English Language Instruction Challenges Brainstormed at Prep Session

As preparation for an educational event to be held at Birzeit University in September, a three -hour brainstorming roundtable was held at the British Council in Ramallah on March 16, 2013. The event paved the way for ongoing cooperation between the British Council, Birzeit University and the Palestinian Ministry of Education in improving students' English and bridging the gap between English education in public schools and that required at BZU. The roundtable was attended by British Council English Project Coordinator Andrew Foster, Department of Languages and Translation Chairperson Ghada Tarazi, two English language faculty professors Abla Aranki and Adnan Abu Ayyash, education faculty member Anwar Abdulrazeq, and six tawjihi and secondary level English teachers from public schools in the Ramallah area. The participants brainstormed educational and pedagogical issues related to English as a Foreign Language (EFL) for learners at both BZU and public high schools. The discussion emphasized teaching (TEFL) challenges raised by the school teachers, among them important pedagogical questions on teaching technique and practice, as well as other issues of concern. The session concluded with topics assigned for future training workshops to be studied by the participants. The training topics were: • TEFL in large classes• The attitudes of EFL teachers• The use of L1 (mother tongue) in EFL class• Strategies of reading and writing• How to provide a safe learning environment• Teachers’ good practices