Colloquium 2008

The 27th Colloquium Anniversary

Meeting the Real Needs of Our Learners


November 7th and 8th, 2008

 

Program

Plenary Sessions
 
   
Michael Swan   The Baby and the Bathwater: Prioritisation in language teaching today
Dennis Davy   Vocabulary Matters: What learners need to know about lexis and how teachers can help them meet their lexical needs

Workshops
 
   
Majid Ahmadi     Who Should Teach ESP: EFL teachers or subject-specialist teachers?
Dave Allan   Testing and Assessing Spoken Language Ability: How can we do it fairly and meaningfully?
Nick Brieger   The Mindful International Manager
Simon Buckland   A Blended Learning Solution for Developing Communicative Competence
Gail Ellis   Ten Challenges in Running a British Council Teaching Centre for Children, Teenagers and Adults in Paris
Ben Goldstein   The Power of Image: Developing a visual literacy in the language classroom
Susana Gómez Martínez   Do Current Listening Materials Meet the Real Needs of Our Students?
Tamarzon Larner   The Learner-Centred Classroom
Martin Lisboa   Short Courses: Teaching essential business skills through IELTS
Marianne Lindsley & Cate Farrell   English for Marketing and Advertising
Marie McCullagh   Providing for Real Needs in Medicine
Suzanna Miles   ESP Course Design and Assessment: The Italian experience
Chaz Pugliese   Are We Failing Our Bodily-Kinesthetically and Musically Intelligent Learners?
Roger Randall   Effective Special Purpose Language Testing
Marianne Raynaud   Teaching the English Our Students Need and Want!
Graham Stanley   SMS Text Analysis: Language, Gender and Current Practices
Rex Stewart   Pre-writing Activities Using Sound and Video
Michael Swan   Reading Aloud in the Business English Classroom
Seniye Vural   How Can EFL Teachers Motivate Their Students?
Andrew Walkley   In the Wrong Level
Amy Walters   Networking, IMs and MP3s - English Language Learning for the Digital Native Generation
Rod Webb    Moving from General to Specific
William Yeago     Cambridge Exams for Domain-specific Development and Assessment

Posters
 
   
Jo Bertrand and Nicky Francis   Using Authentic Storybooks in the Primary Classroom
Lina A. Bioglou   A Creative Way in Teaching Poetry
Anna Daley    
Ozlem Kaya   Deep into Portfolio in Writing Classes and Teachers' Opinions
Susana Gómez Martínez   Listen and learn any time, any place
Robin A. Martin   From Preconceptions to Performance to Reflections
Caroline Michel   Mind Mapping for better memorisation, recall and organisation
Marianne Raynaud   QualityTime-ESL - The Digital Resource Book
Graham Stanley    
Figen Tezdiker    

 

 

Plenary Sessions


The Baby and the Bathwater: Prioritisation in language teaching today

by Michael Swan (Oxford University Press)

Prioritisation has always been essential for cost-effective language instruction. There are an enormous number of linguistic elements and learning activities which can be considered for inclusion in a language course, and there is only time to cover a small selection of these. Clearly we need to make sure that what we include is what matters most. Decisions in this area are never easy, and they are becoming more complicated nowadays, due among other things to:
  • increased out-of-class access to language input and instruction
  • the current fashion for learner-centred and activity-based approaches, which can discourage syllabus informed course planning
  • growing confusion about the status of native-speaker norms
  • commercial pressure to reduce the time and resources made available for language teaching.

How far can we safely go in responding to these trends? What aspects of the target language really can be ignored? What can learners be left to access for themselves? And what are the core elements which a language course MUST include?

Michael Swan is a writer specialising in English Language teaching and reference materials. His publications include Practical English Usage (OUP), How English Works (OUP) and The Good Grammar Book (OUP). He is also co-author, with Catherine Walter, of the Cambridge English Course series. His most recent books are Grammar (in the Oxford Introductions to Language Study) and Grammar Scan (OUP 2008), a collection of diagnostic language tests written in collaboration with David Baker. Michael's interests include pedagogic grammar, mother-tongue influence in second language acquisition, and the relationship between applied linguistic theory and classroom language-teaching practice. He has had extensive experience with adult learners, and has worked with teachers in many countries.

The Baby and the Bathwater: Prioritisation in language teaching today (handout)

Vocabulary Matters: What learners need to know about lexis and how teachers can help them meet their lexical needs

by Dennis Davy (Head of the Languages Department at the Management Institute of Paris and Maître de conférences at the Ecole Polytechnique)

Students often claim that their biggest stumbling block in language learning involves vocabulary. While grammatical rules appear finite and relatively stable, the lexicon of a language seems infinite and in a state of constant flux. How can learners ever 'know' all the words they need in the target language, especially when time is so limited?
This lecture considers 3 main aspects of this issue:
  • the number and type of lexical items that various sorts of learners need to learn and how these can be selected and prioritised
  • the different kinds of lexical 'knowledge' that learners require to understand a word fully and to use it correctly
  • the range of techniques that teachers and learners can use to optimize the acquisition of lexis.

