by Batya Lederfein
For those teachers who braved it through the wilds of Tel Aviv traffic and who eventually sighted "Talpiot College" on the Tel Aviv-Yaffo frontier, the adventure didn't end with the journey. They had to maneuver their way through an action-packed conference, facing momentous choices at every stage of the way.
Dr. Gail Weinstein of San Francisco State University, who held audiences at the summer International Conference spellbound throughout her demonstrations of how to make the teaching of writing meaningful, was back in Israel as a special guest of the American Cultural Center. At her plenary presentation and workshop, she developed the theme of using "Learners' Lives as Curriculum", a topic particularly well suited to the new direction English teaching will be taking with the launching of the New Curriculum. Other lectures and workshops in the field of literacy included the use of poetry to elicit communication between children, interactive practice of the writing process, presentation of an "active reading" program for English speakers, and tips on how to get the pupils "hooked on book tasks".
In all, there were 33 workshops (see list below) and a book and materials exhibition with 22 participants. The emphasis this conference seemed to be on the performing arts, with workshops on songs - including use of Karoake to produce instant pop stars - and theater. Te'atron Hanefesh featured this year's theme of mutual respect in a play entitled Make Yourself at Home, and the conference culminated in a session on "brain gym" connecting language with mind and movement.
We were very happy to renew contact with many people who had not been to ETAI conferences for a while, and to welcome the new members who came in response to our newspaper ad. "Talpiot", our new venue, provided us with adequate computer and auditorium facilities, and a comfortable learning environment. Those who weren't able to make it this time missed a terrific day, but never mind - we're sure that the spring conference, to be held at Kaye College in Beersheba on Sunday March 28th, will prove to be of just as high a caliber. ETNI listers who are interested in receiving the ETAI Forum and news of future conferences are invited to ring the office 02-6796029.
Plenary Address "Exploiting Learners' Writing": Workshop
A Theatrical Approach to Text"
Reading Academic Texts in English"
Ilan Jacobi - "Teaching Grammar the New Way - NTC series of Grammar Books"