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AUS holds English workshop for secondary school teachers
English-language teachers from select UAE secondary schools learned how to incorporate visual arts activities and digital cameras into their teaching during a workshop held by American University of Sharjah (AUS) yesterday, April 17.
Entitled," "Enhancing Students' Language Learning Through Visual Arts" the workshop was organized by the AUS Office of Enrollment Management and the Department of English at the AUS College of Arts and Sciences. The 21 English teachers who attended were from schools participating in the AUS Sharakah Program. As part of the ongoing activities under this program, a series of workshops are being held to enhance teaching methods and introduce new trends and technology in teaching different subjects to secondary school students. This workshop, conducted and hosted by the AUS Department of English, was held in the university's Main Building.
During the workshop, participants were involved in the production of meaning through a visual art activity that prompted them to imagine, create and narrate. Participants used digital cameras to film, edit and produce a project. Advantages and benefits of the use of visual arts and digital cameras in teaching and learning were then discussed and highlighted.
Dr. John Battenburg, Head of the Department of English, said, "This is a wonderful opportunity for AUS to collaborate and share insights about English language teaching, which is very important in the Gulf and UAE. Russian linguist and literary theorist Roman Jakobson once said that language without meaning is meaningless. In our collaboration with school teachers within the Sharakah program, we're hoping to work together to make English classes more meaningful."
The workshop was conducted by Dr. Maher Bahloul, Associate Professor of English at AUS. According to him "This workshop is aimed to provide English Language teachers with some tips related to the use of visual media in teaching and learning the English language."
AUS recently signed Memorandums of Understanding with 12 secondary schools in the UAE under the Sharakah initiative whereby AUS will offer workshops to teachers and students; offer patronage of selected research, cultural, social and sporting activities and events organized by the Sharakah partner school; award partial scholarships to deserving students selected from lists provided by the schools; and offer university preparation courses, including SAT and TOEFL preparation courses, as well as recruitment of outstanding students from varied socio-cultural and economic backgrounds to AUS.
Other recent activities held as part of the Sharakah program included the first Annual Sharakah Soccer Cup and a workshop for math teachers.