Assessment is for Learning English

This one-day course explores ways in which formative assessment can be successfully employed in all aspects of English teaching. It combines the work of Black and William with other recent research and suggests practical ways in which to incorporate the strategies of the classroom. The course suggests the most effective structure for successful lessons and considers in detail how to maximise learning potential. A variety of exemplars will be provided to stimulate thought and discussion on developing classroom approaches.

Personal Study (int. 1) Spoken English

This half-day course considers the alternative to the written Personal Study, ideal for less academic pupils and for those who have a preference for taking over writing. Starting from choosing a topic, the course goes on to explore ways to assist pupils with note-making, planning and delivering their spoken responses using some of the strategies in “Talking Milestones” by John Lawson and Fiona Norris. In line with some of the thinking behind “Curriculum for Excellence” the course will help teachers to produce confident individuals who are effective contributors in our society. The skills involved in this area of the curriculum will lead to valuable learning for life.

The Crucible & View from the Bridge

During this one-day course, we will explore a number of perspectives on both plays in order to examine the social concerns of one of the great American dramatists of the 20th century. We will be looking at some of the key dramatic moments in the films of both plays.

The American Dream: Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

This one-day course will attempt to examine elements of the American Dream in a key text in American literature. We will attempt to define the idea of the “Dream” with assistance from Fitzgerald’s short story “The Swimmers”. And we will look at the presentation of the idea of the Dream – the idealistic conception and the more rootless conception in present day America. We will also include some possible approaches to teaching this text in the classroom.

Gatsby and the American Dream

The Great Gatsby is often seen by critics as the American novel of the 20th century. It has been closely linked into the idea of the American Dream. On this one-day course we will examine that close relationship between novel and concept.

The American Dream: Miller and Fitzgerald

This one-day course will attempt to examine elements of the American Dream in two key texts in American literature. – Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman. We will look at the presentation of the idea of the Dream in both texts – the idealistic conception of the Dream and the never more rootless conception in present day America. The day will include looking at approaches to teaching these texts in the classroom.

The Crucible & View from the Bridge: Two Great Plays by Arthur Miller

During this one-day course, we will explore a number of perspectives on these two plays to examine the key concerns of one of the great American dramatists of the 20th century. The day will include viewing extracts from the film of the Crucible.

Some Approaches to Teaching Poetry

This one-day course will explore several approaches to teaching poetry with senior classes. We will look at the work of older poets like W. B. Yeats and G. M. Hopkins but more recent poets like Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, Carol Ann Duffy and Don Paterson will also be included.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet

How should we teach Shakespeare? To see the text as essentially a dramatic experience! We will certainly focus on some of the main themes of his plays by using video extracts from a range of film treatments we will explore different teaching strategies.

Some Approaches to Teaching Shakespearian Tragedy

This one-day participative course will examine several perspectives on teaching Shakespearian tragedy. We will focus on a single play – Othello – and will include whole class and group work approaches to the text. We will be looking at three film versions of the play. We will call on the extensive use of the experience of course participants.

Shakespeare in the Cinema

We will explore several film versions of two plays – Othello and Hamlet. Since Shakespeare is essentially about language and cinema is about visuals there are real difficulties about any adaptation of a Shakespeare play – and of course real pleasures.

Tennessee Williams: Streetcar and the Glass Menagerie

William’s critique of the American Dream in all its complexity is still relevant in our time. We will examine these two plays and support some teaching approaches with senior classes.

Tennessee Williams: The Glass Menagerie and Night of the Iguana

These are two key texts from one of America’s finest dramatists. We will focus on the dramaturgy in both plays and attempt to tease out the main concerns of the writer in his work.

Hardy: Tess and Return of the Native

Hardy is so often accused of being a bleak and pessimistic novelist but there are so many affirmative dimensions to his work and we shall focus in on both dynamics in these two novels.