IH Barcelona ELT Conference 2012
Barcelona, February 3-4, 2012
The myth of multi-tasking and the force of focus
Key note plenary session
17.00—18.00, Main hall
Recent writers suggest that multi-tasking is a myth – or that at the least concentrating on too many tasks at once may not help us perform successfully.
What implications does this have for teaching and teacher training? How do we avoid the "too much information" syndrome and focus students' and trainees' attention on the things that matter?
Biodata • Jeremy is a teacher and teacher trainer. He has worked in the UK and Mexico and now offers training sessions of various kinds for institutions and conferences in many parts of the world. He has authored and co-authored many books for EFL including the Just Right course and the Just Skills series for Marshall Cavendish. He is the author of The Practice of English Language Teaching, How to Teach English and How to Teach Writing. He is the general editor of the Longman methodology series and a trustee of International House.
Key note plenary session
18.15—19.15, Main hall
- Philip will also be giving a workshop on Saturday afternoon.
For too many years, the use of L1 in language teaching has been proscribed or ignored by methodology experts, whilst many teachers have continued, sometimes guiltily, to use the language of their students when they felt it appropriate. Now, however, the wheel is beginning to turn and there is an academic and research consensus that supports the use of L1 and translation in the language classroom. This does not entail a return to the dry and dusty days of grammar translation at its worst.
The presentation will begin with a brief overview of the arguments for the use of L1 and translation in language teaching. I will then look at a wide range of practical techniques and activities which involve elements of translation and which can be accommodated within contemporary approaches to language teaching, and can be incorporated into the repertoires of language teachers of all ages and levels.
Biodata • Philip is a teacher trainer and materials writer. His publications include the coursebook series Straightforward and Inside Out. He currently lives and works in Brussels.
Link to handout: translationhandout.wordpress.com
The learning body
Key note plenary session
09.00—09.50, Main hall
The separation between mind and body – a fundamental "truth" in modern Western thought – is succumbing to a view that thinking, and hence learning, is "‘embodied", i.e. that the mind extends beyond the grey matter of the brain, and is realised, at least in part, through gesture, movement, and physicality. What might this mean for (second) language learning?
In this talk I'll review developments in this exciting new field, and (very tentatively) suggest some applications.
Biodata • Scott teaches on an MA TESOL program for the New School, New York, and lives in Barcelona. He is the author of a number of books on language and methodology, including Teaching Unplugged (Delta Publishing, co-written with Luke Meddings) which won a British Council Innovations award in 2010. He is currently the series editor for the Cambridge Handbooks for Teachers.
Scott's An A-Z of ELT blog
Key note plenary session
10.00—10.50, Main hall
- Carol will also be giving a workshop on Saturday afternoon.
Creativity is an elusive concept to define and a challenge to develop and foster in the classroom. This talk explores the notion of creativity and looks at issues and tensions in the relationship between teaching, learning and creativity. It also offers a range of practical strategies to promote creativity in English language teaching to learners of all ages and levels.
Biodata • Carol is an educational consultant, teacher trainer and writer with many years' experience of working with children. Carol has published widely in the field of primary language teaching, including Bugs which won a British Council ELTon and 500 Activities for the Primary Classroom which was Highly Commended in the Duke of Edinburgh ESU Awards.
11.30—12.30, Main hall
This talk is a follow up to the talk I gave in 2009. In this workshop we will look at how we can take topics from the course-book and change our learners' perspective on image, culture and people, exploring various clips that can enrich the classroom with student-generated materials. We'll look at typical topics and activities to help our learners explore useful websites: language and skills activities to ensure that the syllabus is met and the learners' language experience is enriched.
Biodata • Gerard currently works as a CELTA and DELTA trainer at IH Barcelona and is a co-author of Next Generation, a Bachillerato coursebook, and Fast Forward, an ESO 4º book. He has also written several teacher books for McGraw Hill and Heinle. He is a board member of TESOL-SPAIN as Webmaster and Resources Officer and area coordinator for Barcelona.
Using the "Inner Workbench" to enrich teaching and learning
11.30—12.30, Ground floor
Although learning may be experienced as an inner activity, much of what happens in classrooms focuses on external, observable activities. I will demonstrate and you will participate in a variety of simple and engaging techniques that enable teachers to connect with the subtle inner moves of their students' learning, by exploiting the "mind's eye", the "mind's ear", the "mind's mouth" and the "mind's muscles". These techniques are simple and fascinating and can easily be matched to your own teaching style and incorporated into any part of any lesson. I believe they offer a way to begin to "see" learning and take a reflective stance.
