IH Barcelona ELT Conference 2003

2003 English Language Teaching Conference for teachers of English to Adults, Children & Business students

Barcelona, February 2003

Speakers, in alphabetical order, and their sessions

Vicki AndersonTesting Oral Competency

Vicki Anderson (IH Barcelona)
Where would you put 'accuracy' in a list of criteria for testing students' oral competence - at the top or the bottom of your list? In this talk we will look at assessing students' oral competence in formal testing.

Biodata • Vicki is a teacher and teacher trainer at International House Barcelona. She has considerable experience in designing and implementing a wide variety of formal and informal tests.

Brian BrennanForty uses for small pictures

Brian Brennan (IH Company Training, Barcelona)
This practical workshop will provide you with at least 40 ideas for using small postcard-sized pictures to generate heaps of oral interaction and writing in class.

Biodata • Brian is Language Training Manager at International House Company Training, Barcelona. He has taught in different parts of Spain, Greece and Britain. His work is currently in Business English teaching, teacher training, developing internet-based courses, reporting for publishers, freelance translating, materials creating and course development. He's right into pictures; he thinks they're up there with words.

Exploiting resources

Paula de Nagy (International House, Lisbon)
A highly practical session where we consider how simple resources can be used for a variety of purposes in the YL classroom with minimum effort and maximum results. For ages 7-12.

Biodata • Paula has been Director of Teacher Training at IH Lisbon since 1995, co-writer and tutor of the Teaching Younger Learners Module for the Aston University M.Sc in TESOL and helped design and set up the International House Young Learners Certificate.

Course design made to measure

Iwonna Dubicka & Louise Meadley (In Company Languages, Barcelona)

So, your students have completed the level test and needs analysis, all you need to do now is design the programme! Course design can make or break a successful course programme. In this workshop we will be exploring how to go about designing English for business courses through ongoing needs analysis, effective course design, and successful teaching. Finally, we will be looking at possible ways of evaluating the end results of a course programme. Participants will be asked to contribute ideas and give feedback through the study of case studies. Experienced and inexperienced Business English teachers welcome.

Biodata • Iwonna Dubicka BA, MA Communication Studies, RSA Cert. and diploma for English teaching, director of studies (English) at In Company Languages.

Biodata • Louise Meadley BA, MA Translation Studies, TESOL, co-ordinator at In Company Languages.

Teaching authentic meetings language

Iwonna Dubicka & Louise Meadley (In Company Languages, Barcelona)

As English teachers we often do not have the professional experience of our learners. Language taught in coursebooks doesn’t always correspond to the fairly informal language used in smaller meetings. Students may also feel embarrassed and insecure at international meetings and even during the “bits between the meeting”, say when socialising in the coffee break. In this workshop we will be looking at some of these contradictions and issues. We’ll also be offering practical ideas for teaching meetings language in the Business English environment and how to make the most out of role-plays and simulations.

"Go left, right?": Misdirection - A History of ELT in 60 minutes

Gavin Dudeney (IH Netlanguages, Barcelona)
Teachers have struggled for years to keep up with trends and fads in ELT, and the road to becoming the perfect language facilitator is littered with the detritus of movements and approaches which have fallen by the wayside over the years. This session takes a personal look at the history of ELT, focussing on the current state of ICT and the gulf which exists between paper-based materials, multimedia language learning packages and their modern, wired counterparts.

Biodata • Gavin is Head of the New Technologies Department at International House Barcelona and Lead Developer for the online language school Santillana Net languages. In the past 8 years he has travelled extensively, helping schools and organisations bridge the ICT-ELT gap. A regular conference goer and contributor to publications in the field of CALL and ICT, he is also author of the Cambridge University Press title "The Internet and The Language Classroom".

Awareness Raising

Simon Gillow (Cambridge School, Granollers)
Aimed at post intermediate teenage and young adult learners, this seminar takes a practical look at ways of raising learner awareness of language in use, particularly getting students to notice grammar in context. Participants will be asked to consider the effectiveness of a variety of text based tasks.

Biodata • Simon is a teacher and part of the teacher training team at Cambridge School, Granollers. With a background in Spanish secondary and primary education, his main interest area is working with junior and teenage learners. Simon has worked on young learners training programmes and given seminars dealing with areas relevant to young learners, such as making listening materials, teaching grammar and lexis and using texts.

Is teaching grammar to children the same as teaching grammar to adults? If not, why not?

Robin Harris (Cambridge School, Granollers)
This seminar explores the fundamental differences in approaching grammar with children, contrasted with older learners. The focus is on why certain activities work well with children (specifically 10-13 year olds) and why others don't. This talk should be especially useful for teachers who teach both children and adults.