Dennis Davy is now Head of the Languages Department at the Management Institute of Paris (MIP) and Maître de conférences at the Ecole Polytechnique, having previously spent 15 years as a lecturer, teacher trainer and researcher at the University of London Institute in Paris, formerly known as the British Institute in Paris. Dennis studied French and German at Oxford University, English Language Teaching at Lancaster, and English and Applied Linguistics at Cambridge. His professional career in TEFL spans more than 25 years, teaching English in Germany, Japan, Algeria, Qatar and Oman before coming to France in 1993. His research interests include lexicology, neologisms, language testing, the teaching of spelling, the role of pop music in language learning, language teacher education and English for Special Purposes. Dennis has published articles on the British educational system, lexical learning and word-formational processes in English, as well as running practical workshops on a wide variety of topics. He worked for many years on the editorial committee of the academic journal Franco-British Studies and was involved in the organisation of an international colloquium on Second Person Pronouns, hosted by the Forum des Langues Européennes à Paris. Dennis has been an active member of TESOL France for many years and chaired the Grand Débat about the concours system for selecting language teachers in France in March 2008. Dennis is passionate about learning languages in general and about lexical learning in particular.
 

Workshops

 

Who Should Teach ESP: EFL teachers or subject-specialist teachers?

by Majid Ahmadi (Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences-School of Paramedicine)

Who should teach ESP: EFL teachers or subject-specialist teachers? In Iranian universities, in the curriculum of most disciplines at all levels, in addition to general English courses, one or two 2-credit specialized English courses have also been included. But the fact that who is more qualified to teach these ESP courses has long been the cause of argument between EFL teachers of language departments on one side and the head of subject-specialist departments and even some official authorities of the universities and schools on the other side. The head of most subject specialist departments even the dean and vice-dean of most faculties claim that teaching ESP requires having a good mastery of the main topics and notions of the discipline of the students to whom ESP is being taught, and as the teachers of language departments lack such knowledge, they are not competent enough to teach ESP. They state that subject specialist teachers with a good mastery of English, because of their sufficient familiarity with the notions and subjects of the students' field of study are more competent in teaching ESP. This view has led to a situation in which a lot of subject specialist teachers most often unaware of English grammar, methodology of teaching, language testing... have been in charge of teaching ESP courses. This paper intends to discuss this problem, hear the views of all sides including the students of these classes, on this matter in order that a solution can probably be found.

Majid Ahmadi holds a master degree in General Linguistics and has been teaching general English and ESP (and also French at elementary levels) to the students of medicine and paramedicine at Shahid-Beheshti Medical University for about 20 years. Majid's main research interests include language testing and ESP on which he has published a few articles including Can ESP be tested by EGP? and English language teaching work force at Iranian medical universities.

Document: Who Should Teach ESP?

Testing and Assessing Spoken Language Ability: How can we do it fairly and meaningfully?

by Dave Allan (Norwich Institute for Language Education - NILE)

Most language users who need to use language to communicate with, for operational purposes rather than as an object of academic study, need speaking skills. They also often need to be able to certificate those skills, so we need to be able to assess speaking skills so that our judgements are a fair and meaningful reflection of reality. This talk/workshop will focus on the key issues associated with the testing, assessing and examining of spoken language ability. We will consider both how appropriate samples of language can be generated and how different kinds of spoken language ability can be reliably assessed and graded. We will explore the use of verbal descriptors at different levels of delicacy of discrimination, so that learners' performance can be calibrated both in relation to broad scales and level definitions, such as those to be found in the Common European Framework of Reference, and the more detailed demands of criterion-referenced assessment in institutional contexts. The session will not be limited to the presentation of the issues but will seek to involve the audience/participants actively and interactively in exploring how their own perceptions and judgements as to appropriate assessment criteria compare with those of their immediate colleagues and those from wider national and international contexts.

Dave Allan is Director of the Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE), which provides the widest range of professional development programmes for ESOL teachers and trainers in Europe. NILE has now trained around 15,000 teachers from 65 different countries. Dave specialises in the design and delivery of teacher development programmes and in TEA (testing, assessment and evaluation), working worldwide as a consultant for the British Council, the Council of Europe, DfID and national education ministries. He is Chair of MATSDA, the international language teaching materials development association, a long-term IATEFL TEASIG committee member and an author for OUP. He is a regular speaker at TESOL events in France, Italy and Spain and was most recently at TESOL Brazil in Fortaleza.

The Mindful International Manager

by Nick Brieger (York Associates)

The rise of globalisation has spawned three phases in the development of Business English:
  • Language training
  • Communication training
  • Intercultural training

One of the challenges for trainers is recognising the balance between these needs; and then designing and developing programmes which meet them.
The Mindful International Manager focuses on the third of the above areas. It is a new publication which aims to support managers who have to lead people across cultures. The book is a practical guide aimed at giving the reader insight into cultural, interpersonal and situational factors which influence effectiveness when working internationally.
The book develops good practice in areas such as:
  • direction - how the manager communicates vision and objectives
  • organisation and change - how the manager introduces and carries through change initiatives
  • conflict - how he or she deals with conflict across cultures and personalities.
  • commercial pressure to reduce the time and resources made available for language teaching.

