IH Barcelona ELT Conference, February 5-6, 2016

English language teaching conference for teachers of English to adults, children & business students, language teaching managers and directors, and teacher trainers

With the support of IATEFL ELT Management SIG and the Departament de l'Ensenyament de la Generalitat de Catalunya

  • Michael Swan kicks off our 2015 ELT Conference with the first plenary.

  • The second plenary session - Jill Hadfield talking about motivation.

  • First up on Saturday, Scott Thornbury's plenary.

  • Martin Parrott, the fourth of our plenaries this year.

  • One of the simultaneous sessions on Saturday, with Antonia Claire.

  • As well as distinguished guest speakers from outside IH, a number of our own tutors give sessions; here, Gerard McLoughlin.

  • The main hall, with Michael Swan giving his workshop session on designing grammar-teaching and practice materials

  • Jamie Keddie's workshop on storytelling.

Photos above are from the 2015 edition of our ELT Conference. See also those hashtagged #IHBCNELT on Twitter.

Provisional programme 2016

Our plenary speakers in 2016 will be Catherine Walter, Jeremy Harmer, Lindsay Clandfield and Scott Thornbury.

Provisional details of most, but not all, of the sessions are to be found below.


Session title to be confirmed

Andy HockleyAndy Hockley

Biodata • Andy is a freelance educational management consultant and teacher trainer based in deepest Transylvania.

After 11 years of teaching English worldwide, he obtained an MA in International and Intercultural Management. Subsequently he worked as a project manager at the School for International Training, including participating in the curriculum working party that developed the International Diploma in Language Teaching Management (IDLTM).

LAMSIGHe has been coordinating and training on the IDLTM since its inception in 2001. He is co-author of From Teacher to Manager (CUP, 2008) and author of Educational Management (Polirom, 2007).

He is also a long time committee member of the Leadership and Management SIG in IATEFL.

Seven ways to boost your learners' confidence

Antonia ClareAntonia Clare

Although speaking in English is invariably something that learners want to do, many find that lack of confidence remains a barrier to their learning. 

This session will look at possible causes for this reticence and demonstrate motivating practical activities to help boost learners' confidence to become better English speakers.  

Biodata • Antonia is an English language teacher trainer, international conference speaker and award-winning materials writer. Her special interests include the use of video and new technologies in ELT, creativity and the psychology of language learning. 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, English in Common and Speakout (which won the English Speaking Union Duke of Edinburgh Award for best new book in English language teaching in 2011).


The joy of listening

Antonia ClareAntonia Clare

Our ability to listen and understand is now widely considered to be the foundation of language acquisition and communicative ability. But in the classroom listening can be a rather torturous process, often leaving learners confused and demotivated.

This session will look at practical ways to engage students in active listening tasks which aim to bring some of the joy back to the listening process.

Biodata • See above

Lost in translation - when communication with our students and clients goes wrong and what we can do about it

Fiona ThomasFiona Thomas

Communicating effectively with our students and clients is essential if we want to increase the likelihood of them having a positive experience with our language teaching organisations. However, breakdowns in communication are all too frequent leading to misunderstandings, disappointment and an experience which is regrettably not as optimal as it could be.

This talk will analyse the different reasons for why this happens and importantly look at techniques which will help to address this and make sure that we communicate relevant information in an effective way at the most appropriate time.

LAMSIGBiodata • Fiona has been working in ELT management positions for the last 18 years. She has managed a Cambridge exam centre, been the Director of Studies of a language school in Barcelona and is currently Director of Education for Net Languages, an online language school. She has extensive experience of managing different types of clients and students from all over the world. She blogs about management related issues and has co-written the e-book Managing Education in the Digital Age.

Twitter@FionaTT | LinksFiona's Reflections on EFL Management blog

Session title to be confirmed

Gabby MaguireGabby Maguire

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.

Session title to be confirmed

Gerard McLoughlinGerard McLoughlin

Biodata • Gerard currently works as a CELTA and DELTA trainer at IH Barcelona and is a co-author of Next Generation, a Bachillerato coursebook. He has also written several teacher books for McGraw Hill (Platform) and Heinle (Outcomes). He is a board member of TESOL-SPAIN as Online Resources Officer and Webmaster. He is also an ambassador for the Disabled Access Friendly campaign.

Real life communication

Jade StevensJade Stevens

In this age of fast-changing technology and global communities, students have an even greater need to use English to communicate. How can we help students -- particularly teenagers -- convert what they know about the language into actually doing something with it?

In this talk we will look at ways of exploiting resources for real communication in order to help students interact outside the classroom in real life 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 Education ELT.

YouTube youth culture for grown-ups

Jamie KeddieJamie Keddie

In the last few years, online video has been embraced and reinvented by young people. In this practical talk, I would like to examine a number of recent case studies and present some original activities which will introduce you to YouTube youth cultures.

Be warned - you may be shocked!

Biodata • Jamie is a teacher trainer, writer and storyteller. He is the founder of lessonstream.org, a resource site dedicated to the use of video and other visual materials in the classroom. His publications include Images (OUP, 2009), Bringing Online Video into the Classroom (OUP, 2014) and Videotelling (2016).


