This session by Michelle Worgan took place at the online Future of English Language Teaching Conference (FOELT), organised by Trinity College London and Regent’s University London. You can learn more about the annual event at trinitycollege.com/FOELT.
Watch the video
Are you ready to introduce a learner-centred approach but you’re not sure where to start? In this talk I’ll show you my process for designing student inquiries for the primary classroom. Using my own models, I’ll demonstrate how to plan and set up your own inquiry and provide useful tips on how to get started with this flexible, inclusive approach.
Inquiry-based learning is a learner-centred approach which puts the student at the heart of the learning process. An inquiry is centred around the learner’s existing knowledge and curiosity, making lessons highly engaging and with clear progression. However, this approach requires a carefully designed and scaffolded plan to ensure it meets core standards and the learning objectives in a syllabus. This talk will demonstrate the design process for planning an inquiry suitable for learners with different skills and competencies.
We'll begin with a brief introduction to inquiry-based learning, why it is an effective approach, and an overview of the steps in the inquiry process.
Then we'll look at how to:
a) choose topics for inquiry and identify possible language areas
b) weave learning objectives into the inquiry plan
c) plan and design tasks to guide the inquiry
d) consider a variety of resources e) provide differentiation and scaffolding
Model inquiries will illustrate each area and provide practical examples of what an inquiry might look like in the ELT primary classroom. Finally, I’ll share useful tips to help participants introduce more learner autonomy in a scaffolded way so that learners gradually develop the skills to take a more central role in guiding the inquiry.
About the presenter
The presenter, Michelle Worgan is a primary materials writer based in Spain. She creates and develops materials based on her extensive classroom experience and has worked on a variety of different projects for international publishers. She is particularly interested in bridging the gap between ELT and mainstream educational materials and methodologies, with a special interest in learner-centred approaches such as inquiry-based learning and project-based learning. She's recently started designing teacher training courses in inclusive approaches, and is in the process of self-publishing her own resources packs.