The presentation aims to familiarise trainers with this new publication and to discuss how it could support them in developing their participants to work internationally.

Nick Brieger is one of the four directors of York Associates. After a first degree in law and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics, his early career included language training and teacher training, mainly throughout Europe. In recent years, he has worked closely with a range of major international organisations in both the public and private sectors on communication and intercultural training programmes. In addition to his training activities, he is the author of more than 20 books in the field of language, communication and culture. His most recent publications are in the area of Legal English.

A Blended Learning Solution for Developing Communicative Competence

by Simon Buckland (Wall Street Institute International)

What's the best way to provide learners with an appropriately structured mixture of input and output, containing form- and content-focused elements? The majority of adult learners lack opportunities for exposure to English "input" outside the classroom, and have difficulty in functioning as autonomous learners. I suggest that a blended learning solution is the best way of meeting the needs of such learners, in that it allows them access to structured and comprehensible input, and to work at their own pace. I describe such a system, which is currently providing instruction to over 160,000 students in 28 countries worldwide.

Simon Buckland is the Director of Curriculum Development for Wall Street Institute International. He is particularly interested in the use of blended learning in language training, and has been the chief designer and developer of the Wall Street Institute learning system since the 1980s.

A Blended Learning Solution for Developing Communicative Competence (slides)

Ten Challenges in Running a British Council Teaching Centre for Children, Teenagers and Adults in Paris

by Gail Ellis (British Council, Paris)

Running a Teaching Centre that caters for a diverse range of learners who differ greatly in terms of their needs and interests, presents a number of challenges. Aspects such as health and safety, teacher recruitment and teacher retention, managing student and parental expectations, methodological approaches, accountability and meeting targets, assessment, progress and linguistic results are daily pre-occupations. Gail will share her stories of her ten-year experience as Head of the Teaching Centre in Paris.

Gail Ellis, MBE, is Head of the British Council's Teaching Centre in Paris which she set up in 1998. She has published widely in the field of language teaching and in particular for young learners. Her special interests are learning to learn and the use of authentic childrens' literature. Her forthcoming book with DELTA Publications will focus on learning to learn for children.

The Power of Image: Developing a visual literacy in the language classroom

by Ben Goldstein (Cambridge University Press)

Thanks to digital technology, never have we been able to access or create such a great variety of images in so little time. This workshop will analyse ways images have been traditionally used in the language classroom and seek out some alternatives. We will look at ways we can exploit images in their own right (as cultural artefacts) and in their relation to written texts. In doing so, we will attempt to develop a visual literacy in class, presenting tasks which feature many different image types - icons, artworks, visual aids, mental images, etc. We will also explore ways in which learners can introduce their own images, thus taking a more active role in the classroom.

An English teacher for nearly 20 years in Spain, Ben's works include the handbook Working with Images (Cambridge University Press) and the six-level adult coursebook series Framework (Richmond). He is currently an online tutor at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona. He has also worked for the British Council in Hong Kong and 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). His main interests lie in encouraging intercultural awareness and the use of image in teaching materials.

The Power of Image: Article  -  Handouts

Do Current Listening Materials Meet the Real Needs of Our Students?

by Susana Gómez Martínez (TESOL Spain)

Many courses which purport to teach listening comprehension consist of exercises which expose the students to a chunk of spoken material on a tape and then ask comprehension questions. However, listening materials need to expand beyond the traditional "listen-to-a-text-and-answer-questions" format and a specific teaching approach should be adopted. The aim of this paper is to evaluate listening exercises in the light of our students' real needs and provide some useful suggestions to make our students become real listeners who can cope with real listening situations.

Susana Gómez is a member of the Board of TESOL-Spain, the incoming Director of Publications of the TESOL Newsletter and she currently teaches English as a L2 at the University of Valladolid (Spain). She holds a PhD in Second Language Acquisition, an MA in Applied Linguistics and an MA in Translation. Her research interests are second language teaching and learning.

Documents: Do current listening materials meet the real needs of our students?

The Learner-Centred Classroom

by Tamarzon Larner (Pearson Education)

There are many dynamics in the classroom but the one that tends to dominate is teacher to student. It's quick, it's easy and it's quantifiable. However, it doesn't always lead to maximum intake or output.
In this session, we will explore the concept of learner-centredness and look at a variety of tasks, activities and materials which encourage learner participation and modify the role of omnipotent teacher.

Tamarzon Larner was born in England and has worked in the field of ELT for over 15 years, based in Wales, Ukraine, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal and Spain. She has been teacher, exams co-ordinator, ADoS, DoS, teacher trainer for CELTA, DELTA, TKT, CELTYL and a variety of International House in-house training courses and finally, has been a Cambridge examiner and Cambridge CELTA assessor. She is currently working as a teacher trainer for Pearson Education, a role which involves going to anywhere in the world where there is a Pearson office, aiming to give support and recognition to teachers of English, whatever their particular context.

