We’re really pleased to announce the sessions for Innovate ELT 2017. In order to help you navigate your way through this huge selection of fantastic talks and workshops, we created six pathways for you to follow:
Learner stories and reflections
What does it feel like to be on the learner’s side of the classroom? What can we learn about learning from learners themselves? In this pathway you’ll hear learner experiences that can change the way we teach.
Young Learners and Teens
A space to share ideas, class tips and theoretical approaches for ELT professionals working with those who’ll shape our future: young learners and teens.
Theories and approaches
Many of our teaching practices and approaches are supported by theoretical frameworks that help us craft our methodologies. In this pathway you’ll find inspiring new or revisited ways to approach pedagogy. Interesting for anyone in materials writing, publishing, as well as teachers and teacher trainers looking for fresh ideas.
Although EdTech touches on a lot of the content in other pathways, these talks focus more explicitly on tech advances and how they are being used by and for learners in and out of the classroom.
Coaching, management and mentoring
An interesting itinerary curated for school owners, managers and DoSs, but also anyone interested in leadership.
A pathway designed for teachers and teacher trainers looking for practical activities and lesson plans they can put into practice right after the event.
This workshop will consider why student feedback is rarely sought in teacher development programmes and then, by way of a mini-lesson, will experiment with getting lesson feedback from both students and teacher participants. I will teach a short class and then compare feedback between students and teachers. Using this ‘hot’ data, we will draw out suggestions about how we can use the student voice, in addition to that of teacher educators, to help teachers develop their day-to-day practice.
When it comes to language learning, there’s a small elite who do it so well, so effectively, so fast, they put our efforts to shame. I’m talking about polyglots, that strange species who might speak five, ten, even twenty languages, and to a decent level. What are their secrets? And why aren’t we learning their tricks? Come and meet one, my guest Lýdia Machová (eight languages so far), find out about their methods, and let’s talk about what they can teach us teachers. It’s a whole other world.
How does an English language learner become an English language teacher? Is there a change in the teaching-learning cycle? How does a teacher’s researched methodology play out from a learner’s perspective? A teacher and his student (both as an ELL and ELT) will discuss all of these questions and more… before demonstrating exactly why a teacher and their student must never stop learning.
This workshop, with mentor and teacher as the learner, will explore my 1 year journey of mentoring, teaching & the bridges I’ve built and crossed. What tools & skills from mentoring teachers can be transferred to the ELT classroom? Two areas that I have been developing will be examined : effective questioning and encouraging learner reflection. Thoughts from my learners will be shared, as well as my own reflections on my learning.
In this talk I am going to tell you about the influence of starting learning a new language in the teaching process. German is a language that I did not like so much and had no clue about its structures and vocabulary; although I have a sister who has been living in Germany for more than six years. I decided to learn it after my second time in the country. However, the it has offered me an interesting perspective and I’ve been able to apply some new techniques to my teaching.
Teachers all around the world are trying to find new technologies for teaching the millennial generation. One of them is gamification. If computer games are so appealing and fun to play, why don’t we bring a game-design approach to our English class? In my talk I’ll explain what computer games can teach us and I’ll give a few simple examples how you can gamify your coursebook using a game-design approach.
Even tech-savvy teenagers need help and support to to become responsible digital citizens. This talk will look at how we can help young learners be best prepared for our digital, screen-obsessed world. We will look at digital citizenship, online safety and also consider when it’s maybe time to switch off our devices and take a digital detox. We will look at the typical digital diet of teens today and some free, online materials that can help you bring these tricky topics into the classroom.
Children are currently suffering the ricochet of our hectic schedules and our adult worries. They are wound up in a constant turmoil of activities, of information and inappropriate influences that compress their childhood and stifle their emotional maturity. Through personal experience and practical suggestions, this workshop will discuss how small gestures of empathy and connection can change the way students learn and thrive.
Incorporating parental objectives into YL programmes means we are better able to develop and deliver programmes that meet the needs of our YL language learners and their parents more effectively. As a freelance, I am responsible for the creation of the curriculum for my YL students. For my action research project I used a questionnaire which enabled me to develop a curriculum that had the needs of my learners at its core, thus reflecting the theme for iELT “Power to the Learner.”
Covert syllabus, or hidden curriculum, is a term used by J.Hadfield to describe the values, behaviors, beliefs, and perspectives that are subtly expressed in classroom activities in course books. The aim of this talk is to identify what lies behind some common classroom activities and how teachers can adapt these activities in order to lead learners to critically question what is ‘normal’ inside and outside the classroom.
