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.

BRAZ-TESOL: Plenary “Challenges, trends and aspirations in ELT” (Brock Brady)

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Brock Brady spoke as past president of TESOL about the irony that demand for ELT is on the up and up, and yet the pressures on the profession threaten to bring standards lower and lower. Among these pressures is the assumption that simply knowing the language as a native speaker is sufficient. ELT is not valued as a profession – and not paid as one either.

BRAZ-TESOL: a talk on attitudes to technology among teachers and students

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“Changes in teachers’ profile affecting the use of technology” (Janaina Cardoso) Janaina presented demographic change in terms of the generational classification “Baby boomers” (pre-1965), “Generation X” (1965 – 1980), “Generation Y” (1981-1999) and “Generation Z” (2000-now). She made the point that Generation Y, previously researched as being today’s students, have now become today’s teachers.

BRAZ-TESOL: a talk on listening/reading skills

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“Activating the receptive skills: beliefs and practices versus current research” (Isabella Villas Boas and Marta Diniz de Rezende) Isabella and Marta gave us 12 statements about reading and listening skills for us to mark true or false.

BRAZ-TESOL: Proud to be communicating in English, Kathleen Bailey (Plenary)

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This plenary linked the conference theme Proud to be to the ultimate goals of language learning today. With images of well known bridges around the world, and drawing on expressions related to water (for example, don’t rock the boat and take the plunge), Kathy explained a comprehensive set of communication strategies.

BRAZ-TESOL: a listening skills workshop

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“Enhancing students’ listening skills with authentic materials: going beyond gap-filling” (Bruna Caltabiano)Bruna began this workshop with a brainstorm session of why humans (and other animals!) listen. She led the discussion to this very human motivation, as expressed by Wilson: “We learn to listen and we listen to learn”.  

BRAZ-TESOL: a pron/listening talk

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“English is a rhythmical language” (Susan Harris de Melo) The main thrust of Susan’s talk was that there is a great insight that teachers in Brazil are tending to overlook: that English is stress-timed and Brazilian Portuguese is syllable-timed. A consequence of this difference is that for a Brazilian, listening to English is very difficult because the grammar words tend to be swallowed.

BRAZ-TESOL: A grammar teaching workshop

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“Creating effective learning opportunities”
(Anamaria Campanha and Sirley Trinidade Vilela Lewis)
Anamaria and Sirley are teachers at a Cultura Inglesa in Minas Gerais. Their talk represents the conclusions of a project they conducted at their school to find the most successful grammar input activities. Here are the five elements that they found to be essential:

BRAZ-TESOL Opening Plenary Tuesday 17th

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Christine Coombe gave the opening the plenary on Tuesday morning: her topic – 10 Characteristics of Highly Effective EF/SL Teachers; her purpose – to get us reflecting on our own criteria for effectiveness and to self-evaluate accordingly; her idea – that we might identify areas of our teaching that we might want to work on.

Tips for conference presenting

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It's always interestingj to share ideas about how to approach presenting at conferences. I was thinking about the way I approach them myself, often unconsciously, and here are a list of DOs and DON'Ts which I came up with.

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