English for Marketing and Advertising

by Marianne Lindsley & Cate Farrell (Cambridge University Press)

Professionals working in marketing or advertising are confronted with international clients, international products and international campaigns. Our job is to get them ready to sell their ideas and their knowledge. To do that, we need to sell our own ideas and our own knowledge. The more credible we are for our students, the more credible they will be for their clients. Marianne and Cate will talk about how relevant vocabulary, a range of materials and targeted activities can help you teach this demanding group of professionals.

Marianne Lindsley has a degree in Philosophy and an MSc in Knowledge Based Systems. Since taking her TEFLA certificate she has worked for 17 years teaching English to adults in the UK and France. She is the director and co-founder of Speechmark in Paris, a private language school specialising in language training in the marketing and media industries. She is co-author of Professional English in Use Marketing, Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Cate Farrall: After completing a BA in Applied Educational and Social Psychology, Cate went on to do a PGCE and the CELTA. She has over 11 years experience in primary and adult education in the UK and France. She is Head of Language Training at Speechmark and runs the company's Wordstorm seminars, which focus on different areas of professional vocabulary and language skills. She is co-author of Professional English in Use Marketing, Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Short Courses: Teaching essential business skills through IELTS

by Martin Lisboa (Heinle ELT)

IELTS is a skills based exam (Listening/Speaking/Reading/Writing) usually associated with Academic English, yet the skills required are highly appropriate to the needs of business people following short company training courses. This talk will show you how and why, using some very practical examples. Which business person doesn't have an over-flowing inbox with lengthy reports to digest in a short space of time? Well IELTS is the answer! The questions and texts in the exam are specifically designed to test speed-reading skills. The Writing exam Part I deals with describing statistical information, graphs and processes - where would a business person be without being able to do that? Part II is a short discursive essay of 250 words - no relevance? Yet this practices functional language and skills that business people need to employ in both mini-presentations and in summary report form: Should we set up a new Joint Venture in China or India? What are the advantages and disadvantages of standardising pricing? Good IELTS exam preparation books provide material for you to teach your students a bank of appropriate sub-skills to enable them to perform more efficiently in the workplace - skills which are as useful to them in their own language as in English.

Martin Lisboa has over 20 years teaching experience of Business English, EAP and IELTS in UK, Mexico and Italy with a background in ELT and marketing having completed an MBA and established an executive language training school in London. In July this year he moved back to Italy after nearly 10 years as an ELT Lecturer at London Metropolitan University. He now works as a freelance ELT writer and teacher in Lucca, Tuscany and is co-author of the two-part book series: IELTS Express (Heinle ELT/Cengage Learning). Previously he was in Italy working as Assistant Director (Marketing) for British Council Milan.

Providing for Real Needs in Medicine

by Marie McCullagh (Cambridge University Press)

The workshop will look at how subject content, language and communication skills were combined in a coursebook, designed to meet the real needs of medical professionals communicating with their patients in English. Using examples from Good Practice, it will illustrate how a materials development framework was used as part of this process and how the framework can be applied in the development of other ESP courses.

Marie McCullagh is a senior lecturer in the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth in the UK. Her main interests are in material design, English for Specific Purposes (especially communication skills for professionals) and Engish for Academic Purposes. She is an examiner for Trinity College London and provides communication skills training to medical staff in the Portsmouth area. Co-authored with Ros Wright Good Practice, a coursebook on medical English and communication skills for non-native speakers of English, was published by Cambridge University Press in March 2008.

ESP Course Design and Assessment: The Italian experience

by Suzanna Miles (University of Venice, Italy)

Teaching ESP at an Italian university can be fun but extremely challenging. Large classes (80+ students are not uncommon), different levels of ability, short courses and inappropriate teaching environments are just some of the constraints that we work under. Is it possible therefore to design courses that give students a stimulating and valid language experience in spite of these difficulties? I believe it is. In this presentation, I will give practical ideas on how to develop a framework for learner-centred course design and assessment and I will describe how this framework has been applied successfully for teaching English for International Tourism, English for Cultural Heritage and English for International Business.

Suzanna Miles has been in the teaching profession for over thirty years and still enjoys the buzz of walking into a classroom and trying to get the best out of her students (most days!). She has been teaching ESP to undergraduate and Masters students at the University of Venice since 1995. She is also the founder of Proenglish, a small language-training centre offering tailor-made programmes of professional English to Italians working in both the public and private sectors.

Are We Failing Our Bodily-Kinesthetically and Musically Intelligent Learners?

by Chaz Pugliese (Pilgrims)

According to the theory of Multiple Intelligence (MI) people are equipped with eight or more different ways to make sense of information. In this workshop we will draw from Dr. Gardner's theory and we will go through a bagful of MI-based exercises especially designed to cater for the needs of the students who are often penalized or left out solely because their strengths lie in areas other than those traditionally valued by western educational systems.

Chaz Pugliese is Director of Teacher Training at Pilgrims, UK. Chaz has been involved in language teaching for nearly 20 years, has taught in 6 countries, and has trained teachers in over 25 countries. A regular presenter at international conferences, he has written over 50 articles and papers for several ELT publications. His current interests are Creativity and Motivation, Multiple Intelligences Theory and Teaching, Group Processes, and Personal Theories of Teaching and Learning. Chaz's first book, Creativity Strategies for Teachers will be out in 2009. A book on Teaching Spoken Grammar with Mario Rinvolucri and Simon Mumford will be published in 2010.

