I wrote most of these articles and conference reports while I was doing my M.Ed.(CI). Originally put up on the website TeachAsiaOnline.com (defunct since 2009), I have decided to archive them here as I think most of the information is still relevant and useful for others. (2012) I'm now picking up where I left off to write about more recent seminars I attended.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Creativity in Language Teaching

Speaker: Prof. Jack C. Richards
Organised by: CUP, Bangkok
Date: 26 October 2012
Location: Windsor Suites, Bangkok

Prof. Richards started by explaining the whole range of qualities a creative teacher should possess, (S)he should be knowledgeable, confident, committed, non-conformist, learner-centred, possess wide range of strategies and techniques, be a risk-taker and perform reflective analysis.

In the classroom the creative teacher applies a wide variety of teaching methods,
uses creative activities, is flexible, looks for new ways of doing things, customises his/her lessons, uses technology and finds creative ways to motivate the students.

Schools have a big role in making creativity in language teaching possible. They can discourage creative teachers by e.g. ordering the teachers to follow the book rigidly, but can also encourage teachers to share, teach together, observe their peers, share lesson planning (as is currently happening in Japan), keep resources up-to-date and even reward teachers.

Prof. Richards message is that “Creative learners need creative teachers. Teachers need to work in schools where creativity is valued and shared.”

He kindly made his presentation available to the audience Creativity in Language Teaching (from page 14 onwards). His own web site can be found at http://www.professorjackrichards.com/.

My comments: a creative teacher is obviously an asset to the school and the students, but I have my doubts about sharing lesson planning. This would "force" teachers to follow best practice of the group instead of their own methods and plan their activities in too much detail, thus defeating the purpose of creative teaching.

(c) cafavier, 2012-2013

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