out of the directly or in the course of a winding debate spected all the principles of PBL. Person-
several courses on offer, I knew what to filled with personal examples or quotes ally, I chose the former, involving my
expect: a thorough revision of the basic from the literature. In fact, apart from the students in a project whose end coincided
principles involved in using this teaching officially designated articles to study for the with the deadline for my course assign-
method, as well as the application of the course, we were at all times encouraged to ment. Although I had used PBL before and
theory to my class situation. What I had search for and come up with our own in fact even knew quite a lot about it theo-
not expected was the intensity of the ex- sources of information, which we shared retically, what I had learned or rediscov-
perience and the amount of serious work it with the others, thus obtaining many more ered about this teaching method during the
involved. Like true university students, we ideas than originally intended. online course proved a real inspiration.
were given weekly reading assignments or A third attraction of the course rested in its More exactly, what made this project differ-
videos to watch and after studying them, practical approach to the studied topic. By ent from all the ones I had previously done
we were expected to make comments, week six we had to present a group project with my students was not only its greater
while at the same time getting engaged in on a methodological topic, any topic chosen complexity, but the greater care to details
conversations with our online colleagues by us, but beyond its theoretical value, this and the greater stress on objectivity in
thanks to a wonderful software called "the assignment placed us in the rare position of assessing it.
blackboard" which allowed everybody in students. For once, we had to act as our For example, analysing all the possible
the group to visualise everybody else's students would and do a practical project, group formation techniques (such as lin-
postings and to comment on them at any from A to Z. We had to form our groups, guistic strength, abilities, location, alpha-
time. Soon, what started as an obligation negotiate the topic, research, devise activi- betical order) I chose to group mine ac-
imposed by the course instructors (who ties and divide tasks among group mem- cording to friendship ties, knowing that
PAGE 19 Rodica Rogoz, EL Teacher & Head of Languages Department
Dr. Ioan Meşotă National College, Braşov

they would have to work both within and comfortable with: power point presentation, weeks, it offered us a dense and inspira-
beyond the classroom walls. The next step play whose script they had prepared, poster, tional insight into a valuable teaching
was the brainstorming for ideas, so that handbook of advice (as the project topic tool, the PBL, but we could participate at it
we could break the general topic into was a health-related issue) or even short from the comfort of our homes. Moreover,
subtopics, each group choosing one. I videos shot by the students with them as although taking place from the distance, it
allowed them time to research and organ- actors. The fun of some of these presenta- was surprisingly warm and emotional,
ize an outline of ideas, while at the same tions was unimaginable, and equally im- which increased its educational impact,
time encouraging them to divide their pressive was the linguistic performance and making it memorable. In addition, it
work and assume roles within their the wealth of ideas put forward by each turned out to be an efficient international
groups. group. Last but not least, the graphic crea- forum for professional debate. My only
A new thing for me was the extra care with tivity behind the presentations was amazing regret so far is that I have insufficiently
which I monitored their activity and the too. Better prepared to grade my students' imparted the knowledge I have gained
way in which I graded or assessed their work than at any other time before, I within the course with my peers from my
work and attitude towards the project, steered them towards the final stage helping home town, other than my immediate
based on clear rubrics, an aspect the them asses each other and themselves based colleagues from the school where I teach,
course inspired me to do. The use of ques- on carefully created rubrics. In fact, the but that is a situation I plan to rectify.
tionnaires, self and peer assessment was discussion on rubrics and the subtleties of In the end, thanks are in order, my grati-
another quite new aspect, but the most evaluating PBL was for me one of the high- tude going first and foremost to the Uni-
revolutionary was the way presentations lights of the course. versity of Oregon and its capable instruc-
were made. Having read or discussed in Still, if I were to choose but one of the tors for conducting such a course, and
the online course about possibilities of strengths of this course it would be really secondly to the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest
presenting the final product, I encouraged difficult. What set it apart from all the other for facilitating the access of teachers like
my students to be creative, so that each courses I attended was its flexibility, con- myself to such valuable and inspirational
group chose the medium they felt most venience and practical character. In ten information sharing events.

Anca Rafiroiu, ELT Inspector, Bacău County School Inspectorate

One of the most relevant pro- The programme was composed of 10 methods used to teach English as a Second
fessional experiences I have had in my life courses, which covered all the problems a or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) throughout
was to have been nominated to be a teacher may be confronted with in his/her time.
participant in the E-Teacher Scholarship activity in the classroom, such as: Instructional Strategies for
Program, sponsored by the U.S. Depart- Teaching English as an Interna- Teaching Listening and Speaking
ment of State ECA/A/L. The E-Teacher tional Language (TEIL) in the 21st In this unit we looked at some basic prin-
Scholarship Program , which gives schol- Century ciples behind the teaching of listening and
arships to English teaching professionals The purpose of that unit was to introduce speaking and explored the natural rela-
around the world to take online teacher participants to the course and to the field of tionships between them. We discussed
training courses at prestigious U.S. univer- TESOL and to consider the notion that Eng- effective instructional strategies for teach-
sities. Through this program, I have been lish is rapidly assuming the role of an Inter- ing aural and oral skills as well as aspects
given the opportunity to take Methods I: national Language. Since in teaching lan- of pronunciation work and error correc-
Survey of Best Practices in TESOL through guage we also teach culture, the question of tion while building communicative abili-
the English Language Center at the Univer- which culture to teach and how to teach it ties of students.
sity of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) raises several important issues to be consid- Increasing Classroom Interac-
for Spring Term 2010 (April 8 – June 23, ered in the design of EIL activities and tion
2010). materials. This unit involved increasing classroom
The English Language Center at UMBC is Second Language Teaching interaction. Collaborative and cooperative
well known for its English teacher training Methods learning techniques encourage student
programs around the world. The purpose of this unit is to introduce pair work and group work while activat-
participants to the various approaches and ing creative and critical thinking skills.
Anca Rafiroiu, ELT Inspector, Bacău County School Inspectorate

Students, guided by clear objectives, en- focus on use were analyzed and discussed in aware of how we teach, the kinds of deci-
gage in activities and language learning their relation to Communicative Language sions we make as we teach, and the value
strategies that lead toward a student- Teaching. and consequences of particular instructional
centered learning environment. Student- Lesson Planning within a Com- decisions we make. Not only must we think
centered learning environments allow for municative Curriculum about what happens in the classroom, both
inquiry-based learning which affords a The purpose of this unit was to provide in terms of the teaching itself, and the
way to construct student understanding participants with an overview of the basic learner response, we must also try to im-
and knowledge of the world. Through use principles of lesson planning. It l focussed prove it. To bring us full circle from the
and development of effective classroom on the daily decisions a teacher makes for first unit in the course is the peer observa-
interaction techniques, students will be the successful outcome of a lesson with tion we conducted. This provided us with an
able to question themselves (their prior practical suggestions of how to plan a les- opportunity to be exposed to different teach-
knowledge and ideas), support/debate son. What to teach, how to teach, who are ing styles, as well as an opportunity to gain
their ideas, hypothesize, real-world prob- my learners, and how will I assess their insights into one‘s own teaching. We shared
lem solve, and reflect on their experiences learning will be examined. our differentiated lesson plans and our
in the context of a safe, well designed Learning Styles and Strategies training/action plans with each other.
learning environment. The purpose of this unit was to understand The course Survey of Best Prac-
Instructional Strategies for that language learners bring different learn- tices in TESOL (Teaching of English to
Teaching Reading and Writing ing style preferences to the language class- Speakers of other Languages) helped
This unit looked at some basic principles room. Learning Styles are individually based me to get deeper, more profound knowl-
of teaching reading and writing. It ex- and often culturally influenced. Different edge about all the problems mentioned
plored ways of developing reading com- EFL learning activities may be approached above and it was also an opportunity to
prehension skills, and then writing skills in different ways, allowing for the use of improve my language skills after having
and the connection between the two. more than one learning style for a given performed in a multi-lingual environment
Extensive and intensive reading strategies task. Learning Strategies are specific means where all the interaction is English.
were examined as well as interactive read- that learners use to learn. Taking these into account, when I
ing processes to arrive at comprehension. found out about this opportunity of develop-
Classroom Management for Dif-
Like reading, writing is an active process ing my teaching skills and knowledge by
ferent Classroom Settings
of meaning construction between reading learning the best practices in TESOL, I
This unit focused on the pedagogical tech-
and writer requiring the writer to create thought I might have the chance to be one
niques for teaching EFL in large classes and
context and grammatically complete sen- of the chosen persons to attend this online
the deliberate teacher behaviors that maxi-
tences with clear messages through the course, which combines all my points of
mize learning. Classroom learning systems
language itself. interest.
that have clear routines, expectations, and
Instructional Strategies for I shared my experience with other
organized physical settings enable students
Teaching Vocabulary and teachers of English to whom I presented
to know what is expected of them. A disci-
Grammar everything I had learned at this course.
pline management system is a classroom
The focus of this unit was on effective This course helped me to become more
management practice that is consistent, fair,
instructional strategies for Vocabulary and confident and enabled me to continue my
clearly outlines teacher expectations and
Grammar acquisition. The role of vocabu- professional and my personal development.
provides negative consequences for negative
lary development for L2 learning has As an inspector of English at Bacau
behavior. Managing a large class depends
grown in recent years with research inves- County Inspectorate, I often have the possi-
more on classroom management practices
tigating how L2 learners acquire lexical bility to present all the materials on the best
and pedagogical planning than a particular
competence. At the center of this discus- practices in TESOL to the teachers of Eng-
method or approach to teaching.
sion is whether vocabulary learning should lish, especially during training courses with
The end of the course was dedi-
focus on implicit or explicit learning. young teachers.
cated to reflection on what was learned
Similarly, a major topic addressed in I consider that opportunity one of the
during the whole course and how this
teaching grammar centers on implicit and most fruitful and productive I have ever had
would affect our future beyond the course.
explicit learning. Theoretical frameworks in my life.
One way of doing this was through reflective
regarding focus on grammatical forms and teaching, which helped us to become more
PAGE 21 Profira Cristina Tudor, EL Teacher, Alexandru cel Bun College, Gura Humorului

Talking about projects in the way, the course had not only virtually objectives would finally have a common
classroom makes me think of the inspiring brought together teachers with similar result: efficient instructional strategies to
words of a well-known American teacher, interests and dedication for the same career, motivate students‘ participation, help them
Jacquie McTaggart, whose reflections on but combined different personalities from become active learners and value the result
teaching have become an emblematic different cultures with their experience and of their team work: the project‘s products,
educational philosophy. Quotes like: ―If ingenuity in an original cultural melting whichever they are.
they don't learn the way you teach, teach pot. Weeks 4, 5 and 6 dealt with assessment and
the way they learn‖ or ―Your child will be The purpose of the course was to alternative assessment and referred to the
better prepared to tackle the bumps on the enhance participants‘ understanding of importance of using rubrics to be able to
road of life if he has been given the gift of TESOL methodology related to using project give a fair feedback and evaluate students
guided independence‖ sum up the essence in the classroom. For that, the trainees were correctly applying clear standards. In addi-
of project based learning and emphasize given assignments and were expected to tion, we had inflamed discussions on the
some basic principles that gave birth to participate on the forum discussions every forum related to motivation and how each
this type of activity: the learner‘s interest day and have at least two contributions to of us would enhance motivation in our
and motivation to involve and his/her the topic posted each week. class. We each found an answer for the
independence to choose to be an active reason why our students study English and,
Course Curriculum:
part of the whole. Weeks 1, 2 and 3: For a start, we were based on questionnaires applied in class, I
I chose this course not because expected to identify the principles of project felt very proud to find that there is still
the theme would bring to attention a topic -based learning and the ways to incorporate motivation to study English. The great
that was completely new to me, but be- this method in the classroom. We also majority of our students have extrinsec
cause familiar knowledge needs, at least swapped ideas about planning and formulat- motivation: they want good grades and
once in a while, to be brushed up and ing correct objectives for a lesson, based on would like to have their parents happy.
refreshed, because by nature I am a curi- Bloom‘s taxonomy. Reading articles and This is their main preoccupation. Alterna-
ous person and would like to experiment having a personal response to the informa- tively, they discover that English can be
new things and challenges. Here I was and, tion encountered in them was part of our interesting and challenging and they can
to be honest, I have never regretted and weekly tasks. In addition, we commented on develop linguistic abilities out of curiosity,
can warmly recommend it to enthusiastic every aspect related to teaching methods, and in this way they discover their intrinsec
teachers eager to live an intercultural bringing to attention our own experience curiosity and decide to prepare for a lan-
exchange and learn from new experiences. and strategies. It was extremely useful to guage certificate (Cambridge, ECL, IELTS or
Course Presentation: find out that sometimes the input of a lesson TOEFL) and develop authentic skills in using
The Project Based Learning may differ from a country to another, being English.
Course is a fully online ten-week training in accordance with each national curricu- Teaching large classes and
program sponsored by the US Department lum, however, the approach and the way we collaborative/cooperative learning was
of State and the University of Oregon and motivate learning may be similar. another topic of interest for our group. In
addressed to English teaching profession- There was a consensus that we all establish this respect, we distinguished between
als. As part of the group selected for the clear and unambiguous objectives and give cooperation and collaboration both giving
period January, 3- March, 11, 2011, I had realistic and achievable aims. We all ask the students the chance to build communi-
the chance to meet and work with an ourselves: ―What is it that students should cation skills, to develop critical thinking
interesting variety of participants selected be able to do by the end of the lesson that and to experience self-esteem. The teacher
from different parts of the world, such as they couldn‘t do at the beginning?‖ and is just the task presenter, the one who sets
China, Venezuela, Indonezia, Romania, distinguish between what our ―teaching the rules of the game and than becomes the
Brazil, Morrocco, Sri Lanca and Azerbajian, objectives‖ and our ―learning objectives‖ observer who monitors the learning proc-
to mention only a part of them. In this are and the fact that these two types of ess.
PAGE 22 Profira Cristina Tudor, EL Teacher, Alexandru cel Bun College, Gura Humorului

Weeks 8 and 9 were about creative and studied during the course. Thus our pro-
critical thinking in the classroom, as a way jects combined all the principles of project
to become proficient in a language and based learning, creative, critical thinking,
how to focus on multiple intelligences, course. Apart from enthusiasm and ideas, peer feedback and collaboration, multiple
treating students in a differentiate way, you needed the persuasiveness to convince skills and freedom of choice in presenting
taking into consideration the different the other members, your study buddies, of the final product.
learning styles. your creative and applicable solutions.
Special bonds were created with the people
Projects: Why use projects in your classroom?
we were working and we learned to listen
Weeks 7 and 10 were deadlines for our Because it is a way that makes your stu-
to each other, we followed the steps to
own projects. The first one was the result dents learn. It can be fun, although engag-
implement the project and found a way to
of the collaboration and cooperation of ing, it can be rewarding, though it keeps
communicate and work effectively.
four members of the team to complete an students busy and deeply dipped into new
The Action Plan or the final project was a
assignment, the Midterm project. For researches. Scientific studies indicate that
lesson plan to be implemented in our own
doing this, each group had a communica- students are more likely to retain informa-
class following the guidance of a detailed
tive channel opened on the site, the Black- tion acquired through this approach, far
assignment handout. It was a personal
board, so that all the members of the team easier than by means of a traditional
enterprise using the entire experience you
could discuss, argue or debate on what grammar based or textbook centred learn-
acquired within the course period, exchang-
they would like to do. Specialists from the ing experience. What is more, students
ing valuable information with your study
University of Oregon monitored our discus- feel independent to make their own deci-
buddies or the other course participants
sions and came in with constructive sug- sions about their learning and pluck up
who all proved to be priceless.
gestions on how to make a project viable. more courage and confidence and become
Like any ―finis coronat opus‖, the final
That was, in my view the best part of this independent learners.
project had to be seasoned with everything

Nadina C. Nicolici, Lorin Sălăgean Technical College, Drobeta Turnu Severin

aural skill-building websites and bookmarks with little effort, how to involve my students
with Delicious, about reading/writing websites more and how to prove them that teachers
and technology-enhanced lesson plans; we and school are not dusty – they are up to
learnt to create our own WebQuests, and ru- date.
brics, then we were given more information I consider I have learned many good things
In 2010, from April to June, I about the student-centered large classes and during this course, and I shared everything
attended the online course Building Teach- interactive PowerPoint, about learner auton- with my colleagues, trying to involve them
ing Skills through the Interactive omy and the one-computer classroom. More- more and use technology in their classes.
Web, offered by the University of Oregon – over, we found out about many teacher re- Among the things I shared with
Linguistics Department. The program, gener- sources online and learning styles with tech- them, I can mention:
ally called E-Teacher Scholarship Program, nology connections. Searching the internet – not using only
gave me the chance to learn and to experi- Before attending this course, espe- the ever-present Google. If I need something
ence lots of interesting things in this quite cially after graduating the Cambridge CELTA, I more specific, a certain topic or theme, or
new field – Web 2.0. The program was struc- used interactive methods in my teaching, but material, I know now I can access Noodle
tured in many sections, during 10 weeks. none of them was related to technology. I used Tools ( and
Together with my fellow teachers from all the to exploit at the maximum the textbooks and everything is there. Then, I learned how not
other parts of the world, we could learn the boards, as the classrooms in my school are to lose all my work and bookmarks in seconds
about the ABCD learning objectives frame- not equipped with technology. But, thanks to – thanks to a wonderful tool
work and effective web searches, the oral/ this course, I learned how I can do great things which helps me have everything I need with

