Workshops

Workshop A
Teaching Text Attack Skills:  Developing More Strategic Readers
Michelle G. Paterno
Julius Martinez

Research in L1 and L2 contexts have long confirmed what teachers instinctively know – strategic readers are more proficient readers.  However, it is also equally clear that the teaching of strategies alone will not necessarily translate to better reading comprehension skills of students. 

This workshop is both minds-on and hands-on. It starts by formulating a framework of understanding how written discourses are structured, how information is organized and cued in texts, where main ideas are located, when shifts in topics and themes occur, and how ideas unfold and cohere with each other. From this grounding, it segues to an engagement with ‘text-attack’ activities that aim to build multilingual learners’ metalinguistic awareness.  By doing so, we may help students work through challenging texts and reflect more consciously on how to provide more specific and accurate interpretations of text information as they become better strategic readers. 

Workshop B
Empowering Learners through the English Language: How to Help Them Become Effective Communicators in Local and Global Contexts
Maria Luz Elena N. Canilao
Michael Ian Benedict P. Estipona

Is the English language a tool of empowerment or a thorn of enforcement in your classroom? Do your students listen and respond eagerly or do they focus on something else secretly? Do they express their ideas courageously or simply follow an English-only policy? Do they use a strong voice fearlessly or fall into a deafening silence frequently?

This workshop is designed to discuss policies that may either inspire or intimidate English language learners in multilingual settings. It provides a venue to evaluate practices that may either build their confidence or quell their enthusiasm in doing their communication tasks. It aims to challenge teachers to examine their English language teaching paradigm and encourage them to find innovative ways that may enhance their students’ oral communication skills. Together, participants will think of creative strategies that may be used to help learners become active listeners and effective speakers in local and global contexts.

Workshop C
Writing in the 21st Century:
Teaching Writing in a Multilingual and a Multicultural Classroom
Cecilia A. Suarez
Maria Concepcion Montenegro

Just what is in store for the learners of the 21st century? What skills do they need to develop to make sure that they can cope with the demands of a borderless society? What specific writing skills do English language teachers need to address in the classroom to help learners become better prepared during and after school? Indeed, with the world getting smaller and smaller because of technology, teachers are continually challenged to make their classrooms relevant and responsive to the needs of the learners.

This workshop will engage participants in discussions about the role of teaching ESL writing in a place so diverse like the Philippines. More specifically, participants will take part in designing activities and developing materials that will help learners use writing as a tool to bridge gaps that seem omnipresent in every multilingual and multicultural classroom.

Workshop D
Teaching the Fiction of Many Voices for the Many Voices in the Classroom
Devi Benedicte’ I. Paez
Jose Marie Cuartero

Whose voices emerge when our students read fiction? Whose voices are represented? What views of the world are shaped in the kind of fiction we require our students to read in the Literature classroom? We teach fiction today in a world that may be seen through Hollywood’s cinematic lens, animated by local popular culture, or condensed in a Facebook status update. How do we engage our students to find themselves, their cultures and contexts in the fiction that we read?

This workshop asserts that reading fiction is fun and fundamental to shaping our shared humanity. By interrogating the traditional canon in literature and accommodating a plurality of voices in our reading lists, we may create a more vibrant and meaningful reading experience for our students. From these discussions, the workshop also focuses on a more relevant framework that may help students identify, analyse, and evaluate the elements of fiction while grounded in their contexts.  At the end of the module, participants may find themselves as more informed and passionate advocates of reading fiction in the 21st century.

Workshop E
Meeting the Challenges of Performance-based Assessment
Apricinia B. Fernandez
Irene Benitez

As language teaching meets demands of global education, so must the measures for learning achievement. In a regional setting where English has briskly become a lingua franca, the struggle aimed at strong and effective English language teaching persists -- in traditional classrooms, in special language centers, even in the virtual on-line classes. Addressing the needs of a different segment of learners from varied cultures, backgrounds and interests, English language teaching has moved to a more engaging approach characterized by authentic-task use where application and practice are not too far from the real world. From the likes of the grammar translation approach, teaching adopted the more “practical” communicative and task-based. But as it did so, it faced another challenge - that of assessing learning which in this scenario should focus on what the learner can do in the language. The traditional test cannot sufficiently address this; but it can turn to performance-based assessment (PBA). What is PBA? What goes into its development? How does it work for learning and teaching? How does it assure the factors of validity and reliability? The workshop will lead participants into an engagement with performance-based assessment.