IH Barcelona ELT Conference 2010

English Language Teaching Conference for teachers of English to Adults, Children & Business students

Barcelona, February 5 and 6, 2010



Friday 5th

Luke ProdromouMultiple Voices from the classroom: becoming a better teacher

Plenary session
Luke Prodromou

I report on research into 'expertise' in language teaching, drawing on the following sources; empirical research; teachers' voices from various European countries, and on some of my own surveys into 'the good teacher'. From this data, I identify tendencies and patterns in effective classroom practice. I end with two personal 'case studies' of teachers' voices that have shaped my own teaching.

Note: this session will also be given as one of the Saturday morning workshops (see below).

Biodata • Luke is a freelance teacher, trainer and materials writer. He has taught mostly for the British Council. He has published a number of textbooks and handbooks for teachers. He co-authored Dealing with Difficulties with Lindsay Clandfield (Winner of the Ben Warren Prize) and English as a Lingua franca: a corpus-based study (2nd ed. Continuum, 2010). He has run training courses for NILE (Norwich) Pilgrims (Canterbury) and ESADE (Barcelona). He has an MA in Shakespeare Studies (University of Birmingham), a Postgaduate Diploma in ESL (Leeds University) and a Ph.D from the University of Nottingham. He lives and works in Greece.

Adrian UnderhillMake pronunciation physical, visible, audible! A multi-experience approach

Adrian Underhill

Experience a method that immediately enables learners to:

  1. Locate and feel the muscles that make the pronunciation difference
  2. See this physicality

This approach liberates the body to work with the ear, eliminates time taken on habit formation, and integrates sounds, words and connected speech into all aspects of language work.

My claim is that this benefits speaking, listening and reading, and also develops memory and confidence. A three year phonology course in one hour, and its fun and unforgettable. See if you agree.

Biodata • Adrian is a freelance ELT consultant and trainer, working on staff and organisational development. He is series editor of the Macmillan Books for Teachers, and past president of IATEFL. His current interests include improvisation in teaching.

Nik PeacheyHow to create your own digital course book using Web 2.0 resources

Nik Peachey

LinksLink Web 2.0 resources

Many teachers feel bound by course books and the syllabus and materials it provides. It can stop teachers from experimenting with new approaches or technologies and confine them to often dull and limited materials.

As publishers start to explore how they will move from producing paper based course books to digital ones, perhaps we as teachers can take advantage of this hiatus to explore how we can make that step ahead of them.

This session will explore how we can use web based resources to replace the kinds of tasks and activities we commonly see published in course books and in so doing free ourselves from the limitations of published materials and open up a world of real communication, creative tasks and authentic materials for our students.

Biodata • Nik is a freelance educational consultant, writer and teacher trainer specialising in web based technologies for language learning and development.

He has been involved in English language teaching since 1992 and has worked all over the world for companies like the British Council, International House and IATEFL. As well as working as teacher and teacher trainer, he has also been involved in managing a number of online and software projects including websites for teacher development, CD-ROM projects and has developed online and blended learning courses for the web and for virtual worlds such as Second Life.

At present he is based in Morocco.

As well as publishing in journals and with ELT publishers, he also publishes his own work on 4 free websites.

His learning technology blog is aimed at supporting teachers and giving them practical ideas for using a range of new Web 2.0 type technologies with their students.

His Daily Activities blog has a range of tasks and activities that EFL and ESL students can use autonomously to develop their English and digital literacies.

His Quick shout blog has a range of new views, quick teaching tips and information about new and emerging technologies and how they can be used to have an impact on education.

Lastly, he publishes a site On Blogging and Social Media which aims to help teachers to develop their own professional development networks, get involved in online communities and become active participants in the online ELT knowledge community.

Nik holds an M.Ed in ELT and technology from Manchester University and is also a PRINCE 2 qualified Project Manager.


Saturday 6th

Scott ThornburyIs there discourse in this course?

Plenary session
Scott Thornbury

Traditionally, language teaching has targeted the three systems of phonology, lexis and grammar. But what about discourse, the system "beyond the sentence"? How systematic is it, and can it be taught?

In this talk, I review the different senses of "discourse" and show they operate in some very simple, classroom-friendly texts. I also demonstrate some ways that corpus linguistics can inform our understanding of discourse.

