Conference Presentations

Plenaries

Making lessons memorable
There are a variety of ways in which you can make your lessons memorable in order to help your learners take valuable information with them when they leave your classroom. In this plenary we will look at a number of ideas and practical examples which you can use to liven up your lessons, make them fun, relevant, engaging, and creative so that both you and your learners feel you have gotten the most out of the face-to-face time you can spend together.

Embrace the differences, learner preferences and strategies
As teachers tend to teach using the methods and approaches we feel most comfortable with, we sometimes need to take a step back and notice how our learners go about the task of learning something new or solidifying knowledge. Looking at our classrooms as a group of individuals with different learner types and learning preferences, can encourage us to plan our lessons to embrace the differences we face. By creating or making use of activities which appeal to different types of learners may seem challenging at first, but once we have tried this out we can begin to see the affects it has on our learners. A mixture of methods and materials can be enriching for our learners and, in turn, provide us with the motivation to look for new ways to present and teach material. By doing this we can also encourage learners to make use of the successful strategies they already use and to  stretch out of their comfort zones to explore new ones.

Getting unstuck - stretching out of our comfort zones
As our daily teaching schedule and all that involves takes up so much of our time and energy, we don’t often have the chance to think about ‘what else’ we could be doing.  We tend to stick to certain routines and sometimes don’t take advantage of possibilities to stretch ourselves or take on challenges in other areas.  This talk will explore the implications of this regarding our teaching styles, methods we are accustomed to using, the types of classes we usually teach, the technology we are comfortable with and demonstrate a wide variety of choices available to us as ELT professionals both inside and outside the classroom.  Some of the reasons we keep doing what we have always done will be discussed providing a basis for us to work together and come up with ways for us to ‘get unstuck’.

Transitioning from general English to business English
General English teachers may be reluctant to make the change to business English, especially if they have never worked outside of the school or university system and feel they don’t have the necessary business skills. This stretch, however, into a new area may be less daunting than many think.  There are differences to be considered as business English may be more purpose-driven and generally needs to include specific areas of vocabulary, but for those interested in taking on the challenge, this plenary talk aims to provide practical tips on how to get started and point out what teachers can bring with them from their general English experience into this new field.

Workshops: General topics
Learning styles 
Have you ever wondered what makes people tick? Part of the secret may well be their individual learning styles. This interactive workshop will give you the chance to gain background information on styles, discover your own learning preferences and to try out a variety of language activities from Spotlight on Learning Styles (Delta Publishing) designed for different learner types. We will also discuss the importance of helping learners stretch outside their comfort zones and how to adapt these activities to individual teaching situations.

Creating activities for different learner types
Creating tasks which benefit our learners can be an enriching activity for teachers and their learners. In this workshop, participants will discover how to create tasks taking into account the diversity of leaner types we have in our classrooms.  The workshop is based on the concept that reaching learners means mixing methods, materials and approaches. Taking this one step further, these ideas can be incorporated into the conception and creation of activities and tasks for grammar, vocabulary and general language practice. Participants will have the chance to try out tasks focussing on different skill sets, abilities and the language we use to instruct learners.  It will demonstrate how tasks can be extended to include other learner types and help learners acquire new strategies for learning.

Using the learner as a creativity resource
Creativity can take on many forms. Sometimes it is simply a matter of giving our learners the space they need to express their ideas and creativity by setting tasks which enable them to contribute their own thoughts and experiences. This workshop will look at various ideas for allowing your learners to steer their creative process and encourage them to discover for themselves what they can do with language.
Resource: Creativity in the English Language Classroom, ed: Alan Maley and Nik Peachy, British Council, 2015

Workshops: Business English and ESP

Communicative Business English Activities
Business English learners of all levels understand the need to communicate within their own companies as well as with business partners around the world.  Many of them are experts in their own fields and comfortable with specific vocabulary.  However, they are not as confident when they need to speak spontaneously in presentations, meetings or on the phone, make small talk, or talk in general about the workplace.  This set of activities has been designed to spice up your business English lessons and provide supplementary materials which are fun to use and encourage learners to speak. They cover a number of topics within the business English field, can be used with different levels of learners and can be used on their own or to accompany a course book.  Come along to this interactive workshop to find out how to liven up your lessons and get your learners speaking and communicating.

Getting Business English Learners to Speak
Most business people would agree that communication is essential in today’s business world. For this reason, speaking skills are often at the top of the list for business English learners. In this interactive workshop we will explore ways to build self-confidence in learners by helping them to express themselves and get their message across through using engaging and fun activities.

Practical, easy and fun activities for BE classes
Whether you use a coursebook or create your own materials, practical activities which raise learner involvement can often be added to a lesson. This workshop will give participants the chance to try out several ‘NTP’ (no teacher preparation) activities which can be used in a variety of business English settings and groups. They can be done as basic activities as well as be extended into long-term projects for the semester and incorporate the standard ELT four skills as well as aspects of business English soft skills. Come along to try them out and leave with some ideas you can use on Monday morning.

Interest rates improve with English for Banking and Finance
Students with specific needs look for courses where they can learn what can be used in their jobs. In addition to the specific vocabulary and practical applications of grammar, they want to deal with topics and activities of interest to them which will also provide them with language they can directly transfer to the workplace. This workshop will provide practical tips and ideas for trainers who work with both pre-work and in-work banking and finance groups.  Participants will have the chance to try out activities and find out how to make their classes lively and interesting for students in this field. The topic covered in this workshop is Islamic banking for those who need to teach students working in this field.

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