Nadina C. Nicolici, Lorin Sălăgean Technical College, Drobeta Turnu Severin

alternative for one of the textbooks I use, I for our classes – the entire virtual world is
decided to continue this idea and all the there, waiting for us to access and use it.
me, no matter where I may go, as long as I textbooks will have such an alternative. I It‘s good for finding the materials we
have a computer and internet access. consider wikis a good idea as there I can need for our classes – sometimes it‘s easier
Creating educational reflective blogs post all the additional materials/ resources I to have a picture or a video, instead of
which are very useful and can be ad- want my students to use. speaking, trying to make ourselves under-
dressed both students and teachers All these statements are based stood.
Creating interactive power-point on my students‘ reactions and responses By its help, we, the teachers, can
presentations, not lecture notes. I have when I used technology for the first time in promote interactivity – instead of coming in
created two jeopardy presentations for my class. I noticed their interest is greater now front of our students to present them the
students, based on grammar. I presented and this can only bring positive results, information we want them to learn, we make
them to my colleagues, I explained them enhancing their learning autonomy, as they them discover by themselves, we make them
the steps they have to take in order to are able to study individually, when they understand, instead of asking them to learn
make an interactive presentation, and as a want, not only in the formal context of their by heart things they are likely to forget the
result, one of my colleagues, a teacher of classroom. next day. A good example is provided by the
French, created one presentation on During the course and while interactive power-point presentations – easy
Europe – a short history of the European implementing the technology based project to make, great to watch and to interact with.
Union. Students were more than delighted (a blog for my students - http://online-
It‘s also good for recording our own
to work on it., I shared
videos, for instance, using a Flipcam – a
The best lesson plans I have all the knowledge and results with my
quite normal digital camera which connects
ever created are the technology related colleagues, teachers of different subjects,
directly to the computer and allows you to
lesson plans – I learned about them dur- not only English. I tried to make them
download the video within seconds. Videos
ing this course too. They can be adapted to understand that the role of technology in
are great for our students and teachers, as
my needs, but the rubrics they present are the teaching / learning / assessing process
they give us the chance of meeting online,
really useful, and finally I could convince is of highest importance, as first of all it is
talking to each other, and for teachers,
some other teachers that the lesson plans an effective tool which promotes motivation
sharing experience and best practices. We
are a good guide, not a chore. for learning.
can post them online, on our blogs / wikis /
During this course I learned how to inte- I would like to make everyone
sites and our students will be more than
grate technology in every single lesson. understand that technology is extremely
delighted to make them and watch them.
After having noticed my students‘ interests important from many points of view:
Last but not least, technology is good
and positive reactions, I decided to inte- It is good as a tool for alternative
and it doesn‘t apply only to English.
grate technology in all my teaching, as it assessment. Instead of giving our students
I would recommend all the
is really helpful. By its help, I can better the same tests on paper, we can create very
teachers to attend a course or a training
address my students‘ learning styles. For easily and in a very short period of time an
session based on integrating the new tech-
instance, I have created some interactive online exercise, using for instance Hot
nology in lessons. Technology engages
power-point presentations for every les- Potatoes or Easy Test Maker, to name only
students, and that‘s far better than simply
son, which I can use for different classes. two of the many tools. This way we can
teaching them: the days our students had to
By including pictures, I address my visual personalize and adapt our assessment tasks
accept ―because I said so‖ are long gone. We
students, for the auditory ones – I in- to our students‘ levels and needs.
should not forget we are teaching the ―Why‖
cluded listening materials, and for the It is good for enhancing our students‘ generation. Technology helps us reduce the
kinesthetic ones – videos which they can learning autonomy – I consider learning is teacher‘s talking time, allowing students to
act out. Moreover, technology helps me an individual and lifelong process, which speak more – eventually, our final aim.
find authentic materials for my classes, does not end when the last bell rings. Hav- From the very first week we were invited to
and in this way I avoid using the artificial ing the Internet with them all the time, our create our own blogs where we had to share
materials (especially for listening) which students can learn and communicate when our entire experience. It was quite an easy
our textbooks provide. they want, when they have time. We can use step, as we got lot of help from our tutors.
As I created my fist Wiki (http://my- blogs, wikis, we can even design websites as an

Easy Test Maker

Hot Potatoes
PAGE 24 Adela Barz, Barbu Ştirbei National College, Călăraşi

The E-Teacher 10-week online ing is not about learning by heart or repeat-
Critical Thinking in the EFL Curriculum ing what others say, it is about turning into
course with the American English Institute in independent thinkers and learners, which it is
the Linguistics Department at the University a skill I want to develop in my students so
of Oregon came as a modern and thought- that they can become independent thinkers at
while additions to the curriculum. There are
provoking challenge for me, but also as a the academic level, at the professional level,
so many relevant questions to be asked during
remarkably valuable source of information. and at the personal level.
the whole teaching process (ranging from
The course began on April 5th with an in- From Teaching and Learning with
preliminary design to adjusting everything or
tense pace of work on the University of the Net Generation I embraced the idea ex-
parts of the teaching plan once you have
Oregon version of the Blackboard course posed by Ben McNeely (2005) that
feedback from students and reactions to self-
management system. `relationships are a driving force in the learn-
assessment). Questions are raised about how
Once logged on to Blackboard ing process`, therefore learning through
our instruction process can respond to the
and familiarized with the site‘s features, social interaction is extremely important, even
challenges of context, and how the profession-
there are other areas of the site which just if the terms and the background of interactive
alism of teaching and learning in schools can
require a click: Announcements, Course learning have changed. As teachers, we have
be enhanced by means of self- assessment.
Information, Contacts, Course Documents, to explore this technological aspect they love
Although self assessment( if used
Assignments, Articles and Websites, and so much nowadays and adapt it so it leads to
sporadically) may trigger reluctance in recon-
Discussion Board, turning the e-platform into positive outcomes in our teaching process.
sidering your instruction process, I am fully
an efficient tool. Unfortunately, there are and there
confident that, once used permanently, it will
Each week provided generous will always be teachers reacting reluctantly to
generate benefits on long term, as you become
readings and every author is worth being introducing technology into the teaching
more accurate in interpreting statements,
mentioned. Nevertheless, top of my list process, as they either can‘t perceive the
evidence, questions, in identifying arguments,
includes: benefits, or they do not feel confident in using
in analyzing and evaluating major alternative
Questioning: An effective Teach- it or related to reaching goals. As students
points, reaching conclusions, explaining
ing Method (Ramsey, Imogene, Gabbard, have to reshape their learning style
teaching procedures, assumptions or reasons
Carol, Clearing House, 00098655, May ‗90, (unconsciously, of course) according to the
and the list could continue.
Vol. 63, Issue 9, Academic Search Premier) everyday pressure they are exposed to
While before much of personal
stands for a refreshing shift in approaching through media, teachers have to find a bal-
assessment as a teacher was more a mental
teaching. Setting the right questions un- anced way to introduce technology into the
exercise, just jumping in and asking myself
doubtedly leads you to having your objec- classroom. Balance is a very important word
questions, now I plan to be thoughtful in a
tives fulfilled. Although questioning has been as, on one side, you can captivate students
structured way with clear and precise ques-
consistent part of my teaching process, the with video clips or cartoons, but on the other
tions. The article provided a compilation of
readings on this issue empowered the con- one, you may face the risk of students losing
checklists for that process and well re-
cept of question as a tool in the instructional self confidence in expressing their own opin-
searched, significant questions for teacher
process. ions, losing ability to pause and reflect on a
reflection which I will certainly make use of.
Strategy List: 35 Dimensions of matter.
The reading Formative and Sum-
Critical Thought: the list of the 35 dimen- I will conclude by mentioning that
mative Assessments in the Classroom by Cath-
sions of Critical Thinking has clearly open teaching based on CT criteria allows students
erine Garrison provided a generous insight on
perspectives upon classroom teaching and to discuss, pose questions, have opinionated
the topic. Even though assessment is an exten-
material development. The cognitive -micro answers; it encourages them to explore their
sive topic, this article explains it in a very
or macro skills- and affective skills activities own creativity as well. Unfortunately, they
accurate way, and it even shows strategies
are targeted at and the instructional strate- have a goal - oriented way of learning, most of
linked to the type of assessment we can use in
gies they require. These are certainly essen- them practicing learning for tests only, as
class. The simple explanation that summative
tial elements in planning a lesson activity required in other subjects, thus having only
is merely associated with standardized tests,
and a determining factor of its success. They the short-term memory activated.
which are the common instruments used in
become useful in redesigning and imple- It can be difficult, but challenging
class, however, I learned through the reading
menting lesson plans with CT activities. as well, to reshape students and teachers`
and posts that there is a wide range of effi-
Another essential issue was self-assessment. perspectives upon learning and teaching.
cient instruments that can be used to assess
Ideas about self assessment and reflection Passion and permanent upgrading of both
the learning of our students.
are widespread in the teaching instruction. knowledge and teaching skills and methods
These three ideas have helped me
These terms are often used starting from the should run through every language teacher‘s
understand the importance and usefulness of
premises that they are necessarily worth- veins.
using Critical Thinking in class because learn-

The EL Fellow Program fosters mutual English.

understanding, promotes English lan- More than 1,000 EL Fellows have con-
guage learning and enhances English ducted projects in more than 80 coun- teaching capacity abroad. Through pro- tries. Examples of past EL Fellow pro-
englishteaching/el-fellow.html jects sponsored by U.S. embassies, jects include: Classroom Teaching,
Through the English Language Fellow EL Fellows share their professional Teacher Training, In-Service and Pre-
Program (EL Fellow) highly qualified expertise, hone their skills, gain interna- Service Training, Curriculum Develop-
U.S. educators in the field of Teaching tional experience and learn about other ment, Workshop and Seminar Design,
English to Speakers of Other Lan- cultures. EL Fellows model and demon- Program Evaluation, Needs Assessment,
guages (TESOL) participate in 10- strate TESOL classroom practices that Testing, and English for Specific Pur-
month-long fellowships at academic help foster thoughtful and responsible poses (ESP).
institutions throughout the world. behavior in students and teachers of

County visited by a Sr. English Language Fellow between 2001 - 2010, as part of the
County visited by a Jr. English Language Fellow, based at a university to conduct pre-service teacher training, as
part of the

County included in the English Language Specialist Program, 2009:

digital video-conference series on Teaching Democratic Concepts through English

participation in the institute will enhance interactive approaches to using multi-

teachings and courses about the United cultural (ethnic) literature from the States at the nominee's home institution, United States to teach English ;
academicexchanges/scholars.html community, or country. 3) Increase teachers‘ repertoire of strate-
The Institute for Secondary School Educa- *This includes teachers, teacher trainers, gies for teaching language and content
tors provides two multinational groups of textbook writers, curriculum developers and together, including:
30 experienced and highly-motivated education ministry officials. i) Community-building strategies (e.g.
secondary school educators* with a Index-Card life history, My Favorite
deeper understanding of U.S. society and People & Things, Uncommon Commonal-
culture, past and present in order to TTE ities, Group Identification activities,
enhance the scope and depth of the par- ―Groundrules‖)
ticipants‘ own secondary school courses. ii) Cooperative learning strategies (e.g.
The Institute examines political, eco- The Teaching Tolerance though English Pair-Share, Numbered Heads Together,
nomic, and cultural issues in America as summer camp has been held, since 2006, in Lineups, Four Corners, Group Decision-
well as current trends in secondary edu- Balatonelle, Hungary. 60 students (ages 11- Making)
cation. Participants also have the opportu- 13) and 12 English as a Foreign Language iii) Strategies for supporting learning
nity to visit sites relevant to U.S. history teachers from Hungary and other countries into, through, and beyond a reading
and prominent Americans they are teach- in the region come to Balatonlelle to partici- selection (e.g. Vocabulary Development,
ing about in their home countries. During pate in a variety of athletic, theatrical, artis- Reciprocal Teaching, Question-Answer-
the Institute, each participant will use tic and educational activities designed to Response, Jigsaw, Visual Representation,
their experiences to develop new lesson further their understanding of and tolerance Preview-Review);
plans, training materials, or academic towards one another‘s cultures while en- 4) Provide teachers with approaches to
articles. hancing their English language skills. using multi-cultural (ethnic) literature
Candidates should be mid-career, typically The educational programs are facilitated by to teach tolerance and inter-cultural
between the ages of 30-50, highly- two American teacher trainers, Drs. Mary understanding;
motivated and experienced secondary Lou McCloskey and Lydia Stack, both of 5) Develop understanding of what cul-
school educators. whom are well respected textbook writers, ture is, and how cultures develop and
The ideal candidate will be a secondary teacher educators and teachers. They use come into conflict ;
teacher, teacher trainer, curriculum de- American as well as regional literature, 6) Develop and demonstrate strategies
veloper, textbook writer, ministry of songs, skits, games and language teaching for responding to hate and bigotry;
education official, or other related profes- strategies throughout the program. 7) Develop and demonstrate strategies
sional with responsibility for secondary The athletic and artistic program is facili- for dealing with conflict;
education who is seeking to introduce or tated by an experienced camp director from 8) Introduce teachers and students to
enhance aspects of U.S. studies into his/ the U.S., and nine camp counselors. After mediation tools;
her curricula. the two-week camp, students and teachers 9) Give teachers opportunities to apply
The ideal candidate will also be an experi- continue to work on joint projects via e-mail
these approaches with a multi-ethnic
enced professional with little or no prior and exchange visits.
group of students from the region;
experience in the United States, whose The program is fully sponsored by the Re-
home institution is seeking to introduce 10) Give teachers and students opportu-
gional English Language Office of the Ameri- nities to learn English and learn about
aspects of U.S. studies into its curricula, can Embassy in Budapest, and other U.S.
to enhance and update existing courses one another‘s respective cultures,
embassies from countries in the region.
that include information about the United The teacher development component thereby enhancing inter-ethnic commu-
States, or to offer specialized seminars/ nication and understanding;
of the program includes the following goals:
workshops for education professionals in 1) To bring teachers from Central and 11) Increase students‘ and teachers‘
U.S. studies or related fields. In this English language proficiency;
Southeastern Europe together to interact,
respect, while the nominee's professional forge links and share ideas; 12) Increase students‘ and teachers‘
credentials are an important considera- 2) Provide teachers with hands-on, engaging tolerance of differences in culture, na-
tion, an equally important factor is how tionality, and ethnic origin .

are you doing? The first student answers the

question using the present progressive and an
activity he can do in the room written on the
Dr. Love is a good way to teach card. The students did a very good job. Jeff
We had the opportunity to be part
students how to give advice. The students work liked the children and he wanted to work
of the professional development program for
in groups of four or five. Each group writes a with them, too. He mimed some actions and
teachers of English, titled Interactive Methods
letter about a problem they have. After each asked the children to guess what he was
and Best Practices for Teaching and Learning
group writes a letter, they pass it to the next doing, then he asked them to mime some
English in January - February, 2009. The
team. They read the letters they receive and try actions and say what they were doing at the
program consisted of 24 hours of training
to give the best advice using the second condi- same time. Jeff praised the children and the
workshops, observation and critique of class-
tional clause or the modal verb should. This is teacher. It was a great experience.
room performances. This is how we met
an activity that the students in the 8th grade Jeff also visited Stefan cel Mare
Jeffrey Wetterman. He taught us that teaching
enjoyed a lot. School in Vaslui. As I had spoken a lot about
can be fun. We were at the beginning of our
These are only a few methods we him at school, everybody was anxious to meet
teaching career and this program helped us a
were presented during the program. There are a him, to meet him and talk to him. Kids were
lot. First of all, we met our colleagues from
lot more. the most anxious of all. He visited the 4th
other schools. Due to the time we spent to-
These activities are interesting and grade, where he observed a reading class, the
gether, we got to know each other better and
enjoyable, but they also create chaos. The stu- focus being on children. He was pleased by
we became friends.
dents have to change places, they talk at the the way children could pronounce the words,
Jeff Wetterman came to class with a lot of
interesting and fun activities. We played, had same time, but it is worth using them at least
fun and learnt how to make our classes more from time to time.
enjoyable. Children love interactive activities. Jeff Wetterman also wanted to see
They see them as games and they learn a lot how we applied the methods he presented us. He
without even noticing, because they are more visited us at our schools. He observed us while
concerned about playing by the rules and we were working with our students. He talked
winning. to the students and he worked with them, too.
We found out that songs can be In February 2009, Jeff visited Con-
used as a listening activity to teach vocabu- stantin Parfene School in Vaslui. The students
lary or grammar. For example, we can choose in the 3rd grade were very excited to meet a real
a song, we take a few words from the lyrics American. The children learnt about rooms in
the house and present progressive. The teacher the attention and interest they gave to the
and we let the students fill in the missing
taught the students and wrote on the blackboard English class. During the class, the teacher,
words while listening to the song. Of course,
the rooms in the house, the activities that can be the students and Jeff, too, repeated loudly the
you have to be very careful about the song
done in each room and the form of the present numbers from 1 to 20. All the time, the chil-
you choose. We tried with artists such as:
progressive. After teaching the new information, dren were really impressed by the way he
Celine Dion (My heart will go on, Because you
the teacher used an interactive method learned talked to them, and I could tell they were
loved me), Backstreet Boys (As long as you
in the program: children worked in pairs. A excited that an American was sitting next to
love me) or Sarah Connor (Music is the key).
student in each pair receives a card on which them (a situation that rarely happened in our
The False and the True Wall is a
the name of a room is written; the other student school).
fun activity you can use with the true / false
has to guess the room by asking his mate What We shared the information we
exercises. The students stand up, close their
learned in this program with other colleagues
eyes and listen to the teacher. The teacher
who did not have the privilege to work with
then reads / utters a sentence. If the sentence
Jeff Wetterman, both at teachers‘ meetings
is true, they should face the true wall, if it is
and in informal get-togethers.
false, they should face the false wall. After
choosing a wall, the students open their eyes.
Elena-Georgiana Arsenie
Those who are facing the wrong wall sit
Petronela-Iuliana Șahîn
down and the others go on until the exercise
EL Teachers, Vaslui
is over. Those that are still standing by the
end of the exercise are the winners.

