IH Barcelona ELT Conference 2006

2006 English Language Teaching Conference for teachers of English to Adults, Children & Business students

Barcelona, February 2006

Plenary sessions

Jeremy HarmerWhat Coursebook Writers Don't Know

Keynote Plenary
Jeremy Harmer
Coursebook writers may know a lot about how students learn, and they may be experts of language acquisition and curriculum planning. But they know less about the actual students who are going to be using their material - or about their teachers. In the light of that they have certain decisions to make, but even more importantly, the teachers who use their materials need to know how to use them. This talk is about coursebook design, but it is also, crucially, about coursebook use.

Biodata • Jeremy is a teacher and teacher trainer. He has worked in the UK and Mexico and now offers training sessions of various kinds for institutions and conferences in many parts of the world. He has authored and co-authored many books for EFL including the Just Right course and the Just Skills series for Marshall Cavendish. He is the author of The Practice of English Language Teaching, How to Teach English and How to Teach Writing. He is the general editor of the Longman methodology series and a trustee of International House.

Roger HuntCEF Backwash

International House Plenary
Roger Hunt (International House Barcelona)
The Common European Framework is having more and more influence on course books, testing and soon may have a profound effect on the classroom and how we teach. In this talk I will outline the main CEF principles and discuss classroom applications for implementing key concepts such as self-evaluation by students and communicative competence [ ppt ].

Biodata • Roger 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.

Making IT or Faking IT? The DoS, the Trainer, The Teacher and their Computers

Technology Plenary
Gavin Dudeney & Nicky Hockly
Whilst those of us involved in the use of ICT in teaching and training meet regularly at F2F and online conferences to compare notes and deliver virtual pats on the back to each other, the rest of the teaching world seems studiously oblivious to our good work. After over a decade of the so-called 'normalisation' of computers in education, why are we no closer to acceptable integration of technology in mainstream educational circles? Where/How did it all go so horribly wrong?

This session attempts to answer this question, moving on to look at how staff can integrate technology into their working lives - for personal and professional development and as part of a CPD package, enabling everyone to make the most of ICT in the classroom [ ppt ].

Biodata • Nicky and Gavin co-run an online training and development consultancy, based in Barcelona. They have previously worked variously for The British Council, International House, Funiber and Net Languages. With over 30 years combined experience in face-to-face teaching and training, materials development and online teacher development, they have travelled extensively for International House and the British Council, helping them to bridge the gap between their training and teaching portfolio and their technical needs.

Scott ThornburySix Things Beginning with 'R'

Special Guest Plenary
Scott Thornbury
In this talk I'll re-evaluate the relevance of reading in class. I'll argue that the recommended routines for teaching reading (including skimming and scanning) are rather redundant given most learners can read anyway (in their first language). However reading texts offer a rich resource for a focus on register variables and on reference, and as a source for repeated word and pattern encounters, and even for rote-learning [ pdf ].

Biodata • Scott formerly worked on the Diploma (DELTA) programme at IH Barcelona and is now a freelance teacher trainer and writer. His books include How to Teach Grammar, How to Teach Vocabulary and How to Teach Speaking (all published by Pearson), Uncovering Grammar and Beyond the Sentence: Introducing Discourse Analysis (Macmillan), Natural Grammar (OUP) and Grammar (in the Resource Books for Teachers series, OUP). He is currently the series editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers (CUP). At present he is preparing a dictionary-encyclopedia of ELT and co-authoring a book on teaching conversation.


Other sessions

Speakers, in alphabetical order, and their sessions

Learning English with a Camera

Fred Anderson
This session is a report on CLIL in action: English through photography. Rather than concentrating on English grammar or lexis the students concentrated on photography with all discussion reading and listening based on taking and making photographs. Much in the way we acquire our mother tongue the students’ English improved via a concentration on communication as opposed to a concentration on form.

Biodata • Fred is an experienced English Language teacher, and has been a practising photographer for nearly twenty years, exhibiting his work in Australia, Spain, the U.K. and Barcelona. He worked as a freelance photographer in London for many years, and has had work in La Vanguardia, here in Barcelona.

See more of his work, more about the course.

Beyond the Phonemic Chart

Vicki Anderson (IH Barcelona)
Do I need to know the phonemic symbols to help improve my students' pronunciation? No, but it's not so difficult to incorporate them into your teaching either.

This session will look at practical ways to use phonemics and integrate them into the activities we do already [ pdf ].

Biodata • Vicki Anderson is a teacher trainer on both CELTA and DELTA courses at IH Barcelona. She is co-author, with Robert Campbell, of the iT's magazine publication '365'.


Brian Brennan (Company Training, IH Barcelona)
What you can do, what you can't. The pros and cons of 121. Background and coursebook material for the 121 vocational needs learner. Open discussion of participants' real issues with 121.

Biodata • Brian 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.

