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Rome - Learning Not Teaching Today

By Mariagrazia @SMaryG
“Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~ Gandhi
ROME - LEARNING NOT TEACHING TODAYTired. More than tired. Exhausted. It's nearly 11 p.m., I got up at 5 this morning and I've been away from home all day long. I went to Rome for an updating course about methodology in preparing students for written and oral exams in English as a foreign language. Interesting and stimulating. I like to be "the student" and not the teacher for once. I need to recharge in order to be ready to go on giving. It was a nice rewarding experience: meeting other teachers and comparing our experiences, listening to our trainers from Britain and learn from their privileged perspective how to improve our teaching strategies of their native tongue is always a good chance to improve ourselves.
ROME - LEARNING NOT TEACHING TODAYThe seminars and workshops I attended, both in the morning and in the afternoon, were held by Trinity College London, for which I'm a local  representative in my town. Especially worth being there was Dr Mark Griffith's workshop providing strategies, tasks, materials to prepare students for the B2 level (if you are not  experts in English as a Foreign Language teaching, let's say high intermediate level) exams. This brilliant Welsh teacher/examiner could have been successful as a TV presenter or  a comedian because he is an incredibly entertaining, involving, hilarious communicator. I think my students would like to have HIM as their teacher. We laughed all the time! He teased us, entertained us, involved us, informed us, kept us interested all the time with his funny imitations of Italians' spoken English and imitations of our students' performances in their exams. Too funny! I'd love to learn how to be that volcanicly involving but ... that's something you can't be taught. You must be.
ROME - LEARNING NOT TEACHING TODAYAfter my 7 hour's  course, I had a pleasant date with one of the authors I've met thanks to my blogs. I met Cornelis De Jong and his lovely wife, Jennifer, in Rome. It is such a pleasure to meet interesting talented people online, but when you can do it in real life it is really exciting. Cornelis is a colleague too, he teaches English to teenage students in the Netherlands. In one of the biggest libraries in the capital, we talked over a cappuccino about Gaskell, Austen, teaching, Rome, our families, blogging - and I can't remember what more - and it was a lovely end for an already great day. Cornelis brought me a signed copy of his book, My Brother and I, an Austen sequel he wrote, which I'm going to read and review.This maybe sound an ordinary day to you, but I really feel it has been very special, instead. This is why I wanted to share. Good night, my friends.
P.S. Special thanks to my friend K/V. for all she did for me today!

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