Nives' endeavours as an English Teacher

Leave a comment

IATEFL Day 1 Sessions


The following videos and session details come straight from the IATEFL – British Council website, adding them here for my readers to access via the links to the website or watch here and leave their comments, thank you. The videos are not in the order of appearance, but haphazard according to my own viewings. 

ELT Journal Debate

Presenter(s): Peter Medgyes and Alessia Cogo

Session detailsEnglish as a Lingua Franca (ELF) is interesting for researchers, but not important for teachers and learners
Has English has become the global lingua franca, there has been a lot of discussion of, and investigation into, the varied ways in which it is spoken around the world, and by different groups of speakers. But is such variation in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) relevant to the ELT classroom? Is what we have learned about ELF important for English language teachers and learners? These two speakers will debate the issues.

Outside in: bringing new technology perspectives to ELT

Presenter(s): Geoff stead, Donald Clark, Paul Driver, Yvonne Rogers

Session detailsWe talk a lot about technology in ELT but the gap between what we do, and could do, is becoming a chasm. A panel of technology experts, bringing experiences from outside the ELT world, will discuss trends such as machine translation, artificial intelligence, chatbots and future workplaces. Their perspectives will challenge our current thinking, and help us consider future possibilities.

British Council Signature Event

Presenter(s): Moderator: Catherine Walter, Syrian Refugee Stakeholders
Session detailsLanguage for Resilience

The report examines the role that language can play in enhancing the resilience of Syrian refugees and host communities. The ‘Language for Resilience’ report was commissioned in response to the unprecedented effects of the Syrian refugee crisis and brings together information gathered though interviews with refugees, host communities and those working to support them, with lessons learned from past and on-going British Council language programming in conflict and post-conflict areas. Key practitioners and Syrian refugee stakeholders will share their thoughts on the role of language in enhancing the resilience of individuals and communities affected by crisis.

Building fluency and comprehension in dyslexic readers

Presenter(s): Julia Koifman
Session details: Building fluency and comprehension in dyslexic readers

This talk focuses on teaching dyslexic students reading comprehension and improving their spelling, speaking and writing skills. It explores ways to activate the inherent strengths of the dyslexic mind and deals with modern and effective methodology proposed by Israeli Association for LD People.

Writing methodology texts: bridging the research/practice gap

Presenter(s): Scott Thornbury
Session detailsWriting methodology texts: bridging the research/practice gap

How do methodology writers mediate the gap between researchers and practitioners? In this talk, Scott Thornbury explores the way a number of writers perform this bridging function, and how these principles informed the writing of The New A-Z of ELT.

Not again? A new revised edition of Practical English Usage

Presenter(s): Michael Swan
Session detailsNot again? A new revised edition of Practical English Usage

Micheal will recapitulate the principles behind the best-selling Practical English Usage (OUP) and explain why a fourth edition is needed. He will describe the many updates and additions and show how the material has been restructured, so that the book constitutes not only a usage guide, but also a complete learners’ grammar.

A.S Hornby Educational Trust Scholars’ presentation

Presenter(s):  Sagun Shrestha, Oumar Moussa Djigo, Noel Franco, Maricarmen Gamero, Komila Tangirova, Jayantha Ratnayake, Tran Phan, Mirian Fuhr, Saifa Haque, Julius Onen Okot Daniel, Betelhem Tsehayu, Mehdi Gholikhan
Session detailsFactors influencing English language teacher motivation

Teacher motivation plays a key role in teachers’ engagement in professional development and in the quality of their practice in the classroom. As a result, understanding motivation is essential to helping teachers deal effectively with the challenges they face. The Hornby scholars will bring their wide range of knowledge and understanding of different educational contexts to explore this crucial issue.

Making pronunciation an integral part of your classroom practice

Presenter(s): Mark McKinnon, Nicola Meldrum
Session detailsMaking pronunciation an integral part of your classroom practice
How much pronunciation work takes place in the average EFL classroom? Many teachers would admit that a lot less goes on than they would like. It makes sense that without sufficient mastery of pronunciation, being understood and understanding others is virtually impossible. In this talk, Mark McKinnon and Nicola Meldrum will cover practical ideas on how to fully integrate pronunciation into classroom work.

