CNT-Funded Online Teacher Training (March to July 2020)

Taking advantage of the newly launched innovative Online Teacher Training courses delivered by Lewis School of English in Southampton, CNT has been able to offer continuous professional development to many LPJ teachers throughout the lockdown caused by COVID-19.

 

 

March 2020 Helping Students with Pronunciation
8 Palestinian LPJ Teachers (covered in previous article)
May 2020 Getting Creative with Resources
21 Palestinian LPJ teachers including 2 from Gaza
May/June 2020 Helping Students with Pronunciation
9 Palestinian and 7 Jordanian LPJ Teachers
July 2020 Helping Students with Pronunciation
26 teachers, 1 from each LPJ school in Jordan
(This course is still in progress)
   

All these two-week courses required at least 5 hours per week of individual study, but the teachers spent considerably more time than this.


Getting Creative with Resources (May 2020)

  • ‘Best class I have ever joined – inspiring, fun and motivating’
  • ‘I really enjoyed the course. It was good for me. I have never taken an online course before. It added a lot to me. I learned many things. I learned how to evaluate resources and what was best for my students’ needs. I learned how to source, exploit and adapt material with the minimum preparation to engage my lovely students. Tom, [the course leader] you have been great. The course was detailed and organised.  I liked the flexibility of being able to log on at any time. Thank you, Diana and Hadeel [the LPJ Supervisors] for all your help’. – Afifeh
  • ‘Authentic materials help students to enjoy the class’ – Abeer
  • ‘So happy to meet new colleagues on this workshop’ – Norma
  • ‘Tom, thank you for your positive feedback – high level of teamwork’ – Mary
  • ‘Free online tools!’ – Shehadeh
  • ‘Gained a great deal during the course which will be beneficial in the classroom’
  • ‘Course provided efficient techniques and resources which will improve my teaching skills’ – a teacher from Gaza
  • ‘Always a challenge to find resources but now have access to a website to create a lesson or a video – more professional and engaging’ – Diana

This course was an opportunity for the whole cohort of Palestinian schools to work together. Some teachers were new to the LPJ schools. Some schools had two attendees to encourage the building of a strong learning community.

This was the first opportunity to include Gazan teachers in CNT-funded training. 

The teachers were introduced to Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, a classification of the different objectives and skills that educators set for their students (learning objectives). The teachers worked online in collaborative groupings with constant interaction. Two whole-group Zoom sessions were organised. The teachers were expected to design and share resources. They learned how to make presentations using and creating authentic materials. The Lewis tutors shared a wide range of quality weblinks to extend and encourage creativity.

This was the first time that these teachers had worked online and it presented them with quite a challenge. They rapidly gained digital confidence and expertise.

On 12th June, we received a word of thanks from Fr. Jamal Kadar, LPJ Director of Education in Palestine, and Mrs Abeer Hanna, Schools Director:

‘Fr Jamal and I do really appreciate all of your CNT work to the benefit of our teachers despite the difficulties you faced. On Monday I had a meeting with Diana and Hadeel. We talked about online courses and challenges they have overcome, so we discussed what has been done this year and what will have to be done next year so they will develop a plan to follow the teachers’ performance next year, and encourage them to use the skills they have acquired from the online courses’. – Abeer

 

Helping Students with Pronunciation (May/June 2020)

This course provided an opportunity for Palestinian and Jordanian teachers to work together.

This time, the 7 Jordanians who had been unable to join the earlier training found themselves paired with Palestinian teachers. This welcome interaction had never previously been possible. Teachers described this as ‘caring and sharing’ and ‘building bridges’. Those reluctant or hesitant were persuaded of the need to adopt total immersion in English throughout their English lessons, which they accepted.

‘Thank you for this opportunity to develop our teaching skills. I appreciate all the work that you have put into this training. It is good that we are building bridges between LPJ teachers and exchanging experiences (Jordanian and Palestinian teachers are paired). It has helped to develop my skills as a teacher’. Wafa

Others reported:

  • ‘I am excited to share what I have learned with my students’
  • We discussed many topics – stress, intonation for natural speech’
  • ‘Learned many techniques and how sounds are made’
  • ‘I was worried about learning online, with all the pressures of the virus and being at home it was a very new experience, but I now feel better and more comfortable’
  • ‘Thank you for a great experience, pleasant and valuable’

 

Pictured: Teachers Wafa and Afifeh