Session 3A

Lynda Clifford, Victoria University English

Session Title:
Kaos and Control in the Conversation Café

Guests at the Conversation Café will experience Control emerging from Kaos as they engage in social interaction, discussion, team work and oral presentation. By participating in this highly interactive session, teachers will see how adaptable the Conversation Café model is and how they can use it in their own classrooms. It is a great way for students at all levels to develop and gain confidence in a range of language skills, including discussion and presentation of relevant topics, all in a relaxed Café style environment. Students always arrive at the Café not knowing what to expect and it is important for teachers to realise that the initial Kaos is a positive start to the activity. Once students understand the instructions and purpose of the activity, their level of engagement is high and they are soon motivated to take Control of the session. This increases their autonomy as learners, which in turn enables the teacher to stand back. Of course, everyone has some fun along the way!

Lynda is a highly experienced educator, having taught EAL in a wide range of educational contexts in both Melbourne and London. She has been a teacher at VU for nearly ten years, where she has taught and coordinated English language programs at all levels, as well as coordinating a Curriculum Development Project. At VU she also spent eighteen months working on an innovative Language, Literacy and Numeracy Project where her role was Curriculum Development and Professional Development Coordinator. Lynda trained as an English teacher in London, where she taught in Secondary and Further Education for many years. As well as teaching in London, she had extensive experience as a Program Coordinator, Professional Development Coordinator, Curriculum Manager and Teacher Trainer. She has definitely encountered her fair share of Kaos and Control in the EAL classroom!