Parliamo di opportunità.
Parliamone in inglese.


Communicative Approach to language teaching for English language teachers and CLIL teachers (English).
From Story Telling to Task Based Learning and Evaluation of Oral Skills

To whom

Up to 180 Provincia autonoma di Trento Teachers (English Language Teachers: Primary, Middle and High School – CLIL Teachers English Primary and Middle School):

  • 60 Primary school teachers (English language teachers and CLIL teachers);
  • 60 Middle school teachers (English language teachers and CLIL teachers);
  • 60 High school teachers (English language teachers).

The courses will be presented in English. Participants should have an adequate level of English in order to fully benefit from the courses.


November / December 2014.


Dipartimento della Conoscenza, Via Gilli 3 a Trento.


9 November 2014.


Recent discussions on methodology approaches state that much of the ‘passive’ accuracy-based exercises that we traditionally cover in the classroom can now safely be assigned as homework so that classroom time can be freed-up for communicative fluency activities. The renewed interest in the Communicative Approach to language teaching encourages teachers to do away with their grammar-driven course-books and to embark on ‘meaningful interaction’ focussing on ‘emergent language’ through ‘conversation-driven teaching’.
The workshops aim to investigate contemporary language teaching issues and to encourage, at all stages, teachers to consider the feasibility of integrating, even partially, a more communicative naturalistic approach into their teaching practice.

The modules proposed here follow a central theme, that of promoting communicative competence in the classroom. From story telling, where lexis and paralinguistics are pre-eminent, to task-based learning, where formulaic ‘chunks’ of language based on their functional and notional value are presented and where incidental structure is ‘noticed’ and ‘scaffolded’, the modules are linked by the suggestion that a more ‘naturalistic’ approach to language learning is now possible.

The modules, divided into the three scholastic sectors, will concentrate on issues that are relevant to each sector accordingly. Each module will involve participants in reflection upon their current teaching practice and will then encourage them to experiment with new ideas and methods.

The modules will be divided into two sessions, each lasting 3 hours, and each of the three modules will be aimed at one of the three different scholastic sectors:
Module 1 will be aimed at Primary school teachers;
Module 2 aimed at Middle school teachers;
Module 3 aimed at High school teachers

The modules will be presented as follows:

Module 1 Primary school

(English language teachers and CLIL teachers):

  • Session 1: The linguistic theory and techniques underlying story telling in young learner classrooms;
    Mercoledì 12 novembre 2014 dalle ore 16.30 alle 19.30
  • Session 2: Participants practice and present stories with accompanying classroom activities.
    Mercoledì 3 dicembre 2014 dalle ore 16.30 alle 19.30

Module 2 Middle school

(English language teachers and CLIL teachers):

  • Session 1: Task-based Learning and the Lexical Approach
    Giovedì 13 novembre 2014 dalle ore 15.00 alle 18.00
  • Session 2: Participants practice and present stages of a task-based lesson
    Giovedì 11 dicembre 2014 dalle ore 15.00 alle 18.00

Module 3 High school

(English language teachers):

  • Session 1: An investigation into common evaluation criteria in B1 and B2 oral examinations.
    Giovedì 20 novembre 2014 dalle ore 15.00 alle 18.00
  • Session 2: Application of the above criteria in examination interview samples
    Giovedì 18 dicembre 2014 dalle ore 15.00 alle 18.00

Sessions will be conducted in a workshop environment with the presenter, as far as possible, acting as a guide and facilitator whilst the participants, using their own classroom experience, will be actively engaged in critical discussion. The first session of each module will end with a relevant task being set for participants to work on in the interval between sessions. At the end of each module, suggested further reading lists will be supplied as well as suggestions on where to find relevant resources.

Module 1

The first session, aimed at Primary school teachers, will briefly examine the psycho-linguistic and socio-linguistic theory that underlies story telling in the classroom. Particular attention will be paid to learner styles and learner preferences. The session will then move on to look at the techniques of successful story telling and the classroom activities that can be employed to enrich the learning experience. Participants will be allocated parts of a short story to work on for homework and, in the second session, will be asked to tell their stories to their work groups. Each work group will then present their complete story to the group as a whole.

Module 2

The first session will briefly investigate the theoretical background to Task-Based Learning and will then move on to discuss the methodological implications of adopting a TBL approach. Specific focus will be given to relevant aspects of the Lexical and Communicative Approaches. Teachers will be asked, using minimal materials, to prepare a ten-minute lesson plan based on TBL for homework. In the second session, the participants will be asked to teach their lessons to their work-groups, followed by a discussion in each group as to the success, or otherwise, of each ‘lesson’.

Module 3

This module will take oral evaluation one step further by applying the publicly available criteria of two major examination bodies (Cambridge ESOL and IELTS) to recorded interviews. Particular attention will be paid to CEFR B1 and B2 levels. Participants will then, in the second session, ‘mark’ further recordings and their assessments will then be calibrated.


James Stuart Douglas

James has been involved EFL since 1981. He has worked as a teacher in Sardinia, France, Indonesia, London and Saudi Arabia and has variously been teacher, Centre Examinations Manager for Cambridge ESOL, Director of Studies and School Director. James has also been a speaking test examiner for IELTS and Cambridge ESOL, the latter for more than 15 years.
Throughout his career, James has been involved in both academic (EAP) and general English teaching (EGP), as well as designing and teaching specific needs based language courses (ESP). James has also led teacher-training courses both as a Cambridge ESOL presenter and for IPRASE in Rovereto.

James’s academic qualifications include:

  • BA (Honours) Humanities: British and American history and literature
  • Royal Society of Arts Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults (RSA DTEFLA)
  • Diploma in Teaching English as a Second / Other language (Dip. TESOL)
  • MA in Teaching English as a Second / Other language (MA TESOL)