Effective Special Purpose Language Testing

by Roger Randall (MONDIALE Testsysteme)

Through globalization more and more vocations require foreign language skills. This development brings with it a number of unique challenges for instructors when teaching English for Special Purposes (ESP). One of the most important is the issue of testing. During course preparation the teacher will have become familiar with the target vocabulary and occupation-specific situations but incorporating this knowledge into a valid test, which adequately covers all four skills, is a tedious and time-consuming task. The demand for an up-to-date interactive test format is increasing and once test development is completed the issues of administration and marking arise. This presentation illustrates the challenges of ESP testing and shows how a testing system like MONDIALE Testsysteme can address them.

Roger Randall has many years of international experience in education and IT. After studying language education at the University of Michigan and the University of Freiburg, he went on to study linguistics and IT at the University of Hamburg. In the course of his career in IT, he has addressed audiences around the world on a variety of topics. As alliance manager at Software AG, he worked closely with specialists from leading manufactures to promote the use of XML in content-oriented applications. Recently he has focused on language training and testing appearing at a number of conferences. Currently he heads online testing at MONDIALE-Testsysteme, an independent testing institution specializing in language testing. MONDIALE-Testsysteme was among the first to use web-based testing.

Teaching the English Our Students Need and Want!

by Marianne Raynaud (TESOL France Grenoble)

This lecture-workshop will open with an analysis of surveys carried out during five years with students at the end of their first year of engineering studies. Students were asked to evaluate different aspects of the course and make suggestions as to activities, course requirements and workload. Based on these observations concerning learner needs and desires we will propose strategies to make an ESL/EFL course really effective. The focus will be on designing a course where the student is at the center of the language learning process both receiving individual attention and being an autonomous leaner. Teaching materials produced by both teachers and students will be shown. Participants will work in small groups elaborating curricula that will meet student needs and wishes.

Marianne Raynaud taught twenty-four years at France's largest technological university, INPG, winning the prestigious Palmes Académiques for innovations in teaching ESL. She founded QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book to help emerging teachers and others looking for more effective ways of teaching foreign languages. She airs podcasts Better Speaking Skills and Your English on iTunes and conducts TESOL workshops internationally. Marianne has written QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book, which provides an extensive toolbox of teaching materials from which teachers can freely choose. Marianne is especially interested in individualizing teaching, helping students enjoy lab work and writing exercises that correspond to student needs. She has done considerable work on student films as means of bringing out the creative side in ESL learners. A resident of France, she identifies as a citizen of the world. Marianne is the present coordinator of TESOL France-Grenoble.

Meeting the Real Needs of Our Digital Native Learners

by Graham Stanley (British Council, Barcelona)

Teachers' complaints of diminishing attention spans and boredom in young learner classes are rising but few classrooms have embraced the digital revolution. Many have still to recognise the profound changes that are happening in our hyper-technological society -- out there in the real world our learners live in. It can be argued that if learning content is to be relevant to the lifestyles of these digital natives (Prensky, 2001) it should be delivered via technology. In this session, I will be giving participants some practical ideas on how and where to start both in and out of the classroom.

Graham Stanley 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 for Teens project, building a 3D self-access centre for 13-17 year-olds in the virtual world.

Pre-writing Activities Using Sound and Video

by Rex Stewart, (American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)

The presentation will center on pre-writing activities that incorporate sound and video and help students unblock their creativity, thus making writing an enjoyable task. Attendees will be interactively involved in the workshop. The activities in this workshop - while giving students some direction - center on the free-flow of ideas, so that students can discover how they feel about or relate to certain stimuli. It is important to stress that, while mechanics are important, too much stress on mechanics in the beginning stages of writing can hamper a student's exploration of a topic, which can result in creative insecurity and writer's block.

Rex Stewart grew up in various states across the U.S., including Colorado, South Dakota, California, Alaska and Washington State. He received both his B.A. in English and his MATESL from Eastern Washington University. Rex has taught in the United States, Russia, and Belarus. Currently, he is teaching at the American University of Sharjah in United Arab Emirates. His interests include incorporating comics and visuals into the classroom as a means of motivating and teaching students.

What Exactly is Grammar, and does it matter?

by Michael Swan (Oxford University Press)

We all know what grammar is - until somebody asks us. Exploring this question can help teachers and learners to understand why foreign languages (and the mother tongue) do the strange things that they do: a good starting point for practical language study. The session will look beyond the rather unhelpful dictionary definition ('rules for changing the form of words and combining them into sentences'), to consider the following questions:
  • What exactly is 'grammar'?
  • Why do languages need it?
  • What can be communicated without grammar? (Quite a lot, actually.) And what can't?
  • Why do different languages use grammar in such different ways?