the sentence is false they turn towards the

The classes were great. I wall. Those who turn in the wrong direc-
couldn‘t believe myself that I wasn‘t check- tion are out of the game.
We all know how boring and tiring some ing the time, yawning or who knows what He also taught us a lot of interesting ways
courses can be, and in the rush of our days for teaching or checking grammar. One of
else. Jeff (I call him Jeff because the teacher
that is not something we need. the methods that my students really liked
-student relationship was a friendly one, if I
I was always holding back when it came was the exercise called Guess the false
may say so), proved to be the ideal teacher.
to taking formation courses because of sentence. Each student writes six sen-
He treated us as his equals and made us feel
various reasons like: the cost of the tences about himself using the new gram-
relaxed and at ease.
course, the schedule, the teacher, the place mar structure. Three sentences are true
Each activity was interesting, funny and
where the course was supposed to take appropriate to different levels of study. All and three are false. He/She reads the
place. But something happened, something sentences and the others have to guess
the participants were involved in the activi-
that made me change my way of seeing which sentences are true and which are
ties and there was no time to get bored. The
these courses. false.
activities were well prepared, sustained by
We were announced that an English course Of course that there were a lot of other
many auxiliary materials: group work, pair-
was going to take place. Of course, my first interesting methods concerning all four
work and individual work, were all used.
questions were: how much, for how long skills and I can assure you that I have
I learnt a lot of interesting things and after
and who was going to run the course. And used most of them successfully.
each course I couldn‘t wait to apply, what I
surprise! The course was free, the schedule Along the training course all the partici-
had learned, to my classes. Children loved
was quite good and as a course instructor it. What they liked most was a game used pants had to have Jeff as a guest to one of
someone from America, whose name I our classes. He really liked the lesson I
for checking the understanding of a text: the
didn‘t catch at first. invited him to and he appreciated the fact
pupils are standing and they have to keep
The name of the program was Interactive that I was already using some of his ideas.
their eyes closed. The teacher reads sen-
Methods and Best Practices for Teaching Thank you for all the things you taught us,
tences about the text under study, some of
and Learning English and it consisted of Jeffrey S. Wetterman!
the sentences are true some of them are
20 hours of training workshops and obser-
false. The students listen carefully and if
vation and critique of classroom perform- they think that the sentence is correct they Elena Biţa
ance. School 2, Piatra-Neamţ
turn towards the window and if they think

Interactive Methods and Best Practices rising interest in improving their skills and
for Teaching and Learning English was surpassing their limits.
exactly what I needed for a ―fresh‖ touch and The observed teaching classes
those twenty hours of training workshops and came as a confirmation that the new meth-
When using the right approach, observed teaching proved really useful. Not to ods really worked: students showed no
teaching English can be fun and fulfilling mention that our trainer, Jeff Wetterman, signs of being under stress and they inter-
and students turn out to be quite enthusias- Senior English Language Fellow and highly acted freely, which was somehow unex-
tic learners! The obsolete, traditional meth- qualified professional, had the exact formula pected. Fact is that the new approach meant
ods seem not to do the trick anymore and for a successful activity. I have never had so a boost of self-confidence and self-
we certainly do not want our students to be much fun in a course and it was exactly what motivation both for me and my students.
yawning or snoring during the English I expected my students to appreciate in a All in all, this course was the
classes, do we? We, the English teachers, class, as well. ―If I, the teacher, have enjoyed kind of experience that is well worth repeat-
are supposed to be modern and easy to all those games, riddles, role-play and team- ing and the very proof that in order to be
work with… but in order to keep up with work activities, my students will certainly successful, a teacher needs to be creative,
the expectations, we need to permanently find them appealing and they will be eager to imaginative and ready for exploration. It is
improve our skills and ―refresh‖ our views. learn even more‖ I thought right away.... And no use in being well-trained if you cannot
Attending professional develop- I was right: all the ―tricks‖, all the new pass the information to others and if you
ment programs is one of the best means of methods and teaching techniques acquired cannot arouse your students‘ interest and
keeping oneself up-to-date and hence my during the course have proved useful to my curiosity.
interest in joining this precise course. work and I could soon notice my students‘ Andreea Racariu
Bodesti School, Neamţ

driver‘ will have to write it on the black-

AND THE PUZZLE The game continues until the last student
SOME THOUGHTS… Creativity is the word that best describes the arrives on the ‗driver‘s seat‘.
As Harry Brooks Adams was saying: ‗A training. Jeff Wetterman succeeded in making At the end the teacher will correct the
us realise how easy and fun teaching and words written on the board and will an-
teacher effects eternity, he can never tell
where his influence stops‘. This is the first learning English can be. He introduced us to nounce the winner.
a magic world where learning and teaching THE PUZZLE was a method that captivated
thought that comes to mind about my great
English is an interactive method through me and also my students. Even if it is a
experience with the English Language Fel-
low program that I had the pleasure to which students can receive and achieve infor- simple game it is very efficient in many
mation in a more pleasant way. situations. I usually prepare small pieces
attend in 2009.
One of the methods was THE AUCTION. This of paper on which the students find differ-
I have always considered that our job as
teachers is one that implies learning our game is probably the reason why my revision ent words. The task is to arrange the
entire life. You can never say that what you lessons and not only, are now enjoyed by my words so that they form correct sentences.
know and what you achieved is enough. students.
The method implies a number of sentences INSTEAD OF CONCLUSIONS
Teaching means taking in your hands the
regarding the topic you want to discuss. The Interactive Methods and Best Practices
destinies of your students and trying to
First the teacher divides the students into for Teaching and Learning English training
make them achieve the highest goals.
small groups and gives them a fictional course had as purpose the idea of encour-
The Interactive Methods and Best
amount of money that they will use later on aging and expecting learners to partici-
Practices for Teaching and Learning
during the auction. pate, to stimulate discussion, to use teach-
English training held in 2009 by Jeffrey
Wetterman, Sr. English Language Fellow, Secondly, the teacher has to mix correct and ing aids to gain and retain attention.
was a the light that showed me the right wrong sentences from which the students will All together stimulated individual input,
then buy trying to chose as many correct made learners obtain feedback from multi-
direction to follow.
sentences as possible. In the same time they ple perspectives and also allowed us as
I can say from the bottom of my heart that
the things I learned during the 20 hours of have to be careful and not spend much money teachers to evaluate their learning.
just for one or two sentences. The auction John Lubbock was saying that ‗the impor-
training were innovating to me. It was a
necessity and also a desire to learn as many takes place like a real one and at the end the tant thing is not so much that every child
methods as possible so that at the end I winning team will be the one who bought the should be taught, as that every child
highest number of correct sentences. should be given the wish to learn‘.
would be able to apply them in the class-
Beside this technique, we all found out that This wish was given to us by Jeff Wetter-
teaching and learning vocabulary is not so man and through us to our students that
We live in a world where the access to
hard especially when you play a game. The are now ‘richer‘ and more experienced.
information is one of the most important
game was called THE BUS. The English Language Fellow program
factors in our life.
The teacher has to divide the students into succeeded in leading out what already was
The generations are changing and new and
groups. Each student will sit behind each in our soul - the necessity of applying
interactive methods of teaching and learn-
ing are essential. Creativity can be devel- other exactly like the seats from the bus. The modern and interactive methods.
oped and innovation benefits both students teacher will then tell a word to the last stu-
Andreea Horga
and teachers. dent from each group. Those students have to Orthodox Theological Seminary,
transmit the word to his team and the ‗bus Piatra-Neamt

English Teaching Forum online is a quar-

terly journal published by the U.S. Depart-
ment of State for teachers of English as a
foreign or second language. Over 82,000
copies of the magazine are distributed in more than 125 countries. This site
contains articles from issues of English Teaching Forum dating back to 1993. To
find a particular article or issue, visit past issues to find a particular article or
We welcome submissions from English language teachers around the world. Most
of the authors published in English Teaching Forum are classroom teachers. 2011: Volume 49, Number 2

breakthrough experience. I Writing is probably one of the

can truly say that I learnt most difficult tasks to do in class, espe-
then more than I had leant in my 4 years of cially when it is a free practice activity.
Teaching English has always university preparation. My teachers taught But Jeff taught us that it is all about the
been my calling, I realized this ever since I me very well but it was all too formal, all context you set in the class, if you do it
was in primary school and I believe I owe done by the rules, maybe because it was the traditional way with a short input and
this to all may great teachers that over the how the educational system worked in expect them to produce a piece of writing,
years have been an inspiration to me. But Romania, but now it is time for a new ap- the most experienced will do it but the
being a teacher in my country has proven proach. Jeffery told us that a golden rule in others are going to fail. So he used Mickey
to be a challenge, because teachers are foreign language teaching is to plan to do in once again and the topic was ―write about
poorly paid and they are not given too class what cannot be done elsewhere. By any problem you have‖. This activity can
many opportunities to learn more about setting up simulated real-life situations, be done in pairs or groups and maybe as a
this profession before actually being in giving social meaning to the rules and forms follow up activity you can ask them to
front of your students. Also a big problem that learners need to master, and acting-out change the problems amongst them and
we are faced with nowadays is the lack in real circumstances, the teacher needs to come up with solutions.
motivation of our students as they easily bring ―slices of life‖ into the classroom; this Learning vocabulary can be
get bored in class. This is often caused by way students will develop confidence and boring and at the same time thorny, espe-
the deadening predictability of much fluency in their English. cially when you have false friends. An-
classroom time. Students frequently know There is always a challenge other game that Jeff used was very useful
what is going to happen in class and they when teaching English or any foreign lan- and my students still ask me to use this
know because it will be the same as what guage because students may feel awkward game when they have long words they
happened in the last class and a whole initially using a foreign language with each cannot learn how to spell or to pronounce.
string of classes before that. Nevertheless other when they can communicate more It is fun and it involves the whole class
the need for surprise and variety within a effectively in their mother tongue. It is the and there is competition between them.
fifty-minute lesson is also overwhelming teacher who sets the tone by using English Write some sentences using the vocabulary
for both teacher and students. always; this creates an atmosphere in which you want to revise or to teach and place
For me learning English has all learners make every effort to use English them on the blackboard. Divide the stu-
always been a fun process and this is what as well. dents into groups of up to 7 students. Each
I would like to teach my students. But The first workshop started with group has a leader (they get to choose the
sometimes you can ran out of ideas, so a lot of questions that we had to prepare for leader) that will have the write the sen-
when I was given the chance to participate Jeff, this way getting to know each other, a tences that the other members read one by
in a course on Interactive Methods and step that maybe as teachers when entering a one, in silence, by coming in front of the
Best Practices for Teaching and Learning new class we skip and start with revising classroom. The readers will have to read
English organized by the Embassy of the grammar. Because some students may be the sentence, pay attention to spelling,
United States of America in partnership shy and don‘t communicate or interact punctuation and grammar and then dictate
with the Ministry of Education, Research easily, he used a Mickey Mouse game. This it to the leader, and all this as fast as they
and Youth, I was really happy and eager to was a toy (not too small, big enough to see can. There is a lot of movement and noise
participate and learn new things about and hold) that we had to toss around the but it is all worth it because they pay
how to improve my teaching skills. class and to talk about ourselves. A warm- more attention to words and structures
The program was conducted by up activity of 5 to 15 minutes we can all use than they do in a regular class.
Mr. Jeffrey S. Wetterman, Senior English in our classes at different levels and on The most important lesson I
Language Fellow and it consisted of 20 different topics, even for revising grammar. have learnt is that imagination plays a
hours of training workshops and observa- I used this method in my classes very important part in class and as Albert
tion and critique of classroom perform- with a Minnie Mouse version of Jeff‘s Schweitzer said, ―There are many ways to
ance. For four Saturdays starting with the Mickey Mouse and my students were really teach, buy only one works - by example‖,
28th of February 2009 till the 21st of March involved, especially the middle years (6th I hope I can make English fun and easy to
2011, we had 5 hours sessions and at the and 7th grades), and this way students that learn for my students.
end of the program we received a certifi- were distracted or not very confident started Raluca Ciocan
cate. to interact in class so they could hold IT High School, Piatra-Neamţ
For me as a teacher, this was a Minnie for a few seconds.

Olivia Rusu, EL Teacher, Iaşi

Subsequently, on the one hand, organizing the structure the teacher should create
and planning the English class is as impor- mnemonic devices or allow students to
tant as the content of the lesson. Thus, an extract themselves the rule.
Besides their schoolbag – if there is any – English teacher must always take into con- The resources of the controlled practice
students come to English classes with a sideration concepts of classroom manage- lesson stage are brought by the teacher.
personal pack of real life problems related ment, teacher and student roles, materials Thus, controlled practice represents an
mostly to friendship, love relationships, to be used, contextualizing language, group artificial step that allows students to repeat
family or school. Blaming, judging them and pair work, learning styles and person- the taught structure, under teacher‘s super-
for thinking about these or telling them to ality factors, lesson planning and timing vision. It should not exceed 25% of the
bag it does not improve their English skills (including notions of STT and TTT)(2), lesson time. An inciting example of con-
and abilities. It is the English teacher‘s multiple intelligences. The notions listed trolled practice is holding ―Sentence Auc-
task to motivate them, to make them above were trained during the course in a tions‖. It is a fun way to help students
remember how well they felt during the cohesive, holistic approach. The practical review key points in grammar. Divided in
classes of English, briefly, to trick them applications and the simulations of actual small groups students are given ―money‖
into the knowledge of the language. [If you classroom practices enabled the participants with which to bid on various sentences.
take care of your students, the language to become more self-assured and effective These sentences include correct and incor-
will take care of itself](1), meaning that teachers, following a successful learning by rect sentences. The group that ―buys‖ the
fostering students‘ states of mind, stimu- doing process. most correct sentences wins the game. One
lating them into performing realistic, On the other hand, the content of each meet- of my students who carelessly spent all the
jovial and notable activities will lead them ing included manifold hands-on and interac- money on incorrect sentences wanted to
to a better understanding and practice of tive warmers, elicitations, and presentations, give his watch in order to buy a correct
English language formulae. examples of controlled and free practice, of sentence.
Accordingly, the concept of making learn- coolers and of obtaining feedback. Whatever The free practice phase has to last most
ing enjoyable and memorable best de- the theme of the lesson (related to Grammar, of the lesson time, from 35% to 60%. Dur-
scribes the main objective of the 40-hour Reading and Vocabulary, Listening, Speaking ing this phase students create authentic
professional development program for and Pronunciation or Writing), the proce- language and the teacher‘s role is mini-
teachers of English Interactive Methods dures of the training meetings followed the mized. It is important in a foreign language
and Best Practices for Teaching and structure and stages of an English class, class to create a social link. Consequently,
Learning English held at the Teacher- strengthening thus the trainees‘ understand- group work during free practice connects
Training Center (Casa Corpului Didactic) in ing on the lesson devolvement: classmates, releases task stress and puts
Iasi, sponsored by the Embassy of the Warmers(3) are short activities primary students in real life situations that enhance
United States of America in the autumn of used at the beginning of an ESL lesson to social interaction.
2008. This course, consistent with the stir students‘ blood, to get them talking and Coolers are meant to calm overenthusias-
Ministry of Education, Research and Youth ready to learn. tic students who may be asked to ―put on
continuing education program for aca- The elicitation stage leads the students their thinking caps‖(4) and … solve a
demic year 2008-2009, was designed by into the topic. A ―picked-up‖ photo, a short mystery. For instance, the one with Romeo
Jeffrey Wetterman, Sr. English Language story, a stuffed toy (whose name is chosen and Juliet: Romeo and Juliet are lying on
Fellow to help bridge the gap between by the students) or even the content of the the floor in a room. The ground is wet and
education theory and practice. Further- teacher‘s purse may create a safe atmos- there are pieces of splintered glass lying
more, during the course, emphasis was phere and hook everybody so that all stu- all around them. A cat looks at them lick-
placed especially on what teachers can do dents think about one topic. ing its lips. How did they get there and
in their classrooms to create an optimum The presentation proper activates the what will happen next?(5)
environment for language learning to take schema, representing the formula that is to Needless to mention the impact these ac-
place. be taught. It should not exceed 25% of the tivities had on my students or the
lesson time. For the students to remember

