This year we’ll be asking IATEFL Harrogate conference delegates to contribute their own Harrogate Online Roving Reporter reports.

We will be featuring accounts of sessions attended by conference delegates on each day of the event.

If you’re attending the conference and you are interested in writing session reports for the Harrogate Online website, please come to our Harrogate Online studio and we’ll explain what this involves.

Enter part of name to only display reports by that reporter.

Critical thinking for all levels? By John Hughes

Submitted by Addeh Hovassapian on Wed 10 Apr, 12:20

Critical thinking has become a buzz word in English language teaching and most teachers seek to achieve this in higher levels of language teaching. 

But today I took part in a workshop titled “Critical thinking for all levels? “ hosted by John Hughes (one of the authors of Life Course books) which suggested that critical thinking can be developed beginning from A2 (intermediate) on if:

Authentic Materials: Pros, Cons, Solutions

Submitted by Addeh Hovassapian on Wed 10 Apr, 04:32

Another interesting presentation which I attended today was titled “Authentic Materials:  what do learners need” by Heather Buchnan & Jolie Nortorn.

This presentation touched upon various aspects of authentic materials use in the classroom and delved into the perceived pros and cons of using such materials as well as suggested practical solutions for the possible complications.

But before I start on reporting on the highlights which I picked up, see if you can answer to the following questions on the topic:

With Jim Scrivener on "How to Demand High?"

Submitted by Addeh Hovassapian on Wed 10 Apr, 04:18

One of the best workshops I attended today was hosted by Jim Scrivener, one of the best-known ELT experts and the author of some popular books such as “Classroom Management Techniques” and “Learning Teaching”.

The title of his workshop was “How to Demand High” and it aimed to provide the participants with practical ideas on how they can avoid surface teaching and falling into the pitfall of routines and fixed procedures by pushing the students beyond their capabilities for better learning results.

Blends in the English Langauge: Prof. David Crystal's Plenary Speech

Submitted by Addeh Hovassapian on Wed 10 Apr, 04:15

Today, the IATEFL 2013 conference officially started by Professor David Crystal’s fantastic plenary speech.

Almost 1000 delegates were present during the speech and I am sure they all, just like me, left the hall with a great sense of satisfaction for being presented with an original content and the professor’s lively presentation style which set and boosted up our mood for the upcoming talks and workshops.

The mouse and the lion have come to IATEFL

Submitted by Sanja Bozinovic on Wed 10 Apr, 03:01

M. Nazli Demirbas and M. Akin Gungor had a workshop for a small audience of teachers teaching very young and young learners. They talked about the story selection and dramatization for very young learners.
First, the teachers had to choose an animal to identify with: a lion, a stork, a mouse, an elephant and a hippo, according to some characteristics they recognize in themselves as teachers. Most present teachers were mice: jolly, collaborators and facilitators, but there were a few of all other kinds.

David Crystal's Question and Answer Session

Submitted by Sanja Bozinovic on Wed 10 Apr, 02:25

A few hours after the plenary session a group of teacher met for the follow-up session with David Crystal.

Short films in the classroom...

Submitted by Branka Segvic on Tue 9 Apr, 21:44

In case you are fed up with theory and you need something practical that you can use in your classroom the next morning, this is the session for you. The full title of the session is ‘Using short films to promote creativity and communication’ and it was presented by Kieran Donaghy. As the title says, this session covered the usage of short films in ELT. There are several good reasons why short films can make an excellent contribution to your classroom. They can be great as beginning points for engaging students into a discussion.

The world in which we live in: Beatles, blends and blogs

Submitted by Sanja Bozinovic on Tue 9 Apr, 14:28

Those of you who followed today's plenary session will know there is an explanation for what seems to be grammatically incorrect in the title, as well as that it is a line from the Beatles' song, the one David Crystal started his session with, to illustrate how blends find their way to teachers' hearts and we never blame the Beatles for breaking the rules of grammar.

Reflecting on 'The two worlds of the modern infant' by M. D. Romeu-Font

Submitted by Branka Segvic on Tue 9 Apr, 14:13

Did you know that the greatest brain development happens during the first three years of our lives? It depends both on genes and the environment. By the time children are three years old, they have already developed thinking, speaking, learning and reasoning skills. So, is this the best time to start teaching them English? Being unaware of the exact process of learning and differences between languages, children who are exposed to two different languages at this stage can grow up to be real bilinguals. 


Submitted by Branka Segvic on Tue 9 Apr, 13:21

Exhibition hall finally opened this morning and I already got a book, bought a ticket for a party tomorrow night and got a T-shirt! Now you are probably thinking….A PARTY!!?? Yes. We are teachers, we learn and share. But we are just mortals…we need to have some fun as well.

I should probably explain that at each IATEFL Conference there is an exhibition. It is open during the conference and does not require registration. You can visit it whenever you want during the Conference and have a look at the latest published materials, teaching resources and equipment.