Bridget O'Leary and Tim Strode, Monash College
Socratic Circles

This workshop is targeted to teachers who are interested in building reading skills in their learners. Specifically the skills of; reading for purpose, note-taking, building questions for interest, building questions for remembering, building questions for critiquing, understanding deeply a topic, using ideas read to confidently give an opinion and give evidence relating to texts read, listening, monitoring and giving feedback.

In this workshop you will gain an understanding of the theory of Socratic Circles, and take part in Socratic Circle activity. You will receive materials to use in class and a range of pre-tasks to teach learners how to give valuable feedback to each other.

This activity addresses university expectations of preparing learners to synthesise information in texts for purpose and to discuss and debate confidently. Teaching learners how to give each other feedback and the value of feedback in a supportive environment through the activities surrounding Socratic Circles.

Bridget has worked as an EAL English teacher for fifteen years, including eleven years in Taiwan and seven years as a manager at a language school. Interested in art, Asia and communication, Bridget also is an artist and has studied Graphic Design. She sees using creativity in teaching as necessary and constantly tries new ideas and approaches at Monash. Bridget has taught at Monash for three years.

Tim is an ELICOS teacher with 9 years’ experience as an English Language teacher. Prior to that he taught high school mainstream English at high schools in Australia and the UK.

Bridget and Tm are currently undertaking an Action research project called, Socratic Circles which is focusing on helping learners read for purpose and to build skills that will be expected at their Masters course.