Meet The Speakers: Sam Verdoodt

07/03/2018 - 21:53

Room 318
40-minute workshop

Reading Circles in the classroom.

Sam Verdoodt

There is some evidence to suggest that comprehensible input and genuine communication are two factors that greatly affect student learning. Not only do Reading Circles offer both, they are also a way of increasing learner autonomy and encouraging a shift in learner attitudes towards English in general, in part thanks to the sense of achievement students would feel.

Sam Verdoodt’s Bio

EC Language School

Sam was born in Belgium but has spent over a dozen years in Malta, where he lives with his wife and children. He obtained his DipTESOL while working at an international language school and, though his experience is varied, he typically teaches adults from countries all over the world in both long- and short-term courses.

Why have you chosen this topic for your presentation?

My own experience running Reading Circles has shown that students who regularly read graded readers, often progress to the next level roughly 50% faster than their peers. What I do, any teacher could do.

What do you want participants to take away from your presentation?

In this workshop, I hope to share some practical ideas for teachers to take away and try out in class and get students to read more enthusiastically. Reading can be fun, I promise!

Summary of presentation

Reading Circles offer many benefits to students: they are fun, focused classroom-based student reading and discussion groups which naturally combine the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening; they foster learner autonomy, with many students becoming more independent and enthusiastic readers; they demonstrate several ways of engaging with texts and ideas, perhaps making our students more critical thinkers in the process; they give a sense of achievement to the student, with possibly an increase in motivation. Instilling a love for reading is the gift that keeps on giving.

In this workshop, I aim to show some techniques that have worked very well for me. The attendees would assume the role of students and enjoy a first-hand experience with Reading Circles, followed by some time for reflection and discussion.

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