IH Barcelona ELT Conference, February 7-8, 2014
English Language Teaching Conference for teachers of English to Adults, Children & Business students
Photos from our 2014 ELT Conference, with (after the | pipe symbol) comments given in feedback from attendees
INEFC (Instituto Nacional de Educación Física de Cataluña)
Avinguda de l'Estadi 12 (Anilla Olímpica)
Friday 7th February
Plenary Researching your teaching
When asked to give their opinion about research in ELT, practising teachers may respond in a number of ways:
"It's not relevant to my classes."
"It's been written by someone who's never stepped foot in a classroom."
"I wouldn't know where to begin."
You can probably relate to some of these opinions. The world of academic research in our field can seem distant from our reality.
In this talk I'll share some of my own experience as a teacher doing research. I hope this will show that both reading and conducting research can be accessible and relevant to teachers with their feet firmly in the classroom.
On Slideshare.net | View presentation
Biodata • Jessica has worked as an EFL teacher in France, Italy and Spain. She has the RSA Dip. and an MA in Applied Linguistics. She tries to find time to work towards a PhD at the University of Barcelona, while raising the next generation of Spanish tax payers, and teaching EFL at the Escola d'Idiomes Moderns. This year she was awarded the IATEFL Pilgrims Humanising Language Teaching scholarship for IATEFL 2013.
Plenary Where are all the unplugged teacher trainers?
Dogme ELT is approaching 15 years old. In that same period of time, at least 150,000 teachers worldwide have completed initial teacher training on courses like Celta. Many of them will by now have moved into teacher training. For all of these new teacher-trainers, Dogme has been as much a feature of the ELT landscape as PPP or TBL. Looking around, however, pre-service courses seem to pay lip-service (at best) to teaching unplugged. The question is: why? It's high time that question got answered.
Biodata • Anthony is an English teacher and teacher-trainer based in Germany. He is an assessor and tutor for the Cambridge CELTA and also tutors on diploma programmes. He is the incoming coordinator of IATEFL Teacher Development Special Interest Group (TDSIG). His main interests lie in exploring minimalist approaches such as Dogme ELT within teacher-training.
Saturday 8th February
Plenary Dogme, detour and drift: learning from the Situationists
With education increasingly standardised, teachers are under pressure to conform. Teaching is less about the act itself, and more about the promise of the act (with lesson plans delivered days or weeks or months in advance), and the broadcast of the act (with technology at hand to record the outcomes).
How can we liberate classroom practice from these constraints? Can this freedom be sustained? This talk uses some key Situationist concepts to explore the scope for change, revisiting May '68 to propose a vocabulary for the moment.
Biodata • Luke is an ELT teacher, author and teacher trainer. In 2000 he co-founded the Dogme in ELT movement with Scott Thornbury, and their book Teaching Unplugged (Delta, 2009) won a British Council ELTon award in 2010. Since then Luke has trained extensively on unplugged approaches, and recently set up independent e-publishing collective The Round with Lindsay Clandfield. Their book, 52: A Year of Subversive Activity for the ELT Classroom, was published in February 2012.
Plenary Six reasons to love lists
I love lists, and I think I'm not alone in this. To-do lists, top ten lists, shopping lists, best of lists, worst of lists, lists are everywhere. In this lively and practical talk we'll look at the popularity of lists and the different genres of lists. We'll examine the linguistic features of lists. We'll go over some of the most important lists in our field. And we'll cover some practical activities you can do with lists in the language classroom.
Think we can get through that list in our session?
Biodata • Lindsay is an award-winning writer, teacher, teacher trainer and international speaker in the field of English language teaching. He has written more than ten coursebooks and is the main author of the adult course Global (Macmillan). Lindsay is the series editor of the Delta Teacher Development books and has co-written various methodology books for teachers., notably Teaching Online and Dealing with Difficulties (Delta Publishing). Lindsay is also the creative force behind various web projects including the popular blog Six Things and the e-publishing collective The Round.
Creativity in ELT: ideas for developing creative thinking*
Creativity is often cited as one of the 21st century skills we need to be teaching our students. But why is creativity so important in language classrooms? And what exactly do we mean by creative thinking skills?
