Train the trainer: professional skills in Dubai

What’s the best thing about working for an international organisation? There’s always so much going on, so many opportunities to learn something new and to meet like-minded people – just like last week, when I had a chance to take part in a workshop for trainers of professional skills.

dubai_breakfast

dubai_camel

I won’t give you all the details, but here are my biggest takeaways:

  • a lot of teacher training skills and techniques can be transferred to professional training
  • that said, we should be careful not to call trainees ‘students’: the training room is not a classroom after all
  • there are things happening outside traditional young learner and adult ELT that are just as exciting

And a traditional link: a website recommended by the course tutors. It’s a great resource for workplace training sessions, with a lot of activities that can also be used in Business English classes and ESP: games, puzzles and more games!

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Pens of different colours and other desirable difficulties

felt-tip-pen

Here’s a great post by Claire Hill about introducing retrieval practice, interleaving and other so-called ‘desirable difficulties’ (a term coined by Robert A. Bjork, as I understand) into English (language and literature) lessons. A lot of it can borrowed for ELT, for example, planned recall sessions, completing knowledge organisers from memory and then adding the missing information with another colour of pen – very interesting indeed. And the outcomes are: better learning, easier tracking of progress, saving time in the lesson and for the teacher.