To perpetuate its commitment in providing quality English language teaching among its stakeholders, the Yanbu English Language Institute (YELI) utilized the first three weeks of the Ramadan Season to conduct series of Professional Development (PD) sessions to address relevant training needs of its teachers. As this year’s Ramadan fell at a time when classes were already finished and in order to give the teachers the chance to make use of this precious time, the YELI management thought of this initiative to inculcate continuous quest for excellence and productivity. Dr. Wael Alharbi, the Managing Director of YELI, believes that this is a perfect time for teachers to reflect on their teaching practices, to think of initiatives that can help them grow personally and professionally, and to participate in academic undertakings that can make them better teachers.
The first part of the three-week long professional development program this Ramadan started last week on May 29, 2017. A workshop helping teachers gain deeper understanding on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) was conducted. During that workshop, the use of the CEFR in placing, teaching, designing materials, and assessing students at YELI was demonstrated. Similarly, on May 31, 2017, a workshop on conducting action research was held. Different technological tools in ELT were integrated while demonstrating the steps in conducting action research. Participants were able to participate in different interactive activities and came up with their own action research plans / proposals.
The second part of the series is going to be conducted on week 17. On June 5, 2017, a seminar titled “(E) merging literacies: Understanding challenges to authorship, readership, and classroom practices” was delivered. The presenter explored emerging literacies as revolutionary phenomena and discussed challenges to conventional teaching practices. An academic talk on the application of discourse analysis (DA) in a foreign language classroom will be presented on June 7, 2017. Various application of DA in an EFL classroom and discuss functional and communicative approach to language teaching will be elucidated on this session.
The last leg of the series is going to be held on week 18, the last week of the semester. From June 11 – 14, 2017, a 4-day workshop on using various digital tools for teaching language skills will be conducted. The workshop aims to train teachers on how to effectively use selected digital tools for language learning and to provide them hands on opportunities to develop online learning activities using different platforms.
Clearly, with all the programs and activities organized to develop teachers, YELI stands firm with its vision and mission of achieving excellence through innovation.