My name is Brendan O Se and I am a language teacher and teacher trainer here at the University Language Centre at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland. Our Language Centre offers full-time and part-time courses in English language and teacher training courses (CELTA). All information about our centre can be found here.
This blog is set up to allow some of my students here at the Language Centre to document their experiences of learning English at UCC and living in Cork, Ireland. The students taking part in this, for term 1, are from Brazil, South Korea, Kuwait, China, Saudi Arabia, France, Switzerland, and Germany. The approach to teaching and learning in class is collaborative learning.
My goal is to help the students to become successful, independent language learners. Class begins each day with the students in small groups exchanging their language learning experience outside the classroom. They discuss their observations about features of the English language they are encountering and share their ideas and strategies for learning. As the course develops, the students begin to source the materials to use in the classroom. This allows the class content and learning to relate more to the specific needs and interests of the learners. The students learn how to design their own language learning exercises, using authentic materials they find online or elsewhere. They begin to transfer the interests and skills they have in their first language to English. It is also a great way for everyone to learn more about their classmates, more about their classmates’ cultures, and most importantly, more about learning. It is fun!
As time goes on, I will also use this blog to describe and document our CELTA teacher training courses. I will be a tutor on the next course, which begins in January 2013. More information is available here.