In this talk, power to the learner is provided by giving students freedom to create. In the Sociocultural Theory (SCT), internal self-regulation and language development take place in the interactions of learner and interlocutor. It’s a continuous development in which intrinsic motivation is fostered through the formulation of shared intentions and purposes. Motivation, autonomy and agency are closely related to the SCT and allow students to make their learning significant.
30 to 70% of a teachers’ talk is composed of different types of questions, and with experience we develop our own patterns of asking various questions, including elicitation, concept checking questions, and questions aimed at practice. In this presentation, I would like to explore how different types of questions we ask in vocabulary teaching sequences can change the way our learners retain and use new lexis.
The task-based approach has been applied by teachers around the world for decades, and it is rightly so, because the approach does work! However, as it is often confined to the classroom, its power to push learners out of their comfort zones into the areas of real challenge (i.e. learning) diminishes. The talk will present a few of my ideas on how to make the most out of the task-based approach in and out of the classroom by taking it to the extreme. Students’ work and projects will feature.
Imagine learners become “Object” or “Verb” and you have a chat with them in those roles. “Hi Mr. Auxiliary?” You invite others and they spontaneously interact at that moment. Moreno’s Theory of Roles in Psychodrama describes process of role playing as “cognition, perception, behaviour and action”. Learners become acquainted with English personally in a student-centred, active and enjoyable classroom atmosphere. Would you like to be a Subject? Come and take your part. – Fun? – No doubt!
Due to the intercultural nature of EFL/ESL classrooms, respectful communication presents a unique challenge. The purpose of this presentation is to share findings from my research which examined how English language learners (ELLs) conceptualize respect and believe it is communicated in the classroom. Those attending the presentation will leave with a greater awareness of how ELLs understand respect and an enhanced ability to identify classroom communication which ELLs may deem disrespectful.
Teachers can empower learners by giving more importance to student feedback. In this talk I’ll discuss making, analysing and discussing · video recordings of the class in action · student diaries · student to student talk on social media · feedback questionnaires
This talk reviews Krashen’s ‘affective filter hypothesis’ embedded in a great understanding of the ‘teacher talk’ concept. By analyzing this two topics together, the author believes that second language teachers can find better ways to enable students’ learning.
This talk identifies a consistent gap between research and practice in EdTech and explores how specific research in linguistics has a strong potential for being applied in educational practice. We will look at how applied linguistics research could be used to create technology that facilitates students understanding of what elements compose a sentence (syntax) and how a group of words are attached to the same vocabulary list (lexicon).
We present lessons learned about learner motivation from observing users of a new online writing practice tool for learners of English. Write & Improve provides essay prompts and instant, automated feedback at word and sentence level and an estimated CEFR level. Its goal is to motivate learners to practise writing, edit their work, and learn from their mistakes. We will take an in-depth look at how learners respond to the tool and what it tells us about motivating learners to write.
Research has demonstrated increased engagement when learners are in control of their learning. We explore strategies which practitioners can employ in order to empower learners on blended digital language programmes to become more autonomous. We’ll identify some of the barriers and possible solutions to creating an environment that puts the learner at the centre of the learning experience, and explores whether lessons learned in the classroom can be applied to the digital world.
Using video and audio tools to record students speaking production allows teachers to give both formative and corrective feedback that the students can go back to. This helps make the students reflect back on their speaking practice and incorporates the feedback provided into the student’s learning process. We will use existing video tools that students and teachers can use from their phones to engage the students in synchronous and asynchronous tasks to provide additional speaking practice.
Much of our work in ELT technology helps ‘first world’ kids with first world tech access. This talk looks at the other world – the next billion learners, in rural areas of Africa & Asia. These learners and communities have difficulty accessing electricity, connectivity, textbooks – we can fix that with new edtech. The talk addresses how we can & should use new technologies to help reach these learners, giving them links to global knowledge and English, moving past their local disadvantages.
Digital technology in the classroom often results in an ocean of frustration: the internet fails, students forget their passwords, teachers tend to be rather clumsy with devices, Facebook is (arguably) often more appealing than the PDF, etc. We’ve learned a couple of things building such products and we would like to share some of the lessons and stories from our recent experience working with a very respectable and conservative college in the UK. Important: bring your own devices, we are doing a live demo. You will become students in a digital classroom for the duration of the talk and be able to share the pleasures and pains of students today. (GOOD!)
Innovation automatically entails change. Change is often scary. Middle management – in ELT terms DOSes, centre managers, educational coordinators – are often left with the scary task of implementing change with little support or preparation. In this session I’ll be sharing my take on the 3 Cs of successful change management and how this relates specifically to ELT contexts.