Biodata • Scott used to direct the DELTA program at IH Barcelona and now teaches on an on-line MA in TESOL for the New School Unviersity, New York. He is the co-author of The CELTA Course (CUP) and series editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Teachers.

Roger HuntExtensive reading online

Plenary session
Philip Kerr

It is generally recognised that successful language learners must also be extensive readers in the target language. Until recently, the primary source of material available to us was (graded) readers, but with increasing access to the internet the situation is changing. This presentation will explore online resources for extensive reading and classroom activities that may encourage our learners to make good use of them.

Biodata • Philip is a teacher trainer and writer of teaching materials. He worked for the International House organization for many years in both Spain and the UK. He now lives in Brussels. His most recent publications include the coursebook series Straightforward and Inside Out.

Coffee break


Lynn DurrantLearning through CLIL

Lynn Durrant
12.15—1.15pm, Room B1

Below are some comments from teachers who have been told to provide CLIL lessons to their learners. Maybe easier said than done or could it be simpler than we realise?

  • "Isn't it something we have been doing for years anyway?"
  • "It's just another name for project work."
  • "I haven't got time to find out about Geography AND deal with language items when I'm planning my lessons!"
  • "My syllabus is too packed to do anything else!"

This workshop aims to look at how we can make a deliberate move towards integrating CLIL in a natural and stimulating way for our learners at primary and secondary levels, and include some discussion time on how CLIL can provide us with opportunities to take learning a foreign language into other dimensions.

Biodata • Lynn is Head of Primary and Secondary Training at International House Barcelona and has worked as an Educational Consultant for Cambridge University and is a Celtyl Assessor. She is also a Celta and Celtyl tutor. She has given seminars and conferences in Europe, Asia and South America as well as various courses at Universities on training for teachers, trainers and Directors of Studies. She has co-written a series for Secondary State School and at the moment she is working on the second book in a series for "Bachillerato" for McGraw Hill Publications.

Rosie BurkeAppealing activities for appealing angels

Rosie Burke
12.15—1.15pm, Room E2

In this session we will be looking at work that we have been doing with a group of five year olds. All the activities are designed to reflect real life through use of realia, drama, songs, gestures, and are proving a real help in involving the children in their learning.

Biodata • Rosie has been working in the Barcelona area for the last 30 years as a teacher and teacher trainer. She has worked at IH Barcelona, IH Sabadell and was Director of her own language school for many years. She now works freelance and in the last year has visited Jordan and Egypt to give talks on teacher training programmes specializing in Young Learners. She is also a Cambridge ESOL presenter and examiner with many years experience.

Tom WaltonChalk and cheese: Dogme and the IWB

Tom Walton
12.15—1.15pm, Room C19

LinksLink How to make your IWB interactive

Dogme ELT is a "materials-light" approach that focuses on the language that emerges in the classroom from natural conversation. The interactive whiteboard (IWB) is (among) the latest technology to be proclaimed the "next big thing". Displaying multimedia "interactive" material, use of the IWB would appear to be totally incompatible with Dogme. But it needn't be that way...

In this session, we will look at materials-light activities that would permit a Dogme approach in a 21st century classroom (whether or not it's equipped with an IWB, and whatever technology is being used).

Biodata • Tom (aka PC Smasher) has spent half a lifetime in ELT and wasted much of the rest playing computer games. He's a nerd; a disciple (?) of Dogme; a smasher of photocopy machines (hence the moniker); and a vocal advocate of inactive (sic) whiteboards.

Lunch break


Alistair JonesUsing stories with teenagers

Alistair Jones
2.15—3.15pm, Room C19

We often associate using stories with younger learners but they are an excellent resource and text-type for teenagers, as well. They are a great way to present new language in context and provide students with motivating skills work. This practical talk includes tried and tested stories and tasks to take away.

Biodata • Alistair is the Centre Director of Cambridge School, Granollers where he worked as Head of Young Learners from 1998 to 2004, with a range of responsibilities including YL academic policy, course development, teacher training, and school-wide behaviour management. He is a regular speaker at teacher training events and has co-authored YL multimedia courses for IH Net Languages (English 4 Kids and English for Teens), OUP (Clever Kids) and the pupil website for Macmillan's new Bugs' World series.

