Notes from the TTEd SIG Exquisite PCE with Tessa Woodward

TTEd SIG PCE day started on a lovely morning in Harrogate with some introductions. Following that, over 50 participants coming from different parts of the world had a chance to talk to the trainers around them about their countries and the contexts briefly thanks to a short mingling activity.

Tessa WoodwardTessa started the session by saying that the theme of this PCE is  Basics and beyond suggesting that she is the basic and the participants are the beyond.
The Question Web

The Question Web

The morning session started with creating common grounds. Tessa Woodward invited the participants to ask questions. She mentioned that we need to ask many questions, basic questions such as how learners learn, how we gain teaching necessary skills, whether trainers are necessary, etc. She introduced the question web.

The Circle Worksheet

The Circle Worksheet

Then she introduced the worksheet with circles. A kind of matrix that we would use for common understanding and terminology. She asked the participants to write the kind of language student in the middle of the circle worksheet.

 Participants came up with terms such as pupils (younger learners), cadettes, participants, clients, etc.
2nd circle was for the terminology used their roles, for mentor, teacher trainer, instructor., practitioner, teacher educator, etc. and the 3rd circle was for the terminally used for the teachers they work with. Some names that were mentioned were mentee, INSETT participant, trainee, student teacher, Pre-Set Paricipant, etc.
After that Tessa invited the participants to work in groups and come up with their core tasks in their current settings and prepare a poster to share with the rest of the group. When the groups were done, Tessa said she would introduce two ways of sharing the group work as a kind of loop input. for the participants could try these in their settings.
Washing Line- for sharing group work

Washing Line- for sharing group work

1) Washing Line: Due to the limitation of the session room, she adapted the activity by saying that

“All you need an anchor to hold it and a lovely tall person.”. After the volunteer shared the core tasks his group came up with as seen in the picture (left), Tessa asked the participants what may the advantages and disadvantages of this activity may be? One disadvantage: the lovely person’s arm may get tired :).
2) Carousel: For this sharing activity, each member of each photo[1]group was numbered and asked to move to another group. The person who holds the poster of the group was responsible to explain the group work to the rest of the members. Finally, all the photo[2]posters were put up on the wall for display at the break time. See some of them below:
Posters showing trainers’ core tasks 
photo 2
  photo 1
We do different things, we call our students differently but “What is a common task?” asked Tessa. Almost all of the participants replied by saying that the common task is Observations.
Tessa summarised the first session and attracted our attention to the fact that it is a rare occasion for trainers to get together and share experience with such a wide ranging trainers.
Burcu's Session

Burcu’s Session

Second half of the day started with Burcu Tezcan-Unal‘s presentation of five different scenarios in which technology was used for ELT. This short session served as a refresher called Affective elements of ELT and learning technologies.The participants were invited to discuss the positive and negative sides of the scenarios. The main aim of the session was offer food for thought to teacher trainers while giving feedback on technology integrated ELT classes.

The rest of the afternoon session was allocated to Supervision Models. According to the feedback taken after the PCE tho apart of the session was four very interesting and useful especially by most of the participants. Below are the models. The input lecture was given using a buzz group technique.
5 Models of supervision

Tessa, monitoring during the session

Tessa, monitoring during the session

Directive supervision
As the name suggests, it is direct and informs the teacher. The supervisor tells what to do. There is the assumption that he/she knows best and the utterances usually start like “Next time you should…”/ “The lesson was….”
The participants were invited to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of supervision and with what groups of trainees that would work best. It may work best if the trainee readily wants prescriptive supervision or with fairly inexperiences groups of trainees who do not have ideas to create alternatives.
Alternatives model
This way of supervision may work well with e new teachers. It may be a good idea to give options by suggesting: There is this way of doing this, and There is the other one.. If the trainer bites her tongue and resists saying this is my favourite, the approach works best.
Group discussions

Group discussions

Collaborative model

The supervisor addresses the classroom work using a “we” approach. How can we improve this class?then the participants discussed for what kinds of cultures and experience groups would this work well.
Non-directive model
The supervisor acts a s a good listener, occasionally summarises the conversation by saying  “So you mean…” / “If I understand correctly… “. The supervisor checks his/her understanding, allowing the teacher to come up with her/his solution, acting like a mirror. What is experienced here is freedom to express and explore ideas without fear of condemnation. Those who have taken therapy may be too critical of this model though.
Creative model
 There are two ways of applying this supervision technique:
A) The supervisor does a little bit of directive, collaborative, offering alternatives, and non-directive models when/if necessary. We can call this as principled eclecticism (referring to Phrabhu, 1990.)
B) The supervisor use different insights from different disciplines.

Tessa concluded by saying that all models require different skills and they need to be selectively used in different settings.

The last part of the PCE was allocated to different observation tools and discussions on pros and cons of each. The participants discussed the value of each and the situations that they may fit best, such as the observation being for evaluative or developmental, the kind of rubric used may change.


photo[7]Finally, the PCE committee members and the participants thanked  Tessa Woodward, they filled in the feedback forms, received their certificates and left with many food for thought, ideas and insights gained in group discussions. You can see the reference list below.

References and the Reading List

References and the Reading List

One thought on “Notes from the TTEd SIG Exquisite PCE with Tessa Woodward

  1. I was unable to make the PCE and was curious as to what I had missed. Many thanks to whoever it is that has taken the time to post up these summary notes – they are much appreciated.
    Best wishes to all!

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