Biodata • Robin has been teaching English since 1994. He has chiefly been centred in Spain, having worked in Santander and Alicante prior to coming to Barcelona. He started at Cambridge School, Granollers in 2000 after spending the previous year working at IH Krakow. Prior to working in TEFL he had a varied career that took him from the civil service via the Yorkshire Post Newspaper and culminated in a stint as an adult literacy tutor. Robin is currently a children's level leader at Cambridge School. Within teaching his special interests include the genres of story telling for children and exploring different techniques for checking meaning.

Watch Your Tone: A Look at Some Rules for Intonation

Jane Howes (Freelance, Spain)
When it comes to rules for intonation, a lot of us are fine with “the tone rises for questions” and a bit stumped after that, struggling to come up with anything more comprehensive and concise. Michael Halliday, functional grammar guru, took on the intonation challenge and came up with a bunch of rules. In this workshop we'll explore a few of them and discuss their classroom applications.

Biodata • Jane has been teaching and teacher training for about 15 years, working mostly in Australia and Asia before coming to Spain in 1998. Based now in Barcelona and working as a freelancer, she has spent the past year working on CELTA courses in Barcelona and Amsterdam, and had three very happy months in Bangkok teaching academic English.

Roger HuntWords in a Box (Teaching and Learning Vocabulary)

Roger Hunt (IH Barcelona)
Activities in which students are asked to match words in boxes to definitions are quite common in ELT coursebooks. But, if the students don´t know what the words mean, how can they match them to a definition? In this workshop we will look at ways of helping students with the meaning of new vocabulary, and at the distinction between 'teaching' and 'learning' vocabulary.

Biodata • Roger has worked for the International House Organisation as a teacher, teacher trainer and educational manager, for over twenty years. He currently works at International House Barcelona.

Community Language Learning

Roger Hunt & Nerina Conte (IH Barcelona)
Much has been said about student-centred learning and about student-generated syllabus, but I suspect most teachers mostly work from a book-based syllabus and use a fairly teacher-fronted methodology. CLL is probably the most student-centred approach to language learning ever devised, but few teachers seem to know much about it. Come and find out all about it, and learn some Italian in this practical demonstration.

Biodata • Nerina Conte is a teacher and teacher trainer at IH Barcelona. She is particularly interested in adapting her teaching approach to make the most of what the learners bring to the classroom.

Alistair JonesFast finishers

Alistair Jones (Cambridge School, Granollers)
It's a perennial problem for teachers: one child puts his hand up (hopefully) and says 'I've finished'; most of the others, meanwhile, are still only half way through the activity. Obviously, you need to give fast finishers something useful to do or their full learning potential is not fully exploited. What's more, unoccupied fast finishers can become bored and start disrupting the class. This talk is based on an action research project involving nine teachers of children up to 13, which developed, tested and evaluated fast finisher strategies. The emphasis is on the practical and a comprehensive article produced by the project members will be distributed.

Biodata • Alistair has been teaching English to children (aged from 3 to 17) for 9 years. For the past 5 years he has been Head of Young Learners at Cambridge School (Granollers, Caldes de Montbui and Cardedeu), with a range of responsibilities including school-wide discipline and behaviour management. He is also writing an internet based English course for 9-10 year olds for Santillana Net Languages. This is his fifth year giving sessions at IH Conferences.

Practical advice for acting stories in class

Ann Oltra (Barcelona)
After many years in the teaching of English to very young children I would like to pass on to other teachers some of my most enjoyable experiences. Many teachers think that drama is only suitable for children who can read or memorise narratives, but in fact young children love acting and do it spontaneously at home or in the playground, showing their powers of organisation, improvisation and imagination. The question is how to tap this natural capacity and use it to teach English in the classroom. You can use drama as an everyday classroom activity, giving the children lots of oral practice in a way they find motivating and good fun. It can be used in small groups or full-sized classes of children and it involves very little preparation! Mainly for under 7s but a lot of it is applicable or adaptable to the whole range of primary, especially children who are not very fluent or have difficulty reading or memorising English.

Biodata • Ann has been teaching English to the children of Barcelona for eighteen years, both in academies and English schools. Over the last eight years she has used acting as a regular classroom activity to practice new structures, break down the barriers to speaking and have fun.

Drama with 3-6 year olds

Abi Watson (Cambridge School, Granollers)
Very young children love dressing up and play acting. Why not take advantage of this in the ELT classroom? This practical seminar offers a selection of tried and tested activities and will take teachers through the process of setting up a play, from choosing a story to performing it in front of an audience.

Biodata • Abi has been teaching English in Cambridge School Granollers since 1998 and has specialised in primary and pre-primary teaching. She completed the CELTYL course two years ago and is currently studying the DELTA. She holds monthly teacher training meetings with teachers of primary and pre-school children in Cambridge School and gave a talk on Very Young Learners at last year's YL Symposium at IH Barcelona. Among her interests are learning styles and teaching lexis.


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