On July 17th, 2021, the Office of Science Management and International Affairs (FPT Education) co-organized with the English Department of FPT Polytechnic, Hanoi Campus, and the Management and Humanities Department of Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP, Malaysia) to hold a seminar on the topic: “Communication Strategies in the Classrooms: An Interactive Approach”. The seminar also attracted more than 50 participants.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, lecturers and students have to face challenges in teaching and learning activities that require the lecturers to change teaching methods to make students get involved in their online lessons.
Opening ceremony photo
Giving an opening speech at the seminar, Mr. Vu Chi Thanh – Rector of FPT Polytechnic shared: “Nowadays, English has become one of the most popular languages, bringing many benefits to students and employees. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, teaching English also faces many challenges as well as require practical changes. The seminar provides a chance for lectures to share and learn the teaching experience, deepen and understand more about new and effective teaching methods.”.
2 Guest Speakers, Dr Ena and Dr. Subarna participated in the Seminar: Communication Strategies in The Classroom: An Interactive Approach.
At the seminar, Dr. Subarna Sivapalan and Dr. Ena Bhattacharyya shared about pedagogical methods that have been applied in teaching and learning activities such as Active Learning. They also introduced some best practices to improve the effectiveness of teaching English.
Mr. Vu Chi Thanh hopes that in the near future there will be many opportunities to organize academic and in-depth seminars to build and improve teaching methods, bringing the best benefits to FPT Polytecnic students.
Through the seminar, Mr. Vu Chi Thanh also emphasized: “This is an opportunity for the lecturers to share about the current situation of teaching and learning, as well as the fill the gaps in the Basic English Communication classes. They will jointly develop strategies to promote greater student engagement in subsequent lessons. In addition, English lecturers will develop appropriate, active, and applicable learning strategies at FPT Polytechnic so as to increase student interaction and participation in basic English Communication classes in the near future.
Every English training institution in the world has faced difficulties
At the beginning of the talk, Dr. Subarna Sivapalan said that, under the negative impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, not only English but all other subjects had to get acquainted with online learning. The transformation of learning methods brings both difficulties and challenges, so how to organize attractive online classes is a concerning factor for all lecturers.
Dr. Subarna Sivapalan commented on the common difficulties in teaching as well as shared the expected goals after the seminar.
Unlike other subjects, communication skills are the most important skills that will achieve the best results through face-to-face classrooms. However, English lecturers need to change their teaching methods, even the curriculum, to be able to ‘retain’ students as well as ensure the effectiveness of online teaching.
Deep understanding of the learners
“No one wants to go to a class that makes them feel bored or sleepy!” an online class will be a specific example of a boring class if lecturers do not make any movement in teaching and learning activities. Instead of ‘forcing’ students to sit in front of a screen to finish lesson tasks, they should be enables to learn by themselves, actively learn by setting realistic goals.
“How to teach when time is limited? In fact, we can spend 1 hour per week to discuss and share with students with the previous lesson or orient students’ learning paths” Dr. Subarna Sivapalan said.
Dr. Subarna Sivapalan presentation
Practical lectures, 2-way communication, developing a Student-centered Classroom
Dr. Ena Bhattacharyya mentioned that group exercises should be encouraged. Thanks to group activities, students will make a sense of responsibility, and help each other to solve problems.
At the seminar, English teachers from FPT Polytechnic also shared their practical experiences in the teaching process and pointed out their current challenges. With the curriculum and teaching method “Realistic – Practical”, the lecturers have been trying to build a ‘2-way communication’ class, developing student-centered classrooms.
Dr. Ena Bhattacharyya presentation
From difficulties to discover full potential
Furthermore, the lecturers attending the seminar agreed with the aim for “all for students” and hoped that there are more seminars would be organized to solve other difficulties and find the right approaches to help English learners in general and English language studies at FPT Polytechnic in particular to achieve expected knowledge and skills.