Jane BlackwellSession title to be confirmed

Jane Blackwell

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. I am interested in critical pedagogy and e-learning, among other things. I also love Cuban salsa dancing - please let me know if you have any recommendations for while I'm here!

Jeremy HarmerSession title to be confirmed

Jeremy Harmer

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.

Jeremy's blog

Taking the "ought" out of autonomy

Jessica MackayJessica Mackay

There is little doubt that a student who has regular exposure to English in their own time will soon notice the effects on their progress. Yet, Spanish and Catalan students consistently rank among the lowest in Europe-wide surveys of contact with the target language.

This talk will explore the relationship between motivation and autonomous behaviour outside class, and look at ways we can encourage learners to engage with English without just setting more homework.

Biodata • Jessica has worked as an EFL teacher for 25 years, the last 20 at the at the Escola d'Idiomes Moderns, UB. She has the RSA DELTA and an MA in Applied Linguistics. By the time you read this she should (finally!) have finished her PhD at the University of Barcelona, specialising in motivational classroom practice.


Moving stories: narrative and the moving image in ELT

Kieran DonaghyKieran Donaghy

Narrative and moving images are powerful tools in language teaching and learning. In this practical session we will look at a range of motivating, effective classroom activities inspired by short films, and videos which encourage students to create their own narratives.

Participants will get a number of highly practical ideas to take away and use with their own students.

Biodata • Kieran is a teacher, trainer and award-winning writer with a special interest in the use of film in education. His website on the use of film in language teaching Film English won a British Council ELTons Award for Innovation in Teacher Resources, the most prestigious European media in education prize the MEDEA Award for User-Generated Media in 2013, and an English Speaking Union Award in 2014. Kieran is the author of the methodology book on the use of film in language teaching Film in Action (DELTA Publishing).


What we talk about when we talk about interaction

Lindsay ClandfieldLindsay Clandfield

Learner interaction. Interactive activities and games. Interactive software and interactive whiteboards. The word ‘interact’ and its various forms has been very popular in language education and especially in education technology. But as we are more and more surrounded by “interactive software”, does this still have the capability to motivate as much as when it was new?

This talk looks what we mean now by interaction, the kinds of interaction we are currently engaging in online and the implications for the classroom. For the practically-minded, this talk will include several fun activities I have done with learners on Whatsapp, Facebook and online forums.

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 popularblog Six Things and the e-publishing collective The Round.

Twitter@lclandfield | www.lindsayclandfield.com

Creating a stimulating classroom for very young learners

Lynn DurrantLynn Durrant

This talk is for teachers who are dealing with very young learner classes or going to be teaching children around the ages of 4 to 6 and want ideas on how to deal with this age group.

We will cover areas related to how this age group learn, their needs, how to organise the classroom, the importance of protocols to aide learning and ways to stimulate learning.

Biodata • Lynn is Head of Training for Young Learners at International House in Barcelona. She is also a Celta trainer and often works as a guest consultant for Cambridge English Teacher, giving webinars, writing articles, designing tasks and running forums for teachers of very young and young learners. Over the past three years she has been working with BBC Worldwide on an educational project for primary learners.

The confidence to stand up and talk!

RachelRachel Appleby

Biodata • Rachel is a freelance teacher, trainer, and materials writer, and has taught in Spain, the UK, Slovakia and Hungary. Most recently she has taught BA and MA students at ELTE University in Budapest (methodology, cultural studies & communication skills) and Business English and one:one. She is also a CELTA, and LCCI trainer. Rachel is co-author of the OUP's Business one:one series, and co-author of the new edition of OUP's International Express (Pre-Int., Upper-Int.). Rachel has written a number of Teacher's Books for OUP (Navigate, Business Result, International Express and Business Vision). She is also co-author of The Business Advanced (Macmillan).


Session title to be confirmed

Roger HuntRoger Hunt

Biodata • Roger works at IH Barcelona. He has been a teacher, teacher trainer and educational manager for over thirty years, and has worked in many parts of the world. He is particularly interested in Ancient and Medieval History (yes, there is a life outside ELT!).

Fun, communicative activities for adolescents

Rosie BurkeRosie Burke

There is nothing worse than a sullen, laid back teens class. Getting them to talk can be a challenge - but it's not impossible! This session will look at how to improve spoken level in class and look at what kind of subjects teens will approach with interest in order to develop conversation.

Participants can expect to go away with some good practical ideas that their classes should enjoy.

Biodata • Rosie used to work for Cambridge English Language Assessment as presenter and inspector. She left the Extraescolars Department at IH Barcelona in 2013 to take up the position of Director of IH Sabadell. Recently, she has been giving classes to English teachers through the Grup d'Experimentació per al Plurilingüisme for the Generalitat.

Talk-tools that we can use to flip our lessons

Russell StannardRussell Stannard

In this talk Russell will focus on some of the key tools that allow us to Flip our classes. Screen Capture, having your own YouTube Channel and using Ted.Ed will all be covered with lots of examples of how these tools can be used for Blended Learning, Flipped Learning and even for fully distance learning courses.

