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.

Tim Murphey on appreciative inquiry

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Tim Murphey on appreciative inquiry -

Tim Murphey began what was a very feelgood session by recommending an action log at the start of each lesson. You put up on the board a list of all the activities you're going to be doing, and as the lesson progresses, the learners write how they felt about each activity. The teacher may go further by collecting and 'publishing' these logs so students can see each other's comments.

John Hughes on intercultural understanding

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John Hughes on intercultural understanding -

John organized his presentation by the three question words why, what and how.

David Block on the commodification of English

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David is a sociolinguist at the University of Lleida, and this talk was a critical evaluation of the concept of "English", including the way the language has become commodified.

Hakan Senturk on going digital with Dogme

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Hakan Senturk began his presentation with a contextualization of his ideas within the development of the Dogme movement. He traced the origin of Dogme to Scott Thornbury’s call for a more conversation-driven materials-light approach to teaching which focuses on language that naturally emerges in the lesson rather than a pre-conceived syllabus as laid down by a coursebook.

TESOL France: Luke Meddings and Chuck Sandy on reflecting on how to be yourself in the classroom

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(Photo: Chuck Sandy)

The main thrust of this very lively, participative and practical session was to stimulate and provide us with opportunities to take a step back from our role as teachers in the classroom, and reflect on and explore the ‘self’ – who we are outside the classroom.

TESOL France: Christina Rebuffet-Broadus on how Dogme is perceived through students’ eyes

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Christina’s presentation incorporated feedback from 25 students who had followed a one-semester course of dogme classes as part of classroom-based research. Students were surveyed about their willingness to take part in their teachers’ professional development, and after a first day’s dogme class, were asked to give their initial impressions of the approach.

TESOL France: Jemma Gardener on emergent language

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Jemma began her presentation by explaining that she would be dealing with the ‘hows’ rather than ‘whys’ in her ‘teaching unplugged’ or dogme-based presentation. She started by explaining the three main pillars of the approach: it is context-driven, materials-light and it focusses on emergent classroom language (spoken or written and can involve any language at any time).

TESOL France: Review of conference

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(Photo: Vice-president Debbie West and President Bethany Cagnol opening the conference)


Big on social networking, small on in-your-face commercial


There were 68 hour-long talks/workshops, punctuated by 3 plenaries, distributed across a Friday evening, a full Saturday and a short Sunday, and a total of some 350 participants at the event.

TESOL France: Leo Selivan on synonymy

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Leo Selivan’s presentation was founded on the insight that synonymy in English can usually be traced to the hybrid history of the language. In most synonymous pairs, one member of the pair can trace its history to Germanic influence, and the other, to Latinate influence. An example of the might be ‘buy’ and ‘purchase’.

TESOL France: Chia Suan Chong on principled eclecticism

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The closing plenary from Chia Suan Chong was a brightly delivered and entertaining history of ELT methodology, from rote learning through grammar translation, the direct method, the audio-lingual method, the ‘designer methods’ (suggestopoedia, etc), communicative approaches and task based learning.


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