More than a hundred NT2 teachers (in training) were present at the TopTaal Group teachers' afternoon on 21 April 2017: a meeting especially for teachers who work or will work for the language provider in the future. The meeting took place at the Domstad Course and Meeting Center in Utrecht, where various workshops took place in various rooms. Topics covered from literacy and autonomous learning to integration and differentiation. Teachers gave an 8 the afternoon afterwards, a good grade for an afternoon in which knowledge was shared, but new contacts were also gained. In this report you will find a short impression of the workshops that have been given.
“How good that you do this every year. A good tradition now ”
Plenary opening by Monique Deenik
The third teacher afternoon of TopTaal Group was opened by director Monique Deenik. In a short presentation she explained where TopTaal is on the map with different types of programs. For example, there are regions where TopTaal provides educational programs for the municipality and integration programs, Taal in het Bedrijf works for clients throughout the Netherlands, and since 2016 Stichting Leer Helpt !, a part of the organization that focuses on matching people who receive help want with language and language volunteers. Monique also paid attention to how integration programs are currently in the news and how TopTaal ensures that the quality of its programs is guaranteed. There is no doubt that good teachers are needed for this.
Everyone active! by Anja Valk
Language methods offer ready-made lessons with which you can give good lessons. But in addition, you sometimes want something different with the students you supervise. For example, what do you do to repeat the vocabulary of a particular lesson? What can you do with the reading texts in the course? In this workshop, teachers were introduced to various work forms, including from the book Active with language. They were given an explanation of how they can apply these methods, which work on different language skills, to the teaching material that they use themselves. In addition, she explained why it is important to use activating teaching methods, for example because the effective learning time then becomes longer and it increases student motivation. After the workshop, teachers went home with an assignment to themselves: what form of work will they try, when and with which students and what do they need for that?
Tailor-made language learning, differentiation in the NT2 class by Caroline Bakker
Although TopTaal works primarily with homogeneous groups, small differences in level and learnability will always arise within a group. Some students have difficulty writing, while others need more support in speaking. Good differentiation is a challenge, but also an opportunity to mean a lot to individual students. In this workshop the focus was on combining classroom and independent work and applying level differences in the same assignment from the method. Within the workshop, teachers have shared a lot with each other in the field of differentiation, with Caroline Bakker offering practical tools. In the workshop, the teachers also made a lesson that they could apply in practice and presented it to each other.
Goal-oriented speaking skills by Esther Oosterling and Ruth Monas
To develop your students' fluency, functional and relevant exercises are necessary. Esther Oosterling (teacher) and Ruth Monas (teacher and content advisor) showed in this workshop how you can practice speaking skills in class, how you determine the purpose of a speaking exercise (and choose an appropriate teaching method) and how you then provide feedback on the speaking skills of students. This concerned both the form and the content. During the workshop, the knowledge of teachers in particular was refreshed and shared. The participants were motivated and beautiful lesson plans were made at different levels and speaking goals.
Recognize illiterate students by Annemarie Nuwenhoud
With the recent influx of new groups of refugees, the composition of the ANT2 class has changed. In addition to the students who still have to start completely with the alphabetization process, there are now also much younger alphabets and low-literate people in the alpha class. What characteristics and needs do these different groups of students have, how do you recognize them and how can you best serve them as a teacher? After attending the workshop, teachers can better distinguish the different types of alpha course participants and match their talents and learning needs.
The My Plan Approach: self-directed and sustainable learning by Annemarie Nuwenhoud
How do you ensure that your students take more responsibility for their own learning process and are more engaged in practicing Dutch outside of class and after the course? The My Plan approach can help with this. This approach is based on coaching techniques, adapted for NT2 students. In the workshop of Annemarie Nuwenhoud, she showed how a student can make a plan (for the short and long term) and how they can coach each other in a video made by a group in Language in Cleaning. achieving their goals. After watching the video, Annemarie explained how you can work as a coach in a more coaching way, the teachers started to practice coaching conversations and plans were made to apply this approach in class.
Integration and Top Language by Charlotte Bloem and José Glas
Setting realistic goals is an indispensable part of the integration process. As a teacher you play an essential role in this. How do you coach your students during the course and in individual conversations towards an optimal trajectory? How do you ensure that the student has a realistic picture of his future possibilities and is prepared as well as possible for this? In this workshop, Charlotte Bloem (teacher) and José Glas (content and development manager) discuss, based on different cases, which trajectory is most suitable for different students. It explored how TopTaal's curriculum meets different needs, what you need to advise a student, what the integration exam looks like and what a student should be able to do before he / she participates. Teachers went home with a good dose of knowledge about how integration works and how TopTaal deals with this.
Culturally sensitive teaching by Natascha Zoutewelle
As a teacher, it is important to remain aware of your cultural frame of reference and the obviousness of your communication style. In this workshop, teachers learned to make more use of the cultural background of students and to connect better with communication. This was done through an interactive game, in which they learned a lot about themselves and, in particular, had to laugh a lot at the way they communicated. After this communicative game, the link was made with teaching practice: how do you approach the intercultural aspect of teaching practice and how can you learn something from a colleague in this? A piece of consciousness has been created in this workshop.
Conclusion and evaluation
The teachers' afternoon ended with a drink, in which a lot of chattering, laughter and networking took place. The fact that TopTaal is spread across the entire country means that teachers and employees see each other sporadically, but there was no sign of this during this drink. The workshops were of course discussed, but the necessary experiences were also exchanged about methods, types of groups, specific course participants and teaching methods. The fact that the publishers Coutinho, Boom and KleurRijker were present provided a good addition, because the methods and books mentioned could be viewed and purchased. Some reactions from teachers present: