IH Barcelona Annual ELT Conference 2007
2007 English Language Teaching Conference for teachers of English to Adults, Children & Business students
Barcelona, February 9 and 10, 2007
What grammar should we teach?
Room B2, 17.00-18.00
This talk explores the difficulty grammar poses to learners in terms of comprehension as well as speaking and writing. It argues that current approaches and materials neglect crucial features of grammar. Extensive illustrations are provided.
Biodata • After many years working in ELT for International House, the BBC and the Universities of London and Bristol, Martin Parrott began teaching English Language and Literature in mainstream comprehensive schools in 1999. He currently teaches and coordinates Years 12 and 13 at The Lycée Français Charles De Gaulle, London. He maintains his interest in grammar, teacher education and educational management. His 'Grammar for English Language Teachers' (CUP, 2000) won the 2000 Duke of Edinburgh English Speaking Union Prize.
Grammar through the ages
Room B2, 18.15-19.15
As I gained experience as a teacher I encountered more and more descriptions of language, but never felt that I had found the one that really worked. In this very personalised talk I will describe how I was influenced by these descriptions in the hope that some of your own doubts may also be addressed [ .pps ].
Biodata • Roger Hunt is Director of Education at International House Barcelona. He was previously Head of Teacher Training at International House London. He has worked in English language teaching and teacher training in many parts of the world for longer than he now wishes to say.
Do kids need grammar?
Room D13, 18.15-19.15
As a teacher of Young Learners I was always given a syllabus which had vocabulary, grammar and skills work on it to get through with the kids. I always found it hard to tie the grammar to classroom practice then I decided it couldn't be done and started teaching lexical chunks to the kids. My DOS wasn't very pleased but the children improved their communicative competence by 100%. So that left me with the question: Does Grammar matter when you teach YLS?
If you're interested in finding out a bit more on this, come to the session!
Biodata • Lynn Durrant is Head of YL Teacher Training at IH Barcelona. She is also a CELTA/YL trainer. Lynn now dedicates much of her time to materials writing, including online training courses for Netlanguages and part of the Young Learner Website for Cambridge ESOL. She has co-written a new Primary book called 'Storytellers' (Richmond) and is busy co-writing a new series for Secondary called 'Surfer' to be published by McGraw-Hill in 2007.
My ten favourite grammar lessons
Guest plenary session
Room B2, 09.30-10.30
It's been my privilege - as a teacher trainer, examiner and former director of studies – to observe some really memorable classes. Let me a share a few of these with you, and let's see if we can draw up some principles for good grammar teaching.
Biodata • Scott Thornbury taught on the Diploma program at IH Barcelona for many years. He's written 5 books with the word grammar in the title. He is currently the series editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers and works as a consultant on the MA TESOL program at the New School in New York City.
Self-directed Language Learning and the European Language Portfolio (ELP)
Room B5, 10.40-11.40
In this presentation, the results of a study conducted to find out whether the European Language Portfolio (ELP) can promote self-directed language learning will be presented. The ELP will be introduced as an instrument to use motivating students for life-long learning. Participants include teachers and students in a preparatory English class at a university. The data for the study include the ELPs, learning journals, questionnaire, and interviews. There will be handouts with the results of data. Moreover, the content and results of the questionnaires, the interviews, and sample portfolios will be presented via overhead projector.
Biodata • Completed BA at Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) department from Anadolu University, I graduated from TEFL master's program from Bilkent University. I have been working for four years as an English instructor at Anadolu University.
Pronunciation with Primary
Room D13, 10.40-11.40
In this practical session we'll be looking at ways to raise young learner's awareness of pronunciation of the English language, both at sound, word and sentence level.
Young learners enjoy trying out sounds and playing with sounds and through fun activities we can make the most of this natural curiosity to help our students acquire correct pronunciation, stress and intonation.
Biodata • Angela McClenaghan has been teaching English in Spain for seven years, where she has specialised in primary and pre-primary teaching. She is head of the Young Learners department at Merit School Barcelona and is also a teacher trainer for the Oxford University Press in Spain. This is her fourth year speaking at the IH Barcelona Conference.
It don't fit the rule
Room C19, 10.40-11.40
'Rules of thumb' are common guidelines given to students, are they really helpful? The workshop looks at this and looks at ways of presenting grammar to reflect natural use.
Biodata • Gerard McLoughlin has been a teacher and teacher trainer for over 16 years in a variety of teaching contexts. He is based in Barcelona, where he does teacher training for International House and McGraw-Hill Interamericana. He has just written 'iCan', a coursebook for Bachillerato students and has collaborated on the teacher component of Platform (an adult level course book).
Vocabulary lists and grammar rules?
