My name is Victoria Santa-Cruz, I have been a teacher of English for 18 years, and I have a passion for all things related to the English language. My teaching experience as a high school teacher and teaching adults in a Language School has provided me with an overview of classroom methodologies in ESL, how students learn and interact in the ESL classroom and, of course, how they can make the most of the time they spend in lessons.
Some years ago I was asked to train some friends in conversational English, to pass their B1 exam, and that’s how The Way’s method was created. What started as a small group of friends talking for a couple of hours once a week, soon turned into The Way’s “Conversation Clubs.” These clubs trained speakers to gain self-confidence, widen their vocabulary and structures and get rid of fossilized mistakes. And the results were great.
I experienced how fast people improve when they are given a chance to express themselves without the pressure of corrections, provided that they receive their personalized feedback after each session. I created the Teacher’s Feedback Template to offer organized feedback and thus, make it easier for students to become aware of their fossilized mistakes as a way of getting rid of them, and to help them identify the good things that they were already doing. Positive reinforcement is the key to cultivate motivated students.
This template is not rocket science, just a nicely organized way to give information to your students. And so that valuable information does not fall on deaf ears, students have My Way Witnessing Chart, a feedback template for students to keep track of the aspects they need to improve and the positive thingys they need to keep doing.
The Way’s method has trained students in conversation clubs for six years with excellent results. All the materials that have been used in our Conversation Clubs can be found in the Speaking Worksheets section in this website, together with updated worksheets and new topics added on every week.
The creation of mediation materials has been a real challenge, as it is a relatively new concept in language teaching and there were no materials available in this field. As an ESL teacher in a Language School, with this new skill to be taught, trained and assessed, I wanted to contribute to making life easier to teachers in a similar situation. In doing this, I discovered the powerful tool mediation represents and the great opportunity that it brings into the ESL classroom to complement and enrich our teaching practice.
To learn more about mediation, visit our section What’s mediation?