Who's it for • Suitable for any teachers of anyone.
Biodata • Adrian is currently educational consultant to Study Group UK, principal tutor on the Oxford University summer seminar for EL teachers, and a trainer on the Pilgrims teacher programmes. He is series editor of the Macmillan Books for Teachers, author of Sound Foundations: Learning and Teaching Pronunciation, and has recently brought out SOUNDS: The Pronunciation App. Current interests include applications of action inquiry and reflective practices in professional learning, and the role of skilful improvisation in teaching.
Inside their heads: learner beliefs and attitudes
11.30—12.30, Room A
As teachers, we are well aware that a learner's progress can be greatly facilitated or impeded by the way they feel about the language learning process. In the case of adults, each individual brings a personal history and set of attitudes and beliefs with them into the language classroom as well as expectations borne of previous learning experience.
This presentation will summarise data collected among adult Catalan EFL learners, in order to offer an overview of some of the prevalent learner beliefs. I will then present some practical activities aimed at eliciting and engaging with learner attitudes in class.
Biodata • Jessica has been an EFL teacher for 20 years in France, Italy and Spain and has worked at the Escola d'Idiomes Moderns at the University of Barcelona since 1996. She did her RSA Dip at IH Barcelona in 1993 and gained an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Barcelona. After taking some time out to produce the next generation of Spanish tax payers, she is currently working towards a PhD at the UB.
Technology in 10 quotations
11.30—12.30, Room B
It's impossible to learn all there is to know about technology. Fortunately, as a language teacher, you in fact really don't need to know very much, provided you can find ways that your learners could use it that will lead to lots of language practice and learning.
In this session, technology is going to get reduced to 10 quotations, which will be used to illustrate 10 simple, practical ideas which require very little technological know-how and which will work in a wide variety of language classrooms, from teens to adults.
Who's it for • Anyone who uses (or would like to use) technology in their classroom
Biodata • Tom has been an English teacher for 30 years, has probably taught more technology to teachers than he has English to learners in the last 15, still can't afford to buy an iPhone, doesn't actually want one and, in his spare time, collects quotations.
11.30—12.30, Room C
Language learning is about commitment to experiment, being flexible and adapting to changes and it is also about a disciplined step by step approach which guides the students to being better and more informed language learners. Our goal as teachers is to create a learning environment that empowers the students, that makes them active participants in their own success and provides a balance of "solid" learning and the freedom to be creative.
This workshop will include practical suggestions on how we can contribute to developing these attributes through stimulating task types (both in ourselves and the learners!).
Who's it for • Secondary and older adolescents
Biodata • Lynn teaches on our CELTA and CELT YL courses and is currently also writing a four-book series for primary and secondary schools. She has taught in England, Spain and Portugal and has travelled all over the world as a trainer and assessor.
From "Language Teacher" to "Learning Coach"
12.30—13.30, Main hall
"Good teachers help their students learn in class, great teachers help them learn inside and outside class."
By teaching less and coaching more we can help our learners achieve their goals more effectively. In this workshop we will practise some coaching with each other, think about the benefits of a "coaching approach" for teachers and learners and look at some activities which you can use with students in class and some which they can do at home on their own or with friends.
Biodata • Duncan Foord is the Director of OxfordTEFL, Barcelona. He has 25 years experience in language teaching, teacher training and school leadership and management. He is the author of The Developing Teacher (Delta Publishing, 2009) and the Language Teachers Survival Handbook with Lindsay Clandfield (Its Magazines, 2008).
Duncan's Learner Coaching ELT blog
Play the game: the challenges of continued professional development
12.30—13.30, Ground floor
My workshop is based around a website I have developed to scaffold professional development via action research groups and individual research. It is a process that I am currently piloting at the British Council Young Learners centre, although it is not exclusively a British Council 'product' as you will see from the content on the site.
Essentially, the workshop looks at applying the elements and methodology of game-based learning to promote and encourage greater engagement with teacher development. I will look at how encouraging teachers to use a wider, more virtual focus towards their learning & development makes them better able to foster a sense of learner autonomy with their students. I will use my experience as leader of a number of action research groups over the last three years to highlight some of the key areas & resources teachers can focus on and use in their continued professional development.
Biodata • Paul works at the British Council in Barcelona where he is responsible for the training & development programme, and helps to co-ordinate British Council Spain's involvement in European Union funded projects, such as the ITiLT project, looking at the integration of Interactive Whiteboards in the Language Classroom.