Jamie Keddie 10.40
Wouldn’t it be nice if at times our learners could appreciate the bigger picture? In this workshop I will present a number of original activities that serve to build up our learners’ understanding of the importance of context and break down any concrete distinction between vocabulary and grammar that they might have.
Biodata • Jamie Keddie is a Barcelona-based teacher and writer. His articles have been published in Modern English Teacher, One Stop English, IATEFL Voices, Humanising Language Teaching and English Teaching Professional.
The traditional primary activities... improved!
Room D13, 12.15-13.15 (for teachers of 8- to 12-year-olds)
Mime activities, finger-tip pictures, TPR, word-card and flashcard games, bingo, pelmanism, Kim's game, lip reading, battleships, Stop the Bus, etc. As primary teachers we've been doing many of these activities in the classroom for years. Some of them are our pupils' favourites. But can we make them more effective as learning devices? The truth is that many of these games only practise isolated items of vocabulary. In this session we look at how to raise the linguistic content of these activities from word level to sentence level using sentences that have been contextualised by stories, songs, rhymes or the simple texts that are to be found in any primary coursebook.
Biodata • Mark has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and EFL materials writer since 1989. He currently teaches young learners at the Institució Cultural del CIC, in Barcelona. He is the author of the holiday workbook series, 'Holiday Time' (Macmillan ELT) and co-author of the new six-level primary course, 'Find Out!' (Macmillan ELT).
There's something about one to one
Room C19, 12.15-13.15
Since ELT began, we've been adapting coursebooks written for groups, with greater or lesser success,. Mainstream ELT often talks nobly about individualisation of language learning but then regards one-to-one as no more than a defective group. One-to-one, just like exam classes, young learners, or Business English, requires a different approach. This sessions looks at some key ways in which one-to-one is different, how our teaching might need to alter, and provides some practical tips. It will also present the first coursebook specifically written for one-to-one teaching, 'Business one:one Int+', published recently by Oxford University Press.
Biodata • Brian Brennan is Language Training Manager at IH Company Training, BCN. He's taught in Spain, Greece and Britain. His work is now largely in the area of Business English, and has included writing Internet-based courses, teacher training, materials creating and course designing, developing competence-based descriptors for the European Commission, oral examining for Cambridge ESOL, reporting for publishers, review writing for Modern English Teacher and translating for the Sitges Film Festival. So his flat is a real mess. Oh, and he's just co-authored 'Business one:one' for OUP, a B1+ level coursebook with a 'How to' approach.
H.E.L.L. – What's Really Important In Teaching!
Room B2, 12.15-13.15
The H.E.L.L. of my title refers not to teaching, but to Heaven, Earth, Latitude and Longitude. This workshop investigates the relationship between ideal teaching conditions (Heaven), the real world of everyday teaching (Earth), the customary content of training courses (Latitude), and the important things training courses can't teach you (Longitude). The session aims to enhance longitudinal capability.
Biodata • 30 years in ELT have enabled me to experience and contrast different perspectives, including that of the formal teacher trainer and the everyday service-oriented concerns of the Director of Studies. I am currently Training Coordinator at Lacunza/IH San Sebastian.
Listening: Exploiting text
Room B5, 12.15-13.15
In this practical session we look at ways of helping our teenage learners develop their listening skills. We will look at a range of text and task types suitable for the young learner classroom and consider how these can be exploited effectively to develop rather than test the listening skill.
Biodata • Simon is a qualified state school teacher who specialised in middle school teaching (children ages 10-14) while teaching in Britain. Simon has 12 years of experience teaching young learners in Britain, Spain and the Middle East. Simon is also a CELTA and CELTYL trainer, and has run countless workshops for both IH teachers' centres and other organisations on teaching young learners. More recently, Simon has been working extensively for publishing companies as a trainer for primary and secondary school teachers.
Pod-what? Podcasting for and with EFL learners
Gavin Dudeney & Nicky Hockly
Room B2, 14.45-15.45
A podcast is an audio and/or video file that is 'broadcast' via the Internet, and can be downloaded to a computer or mobile device such as an mp3 player for listening/viewing.
This practical workshop addresses 3 main questions:
- What is a podcast?
- How can I make podcasts with my learners?
- What kinds of podcast projects can I set up with my learners?
Biodata • Gavin and Nicky run their own education consultancy, The Consultants-E (theconsultants-e.com). Authors of the Longman title 'How to Teach English with Technology' (Longman 2007), they specialise in online teaching and training via traditional virtual learning environments such as Moodle, but are also researching the use of virtual worlds in training scenarios. For more information, visit their private Second Life island EduNation. Their Trinity College online training course "ICT in the Classroom" is nominated for a 2007 British Council ELTONs award.