―cerebral‖ fun we had. Trans- Managing your classroom and your chops today / and maybe I’ll buy a
ferring Jeff Wetterman‘s catch- students, pp 7-16; choice Chardonnay. / How much, how
(2) much for those sheets? / They’re cheap,
ing enthusiasm into my Eng- teaching-methodology/esl-the-silent- they’re cheap, they’re really cheap
lish classes was in my opinion a clear way-99-stt-67.htm, (reference from sheets, / but you’d better show me all
exemplification of what ESL teachers mean Nov.-9, 2011); your cash / because I don’t take cards.
by :‖I hear and I forget/ I see and I re- (3) Examples of warmers practiced They’re just like trash. / cha-cha-cha-cha
during Interactive Methods and Best -cha sha-na-na.” – please contact the
member/ I do and I understand.‖ Thank Practices for Teaching and Learning author for the rhythm;
you! English: (4) Opp-Beckman, Leslie, Klinghammer,
The chant I’ve Got the Joy – please Sarah, Shaping the Way We Teach
Notes: visit: English: Successful Practices Around
(1) Leather, Sue, Sue Leather watch? the World, Instructor’s Manual, Office of
Associates, Steps to Success – A v=Z29h7HUcJus&feature=related; ELP, University of Oregon Eugene, p.
starter pack for newly qualified A chant that may be used to stress 12;
teachers, regional project run by either “reduced speech” or pronun- (5) Romeo and Juliet are pet fish
the British Council, partial quote ciation of [∫] and [t∫]: (Goldfish) and the cat knocked
from Module A, Unit 2, Classroom “Gonna shop, gonna shop, gonna shop at over their bowl prior to eating
Skills and Competencies, the store / I don’t like to shop it’s really a them.
chore / but I need some chips and pork Olivia Rusu, EL Teacher, Iaşi

base for my teacher sense that, at the conclusion of the work-

formation and helped me shops, Mr. Wetterman visited our schools
increase students‘ moti- and observed two of our classes, providing
vation for learning Eng- us with the opportunity to apply what we
lish. had learnt and offering on-the-spot feed-
The training course back.
consisted of ten work- It is also worth mentioning the enthusiasm
shops designed to im- and joy that Mr. Wetterman put into devis-
merse us, teachers, in ing and presenting the activities, which
engaging classroom contributed to the overall success of the
activities, enthusiasti- training and to making learning an easy
Jeff Wetterman (back) and his class at the cally orchestrated by Mr. Wetterman. There- and enjoyable task.
graduation ceremony,
fore, far from presenting dull theoretical The information and knowledge acquired
Iasi ELT Inspector Constantin Paidos (left)
also attended (November 2008) information, this course employed a hands- throughout this course was later dissemi-
on approach, that was more learner ori- nated at teachers‘ meetings and at the
ented. Each meeting usually concluded with 2008 MATE Conference. The positive feed-
I attended Jeffrey Wetterman's teacher- a Q&A session in which we summarized the back received as a result of these activities
training course on Interactive Methods activities conducted, their objectives and can only emphasize this creditable initia-
and Best Practices for Teaching and different ways of adapting them for less or tive and the demand for reiterating this
Learning English, organized by the Em- more proficient students. program.
bassy of the United States in Iasi, between Relevant issues that were tackled included Thus, I strongly believe that this course
October 8 and November 12, 2008. The teaching grammar and functional language provided immense aid to newly qualified
purpose of the course was to offer support in a communicative manner by increasing teachers and organizing such programs on
to newly qualified teachers from all sectors Student Talking Time to 90%. Moreover, the a rolling basis would be extremely benefi-
of education as well as a fresh perspective course offered valuable insight into lesson cial.
on EFL teaching. In my opinion, the course planning and classroom management. Mihaela Pălimariu, EL Teacher
was highly successful as it offered a solid The training course was innovative in the Iaşi

ers, language skills and systems practice, had never seen before. Then I continued the
assessment to student learning, giving lesson with the next steps I had planned,
feedback to students, etc., all of which which of course included some other tech-
helped me develop and better my teaching. I niques learned during the course. I remem-
I‘ve been teaching English for
remember that what I found enlightening ber one lesson which was about Past Simple
10 years now. In October—November,
was the part when we had to reflect on our -regular verbs. I prepared slips of paper
2007, I attended a professional develop-
with various sentences with Past Sim-
ment program for teachers of English
ple (e.g. I watched television last night;
conducted by Ms. Cynthia Yoder,
I washed my hair yesterday; I studied
which was titled Practical Techniques
for a test last night, etc.). I organized
for English Language Teaching. The
pupils in groups of four and gave them
overall goal of the course was to
10 slips of paper, which they had to
facilitate our professional development
take turns to read, while the others
as English language teachers in our
were listening. They had to show their
first few years of teaching. This has
thumbs up or down according to the
been the most inspiring course I have
information they heard. This is just an
ever attended up to this point in my
example of a successful activity I used
teaching career, mainly because I
The question that’s also the solution in my class. The pupils really enjoyed
learned new language teaching tech- Which do you think is more important: gram-
themselves while learning English. I
niques in the classroom, I had the mar explanations or grammar practice? remember that she always told us that
chance to reflect on my teaching
it was up to us, teachers, to make a
practices, exchange ideas and, most impor-
teaching and were asked to keep a diary lesson pleasant and motivate our students to
tantly, to use these in class and receive
about our thoughts related to the classes we learn. I could give hundreds of other exam-
feedback on my
had. I had never done that before and al- ples of how this course helped me improve
though I had sometimes reflected on some my teaching techniques, how my pupils
Ms. Yoder attended
of the successes and failures of some of the improved their English, how they were
some of my classes
techniques I used, I had never written them eager to start a new English lesson… This
twice during the
down. I still have that first diary and it‘s course made me realize what an important
period of the
very useful to look through it from time to and difficult job we have as teachers and
course, which
time. This idea of keeping a diary was new how we can do it right.
really helped me
to us as teachers and we all admitted to the I have always mentioned Cynthia
because I had the
fact that it was a useful tool in our on-going Yoder and this wonderful course whenever I
chance to apply
professional development. Other topics I had the chance, whenever there was a situa-
some of the tech-
found interesting were learning styles, tion which required some advice, some
niques learned, to
), multiple intelligences, behavior issues and assistance, some fresh ideas and they have
C y n th ia Yoder (left observe her teach-
motivation. I had been facing them in my always been welcomed and appreciated. No
Wit h ate
c e iv in g the certific ing and to get
classes and was struggling to find a solution matter how many years will pass, I will
feedback on my teaching as well.
for them and this part of the course shed always consider new what she taught us.
One of the reasons this course
some light and gave me some answers. She taught us to continually grow as per-
has remained in my mind is that I actually
I have used most of the tech- sons and as teachers. The following quote
learned something about methodology by
niques, teaching materials, classroom best describes what she was to us, what she
applying it in practical situations, which I
interaction strategies, etc. learned during helped us become:
had never done before. The course included
that course in my teaching and the first ―Ideal teachers are those who use them-
various topics,
week I started applying them will always be selves as bridges over which they invite
such as reflec-
a happy memory. How can I remember ? My their students to cross, then, having facili-
tive teaching,
pupils told me they liked the lessons, that tated their crossing, joyfully collapse, en-
lesson plan-
they wanted more such activities. I started couraging them to create bridges of their
ning, class-
by using warmers and energizers at the own‖. (Nikos Kazantzakis)
room manage-
beginning of every lesson and the fact that
ment, class-
they were allowed to stand up and leave Ghionul Gogoaşă-Gelal
room interac-
their desks and move around trying to Ion Borcea School, Agigea
tions, warmers
complete a task activated them in a way I
and energiz-

In November 2009, I attended the teacher training program named Building Our EFL Resources at Miercurea Ciuc, Harghita county, course
that was taught by Sr. EL Fellow Heather McKay and was made possible by ISJ Harghita, C.C.D Harghita in collaboration with the U.S. Em-
The program of the course was quite flexible allowing teachers from across the county to attend it on weekends.
During the course we learned many interactive teaching methods that had the purpose of improving our receptive and productive skills
( listening , reading , writing and speaking)
Other teaching activities:
Developing listening skills : Session Outline
Interactive dictation
Chanel conversation and personalized response
Text reconstruction and story telling
Teaching reading
Reading strategies

Example :Communicative gram-

mar activities
At these activities, we were the stu-
dents and we had to resolve different
tasks given, either individually or in
groups. The activities were based on
multilevel teaching and demonstrated
that all students may contribute to
completing the given task using their
own knowledge at different levels.
After browsing all the activities and
learning how to develop the skills
we needed at an interactive level, we
had to implement them during our
courses at school and report the results. The feedback was positive, the pupils being very interested in new activities that were based on
practice, on face to face interaction rather than normal teaching. It is true, it takes a lot of work to prepare postcards, handouts, stories and
other class materials but the results are better than solving an exercise from the book after the teaching the theoretical part. Pupils tend to
express their opinions to show that they are capable of solving different types of exercises based on communication, role play or team
work (in pairs or groups) and lots of them are very competitive.
Although the feedback was positive some older colleagues tend to reject the interactive teaching methods given the fact that they take a lot
of time to be prepared, that we do not have a proper education system to allow us many activities, that teachers usually have to make tons
of paperwork rather than actual teaching. On the other hand, other younger colleagues use this kind of class activities during the process of
teaching but rarely, the motives being the same.
Things that I liked:
During this program I had the chance to interact with other teachers from the county, talk and exchange ideas about different teaching
methods, partnership programs or class activities. I also befriended with many of them.
At the beginning of the program I was rather skeptic given the fact that our education system has many flaws, is very different, the curricu-
lum is overcrowded and cannot be compared with the occidental one, but later I came to realize that it all depends on the person that
teaches and many lessons can be adapted using the diverse multilevel teaching methods and activities.
I truly believe that many of such projects should be made and be supported by headmasters and the Inspectorate more often, because
trough them and with teachers like Mrs. Heather McKay we can improve and change language teaching and evaluation techniques globally.
Mihai Calinovici
O.C.Tăslăuanu Gymnasium, Bilbor

if we wanted and give us advice. The children

were overwhelmed by the news that they will
have the chance to talk to a native English
Even today, I remember with pleasure English Language Fellow, whit whom we attended person, which is a rare occasion for them. At
the continuing educational program, at which 30 hours of workshop and participating in obser- the end she gave us suggestions how to be
we took part as ―fresh‖ teachers. When vations of her teaching, also critique of classroom more efficient. Two yeas passed since this
schools received the notification about a new performance. From the first moment we discov- program and all that I learned during these 30
course proposed by the ministry of Education, ered a dear person who treated us as teacher to hours was very helpful in teaching activities.
Research, Youth and Sport, all we knew about teacher, presenting us her own experience in From this program I received a solid start as a
was that is highly recommended to teachers teaching and demonstrations on new ways of young teacher on which to build more experi-
who have little experience in teaching. Later teaching efficiently. During our training, we ence, to become a better and more efficient
we found out that the program was coordi- exercised and developed activities which easy teacher.
nated by the U.S. Department of State through witting, listening, speaking and grammar skills, Even if we were all teachers, we came
the Embassy of the United States of America useful for English teaching and learning for differ- from different communities; we shared the
in Bucharest. At the beginning we were skep- ent level of students. same experience helping each other by ad-
tical, mostly because after an entire week of Among these activities were messenger and vices not by changing our personalities. Bilin-
work we had to stay four weekends far away scribe using cards, sentence reduction and devel- gual education doesn‘t necessarily mean that
from home, since this program gathered opment, personalized dictation, poetry, report individuals lost their ethnical individualism.
teachers from Harghita County. card role play, snakes and ladders, free writing, Those who talk more languages may live as
At the school master‘s proposal I text reconstruction, quantifying sentences and well their own identity, individually or as
finally applied, knowing that there will be a other game. We tried out all these playful learn- member of an ethnical group and to be proud
selection for a limited group who will actu- ing tasks, and we also learned useful methods, for the country they live in. World wide the
ally participate (this I think depended on the which were tried later in classroom teaching. use of English opens new chances and possi-
numbers of persons who expressed they will During these activities which were fun, we had bilities to cooperate, to resolve conflicts to
to be there). Finally I received the notification the opportunity to meet each other, between build citizenship, to take responsibilities on
that me and two other colleagues from the teachers, since we came from different parts of different level on development of the educa-
same town will participate at a professional the county, to make friends and to change experi- tion.
development program for teachers of English ence. As a conclusion I can say that this kind
called Building Our EFL Resources, during This program‘s best part was the opportu- of programs is efficient for both teachers and
November 20 and December 19, 2009. nity to have Dr. Heather McKay present in our students.
The course started by meeting our classes, when we teach to the children, as an Dolores Anna Nagy, EL Teacher,
coordinator Dr. Heather McKay, Senior observer. She proposed this chance to be present Harghita

Materials for Teaching and Learning English
The U.S. Department of State offers a range of resources and materials that support high-quality English language instruction worldwide. These resources
are aimed at supporting teachers of English outside of the U.S.
Celebrate: Holidays in the U.S.A.! discusses the ten federally-recognized holidays in the United States, as well as many celebratory days, such as Valentine‘s
Day and Mother‘s Day, and recognition months, such as Black History Month and Women's History month, that are commonly celebrated.
E-Journals contain ready-to-use lesson plans and are suitable for students at the intermediate level.
Language and Civil Society E-Journals cover aspects of building and maintaining civil society in order to help students improve their critical thinking and
analytical skills in addition to learning English. Chapters include: Civic Education (PDF), Environmental Education (PDF), Peace Education (PDF), Business
Ethics (PDF)
Language and Life Sciences E-Journals serve as a springboard for a meaningful discussion in English about issues that confront all of us as science and
technology evolve.
English Teaching Forum is a quarterly journal published by the U.S. Department of State for teachers of English as a foreign or second language. Most of the
authors of the articles are classroom teachers.
Essential Bibliography is an annotated list of key commercial references and teaching resources related to the professional development of teachers of Eng-
lish as a foreign language. The titles included in the bibliography were selected by the author of the document and do not constitute an endorsement by the
Department of State.
Teaching Pragmatics explores the teaching of pragmatics, which is the ability of language users to match to find socially appropriate language for the situa-
tions that they encounter.

As teachers we always need to find The presence and work of Dr. Heather Communicative Grammar Activities and Devel-
motivation, to be motivated and also moti- McKay was not a usual one. Being a very experi- oping Listening Skills. Each section had a
vate our students. As beginners you are not enced teacher, she came very well prepared certain number of hours, during which we had
prepared for what teaching really means. No with a lot of materials and ideas in order to to work with the received printed materials.
one tells you how to handle disruptive help us make the most of our lessons. What was The materials were chosen from very famous
classes, no one tells which methods and very interesting and useful was that she took resource books by authors like: John Morgan,
approaches to use when your students do the trouble to participate in observations, and Mario Rinvolucri, Penny Ur, Günther Gern-
not understand what you say and the list she visited each of us to assist during the les- gross, Herbert Puchta, etc.
may continue. sons, regardless of the distance and harsh Each section was very well structured,
Luckily there are people out there weather conditions. Sometimes this duty caused with many interactive means and methods for
who can lead you the right way, people with difficulties, as the distances were long and learning using lego bricks, pieces of papers,
experience, people who find motivation travel options limited. However, I (Zs.C.) con- drawings, cards for role playing. There were
even when the others say that there is no sider this activity not an ordinary one, as it is also free discussions on certain topics related
possible way for things to happen. Dr. not a common event that an American teacher to difficulties faced during classes with possi-
Heather McKay is a very good example of comes to your class with the intention of giving ble solutions. As a gift, the trainees received
such a person, who is able to help you find you extra ideas about how to use the time you printed materials like the Focus magazine,
your way and become a better teacher. She have for teaching as effectively as possible and books on American Culture and Civilization
is a perpetual source of inspiration, with have a chat with your students. Besides the and a set of three DVDs by Diane Larsen-
tons of innovative ideas in her back pocket, teaching observation, each lesson was followed Freeman on Language Teaching Methods,
always ready to share her life and profes- by a friendly discussion, sometimes in front of Learning Teaching – Jim Scrivener. Having
sional experience. Personally (A.F.), I con- the headmasters, while Dr. Heather McKay was the possibility to receive authentic materials
sider this as a follow up of my previous giving advice on how to create lessons that and to use them was something which helped
experience from high school, when I also interest and engage students in the learning us achieve our activities‘ goals and also make
had the possibility to learn from native process. sure that we can use the information properly
speakers of American English – Peace Corps She tried to point out mainly the positive when dealing with our students in class.
volunteers. aspects of the lessons. For me (A.F.) it was a She tried to provide a large variety of
So that 2009 was our chance, as real pleasure, and I can say honor, to have her activities for students of all ages, even for
teachers of English from Harghita County, to in my class and benefit from her advice and adults. After the end of the course, I (A.F.)
meet this extraordinary person, who man- ideas regarding the way in which I can improve tried to use most of the activities in my
aged to change our perspective regarding my teaching style and how I can become better. classes. It was a pleasant surprise to see that
ELT. Among other five counties in Transyl- She also helped me to better understand some most of them were very well perceived by my
vania (Mures, Cluj, Maramures, Bistrita- of my students who did not really care much students, they were interested and also moti-
Nasaud, Satu-Mare) our county had the about learning English. My students were also vated. This is what I was hoping to achieve,
privilege to be selected for hosting training pleased to be able to talk to a native speaker and thanks to Dr. McKay‘s methods I can say
workshops on different topics for English and share impressions and ideas, getting an- that I can now motivate my students more
teachers. The Embassy of the United States swers to some of their questions. It was an than I used to when I was just a beginner.
of America, in cooperation with the Ministry experience that will not be forgotten. And what We, as teachers, need to learn every
of Education, Research, Youth and Sport, was also very exciting for them, was to be able day, we need to improve ourselves as teachers
chose Dr. McKay, Sr. English Language to interact and use American English, which we and as human beings because we are responsi-
Fellow to conduct the training. know that is preferred by young learners of ble for what our students know and become
The young teachers who attended the English. after graduating school. In our area it is pretty
training were selected according to the The workshops with the English teachers difficult for a teacher of foreign language to
criteria of having less than 5 years of teach- were held during the weekends, mainly on develop and to improve, because the lack of
ing experience. Around 25 teachers attended Friday afternoons and Saturdays, but this was materials, and the material impossibility of
the 30-hour development program, called not something that made us fell uncomfortable participating in trainings, and not having
Building Our EFL Resources and took place or tired. It also gave us the possibility to social- access to authentic materials gives us few
November 20 – December 19, 2009. CCD ize and change experiences with fellow teachers improving possibilities. I consider that having
Harghita hosted the course in a well- around the county. the possibility to take part in this course and
equipped room with an interactive white- Focus was given to the four main sec- having the pleasure of knowing Dr. McKay was
board. tions: Teaching Reading, Writing Activities, a unique experience from which everyone had

