Conference-Reports

These reports are from presentations and talks we have attended and are intended to let you know what was going on at various conferences if you weren't able to attend yourself.

Claire Acevedo on literacy via genre awareness

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Claire's presentation was a report on a Europe-wide project for accelerating literacy by making teachers and students more aware of the generic structure of texts. The scope of the talk was not confined to ELT, but education in the broader sense, and the idea of 'learning to read' and 'reading to learn'.

Hugh Dellar on technology and principles

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Hugh began with an anecdote in which he'd received the negative feedback, 'didn't use enough technology', pointing out how absurd that is. Using tech is, in itself, neither good nor bad. Tech is not a magic bullet which will turn bad teaching into good. You can teach well with it, but you can also teach well without.

David Bradshaw on getting them speaking

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David Bradshaw explained how speaking is a very difficult skill to promote in secondary school classrooms, and how he used to dread it. He then went on to demonstrate a series of activities which he has found to work in that context, really motivating the students to want to talk, and incidentally providing excellent preparation for Cambridge exams.

Thom Kiddle on designing digital materials

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Thom Kiddle opened his presentation with statistics pertaining to the digital revolution, and the fact that teachers need to take control of issues relating to digital language teaching.

Debbie West on presentation skills

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Gillian Evans opened the session with a warm-up exercise of body movements to refresh us at the end of a long day.

Mark Hancock on a Map of ELT

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Listen to a podcast of Mark Hancock's closing plenary at TESOL Spain by clicking on the orange circle below. Read a full article written up after the talk here.

Scott Thornbury on language and the body

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Scott began on a philosophical note, with Descartes’ idea of mind and body being separate entities, and a modern extension of this dualism on the part of Stephen Pinker, who regards the mind as a computer encased in a fleshy body. Scott presented a more ecological alternative conception, in which mind, body, and indeed the world beyond are in some sense all one.

Mark Hancock's Map of ELT - APAC audience comments

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See the map and an article about it here. Here are a couple of queries from the audience and responses:

Durrant and McLoughlin on the thinking classroom

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Lynn Durrant and Gerard McLoughlin are teacher trainers at International House Barcelona, and the focus of their presentation was on how we can nurture engagement and higher order thinking skills in the classroom. Lynn began with five top tips for creating a better classroom environment: 1. Give students choices; 2. Short and sweet activities eg 2-4 minutes; 3. Plenty of movement; 4.

Noureddine Azmi on how teaching with ICT can open minds

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Noureddine began by describing his teaching context in Morocco. The students he is working with already have a high level of English, but needed to develop their intercultural understanding, and in particular, openness to new ideas. He went on to explain the perspective transformation theoretical framework, as developed by Jack Mezirow.

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