He has recently developed the professional development site 'The School' which is currently used with teachers working at the British Council in Spain. He is the website editor for the British Council's ESOL Nexus website which aims to support teachers and learners of ESOL in the UK.
Exploiting short video clips in Business English classes
12.30—13.30, Room A
Video clips in the classroom are now enjoying a revival, thanks to the Internet. However, they must be accessible to learners, and that's sometimes where authentic videos slip up.
This workshop will showcase some short OUP business English videos (accompanying International Express and Business Result), which can be used with a variety of levels, and cover topics such as the business of football, the Internet, security, lifestyles, and fashion. We'll discuss ways of using the videos in class, as well as how to lead into them, and follow them up. Subtitles and worksheets available!
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 International Express Upper Intermediate (all OUP). She is also co-author of The Business Advanced (Macmillan).
Making meaning clear
12.30—13.30, Room B
Making the meaning of unknown language items clear is one of our main tasks as language teachers, according to the people who pay our wages. We ignore this at our peril. This session goes through the 30-odd methods we use in class to get meaning (of words, groups of words and grammar) across to our students, then goes on to look at which are most appropriate in given circumstances. We will then spend some time workshopping clear and concise explanations and concept questions, and finally put ourselves in a situation our learners may often find themselves in.
Biodata • Brian is Language Training Manager at IH Company Training, Barcelona. He has 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, and review writing for Modern English Teacher.
12.30—13.30, Room C
What makes a good teacher? What differentiates a good teacher from a great teacher – or a mediocre teacher? In this session we aim to engage both experienced and newly qualified teachers in some reflection on our own teaching and see how we can gain the best out of our own styles. A little confidence building is always a good thing – even for the teacher!
What does an amazing teacher do? How does an amazing teacher address issues in the classroom. Developing skills takes time, effort and ability. We will be looking at the five "E"s and applying them to a reflective process on how to develop, balance and refine our teaching. We hope to share ideas of where to start new commitment to teaching – by helping each other identify how to work on the skills that are most difficult to foster.
Biodata • Rosie has been a teacher/teacher trainer in the Barcelona area for over 30 years. She specialises in young learner courses and is particularly interested in the CLIL approach to language teaching. Most recently she has given courses in Jordan, Cairo, Belfast and Barcelona. Rosie works for Cambridge ESOL as a presenter, examiner and inspector.
Rosie will also be giving a second workshop after lunch.
A new social network for learners of English
12.30—13.30, Room D
Perhaps the biggest challenge for leaners of English studying in their own country is how to practise speaking the language outside the classroom. English Corner Online is a new social network designed to help students overcome this problem. The network makes it easy for learners of English to find other students (aged 16 and above) anywhere in the world. They can then arrange times to practise speaking together using tools such as Skype or Google Talk. English Corner Online also encourages students to practise writing English either in short texts or in longer, collaborative writing projects.
This short talk will provide an overview of how English Corner Online works, and also suggest how and why you should get your students involved.
Biodata • Jonathan is Chief Executive of the IHLS Group which currently consists of 20 companies based in 6 different countries. There are 13 International House schools in the group (including IH Barcelona), as well as Net Languages (a Web-based language school), and English Corner Online.
3-2-1: a classroom for everyone
14.45—15.45, Main hall
Dogme ELT has attracted passionate support and vitriolic criticism since it emerged in 2000.
What is it about this empowering, practice-driven approach that excites such emotion —and why is a new generation of educators adopting it in schools, classrooms and teacher training?
In this talk I will advance a robust 3-2-1 framework for teaching unplugged, situating dogme practice within ELT and broader education. I will suggest how the unplugged dynamic can meet different learner needs, and propose that conversation-driven teaching yields benefits that go beyond language learning.
Who's it for • Of general interest
Biodata • Luke is an ELT teacher, writer and teacher trainer. He was a co-founder of Dogme ELT with Scott Thornbury in 2000, and their book Teaching Unplugged was published in 2009, winning a British Council ELTon award for Innovation in 2010. Luke worked as a journalist for the EL Gazette, was a columnist for the ELT pages of the Guardian online, and in 2010 co-founded independent e-publishing collective The Round with Lindsay Clandfield and Mark Bain.
Conversations beyond the classroom
14.45—15.45, Ground floor
In this session we'll be tracing conversations from their starting point in the classroom, through the follow-up discussion and commentary by email to the final report on our class blog. We'll be looking at how they shift and change from face-to-face to one-to-one to the public arena, and at the learning opportunities and teachable moments that crop up along the way.
Who's it for • Aimed at teachers of adults and older teens but of otherwise of general interest.
