Preparing for the oral exam: LanguagEd courses

Are you preparing for the oral exam of the concorso ordinario for AB24, AB25 or BB02? If you would like to prepare with LanguagEd, please read the following information on the courses available.

Note: Please read the information below thoroughly before sending an email as we are currently dealing with a high volume of inquiries and it is taking us longer than usual to respond.

To prepare for the oral exam, we offer three options:

A. The self-study courses Designing Activities and Lessons and Teaching Literature in the Language Classroom

B. Two short courses with live webinars, one for AB24 and one for AB25, managed by Chiara

C. Individual consultations with personalised feedback with our teacher trainer partners Sylvia, André and Rachel

Read on for the information on these 3 courses + some general information at the end.

A. SELF STUDY COURSES

1. What do the self-study courses offer?

The oral exam should require two main things: planning a lesson or activity and justifying your choices. To prepare for this, we have two dedicated self-study courses. One is Designing Activities and Lessons. This course focuses on lesson planning and it trains you to do the two things that the oral exam requires: design activities and justify your choices. The other course is Teaching Literature in the Language Classroom, which focuses specifically on how to plan lessons on literature, culture and history. They are both explicitly calibrated on the CEFR levels and relevant descriptors.

2. How long does it take to complete the courses?

Both courses include some theory but are mostly practical in nature, and our estimated times for completion are 20 and 30 hours respectively.

3. Can I try them for free?

As usual, you can try them out for free and see if you like them. Just open the course and click “free preview”.

4. Have the courses been updated for the oral exam of the concorso ordinario?

We have slightly updated the first unit of Designing Activities and Lessons to make it even more suitable for the oral exam. We have also added a downloadable PowerPoint template to both Designing Activities and Lessons and Teaching Literature in the Language Classroom, which you can use to design your presentation for the oral exam.

person holding pencil near laptop computer

B. SHORT COURSES WITH WEBINARS

1. What are the two live courses?

To meet the demands of many teachers, we have prepared two short courses, each one featuring practical webinars discussing how to prepare your presentation. One course will cater for AB25 and one for AB24.

In each course, you will get:

  • A downloadable PowerPoint template to prepare your lesson plan and oral presentation
  • Two lesson planning tasks: you will upload your lesson plan to the course and see other people’s lesson plans
  • Two 90-minute live webinars on Zoom with examples, discussion of the main issues related to the task and final Q&A
  • Access to all the downloadable lesson plans uploaded by your colleagues
  • Recordings of the webinars, which can be watched later
  • Access to the materials, including the recordings, guaranteed 24/7 for 365 days

2. What are the topics of the two courses?

Here are the details and dates for the two live courses:

AB24 course

  • You will complete two lesson planning tasks: “The dystopian novel” (liceo) and “advertising” (tecnico turistico)

AB25 course

  • You will complete two lesson planning tasks: one on the past simple and one on “healthy food”

3. How will the live courses work?

You can access the courses now and purchase your access:

AB24 lesson planning

AB25 lesson planning

The tasks are already uploaded so you have the time to write your lesson plan and presentation. You can share your lesson plan and presentation with the rest of the group and see their lesson plans and presentations so you can get more ideas.

Chiara will then review the tasks uploaded and discuss the main problems and issues that emerge globally during the live webinar.

4. I missed the live webinars: can I still access the course materials and video recordings?

Yes, you can still purchase your access to the two courses. You will find all the learning materials, the two tasks, the guidance, your classmates’ presentations, the video recordings of the two webinars and a list of recommended resources where you can find activities to include in your lesson plans.

5. Will I receive individual feedback in the live courses?

No, you will not receive individual feedback in the live courses and individual students’ tasks will not be discussed in the webinars. You can, however, exchange ideas with your fellow participants, learn from other participants’ work and ask questions during the live webinars. If you want individual feedback on your lesson plan from a teacher trainer, you can book an individual consultation – please see option C below.

6. Will the course include details on Italian legislation?

Although we will touch upon frameworks like the Indicazioni Nazionali in your lesson plans, I have no specific expertise in Italian school legislation, so this will not be a key part of the course.

7. Can I get a discount on the live courses?

Yes, if you are already one of our course participants, you will can get a discount until 8 April. Just open any of the courses you have purchased, go to the very last unit, titled COUPON CODE, and use the coupon code you will find there. Please look for the unit carefully before you email us to ask as we are dealing with a high volume of inquiries and may take a long time to get back to you. The coupon expires on 8 April 2022.

Please also ensure that when you buy the live course, you enter the coupon code in the “have a coupon?” space before you confirm your payment. Once you have confirmed your payment, we cannot reverse that action for you.

8. Will the courses run again in the future?

We currently have no plans to run the live sessions again, at least not before October 2022

9. Why are there two live courses, one for AB24 and one for AB25?

We thought it would be useful and make the courses more focused if we split them up. The AB24 course therefore includes a literature lesson plan and an ESP lesson plan catering for scuola secondaria di secondo grado, while the AB25 course includes two General English lesson plans catering for scuola secondaria di primo grado.

