Article: A Musical Approach to Shared Reading
Apr 12th, 2010 by Fiodhna

Fiodhna recently published two book chapters in Jendi, A., Coombe, C. and Miled, N. (2010). ‘Developing Oral Skills in English: Theory, Research and Pedagogy’, a TESOL Arabia Publications. This book was launched at the TESOL Arabia conference 2010 in Dubai.

Chapter Title: ‘A Musical Approach to Shared Reading: The Effects upon English Vocabulary Acquisition in an Arabic Environment’.

Abstract: The notion of music enhancing language learning is increasingly common in the bilingual classroom. Yet, little is known about the effects of Music on second language vocabulary acquisition. This article investigates the potential impact of a musical approach to Shared Reading on the English vocabulary acquisition of bilingual learners. Subjects were one hundred and fifty Grade One Arabic/English speakers, of mainly Kuwaiti nationality. Six intact classes were divided equally into two groups, Treatment and Contrast. The No-Music group subjects (Contrast) shared stories without the benefit of Music while the Music subjects (Treatment) heard a sung version of the same stories and simultaneously viewed the printed text. Quantitative results indicated statistically significant differences between the groups, having music and not having music. Implications for the use of music in Shared Reading instruction in the second language classroom are discussed and further research is recommended.

Download the book chapter here.

Presentation: Storysacks for the Early Years Classroom
Apr 12th, 2010 by Fiodhna

Here is a presentation that I gave recently to Early Years Teachers on the topic of Storysacks. The presentation describes what storysacks are and gives ideas as to how th get started with Storysacks in the Early Years classroom.

Presentation: Differentiation made easy
Apr 12th, 2010 by Fiodhna

Here is a presentation that I prepared recently to introduce the idea of differentiation into the primary school classroom. The presentation gives an overview of differentiation and makes some practical suggestions as to how to get started in the classroom.

TESOL 2010 with David Nunan and Kaithi Bailey
Mar 15th, 2010 by Fiodhna

As a result of winning the inaugural Sheikh Nayahan Doctoral Scholarship that aims to promote the application of research on teaching and learning English in the Arab world, Fiodhna was an invited speaker at the TESOL Arabia 2010 Conference Colloquium, co-presenting with renouned international researchers and ledgendary authors – Dr. Kathy Bailey and Dr. David Nunan.As board trustees with The International Research Foundation (TIRF), they were part of the team who were tasked with awarding Fiodhna’s fellowship for original empirical research.

As keynote plenary speakers at the conference, the colloquium was introduced by Kaithi Bailey, giving an overview of the aims and goals of The International Research Foundation (TIRF). Fiodhna spoke about the findings of her thesis and entitled the presentation: “We taught them about teaching – but what did they learn – A UAE Case”. Lastly, David Nunan spoke about research in the Arab world.

Fiodhna’s presentation received extremely positive feedback, with many enquiries, an interview with a student teacher and collaborative research requests. Fiodhna also had professional conversations with featured speakers and authors including Andrew Wright, Hugh Derllar and Gavin Dudeney. Other featured international speakers included Jermey Harmer and Michael McCarthy.

TESOL Arabia Colloquium Presentation with David Nunan and Kaithi Bailey
Mar 12th, 2010 by Fiodhna

 Fiodhna co-presented with David Nunan and Kaithi Bailey in a colloquium on ‘Research on Teaching and Learning in the Arab World’. She presented the findings of her PhD thesis in a presentation entitled “We taught them about reading teaching – but what did they learn? A UAE case. Below is a summary of the presentation and powerpoint notes for download. See blog for details of colloquium.

Presentation Description: There is an urgent need to invest in  teacher education programmes in the Arab world. Outdated curricula and methodologies, reliance on rote learning and not enough qualified teachers present a threat to the quality of education in the region. This presentation outlines a qualitative case study that explores the perceived and observed impact of shaping and contextualizing teacher education reading pedagogy upon an evolving system of knowledge, beliefs and reading teaching styles in a UAE context. The findings suggest that by attending to a Vygotskian constructivist-based contextualized EFL model of second language teacher education pedagogy, the potential to enhance the capacity of Emirati female student teachers to teach reading successfully and enact pedagogic change in government schools is increased. While investigating the unique features of the case itself, these findings may have resonance for teacher education programmes in other Middle Eastern contexts.
Resources: Shared Reading for Second Language Learners Resource Pack
Nov 8th, 2009 by Fiodhna

This resource pack has been distributed as part of the Shared Reading for Second Language Learners presentation that has proved very popular over the past few years. Having presented it in both international and regional conferences along with school professional development days, most recently it was used as part of a presentation at a Private School in Abu Dhabi for the second time. The resource pack itself includes an article on the use of big books in reading lessons; sample lesson plans, extension activities and recommended books for teachers.

Download here.

Resources: Shared Reading Pamphlet
May 27th, 2009 by Fiodhna

This pamphlet summarizes Don Holdaway’s Shared Reading methodology for second language learners and provides seven techniques for Shared Reading in a second language environment. It also provides a list of useful websites with links to big books, a list of authors and practical activities for shared reading stories.

Download here.

Contacts: Literacy Resources in the UAE
May 20th, 2009 by Fiodhna

Based on an informal needs analysis conducted while supervising student teachers in both private and government schools in Abu Dhabi, I collated a list of publishers, suppliers, conferences, foundations and libraries in the UAE. This pamphlet was subsequently distributed during a presentation, that I gave to teacher educators in the Emirates College for Advanced Education, Abu Dhabi. These Literacy Resource contacts would be useful for teacher educators, teachers, parents and students in the United Arab Emirates.

Download here.

Presentation: Reading Approaches for the EFL Emirati Classroom
May 14th, 2009 by Fiodhna

Here is some information about a presentation that I gave at the Emirates College of Education in Abu Dhabi. The presentation introduced a variety of reading approaches that can be used in the EFL classroom. Here is the presentation.

Here is a video that I used to give an overview of guided reading. It is a very well presented over view in the form of frequently asked questions.

Resources: Outline of Speak, Listen, Laugh! Resource Pack
Mar 24th, 2007 by Fiodhna

This resource pack was distributed to over 100 participants during the presentation entitled ‘Speak, Listen, Laugh!’ that was part of the TESOL Arabia International Conference held in the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Dubai on 17th March, 2007. Following the structure of the presentation itself, the resource pack focused on the five principal contexts for the acquisition of speaking and listening skills in an EFL context: games, improvised drama, poetry and rhyme, stories and speaking activities.

The file included here shows an outline of the content. For anyone who wishes to receive the full pack, please contact Fiodhna.

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