Levende Talen Engels Wraps Up Successful Workshops Creativity English Classroom 2024 – read reflections here.

Creativity in the English Language Classroom  

Levende Talen Engels wraps up a successful series of professional workshops for students and teachers of English for primary, secondary, and higher education focused on creativity in the English language classroom the 5th-7th of March 2024.  

Find out about the reports!

On behalf of the board of LTE, Andrea Lutz, Voorzitter/ Chair of the board 


Tuesday 5 March: Wouter van der Horst: Prompt-engineering with Art

Our workshop with Wouter van der Horst, a media literacy expert, unlocked the creative potential of generative AI in language education. Through close observation and description of famous artworks, participants mastered the art of crafting prompts. They witnessed the power of precise language as their descriptions transformed into stunning AI-generated creations, blurring the lines between the original and the new. This immersive experience, enriched by discussions on AI ethics, left everyone with a deeper understanding of this powerful technology. Wouter reflects: “I am looking back on a very inspiring and productive evening. We explored the creative possibilities of generative AI through the workshop Learning Prompts by Looking at Art. By studying and describing Vermeer’s Milkmaid, the participants were able to generate beautiful unique Milkmaids with AI.” The participants were very enthusiastic about the workshop and were amazed by the possibilities of generative AI. They were able to create their own unique Milkmaids by using different prompts and settings. This shows that generative AI can be a powerful tool for creative expression. I am excited to see what other creative applications generative AI will have in the future. I believe that it has the potential to revolutionise the way we create and interact with art. See some results here: 

Tuesday 5 March: Kathleen Moore: Learning Vocabulary Creatively! Kathleen reflects: “During the webinar Learning Vocabulary Creatively, we learned a lot from each other. First, I shared a number of forms with the participants, and we practiced them together online – because yes, by doing, you will start using them yourself! By providing creative forms, other ideas came up. We exchanged activities that we use with each other on a padlet. We explained to each other what we do during those activities. A fun, spontaneous, and refreshing evening together. Thanks to all participants!” Kathleen Moore works at Saxion University of Applied Sciences at the School of Education. But, I am also a specialised English teacher at primary school in groups 1 through 8. I enjoy teaching actively and creatively. Every lesson contains  some activity to stimulate learning.

Wednesday 6 March: Amy Klipp: Music and Chants in the English Lesson. Woensdag, 6 maart hebben we een webinar gehouden over muziek in de Engelse les. Muziek is heel leuk en speels.  Het kan voor verschillende doeleinden worden ingezet tijdens de Engelse les, bijvoorbeeld om de les te openen en af te sluiten, maar ook om nieuwe woordenschat in te oefenen of mini-dialogen te oefenen.  Tijdens deze webinar hebben we samen gezongen, liedjes geschreven en chants geoefend.  Ook hebben we veel inspiratie opgedaan en samen lol gehad. Het soms op een eigen ‘Song Festival’, maar dan in het klein.

Er werd online materiaal gedeeld, bijvoorbeeld Sesame Street youtube kanaal als bron van kindvriendelijke liedjes: https://www.youtube.com/@SesameStreet . We ontdekte dat het soms moeilijk is om goed muziek te vinden voor de oudere leerlingen, maar ‘The Friendship Song’ is hier wel goed voor te gebruiken: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9fBQYE-S5o . En Planet POP heeft ELT liederen geschreven, waarmee woordenschat wordt aangeleerd met een lied en een dans: https://www.youtube.com/@ELTSongs .

Daarna keken we naar materiaal die we kunnen maken om liedjes aan te leren, bijvoorbeeld door zelf ‘song cards’ te maken.  Hierover had ik ooit een blog geschreven: https://amyklipp.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/hurricane-andrew/ .

Tot slot keken we naar ‘chats’ als een manier om mini-dialoogjes te oefenen.  Op deze website wordt verteld hoe je een goede chant kunt schrijven: https://www.teachingvillage.org/2010/05/23/how-to-create-a-jazz-chant/index.html .

Kortom, een informatieve en inspirerende avond waarbij onze creativiteit ruim baan kreeg.  Veel dank aan alle deelnemers voor hun input en actieve deelname!