Please note: we cannot be sure that AB25 candidates will not receive literature, culture or history questions at the exam, so if you think this may be the case, feel free to sign up for both courses. Equally, the two tasks in the AB25 course are language-based, while the tasks in the AB24 course are on literature and on ESP; therefore, AB24 candidates wishing to practise lesson planning on general language may well benefit from also taking the AB25 course.

10. Are the courses appropriate for BB02 candidates?

They can be in the sense that they cover lesson planning, including common mistakes and issues. They do not cater specifically for “culture” topics, however: the AB25 course has two tasks about language and a generic topic (“healthy food); the AB24 course has a task on literature and one on English for Specific Purposes (advertising). The webinars still discuss how to go about designing your presentation and how to justify your choices, which can be helpful if you have never done this.

11. Can I sign up for both courses?

Yes, you can, as we are aware that some people will need to study for both.

C. INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATIONS WITH TEACHER TRAINERS

1. What is an individual consultation?

In an individual consultation, you will:

  • Book your time slot for an online meeting with your chosen trainer
  • Receive instructions with a selection of tasks for the oral exam: for example, a task may ask you to prepare a lesson on the present perfect or on the Elizabethan drama (for AB24 especially). You will also receive a PowerPoint template you can use to create your presentation.
  • You will choose one of the tasks and you will prepare a lesson plan and a short presentation explaining your content and methodological choices
  • You will send your presentation to your trainer at least 48 business hours in advance of your meeting
  • Your trainer will review your presentation and make some comments to give you some feedback
  • You will meet for 60 minutes on Zoom, during which you will present your work and they will give you their feedback both on your lesson plan and on your presentation

2. Who are the trainers?

While Chiara will devote her time entirely to the group webinars, we are privileged to have partnered with three qualified and experienced international teacher trainers who are experts in language teaching methodology and teacher mentoring: André Hedlund, Sylvia Provenzano and Rachel Tsateri.

André Hedlund

André Hedlund is a Chevening Alumnus and holds an MSc in Psychology of Education from the University of Bristol and the Train the Trainer Certificate (Cambridge). He is a Michigan Certificates Examiner, Educational Consultant, Teacher Trainer, and Guest Lecturer on Language, Bilingualism and Cognition, and Methodology in university Master’s level courses. He is also the new Academic Director of EdYOUFest, a board member of BRAZ-TESOL’s Mind, Brain, and Education SIG, and a National Geographic Learning consultant and materials reviewer. André is a frequent guest in international ELT and General Education conferences. He’s the author of the book The Owl Factor: Reframing your Teaching Philosophy and he blogs at EDCrocks. He has years of experience mentoring and training English teachers.

How to book a consultation with André: you can book your consultation via this link

How to contact André: if you want to email André to ask for information, email him at andrelshedlund@gmail.com


Sylvia Provenzano

A LanguagEd highlander, Sylvia is a Teaching Fellow in English at the University of Bologna and an Examiner. She has an MA in TESOL and Translation Studies from Aston University and she obtained her Cambridge DELTA in 2021. She has taught English in a wide range of educational contexts in Spain, Italy and UK with a focus on exam preparation, ESP and Academic English. She has also been a Course Director in Cambridge and has taught online to refugees and displaced people for several years.

How to contact Sylvia and book your consultation: please email Sylvia at sylvia.languaged@gmail.com Note: her availability is limited in the next few weeks.

Update 9 June 2022. Sylvia is now fully booked until 11th August. Please contact her if you wish to book a consultation from 11th August. If you would like to book a consultation before then, please contact our other partner André.


Rachel Tsateri

Rachel is a teacher, teacher trainer and blogger. She holds the Cambridge CELTA, DELTA and Train the Trainer certificates. Rachel is currently working as a General and Business English teacher, as well as teacher trainer for Notting Hill College. She is also working towards a Master’s in Professional Development for Language Education with NILE. Her main interests include teaching pronunciation, quality teacher talk and using an eclectic approach to teaching. Rachel is an IATEFL PronSIG Committee member, a TESOL Greece and ELTAS member. She blogs regularly at The TEFL Zone and has also contributed articles to EFL Magazine, IATEFL Voices, ELTAS, the IATEFL TTed SIG newsletter and the Dublin TEFL blog.

Note: please note that Rachel is an expert in language teaching methodology, so she will be dealing with language-related lesson plans (including English for Specific Purposes) but not with literature, history or culture lesson plans. If you are preparing for AB24 and specifically want to work on a literature, history or culture lesson plan, please contact André or Sylvia.

How to contact Rachel and book your consultation: please email Rachel at racheltsateri@gmx.com to book a consultation with her.

Update 1 June 2022: Rachel is now fully booked until the end of August. She will be available for consultations again from September. If you would like to book a consultation before then, please contact our other partner trainers.

3. Can the consultation be recorded?

Yes, you can record the meeting if you wish. Just make sure you ask your trainer at the beginning of the session.

