The chapter held its annual Pecha Kucha night where four presenters each gave a short presentation on various topics related to language teaching followed by a short discussion session.
Insider: 20 Questions Made Fun by Juha Vaittinen. For his presentation. Juha introduced the table-top game Insider and how it could be adapted to the language classroom. The game follows a simple question/answer format where members try to identify secret words by formulating yes/no questions to deduce the answer. This activity can be used in a variety of ways, however the initial explanation can be challenging to lower level classrooms.
Discussing Current Issues in the EFL Classroom, by Zack Robertson. Zack discussed both benefits and challenges of incorporating current events and issues into the language classroom. Pros included generating student interest through dynamic and relevant material that fosters learning language as a means rather than an end. Challenges included the high degree of difficulty of authentic materials, potential misunderstandings and conflict concerning sensitive topics, and risks posed by modern recording technology.
Building a School on a Shoe String, by Jason McDonald. Jason gave tips about starting a language school from his personal experience as a small business owner. His primary advice involved controlling initial costs and investment by utilizing various public resources such as community centers or private establishments such as coffee shops or restaurants. Starting this way, he argued, enables you to stay flexible, keep your profit margins higher, and better connects you to the surrounding community which helps your school grow.
19 Thoughts for a Thoughtful Teacher, by Roderick van Huis. In his presentation Roderick provided several hints to improve teacher/student relationships in the classroom. Teachers, he argued, can improve their classrooms by taking small measures to show the students they are keeping their needs in mind. Some of these steps included making student name cards, giving students choices regarding seating and activities, using neat and colorful writing, and maintaining a consistent, professional look for all classroom handouts and materials.