Mark OrmerodA pronounced improvement for groups of teens and adults

Mark Ormerod
2.15—3.15pm, Room D13

It's not always easy to diagnose the cause of our students' pronunciation problems, much less propose an adequate solution. In this session, for teachers of teens and adults, we won't be doing any choral drilling but we'll take a look at a range of non-threatening classroom strategies and techniques that can help students identify and overcome their pronunciation difficulties.

Biodata • Mark has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and EFL materials writer since 1989. He currently teaches at IH, Barcelona. He is the author of the holiday workbook series Summer Time (Macmillan ELT 2010) and co-author of the new six-level primary course Find Out! (Macmillan ELT 2008).

Roger HuntThe four Cs and CLIL

Roger Hunt
2.15—3.15pm, Room B1

DownloadPowerPoint The Four Cs and CLIL

Part of the underlying theory of a Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) approach is often expressed as the 4Cs. These are: Content, Communication, Cognition and Culture.

In this talk I will present classroom lesson 'templates' which illustrate the integration of the four Cs and which can be used as the basis for an unlimited number of CLIL lessons to suit you and your students.

Biodata • Roger is Director of Education at International House Barcelona where he is responsible for educational development in both teaching and teacher training. He has worked in ELT for 29 years in many parts of the world and is currently mostly involved in writing and tutoring on the IH Barcelona online teacher training courses. He is co-author of Fountain (Longman 1992) and of TKT a preparatory course (McGraw Hill 2008). He has published numerous articles on language teaching and teacher training.

Rachel ApplebyMotivating and challenging advanced Business English learners

Rachel Appleby
2.15—3.15pm, Room E2

DownloadPowerPoint Motivating and challenging advanced Business English learners

DownloadWord Handout from session

What makes advanced learners different?

  • "They're pretty fluent, but they make the same mistakes over and over again."
  • "Their vocabulary's not bad, and they're pretty accurate, but they lack fluency."
  • "They can cope, but not very effectively."
  • "They don't know how to move on, so they're not motivated."

Students at advanced level want their English to become more sophisticated and accurate. Our aim is to find ways to motivate and challenge them, as well as give them direction. The activities and ideas in this session attempt to do both!

Biodata • Rachel works full time at ELTE University in Budapest, teaching methodology, language, cultural studies and communication skills, and is otherwise a freelance teacher / teacher trainer, mostly for Business English. She is also a CELTA trainer, and writes business English teaching materials. She is co-author of the Business one:one series (Advanced, Intermediate+, Pre-Intermediate), and co-wrote the Teacher's Book for Business Result Advanced, and for the new edition of International Express Upper Intermediate (all OUP). She is also co-author of The Business Advanced (Macmillan).

Vaila GoodridgeMemory, Mnemonics and the Lexicon

Vaila Goodridge
2.15—3.15pm, Room B5

DownloadPdf file Memory, Mnemonics and the Lexicon

The thing about learning vocabulary is that you just have to remember it. Somehow you have to remember information about meaning, form, collocation, colligation (grammatical patterns), register, connotation and so on.  This is a tall order for learners, but it need not be as daunting as it sounds.

In this talk we will explore how language is stored in memory and how we can exploit this knowledge to help our students learn vocabulary and use it appropriately. We will also look at a variety of practical exercises which you can use in class to improve your students' vocabulary.

Biodata • Vaila has taught children, teenagers and adults in Peru, the UK and Lebanon and is currently teaching at Merit School, Barcelona. She writes for Net Languages and is co-author of Takeaway English (forthcoming). She did the DELTA at IH Barcelona and regularly presents in-house teacher development workshops.

Ben GoldsteinGo with the (transcultural) flow

Ben Goldstein
3.30—4.30pm, Room D13

Cultural input often merely imparts information about certain countries' habits and customs. This talk focuses rather on global voices and international speech communities, diverse contexts to which learners can easily relate. We then discuss the concept of "transcultural flows" i.e. how cultural forms can evolve in disparate ways in today's globalised world. The topics and texts featured will cover areas such as popular music and football – global phenomena which can be reinvented by learners and thus transcend cultural boundaries.

