Beth Melia-Leigh

    Hi Jane,

    Thank you for sharing your course plan. This is a new context for me, so it’s been really interesting to learn a little more about teaching (and training) for the OET. Your overview and course notes at the beginning also provided useful background and helped to contextualise the taster course.

    Some aspects of the course design that stood out as being particularly effective for me were:

    • Plenty of coffee!!
    • Inclusion of a pre-course quiz and focusing on expectations/fears at the beginning.
    • Dealing with different papers each day – provides a specific focus.
    • Use of colour.
    • Inclusion of different input sources (e.g. video clips, practice papers, criteria, self-study resources).
    • Trainees putting themselves in the students’ shoes (= loop input).
    • Development of learner autonomy (both for trainees and students).
    • Opportunities for reviewing learning, Q&A and CPD.

    Some things to think about:

    • As you said, it is rather input heavy, so I would consider where/how you might be able to incorporate more opportunities for practice/application, e.g. micro- or peer-teaching.
    • Could you draw more on the teachers’ previous experience, e.g. by drawing links between GE teaching and OET teaching and highlighting similarities/differences, transferable skills, etc. This may help to take away some of the fear of teaching in a different context, i.e. an effective lesson is still an effective lesson.
    • You mention on day 1 teaching Reading A as you would teach it to learners – as I mentioned above, I believe this kind of experiential learning through loop input can be very useful. However, I wonder if, as well as using this as a springboard for reviewing the paper (i.e. what you taught), you could also use it to analyse how you taught it. Again, you could then draw on how this might be similar/different to how they usually approach teaching reading.
    • I wonder if at the end of the course it would be worth coming back to the fears that were raised at the beginning to reflect on if/how these have been allayed? (And, if not, what else can be done?)

    All the best,