Small Steps over Time: Energizing Students by Infusing Innovative Practices into Universities within a Transitional Country

Judy S. Richardson, Language Center, South Eastern European University, Macedonia, and Virginia Commonwealth University, USA


Innovation energizes instruction, transcending a lecture-only and often boring approach to learning. But when students and professors are entrenched in a professor-centered system, how can change be accomplished? This paper explains, via examples and stories, practices university students have identified that energize their learning process. These practices are greatly effective but not difficult for professors to implement, if blended into a traditional model. The study, conducted in English Foreign Language methods courses, is mostly qualitative with quantitative aspects. For a country in transition, faced with many new regulations, small steps over time can make a difference in fostering student engagement.

Keywords: active learning, student engagement, teaching writing, ESL students

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