Session Reports


Submitted by Chris Stanzer on Thu 17 Apr, 10:31

Now that I’ve had time to reflect on the conference, several things spring to mind. I had intended to go to several of the ‘How to …’ talks, but the early time slot in combination with late nights socializing meant that, despite my good intentions, I never got to any. Now with hindsight I see how useful some of them would have been and wish I had made the effort, so I’ve made a resolution to try harder next year. On receiving the programme I went through it marking all the presentations which seemed relevant to me.

Camelot and the mists of Avalon

Submitted by Chris Stanzer on Thu 10 Apr, 09:55

The title of this talk alone by Heike Philp was enticing enough for me to choose it but as I had taken part in an AVALON project in the past, I was interested in finding out about CAMELOT, (CreAting Machinima Empowers Live Online language Teaching and learning) a new EU-funded two-year project aiming to create a teacher training course for language educators on how to create videos in virtual worlds (machinima). First of all, Heike explained that the word machinima comes from the gaming world = machine + cinema, and then, as an introduction to what is possible, told us about machinevo, a fi

Making the transition from business language trainer to intercultural trainer

Submitted by Chris Stanzer on Tue 8 Apr, 10:02

I’ve been hearing a lot about intercultural training within business English circles recently and so decided to go along to Adrian Philbeam’s talk ‘Making the transition from business language trainer to intercultural trainer’ on Saturday morning to learn more.

He started by giving us something of his background, telling us how, over the previous twenty years, he had learnt to put a course for language teachers together from learning about the intercultural training active in the States and applying this to his work.

‘Because you like me!’

Submitted by Chris Stanzer on Sat 5 Apr, 09:36

As I teach adults I don’t usually go to talks on young learners, but I was so impressed by David Gibson and Luke Prodromou’s performances in their Dave’n’Luke evening on Wednesday that I decided to make an exception and attend David Gibson’s talk, Building Trust, Confidence, and Belonging in the Classroom. Unplugged.

Walk on the Wild Side

Submitted by Chris Stanzer on Sat 5 Apr, 09:30

Not quite sure what to expect, I entered Jenny Wright and Christine Rebuffed-Broadus’s Experimental Jungle workshop to the strains of jungle music and pictures of wild animals on the screen.

The place is here and the time is now

Submitted by Chris Stanzer on Sat 5 Apr, 08:55

Perfect timing, coming at the end of what is one of the biggest opportunities for professional development in the ELT world – this conference – Anthony Gaughan’s talk promised to give us ideas to continue our professional development closer to home. Sitting where we could all see him, in a very relaxed style, he reflected on how, by coming to conferences such as this one, we are equating professional development with a quest, a parallel to fairy stories where the final reward comes after a long search in faraway lands over a long period of time.

From Tradition to Innovation

Submitted by Chris Stanzer on Thu 3 Apr, 09:28

Dana Poplepovik from Buenos Aires, the winner of the BESIG facilitators Scholarship Award, gave an inspiring talk this afternoon. In her short 30 min presentation she introduced us to two activities for business English students borrowed from well-known management techniques which could be used to round off a course book unit to give students an opportunity for experimental learning and develop their interpersonal skills together with the language studied.

Teachers are not omnipotent

Submitted by Chris Stanzer on Thu 3 Apr, 09:27

At the opening of her wonderfully energetic talk on Thursday afternoon, Maria Araxi Sachpazian posed the following question to her audience; ‘Are teachers responsible for their students’ learning?’ After receiving a resounding ‘Yes!’ in reply, this led on to the perennial problem; I teach – they don’t learn, and the common reaction to this – my fault? – which we in the audience could well identify with.

Leaping before you look

Submitted by Chris Stanzer on Wed 2 Apr, 09:20

One of the pleasures of a large conference is the opportunity to attend sessions in fields other than one’s own. I’m not a CELTA trainer but was intrigued by the synopsis of Danny Norrington-Davies‘ talk on Wednesday afternoon about CELTA trainees responding to emerging language during their observed lessons. This is something I do all the time now, but my own CELTA was very structured, which I found frightening enough at the beginning, and I know I would have been terrified to go into a class without the security of something pre-planned.