Barbara Dudziak-Czajkowska likes introducing herself as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed teacher. Although she is particularly enthusiastic about teaching preschoolers, she finds working with teenagers equally pleasurable and rewarding. With nearly 10 years of experience in teaching different age groups at all proficiency levels, she is turning into sharing her knowledge and ideas with other teachers through various workshops and trainings. Apart from teaching and training, she enjoys creating games and activities for the EFL classroom, preparing lesson plans and organising cultural events to give her students many opportunities to take English out of the classroom. Barbara Dudziak-Czajkowska is a graduate of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. She works as an English teacher and teaching advisor at Papuga private language school for kids and teens. In her private life, she is a keen horse rider, bookworm and gamer fond of all sorts of board and card games.
Culture Vulture – the interest in the world starts in the classroom
I don’t know about you, but as a student I was always taught English and the culture of English-speaking countries more like being taught about the language and about the culture as if these were two separate issues. When I became a teacher myself, I decided to do it in a different way. I want my students to use English as a tool enabling effective communication. As for culture, I do my best not only to teach about it, but also to let my students experience it and take to it, so that they will want to find out more. I do believe that the interest in the world starts in the classroom, therefore, I always make sure that my classes are inspiring and thought-provoking. Instead of reading about cultural events or watching videos of other people celebrating, I try to create an opportunity for my students to celebrate special occasions with me in the classroom. How do I do it? I let them prepare and eat some local food to see the diversity of flavours. My students listen to traditional music to get to know the wide array of sounds and instruments. They dance and play like their peers do during festivals and family celebrations to learn more about the traditions and customs in other countries. In this practical session I am going to invite you to my culture corner and show you how I sneak culture into my English lessons. We are going to look at various ways of making the culture happen in our classrooms. Let’s go on a cultural travel together to blaze a trail, so that later you can set off on a journey with your students.