Avinya Foundation

Series 2, Blog #20 – New Year Resolutions, Linguistic Twists and Inspiring Starts

Hello dear readers,

We’re starting off a new year bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, infused with the energy of embarking into the known and the unknown! As we turn the page to a new chapter, we’re as excited as ever to see what the Avinya journey has in store for us and students in the next 362 days ahead (it’s a leap year!).

Our year began with high spirits and delightful flavours as we celebrated our first day back on campus with some kiribath and an assortment of other treats (the milk toffee box was seen being snuck to a side by a certain Executive Directress😀). We lit the oil lamp as we took a moment to reflect on 2023 and think of new resolutions for 2024. Adding to the festive atmosphere was a birthday celebration, complete with our very own Ilma treating us to her delectable chicken lasagna. There’s never a dull moment or a lack of yummy treats with us!

We were also thrilled to welcome Anna Wierstra, a well-seasoned teacher at the British Council with over a decade of experience and current CELTA tutor at International House, Rome. In an inspiring demonstration, Anna reprised the foreign language lesson we experienced during our last training day. However, she added a linguistic twist by conducting it in Dutch! Her session served as a refresher to the challenges our students face in the journey of language acquisition and learning through a second language. It was an invaluable reminder to all of us on the cusp of starting the new academic year. 

Anna also led sessions on how to scaffold our instructions and activities to suit learner needs. These sessions offered practical strategies and insights into the art of scaffolding. She emphasized the importance of breaking down complex concepts into more manageable chunks, thereby making learning more accessible and less intimidating for students. She also demonstrated the importance of not using a one-size-fits-all approach and we looked at how to modify our teaching styles to accommodate diverse learner needs and preferences. She left us with an acronym I’m sure will be useful for teachers everywhere: KISS – Keep Instructions Short and Simple!

One of the key takeaways from these sessions was the significance of understanding our students’ abilities and learning styles. Anna’s sessions served as a powerful reminder that our role as Educators extends beyond teaching language; it involves shaping an educational experience that is supportive and ultimately empowering.Thank you Anna for taking time off your holiday to add these valuable insights to our training day!

After two days preparing for the beginning of the new academic year, today marked the first day back for our students and it couldn’t have started better. They were greeted with an inspiring speech from Sanjiva, touching on a variety of current and important topics. We hope his words resonated deeply with our students’ going forward and we believe we’ll see some New Year resolutions inspired by his speech! 

The energy in the air crackled as the students then shifted gears for what could be described as their year-end party but at the beginning of the year! The cafe and surrounding area transformed into a hub of competition with fun games, engaging quizzes and a lively dance-off. This celebration is a manifestation of our belief in balancing hard work with good fun. Tomorrow we’ll be back to the grind but we wanted to kick off the year with a spot of fun motivation and enthusiasm.

We will be back next week with more sneak peeks into the student lives through our Educator inserts. Until then, here’s to a 2024 filled with learning, challenges and spots of fun! 

– Sinalie