Michael Swan is a writer specialising in English Language teaching and reference materials. His publications include Practical English Usage (OUP), How English Works (OUP) and The Good Grammar Book (OUP). He is also co-author, with Catherine Walter, of the Cambridge English Course series. His most recent books are Grammar (in the Oxford Introductions to Language Study) and Grammar Scan (OUP 2008), a collection of diagnostic language tests written in collaboration with David Baker. Michael's interests include pedagogic grammar, mother-tongue influence in second language acquisition, and the relationship between applied linguistic theory and classroom language-teaching practice. He has had extensive experience with adult learners, and has worked with teachers in many countries.

What Exactly is Grammar? (handout)

How Can EFL Teachers Motivate Their Students?

by Seniye Vural (Erciyes University/Turkey)

This paper reports on research that explores EFL teachers' observed motivational behaviors and their perceptions of motivational strategies, and examines the relationship between these perceptions and the way motivating behavior is described in literature. Awareness of how teachers perceive motivational strategies may lead teachers to examine/evaluate their own motivational strategies.

Seniye Vural is an English language instructor at Erciyes University, Department of English Language and Literature, which aims to educate future English teachers. Seniye holds an MA TEFL degree, and is a PhD student in ELT at METU, Ankara. Seniye's research areas include teacher and student motivation, teacher education and curriculum development.

In the Wrong Level

by Andrew Walkley (Heinle ELT)

This practical talk discusses reasons why teachers and students complain about classes not being the right level. With reference CEF and exams I will raise the question of whether coursebooks genuinely meet the needs of students at different levels and how teachers may on occasions make matters worse. I will then look at aspects of teacher development and give some practical suggestions as to how teachers can provide for different levels in one class.

Andrew has 17 years experience in teaching EFL in Spain and the UK. As a teacher trainer, he works at the University of Westminster, where he's developing a series of blended learning training courses. He has also regularly given talks and workshops to teachers around the world. He has written the coursebook series Innovations with Hugh Dellar published by Heinle (a part of Cengage Learning) and an online teacher training course Teaching Lexically for Ed2go.com/ELTAdvantage. He is currently based mainly in Spain, working freelance and writing coursebook and teacher training material.

Networking, IMs and MP3s - English Language Learning for the Digital Native Generation

by Amy Walters (Mary Glasgow Magazines)

The internet dominates teenage lives today, and students of English are no exception. In this session we will look at instantly engaging students by exploiting the online world that they inhabit and use with ease. We will explore ways of getting them to use English for real communication through culture and current affairs online, instant messaging, audio downloads and more, and ensuring this innovative approach to language development is conducted in a safe and secure way. Magazines Plus is a teen-focused magazine website created exclusively for students of English and their teachers, providing language education with a teen-centric twist. Free sample access will be available to all participants, along with practical classroom suggestions and handouts.

Educated in Hong Kong and at the University of Lancaster, Amy Walters has studied, travelled and taught widely in South America, including teacher-training for the Chilean Ministry of Education. After working extensively for NILE, the internationally renowned teacher-training organisation focusing on language and methodology, she worked for the publishing firm Dorling Kindersley. She joined London-based Mary Glasgow Magazines in 2005 and is responsible for international training and communication.

Moving from General to Specific

by Rod Webb (Garnet Education)

Until recently, ESP, has been a neglected area for ELT publishers. A shift in the ELT landscape has provoked renewed interest in this area, but a coherent rationale within which to teach has yet to emerge. Garnet Education believes that working in close collaboration with educational institutions is the way to establish a more principled approach. This talk will look at materials Garnet has produced as a result of collaboration with Universities for the development of EAP material, and how this has informed the framework behind our new major series, English for Specific Academic Purposes.

Rod Webb is the Education and Research manager for Garnet Education, which specializes in ELT material for the university and college market. He worked in ELT as a teacher, teacher trainer and adviser on ministry of education projects for 16 years before working in publishing. His continued his role in teacher training with the company until recently and now concentrates on material development.

Cambridge Exams for Domain-specific Development and Assessment

by William Yeago (Cambridge ESOL Translegal)

Language assessment is changing with the multi-nationalization of the legal and financial world. Understanding these specialized concepts and nuances and how they are described in correct legal and financial terms will enable one to choose the appropriate language. Cambridge ESOL has created two new ESP certifications, ILEC (International Legal English Certificate) and ICFE (International Certificate of Financial English), to respond to these changing and challenging needs. This presentation will demonstrate that one does not require a specialized background to prepare students for ILEC or ICFE. William Yeago will share his experience preparing students for these exams. He will explain how teachers can approach these specialized classes, how to prepare, how to focus on the language and where to find appropriate and relevant materials.

William Yeago is an American lawyer who teaches Business law, Banking and Financial English at the University of Paris I Sorbonne and Paris II Assas, He is also the Head Lecturer and Bar Examiner for the Paris Bar Association and works for the firm Translegal. He is a co-contributor to the Cambridge University Press book, International Legal English and a legal advisor for the International Legal English Certificate (ILEC) examination developed by Cambridge ESOL and Translegal.

Document: The Importance of Legal English (article)

 

Posters


Using Authentic Storybooks in the Primary Classroom

by Jo Bertrand and Nicky Francis (British Council)

This poster session is about using authentic storybooks in the primary EFL classroom. We will explore why some teachers do not use authentic storybooks. We will discover the reasons why they should use storybooks. Then together, we will explore how teachers can use them. We will provide a handout with useful links for storybook related resources as well as a bank of ideas on how to effectively integrate storybooks into lessons.