Biodata • Ben has taught English for over 15 years in Spain, currently as an online tutor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona. He has also worked for the British Council in Hong Kong and is currently writing a Council-run online teacher training course in Latin America.

He has a first class BA degree in English, an MA in English and American Studies, as well as a TEFL Diploma (DELTA). He is the coordinator and principal author of Richmond's adult English course Framework. He has given talks and teacher training and methodological workshops in conferences throughout the world. With respect to ELT, his main interests lie in encouraging intercultural awareness and the use of image in teaching materials.

Graham StanleyGame to Learn

Graham Stanley
3.30—4.30pm, Room C19

Videogames offer great potential for motivating pre-teen and teenage language learners but how can they best be exploited pedagogically for language learning? In this session I'll be giving some ideas how you can use free online digital games in the connected classroom and computer room.

The session will be full of practical ideas for the teacher on using games to promote extensive reading, live listening, creative writing, grammar practice and free speaking activities and will include access to lesson plans and resources.

Biodata • Graham spends half of his working life as a teacher of English at the British Council Young Learner Centre in Barcelona, Spain and the other half as Project Manager of the British Council's Learn English Second Life project. This involves managing a 3D self-access centre for 13-17 year-olds for the British Council and working with the other partners of the AVALON project, which aims to develop best practice through language learning scenarios for adults in Second Life.

Jade StevensHow children learn

Jade Stevens
3.30—4.30pm, Room B5

"Come on Joan; join in the singing with the class."
"Ok, now it's QUIET reading time, Blanca."
"What do you mean, you don't like drawing?"

You think it's one of your most successful activities ever and then you notice a student not quite enjoying him/herself as much the rest of the class. Whilst there may be an external reason for this, the answer will often lie with the student and the activity in progress.

This session will raise awareness of how different theories of learning can be applied to the Young Learner classroom. It will look at practical ideas to attend to a range of multiple intelligences, and ways to create desirable conditions for learning in our YL classes.

Biodata • Jade has been teaching EFL for about nine years and he has worked in Bahrain, Bulgaria, Burma, and Barcelona. He has never worked in Baku, Bilbao, Brazil or Brighton: it's not a 'B' thing. He does quite like the idea of Brazil though. Jade is also a CELTYL trainer and really does like teaching children.

Nik PeacheyHow to create your own digital course book using Web 2.0 resources

Nik Peachey
3.30—4.30pm, Room B1

For those who were unable to attend the plenary session on Friday, you have a second chance to attend Nik's session this afternoon [full details].

Usoa SolListen up! Getting teens to listen in English

Usoa Sol
3.30—4.30pm, Room E2

Do your teenage students find listening difficult and demotivating? Do they often feel they are being tested rather than being taught to listen? Do they usually see listening as an isolated part of the lesson which bear no connection to the rest?

In this session I will illustrate how to fully exploit listening texts by means of some activities I have used with my teenage learners/students. They will primarily include variations on live listenings and song activities other than the typical gap-fill.

Biodata • Usoa is currently Head of the English Department at Sant Gregori School in Barcelona, where she teaches English to primary, ESO and Batxillerat students. She also gives training seminars on teaching teenagers at the Col.legi de Llicenciats de Barcelona and ICCIC Language School. She is particularly interested in teenage learners and in finding techniques to make language learning motivating and engaging for them.

Andrea HasapiReading's a waste of time, isn't it?

Andrea Hasapi
4.45—5.45pm, Room C19

Surely we are language teachers and should be teaching language, not wasting time watching our learners struggle through texts which we all know they find boring.

In this workshop we will be looking at the rationale behind focusing on reading skills in the classroom and also addressing ways in which this can be done via engaging and effective tasks which aim to develop inferential and suppositional skills beyond and above the more traditional ("boring"?) ways of "testing understanding".

Biodata • Andrea is a CELTA and CELTYL trainer with IH Barcelona. She has an MA in Materials Development for teaching English, and is interested in exploring ways of encouraging learners to become independent readers, as this is one of the ways to also help them become independent and autonomous learners. She has particular interest in the psychology of young learners.