Wednesday 6 March: Jenny Rose: Podcast-Powered Authentic Assessment. Jenny Rose presented inspirational examples from the English teacher training programme at the HAN University of Applied Sciences. Jenny shared how student teachers create their own podcasts about a famous historical Brit providing inspiration for their own future teaching context. Some advantages of this approach are that assessment is more student-driven and students’ media and storytelling skills are developed. Podcasts have proven to be music to our students’ ears.

Thursday 7 March: Monica Sienders: Creative Use of Poetry in the English Classroom. Monica showed how poems provide valuable authentic materials, layered texts en knowledge of English speaking countries and cultures, and how they offer cultural enrichment and an insight into diverse social backgrounds. Monica Sienders, teacher of English at Open Schoolgemeenschap Bijlmer and teacher trainer at Hogeschool van Amsterdam, shared various ideas and poems that she uses in her lessons. Participants were invited to share successful activities and poems from their own classroom.

Thursday 7 March: Esther Schat and Marleen Spierings: Creative Rewrites of Literary Extracts & Student Identity Formation: “It is a truth universally known”…, or is it? Ever wanted to revisit a cherished classic, but wanted students to find personal meaning and connection in classic quotations with a fresh coat of modernity? This workshop offered a delightful exploration of these very notions. Imagine, if you will, a workshop participant’s suggestion for a rewrite representing a spirited exchange where Mr. Darcy of “Pride and Prejudice” was recast as a gentleperson sporting a monocle and a penchant for absinthe, much like the captivating “Gentleman Jack” pursuing another person. Students can use inclusive language, employ more objective criteria, and create a more equitable environment.

Is there a secure place to trade crypto? The straightforward answer, at least for the time being, is likely no. (iStockphoto via Getty) Or perhaps, a modern interpretation where Darcy is a crypto-obsessed bachelor on the hunt for a suitable model to show off to others in 2035 – a far cry from his gentry origins.  These were just a few of the ingenious reimaginings conjured by fellow English teachers during the workshop. 

The recent “Creativity in the English Classroom” workshop by Esther Schat and Marleen Spierings empowered teachers to teach interaction by co-creative writing in “Writing Back,” reinforcing diverse student voices and dismantling the injustices of social, gender, and racial framing by reflecting on a rewritten past and future identity formation. 

The experience extends the Intercultural Literary Competence model for understanding literature across cultures (Schat, 2022), all while writing creatively in a collaborative spirit. Together, we explored how to translate beloved excerpts into a language more readily grasped by today’s students, drawing upon the insightful definition offered by Glăveanu (2015b).  Furthermore, we combined critical analysis and creativity prompts, much like the approach advocated by Fairweather & Cramond (2010). 

Led by Marleen Spierings, the workshop offered a practical arena to put theory into action. Iconic passages from “Pride and Prejudice” and “Robinson Crusoe” were transformed, breathing new life into these timeless tales. In discussing historical forced labor, we need to move beyond the term “slave” to “enslaved person.” “Slave” simply describes a condition, while “enslaved person” acknowledges the individual’s humanity and the forceful act that robbed them of their freedom, an act others were responsible for. In doing so, our discussion explored various methods for measuring and assessing creativity, highlighting the multifaceted nature of this human ability. We explored Creativity in the revised English curriculum in a most engaging and enriching way. 

If the prospect of revitalising classic literature while enriching your didactic and pedagogical toolkit holds any appeal, then a warm welcome awaits you within our thriving community of English teachers in the professional community of Levende Talen English, or contact Marleen Spierings.

Creative Rewriting of Literary Extracts: “It is a truth universally known”…, or is it? Esther Schat herself will explain her developed Intercultural Literary Competence model (2022). Then, you will creatively collaborate with Marleen Spierings to rewrite an existing literary fragment for a contemporary audience, following Glăveanu’s definition (2015b). We integrate critical and creative skills (Fairweather & Cramond, 2010). During this workshop, you will practically engage and apply concepts from the revised English curriculum to classic English literary fragments, such as Pride and Prejudice and Robinson Crusoe, but we will also initiate a continuous learning trajectory for creative writing in your own school.

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