Jo Bertrand has been involved in ELT for about 14 years and has a wide range of experience as a teacher, teacher-trainer, examiner and materials writer in England, China, Indonesia and France. She has been working with the British Council since 2001 and is currently an ELT advisor for primary language assistants worldwide. She also gives regular teacher development seminar talks for Cambridge ESOL. She has recently become a member of TESOL France and is looking forward to contributing to the Teaching Times newsletter. She has a passion for children's literature and is co-founder of The Story Seeds, an association which promotes the use of storybooks in the language classroom.

Nicky Francis is a teacher, teacher trainer and Cambridge examiner who has been working in ELT for 10 years. Her teaching experience at the British Council has been a springboard for developing original materials using authentic storybooks with children. She is currently researching the use of phonics in her young learner classrooms. She is also co-founder of an association, The Story Seeds, which supports the use of authentic books in primary ELT.

A Creative Way in Teaching Poetry

by Lina A. Bioglou (American University of Beirut)

Poetry writing not only widens students' perspectives but also increases their critical thinking and writing skills. It is often a misconception to believe that writing a poem is an arduous task that requires specific skills which students are not prepared to handle. One would be surprised to discover that students are well- equipped and empowered with innate cognitive skills; however, what they really need is the right opportunity to develop them. Although students are basically exposed to different genres of writings that include poetry in their high school, they are rarely given the chance to express themselves and practice this genre of writing within an academic setting, namely in the university. Therefore, educators should consider incorporating this skill within their academic writing objectives/ or syllabus to help students acquire better language and writing skills. For example, students could be asked to write a poem based on a specific theme or topic, or to describe a past experience, or to respond to a certain text that they are exposed to in their academic setting. In my poster presentation, I will be proposing a creative and effective way to teach poetry in a regular writing class. I will be explaining how to incorporate simple activities or assignments that would encourage students to write their own poems. The poster will include a model assignment in which students are asked to generate a number of unrelated words (nouns, adjectives and verbs) that would help them compose a descriptive poem abundant in strong imagery and figurative language. Most importantly, they would be encouraged to produce a meaningful poem by using the exact words elicited from the students themselves. Moreover, they would be reminded that poetry is by nature a genre of language that makes its greatest appeal to the senses. Hence, all the sensory images and details they use in their poems will enrich their vocabulary repertoire and writing skills. We will be amazed to see that students can be innovative and what sometimes looks simple can be made into the most meaningful piece of writing. Finally, by applying new techniques in teaching poetry, we are increasing students' engagement in the learning process and fostering their critical thinking. Besides stimulating students' ingenuity, it is our role as educators to help students become competent writers, and I strongly believe that it is through poetry writing that we can achieve this goal.

Lina A. Bioglou. I hold an M.A in English Literature from the American University of Beirut, where I have been teaching English as a second language for quite a few years. My thesis was entitled W.B. Yeats's "The Gift of Haroun Al Rashid": A Critical Analysis, which draws on the parallelism between Ancient Ireland and the Orient. My interest in poetry emerged when I was a student at university. I have written many poems which have not been published yet. My favorite is entitled Doomed to Happen, written in commemoration of the anniversary of my father's death. The poem revolves around the theme of experiencing loss at a very young age. Although most of the courses I teach are academic, I have always strived to incorporate the teaching of poetry; I strongly believe that it is through poetry that we can enhance students' learning and creativity and improve their language competence. In addition to teaching, I have been involved in teacher training, preparing standardized test items and essay prompts for the AUB English Entrance Examination. I have also presented papers and workshops in the Middle East and abroad.
 

Poster

by Anna Daley

Anna Daley is an English teacher and teacher trainer who has been living and working in central France for the past fifteen years. She has taught at all levels and in all sectors, with students from 4 yrs old to 84. She is also a translator, mother of three year old twins, and avid organic gardener.
 

Deep into Portfolio in Writing Classes and Teachers' Opinions

by Ozlem Kaya (Anadolu University, Turkey)

In this poster session, I will present detailed information about how portfolio is used as an assessment tool in low language proficiency level writing classes. Moreover, I will show and discuss the data analysis of questionnaires and interviews designed to find out how teachers perceive portfolio assessment in writing classes.

Ozlem Kaya has been working as an English language instructor at Anadolu University, which is a state university in Turkey for four years. She holds an MA TEFL degree and is preparing to earn a PhD in ELT. Ozlem's research areas include classroom interaction, learner autonomy, reflective teaching and assessment.

