Κολέγιο CITY College
Main Campus, Thessaloniki, Greece
11 October 2016

Mr. Hatziapostolou and Dr Patsala in the PALSO Northern Greece Annual Convention

The University of Sheffield International Faculty, CITY College made its inter-departmental appearance  at  the 29th Annual Meeting of Pan-Hellenic Federation of Language School Owners (PALSO)  via the joint presentation delivered by Mr. Hatziapostolou, Senior Lecturer of the Computer Science Dept., and Dr Paschalia Patsala, Head of the English Studies Dept. With their presentation, entitled  “Engagement Matters: Enhancing Foreign Language Instruction Through Learning Technologies” the speakers successfully demonstrated the merging of pedagogy and technology as well as the paramount importance of keeping students engaged! The event took place at Makedonia Palace Hotel on August 25thand 26th in Thessaloniki.

The University of Sheffield International Faculty, CITY College made its inter-departmental appearance via the joint presentation titled “Engagement Matters: Enhancing Foreign Language Instruction Through Learning Technologies” delivered by Mr. Hatziapostolou and Dr Patsala

Dr. Patsala and Mr. Hatziapostolou exhibited the necessity of education evolving with the times, hand-in-hand with technology, taking creative advantage of what each domain has to offer and acknowledging today’s tech-savvy students, as the multiplicity of information available nowadays does not permit the excuse of not having material or inspiration!

For the purposes of language study and skills enhancement, a number of intriguing suggestions were demonstrated related to: online Games for practicing vocabulary, grammar and syntax; use of teleprompters for reading skills; speech-to-text and text-to-speech technologies; creative writing technologies including digital story books, animated stories, and comic books, to mention a few of them. Moreover, the two presenters also suggested ideas for testing and assessment including online quizzes, classroom clicker systems, online bulletin boards, and the use of forums either through Facebook groups or online discussion platforms such as Piazza.

Concluding their presentation in a whimsical fashion, Mr. Hatziapostolou and Dr. Patsala challenged the audience to consider, and think ‘outside the box’, regarding the use of videos with technological applications ranging from subtitling to re-creating scenes…all in all the possibilities are endless. From the stimulating presentation it became clear that content-wise, language study is fairly consistent; as a result, teachers need to channel their creativity towards the methodology they will employ so as to heighten student engagement.

If the encore of the particular presentation and the invitation to be repeated to a greater number of PALSO Association members is any indication, it becomes evident that if the audience is not engaged then the dialogic teaching/learning process between teacher and student cannot fully and efficiently function to perfection.

 

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