more cooperative and willing to improve their future, there should be more focus on these
English knowledge. activities, as indeed, there is a great need for
Besides the many printed and online such things, in order to improve ourselves
sent materials, after participating in this and to be able to improve our student‘s
something to learn. teacher training course, I (Zs.C.) learnt that knowledge.
As mentioned before, Dr. the most important thing in teaching a foreign
McKay is a person who can change you as language is to make students speak as much Alina Florea, Sf. Nicolae High
a teacher and as a person too, we all have as possible, and to use the time very effi- School, Gheorgheni,
a lot to learn from her experience and ciently giving as many assignments as possi- Harghita
from her way of seeing things and acting ble. I consider this training a unique opportu- Zsuzsanna Cseke, Joannes Kajoni
in different situations. I became more nity in our country, as the majority of such Economic High School, Miercurea
Ciuc, Harghita
confident and some of my students become courses are held by foreign speakers. In the

trying to hammer in as much theory as and arrange pictures‖, ―find the difference
possible, we have rarely had the chance to pictures‖ or the ―broken sentences‖ activi-
analyze the teaching process in depth. Thus, ties. The activities were thus provoking and
Despite the usual complaints of when thinking about some assumptions re- easy to remember by both visual and kines-
being overloaded and fatigued, teachers garding the nature of reading, and having to thetic learners who were impressed and did
showed up in large numbers at Ms Heather decide upon what makes reading be effective, a real good job in achieving the new lan-
McKay's courses: from the younger, less we gained a deeper understanding of the guage items by the ―observation, conducting
experienced ones, to the mid-career, ac- process our students go through which, in an experiment, and prediction‖ based activi-
complished pundits. Was it because they turn, helped us re-think our approach to the ties.
are highly motivated professionals, was it teaching of this skill. We rediscovered that a little bit
because they were given a certificate of We have discovered new ways of of imagination, the correct choice of materi-
attendance, or simply because they had a approaching teaching techniques, both for als, and their appropriate usage can bring a
free afternoon? Personally, I am inclined receptive and productive skills. Teaching with positive attitude towards teaching English
to believe that they had heard a rumor audio visual materials proved to be a real help and can make the learner move to a higher
about Ms McKay's courses and they wanted to both experienced and beginner teachers. level in gaining and developing learning
to see for themselves whether the praises Students always appreciate teachers who are skills.
were genuine and, if so, benefit from her creative and who dare to bring in the class All in all, we think it's been a
expertise. fresh materials, thus making the learning valuable experience. Moreover, since a cou-
We participated in two of Ms process more competitive, more attractive, ple of quite experienced and not unappreci-
Heather McKay courses: the first one was and less repetitive. ated teachers like us still had so much to
held at Gheorghe Sincai National College in The cue cards activities, the drood- learn from Ms McKay's first course that we
Baia Mare, the second one in the American les, and the lexical chunks presented in the hurried to put down our names on the list
Corner of the Petre Dulfu County Library. course as means of creating a more relaxed for the second one, we would highly recom-
In addition to the varied activities and and confident learning atmosphere were mend it to all teachers of EFL who are
practical advice regarding the usage of highly appreciated by our students. Their headed towards achieving the best possible
different materials during EFL classes, we imagination and their ―appetite‖ to speak results in their careers, regardless of their
had the opportunity to think about theo- were stirred by the warmer and lead – in age, experience, and the level of students
retical approaches to teaching skills such activities based on ―reversed ‖ pictures which they are teaching.
as reading for instance, and the cognitive were ready to reveal their meaning as the
processes it involves. Apart from our uni- students came closer to the correct answers. Rodica Szentes, Gh. Şincai National
versity years when, in the absence of The less confident students got involved in the College, Baia Mare
hands-on teaching experience, we were learning process easily by using the ―describe Monika Bandi, Al. I. Cuza School,
Baia Mare

room interaction. meaning, to give the student the freedom to

If I were to say, the highlights of practice one‘s English, in a controlled and
this particular course are communicating with guided, but free at the same time, environ-
one‘s students, applying your own personal ment. This method of getting involved helps
I shall start by saying that experiences when teaching English and incor- the teacher give feedback on the students‘
attending any form of professional devel- porating students‘ personal ideas and opinions work, help them share writing pieces or
opment programs for Romanian teachers within the teaching process. The materials it direct ideas, but they also help the students
of English has always been considered one suggests for an effective teaching process are accept, spot and correct their own mistakes,
of the most interesting methods to both various and within easy reach, not very diffi- as these are only a natural part of the learn-
embark upon and continue our profes- cult to find, use and adapt, such as flashcards, ing process.
sional development, especially for the pictures from magazines or textbooks, songs Personally, I have used some of
younger ones who are in search of their so which immediately grow on students, or even the ideas that I was presented with during
-called calling. chants, and last but not least, the textbook, this course, and I have found the results
The program that I have in which can be adapted to suit the students‘ extremely rewarding, for they have indeed
mind is Cynthia Yoder‘s Practical tech- needs. All these prompt the student to com- had the expected results. As cases in point, I
niques for English Language Teach- municate and get involved into the learning would like to mention jigsaw reading and
ing, which took place in December 2007, process, by talking about oneself and one‘s information transfer and jumbled texts, in as
as part of a continuing education program, feelings; they also help the student convey the far as teaching reading is concerned, guess-
consistent with the Ministry of Education, message more efficiently, as they all boost ing games and chain stories when teaching
Research and Youth‘s reform goals. their language awareness, improve their lan- speaking and writing, memory and matching
This particular program wanted to make guage skills and enrich their vocabulary. games when teaching vocabulary. In all
the professional development of the young This practice of language is based honesty, even if the class seems to become
English teachers easier, and put great on various games, some of which I have found noisier, these teaching strategies have all
emphasis on the reflective kind of teaching really interesting, such as guessing games, proven to be efficient and their result has
and journaling, on the thorough observa- spelling games, memory games or making indeed been the desired one (the students
tions of self and of others, as well as any associations and relationships. Therefore, the got really involved in the process of learn-
other human resources, such as colleagues productive skills of speaking and writing are ing, they enjoyed talking about themselves
or Yahoo groups; it also mentioned and also to be mentioned here, which all encour- and learning new things about others, and
brought forth, once again, the most inter- age telling stories about oneself, embarking they felt they were playing a game at the
esting teachers‘ associations and confer- upon free speaking activities and playing same time, without feeling pressured or
ences, such as RATE and other meetings different roles or solving real life problems. stressed in any way).
for teachers of English. Another interesting aspect of this To sum up, one may say that the
Some of its objectives were to program is that teaching reading is made easy, main target of this course, which is, in my
explore our beliefs about language, learn- by means of reading in real life, which equals opinion, interacting with one‘s class and
ing and teaching, to strengthen the con- listening and enjoying, thus understanding teaching learning, has been achieved, as the
nection between these beliefs and our the overall meaning of the text. role of the teacher as a moderator has been
classroom teaching, as well as to reflect on But the most fascinating aspect of brought forth, the students‘ interest has
our teaching practices. All the participants this program is that all these ideas, to a cer- been increased and a good practice activity
were expected to do all these in earnest tain extent, can be applied in class, as they has been performed.
and to try these new activities in the class- have the power to blend listening, speaking
room, as reflective teaching and classroom and writing skills, to stress the importance of Gabriela Lupea
management are closely related to class- Sf. Maria High School, Galaţi

Between October 3 – cal Techniques for English Language The discussions in this training program
November 28, 2006, a Teaching designed and taught by Cynthia helped me develop my knowledge and atti-
group of about twenty- Yoder, an excellent Sr. English Language tude as a teacher.
four young teachers of Fellow. The course of a lifetime
English had the great In those chilly days, the course succeeded to That course was by far the most complex and
opportunity of attend- lit a warmth atmosphere and wise thrill of practical language teaching course I have
ing the course Practi- discussion among the young teachers. ever attended. It was perfectly structured to
Vocabulary teaching
profoundly reach every necessary element make us thoughtfully consider the modeling One of the great activities was to involve our
that is part of the language teaching proc- role that we have as teachers. students in letter writing exchange and it
ess. The intention was clearly to make us become seemed to be a great impulse for using Eng-
We have discussed principles, beliefs, aware of our great mission and responsibility lish, both for reading and writing their
styles of both students and teachers con- of being teachers. For really accomplishing letters. Some time in December we gathered
sidering practical techniques as lesson the mission we, teachers, must thoughtfully our students to meet each other‘s pen pal at
planning, classroom management and and deeply establish our beliefs and principles a high school in Brasov.
interaction, teacher and student roles, as the fundament of our professional practices Debating and discussing were the main
feedback, language skills and systems, in the classroom. methods we used to learn teaching and I
assessment of student learning, exciting I myself realized that my own beliefs must be think they can become our main method
and motivating activities. the real propulsion of my entire teaching during language classes. We can give them
The complexity and diversity of the materi- activity. The first step set up our sensitivity to the start asking inciting questions or giving
als, with a fascinating variety of presenta- the real effective principles and methods. specific information on a subject that learn-
tions, perfect planning and feedback of Beliefs ers adore.
each lesson were real ingredients of the Cynthia‘s way of discussing things made me Practical things I tried to apply
course which together with our mentor reflect upon my reasons and methods of teach- - speak more English or only English in my
become almost an ideal representation, a ing and I recognized not without sorrow, that classes. It worked very well; it created a real
model of how a teacher should plan, work I missed the main purpose of language learn- English atmosphere and we enjoy it.
and behave in class. ing which is c o m m u n i c a t i o n, real- - use my fingers for teaching long/short
Cynthia, our mentor, was a mixture of a izing instantly that teacher‘s goal and stu- forms of the verbs. My students understood
formal and open-minded person, very dent‘s goal are the same: communication. the difference easily.
calm, always creating a relaxing atmos- Here are some of my beliefs that I myself - use more pictures than before to present
phere. She had always completely planned clarified during and after this wonderful vocabulary or practice structures. They were
her lessons, come up with engaging re- course: the main purpose of language learning efficient. Show pictures and speak English,
sources, variety of activities and perma- is communication; teaching does not equal so Romanian isn‘t needed.
nent feedback. Not only had we a teacher, learning and we should worry less about - give my students the possibility to practice
but a great model. teaching and concern more about learning; more what they have learned. The students‘
Teaching countries What I consider to give 5% input and 95 % practice. answers got better, because they had really
and nationalities be a plus for this Without naming the beliefs, having a vision practiced English. It also improved their
course is that we all and understanding the goal of our mission no ability of doing their homework better.
were twice observed one can really succeed or develop as a teacher. - use more pair work; that is in connection
during our classes Teaching practices highlighted by our with more practice.
by our mentor, each teaching visions - wait for a student to answer more than 6
one of us having the Debating upon methods, approaching motiva- seconds. (I really count silently). The stu-
chance to discuss tion, planning, activities, classroom manage- dents answer!!!
one to one teaching ment or error correction we discovered we - when doing an activity, always check if
challenges and return instinctively to the purpose of commu- students know what they have to do. Ask:
ideas. nication in language learning. ―What are we going to do now?‖
At the end of our We understood that student practice time is - extend the practice time in class.
training everyone had to share an already the best time spent and the teacher talking The final meeting
experienced activity in their classroom. time must be reduced to the minimum neces- On November 30 we met for celebrating
The first step sary. Sometimes, or too often, we forget our Thanksgiving Day and receiving our certifi-
Every lesson succeeded to arise an effec- beliefs or objectives and exaggerate teaching cates. We spent the day with Cynthia and her
tive awareness, approaching each topic in or correcting the learners. For instance we husband eating the traditional Thanksgiving
a relevant sequence. shouldn‘t mix accuracy and fluency aims in meal together. We all contributed with tur-
The head step was to bring in the idea of one activity. We expect our students to be key, vegetables homemade cakes, drinks and
that representative figure, character that fluent in English, but we harshly interrupt bread. Everyone was chatting, laughing and
has the real power to influence human them correcting all the time. playing games till late at night. It was a
destinies – the teacher. We were asked to Also we discovered that group work or pair memorable day when we felt to be part of a
record in our journals the instant memory work favors a lot the interaction among stu- great family sharing the same culture.
of a teacher that we remember from dents and this makes communication possible Iulia Robu, EL Teacher,
school. That moment had the capacity to for a greater number of learners. Recea Secondary School,
Braşov County

I would start my article with I found out that teaching English work at their own pace and do not need to
two words: GREAT EXPERIENCE. Looking doesn‘t mean only the words, or the language understand all the text they are asked to
back upon the period that I spent with the of a foreign country but a lot more. scan. This is an activity that I tried at my
English Language Fellow Program, many To talk a little about the things class and with excellent results.
pleasant memories come to my mind and I that I personally learnt from our trainer is that The students are using English
realize this was an extremely valuable good teachers have to keep on sharpening creatively to evaluate and analyze informa-
time. their teaching skills and methods, using as tion, solve problems and create authentic
This contributed to my profes- many creative ways as they can in order to texts for publication. The topic might be one
sional development greatly. My best reach their goals and objectives. We found out that is of interest and importance to them.
memories of this course are of a wide that we can make beautiful lessons by teach- So, in such activities, language is contextu-
variety of activities that stimulated mean- ing English through colors or arts. I have also alized, skills are integrated and materials are
ingful discussions of the issues related to learnt that we can use our creativity in teach- authentic.
language teaching and learning, finding ing a foreign language by using technology Educators have to recognize the
solutions to so many problems. too. We discovered that a way to encourage value and importance of this method and
Looking back I think that one students to explore real –world use of English encourage contribution to increasing its
of the most important aspects that this written for native speakers is create an activ- necessity.
program offered us was the chance to ity that requires research on the Internet as a I wish such trainings were con-
interact in so many ways (from language means of exploring a topic or answering a ducted more frequently and all the teachers
to culture) with a native English speaker. series of questions. They often take the form of English were encouraged to attend this
I understood then, that the English Lan- of a list of questions to be answered by con- kind of programs in case they dare.
guage Fellow Program is not an ordinary ducting a simple web search on Wikipedia, for `` They who dare to teach must never cease
course, but it promotes English language example, and can be followed by an evaluation to learn``. Let us try not to forget these
learning around the world and fosters of the information found. This kind of activity words.
mutual understanding between the people is useful for students with limited English Otilia Crăcea
of the United States and those of other proficiency or classes with different profi- School 3
countries. ciency levels because students are allowed to Drobeta Turnu Severin

Last spring, I had the opportu- The activities were attractive, as ties, then analyzing them with our col-
nity to take part in the teacher-training well as diverse. We were taught how to use leagues. Furthermore, I appreciated the fact
course Incorporating New Technologies in the new technologies in order to make the that all the activities were uploaded to the
English Language Teaching Methodology process of English language teaching as effi- internet and, in this way, a database was
offered by the U.S. Embassy and conducted cient as possible. The presenter also suggested created for me and my colleagues to consult
in my county by Ms. Jyoti Paintel, Sr. to us some interesting Internet sites that whenever we need to.
English Language Fellow. provide educational materials and lots of All in all, I must say that I thoroughly en-
I found the course very well- advice on how to use them most effectively. joyed being one of the teacher trainees. I
structured and presented by a talented and The course was a highly interac- consider it to be a firm step in the develop-
dedicated instructor. For me, this was a tive one. The trainees had the chance to play ment of my career.
very constructive experience. Not only was the roles of students, but also of teachers, thus
the course full of useful ideas of how to experiencing the efficiency of the learning/ Emanuela Nistor
enliven my classes and attract students to teaching activities. A lot of new ideas were St. Odobleja Pedagogical H.S.
learning, but it also offered a new ap- conveyed by the trainer, and also by the train- Drobeta Turnu Severin
proach on employing technology in class. ees. We would propose various teaching activi-
First of all, I would like to effective manner as possible. Not only have spent, for example, in the countryside, and
thank the American Embassy for the op- the results of our work been of great benefit recall what their senses perceived (hearing,
portunity to work with such a well pre- to the pupils, but students also had the chance sight, touch, smell, taste). At the end of this
pared, patient, creative, fun-loving and to meet a native language speaker face to face, experiment the pupils came up with long
hard-working English Language Fellow as which was very exciting to them. lists of recollections from their own their
Ms. Jyoti Paintel. There were two produc- To cut a long story short, at the own past: birds, hills, trees, hay, fresh milk
tive weeks, in which our workshops were end of this course we had enhanced our skills, and so on... From this point on, it was very
greatly anticipated and looked forward to. methods and procedures to such an extent easy to make a rich, authentic and inspiring
Unfortunately, it was over too that we realized the process of teaching and description. As a result, by bringing their
soon, in a blink of an eye. It was wonder- learning needn‘t necessarily be boring, own experience into the process of learning,
ful for me to be able to meet my col- teacher-centered or drills-based. Actually, the I made the class more appealing and they
leagues in a context like that, where we theory had been out there before, but we were gained more confidence about sharing feel-
put together our thoughts, beliefs, reluctant to using it in class, for fear that it ings with their peers. The most important
strengths and knowledge, supervised and might not work. We were encouraged to feel thing about this course is that the suggested
nudged (just as much as necessary and confident when assigning homework or pro- methods were immediately applicable to
when necessary) by an experienced Eng- ject work that needed computer usage from class and they really created an enhancement
lish teacher, in order to create a learning the pupils‘ part, and I must confess that the in the quality of the teaching process.
friendly atmosphere. research activity seemed the most interesting All in all, it was a great experi-
Furthermore, there were so for my students and gave them satisfaction ence for me and I‘m sure all my colleagues
many useful things that we were intro- when completed. would agree on the fact that these work-
duced to and they were so well received Moreover, we were taught that it shops have developed both our awareness to,
by us teachers, that it feels like we had so would be a good idea to bring students‘ emo- and interest for, interactive, creative and
much to gain from these activities. In our tions to class, that is, to turn to their feelings effective ESL teaching.
turn, we could pass them on to our pupils, and their senses. For instance, the best way to Geanina Vlad
enriching their chances to receive informa- teach ‖the descriptive essay‖, is to ask them School 5
tion and knowledge in an as pleasant and to close their eyes and remember a day they Drobeta Turnu Severin