Room D13, 14.45-15.45
"Thinking has to be learned in the way dancing has to be learned" Nietzsche (1888)
The upsurge in interest in this area is linked to the inclusion, for the first time, of a range of thinking skills in the school curriculums. But what are thinking skills? Why should we teach 'thinking' to YLs? And what options are there for developing thinking skills with our classes while keeping a focus on language learning?
Biodata • See above.
I said… BE QUIET… LISTEN!
Room C18, 14.45-15.45
How many times do we say that, on any given day? And how many times does it fail to work? This session aims to look at classroom management with Young Learners, consider why some of the 'problems' may be occurring, and hopefully suggest some ways we may be able to address them. This includes a look at lesson planning, and working together on ideas how to make our lessons more interesting and relevant to the students.
Biodata • I am a CELTA and CELTYL trainer, and have just finished an MA in Materials Development for language teaching. Classroom Management with Young Learners has been a special interest of mine for quite some time, as I think that this area is key to effective teaching and learning.
Forcing them to speak
Room B5, 14.45-15.45
We all know how hard it can be set up a really communicative activity with young adults: level of English, motivation and interest in the topic, are all features which influence student participation. In this practical workshop we’ll look at what the problems are and offer some feasible solutions. The solutions will be activities that have been successful with young adults.
Biodata • See above.
There's more to writing than just grammar!
Room B2, 16.00-17.00
The challenge with high level essay writing, and marking, is not so much to do with the grammar students use, but how they lack skills in making their work cohesive and coherent. Their choice of vocabulary is also often out of place and lacks semantic precision.
In this workshop we will be analysing examples of students' work and looking at ways we can help with these typical problems.
Biodata • Oliver has been a teacher at International House Barcelona for five years and has a lot of experience teaching examination classes such as the Cambridge Proficiency. He is particularly interested in helping high level students with writing skills. He is a founder member of, guitarist and singer with the Electric Shoes.
Using Storybooks in the Primary Classroom
Room D13, 16.00-17.00
"We all need stories for our minds as much as we need food for our bodies... Children's hunger for stories is constant. Every time they enter your classroom they enter with a need for stories." (Andrew Wright)
In this very practical workshop, we will not only examine how to tell a story and involve the audience but also the activities that come both before and also after a storytelling session.
Biodata • Emma Heyderman has been working in EFL since 1989. She is the Young Learners Coordinator at Lacunza/IH San Sebastian, where she is very much involved in both in-house teacher training and running workshops for local school teachers. She has also been a regular speaker at events across Spain and has written material for teacher training courses.
Using Phonemic Symbols
Room C19, 16.00-17.00
After working in Spain for a long time, my particular interest is improving student pronunciation, which I hope my students will testify to! This seems to be a neglected area: Spanish speakers of English have a reputation for being difficult to understand. Most teachers have some input on pronunciation in their initial training but often lack the confidence to use tools such as phonemic symbols in their classes. This workshop is aimed at anyone who feels they don't know the symbols well and how to use them and so DOESN'T. I hope by the end of the session you will feel confident about integrating their use with other ways to improve your students' pronunciation.
Biodata • Vicki Anderson is a teacher and teacher trainer on CELTA, DELTA and secondary school courses. She has given many workshops, focusing particularly on testing and pronunciation.
Customising and integrating pronunciation work
Room B5, 16.00-17.00
The phonological system of the language is still the area that gets shortchanged most often. Attention to pronunciation at the individual sound level is valuable, but usually makes little difference to learners' overal spoken performance. I believe that pron teaching is at its best when it is fine-tuned to the learners and integrated into the content of lessons. This sessions looks at how this was put into practice with an intermediate group of adults.
Room C19, 17.00-18.00
In this talk I will argue the case for viewing language as essentially lexis in a grammaticalised context and how meaning is derived from our choice of words within such grammatical frameworks. We will also be looking at ways of putting all this into practice in the classroom [ .pdf ].
Biodata • See above.
Images in the classroom
Room B2, 17.00-18.00
The non-moving image is one of the most versatile and effective resources that the language teacher has at his or her disposal. This visually-themed workshop shows how you can take advantage of resources as diverse as mobile phones, digital cameras, old calendars, the Internet, DVD boxes, books, art postcards and student-drawn flashcards to teach language.
Biodata • See above.
Dialogues in the primary classroom
Room D13, 17.00-18.00 (for teachers of 8- to 12-year-olds)
Every primary teacher has a favourite activity or technique for exploiting flashcards, songs and stories. But what about dialogues? EFL material is full of mini-dialogues. Are we exploiting them to their full potential?
In this session we'll take a critical look at the characteristics of dialogues in coursebooks and ask what linguistic and communicative objectives we can fulfil by focusing our pupils on them in class. A dozen easy-to-manage activities will be demonstrated and we will listen to children from second and third cycles of Primary rehearsing dialogues for a classroom performance.