This session will look at how we can nurture a culture of creativity in our classrooms. It will demonstrate practical ideas for exploiting images, video, poetry and online tools, and explore the use of frameworks to encourage learners to actively and creatively engage in the learning process.
On Slideshare.net | View presentation
*As this was one of the most popular talks at the Conference in 2013, we have asked Antonia to repeat it at this year's conference.
Biodata • Antonia 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).
Tasks for teens
It's sometimes hard to get teens to participate on an active level. When we ask for their opinions or input we often get a shrug or a one word answer. However, if you can tap into their interests they do actually have a lot to say and can produce creative and thoughtful responses.
This practical session will look at 3 or 4 successful tasks (well, at least they've been successful up to now!) which integrate skills practice and requires active participation and involvement from the learners.
Biodata • Lynn is head of primary and secondary training at International House Barcelona and also works as an educational consultant and writer for Cambridge English Teacher and Cambridge University Press. She has co-written several course books and training courses for primary, secondary and adult learners. At the moment she is working on a writing project with BBC Worldwide.
Using film to teach English in a world of screens
The advent of the digital revolution and the Internet, the proliferation of mobile devices, which allow us to easily and proficiently capture moving images; the introduction of inexpensive, accessible and user-friendly editing tools; and the emergence of distribution sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, have changed the way moving images relate to society, education and language learning forever.
This session examines and offers guidance on using moving images critically and creatively in language teaching in a world of screens.
Biodata • Kieran is a teacher, trainer and award-winning writer based in Barcelona particularly interested in the use of film in education. Kieran is the co-author of Films in Health Sciences Education and his website on the use of film in language teaching Film English won an ELTon Award for Innovation in Teacher Resources in 2013.
Get it in writing
Teachers often tend to avoid "doing" writing in class – preferring to get the students to do written work at home. In this session I will show how "doing" writing in class can be meaningful, useful, communicative and fun. You should leave this session with lots of ideas to put into practice in your classes on Monday!
Biodata • Gabby has been teaching English since 1985 in International House, where she's taught all levels from Beginners to Post-Proficiency. She's the Team Leader, Exam Coordinator and a Speaking Examiner for the Cambridge Exams in First Certificate, CAE and Proficiency for the IHLS Group in Catalonia. A teacher trainer on CELTA courses, she has also been Director of Studies on summer courses in London. Apart from teaching, she has written the communication activities for course books such as Speak Out Starters, Target FCE and Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate (5th ed.). A script consultant on several books, she has also written material for students learning English online.
"No listen the ask": Emerging Englishes & transnational identities
How do we present ourselves in today’s digital world? Using examples from You Tube and other sources, this talk shows how identities are constructed through repeated performance and how people adopt pragmatic strategies to engage with each other online. English’s role is crucial in this as a dynamic, emergent and social phenomenon and one that is increasingly under discussion.
Biodata • Ben has taught English for over twenty years in the UK, Spain and Hong Kong. He currently teaches materials writing on The New School's online MATESOL program (New York). He is co-author of the coursebook series Framework and The Big Picture (Richmond) He has also written the methodology handbook Working with Images and co-authored the forthcoming Language Learning with Digital Video (Cambridge).
How do I make language communicative?
New teacher? Not that confident with dealing with language? This workshop will look at a variety of communicative ways to help you and your students understand and use common grammatical areas. This is aimed at teachers with little experience.
On Slideshare.net | View presentation
Biodata • Gerard has been a teacher and trainer for over 20 years. He is currently a teacher and trainer on CELTA and DELTA courses at International House Barcelona. He has an MA in ELT and is a co-author of Next Generation, a Bachillerato coursebook for Cambridge English. He has written teachers books for McGraw Hill, Heinle and written an online teacher development course for consultants–e. He is the webmaster and resources officer for TESOL-SPAIN as well as an ambassador for the Disabled Access Friendly Campaign.
Project work in young learner EFL classrooms
This session will look at different questions that arise when using projects in the primary classroom as well as hearing from hands on experienced teachers. What is a project? What does it involve? Who does it involve? What is the teacher's role? How much work is involved? Why use projects? What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of project work?
We hope to be answering these and more questions and look at project work in three different formats -- as a complement to a course book; as a summer project on summer courses; and as a whole year's course work without a book.
This session will be given in conjunction with Darienne Peacock, who is Head of the Extra Escolares Department at IH Barcelona and John Joe Greaves who has used the project ideas in his classrooms and is a teacher at IH Sabadell.
