More than 220 English language educators in Vietnam gathered to learn more about a range of innovative and tested teaching approaches focused on increasing student engagement at a recent Teacher Talks session organised and delivered by RMIT Vietnam.
Teacher Talks is a bi-annual professional development series for the English-teaching community in Vietnam, conducted in Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City. The most recent session was focused on Active learning: Teachers as enablers and activators and took place at RMIT Vietnam’s Hanoi, Danang and Saigon South campuses.
RMIT Vietnam Head of School of English & University Pathways Mr Jake Heinrich said many studies evidence greater leaning and language acquisition when there are greater levels of engagement and students participate in the process.
“When given the opportunity to actively engage with the information they’re learning, students perform better. It nurtures the brain, giving it an extended opportunity to connect new and old information, correct previous misconceptions, and reconsider existing thoughts or opinions,” he said.
Participants were exposed to various practical activities relevant to the Vietnamese context to use in the classroom through four practical presentations delivered by RMIT Vietnam senior educators. Topics included using flipped learning to promote active learning, practical ideas for motivating language learners, using driving questions to encourage active learning, and engaging in grammar.
Sunshine Garden Kindergarten Manager Le Thien Ly found the How to Use Driving Questions to Encourage ‘Active’ Learning session very useful to use in her own classroom.
“It helped me to better understand how to ask students to drive questions to encourage their own active learning, as well as how to integrate creative activities into teaching,” Ms Ly said. “Thanks to the session, I also realised that it is crucial to keep exploring new ways to make the lessons more interesting for students.”
Atlantic Five-Star English Educator Brandon Sinkovic was impressed with the Practical Ideas for Motivating Language Learners session.
“There [were] a lot of great teaching methods provided in the session which I can apply right away into my classes,” he said. “One of those is encouraging active learning by allowing students to brainstorm tasks or planning projects by themselves instead of just following the teacher's guidance."
First launched in 2018 after the success of previous TESOL Talks, Teacher Talks provides professional and personal development opportunities to teachers in local schools and universities. The sessions offer high quality innovative teaching methods to adapt to their own classroom setting, Mr Heinrich said.
“Over the past two years, the series has attracted more than 1,500 participants,” Mr Heinrich said. “Teacher Talks is a valuable activity that professionally connects educators in Vietnam and gives teachers some input to keep the development journey in motion.”
RMIT Vietnam School of English & University Pathways has a long and deep history of contribution in the area of teacher development in Vietnam and throughout the region. Its educators have been highly recognised at more than five conferences in Vietnam this year alone and have participated in more than 10 international conferences throughout Asia and Australia.
Story: Ha Hoang