Biodata • Ceri Jones is a teacher, trainer and materials writer. She has worked in ELT for over 25 years in Italy, Hungary, Spain and the UK. She has an MA in TEFL and has contributed to a number of coursebook projects including Inside Out, Framework, Straightforward and The Big Picture. She is currently interested in exploring the use of technology in low-tech classrooms.Close Up blog
14.45—15.45, Room A
Digital literacies, the skills needed to effectively interact with digital technologies, are key 21st century skills, and are increasingly important in educational curricula. What exactly are these literacies, and where might they have a place in English language teaching? This talk looks at some of the ideas and expectations underpinning digital literacies, and also at some practical classroom activities that you can try out with your own students in the classroom.
Who's it for • Of interest to teachers of younger learners, particularly teens.
Biodata • Nicky is the Director of Pedagogy of The Consultants-E, an online training and development organisation which helps teachers learn to use technology effectively in the classroom. She is the prize-winning author of several methodology books about technology in EFL, and she is currently writing a book about digital literacies.Nicky's E-Moderation Station
14.45—15.45, Room B
So often teachers and students experience grammar presentation and practice as dry, board (bored?)-focussed, form-driven exercise completion.
This session aims to contextualise grammar visually and show how pictures can be a springboard for meaningful, memorable grammar acquisition.
Who's it for • General English teachers who wish to refresh and develop their approaches to teaching grammar.
Biodata • Gabby has been teaching and training teachers with International House in Spain since 1985. She is currently the ESOL team leader and examinations co-ordinator at the International House Cambridge Examinations centre in Catalonia. She has acted as consultant on several general English and examination-based coursebooks. She is also author of the communicative activities for Target First Certificate (Richmond 2010) and Speakout Starter (Pearson Longman 2012).
14.45—15.45, Room C
Writing, like language, can be seen as a creative process which we ask our learners to embark on. Then it is our duty to help them foster their own creativity when they get stuck. This session offers some entertaining, practical ideas for incorporating Creative Writing into the EFL classroom.
Who's it for • It will be especially useful for mid to upper level teen teachers.
Biodata • Scot is an EFL teacher and Young Learner Teacher Trainer at IH Barcelona, where he has worked since the last century. He has also taught in Berlin and San Francisco. He spends a vast amount of his free time walking his two Iberian hounds.
Making connections: helping students communicate in
the real world
15.45—16.45, Main hall
This session will look at the nature of real life communication, and investigate the issue of how we can best equip students with the language, skills and strategies they need to communicate and make connections in the real world. We will focus on practical teaching ideas to inspire and motivate students to express their opinions using video, podcasts, blogs and other digital media, both within the walls of the classroom and without.
Who's it for • Of general interest, particularly to teachers of adults.
Biodata • Antonia Clare is a teacher, trainer and materials writer whose special interests include the the use of video and new technologies in ELT. She has taught and trained in many countries around the world, including Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Portugal, Poland and the UK and is a co-author for Language-to-Go, Total English and Speakout (developed in partnership with the BBC).
Five generic approaches to grammar
15.45—16.45, Ground floor
Students (and possibly teachers too!) frequently don't see the grammar in material they are using. Unless they notice what’s there they are unlikely to learn and be able to use it.
In this session we will be looking at ways of helping students notice grammar features such as syntax and information structure (as well as some more "favourite" grammar items). The approaches we will be exploring are generic in as much as each of the five can be used with any grammar point at any level.
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 30 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.
Gamify your classroom!
15.45—16.45, Room A
Discover how using free online computer games can not only improve your students' reading, listening and writing but will also make them not want to leave your classroom! We'll be looking at some teacher tools and other tried and tested puzzle games for the computer room, use with a class set of laptops, or one computer in the classroom, that require logic, exploration and discovery and encourage students to interact with each other in English.
Biodata • Graham has been an English teacher since 1995 and also works for the British Council as a social media consultant responsible for managing various projects. He has an M.Ed. in ELT & Educational Technology, is coordinator of the IATEFL Learning Technologies Special Interest Group, and recently co-authored the book Digital Play: Computer games and language aims (Delta Publishing). Graham regularly presents at local, national and international conferences, mainly about teaching with technology.
Critical thinking to challenge and motivate teens and adults
15.45—16.45, Room B
While the materials we use are often relevant, stimulating and fun, adding a questioning approach to the way we —together with the students— respond to texts and other materials can add a challenge which is cognitively deeper, sometimes more interesting, and, I would like to suggest, socially and politically more ethical. If you are interested in thinking about bringing this dimension to your practice, come to this practical session. I will demonstrate ways that various everyday texts/materials —both published and authentic materials— can be questioned and 'exploited'. This talk will be of particular relevance to those working with teens or adults, but anyone interested is very welcome.