4. What are the prices for the consultations and how can I pay?

The consultation includes the trainer reviewing your work and the 60-minute feedback session, plus recording if you agree with your trainer. The rate for each consultation is 45 euros. The trainers offer a range of payment methods including bank transfer and PayPal, though each trainer will explain how you can pay for your consultation.

5. I need to cancel my appointment: can I get a refund?

If you cancel your appointment at least 24 hours in advance, you will get a full refund minus any processing charges. If you cancel your appointment less than 24 hours in advance, the trainers will be unable to refund you.

6. Why can I not see any dates available for consultations?

If you cannot see any dates available, it is because they have all been booked. Availability is limited and it is allocated on a first come first served basis.

7. Can I get a discount?

No discounts are offered on individual consultations.

8. Can I book a consultation for the 24 hours before my oral exam?

You will need to discuss this directly with your trainer based on their availability and preferences. Please note that if they agree to do this, you will still have to send them your presentation, which they will review and comment on during your tutorial. The trainers will not be designing any presentation or lesson plans for candidates or advising them generically on their assigned task: they will only comment on draft presentations.

9. Can we discuss Italian legislation in my consultation?

None of the trainers, Chiara included, is an expert in Italian legislation. Although you can include this in your presentation, they will not be able to tutor you in this aspect specifically. Sylvia has expertise in the Italian school system, while André and Rachel are aware of its key features and have working knowledge of the Italian language but have no direct experience working in Italy. I have however personally briefed them on the concorsi, the oral exam, the Italian school system, CEFR reference levels and key characteristics of the context. They will still be able to tutor you effectively in the field of methodology and lesson planning, since this is their field of specialisation.

10. Why has my trainer not replied to my email yet?

André, Sylvia and Rachel all have full time jobs as teacher trainers, lecturers and examiners, so they may not be able to reply to your email straightaway because they’re working. This includes the weekend. Please allow a business day for them to respond to your inquiry.

11. Can I get a PowerPoint template for my lesson plan and presentation?

Yes, we have already prepared a template that you can use and adapt. You can download it here:

You will also receive this, together with the tasks for your consultation, after you book a time slot.

GENERAL INFORMATION

1. Is the oral exam going to be on an activity, lesson plan or Unità di Apprendimento?

The only information we have is that the relevant decree refers to

“progettazione di una attività didattica, comprensiva dell’illustrazione delle scelte contenutistiche, didattiche e metodologiche compiute e di esempi di utilizzo pratico delle tecnologie digitali”

This is fairly generic and it is thus not wholly clear what will be required. We are operating under the assumption that you are meant to create something along the lines of a lesson plan, which is somewhere in between an individual activity and an Unità di Apprendimento, i.e. a much bigger and multidisciplinary endeavour. This is what is covered in the self-study courses, in the live courses and in the individual consultations. We do not know whether the tasks at the exam will ultimately explicitly ask for an Unità di Apprendimento. For the avoidance of doubt, you may want to contextualise your lesson plan(s) within the framework of a hypothetical Unità di Apprendimento.

In the webinars and individual consultations, you will be using tasks adapted from 2018 concorsi, available here.

2. Do I need to take the self-study courses in order to participate in the live courses or the individual consultations?

You don’t have to strictly speaking, and some instructions will be provided in the live courses. However, taking the self-study courses (at least Designing Activities and Lessons) will give you a much stronger background and it will make it a lot easier for you to take part in the live courses.

3. Do you organise courses to prepare for the concorso straordinario bis per il ruolo?

Update 18 May 2022: A new concorso straordinario for teachers with 3 years of experience has been called and it will be based on a 30-minute oral exam. Essentially, the one thing we know for sure is that the programmi concorsuali haven’t changed: since all our courses are strictly based on the programmi concorsuali, all our self-study courses are still 100% valid to study the topics required at the exam.

What we don’t know in any specific detail is what the exam will consist of, i.e. whether it will be more like an oral exam with a series of questions from the committee on the topics of the programmi, a lesson planning exam, or a bit of both. Our advice is therefore to study both theory and practice, including the topics of the programmi and also how to plan lessons, as these could both be part of the exam.

For more information on the new exam and our courses, read our new guide to the concorso straordinario bis.

SUMMARY

  • Here are the two relevant self-study courses to prepare for the oral exam of the concorso ordinario:

Designing Activities and Lessons

Teaching Literature in the Language Classroom

  • There are also two courses with live webinars:

AB24 lesson planning – webinar dates: 11 and 14 April

AB25 lesson planning – webinar dates: 8 an 13 April

  • We have partnered with three international teacher trainers for individual consultations:

André Hedlund – booking link / email: andrelshedlund@gmail.com

Sylvia Provenzano – email: sylvia.languaged@gmail.com

Rachel Tsateri – email: racheltsateri@gmail.com

Did you enjoy our post? Share it with your friends:

2 thoughts on “Preparing for the oral exam: LanguagEd courses”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *