RMIT Vietnam NewsImproving learner engagement in English teaching

Improving learner engagement in English teaching

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 10:24

RMIT Vietnam recently organised its annual Teacher Talks, a professional development series for the English-teaching community in Vietnam, in Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City.

This year’s series of workshops was themed Learner Engagement: Inspire, Motivate, Stimulate. English teaching professionals attending the workshops were presented with a range of tried and tested ideas to ignite active participation in learners in a way that promotes deeper engagement with themes and topics.

Teachers gained insight in how to use low-tech games in language classes.

RMIT Vietnam Director of the School of English & University Pathways Jake Heinrich emphasised the significance of students being active in learning languages, as well as the importance of creating remarkable study experiences for them. 

Learner Engagement is an area that is pivotal to the achievement of the goals of all language learners,” Mr Heinrich said.

“English language teaching has for many years entertained a range of means by which to learn and teach, with the common thread being an 'active learner'. This is done through the provision of activities, content, inspiration and direction to a language class that engages learners.”

Daniel Holt, an RMIT English Educator and also a presenter at Teacher Talks 2019, said: “As teachers, we always hope that our lessons are meaningful enough to students that they leave the classroom with the intention of continuing to work independently.”

Participants practicing in the session of extensive listening to teach suprasegmental features of pronunciation.

Participants took home a wide range of tools which they can apply immediately to their contexts. The tools are intended to give learners and teachers opportunities to solidify learning, construct frameworks for communication, and push students towards communicative competence.

Participants took home many new ideas and skills to apply in their classrooms.

For example, local language educators gained insight into how to apply technology-based games and activities such as Beat the Buzzer or Pass the Paper, and how to creatively use flashcards to ignite active participation in teens.

Ms Nguyen Thu Ha, an English teacher from Hung Yen Gifted High School shared her thoughts after attending two workshops in Hanoi.

“One of the teaching methods that I am definitely going to apply is teaching with visual aids,” Ms Nguyen said.

“Well-prepared materials developed by teachers will enable students to become active learners, and have exciting and memorable learning experiences.”

Teacher Talks 2019 attracted 250 local teachers from across Vietnam.

“Our aim is to expand the capacity of English teaching in Vietnam,” concluded Mr Heinrich.

“I’m very proud that this year’s Teacher Talks has contributed to the professional development of hundreds of teachers across the country.”

Story: Van Doan