Here at Tti, we take CPD very seriously. We take great pride in the quality of our teaching staff, so it is only natural that we try our best to foster a culture of continuing professional development in our school. That’s where CPD comes in. There are three ways in which our teachers can further their knowledge and skills and that’s through external CPD sessions – offered by many organisations on a variety of themes; peer observations – where teachers learn from each other creating a great sense of shared collaboration and from our internal CPDs.
Every month, one of our teachers runs a session for the other teachers, drawing from their own expertise, skills and practical experience. So far this year we had How to teach active listening, Making the most of the internet and Boardwork, among others. Our latest CPD was run by Luke Murphy on Memory strategies and how we learn. It was fantastic! Over to you Luke: – ( Marianne Arake – Director of Studies)
Memory strategies and how to remember new vocabulary
The CPD I delivered was based on strategies I have developed through experimenting with the most effective methods of teaching and encouraging the retention of new vocabulary, both in the classroom and within one to one lessons. The main focus of my CPD was on how to encourage associations between new words and concepts and the pre-existing schema of the learner. It is through using this pattern that longer lasting and more effective recall of new vocabulary can be achieved.
Fundamentally, I highlighted the importance of creating a connection between newly learnt words and a visual image within the mind of the learner. Moreover, the more graphic, disgusting, interesting, weird or funny this image is; the more likely the learner is to remember it. I therefore gave examples of how I apply this to my own teaching and how it can be used within an everyday context to create associations between new information and pre existing images within the mind. Although this concept of mnemonics is nothing new, and was notably used by the ancient Greeks, it is still something which is often forgotten by modern EFL teachers.
The most challenging part of this approach within an EFL context lies in the fact that the teacher needs to acknowledge that every learner is entering the classroom with their own unique set of cultural associations and expectations. It is the teacher’s job to effectively manage these pre-existing ideas and to successfully ‘tether’ them to the new information in a way that they will not be easily forgotten. Overall this method leads to more effective learning and a more creative learning environment.
I’d be interested in hearing what you guys all think?
“It was a really enjoyable session with lots of laughter and fun, as well as it being an interesting approach to memorization. I’m definitely going to try and apply it to the classroom!” – Joe Gowdridge
“It was creative, original and inspiring. I left the session pondering on the nature of memory. And I want to find the time to try it out.” – John Bedwell
“Dynamic, interesting and really useful.” – Luke Wilkinson