On Slideshare.net | View presentation
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 English Language Assessment as a presenter, and inspector. She has recently moved from the Extra Escolares department at IH Barcelona to take up the position of Director at IH Sabadell.
One of the trickiest tasks in a manager's job is teacher appraisal. Teachers are people with opinions and feelings, and appraisals can appear clinical, measurement-heavy and definitely not teacher-friendly. Appraisals can also appear pointless, and may be counter-productive if not carried out in the right spirit.
This talk looks at the what and the why of appraisals, examines some alternative approaches, and suggests how appraisals can be made to work for both teacher and manager and ultimately for the school.
On Prezi.com | View presentation
Biodata • Jenny is now the Academic Manager at Eastbourne School of English, on England's sunny south coast. Previously Jenny worked at IH Barcelona as head of English then head of the teacher training department. Jenny is still deeply involved in ELT, both in IATEFL, where she is coordinator of the Leadership and Management SIG, as well as at ESOE, and she is delighted to be invited back to IH Barcelona to give a session!
Parachute training for teachers
Have you ever learnt to sky-dive? If you have, you may recall receiving this instruction...
"Immediately after you pull the rip cord, shout out at the top of your lungs ONE THOUSAND, TWO THOUSAND, THREE THOUSAND - CHECK!!!!
When you shout CHECK!, tilt your head back and look above your head.
If you see your parachute canopy opening, relax and enjoy the ride.
If you don't, reach for your reserve rip cord and pull it."
Come along and see what jumping out of an aircraft and living to tell the tale has to do with teaching English.
Biodata • See above.
Using the students' own language: a toolkit
Two years ago at this conference, I gave a talk arguing the case for principled use of the students’ own language in the language classroom. This follow-up presentation will focus exclusively on practical ideas.
The first part will explore a set of basic techniques which teachers of all levels and ages can incorporate into their practice. The second part will suggest a range of activities that can be used in multilingual classes or when the teacher does not share the language of the students.
Biodata • Philip is a writer and teacher trainer. His recent books include Translation and Own-Language Activities (CUP, 2014), Writing Vocabulary Presentations and Practice (ELTT2W, 2013), and various titles in the coursebook series Straightforward and Inside Out (both Macmillan). He lives in Vienna.
Changes to Cambridge English First
Changes to the Cambridge English First exam have been announced – but do you know what that differences will be? Come to this talk and find out – when they will be introduced, how they will affect the exam and how this will affect your students! I will also provide you with 10 practical activities to help your students succeed at this level.
Biodata • Tom moved to Spain in 1993 and has remained here since. He is now a consultant for Cambridge English Language assessment and is also a teacher at the EIM (Escola d'Idiomes Moderns) at the UB, where he specializes in exam preparation courses. Prior to working for Cambridge, Tom worked for a major publisher as a commercial representative and as a teacher trainer.
Communicative approaches to language teaching have put much value on the oral skill. Classrooms around the world have, over the past thirty years, devoted more and more time in class to speaking, which is generally seen as a good thing. Writing however, has remained relatively unchanged. Often assigned for homework, or in the form of longer pieces of writing (the composition, the essay, the business letter) this skill has just not seemed as interesting as speaking. However, due to technological developments we are all writing now a lot more than we used to. In some cases, we write more to people than we talk to them.
In this talk I'll explore the new writing, and look at activities and tools that help students practice writing in new and enjoyable ways.
Biodata • See above.
Love and the art of language learning
When I first asked my Italian professor years ago what I should do to help me learn Italian, so that I could understand his lectures on neuroscience, he answered me with a charismatic smile "You are living in a city full of young Italian machos. Find yourself a lover." So, what has falling in love got to do with learning a language? This session will try to draw some comparisons, and learn some lessons. We'll look at ways in which we can inspire and motivate our students to make their language learning experiences deeper, more meaningful and ultimately more successful.
Biodata • See above.
Managing education in the digital age
Increasingly education is moving into the online world, either in whole or in part, and a growing body of literature reflects this from the teaching perspective. Much has also been written and discussed regarding current trends in online learning but this discussion seems, currently, to be either at the level of policy or about the actual teaching, but there is little practical support for managers and schools that want to know how to offer and manage online courses effectively.