The course on Incorporating New cross-curricular language teaching; American native speaker which was an exciting
Technologies in English Language Teaching developing learner autonomy; experience for all of them. At the end of the class,
Methodology was designed for English teachers of all four skills - particularly integrated tasks; they had the opportunity to talk, ask questions and
secondary level (students aged 10-19). Participants stimulating ideas for exploiting textbooks; receive a positive feedback.
had the opportunity to gain a huge variety of new creative writing activities; An interesting method which I have learned from
teaching ideas and motivating materials ready to use correction and feedback strategies; this course was Content-based method and I have
in the classroom. evaluation and assessment; applied it successfully to the classroom. Due to this
This course was conducted by Jyoti Paintel an expert using authentic materials; method I tried to use more and more the video pro-
teacher-trainer, brought by the Embassy of the grammar activities; jector and all the other auxiliary materials, such as
U.S.A., with a wealth of exciting ideas to impart. teaching vocabulary; maps and documentary books that raise my students‘
The workshops I attended explored a wide range of content based learning (CBL method) attention. This method is meant to engage and to
teaching ideas and activities designed to motivate my All the teachers were encouraged to share their focus the students to one specific task or theme
students and make language lessons more enjoyable own ideas and experiences and we all participated in (music, art, fashion, famous films), which includes
and worthwhile. Some or all of the following are practical activities suitable for secondary students. mostly all four skills. For example, when I taught a
included: Jyoti helped all of us to share a Yahoo group and on it lesson about art, I showed some famous paintings
a variety of motivating activities which engage we posted our articles, lesson projects and all the and a ppt presentation of World‘s Famous Museums.
students‘ imagination and creativity - innova- activities during this period. That turned to be a successful lesson because I man-
tive role play and drama activities, use of This program also consisted of observation and aged to deal with classroom management by creating
media, poetry and stories ; critique of classroom performance. a positive atmosphere and capture their whole atten-
learner styles and learner training - different In my opinion this was one of the best part of this tion during an hour.
strategies for differentiation; course because Jyoti advised me how to make my
increasing motivation and inclusivity in the classes more attractive to my students, underlining Mirela Balaci
classroom; the strengths and weaknesses she observed. Pătulele School
motivating mixed ability classes; Another important thing was that during her Mehedinţi
creative activities for large classes; visit to my classes, students came in contact with an

To quote myself, ―if you think ence,‖ I should say that three things were ried, so, at the end of term, the students and
SUSI is a misspelling of some type of orien- of major consequence to me upon return. The their coordinators had acquired new valuable
tal food, you are wrong‖.(1) SUSI is the first one is my personal understanding of a information, which they were able to dissemi-
acronym for Study of the United States key element related to the U.S.A.: the fact that nate in their schools to whoever was inter-
Institute for Secondary Educators, an inten- the United States is one, that even though ested in the topic of the project. The objec-
sive six-week program for teachers who there are fifty states in the United States of tives were scientific, cultural and social at the
want to know more and better understand America, there is some sort of glue that keeps same time, and the most important events of
the culture and society of the United States. them all together, and this glue is represented the process were a postcard exhibition in my
Formerly known as the Fulbright American by the American myths that underlie the basis school and a teleconference. The partnership
Studies Institute, the program is sponsored of this civilization. Owing to UIC professors‘ was so successful in the first year, that my
by the U.S. Department of State‘s Bureau of brilliant insight into the society and culture of colleague from Ecuador and I decided to
Educational and Cultural Affairs. their own country, I understood that ap- continue it the following year. Not only did
I was one of the lucky few (more proaching the study of the U.S. from the per- we meet the goals we had set, but the project
exactly one of the 30 teachers from 25 coun- spective of the myths is probably the best had a new outcome that we could not foresee
tries around the world) selected to attend method to grasp the history and the realities at the beginning, namely that the students
the Institute in the summer of 2006 at the of the Unites States. took it upon themselves to do some videos of
University of Illinois, Chicago. That year, the The second thing I managed to their daily school life, which they sent to
theme given to us as food for thought, and accomplish was devising a course on American each other via mail. Their letters and short
which we were going to explore and debate civilization for my high school students. movies, awkward and unprofessional though
for more than two hundred hours of gradu- Nowadays in Romania all teachers are poten- they may be, constitute the unfailing proof
ate instruction, was Negotiating America, tial curriculum developers, a fact made possi- that teenagers all over the world are eager to
Local, National and Global: A Multidiscipli- ble by the advent of the CDS (curriculum know and explore, imaginative and enthusias-
nary Investigation. Thus, from June 13th to decided by the school), which allows them the tic when it comes to opening up to other
July 29th I was to live the American Dream liberty of conceiving virtually any course of cultures.
in America, learning and experiencing facts interest for their students, according to their Probably there are many other
about the American language, art, literature, preferences and domain of study. The classes things that could be mentioned with respect
law, political systems, education, music, on the culture and civilization of America are to the impact this SUSI experience has had on
culture and society in general. More than among the ones the most appreciated by my life and my work, but the strongest con-
that, I was to go on field trips along with students, as America has always been a fasci- viction is the one that I formed while in the
the Institute faculty and guest lecturers, nating dream for them all. Since I work in a U.S.A. about the American people: that they
travel through the United States, and be in college that provides the Romanian-English have set it out to believe that they are unique
two weeks in more states than many Ameri- bilingual specialization for pupils, the study of and exceptional, and they have the manifest
cans have been in their entire lives: Illinois, the culture of Anglo-American peoples is a destiny to start the world all over again; that
Indiana, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Ari- must. I am therefore very proud to be able to they have been free to do so and they have
zona, Nevada, Virginia, and Washington, teach American Civilization and actually be had it in their power to do so; that is why
D.C. confident when I am in front of the class, not throughout time so many have been willing
Apart from having the chance to dabble in the subject. to sacrifice their own ethnic identity in order
travel and live in the other half of the Finally, a third result of my sum- to gain an American one. Because it is such a
world, meet new people, teachers just like mer course scholarship is developing projects powerful, appealing and influential civiliza-
me, exchange opinions and share facts and partnerships with the other participants tion, the American civilization is definitely
about our countries and customs, I also had from time to time. I have had two such at- worth studying. Because it presents us with
the incredible opportunity of making the tempts up to now, both of them school part- such a strong example of hard work and
acquaintance of some very important Ameri- nerships between my college and a college in survival, because it is so full of hope and
can professors, politicians or writers who Ecuador. The purpose was to involve 15-year- promise, the American Dream is definitely
managed to teach me things about the old students from both schools into an ex- worth dreaming. They truly are ―a city upon
American culture that no professor had change of traditional letters and e-mails in an a hill.‖(2)
managed to do back home, as a university attempt to make them understand the role of (1) See author‘s comment on the 2006 SUSI
student. Once more, the proverb that one is communication throughout time, the advances blog,;
never too old to learn proved to be as valid of technology and the advantages and disad- (2) See John Winthrop‘s Arbella Sermon
as ever. vantages that these bring, as well as the im-
Nicoleta Andronachi
Although it is difficult to choose portance of letter writing rules. It also meant
Petru Rareş National College
one or the other of the aspects that im- that both parts benefitted from the cultural Suceava
pressed me during this ―American experi- exchange that these letters unavoidably car-

There is nothing above or words, these two fabulous courses put it all
beyond professional development for a on one plate.
committed teacher or any other genuinely Were I to detail upon the best
devoted professional; and when such for Occupational Purposes) while, at the same findings and results of each course, I would
endeavor offers one the opportunity oftime, differentiating between ESP and EGP in say the challenge comes in excess of the
all teacher and learner oriented respects.
relishing in both the highly specialized number of words allowed here. Yet, at a
knowledge and the culture of a nation the The SUSI Course had a totally glance, I will always keep in mind the simple
different goal. The 30 participants from 30
teaching of whose native language is the though highly demanding style through
different countries present there benefitted
ultimate goal, the experience itself turns which we, participants from 57 countries in
into a dream come true. Such is my ownfrom a complete immersion into the U.S. total in both, were introduced to the course
education system, both at university and pre-
experience as for the past two summers I and to its requirements: simple sets of rules
university levels while, along with this, lec-
have taken part in two wonderful experi- and regulations, clear requests, crystal clear
tures on immigration, lobbying, cultural
ences, both opportunities being offered by goals and perfect timing per activity. From
diversity, administration and service learning
the U.S. Department of State: the E-Teacher the very beginning each of the courses set a
– to name only the highlights – came to both
Course, with focus on ESP, with the Univer- certain ―way to go‖ so that, irrespective of
explain and detail upon the afore-named
sity of Oregon, in the summer of 2010, and culture, religion, nationality or ethnicity
topics. Lectures were combined with site visits
the Study of the United States Institutes (please read here: set ways of being, percep-
at numerous schools in the State of California,
(SUSI), with Chico State University of Cali- tion of time, deadline constraints and resis-
fornia, in 2011. and later on with site visits to education tance to the new) all participants agreed to
linked locations in four more states, and with
The E-Teacher Course aimed to follow a mutually consented set of rules of
meetings with decision makers at California,
promote ESP worldwide and thus dissemi- conduct in order to make the course pro-
Illinois and the Federal Departments of Educa-
nate valuable expertise to professionals ceeds smooth and headache-free. Moreover,
tion. The participants were also asked to once the group established, everyone belong-
complete and present a ing to it was supposed to react, interact,
Cristina Lerch (2nd row, 2nd from left) with her class
thoroughly researched contribute and offer feedback. All in all, the
project based on personal establishment of the perfect work environ-
or group interests on any ment was the very first lesson each and
of the given topics as well every one of us was taught.
as explain the relevance of Now, going in details, what I
the chosen topic to their have personally taken away and apply from
activity and further profes- the E-Teacher on-line course will always be
sional development. connected to the ―Vegan Doughnut‖ task we
As a participant got. Based on a piece of text, actually an
in both courses, I feel article by Randi Bjornstad, which appeared
bound to say that the in The Register Guard on February 15th,
perfect combination of the 2010, by its full name: Vegan Doughnut/New
around the world. It was clear from the two has therefore met the Shop Gives the Decadent Old Treat a More
very beginning that the course was sup- needs of any professional in all respects: the Healthful Twist, the task required some of us
posed to enforce a ―learning by doing‖ teacher was trained to teach by means of new, to apply the principles of ESP teaching and
approach while participants, considered revolutionary methods involving the use of devise a lesson plan starting from the text. It
―pre-experts‖, were introduced to ESP best Critical Thinking and of the 7 Best Practice has not been the first time I was asked to do
practices. The on-line course literally Principles of ESP; the teacher-trainer was such a thing, yet it was the very first time I
―trained the trainer‖ to address the grow- instructed to train teachers in the creative use had finally had 25 different ways of ap-
ing demand for training in ESP in order to of authentic material, in curricular design and proaching a piece of text from a teacher‘s
promote both education and economic implementation as well as in material develop- point of view. The diversity of approaches
development at the local and national ment; the school principal came to know of and variety of activities suggested was both
levels. Moreover, the course was designed new ways to address financial and administra- outstanding and overwhelming as 25 differ-
in such a way as to respond to various tive issues of school, of team work, of SWOT ent ways to teach one thing equals diversity,
professional demands under the larger ESP analysis, of management and leadership; flexibility, avoidance of routine and personal
umbrella, such as EAP (English for Aca- decision factors in national education systems commitment. I have since used this approach
demic Purposes), VESP (Vocational English got introduced to the diversity of approaches every time one of my colleagues comes and
for Specific Purposes) and EOP ( English to education available in the U.S., to their pros asks: ―What can I do to make this more
and cons, strengths and limitations. In few interesting, challenging or motivating to my

students?‖ and with good results. is? Are we really willing and able to propose huge distance. Add to these other experimen-
As for the SUSI course, well, and design a new system, adapted to the real tal forms of education, like the Free School,
there are many things I would really like needs of our young generation and to the the experimented started in Albany, NY, and
to mention here; professionally, all of the needs of generations to come?‖ This surely is still the whole picture is far from being
above, for sure. Then there comes the fact a set of questions to consider in today‘s world complete. The American education system is
that I have seen and experienced real where absenteeism is common place, drop-out willing to reform itself. While the goals are
school autonomy. Yet, above all, there rates are on constant increase and the mutu- clear, the means are still to be discovered.
remains the idea launched at the very ally shared feeling is that of …‖buzz off, Nevertheless they do not refuse any poten-
beginning of the course: the education, as adult!‖. We, education experts, are definitely tially successful experiment. This is exactly
perceived since Ian Amos Comenius, i.e. a unaware of the lingering danger of losing our what places them ahead of the rest of the
source of qualified work force, is obsolete pupils one by one, because of incontrollable world today; the fact that they know it and
in today‘s society. To put it bluntly: ―Shall issues or because of our sheer blindness. they want it. It only remains to be seen if
we, educators and decision makers, be What I have learned during the their endeavors will lead them to be first
able to ever find new ways and alternative SUSI experience is that the American system is again or not.
methods to educate our youth? Are we both willing and able to experiment. From Cristina Lerch
going to be able to really see how funda- traditional schools to Montessori, charter and ELTeacher and Principal
mentally misplaced our traditional strive magnet schools, there is hardly any gap, yet Mircea Eliade High School Reşiţa

Being situated at the American Identity (Rick Lopez, Dept.

crossroads of history, as we so of History, Amherst College), The
much like to say and believe, Romania has students and teachers all over the world an Women's Rights Movement in the 20th Cen-
got used to thinking that its role has al- intensive approach to major issues concerning tury (Martha Saxton, Dept. of History), Jazz
ways been that of corner stone: it stopped American history, culture and civilization. It – An American Treasure (Frederick Tillis,
(or hindered) the ascent of Mongolian was called the 10,000 $ program, so there was Retired, Dept. of Music, and Former Director
tribes or the Ottoman Empire, it preserved hardly any chance that I would ever be able to of Fine Arts Center, University of Massachu-
elements unique to the Latin language and fly over the ocean –by my own means- and setts ), Understanding U.S. Presidential Elec-
Roman civilization and it still is one of the visit hundreds of iconic places in the States tions (Frank Couvares, Bruce Laurie), Mor-
hearths of Christianity. We have used all and talk to figures of reference in the Ameri- monism (Kathryn MacKay), Literature of the
these elements as both excuses and rea- can educational, political, cultural systems. I American West (Jean Cheney, Instructor of
sons for pride. called it pure luck, as I was the only Roma- English, Westminster College), The Image of
True though everything is, it nian teacher selected for the program; in a the American Cowboy and The History of the
does not account for the critical situation way, I felt I was, for the first time in my life, National Parks Services (David Stanley, De-
we are in. We hoped (and some of us still an ambassador of my country. partment of English, Westminster College.
do) that communism, along with its men- The 2008 Institute for Training and What I found very interesting was the direct
talities and practices, would disappear Development (ITD) group was composed of 29 way in which the two planes were linked; as
overnight. Instead, it is part of the genetic teachers (mostly English teachers) from 27 far as it was possible, most lectures were
structure of the nation, and it keeps repro- countries, most of us for the first time in the supported by field trips, and everything was
ducing itself at an alarming pace. The U.S. The various themes explored in the 6- very carefully planned to the extent that the
situation in schools and hospitals is get- week study cycle were on two planes: aca- visual material we were going to see was
ting worse while only a very thin layer of demic and non-academic. We were able to sustained by lectures given in advance (the
the political ‗intelligentsia‘ and their ac- attend lectures on American Democracy (Prof. visit to Emily Dickinson‘s memorial house in
complices are getting better. And better. Frank Couvares), Free Speech and National the afternoon, preceded by Prof. Dobson‘s
That is why, in the last decades, emigra- Security (Christopler Pyle), Islam in America lecture in the morning; the trip to Memorial
tion has become a mass phenomenon, with (Prof. Anne Broadbridge), Education in Con- Hall Museum in Deerfield, prepared by a
different faces and branches, young stu- temporary America (Rosetta Cohen), Selected presentation of contemporary experiences of
dents being one of them. American Poets: Longfellow, Whitman, and Native Americans, not to mention the great
It is no wonder I literally Frost (Joanne Dobson, Professor Emerita), journey to the West, meant to exemplify the
jumped at the opportunity offered by the Contemporary Experiences of Native Americans great diversity of space and culture the
SUSI grant. SUSI stands for the Studies of ( Jean Forward, Department of Anthropology, United States enjoys.) I would like to appre-
the United States Institute, which offers University of Massachusetts), Creating a Latino- ciate the high degree of professionalism all