Listen and learn any time, any place

by Susana Gómez Martínez (TESOL Spain)

There is consistent evidence which shows that technology can and does improve attainment in almost all subjects. However, most teachers, who belong to the 'digital immigrant' group, are not as competent in ICTs as most of their students 'digital natives'-, and often feel scared to work with a new medium they are not familiar with. The aim of this poster is to show how beneficial the use of ICTs can be to teach and practice listening skills both inside and outside the classroom walls, and to approach this new challenge as something which is not so difficult to get and which will facilitate both our teaching and our students learning process and practice to a great extent. The poster will cover the following topics:
  1. The advantages of using ICTs in teaching and practicing listening comprehension (comparison between old/ classic vs. modern materials and resources)
  2. Useful, easy to use links that can be found for free on the web to teach and practice English L2 listening comprehension both inside and outside the classroom ( a one page handout will be provided to the audience)
  3. What to do with these resources and how to use ICT to promote listening practice and autonomous learning
Susana Gómez is a member of the Board of TESOL-Spain, the incoming Director of Publications of the TESOL Newsletter and she currently teaches English as a L2 at the University of Valladolid (Spain). She holds a PhD in Second Language Acquisition, an MA in Applied Linguistics and an MA in Translation. Her research interests are second language teaching and learning.

Listen and learn any time, any place

From Preconceptions to Performance to Reflections

by Robin A. Martin (Dhofar University)

Often our own preconceptions and perceptions about languages and learning guide what we are able to see and do for our students. This poster will offer a visual and verbal summary about issues in language learning that are emerging from a small qualitative study of EFL teacher trainees from a rural area of Arabia. Emphasis will be on a transferable framework for qualitative studies that may be useful in helping teachers to develop more complex understandings of the difficulties that are expressed by one"s students while simultaneously examining one"s own preconceptions and perceptions about struggles with language learning.

Robin A. Martin received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Iowa State University in 2003. She now serves as an assistant professor and teacher trainer of English teachers at Dhofar University in the Sultanate of Oman. Previously, she has worked with small alternative schools in the United States, with a focus on progressive methods and holistic approaches to teaching, along with experience in TESL/TEFL, and an ongoing interest in ways to integrate more participatory forms of research into educational settings.

Mind Mapping for better memorisation, recall and organisation

by Caroline Michel (ESC Rennes School of Business)

Using our left brain has been an easy task for most of us since we have learned to use it from childhood, but our more creative side has been underdeveloped, for example in French school children who have been "programmed" to learn lists of English vocabulary by rote. This method uses a more visual approach and thus the whole brain is involved in learning more effectively. It can be used also for effective time management and task planning.

English Language teacher at ESC Rennes School of Business for 8 years. Teaching areas: Communication, presentation techniques, negotiation, Toeic and Toefl preparation Other activities: management of ESC Rennes e-learning platform, International Partner University Coordinat.

Document: Mind Mapping (slides)

QualityTime-ESL - The Digital Resource Book

by Marianne Raynaud (TESOL Grenoble)

Have you ever wanted to go into a colleague's computer and look at his teaching files? Have you ever wanted to sit in on someone else's class and see what the students are doing? This digital book lets you do just that. More than 1,500 files (text, audio and video) are arranged in a tree structure that is easy to navigate through. Exercises come with keys, texts with recordings, podcasts with worksheets and student films with their scripts. There are numerous examples of student work to inspire your students to do even better! And of course you will find examples of tests with their answer keys. This is your opportunity not only to peek inside a teacher's computer but also to go home with all the files. Finally, you can read the twenty chapters that explain how best to put to use the materials in this digital resource book. All this data is on a DVD called QualityTime-ESL - The Digital Resource Book. There is also a second DVD with a 50-minute film entitled Scenes from an ESL Classroom. The author will demonstrate the two DVDs.

Marianne Raynaud taught for twenty-four years at France's largest technological university, INPG, winning the prestigious Palmes Académiques for innovations in teaching ESL. She founded QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book to help emerging teachers and others looking for more effective ways of teaching foreign languages. She airs podcasts Better Speaking Skills and Your English on iTunes and conducts TESOL workshops internationally. Marianne has written QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book, which provides an extensive toolbox of teaching materials from which teachers can freely choose. Marianne is especially interested in individualizing teaching, helping students enjoy lab work and writing exercises that correspond to student needs. She has done considerable work on student films as a means of bringing out the creative side in ESL learners. A resident of France, she identifies as a citizen of the world. Marianne is the present coordinator of TESOL France-Grenoble.

Poster

by Graham Stanley (British Council, Barcelona)

Want to Learn English and visit the UK for free? The British Council's "Learn English Second Life for Teens" project offers serious fun for teenage learners in the 3D virtual environment. Teens can learn English in a different way, make friends with young people from different countries and cultures from around the world, and have fun solving puzzles and problems and playing games. This project is free and open to all 13-17 year-old learners of English. Come and find out more and see a demonstration of the project. Free ride on the Loch Ness monster included!

Graham Stanley is a senior teacher at the British Council Young Learner Centre in Barcelona, Spain and project manager of the British Council's 'Learn English Second Life for Teens' global project

Poster

by Figen Tezdiker (Anadolu University, Turkey)

This poster presents detailed information about how videos are effective in learning new vocabulary in the Reading Skills Course. Moreover, this research also analyzes vocabulary development, student attitudes, weaknesses and strengths of the study and difficulties of the implementation.

Figen Tezdiker is an instructor at Anadolu University. She holds her BA degree at Anadolu University ELT department and MA degree at Bilkent University MA TEFL program.
 

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