By Leona Bunting (University of Gothenburg)

The past few weeks we have been out to schools holding workshops with EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers on our Amigo Reader. Teachers have been asked to create teaching designs with various objectives and content including elements from the Reader. The last workshop was held on 5 April with two teachers at Lextorpsskolan in the town of Trollhättan, Sweden.

One of the teachers, Helena, has been collaborating with us for quite some time and is therefore familiar with the iRead project. The other teacher, Jenny, was new to the project, and therefore we began the session by explaining the project as a whole to her. They filled out the consent forms while we rigged the camera.

We explained that the idea of the workshop was for them to come up with teaching designs with the Reader. These designs will then be collected in a repository, a sort of bank of ideas, for all the participating teachers to use when we take the iRead system out in the classrooms for real in the autumn.

UGOT Reader Workshop.pngWe placed all the cards on a table; the cards for various objectives, type of learning, setup, time and technology. We explained how the technology cards correspond to features in the Reader. The two teachers looked at the cards for a minute, and then the first teacher started out by explaining her design. They then basically took turns coming up with new designs, discussing them along the way. The designs were quite diverse; some were short and simple, others included several learning objectives and were deemed to be more time consuming.

When the teachers had created ten designs, they picked out the five that they liked the best and explained them in more detail. They were quite happy with the outcome of their efforts, and on that note we thought it a good time to set a date for the next workshop, one on the iRead game – Navigo.

It has been interesting in all the workshops to see how quickly the teachers come up with different designs. Seeing them swiftly moving the cards around and combining them in all sorts of creative ways, the professionalism they embody becomes strikingly apparent. It will certainly be interesting to see what designs they come up with using the games!

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