Introducing Charles Alderson, plenary speaker

TESOL Greece Blog

Diagnosing strengths and weaknesses in reading in a foreign language

The ability to read in a second or foreign language (SFL) is increasingly important in the modern world and therefore diagnostic language testing is potentially an important area of language test development and research. However, relatively little attention has been paid in language testing to the need to diagnose strengths and weaknesses in these important skills. Proficiency tests dominate the testing world, and although attempts have been made to derive useful diagnostic information from proficiency tests, tests like TOEFL or IELTS are not designed to provide detailed, usable information for teaching.

This presentation is in two parts: first I explore how diagnosis is carried out in other fields in order to learn lessons from other professions and to derive principles and implications for diagnosis in second and foreign language learning. The second part reports on the design and results of a four-year (2010-2013) research project into the diagnosis of SFL…

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Introducing Bob Obee, plenary speaker

TESOL Greece Blog

Webs of Words: Issues in vocabulary learning and teaching and mapping lexis to CEFR levels.

Webs of Words: Issues in vocabulary learning and teaching and mappinglexis to CEFR levels. This presentation will highlight some of the key issues identified in recent research and projects such as Cambridge English Profile relating to best practice in vocabulary teaching learning and testing. It will explore the notion of what it means to ‘know a word’ and consider practical implications of this notion for teachers in preparing a wholesome and balanced lexical diet for their charges and for learners in developing well- grounded lexical manners and a keen sense of lexical repartee to bring to table.

Bob Obee was formerly the Director of Studies of the British Council teaching centres in Athens and Kuala Lumpur. His publications with Express Publishing and Cambridge University Press include Upstream Upper-Intermediate (Express Publishing) and the Grammar Activity Book (CUP). He currently works as a Professional Support Leader for Cambridge English Language…

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Motivation in the 21st Century Classroom, a plenary by David Bradshaw

TESOL Greece Blog

MOTIVATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY CLASSROOM.

ABSTRACT:

This talk addresses the possibilities for changes in methodology offered by technology which are aimed at improving the motivation of students and teachers alike. We will examine how multimedia can be given a greater role in the classroom, how we can make greater use of our students’ own interests and discuss how textbooks can be made more relevant. Finally we will explore new possibilities for CPD.

SUMMARY OF SESSION:

The aim of this talk is to discuss opportunities for changes in methodology which may lead to increased motivation in the classroom. The talk is based around three main concepts which are designed to bring greater motivation for students – Visualisation, Personalisation and Localisation. Visualisation addresses the growing role of multimedia and how we can incorporate this into the learning experience. Personalisation discusses how we can bring our students’ personal interests into the classroom. And Localisation addresses the need for materials which reflect…

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Upcoming event: TESOL Madrid Regional mini-conference

convention-2014-poster-tesol Spain

I have been confirmed as a speaker at the TESOL Madrid Regional Mini-conference, which takes place at the International Institute, c/ Miguel Ángel 7, Madrid on 14th February (very romantic). There will be two sessions of talks, one at 18:00 and another at 19:15, all given by speakers from Madrid who will be presenting at the National Convention in March here in Madrid. My talk will be at 19:15. The other confirmed speakers are Teresa Fleta, Catherine Morley, Katherine Holloway, Jo Steel, Shawn Redwood, Andrea Littlewood and Rebecca Pegg. There’s a wide range of topics to choose from, so all in all it should be a very interesting evening.

The event is open to TESOL Spain members. Hope to see some of you there.

Introducing Dr Herbert Puchta

TESOL Greece Blog

Emotional Engagement for Adult Students


For a long time, the standard beliefs and assumptions about successful language learning have been that the main challenges, particularly those of memory, are cognitive ones. However, recent findings in cognitive sciences clearly indicate that the brain is fundamentally ‘an organ of emotion’. Drawing on neuro-scientific studies and educational theory, we will discuss the key role of emotional engagement in the learning process of adults, and how factors such as challenge, personal discovery, ‘anticipated movement’, relevance, and participation as co-creators of experience can lead to a greater sense of control in the learning situation and to greater success. We will also see that memory itself is not like a container that stores information, or that we simply retrieve from it the knowledge that we have ‘uploaded’ as outcomes of our learning processes; instead, both the formation of memories and their recall engage emotion systems in the brain. We will also look at ways we…

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TESOL Italy

TESOL Italy

I’ve just got back from Rome where I attended the 38th National TESOL Italy Conference. This was my first time in this conference, and I am very grateful to the organisers for allowing me to take part.

I’ll write in more detail about my impressions on the talks I attended later, but I wanted to get a link to my presentation here as soon as possible. You can access the powerpoint here, and I hope that the video clips work within the powerpoint in this version. If they don’t, a copy of each clip can be found in the accompanying folder. For written descriptions of the activities, you can visit my post ‘How to … exploit video in class‘, ‘Armstrong and Miller – RAF Pilots‘, ‘Video Listening Comprehension‘ or ‘Real Beauty‘.

I didn’t mention this in the presentation, but with younger students I use ‘The Curse of the Were-rabbit’ rather than the clip we saw from ‘Love Actually’. Students are asked to identify references to rabbits or to vegetables.

A big thank you to everyone who attended this talk (including to my youngest ever participant – thanks for your impeccable behaviour!). I hope you found the ideas useful.

TESOL Italy – ‘Englishing’, 2013

TESOL Italy

 

Tomorrow evening I will be flying out to Rome, ready to take part in the 2013 TESOL Italy National Convention, at the Polo Didattico, Piaza Oderico de Pordenone, 3. This will be my first time attending this conference and I am very much looking forward to it. The talks and workshops look very interesting (session abstracts here), and it is always a great experience to meet fellow professionals from other countries. I will be speaking about using video in the classroom on Friday morning, at 10:15. So this weekend, you’ll find me ‘Englishing’ in the Eternal City. Hope to see you there!