The workshop series, co-organised by the Regional Engish Language Office (RELO), VietTESOL Association (VTA) and the University of Languages and International Studies - VNU Hanoi (ULIS), took place on 4th and 5th October 2019 at ULIS with the participation of 35 teachers from numerous schools and universities in Vietnam.
In the first workshop which took place on 4th October, Professor Fredricka L. Stoller shared with such teachers how to conduct an action research which would help them examine their own teaching in practical terms, at their own pace, and with their own needs and their students’ needs in mind. Not only did Prof. Fredericka give the attendees instructions and support but she also gave them a sample action research of her own on Theater Reader which helped her students improve their reading skills.
The second part of the workshop took place on 5th October 2019, at the University of Languages and International Studies. The lecture was separated into two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The morning section is the presentation of the two professors about ELT Professional Development. In the three-hour session, Professor Fredricka L. Stoller and Professor William Grabe delivered all the teachers there a great talk about their experiences in application for doctorates in Languages in general, as well as about techniques related to it, including the way to write documentations essential for the application such as curriculum vitae, cover letters and teaching philosophy statements. Not only did the two Professors give the attendees the instructions they need, they also gave them excellent resources for them to refer to, including samples of teaching statements and teaching philosophy.
Comparing to the previous session, this session had less activities and practices for the attendees, which is understandable as this was more of an experience sharing session than a lecture. However, the experiences from the two professors still gave all the attendees a lot of useful helps for their future careers.
The afternoon session of the workshop on 5th October 2019 at the University of Languages and International Studies, delivered by Professor Fredricka L. Stoller and Professor William Grabe, focused on the reading skill, specifically new directions in researching the skill and the implications for L2 instruction. During the session, the two professors shared with the attendees their opinion about the reading skill, considering it as a miracle of humankind and pointed out what a skilled reader can do in any two seconds. They also pointed out the right method to learn how to read, and emphasized on the fact that only by reading a lot over long periods of time could a learner become a skilled reader. Moreover, the professors also gave the attendees a sample reading text for them to practice what they learned to understand thoroughly why their method was considered correct.
All attendees were eager to grasp new knowledge from Prof. Fredricka and took part in pair work and group work enthusiastically. Ms. Nguyen Thi Thao, from Gia Lai Vocational College, said that she could learn a lot from the workshop, especially how to conduct an action research that could help her improve some gaps in her teaching in Gia Lai then. Ms. Tran Thi Thuy Linh, from Hanoi National University of Resources and Environment said that she could find some solutions for her teaching practice then.
After the workshop was over, the participants received their certificates and took photos with the professors.
Ha Pham & Nguyen Tuan Anh