This workshop intends to address this by discussing why it can make sense to offer online alternatives to your regular face-to-face classes, what the options are and setting out some of the essential differences between managing face-to-face and online courses.
Biodata • Fiona is currently Director of Education at Net Languages, where she sets up and runs different projects using Net Languages online course material. She is responsible for liaising with training managers, training up tutors and supervising all aspects of the projects. Prior to working at Net Languages, she worked as Director of Studies for a language school in Barcelona and ran a subcentre for the upper main suite Cambridge exams.
Teaching in-company: Does the customer really know best?
Teaching at companies usually means answering to both the students as well as to the training manager. But should it? Don't teachers know best?
This session will investigate some of the priorities of each of these three groups of people, find out where the overlaps are, and look at some solutions to keep "as many of them happy for as much of the time as possible"! We'll be looking at ideas and activities which motivate and engage the students, and tips for teachers which also demonstrate the visible progress required in particular by training managers.
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 has written a number of Teacher's Books for OUP (Business Result Advanced, International Express Upper Intermediate, Business Vision). She is also co-author of the third editions of OUP's International Express Pre-Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate (January 2014) and of The Business Advanced (Macmillan).
If a picture is not worth 1000 words…
There are two things that have ruined education: one is the stupid idea that "an image is worth 1000 words" and the second is Google Images. Nowadays, it seems, a teacher can't go to class without a wad of printed (and stolen!) pictures no matter how few words they are worth. But my contention is that if the image is not actually going to produce 1000 words of English from your learners, it should NOT be taken into the classroom at all!
In this session we'll look at some creative, practical ideas for use with teens and/or adults at Intermediate levels and above, that require either a single picture (one worth way more than 1000 words) or else no image at all, at least to begin with, and which may involve the learners creating (not stealing!!!) photos and other images. We'll also look at some of the easy-to-use but powerful technology (NOT the photocopier!!!) that our learners could be using, including mobile phones.
Biodata • Tom is a grumpy old man who spends his working life watching questionable things coming out of photocopiers and printers, in his spare time teaches technology more often than English, which includes tutoring on IH Barcelona's technology courses for teachers, and in any time left over is really annoying to his own teenage kids (one of whom says he's no longer a teenager!).
Changes to Cambridge English Advanced
Changes to the Cambridge English Advanced exam have been announced – but do you know what that differences will be? Come to this talk and find out – when they will be introduced, how they will affect the exam and how this will affect your students! I will also provide you with 10 practical activities to help your students succeed at Advanced level.
Biodata • See above.
The adaptivity of adaptive learning
Adaptive learning is the latest "big thing" in colleges and schools around the world. Not yet widespread in language learning and teaching, it will be very soon. The lack of research supporting the use of adaptive learning in language learning / teaching is compensated for (to some extent) by the huge investments being poured into the development of adaptive digital tools and content.
What exactly is adaptive learning and how will it affect language teachers and their classrooms?
Biodata • See above
See also Philip's Adaptive Learning in ELT blog
Word walls: more than just writing on the wall
A word wall is not just an excellent resource for developing literacy, it can also offer potential to enhance vocabulary learning and develop learner autonomy. However, the mere presence of a word wall in the classroom is not enough for learning to take place: it is what teachers and pupils do with it that is important.
In this session a range of engaging activities —for 8-to-12 year olds— to encourage pupils to interact with words walls will be demonstrated. We will use different types of word walls to fit with a range of different teaching contexts.
Biodata • An experienced teacher and trainer, Jade has worked for The British Council in Europe, The Middle East, and North Africa. He has delivered Cambridge Training courses and trained Primary and Secondary teachers in various parts of the world. He currently works as a teacher trainer for Macmillan ELT.
5 lessons I've learned in the transition from teacher to manager
Managers in ELT are more often than not teachers who have little or no background in management. Few schools have a leadership training programme so most managers learn through a combination of being mentored and trial and error.
The aim of this session is for current managers to exchange experiences and to give aspiring managers an insight into the role they may one do take on.
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 of Clever Kids, a CD-ROM course. He also wrote the student websites for Macmillan ELT's Bugs World series.
