Session 4B
Title: Tapping into Students’ Creativity

This workshop consists of a brief presentation of ideas relating to identity and to encouraging students’ engagement and involvement in their learning processes. The focus is on presenting English language and culture as being so much more than tests and scores. In the context of new, young students arriving in Australia for university studies, it is important to explore ways to foster a sense of belonging and security. Students are encouraged to work creatively on their productive skills and their confidence to try out new language. After a very brief overview of concepts from educational psychology and second language acquisition theory, I will present five homework projects that I regularly integrate into academic English courses. These projects are designed to develop the students’ abilities to express themselves by talking about: who they are, what they like and dislike, where they are from, what are their skills and what are their interests. In the last part of the workshop we will work together to expand a list of other possible supplementary activities to promote creativity and fun in our classrooms.

Vanessa Beal is an English teacher at UNSWIL. She worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and course coordinator in Montreal before relocating to Sydney in 2013. Originally from the UK, She has a B.A. (hons) in History of Art, Design, and Film from Middlesex University, London as well as a B.Ed TESL from McGill and M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Concordia with research focusing on vocabulary acquisition. Her research interests include vocabulary, motivation theory and curriculum development for academic reading and writing.