English and Literacy 2016 Conference Report Highlights
The English & Literacy Conference ‘Weaving worlds with words and wonder’ was held in Adelaide, 7-10 July. We had a fantastic response to the sponsorship opportunity for teachers to attend this conference and received over 30 Expressions of Interest. Twelve teachers were sponsored by the Board to attend and they have provided reports detailing their conference experience.
Read the conference reports below:
"I was especially attracted to the promise of a focus on words, and attended the conference with a mind to learn what I could about word selection, creativity in language, and grammar teaching. The concept of weaving together different strategies and ideas appeared as a constant motif throughout the various presentations, and the conference was composed of three strands: narrative, creativity, and language and inquiry. "
"There are many other goals some of them small and some that at present I cannot even put into words. Overall however, I thank the TRB for making it possible for me to attend this conference. It has enriched my teaching and I will definitely be using it to work with others at our school. "
"In my teaching practice I will definitely being trying to cultivate a good healthy learning habitat in which students can “wonder” and learn. I loved the idea of teaching literacy through implementing stories and drama to bring about understanding of meaning and emotions and empathy so I will definitely try to bring these approaches in to the different classes that I do TRT in the Lower South East region."
"It will have become obvious throughout this summation that the three days of the AATE / ALEA Conference was very helpful to me professionally. I have come away from the days with not only a lot of inspiring content to share with colleagues, but also with contact details for people to continue conversations and share resources. I am very grateful for your sponsorship."
"Attending the 2016 National Literacy Conference was reinvigorating as a teacher in an isolated rural school. I left with a head swirling with new ideas about the world in which my students inhabit and how best to engage them. I was introduced to a wide variety of adult picture books, which break down the barriers between those students who are more literate and those who are less. "
"By sharing my learning with my faculty in relation to these sessions, it is my hope that we would be able to strength both our methodologies for teaching text creation across the year levels, but also that we will have an opportunity to consciously turn our minds to sequencing the development of those skills through the middle and senior years. "
"I look forward to my continuing affiliation with the many professional teaching associations (particularly ALEA), as well as the numerous professional development providers and resources available. I will continue to strive for personal growth, whilst extending my knowledge and understanding of this commendable profession we call teaching. What an absolute honour it is to be such an important and influential part of a young person’s life! "
"From a teaching perspective though, I am able to gain a better understanding of where students are in relation to their reading experience and how they consider texts. As an avid reader, the ability to truly sink in to texts and interpret what the author is expressing is of utmost importance. It is likewise crucial for students to be able to consider how and why they interpret texts in that way, and express this process in a fun and engaging way. I intend to embed “visual rhetorics” within my classroom as it focuses upon critical and creative thinking of texts in an original way. "
"While I am presently completing ‘How Language Works’, and appreciating the complexities of language, and the importance of understanding functional grammar; what resonated throughout the conference was that ultimately, English teaching is about making connections. It is about using the dispositions Melanie Shoffner so articulately explained, and that Misty Adoniou metaphorically explored in her closing plenary, to provide the most creative, rigorous experiences for our students. "
"I was delighted to be sponsored by the South Australian TRB to attend this national conference and am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. It has encouraged me as an educator, reminding me of my role in the teaching and learning process, I picked up some strategies that could promote my students’ writing and comprehension skills and understanding, and provided me some focussed time to reflect upon my chosen career."
"I want to be a teacher who asks children questions so that they have an ability to understand why words are in sentences. I want the children I teach to have understanding and comprehension of English grammar. Beyond that I want children I teach to get to the stage of analysing their use of words. I believe the functional grammar approach aids learning English and literacy."