The second edition of Teacher Talks, a professional development series for the English-teaching community in Vietnam organised by RMIT Vietnam took place successfully across three locations in Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hanoi in September.
Entitled Extensive Reading, the series focuses on sharing new approaches for enhancing student reading experiences.
Reading skills are a very important aspect of language learning, as well as a skill that allows students to access content at home and deepen their knowledge base by engaging with a broad range of content from a variety of different sources, said RMIT Vietnam Head of School of Language & English Jake Heinrich.
“Extensive reading provides students with the tools to take command of their own language learning, and at RMIT we seek to build lifelong learners out of all of our students, as the learning journey never stops, it only gets further enhanced as we get older,” he said.
“Through the Teacher Talks series, RMIT is able to bring in experts in a range of different fields, and it is by sharing best practices from not only a Vietnam perspective, but an international perspective as well, that we seek to broaden the pedagogical strengths of language teachers here in Vietnam.”
Mr Heinrich added: “By imparting this level of methodology to teachers in Vietnam, we are hopeful that they can then take those skills back to their own classrooms and continue the wonderful work that they do in shaping the future of Vietnam's next-generation workforce.”
Participants had the opportunity to gain insight in how to set up and run an Extensive Reading program provided by international experts and English educators from both international and local universities.
Along with the University’s presenters, RMIT Vietnam brought to the talks a number of international and local experts in Extensive Reading. These included Professor Rob Waring from Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama, Japan, a specialist on the topic and second language vocabulary acquisition, as well as an Executive Board member of the Extensive Reading Foundation; and Mr Paul Goldberg, the founder of Xreading, an online platform which aims to make extensive reading more accessible for students and easier for teachers to manage.
Meanwhile Ms Vo Pham Trinh Thu, Associate Director of the Center for Foreign Languages at Can Tho University, said at the event that the chosen topic and the information provided by the guest speakers were very useful and applicable.
“I took a lot of notes and will bring them back to my center for further discussion about how to apply this new approach in our curricula,” Ms Thu said.