I just took part in my first synchronous online workshop, provided by IH Online Training. It was presented by Zoe Taylor from IH Lisbon and dealt with teaching Intonation – something which I’ve been experimenting with a lot recently.
There were 18 participants from around the world, plus Zoe presenting and Shaun Wilden helping out the with technical side. First we had to join the session and download a small piece of software onto our computers which let us into an Ellumiate chatroom. Then we had to set up all of our microphones and test the sound – this took about 10 minutes, and once we were all ready Zoe started.
She showed us around the software first, then discussed some key terminology to do with intonation (like key, tone unit and tonic syllable). She demonstrated intonation patterns with example sentences, then we discussed some intonation rules in smaller ‘rooms’. This was the most surreal part of the experience as it took most of the 10-minute time limit we had to work out whether we could hear each other! (If you ever plan to take part in a workshop like this, PLEASE make sure you are using headphones! The echo effect made it pretty confusing at times) Once Zoe brought us all back into the main room we shared the findings with everyone.
The last part of the workshop was some practical activities, with some of us volunteering to demonstrate them to the group. This was the most useful part of the session, and there are definitely a couple of activities I would like to try out. The workshop was recorded and will be posted on the IH Online YouTube channel at some point – I will post the link when I have it.
For anyone who hasn’t tried out an online workshop before, I would definitely recommend it – it’s a great free place to get new ideas and you’re in the comfort of your own home. Keep an eye on the IH Online Training page for future workshops (and you don’t even have to teach at International House to join in!)
Hope to meet you there soon…