English Language Fellow Rose Golder-Novick as well as Fellows Jenna L. Thompson and Rebekah Gordon led a day-long teacher conference in Beijing, China. The conference was held at Golder-Novick’s home university – the Capital University of Economics and Business. This conference was provided to the foreign language department to give teachers new, innovative and engaging tasks that they can use in their classrooms.
Teachers have found that a lot of their students have been more engaged in their mobile phones than in participating in classes. This was one of the motivating factors for teachers to attend this conference and gain a better understanding of some ESL best practices. Golder-Novick spoke about interactive learning, and the use of authentic texts and materials as a way to motivate students.
Many of the practices that Golder-Novick emphasized related to connecting to student’s interests and experiences in order to build organic classroom environments that allow students to learn more naturally. Participants were introduced to games, cloze activities, discussions, and role plays. Teachers expressed their gratitude for the workshop and said that the materials were easily adaptable to their classroom needs.