After 10 years of trying to teach my students English, and after 16 years of learning 7 languages by myself, I’ve understood that students shouldn’t be taught – they need to learn by themselves. I took a 100 students at a university and told them about ways to learn their languages by themselves. What happened was incredible. They improved immensely in just 2 months, found a new passion for their languages and are now learning in a totally new way. Let me tell you more about this in my talk.
Self-esteem. Self-confidence. Self-assertiveness. Self-efficacy. Self-acceptance. Self-concept. Self-image. Self-respect. Self. Ego. To kill the inner pessimist. To reclaim your identity. To own your English-speaking self. All these concepts participate in the journey of the English learner regardless of their competence. Improving your learner’s self-esteem, helping them identify and embrace who they are as English speakers will help them see themselves as competent language learners.
In this talk the course director and a course participant will share their stories of how OxfordTEFL’s Dip TESOL helps teachers to empower their learners. They will offer some ideas for fostering learner independence through teacher research and reflection. They will also discuss how preparing this talk helped Nicky, the “learner” presenter, develop and feel empowered to do more talks in the future.
In this practical session, you will learn to use five coaching techniques for your EFL classes to help empower your students to become more pro-active as language learners. These techniques are often used by coaches to help their clients achieve their goals and I have adapted them for use by non-coach EFL/ESL teachers who want to add a coaching angle to their work with students.
The board at the end of a class reflects the content of the lesson and influences what learners will take away with them. We need to make sure we’re providing them with useful and detailed information to help their understanding, note-taking and subsequent autonomous studying. This session will discuss how teachers use their non-interactive (white)boards and offer some practical tips for improving board work for the benefit of the learners.
The workshop presents a snapshot from an inclusive class where the teacher aims to empower learners focusing on their ‘abilities’ and develop empathy among them. The lesson is based on the principles of psychodrama which does not separate any kind of learning from personal development. Thus, in the lesson learners will both use English creatively and try out how to support each other in life. The workshop also offers a chance for participants to experience being a learner in an inclusive lesson.
In this demonstration lesson we will consider how giving learners real choice in materials and approaches allows for reading lessons that are highly motivating and tailored to learner needs. We will consider how a task-based approach enables us to focus on the processes of learning and why this is useful. I will also argue that, through judicious choice of materials, we can bring the world into the class; political debate and challenging topics have an important role in engaging learners
In this workshop I will outline different ways of integrating negotiation theory, content and skills into language lessons. I will demonstrate techniques to adapt authentic content (from academic journals to clips from Games of Thrones) into student-centred activities which help learners develop both language proficiency and negotiation skills. Based on my experience I will discuss the impact of this CLIL approach on student motivation, achievement and 21st Century ELT approaches.
Feature films may be the benchmark for cinematic excellence, but today students can relate to short, authentic, online videos; this popular format also offers a range of benefits for them as learners of English. We will explore these benefits and outline best practices for exploiting short videos in class. We will also look at how to empowering students to use available technology to produce their own videos. Then, in the feedback session we will discuss in further detail.
This talk is aimed at teachers and learners of the Cambridge English suite of exams and aims to share practical ideas for how learners can develop their own autonomous learning skills. With close reference to the free digital support available to learners wishing to take the Cambridge exams, I discuss how it can be exploited to develop independent learning skills.
Want to try some experiential and heuristic learning? Fancy adding some spontaneity and creativity to your classes whilst encouraging some emergent language at the same time? Then this session is for you! Add to the mix the opportunity reflect on the learning process with other like-minded souls. You will try out improvisation and drama techniques in the session with other participants and will have some “ready mades” to take into your class next week.
We, teachers, tend to deal with every skill or system in a tedious, methodical way, sometimes following our course book, other times guided by years of experience teaching that particular item. My talk will show you that you can and should give your learners the tools necessary to allow them to “teach” themselves, improve outside the classroom, increase their motivation levels and spike their curiosity. The learners are in our same boat and our aim is to gear them so that we can relinquish the rudder and they still float, or rather, are happy to be in command and able to do so. Raising learner awareness, giving basic phonological insight calibrated to their comprehension capacity and introducing a steady use of educational games and technology in the classroom, all these can achieve the previously stated aim.
How can we achieve the goal of shifting the classroom focus from teacher to learner? In this workshop, we will consider the potential for using corpora in the ELT classroom to facilitate learner autonomy. Specifically, we will look at how concordances may be used to help learners identify collocations, grammatical patterns and semantic prosody. The session will include user friendly concordance ideas to take away and will hopefully be beneficial to both teachers and learners.