CLIL: Implications at secondary level

Lynn Durrant (IH Barcelona)
This session is aimed at discussing and understanding in more depth both CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and the CLIL Compendium and how, as language teachers, we can build a greater understanding of its potential. We will take a look at the five dimensions (culture, environment, language, content and learning) and move on to looking at practical ways to integrate these areas into our teaching [ pdf ] .

Biodata • Lynn 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 to be published in 2007.

More Than Words: Intercultural Communication

Activities for the ESL Classroom (General/Business)
Robert Giardina
Clearly the vast majority of learners study English in order to communicate with people from other cultures. This session will look at the issues involved in intercultural communication that go beyond mere vocabulary and structures. We will examine various practical activities and exercises as well as discuss a bibliography for further study [ pdf ].

Biodata • Rob has been living and working in Barcelona for 16 years. He has taught Business English, Intercultural Communication, and Conflict Resolution for business clients, relocation companies, and the Universitat de La Salle. He has an International Masters in Conflict Resolution from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

Cross Curricular Planning

Simon Gillow (IH Barcelona)
Current thinking on primary teaching points towards the integration of content and language. But what does this mean for teachers of young learners? How do we go about planning lessons which achieve this? How do we assess our learners? This practical session aims to answer these questions through a range of tasks aimed at children from 6 to 12 [ ppt ].

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.

Practical hands-on ideas, games and activities for teaching young learners

Andrea Hasapi (IH Barcelona)
This session is intended for teachers who do not have a lot of experience teaching young learners. I appreciate the real problems recently qualified teachers have when they're asked to teach an age group they simply haven't trained for. I would like to hope that this session will prove useful for just such teachers [ pdf ].

Biodata • Andrea has been teaching Young Learners for about ten years now. She has recently qualified as a CELTA Teacher Trainer.

Do you test what you teach or teach what you test?

Roger Hunt (IH Barcelona)
In this workshop we will explore factors in testing students' communication skills as opposed to testing their mastery of discrete items of grammar and vocabulary. We teach them to speak, listen, read and write and it is their abilities in using the four skills that we should be testing. Reference will be made to the CEF.

Spanish Voices in the English Classroom

Jamie Keddie
Do you speak English like Tony Blair? Do you expect your students to do the same? Or perhaps you are a proud Liverpudlian who hates the phonetic chart and considers this approach unnatural and unnecessary. This fun presentation examines teachers' attitudes to the sound of EFL and goes on to suggest a different classroom approach focusing on the learner's viewpoint [ pdf ].

Biodata • Jamie started teaching English in Barcelona in 2000. Two years later, he set up Look English, a small agency dedicated to connecting good clients with good teachers. He is currently working hard to complete his first book, Imperfect Tomatoes, which he describes as a self-help book for all Spanish learners of English.

Speaking and Listening

Angela McClenaghan (Merit School, Barcelona)
In this session we will be looking at how to engage our young learners in listening and speaking activities. The emphasis will be on practical ideas for use in the classroom and ideas of how to activate students' interest. We will also focus on building confidence and skills for interaction to help our students become more involved in the learning process.

Biodata • Angela has been teaching English in Spain for six years, where she has specialised in primary and pre-primary teaching. She is head of the Young Learners department at Merit School Barcelona is also a teacher trainer for the Oxford University Press in Spain. This is her third year speaking at the IH Barcelona Conference.

Bringing the Classroom Alive With Real English: Skills Work Exploiting Authentic Text

Gerard McLoughlin (IH Barcelona)
As teachers we are constrained by the course book, however there are ways to bring the activities alive. In this workshop we will look at a variety of activities that use real world and published texts: video, music, newspapers, advertisements, literature and how to exploit them for different skills and language work [ pdf ].

Biodata • Gerard has been a teacher of English and a teacher trainer of English and Spanish as a foreign language for over 17 years. He has worked in Italy, Yugoslavia, England, Egypt, New Zealand, Mexico and Spain. Gerard currently works as a teacher trainer at International House, Barcelona and for McGraw-Hill Interamericana publishing company.

Disciplined Classes: Not Just Rules (YL)

Borja Uruñuela (St. James English School, Seville)
In this session I'll show teachers a variety of activities which can be done in class in order not only to have more disciplined classes but also to increase the students' level of participation & involvement and their language production. We'll cover:

  • Routines to hand over to the students some of the responsibilities. This way not only will we increase their participation and motivation but we'll also review language and create a safe and positive learning environment.
  • Classroom language to increase the students' respect for each other as well as their oral production.
  • Behaviour systems like star charts or students' photographs to help teachers communicate with students not only about their behaviour but also about their participation and their own progress. The aim will be to encourage students to improve rather than to punish them.

Instructions and how to break them down and make them accessible for all the students so that everybody in the group can follow the teacher and therefore avoid students getting distracted [ pdf ].

Biodata • Borja is the co-owner and director of studies at St. James English School in Seville since 1995. He's also done training sessions for Macmillan Heinemann, for ACEIA (Asociación de Centros de Enseñanza de Idiomas de Andalucía) and for GRETA in Granada. Before St. James opened, he taught at International House-Clic in Seville and at International House Madrid.


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