May workshop

Statue of Admiral Guillermo Brown, Irish born founder and Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine Navy.
Statue of Admiral Guillermo Brown, Irish born founder and Commander-in-Chief of the Argentine Navy.

It takes the summer holidays to start catching up with all the work we did over the year and are planning for next year! I’ve just been around the website today tidying up bits and pieces and some of this post overlaps with some of the information available on our May Workshop page.

We were absolutely delighted that the 2014 May workshop was a great success. This workshop was free to register and open to all members of the ATS. We now use Eventbrite for registration for our events and we hope you are all getting used to it!

You can read the Twitter backchannel (what people were saying about the event on Twitter – really useful condensation of what was said) here.

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.

One of the (many) worksheets at the Methodology Carousel
One of the (many) worksheets at the Methodology Carousel

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. There was an incredible buzz and energy in the room, despite the glorious sunshine outside the building!

These ideas – typed up – 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. If you think there was an idea that we missed, check out the photo section of our Facebook page as photos of all the worksheets have been shared there.

It was a bittersweet occasion as well as we were very pleased 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 has a particular interest in differentiation and shared this very useful document with us as well: 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.