Biodata • Jane is an academic writing tutor (and e-learning developer) at the Institute of Education, University of London and Queen Mary, University of London. She has previously worked in Barcelona and Thailand. As well as critical pedagogy, I am also interested in e-learning —please come and find me during the breaks if you are too, or if you want to tell me why you're not.
15.45—16.45, Room C
This workshop looks at the role that picture books can play in enriching children’s understanding of content from other areas of the curriculum and developing language and cognitive skills. We will do and discuss a range of practical examples, and consider the importance of balancing and integrating content-based teaching with stories and narrative texts during the primary years.
Who's it for • Anyone teaching primary school children
Carol will be giving this workshop in addition to her plenary session • See above for biodata.
17.00—18.00, Main hall
All language learners, at some point in their language learning careers (notably when preparing for exams), will probably make use of wordlists. Until recently, the role of memory in language learning has been neglected, but new research encourages teachers to forget their prejudices against the memorization of lists of words. This workshop will look at the issues involved in engaging students with wordlists and a range of practical classroom activities that can help our students accelerate their vocabulary acquisition.
Philip will be giving this workshop in addition to his plenary session • See above for biodata.
Link to handout: vocabularylists.wordpress.com
Action stories with children
17.00—18.00, Ground floor
Action stories are a fun, memorable multi-sensory technique we can use in class to help children learn almost any structure or lexical area. They involve using all four skills and get children working at sentence level. They can easily be adapted or purpose-made by the teacher to fit in with any coursebook or other set material. In this practical talk, teachers will receive several action stories, learn how to use them in class and write one of their own.
Who's it for • For children aged 6-11 (1st to 6th Primary)
Biodata • Alistair is Centre Director of Cambridge School, Granollers and Academic Co-ordinator for British Summer's summer camp programmes since 2001. He is a regular speaker at teacher training events and also gives extended training courses for primary school teachers. He is co-author of Net Languages' English 4 Kids and English 4 Teens, and also of Clever Kids, a CD-ROM course published by OUP. He recently wrote the student websites for Macmillan ELT's Bugs World series.
Helping students to hear
17.00—18.00, Room A
Many Spanish students have little exposure to spoken English, and so find listening really hard. Or to put it another way, they listen and listen, but they don't hear enough to really understand the text. Speaking from my own experience, it can also be the case that inexperienced teachers find planning and helping students with listening hard too, and often the course book doesn't help.
This workshop, designed for those teachers, will look at why students find listening hard and how we as teachers can help them to overcome their fears and make sure they can hear what they need to.
Biodata • Vicki Anderson has been an EFL teacher for more than 25 years. She still teaches regularly as well as being a teacher trainer on CELTA, DELTA and Oposiciones courses for Secundary and EOI teachers. She is the co-author of 3Sixty5 (iT's Magazine) and Grammar Practice Activities Pre-Intermediate (Pearson Longman). Vicki has given many workshops and focused particularly on testing and pronunciation, and is currently co-ordinating a project to update the tests and exams in IH Barcelona.
17.00—18.00, Room B
At FCE level, some students are still likely to think in terms of rules that can be rigidly applied, but at CAE, this way of thinking needs to be left behind if progress is to be made.
In this seminar, participants will examine the differences from the point of view of thematic collocation, expanding grammatical awareness and using expressive vocabulary. At CAE level, almost anything can be tested with very few structures out of bounds. Therefore, teaching a CAE preparation class should not be a matter of plodding mechanically through a list of strictly prescribed grammatical areas.
Rosie will be giving two workshops • See above for biodata.
The digital image: developing visual literacy in ELT
17.00—18.00, Room C
Thanks to digital technology never have we been able to access, create or manipulate such a great variety of images in so little time. This talk will look at ways electronic media can help us place the image at the centre of our classroom practice, enabling learners to become visually literate and to "picture experience" in different ways. Examples of student work using different digital tools will be shown and evaluated. The analysis will conclude that process come before product, and that such tools need only be used if they enhance our classroom tasks.
Who's it for • Of general interest to all teachers interested in the use of images and technology, with examples more relevant to teachers of adults.
Biodata • Ben has taught English for over twenty years and currently works on The New School's MATESOL program (New York). He is lead author of the adult coursebook series New Framework and The Big Picture (Richmond). He has also published Working with Images and English Unlimited Advanced (Cambridge). His interests in ELT include intercultural issues, World Englishes and identity.