This Umbrella newsletter is being written on the eve of International Teachers' Day, the day when we salute teachers, who are the major architects of the future generation. We are sending our heartfelt greetings to you, who inspire and motivate students, sharing with them the beauty of the English language, the happiness of communication and words of wisdom. You teach for life and what you do can be advertised through the slogan of one of the companies: "Bridging the World by Breaking the Language Barrier". Why not borrow from other areas, if our profession is not advertised?
Why "borrow" ads? At the time when I was a full time teacher (in the previous century) I was constantly on the hunt for glamorous, glossy magazines. Do you think I was young and attracted by pictures? No! Each time I chose an ad, I used it as an authentic tool. I organized these materials in envelopes and used the texts in various activities, such as: matching pictures and phrasing; creating new ads, combining parts of various ads, use sections of advertisements in guessing games, generation of discussions, vocabulary expansion, grammar practice, among others. Now I can't stand these magazines but still can't help but look at the commercials, ads and slogans as there is a great potential in these catchy appeals or statements for ELT. So I hope it is OK if we use advertisements (ads), commercials and slogans as a backbone for this Umbrella newsletter.
Laconic commercials will do the work and will cling to your memory and help reach the goal of "changing your thinking or creating excitement" http://smallbusiness.chron.com/differences-between-advertisements-commercials-10353.html.
See the trick—try not to think about the product that is advertised, but apply the slogan to your profession: "If you speak our language, join us" or "What we do matters. If it matters to you, talk to us" (Cargill). Amazing, isn't it?! As if it were about you!
By squeezing the maximum mileage from various slogans, ads, and commercials, we would like to highlight the news of the first month of this academic year. Enjoy and: "Make the Most of Now" (Vodafone)
I. "Connecting People" (Nokia) or the XIIth Umbrella Conference "From Reflection to Action” in Tula on September 20-22
About 60 representatives of various EFL Teachers' Associations were invited to participate in two-day brainstorming discussions about the projects for this academic year.
The tone was set by Prof. Svetlana G. Ter- Minasova who gave full support to a new project "Fostering Tolerance and Cultural Awareness Through English Language Teaching (ELT)". ELO Frances Westbrook caused a thrill of excitement presenting a new project "Research and Publication: Breakthrough to International Standards”. The idea of the project is to help Russian EFL teachers develop their research and writing skills, leading to publication in peer-reviewed journals. Prof. Elena Solovova's presentation on new standards was an eye-opener for many, and she also launched a new idea, a project entitled "Appreciating Diversity" that will help our students to develop presentations about their regions in excellent English with the use of multimedia. Associate Professor Ludmila Kozhevnikova's presentation was the talk of the gathering as her topic "Speaking part of EGE" is so topical.
The English Language Access Microscholarship Scholarship group was numerous, including approximately 20 leaders across Russia. They shared best practices and created plans for further development of this unique project.
Absolutely unusual was a high-tech training for a few lucky owners of MACs. Participants attempted to create new types of e-lessons using iBooksAuthor platform. The winner of the Teaching Tolerance Lesson Plan Contest, Yevgeniy Kolyadin from Yamal, posted his lesson. This is quite possibly the first EL lesson in Russia developed on this platform. If you have an iPad, try the link http://yamelta.ru/page9/index.html
If you would like to join a team of material developers, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
All reports from Umbrella will be soon available at a new NATE site http://nate-russia.ru and at http://www.elt-russia.ru Meantime you can get a full report at TSPU webpage - get to the bottom - you could download Prof. Mariya V. Verbitskaya's Power Point presentation on the Speaking part of EGE as well as proceedings of the conference: http://tsput.ru/about_us/activities/international_cooperation/news.php?ELEMENT_ID=19212
So much has been discussed and achieved thanks to the organizers which include TUELTA, headed by its President Zhanna Fomicheva, and her colleagues Anastasiya Khodakova and Nataliya Ulyanova, who followed the slogan "Making great things possible" (Globe Telecom) and turned an impossible mission into a reality that everyone enjoyed ( see photos at FB pages of TUELTA, ELTA-Urals, ATES)
II. "Just do it" (Nike) - Tolerance Questionnaire
Please spend 5 minutes on an anonymous questionnaire that will help us all the landscape of tolerance in Russia. The results will be available at the NATE website. The survey can be found here:
"Fostering Tolerance and Cultural Awareness Through English Language Teaching (ELT)" survey.
A database with the best lesson plans on this topic will be available when the project is completed. In the meantime you can access interesting resources on the FB page "EFL &Tolerance" that is consistently updated by the initiators of the project: Khodakova email@example.com Yelena Nadtocheva firstname.lastname@example.org and Yevgeniy Kolyadin email@example.com
III. "Excellence, Teamwork and Leadership" (PricewaterhouseCoopers). Our Access program is an Innovation Incubator
For those, who have just joined us, please see details about the Program at http://www.eltrussia.ru/articles_22.html
The Access Program is a two-year program that provides at least 360 hours of English language extracurricular instruction over the course of the program. Additionally, the program and includes an introduction to U.S. culture and values as well as a focus on leadership, volunteerism and developing active members of a civil society. The students are teenagers from low income families and the teachers are alumni of various US - Russia exchange programs.
The Access Microscholarship Program leaders shared their first research report on the results of the program.
If you would like to read the results, contact Olga Minina, KOMELTA President, at firstname.lastname@example.org
A new project “Mirror”, devoted to cross-cultural comparison of Russian and American history, culture, geography, people, etc. might be of interest to teachers throughout the Russian Federation.
For more information and an electronic copy of the powerpoint presentation, please contact to Sergey Umerenkov at email@example.com and Svetlana Semyonovykh at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also of interest is the Design for Change movement. For more information contact Svetlana Semyonovykh at email@example.com or check http://www.eltrussia.ru/articles_63.html
IV. "Helping make your Life Easier" (Albertsons) "Research and Publication: Breakthrough to International Standards”.
Those who work at Universities throughout the country were stunned not long ago by new evaluation criteria of their work: the amount of articles published in international journals. The risk to be considered “ineffective” looms large. Frances Westbrook, the ELO, initiated and received funding for a new project to help Russian faculty complete their own research and how to craft an article appropriate for an international, peer-reviewed journal. This pilot project is limited to only fifteen teachers, but if successful, will be expanded in the future. An application form will be sent to EFL Teachers' associations and posted at the NATE site.
The lucky 15 will take two online courses and will have one- on- one consultations with the expert during 2013/2014 academic year.
V. "Building Networks for People" (D-Link) The 20th Jubilee NATE Conference in Voronezh
Save the date! The 20th Jubilee NATE-Russia International Conference «Festival of Teaching, Festival of NATE» will be held in Voronezh on April 23-26, 2014.
The announcement as well as registration form and call for participation are available at http://nate-russia.ru/news_20130929195241.html
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