2018 Applied Linguistics Winter Conference (ALWC 2018) accepted Proposal Applied Linguistic Conference 2018 in New York City 2018
Prof. Dr. Jasmin Cowin Graduate School of Education – Touro College
From Russia with Love – Communicative TESOL Workshops at Plekhanov University
Plekhanov’s Winter University organized by the University’s Foreign Languages Department focused on “Current Global Trends in Teaching English.” Over the course of five days, the workshop attendees were challenged to incorporate new teaching approaches based on communicative, student-centered components and activities with a view towards culturally relevant pedagogy.
This presentation is a report on the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Winter University 2018 conference of the University of Tomorrow: Innovative Pedagogy and Methodology. Thematically, Plekhanov’s Winter University focused on “Current Global Trends in Teaching English.” The overarching conference theme was on the urgency to adapt to a rapidly changing world while creating agile mindsets in students and facilitators. The workshops presented were: Current Global Trends in Teaching English; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English – Methodology in Teaching English; and E-Resources Discovery and Analysis. As a final project, participants submitted online learning modules for their EFL courses focused on content-based instruction while incorporating the flipped classroom model. While designing the workshops, it became clear that many of the communicative activities and teaching approaches would require participants to step outside their comfort zone. Over the course of five days, the workshop attendees were challenged to incorporate new teaching approaches based on communicative, student-centered components and activities. Through using Harkness method strategies which encourage open classroom dialogue, the workshops were transformed into “Think Tanks” emphasizing a nurturing environment. This anxiety-free, collaborative approach supported risk-taking, opening-up within the group, and personal initiation of hands-on activities and projects. Upon reflection, the four pedagogical C’s: communication, cooperation, creativity and critical thinking are culturally transferable and as relevant as ever in engaging teachers and students to become agile thinkers, leveraging learning for continuous improvement within a culturally relevant pedagogical approach.