Leave a comment

IATEFL Conference Glasgow Day 2 plenary by SARAH MERCER

The IATEFL Conferences just keep getting better and better, year after year! The topics are always at the forefront of Continuing Professional Development especially for English language teachers in Europe. Today was especially informative as Sarah Mercer broached the topic of Teacher burnout, actively engaged her live audience with not 1 but 3 activities! The flurry of chatter as the literal audience in large number present got to exchange their ideas on the topic at hand. I do hope that these activities also provided for new faces to make acquaintance.

The basis of her talk is the role of psychology in teaching and learning foreign languages, stressing the importance of psychology as ‘communication is key’ fundamentally at the “heart” of the teaching interaction.

Below are some screen clips that I was fortunate to be able to get via the poor internet connection which was providing a challenge for me today! Soon to be added the video to her plenary talk for you all to enjoy in case you missed it live online today.

Remember to tune in here to watch the live online events or the recordings shared graciously via British Council in conjunction with the IATEFL organizers.

2017-04-05 18 24 16

2017-04-05 18 47 53

2017-04-05 18 54 43

About Sarah Mercer: Sarah Mercer is currently Professor of Foreign Language Teaching at the University of Graz, Austria, where she is Head of ELT Research and Methodology and Deputy Head of the Centre for Teaching and Learning in Arts and Humanities. Her research interests include all aspects of the psychology surrounding the foreign language learning and teaching experience, focusing in particular on issues of self and identity. She is the author, co-author and co-editor of several books in this area including, Towards an Understanding of Language Learner Self-Concept, Psychology for Language Learning, Multiple Perspectives on the Self in SLA, New Directions in Language Learning Psychology, Positive Psychology in SLA, Exploring Psychology for Language Teachers (Winner of the Ben Warren Prize), and Teacher Psychology in SLA. Her current research focuses on the professional wellbeing of language teachers in a diverse range of contexts.

1 Comment

IATEFL Conference Glasgow 2017 Opening Plenary session by Gabriel Diaz Maggioli

Having enjoyed the opening of IATEFL Glasgow 2017, I finally ironed out the wrinkles in getting the video links to work (thanks to the IATEFL support team) the next step now is to share with my readers. Below is the video of the opening day plenary by Gabriel Diaz Maggioli  – intro and details copied from the IATEFL Online website.
Presenter(s): Gabriel Diaz Maggioli

Session details: Plenary session by Gabriel Diaz Maggioli

Gabriel Diaz Maggioli is a teacher who applies the lessons learned in the classroom to his roles as writer, researcher, administrator and teacher educator. He got his BA in TESOL in Uruguay and completed Master’s and Doctoral work at the University of Bath in the UK. He has acted as consultant for international organizations such as UNICEF, UNESCO, the European Union, the Inter-American Development Bank, the US Department of State and the World Bank. A frequent presenter at local and international conferences, Gabriel has shared his theory-in-practice with colleagues in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. He currently lives in Uruguay where he is tenured professor of TESOL Methods at the National Teacher Education College.

Empowering teachers through continued professional development: frameworks, practices and promises

The notion that language teachers need ongoing professional development opportunities should be considered a harmless platitude. Yet, as the field stands now, most of our colleagues are not provided with such opportunities as parts of their jobs. How is it then that we hear so many wonderful tales of exploration and discovery? Teachers have taken upon themselves to build these growth opportunities. In this plenary I will share some stories, and weave the plots of new stories to come by presenting a “state of the art” hawk eye view of professional development and recommending potential ways in which colleagues can help colleagues learn and develop.

Leave a comment

IATEFL Conference Opening Plenary Speaker: Gabriel Diaz Maggioli

The Conference is underway officially after the opening plenary by Gabriel Diaz Maggioli. He spoke about the importance of professional development (PD) for Teachers, as a general and ongoing practice. In a nutshell Gabriel asks us Teachers to ensure and push for sustainable PD by assessing our requirements, creating opportunities to learn within our own teaching circles, to reach out to the institutional admins where we work for funding. He also points out not to start out too big but to start small, creating a small opportune situation to increment our own PD – then the next very important step is to document the whole process. The documenting is also the ‘ticket’ to future sustainability of further programs to be implemented. He noted that if the admins were to invest in the continuing PD of their Teachers it would ultimately be to their benefit, by ensuring Teachers are better equipped to deal with new and updated learning strategies.