the ITD academic directors, staff and was the projects we had to present at the end product of it all? Attending the 10-year
guests displayed, so that our questions of the six weeks, for which each of us chose a reunion (which was taking place that very
concerning more or less formal issues topic of personal interest. I, for instance, year), I had the opportunity to see how the
were immediately answered. decided to speak about religious tolerance in ITD students in the previous years benefited
It was all very new to me –to the USA, because religion, in all its forms and from the program and what their practical
us all; with very few exceptions, all the 29 manifestations, has been a pivotal point in my results were. I was also impressed by the
participants were in the U.S. for the first existence. My colleagues discussed topics such strong human and professional bonds cre-
time in their lives. Most of us – if not all as pollution, immigration, teaching literature ated (some of them have been meeting every
– admitted to being used to thinking in (Emily Dickinson‘s poetry), oil-related prob- year since 1998, every year in another Euro-
stereotypes. But America and its people lems, Superman, etc. All our projects were pean city, visiting each other, hosting the
cannot be reduced to the hundreds of gathered in a collective CD by ITD staff and American professors coming to Europe on
(low/high quality) American movies that distributed to all of us at our last reunion and visiting tours) and I was very happy and
we see in a lifetime or the books we read festive lunch. eager to join this amazing network. I remem-
or even the way the news about this coun- Another question arises: where ber Marina from Russia speaking about her
try are presented in the media. With this was the social element? How did people inter- project regarding Russian adopted children
in mind, we discovered that we applied act? There were two types of events: formal and Noriko from Japan reporting on the
similar stereotypes to other cultures, for ones - academic lectures, panels of discussion improved quality of English teaching classes
instance, the Muslim one; on the other (with members of mainstream religious com- in Japan as a result of the exchanges created
hand, the Muslim participants confessed to munities or women leaders), discussions with between the Japanese and the American
using the same mechanisms when refer- American teachers, weekly research appoint- teachers. In a world haunted by unrest,
ring to American or European people. I ments (with project coordinators) and less teachers have a very important role to play,
think what made us aware of it was Prof. formal ones - visits to museums, concerts, because it is up to them to help hone in their
Broadbridge‘s lecture Islam in America, liaison committees (when groups of desig- students this invaluable tool which is critical
that presented practically the way in nated participants informed the ITD staff about thinking. Without seeing the beauty, good-
which American students are confronted the group‘s problems), barbecues (in North- ness and truth on the other side of the wall,
with the main misconceptions about the ampton and in the West), informal dinners the world can be (and unfortunately is) a
Muslim world (Jihad, the 5 pillars, terror- organized by the participants having the ITD very poor and mean place to live. During my
ism, women‘s rights) and how they are staff and their families as guests. On all these visit to the States, I discovered, through so
encouraged to think critically. The 5 Mus- occasions, the 29 participants from 27 differ- many lectures and discussions, that there
lim colleagues in the group could provide ent countries worked as a group, sharing their can be hope, that people, by continually
very useful support for the validity of the ideas and experience with their colleagues, so fighting for their fundamental rights and
concepts used. It was really a TRAINING they had the opportunity of a direct, hands-on respecting the others‘ rights, will finally find
process, of adjusting attitudes, of modify- perspective on America and its cultural back- a way to co-exist peacefully.
ing behaviors, of broadening understand- ground but also what it is like living in each I came home with a heavy burden, because,
ing. And this is never an easy thing. one of the 27 countries. In our own unique in a way, experience is like a disease. You
In addition to that, the pro- ways, we were all ambassadors of our coun- keep speaking about it until it becomes who
gram was designed to be very intensive. tries, so we could speak about our history, you are. Apart from the information ac-
The classes began at 8.30 and ended at 12, customs and traditions, make comparisons quired, I was able to read between the lines
with a half an hour break, then we had between languages of the world (Dutch and and realize things about Romania and the
another lecture/visit/panel of discussion Afrikaans; Romanian, Italian and French; Romanians which I had been unable to see
in the afternoon, followed by a film or Polish, Russian and Bulgarian; the numerous before. We tend to be what other people tell
concert in the evening. Even during our varieties of Spanish spoken in Spain, Ecuador us we are. And that is very dangerous. Be-
trips to the West, we had lectures on the or El Salvador). It was a vast cultural experi- cause we MUST cross the fence and see if the
bus from Prof. Stanley or Prof. MacKay. It ence with complex cultural consequences. We grass is greener on the other side. And then
was not very easy to cope with such an have created a website on Picasa and are still decide for ourselves. The very process will
amount of information, but I think all of us writing to each other (as part of a group, not keep us awake from any kind of dream.
were aware that we were students and not individually) as often as we can, share lesson
Gabriela Laslău, EL Teacher
tourists. The practical way in which every- plans and exchange ideas and impressions. Ferdinand I National College
thing we had gathered was put to good use And finally, what is the end- Bacău
PAGE 46 Teaching Tolerance through English
Summer Camp
Daniela Petrescu, Ion Creangă School, Bacău

When I was selected to take part skills, I understood that teaching English can veniences in the camp, all the effort was
in the international summer camp Teaching be an effective instrument in fighting stereo- worth it, I put into practice one my many
Tolerance through English, I didn‘t know types. At the end of this program I became ideas that emerged during the summer camp.
how lucky I was. This international camp, more aware of the fact that, in their enthusi- Since I considered my time spent
organized August 4 - 19, 2007 in the Hun- asm and eagerness to teach their students as there an extraordinary experience, which was
garian resort of Balatonlelle, by the Re- much knowledge as possible, teachers might hardly possible to repeat for most of the
gional English Language Office (RELO) at the be too often tempted to emphasize what stu- teachers in my town, I felt that I needed to do
U.S. Embassy in Budapest, and the Founda- dents don‘t know, or can‘t do, instead of mak- something to offer my colleagues the chance
tion for Democratic Youth (DIA) brought ing them aware of their progress and, thus, to work with the same wonderful trainers
together 16 teachers and 80 students from 6 get them involved in their own personal devel- that I met in Hungary: Drs. Mary Lou
East European countries: Hungary, Croatia, opment. McCloskey, Georgia State University, Atlanta,
Montenegro, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, My favorite part of this program U.S.A. and Lydia Stack, consultant ESL/EFL,
Kosovo. was conflict management during the English San Francisco Unified School District. A great
The camp had a complex pro- class. Even if the topic was not totally new to opportunity to talk about the Balatonlelle
gram. In the morning, while the students me, I was really impressed to find out so many camp was offered to me by the American
were taken care of by local counselors interesting and unexpected ways of dealing Embassy in Bucharest: I was awarded a sub-
(students recruited from Hungarian univer- with the hot moments in the classroom, that, stantial grant that allowed me to participate
sities) and involved in various workshops, after my returning home, at school, I tried all to the TESOL Conference in New York, in April
the teachers were trained by two American of them with my ―problem‖ students, so as to 2008. There, together with Santha Gergö –
teacher-trainers to integrate interactive find out which of them is the most efficient. I Assistant RELO for Central and Southeastern
methods in the English teaching in order to even studied several books about conflict Europe, one of the organizers, Mary Lou
promote the idea of tolerance, understand- management and wrote an article about it in a McCloskey, Lydia Stack and two colleagues
ing and respect for human rights, while teachers‘ newsletter. from the camp, I had a short presentation
providing quality English teaching. In the Out of the 57 new methods of about the influence the camp had had on me
afternoon, teachers, in pairs, worked with teaching I applied with my students, in the and my future plans of devising a similar
multi-ethnic groups of students - mixed in frame of an elective I conceived and taught for program in Romania. I was very pleased with
such a way that no teacher was supposed to one school year, I have noticed that they prefer the interest of teachers from several countries
work with his own students - and practiced two: the index history life card and the sun- who attended our common presentation, and
the methods, procedures and strategies shine outline. The first one is seen as an origi- especially a colleague from Burma, who asked
acquired in the morning session. In the nal way of introducing each other, while the me a lot of questions both during the presen-
evening, teachers and students together other is better used for literary texts. My col- tation and after it, declaring that she was
took part in various cultural and leisure leagues in school, whom I also presented some inspired by me to do the same thing in her
activities, that put them together and set a of the strategies acquired from the camp train- country.
close relationship among the participants, ing, in various school meetings, expressed From October 2007, encouraged
breaking down the cultural barriers. their preference for the sunshine outline, by the director of the Grigore Tabacaru
It was only after the first days of which they consider appropriate for revision Teacher-Training Center, Mr. Gabriel Stan,
activities that I realized I was part of a lessons in all school subjects. who had been very open to my initiative from
wonderful experience that would leave a Right after my return from the the very beginning, permanently supported
trace on my professional development, a camp, I was invited to present upon the activi- and assisted by Cornelia Vlaicu, Cultural
landmark that would influence my career ties there at the national annual meeting of Affairs Assistant at the U.S. Embassy in Bucha-
from that point ahead. English inspectors, which was held in Bacau. It rest, and inspired by the two American train-
After two weeks of having learnt was a great opportunity for me to talk about a ers who kindly accepted my invitation to
more than 50 new strategies of teaching professional experience that impressed me so come to Bacau, I designed a teacher training
vocabulary and grammar, of having been much that I was able to describe it for hours, program that was accredited and imple-
trained how to approach controversial from various points of view (training program, mented the very next year. The program,
issues like tolerance, bigotry, human rights foreign teachers‘ opinion, camp accommoda- created for Romanian EL teachers, consisted
or conflicts inside the classroom, or how to tion, trips, gifts, evaluation, leisure activities, of several modules aiming to enrich the
use the literary text in order to improve entertainment etc.). The inspectors having repertoire of didactic strategies of teaching
students‘ behavior and communicative agreed with me that, despite the small incon- English and civic education at the same time,
PAGE 47 Teaching Tolerance through English
Summer Camp

using some contents that familiarize stu- trainers during the intensive work sessions. At of English teaching, in the respect of ap-
dents with complex multicultural issues. It the end of the course the teachers became able proaching new ideas and concepts meant to
emerged from the idea that promoting the to create and implement an elective course eliminate stereotypes, modify aggressive
principles of tolerance should be taken based on the idea of promoting tolerance in attitudes and fight any form of discrimina-
into account from the early age, with school within the English classes. tion.
increased attention during school period, The success was so great that the number of I have learnt a lot from the TTTE
when development in students‘ mentality teachers who wanted to participate grew from Camp. I have learnt that being tolerant does
is in full swing. 31 in 2008 to 125 in 2010 (which is one third not meant tolerating everything, that racism,
The program was a success. It of the teachers in the county of Bacau) and, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and discrimina-
made quite a stir in the city, a lot of news- thus, a selection had to be done by the tion of any kind can be fought in every class,
papers presenting the activities developed Teacher-Training Center in order to create a via any school subject. Besides, I understood
at the American Corner Bacau that is target group that would be able to apply that teaching English can be a tool of teach-
hosted by the Teacher -Training Center effectively the new knowledge and compe- ing respect for human rights and, most of
from various perspectives: teachers‘, tences in the classroom. all, that any conflict in the classroom can be
American trainers‘, Romanian trainers‘. The 2010 session benefited by the presence of approached as a basis for further discussion
The American trainers appreciated our another two great American trainers: Kathy S. and a means of fostering progress.
teachers‘ resourcefulness, creativity and Froelich, Assistant Professor in Middle and So, my advice is: when you find out about a
desire to learn, while participating teach- Secondary Education, Florida State University TTTE Camp or something similar organized
ers valued the originality of the course and and Erin K. Crowe – Program Director, Florida or supported by the U.S. Embassy, apply for
the special relationship created by the two Law Related Education Association. Their participation. You‘ll definitely enjoy it!
contribution lead to an overall improvement

Cristiana-Roxana Neacşu, EL Teacher, Kemal Ataturk National College, Medgidia

The purpose of the present sence of tolerance are more then obvious. the United States and around the world to
article is to present the summer camp to On the one hand, for many students variety teach English;
which I had the opportunity to participate appears as a source of pride, meanwhile, on -To diversify teachers‘ strategies for teach-
as a teacher of English as a foreign lan- the other hand, for others, being different ing language by creating a safe environ-
guage. The camp took place in the lake- results in shame and anxiety. ment for diversity and thus promoting
side town of Balatonlelle, Hungary from TTTE in brief tolerance through students;
August 1-15, 2009, and the participants I believe that the above men- -To develop strategies for solving conflicts.
were students (ages 11-14) and EFL teach- tioned concerns contributed to the birth of Activities and teaching strategies
ers from Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Monte- the TTTE camp concept. Fortunately, the We had the opportunity to
negro, Romania and Slovakia. While concept was implemented and due to won- participate to many activities, the main
schools and principals struggle to make up derful administrators and counselors, teach- goal being that of promoting tolerance
a climate deeply perceptive to all types of ers and children, NGOs and Embassies, it through literature by using several teach-
differences and similarities, to all types of turned into reality. From my point of view, ing strategies, among which I‘d mention
diversity, be it race, social level, culture, there are several main goals the camp‘s Exit Ticket: 3-2-1 Summarizer, Story Map,
language, gender, religion and ability programs envisage: Role Play, Carrousel Review, Point of View.
level, it has become clear to me (due to -To bring teachers and children from differ- One thing that became obvious
this TTTE camp) that a more comprehen- ent countries together to interact and share at that point for me, was that teaching
sive idea of tolerance must play a key role ideas of bullying and tolerance; tolerance, through English literature
in this process. -To provide teachers with hands-on, engag- especially, increased the teacher's respon-
Unfortunately, the harmful ing interactive approaches to using multi- sibility to guide students to important
results of what usually occurs in the ab- cultural (ethnic) stories and literature from conclusions and observations. I must
PAGE 48 Teaching Tolerance through English
Summer Camp

I must confess that lessons‘ plans were Appling activities and teaching strate- selected about Roma was a necessary choice.
really full of substance, fun and attractive. gies in class This experience highlighted the critical
From the very beginning, students' inter- What children seemed to enjoy a importance of a teacher‘s role in selecting
est was captured. Often, students were lot were dramatic adaptations of stories. This books that challenge students‘ pre-existing
engaged with questions, observations, and was the main reason why I chose to teach notions.
analysis that used to draw their attention them to be tolerant through plays. Another Dissemination of information
to issues of tolerance and other relevant reason why I decided to use this teaching This information was dissemi-
themes such as: bullying, conflict solving, strategy was the advantages of drama, which nated through a project called Teaching
etc. include learning about topics like tolerance tolerance through English Literature for EFL
We had been provided with a and diversity, and practicing social skills such teachers were present. Observations of class
set of strategies and guidelines for English as collaboration, teamwork, and confidence. activities from the assisting teachers showed
teachers on promoting tolerance through Others, however, warn against attempting to many favorable results of the project. This,
literature. First, teachers needed to define teach tolerance through "simulations" which along with the students‘ involvement,
and, if necessary, redefine important terms try to recreate events that are, in reality, too showed that at the conclusion of the study
and vocabulary related to tolerance. Sec- traumatic and complex to capture. Thus, I students did have at least a basic under-
ond, they also had to point out how impor- became aware that role-playing might serve as standing of what tolerance means. It became
tant it is to draw students' attention to a valuable exercise in relation with a piece of really impossible measuring whether or not
"universal patterns" of intolerance and literature. In the same time, allowing students students were able to apply what they
discrimination and, most importantly, to to act out various endings to a scene from a learned into their daily interactions.
relate these patterns to events in the pre- book might serve as a starting point for a
sent day, in their daily school activities Even if the sad truth is that inappropriate
conversation on the consequences of various behaviors continued throughout and after
and not only. The third, and perhaps the actions. Therefore, achieving empathy through
most important, component of teaching the project development, I am sure that this
role-play, when used to provide students a does not necessarily mean that it didn‘t work
tolerance through English is allowing new avenue into a story, or inspiration for
students ample time and opportunities for or that students didn‘t learn. Thus, when a
deeper thought, can become a powerful in- negative comment or behavior surfaced
sharing oral and written situations and structional tool.
reflections. Also, another thing of great during the intervention, I didn‘t take it as
When a student commented, ―Roma people are evidence of failure, but rather saw these
value in the teaching methods consisted of weird,‖ it gave focus to our book discussions
the fact that students wrote and performed things as opportunities for growth.
and gave me confidence that the book I had
dramatic adaptations of stories.