Biodata • Russell Stannard is the founder of www.teachertrainingvideos.com and a NILE associate trainer. His website provides step by step videos to help teachers incorporate technology into their teaching and is used by around 300,000 teachers a year. He received the Times Higher "Outstanding Initiative in ICT" award and the British Council ELTons Technology award for his work in technology. He writes regular columns in the ET Professional and the Teacher Trainer and is a regular speaker at conferences around the world.

The SLA hall of fame

Scott ThornburyScott Thornbury

The relatively recent history of second language acquisition (SLA) research has produced a small number of case studies that have an almost iconic significance in the literature: you only have to mention Alberto or Wes or Nora, and scholars will know exactly what feature of language acquisition you're talking about.

In this talk I'll briefly review these "stars" in the SLA "Hall of Fame", and suggest that they still have relevance to today's classrooms.   

Biodata • Scott is currently curriculum coordinator on the MA TESOL program at The New School in New York (but he lives mainly in Spain). Prior to that he spent his entire EFL career with International House: in the UK, Egypt, and Spain, as well as visiting scores of affiliates worldwide.

Twitter@thornburyscott | www.scottthornbury.com

Exam time: get it right!

Stephen HaslerStephen Hasler

In today’s world a qualification can make or break your career chances, which is why it is vital for qualifications to be reliable and valid. Today we will have a brief look at how the Cambridge exams are put together and the strict quality issues that this entails, from its commissioning through to its certification and beyond.

Come prepared for a surprise or two, and bring any questions and doubts you might have.

Cambridge English Language AssessmentBiodata • Stephen has worked for Cambridge English Language Assessment for 25 years. During this time he has served as a supervisor, speaking examiner, trainer of speaking examiners and area coordinator. Today he works as a consultant and presenter. A teacher of English for 35 years, he holds a post at the University of Murcia, but is on extended leave. His teaching activity now is almost entirely in the corporate sector. He is also a professional translator of books and academic articles. He co-hosted a radio program for 2 years and his latest language venture is taking him into the world of TV dubbing.

Yes we can! Not drawing, just representing

Tom WaltonTom Walton

As a teacher, you don't need to be able to "draw". But this practical workshop is designed to show those of you who think you can't draw how to "adequately represent", which is what you should aim for. Being able to "represent" is a creative and, above all, time-saving skill that it's well worth developing for classes and activities of all kinds -- teaching vocabulary (or tenses), games, storytelling, business English or a conversation class (not to mention note-taking at conferences!)

Included in the workshop, activities you (and your learners, of any age) could use basic "drawing" skills for, plus practical tips to get you started and to develop your skills further.

Biodata • Tom taught his first language class with a blackboard and chalk in Barcelona in 1979 but now teaches more hours of technology than he does English, mostly at IH Barcelona. He doesn't (and can't !) draw; what he does is doodle, which is more than adequate for most language teaching purposes.

Twitter@Tom_IHBCN | Technology for Language Learning

Tom WoganCAE 2015 revised exam listening paper

Tom Wogan

In this talk I shall look at the tasks in the listening paper and the underlying task construct. I will then present a variety of classroom activities related to each task. Then I will look at different extensive listening activities that teachers can use throughout a course.

Cambridge English Language AssessmentBiodata • Tom Wogan currently works as a business development manager for Cambridge English Language Assessment in Catalonia and the Balearics. Prior to that he worked as a teacher at the EIM (Escola d'Idiomes Moderns) in the University of Barcelona. He has also worked as a presenter for Cambridge English. Finally, Tom doesn't believe that grammar "emerges", that you shouldn't "give the test a rest" and that there is nothing wrong with course books.

PET reading tasks and activities

Tom WoganTom Wogan

In this talk I shall look at the reading tasks in the PET exam.

I will look at the CEFR descriptors for B1 and how they can be interpreted. Finally, I will look at both in-class and extensive reading activities at both adult and For Schools level.

Cambridge English Language AssessmentBiodata • See above.

Getting the peg to fit the hole: exploiting on-line tools to supplement classroom speaking activities

Troy DaggTroy Dagg

This workshop will demonstrate how on-line technologies can be exploited to supplement classroom speaking activities so as to improve language students’ oral production and speaking interaction skills.

Participants will consider a selection of typical classroom speaking activities and endeavour to: i) classify what kind of on-line communication tool would be most appropriate to create a supplementary on-line task; ii) plan an example task following on-line task creation criteria. Participants will also consider how this technology facilitates more effective task performance feedback, and discover how speaking practice can be extended beyond the physical and temporal boundaries of the traditional classroom.

Biodata • Troy has worked in ELT for over a decade, as general English and ESP teacher, as a Director of Studies, and most recently as an eLearning Consultant for the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

Session title to be confirmed

Vicki AndersonVicki Anderson

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 few years writing workbooks for CUP for ESO and Bachillerato. The latter, Next Generation, is already out, while the new Secondary title is due to be launched next year. Vicki has given workshops about a wide range of issues, based on her experience of working with teachers and learners.