2017-04-04 18 28 43

One other important point that I found very interesting was how he categorizes the Teacher’s choice framework into four quadrants … the Updated Knowledge; the Aware; the Unaware and the outdated knowledge. See image below taken from his 2004 Research work available here.

2017-04-04 21 16 48

Take a moment to listen to Kirsteen Donaghy interview the opening plenary speaker Gabriel Diaz Maggioli

I’m off to listen to the next interview!

Click on the image below to watch #IATEFL Online interviews and much more!

IATEFL Online Banner 2017

Leave a comment

CO 17 Connecting Online Live Conference 3-5 Feb 2017

It’s on again for the eighth time, the Connecting Online Live Conference begins on Friday 3rd February to Sunday 5th February. A back to back from 8am to 4pm EST (Eastern Standard Time zone) with brilliant presenters world wide, logging in from their country to share their expertise in a field of interest.

Here is a video intro of the presenters…

Joining in to watch and participate live in the chat or on the moodle is absolutely FREE so why not join us as we share our experiences, knowledge and thoughts on Connecting Online. Link to the Moodle site. Use your social media to log in, no need to register! There are badges for attending and also Certificates for Reflecting on the Live Webinars.

Having presented with Tom Hodgers in CO15, this year we team up to talk shop… TEAMWORK in Online Collaboration. Teachers participating in online courses, training sessions or conferences via the moodle are sometimes required to work in Teams. Tom Hodgers has been managing the virtual teams for some years now, so with our experience working together as a Team and working with other colleagues online has equipped us with a bundle of information that we are willing to share.

However if you can’t make it to the live sessions, you can watch the recording via the moodle or YouTube playlist. Find out more here in Google Doc.

See you online !


Leave a comment

20161123_Oxford Conference – Ancona


Poster for the Conference

The conference held in a most beautiful locale within the port of Ancona in the Marche region, central north of Italy was a held on a beautiful day with a multitude of English language teachers representing their schools. It was an opportunity to learn something new via the Oxford Presenters all the while catching up with like minded colleagues exchanging ideas and obviously opinions.

The conference in the morning began at just after 9:30am and finished around 2pm with a rush to pick up certificates in time for the train, car park or bus ride back home or for some back to school for afternoon meetings.

The first presenter with a hot topic was Clare Maxwell with a good knowledge of Italian customs and language having previously lived in this beautiful country. Her presentation on CLIL not only clarified the meaning and use of CLIL for the English language teacher but also enhanced the many varied approaches to enhancing the language via the Content approach.

Clare Maxwell got everyone straight into interactivity by stepping down from the platform and walking among the teachers, inviting us all into giving a quick vote on our view of CLIL with 5 questions provided in a hand-out … basically giving a value on a scale of 1-5. This questionnaire would be viewed again at the end of her presentation with marked changes in most of our views on CLIL.

The approach to understanding or getting our minds around the CLIL method can quite easily be looked at via a Mind Map – Clare Maxwell showed us her diagram and guided us to eventually prepare our own. Some items to include in the mind map are as follows: 21st Century skills; Authentic content; communication; HOTS (higher order thinking skills); group/team work; benefits for the student; engagement; motivation; etc. She said “CLIL is an opportunity for the SS to see their learning in another approach” by actually doing the learning. Nowadays the students have the capacity to evaluate their learning through the internet, they are constantly interacting with a wider reality than a mere textbook. Hence if the didactic material is in a ‘learn by doing’ approach the students are more likely to be motivated. This is just a tip of the iceberg in the approach to using CLIL in the classroom. Especially in the language classroom which is an area that probably until Clare mentioned it … for me anyway … was the subject Teacher’s role and not the language teacher!

During the coffee and tea break the opportunity arose to physically catch up with so many past and present colleagues that the time just flew … so nice to hear so many chatting away in English.

Straight up after the break was Ben Wetz with a fresh approach at understanding the use of learning poetry and learning the language through Life Skills. This is an area of which I have been using in my language projects for the past 10 years or so hence it was a topic that being more familiar with left me to sit back and listen. Taking notes is often times ruined by not watching and listening.

Ben Wetz had us all busy with interactive tasks by watching YouTube videos then answering a few questions on each and coming up with a nice grid approach to using the same method in the classroom.

The video on 21st Century skills that Ben Wetz introduced at the beginning was an amazing video which I want to share here with my readers.

What is 21st century education?

All in all it was a grand morning and thank you to Oxford University Press, Italy for organizing the event.