Handling Text: Multisensory Learning'

Louise Lamb and Anna HallamMMUc

Our combined interests aim to approach secondary English teaching through physical classroom engagement, individual creative expression, a critical approach to texts and ‘high ceiling’ discussion. In our approach, students interpret ‘text-worlds’ through multi-sensory encounters. We will use our session to show how teachers can actively explore object-focused activity to reconnect learners to the independent response which animates secondary English teaching so successfully.

The session will animate the following sequence:

  1. Place texts beneath a lens of investigation.
  2. Introduce the factor of handling a three-dimensional object, guiding all learners through a kinaesthetic encounter with texts, where they explore and demonstrate independent thought.
  3. Transpose the outcomes into a critical and creative response which meets and goes beyond assessment criteria.

This sequence is the basis for our KITS (Kinaesthetically Inspired Teaching Schemes), which form a collection for teachers to use. They are geared towards limited resource classrooms and are intended to be easy to try with any size of group.

KITS to be explored in the proposed session include:

  • ‘Framing the Text-World’: a new approach to unseen text analysis
  • ‘Limited Resources, Unlimited Minds’: investigative and memory-based English
  • ‘Synergising Practice: Bridging the Gap’: using context to fire up text

KITS have integrated Information Literacy features, whether they form the initial task, support the method or drive the extension opportunities at the close of the scheme. They manipulate an object as part of the learning process and all materials can be inexpensively sourced. Clear and accurate definitions are attached to clarify how they meet Assessment Objectives in the formal curriculum.

KITS can operate as stand-alone units or form a linked strategy of lessons. They are highly flexible teaching tools, providing a teaching resource that can run for an hour, a week of lessons, a revision strategy, or a bespoke Literacy lesson. The teacher may enhance the template and deliver it as they deem appropriate, informed by departmental strategies and necessary differentiation. As part of the session, a pack will offer delegates ‘route maps’ for future guidance through the schemes.

We are keen to make this session as participatory as possible. At NATE 2019, we were fortunate to have delegates from international, secondary and further education whose contributions greatly enriched our workshop. We hope that ‘Shared Futures’ will offer us the chance to further share our practice.

Anna has over 25 years of experience in English teaching in both the maintained and independent sectors, at home and abroad. She has worked in an advisory capacity in English departments with the explicit focus of embedding multi-sensory strategies in a synergised language and literature curriculum.

Angie is a professional librarian and archivist who has been responsible for the planning and implementation of innovative school library systems, facilitating the sharing of excellent practice in the North East. Angie has invested professional and personal interest in our methods for several years.

Louise has been teaching secondary English for 12 years. She is also qualified as an EAL specialist and has delivered limited resource teacher training in Nepal and Malaysia. She currently teaches IGCSE and OIB English Language and Literature to bilingual students in a state lycée in Paris.

Collectively, we form Paperhouse, a group of education professionals passionate about promoting the links between multi-sensory classroom learning and Information Literacy strategies.

Sat 9:15 am - 10:30 am