In 2014 we ran two activities for the workshop. You can read the Twitter backchannel (what people were saying about the event on Twitter – really useful condensation of what was said) here.

Fátima Gonzalez Gómez of True Spanish Experience: CLIL Methodology Carousel: peer-led structured discussions.

We were delighted that Fátima Gónzalez Gómez (Academic Director of Cuenca, the True Spanish Experience project and experienced teacher of Spanish as a foreign language with experience gained across the world) could lead a workshop on how to integrate teaching cultural components with the teaching of the Spanish language. She shared tips and ideas as well as leading us in the creation of teaching activities, which were shared in a short presentation at the end of the first session.  Fátima has since shared the teaching activity on the Tres Culturas which she used as a guide for creating CLIL activities.

We also held a Methodology Carousel. At all of our events, we always hear people asking each other for tips and advice and so on this occasion, we built time for that right into the workshop and formalised the process. We voted on topics for discussion on our Facebook page. I’d like to thank members of the committee Rodica Darii, Kay Macken and Lorna McCudden for their help in editing, tidying and putting hotlinks into the notes I took on the day. I personally found this one of the best CPD days in which I’ve had the pleasure of participating, and I was blown away by all the ideas shared by members. These ideas are available on our Resources page and I would like to extend my thanks to all present for being so generous and sharing and presenting their ideas with and to us all.

It was a bittersweet occasion as well as we were delighted to welcome Joan Sutton, Chief Inspector for Spanish to the workshop after Fátima’s session. However, it was with some regret that members learned of the Chief Inspector’s plans to retire this year. We presented her with flowers on behalf of the members and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joan again for her work throughout her career in the promotion of Spanish as a subject. She kindly shared some words of advice with those present on the day and attendees wrote furiously as Joan spoke about good practice that she has seen around the country and encouraged us to keep up the good work. Joan is particularly interested in differentiation (one of our topics in the methodology carousel) and very kindly shared this very useful document on differentiation: teachers’ handout on differentiation from Joan Sutton Chief Inspector

We held this year’s workshop in Dublin West, for the simple reason that it is bigger than our previous workshop venue and we wanted there to be space for everyone who wanted to come. It’s likely that we will use it in the future so I will leave the directions up: Get directions here. Here is a link to the Dublin West Education Centre contact page if you want to contact them for further information regarding how to get here by public transport. The centre is easily accessible via the LUAS red line and Dublin bus, and is very close to the M50.

Many thanks to all who attended and contributed on the day.

AGM & Conference 2014

This year’s AGM and Conference took place in the Kilmainham Hilton Hotel on Saturday 11th October, preceded by a TeachMeet on Friday 10th October.

Read one committee member’s thoughts on it here. If you are not sure what  a TeachMeet is, click on the link to read a helpful Prezi by Paul Barrett on what they are and how they work. The TeachMeet created an incredible buzz among the 50 teachers lucky enough to get tickets! We’ll be sharing some of the presentations here for those of you who weren’t able to get tickets.    

This year, further to our intention to make links with other educational bodies, we had a number of short information presentations as well as our usual key speakers. Ana Sanchez Pérez of Colegio Delibes: Language workshop: direct & indirect object pronouns Charo Hernández of UCD: La evaluación en el aula de ELE. Information sessions: Patrick Coffey of the PDST: the new Scoilnet Carlos García de la Santa Delgado of the Instituto Cervantes Lisa Fox of Leargas Adolfo Carbón of the Consejería de Educación Kenia Puig i Planella of the PPLI   Read about it here.

During July and early August, our members voted on what language point they would like dealt with on the day, and on how they would like the language workshop to be slanted ie as a language lesson or as a methodology lesson.  They opted for a methodology-style lesson, and Ana Sánchez Pérez of Colegio Delibes once again obliged, delivering a lively presentation on the old chestnut of direct and indirect object pronouns! Read some of the blog posts for reactions to the AGM from some of the record 130 attendees – we’re getting bigger and (we hope) better every year! We’ll be sharing some of the presentations here and via email. Here’s the conference agenda and our list of sponsors who were more than generous and imaginative in coming up with raffle prizes for our members. It has been our policy to ask sponsors to provide a prize for the raffle which can go straight to our members rather than charging them a fee, and from the anticipation in the room, this was a great idea!! Click here to see our agenda and sponsors for the 2014 AGM and Conference.