Brian BrennanThe ten rules I want my learners to know about pronunciation

Brian Brennan
4.45—5.45pm, Room B5

Nothing causes more communication breakdowns than unclear or ambiguous pronunciation. Living and working here, we become inured to and sometimes over-tolerant of substandard pronunciation, which doesn't necessarily mean sounding like a native speaker. But how many times have we accepted walk for work, cut for cat and berry for very?

This workshop looks at a number of accessible ways we can work on in and out of class to help improve our learners' pron by providing them with a toolkit of at least 10 guidelines. In fact, you should walk away from this workshop with at least 20 pretty reliable guidelines for English pronunciation. And you can't spend too much time on pron.

Biodata • Brian is Language Training Manager at IH Company Training, BCN. He's taught in Spain, Greece and Britain. His work is now largely in the area of Business English, and has included writing Internet-based courses, teacher training, materials creating and course designing, developing competence-based descriptors for the European Commission, oral examining for Cambridge ESOL, reporting for publishers, review writing for Modern English Teacher and translating for the Sitges Film Festival. So his flat is a real mess. Oh, and he's just co-authored Business one:one for OUP, a B1+ level coursebook with a 'How to' approach.

Jane Blackwell"Works like magic": Tuning in to English speaker conversations

Jane Blackwell
4.45—5.45pm, Room E2

My students often complain that they have trouble understanding "real English" when they hear it spoken, let alone think about starting a conversation. However, increased confidence in these areas can make learning English much more fun and satisfying, and can vastly open up their capacity for language exposure and practice. In response to this, I developed an easy to deliver, dynamic series of lessons, based on short natural-speed conversation dictations. These lessons, I have found, dramatically improve students' ability and confidence in two key areas. The students' ability to distinguish sounds and words in natural speech is significantly increased, and they also learn ways of interacting confidently and naturally with English speakers they might encounter in Barcelona (e.g. tourists, clients or colleagues). In this demonstration I will show you some examples of the lessons in this series (free materials included!) as well as ideas for how to use and adapt it for your classes. While the conversation element may be of more interest to those who teach adults, the listening development is suitable for both adult and teenage students.

Biodata • Jane teaches EAP to international students at Queen Mary, University of London. She has also worked as a teacher and trainer at IH Barcelona, and at other universities and language schools in the UK, Russia and Thailand. Jane has an MA TESOL from the Institute of Education, University of London, and is thinking about doing another one, having developed an unhealthy interest in critical pedagogy (ask me!). Most of her free time is taken up by Cuban salsa dancing, but she always makes sure she has time for reading, sleeping and relaxing too.

Kyle MawerHow to find serious fun online for your learners

Kyle Mawer
4.45—5.45pm, Room D13

LinksLink Language Learners, Teachers & Computer games

For many young learners a computer is an everyday aspect of their lives. However, they would much rather be watching a fun youtube video than doing a serious online English exercise but who could blame them? Why not make 'serious' more 'fun'?

This session will look at ways in how to engage your learners in a fun yet serious way. Using free to download popular games such as 'Who wants to be a millionaire' or 'Jeopardy' for fun language activities. All the materials looked at can be easily downloaded for free and changed by either the teacher or the student. Why not get your learners developing their own material that's relevant to their language level, abilities and interests? This session will show you how.

Biodata • Kyle is an English language teacher at the Barcelona British Council Young Learner Centre. He has written several online articles on motivating young learners using online resources and presented at international conferences on the subject. He is also involved in producing materials in a virtual world for the British Council Global project 'Second Life for teens project'. As well as working as a teacher he is also involved in managing a blog and wikispace dedicated to the use of video games in language learning.

Rosie BurkeTop Tips for FCE

Rosie Burke
4.45—5.45pm, Room B1

In this talk we will look at ways of reminding students of the skills required for FCE exam success. and provide teachers with some fun, motivating, challenging and practical activities and ideas to use in the classroom.

Biodata • Rosie has been working in the Barcelona area for the last 30 years as a teacher and teacher trainer. She has worked at IH Barcelona, IH Sabadell and was Director of her own language school for many years. She now works freelance and in the last year has visited Jordan and Egypt to give talks on teacher training programmes specializing in Young Learners. She is also a Cambridge ESOL presenter and examiner with many years experience.

Previous IH Barcelona ELT conferences

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