Nives' endeavours as an English Teacher

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 !


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2016-11-16 Oxford Webinar

“Managing Classroom Dynamics” by Martyn Clarke – the title and presenter of the Oxford OUP ELT events webinar online live on Wednesday 16 November 2016 at around 10am GMT.

A reflection of the webinar…

The webinar began with the simple question of “What are Classroom Dynamics?” although as Teachers we know and understand the simplicity of answering the question we also understand how not simple those dynamics are! Martyn’s clear and concise quoted definition “Classroom dynamics are the ways the members of a class interact with each other, how they show their emotions and feelings, and how they behave as a group.” As there was a rush in the Chat box while many Teachers present at the webinar (reaching over 200 participants!) to write down a word or two about how we view our own class dynamics. Especially in the ELT classroom, with Teens or Adults – there are times when the ‘speaking’ activity can become a focus on creating that ‘dynamic’ feeling where all participants – including the Teacher – become a central body of communication.

In my own personal experience Classroom Dynamics are not always palpable in fact sometimes the atmosphere is tainted by prior situations. It’s not easy for any Teacher to walk into a new school with new students and expect perfect dynamics. I have been teaching in the EFL classroom for over 15 years and still sometimes find difficult situations especially with Language Projects. However there are some important rules I lay out for myself … firstly getting to know the students names, secondly using technology in the classroom – like getting them to use their smartphones. Thirdly understanding (or trying to perceive) the basic communication that already exists – what I mean is – are there sectioned off groups, individuals sitting on their own – whether these students are open to communication. The root of any classroom dynamics is communication. When the EFL classroom consists of ‘speaking’ the L2 language then all sorts of factors appear – the main is always embarassment at speaking another language. There are many activities we Teachers can use to overcome these communication barriers.

Martyn said that “dynamics is just that – dynamic” a situation that occurs spontaneously, so as Teachers our role is sometimes to create an environment where the classroom dynamics can occur ‘naturally’. Sometimes it can lead the class lesson plan astray and that’s when the role of the Teacher is to stear them back on course. Other times can we just forego the lesson plan and allow them to be open and communicate freely? Well that depends, but sometimes when that learning environment becomes a flurry of excitement and chatter with smiles, laughter (why not) and general good communication then yes I definitely would forget the lesson plan. Obviously there are times when that cannot happen – in the case of exam preparation classes or similar.

The most important thing to associate with Classroom Dynamics is that it is the essence of creating ‘group’ made up of its members within a classroom. A group with a similar goal in mind, bringing together in the learning environment sharing the ups and downs, collaborating and assisting one another. The Teacher needs to be a part of that ‘group’ mind, but at the same time be it’s inevitable leader keeping the group on its learning track. The Teacher facilitating the learning for the group as a whole and as individuals.

Following are some screen shots taken during the Webinar.




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Day 2 IATEFL Birmingham

IATEFL Online Banner 2016
Nearly missed everything of day 1 online – firstly due to my internet connection which slowed down to nearly zero! Telephone company supplied a meagre excuse, however the mild frustration that ensued as a matter of being ‘lost’ without a connection made me realize how much dependant I am particularly.

Some weeks ago a colleague mentioned that some of us Teachers seem not to be able to do anything in the classroom anymore if we don’t use technology of sorts. A giggle or two that day surely brought on the bad Karma to the internet stability which has never really been much but enough that sufficed.


Photo by Rob Howard 

However today glad to be back and just finishing up listening to the Interview line up today – again another amazing day! Bravo and compliments to the Online Presenters who are even able to create an interview on the go! Today’s guest list included the following:  Carol Read; Adrian Underhill; Sandy Millin; … to name a few. All the interviews are available on the Interview recordings page of the IATEFL Online British Council site.

The interview yesterday on Wednesday with Jim Scrivener was particularly interesting as he talks about how Teacher training should make a change by ‘simplifying’ methodology study. He mentions planting a “naive seed of thought” allowing the new Teachers to put into practice and then reflect on their experience.

On this topic of Reflection practices an interesting Forum was held today Thursday in Hall 7 at 10:20 am. Watch the recording at this link.

Julie Pratten held her presentation today on the HeartELT special project, below is a great photo by Roving Reporter Rob Howard, who incidentally will be presenting on Friday! Rob will be talking about his creation EFL Talks bringing together Teachers worldwide to talk on varied topics in the Education field.


Julie Pratten HEART ELT photo by Rob Howard

Two of my favourite online people, one is Dr Nellie Deutsch who has guided and trained me over the past 3 years to teach online and the other one is a great leader of Teachers Rob Howard – also my eyes at Birmingham supplying great photos.


Rob Howard and Dr Nellie Deutsch ‘selfie time’

More to follow …