As per the invitation of the Affiliated School of the University of Macau (ASUM), Prof. Cecilia Guanfang Zhao from the Department of English at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities recently offered a teacher training workshop to the English teachers at ASUM on how to teach English effectively in an EFL secondary school setting.

The workshop covered an interactive discussion of key factors influencing students’ second language (L2) acquisition, strategies that could enhance students’ L2 learning motivation, as well as a hands-on analysis of lesson plan design and development that would influence the effectiveness of L2 classroom instruction. Prof. Zhao pointed out the importance of adequate knowledge about the various factors that together determine the effectiveness of L2 teaching and learning, including, for example, clear and level-appropriate learning objectives, proper and effective use of assessments for learning, and an emphasis on the use of language in context, among other things. In addition, she called on classroom teachers to go beyond knowledge telling to show students how to construct knowledge in the process of learning, and to involve them in lesson planning and activity design, as a means to promote active and independent learning.

Finally, Prof. Zhao shared her own experience of L2 learning and teaching over the years in various educational contexts, accessible resources available to classroom teachers, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing EFL teachers. She acknowledged that not all the students may be interested in learning a second language, especially when it is presented as a required school subject. This makes it all the more important, therefore, that language teachers make their lessons lively, engaging, and above all things, meaningful and relevant to the students. Only when they can see clearly the meaning and purpose of L2 learning, will they be engaged and motivated to learn.

Teachers participated in this workshop reported having gained a much clearer and in-depth understanding of the effective pedagogical approaches and practices, which would in turn help inform and support their future professional development. This workshop was funded by the Education Development Fund.

Media Coverage

  1. 澳大附校英語教學校本培訓 2018-12-20   Macao Daily News C09,澳聞