Getting to grips with connected speech
Why is it students find listening and speaking so daunting? One of the reasons is that connected speech plays such a huge part in both these areas. In this talk I will look at ways of incorporating connected speech into the classroom and give you practical ideas on how to make students more aware of its implications. You should come away from this workshop with techniques and ideas that you can immediately put into practice in your classes.
Biodata • Vicki has been an EFL teacher since 1983. She teaches regularly as well as being a teacher trainer on mainly DELTA courses. She has spent the last couple of years writing workbooks for CUP for ESO and Bachillerato. The latter, Next Generation, is already out, while the new Secondary title is due to launch next year. Vicki has given workshops about a wide range of issues, based on her experience of working with teachers and learners.
Short and sweet: using short films to promote creativity and communication
In this hands-on workshop we'll explore how short films can be used in the classroom. We'll look at how we can use short films to promote creativity, and both oral and written communication by doing communicative activities based around a variety of short films. The session will be very practical and involve a lot of teacher participation. Teachers will come away with practical activities to use with their own students.
Biodata • See above.
Effective teaching: cognitions, practice & CPD
Teachers' beliefs about good classroom practice vary greatly. This session details how such beliefs are formed and how they influence our teaching. It highlights the importance of CPD to promote teaching expertise, rather than repeatedly drawing on the same experience year after year.
Biodata • Lou has worked as a teacher, trainer, DOS and Director in a variety of EFL contexts for many years. She works as College Director at ECM, Dublin and is currently involved in developing an online YL Management Training course. She holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics, MA in ELT, and a DELTA.
The value of English culture
Guide learners towards discovering the most inspiring people and events in British cultural life through adapting authentic material. British culture is a vibrant source of currently underexploited material for learners.
Based on can-do statements from Cambridge, and following Rule No.1: "Don't do anything that the learners can do for themselves", learners are motivated to make exciting discoveries about the best of British culture.
Biodata • A teacher and teacher trainer with the British Council, Barcelona, Christine is also a practising artist. She has given several sessions at teacher training conferences for the British Council, gave a course for the Generalitat teacher training programme last July, and recently gave two mini-courses on contemporary British Art as part of the British Council's Cultural Programme. Christine has designed a course on culture for the British Council and this is being offered for the first time in 2014.
Christine is passionate about using authentic materials drawn from all areas of culture, and making these accessible to learners so that they too can be inspired by some of the greatest minds and most influential figures.
Maximising the use of English outside the classroom
How can we take advantage of the resources available online so students take more responsibility for their learning? How can we contribute to maximise the use of English outside the classroom?
In this session, I will demonstrate some activities carried out online which do just that and which have worked extremely well with my ESO and Batxillerat students.
Biodata • Usoa is an English teacher and Head of the English Department at Sant Gregori School in Barcelona. She is interested in the psychology of teenagers and believes in the use of ICT to motivate students.
She's a keen wiki user and the administrator of www.santgregorienglish.pbworks.com, winner of the John McDowell award. She's also a teacher trainer and materials writer.
Bridging the gap from Cambridge English First to Advanced
In this talk I will give you ideas on how to help your students progress from the Cambridge English First to Cambridge English Advanced, in the Use of English section of the exam. I will clarify what is required at the FCE and CAE level in the Use of English and provide you with useful, motivational activities for you to use in the classroom. This talk is aimed at teachers of teenagers and adults.
Biodata • See above.
And last, but by no means least...
Plenary Fossilization: is it terminal, doctor?
It's a truism, perhaps, that many learners reach a ‘plateau', beyond which no amount of instruction or use seems able to budge them. Are there any (psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic) grounds for believing that this so-called fossilization is terminal? What does it take to move a learner beyond the plateau? Based on his own experience of attempting to kick-start his fossilized Spanish, the speaker will look at the role of such factors as classroom instruction, extensive reading, vocabulary memorization and real language use as possible antidotes to ‘arrested development' in a second language.
Biodata • Scott is currently Curriculum Coordinator of the MA TESOL program at the New School in New York. His previous experience includes teaching and training in Egypt, UK, Spain, and in his native New Zealand. His writing credits include several award-winning books for teachers on language and methodology. His most recent book, Teaching Unplugged (Delta Publishing; co-written with Luke Meddings) won a British Council Innovations Award (ELTON) in 2010. He is series editor for the Cambridge Handbooks for Teachers.