Mona Moldoveanu, EL Teacher, Dumitru Dumitrescu High School, Buftea

Last summer was a real

turning point in my career, as I had the
great opportunity to discover a new
be one of the selected teachers. And I would have ever expected.
perspective on being a teacher of Eng-
was. When I found out that I and 5 of It gathered people from 7
lish and I found out that there are
my students were going to spend 2 Central and Southeastern Europe
things to which we do not always pay
weeks in Hungary, I was thrilled. I countries - 9 teachers, each of them
attention when teaching our children a
couldn‘t believe how lucky we were. with 5 students aged 9 and 13 years
foreign language.
The students couldn‘t wait to meet old, two world renowned American
It all began in March 2010,
children from other countries and to educators, Mary Lou McCloskey and
when I found out about the Teaching
experience something as special as a Lydia Stack, an American camp direc-
Tolerance Through English summer
multicultural international camp. tor, Molly Staeheli and eight camp
camp that the U.S. Embassy organizes
I had no idea at the begin- counselors. Besides them, we also had
in Balatonlelle, Hungary every summer
ning, but that camp was going to be the honor of having among us two
(since 2006) between July 30—August
more interesting and helpful than I great people who made this camp
15. I decided to give it a try, hoping to
PAGE 49 Teaching Tolerance through English
Summer Camp

possible and offered us the possibility to only that, this time, the brown-eyed students
make new friends from other countries: were the superior ones.
Lisa Harshbarger, Regional English Lan- After the experiment, the children realized
guage Officer (RELO) and Gergo Santha, how unfair it is to be treated differently and
RELO Assistant. considered inferior to others based on your
eyes/ skin color. The feelings that they had
experienced during this exercise were hard
to forget for my students and all of them
the camp counselors, go to the beach to swim changed a lot. They became more tolerant
and relax before dinner. and understanding and they began fighting
The day ends with a special activity, such as: for what is right and fair.
karaoke, cultural night, circus, film watching, Many of my colleagues noticed
show talent night, camp fire, etc. the change of behavior in those students and
This multicultural summer This camp was a good occasion not started to ask me questions in order to find
camp consisted of a variety of very attrac- only to learn from our American educators, out more about these kinds of activities,
tive and interesting activities, both for our but also from each other new ways of teaching because they wanted to apply them with
students and for us, teachers. The artistic, and approaching the educational process. their students. Seeing their interest in this
athletic, theatrical and educational activi- What I particularly enjoyed was the fact that topic, I decided to organize a gathering with
ties were aimed at developing our under- we learned how to deal with conflicts, bully-
standing and tolerance towards each oth- ing, how to teach our students what to do
ers‘ cultures while enhancing our English when they see bullying, how to respond to
language skills. such behavior. We also found out how to use
literature, songs, games and other materials in
our classes, in order to make learning more
fun and attractive for students. Acting was
another way of teaching our students some
important things, such as: empathy, social
discrimination, etc. all my colleagues from the school and share
Since I discovered these new ways the techniques and strategies I learned in the
of teaching, I have tried to apply them in my camp. They were very impressed and deter-
A typical day in the camp classes with the students who were not able to mined to use these things in class. I also
begins with breakfast with all the stu- participate in the camp. I was happy to see talked to my ELT county inspector about this
dents, teachers, educators, director and that tolerance, helping each other, fighting camp and, as a result, I was invited to talk
counselors. The students choose from a list discrimination and being compassionate were about it at the English teachers‘ county
of activities what they are going to do for things that aroused their interest and made conference. There were many teachers inter-
the day. They have many options, such as: them change the way they see each other. ested in finding out details about how to
dance classes, sports, handcrafts, races, In order to make them understand better what apply for the camp and asked questions on
etc. discrimination means, I did Jane Elliott‘s how to do this.
After breakfast, the teachers gather in one famous experiment ―blue- eyed/ brown- This camp was an experience I
of the houses together with the two Ameri- eyed‖. I divided a group of students in two, will never forget and I want to thank all the
can educators, in order to learn new half of them with blue eyes and the other half people who made it possible and offered me
strategies of teaching. During our classes, with brown eyes. I told them that one day the a fresh perspective on my profession as a
the students do activities with the camp blue-eyed students were considered superior teacher.
counselors. to the brown- eyed ones, and that they had the
At noon, everybody meets for lunch and right to do whatever they pleased, even to
after that, the teachers take their groups of treat the brown-eyed students in an unfair
children in one of the houses and start way. The brown-eyed students did not have
their lessons, teaching the students what the same rights, they were supposed to be
they learned during the morning. quiet and not question any unfair treatment
Around 4, the classes are over and it‘s they received from the blue-eyed children.
beach time. The children, together with The next day, we repeated the same exercise,
PAGE 50 Teaching Tolerance through English
Summer Camp

Mădălina Linţa, EL Teacher, George Ţărnea High School, Băbeni, Vâlcea

The summer vacation is a time because there was something new every
special time for teachers to recharge their night: Talent Show, Disco Night, Treasure
batteries after a successful or extended was inspiring to see others from other nations Hunt, Cultural Night, Movie Night, Camp fire
school year. This summer vacation was out working towards the same goals. Teachers or Karaoke. My students enjoyed this diver-
of routine for me. I was given the chance had great respect for each other‘s nationality sity of activities and said it gave them the
to take part in the Teaching Tolerance and traditions. I felt accepted for who I was as chance to use English to socialize. Further-
through English Summer Camp in Bala- a teacher coming from a small town in Roma- more it was very rewarding for me to know
tonlelle, Hungary, offered by the RELO nia. During the entire time I felt confident and that they keep contact with students from
Office, part of the U.S. Embassy in Hun- I was able excel in practicing the methods I other countries using the internet. This has
gary. This year the happy event happened had been introduced to. become a fun and entertaining way to prac-
July 29 - August 13 and I am pleased to The five students that I brought to tice their English long after the camp.
say that my participation was funded by the camp belong to different ethic groups in Besides it is very satisfying to see that the
the U.S. Embassy in Romania. my community. Some of the participants are students have developed leadership skills as
The camp, this year at the 6th members of Roma communities in my area. well. They are more motivated to study
edition, was situated in a quaint town The ethnic communities are often self- English since they now see its relevance for
along the shores of Balaton Lake. Before segregated in my town. The marginalization of communication. It also has instilled in them
the trip, I was very nervous. It was the the Roma communities in Romania has be- a greater confidence to follow their own
first time I had left Romania and I was come a concern in recent years since Romania moral compass.
taking 5 students under the age of 14. entered the wider European community. I see As for implementing some of this
The 16-hour bus ride from Southern Roma- the effects on the children of southern Roma- great experience on the work ground, I
nia concluded in the tranquil atmosphere nian when they separate at school. This camp found it very entertaining and engaging for
of Balatonlelle. This town was one of the was the first time my students were ―forced‖ my students to practice ―Readers‘ theater―.
most relaxing places I have ever been to to use the English they had learned in the This particular approach allowed them to be
and influenced the tone of the camp. The classroom. The exposure to other students that creative and to express their own emotions
camp itself was very welcoming. Each area only had English in common required my by being a character in the play we chose .
in the facility was separated and desig- students to use English to communicate. The They also responded surprisingly well to
nated for a purpose. This stood in stark camp was also about accepting ourselves, ―Index Life History‖. I assessed this activity
contrast to other educational activities I sharing our cultures and introducing the ideas to produce language with no written words,
had participated in. to incorporate visual representation and to
The first day of the camp showcase other students talents. I com-
composed of multiple ice-breaking pleted it in a full classroom of beginner
activities. At the camp, teachers were or elementary students.
introduced to new teaching techniques, Students worked in groups of two at the
such as ―Carrousel ―,‖Jigsaw‖ or beginning and then switched to three. At
―Think/Pair/Share‖, during our morn- the end I got motivated and occupied
ing teaching training. It was presented students. Materials needed: a piece of
by two successful American textbook paper and a pen.
writers: Lydia Stack and Mary Lou
McCloskey. In the afternoon we got a Write your name in the center of the paper
chance to practice these techniques with of tolerance. The kids really saw what they DRAW!
our international students. Many of the had to achieve by being tolerant. Although -Upper left: Where you come from
methods were highly interactive. this might sound fairy normal it is not some- -Upper right: Your Family
The teacher-trainers made me thing that is commonly taught or promoted in -Lower left: Your Interests, Hobbies, Talents
feel more confident in sharing my experi- Romania. The camp also introduced American -Lower right: Goals for the future.
ences because they had a unique way of culture, history, and sports. This helped to -By your name, draw something related to
making everyone accepted. They facilitated engage the children in their English language your name
a community atmosphere. By the end the education.
second week I had a strong feeling that I When it comes to my students‘ Now share...
belonged to an international community. It experience, the evenings were their favorite
PAGE 51 Teaching Tolerance through English
Summer Camp

Therefore I think my Romanian colleagues proverb that says: ―It doesn‘t cost anything for ing. This is one of the great experiences
could benefit from what I have learned at a candle to lighten another candle‖. The spirit shared at the camp that made the training
the camp. Historically Romania has been a of community could not have been accom- valuable and exceptional.
country that is very regional focused and plished at the camp without cooperative learn-
things like learning about tolerance can go
along here. This fall I presented the Pro-
ject at the National English Teachers‘
Conference, in Timisoara. The project will
be presented at the Biannual Teachers‘
Meeting so that other teachers in my area
can gain from new teaching methods.
I am very grateful for having
had a great opportunity to be part of the
community of teachers that have benefited
over the course of six editions by their
presence at the camp. There is an old

Adriana Naicu, EL Teacher, Izvoarele, Olt

and Bullying, Conflict Resolution and other

topics as interesting and challenging as
how much we would learn, even the ones mentioned above. Besides these
though we had been given infor- pedagogical themes that we learnt through
mation about this from the very speaking English only, since there was no
beginning. Let me just mention other language known by everybody, there
that we all had to be present for were plenty of games, either at the camp
breakfast time at 8 o‘clock in the or at the Balaton lake, and special unfor-
morning, and, until 10 o‘clock in gettable nights such as Cultural night,
the evening, when we could go Casino night, Treasure Hunt night, Movie
back to our rooms, we were all night, Disco night and so on. However,
engaged in various energetic, what I liked best were the ―infinite‖ ice-
attractive and interactive activities. breaker activities (toilet paper roll, two
You may expect me to explain
It was not bad at all for we did truths and one lie, line-up, prejudice etc.)
why I chose this title for my article and, in
not have time to think of anything else but and all the other activities at the English
order to do that, I merely need to mention
what we were doing there; there was no Club (carrousel, exit ticket, jigsaw,
the Teaching Tolerance through English
time for missing home or families because it reader‘s theatre, using picture books, I
Camp which has been taking place for six
was all fun and learning without even being have—who has?, four corners, sunshine
years, since 2006, from July 30 to August
aware of it. outline, index card life history, etc.) meant
13, in Balatonlelle, Hungary, where I have
I would also like to mention to involve each and every student, regard-
also participated as a EFL teacher, with a
some of the topics we dealt with, guided by less of his/her proficiency level, which
five-student group from the school I teach
the two great, friendly American educators, helped me immeasurably at school when I
in. We came from Romania and were ex-
Drs. Mary Lou McCloskey and Lydia Stack: got back home.
tremely enthusiastic to be part of such an
Community Development (who are we?), You will be surprised to hear
extraordinary and useful program. To be
Human Rights (respecting self, respecting that at school I actually started a new
honest, we could not have ever imagined
others), Rosa Parks (civil rights heroine), career in teaching because I am now using
how busy we would be at the camp and
Speaking Up against Bigotry, Stop the Hate playful methods every time I get the
PAGE 52 Teaching Tolerance through English
Summer Camp

responsible and respond in a

positive way to my giving
them the chance to be teach-
working from time to time to prepare those
ers themselves. Another thing
plays and see beautiful results before Christ-
that I did was to provide them
reading materials that is easy
To draw up a conclusion, I would
to understand and unbelieva-
say that I have never experienced such a
bly attractive through colorful
wonderful time in my whole life and this
images and actual topics and
may be a way to thank again of the people
realities. They practically
who believed in me and chose me and my
enter a world where no tasks
group of students, though I am such a young
are to be done; they just read
chance without being ashamed that a teacher with little experience, to be part of
world literature in English and this is more
teacher also knows or likes to play. Imag- than enough to make them feel proud and self their extremely useful teaching activities
ine me bringing toilet paper roll in the -confident
classroom to use it for teaching purposes! At the same time, I
I would say my students were simply presented materials to other
startled aback when I asked them to act teachers of English and not only
out something, to explain something with- and helped them with materials
out paying attention to their grammar whenever they needed. I actually
mistakes, to talk to each other more than have a drawer in teachers‘ room
usually and move around just to use Eng- where I put most of my new
lish and do their task. The first activity materials to be used by the other
that I did was Index Card Life History teachers whenever they like. More
where I showed them how to draw their than that I asked some of my
life story as to provide them a model. It English teaching friends to do
proved very funny for them when I drew some plays on Resolving Conflicts with our
my family because I am really bad at draw- students and present them at the end of the which not only overwhelmed me but also
ing. So, this made them feel free to make helped me afterwards at school. The Teach-
semester as a Christmas present for everybody.
mistakes of any kind and opened them to This idea crossed my mind after having acted ing Tolerance through English Camp gave a
discussion and debate. Moreover, I learned myself back at the camp with the other teach- teacher like me, who gets no support what-
to rely on my good students and asked soever, an impulse that this career can be
ers, which impressed me a lot and made me
them to help the other students with ex- great, pleasant and satisfactory with a little
enjoy that inspiring activity. My colleagues
planations, support them in and outside care and tolerance that must start with our-
were really impressed by my experience and
class. This way they seem to be more selves.
appreciated my offer to them. We have been

Welcome to the State Alumni website!

State Alumni is your global community: a dynamic and interactive networking experience for all past
and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs.
Stay connected with your exchange experience and explore the various opportunities available to you from State Alumni. Find fellow alumni in your
country and in all regions of the world. Share your ideas, learn from your fellow alumni and find out about alumni activities being implemented in
communities the world over. Focus on your professional development by searching for job and grant opportunities, and post your résumé or academic
articles. Prepare your research through State Alumni‘s Online Resource Center, and access over 20,000 U.S. and international periodicals, newspapers,
and more!
Grow, stay connected, and expand upon your exchange experience. Join Now!

Become a fan of StateAlumni on Facebook


The American Corners Program seeks American Corners are rooms set aside in their historical evolution and as part of
to promote understanding and cooperation regional libraries in nine counties for collec- contemporary American society.
between the United States of America and tions of American materials and program-
Romania, by providing accurate and di- ming. American Corners are interested in inter-
verse information about the United States acting directly with the public by using its
on a variety of topics, that will help ex- American Corners offer collections of resources in conducting programs, including
pand communication and exchange be- materials on topics covering English teach- student advising, art exhibits and profes-
tween our two countries. ing, U.S. culture, lifestyle, and values both in sional development training.

American Corner Bacau -

Casa Corpului Didactic Grigore Tabacaru, St. Oituz 24, Bacau
American Corner Baia Mare -
Biblioteca Judeteana Petre Dulfu, Bd. Independentei 4B, Baia Mare
American Corner Bucuresti –
Biblioteca Nationala Pedagogica, St. Zalomit 2, Bucuresti
American Corner Cluj Napoca -
Biblioteca Judeteana Octavian Goga, Calea Dorobantilor 104, Cluj-Napoca
American Corner Constanta -
Universitatea Ovidius, Facultatea de Litere, Aleea Universitatii 1, Constanta
American Corner Craiova -
Biblioteca Judeteana Alexandru si Aristia Aman, St. M. Kogalniceanu 9, Craiova
American Corner Iasi -
Biblioteca Judeteana Gh. Asachi, Piata Palat 1, Iasi
American Corner Timisoara -
Biblioteca Judeteana Timis, Piata Libertatii 3, Timisoara
American Corner Targu Mures -
Biblioteca Judeteana Mures, St. George Enescu 2, Targu Mures

English Language Programs

Shaping the Way We Teach English For non-U.S. Participants
is a teacher-training course consist-
ing of fourteen video-based modules E-Teacher Scholarship Program
with a supporting training manual International English teaching professionals take one of seven online graduate
and supplementary resources. Each level classes through the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the
module is a ten to fifteen minute University of Oregon.
video segment with examples from
classrooms and educators around the English Access Microscholarship Program
world. Each module also has corresponding readings and support English language skills provided to talented 14–18 year-old students from
materials that can be printed and copied. Some of these examples disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive summer ses-
are from primary level classes, while others are from secondary sions.
and post-secondary level classes.
Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program
Introduction (PDF, Video)
Provides opportunities for young English teachers from overseas to refine their
Module 1: Contextualizing Language (PDF, Video) teaching skills and broaden their knowledge of American culture while
Module 2: Building Language Awareness (PDF, Video) strengthening the instruction of foreign languages at colleges and universities
Module 3: Integrating Skills (PDF, Video) in the United States.
Module 4: Pairwork/Groupwork (PDF, Video)
Module 5: Learner Feedback (PDF, Video) Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Program
Module 6: Managing Large Classes (PDF, Video) International secondary school teachers participate in a six-week professional
development program.
Module 7: Learning Strategies (PDF, Video)
Module 8: Authentic Materials (PDF, Video)
Module 9: Critical & Creative Thinking (PDF, Video) Classroom
Module 10: Alternative Assessment (PDF, Video) Management
Module 11: Individual Learner Differences (PDF, Video) Idea Book
Module 12: Younger Learners, K-5 (PDF, Video)
A manual and idea
Module 13: Peer Observations (PDF, Video)
book on how to
Module 14: Reflective Teaching (PDF, Video) manage classrooms,
Appendix, Additional Handouts (PDF) produced by the
Peace Corps (PDF).

International Education Week is an opportunity to We encourage the participation of all individuals

celebrate the benefits of international education and and institutions interested in international educa-
exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. tion and exchange activities, including schools, col-
Department of State and the U.S. Department of Educa- leges and universities, embassies, international or-
tion is part of our efforts to promote programs that ganizations, businesses, associations, and commu-
prepare Americans for a global environment and at- nity organizations.
tract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and
exchange experiences in the United States.