Talks

Here you can find abstracts and links to download the powerpoints of my main presentations. If you are looking for a specific presentation then I recommend searching for a key word on this page, it’s rather long!

Rediscovering Writing/What’s happening to writing

Communicative approaches to language teaching have put much value on the oral skill. Classrooms around the world have, over the past thirty years, devoted more and more time in class to speaking, which is generally seen as a good thing. Writing however, has remained relatively unchanged. Often assigned for homework, or in the form of longer pieces of writing (the composition, the essay, the business letter) this skill has just not seemed as interesting as speaking. However, due to technological developments we are all writing now a lot more than we used to. In some cases, we write more to people than we talk to them. In this talk I explore the new writing, and look at activities and tools that help students practice writing in new and enjoyable ways.

Download the presentation here.

Six reasons why language teachers should love lists

I love lists, and I think I’m not alone in this. To-do lists, top ten lists, shopping lists, best of lists, worst of lists, lists are everywhere. In this lively and practical talk we’ll look at the popularity of lists and the different genres of lists. We’ll examine the linguistic features of lists. We’ll go over some of the most important lists in our field. And we’ll cover some practical activities you can do with lists in the language classroom. Think we can get through that list in our session?

Download the presentation here.

Critical thinking in Action/ Let’s get critical

If, as some claim, we are living in an age of information then it’s very important that students think critically about the information they are exposed to. Developing learners’ critical thinking skills has become a hot topic. What exactly does this mean? This talk looks at practical ways that teachers can help learners think critically. I look at topic and task design as well as a series of activities that you can begin using with your students right away.

Download the presentation here.

English, Edtech and the language of change

The way we talk about English language education has shifted significantly over the past ten to twenty years. Education technology is at the forefront in our changing perspective on what it is we do. What are the new buzzwords? What are the consequences of the changes being talked about? Who wins in the changing linguistic landscape? During this talk I will examine various key terms and aspects of this discourse of change and invite us all to think critically about what sort of future it is leading us towards.

Download the presentation here.

Developing in the social network/Development or distraction?

Is there a “Facebook factor” in English language teaching now? More and more people in our field are finding their professional development is being affected, enhanced and amplified by social networking. This talk will look at the rise of social media and how educators have been a part of this from the very beginning. How have the tools we now have at our disposal shaped our circle of professional contacts, the materials and lessons we do with our students and, ultimately, our careers? Along the way we’ll also critically examine issues of online identity and ownership of this space. Is it really about development or is it just distracting us?

Download the presentation here.

Changing the map of English grammar

If grammar is part of the landscape of a language, then our grammar books and coursebooks provide the map. But what happens when the landscape changes? This talk looks at recent changes in English grammar as represented by the “maps” in our field. We look at how spoken English, global English and technology are all having an effect on how English is shifting and what this means for our teaching.

Download the presentation here. (Mac Keynote presentation)

Dealing with difficulties

Teaching English is about more than just teaching language and skills. Teachers of all age groups regularly have to deal with everyday challenges such as unmotivated students and the huge variation in ability in a single class. In this workshop I look at typical classroom and teaching management problems in the following areas:

  • mixed-level classes
  • classroom management and large classes
  • teaching to the test and exam preparation

I explore typical difficulties in these situations and offer a range of practical activities and techniques that you can work into your own repertoire.

Download the presentation here.

 

Please teacher, can you explain this grammar to me?

The way teachers explain grammar will reflect their understanding of what is good for their students. While extended practice is important, the difference between a good grammar presentation and one that has misfired can be the difference between a memorable learning experience and a gentle snooze. In this workshop we’ll look at a teacher’s toolkit of options for ‘explaining’ or ‘presenting’ grammar.

Download this presentation here.

 

The role play’s the thing!

Role play is a straightforward way to get low level students speaking, and is recommended in the Common European Framework as a tool for developing communicative strategies. But what can a teacher do when a particular class follows John Wayne’s advice to ‘talk low, talk slow and don’t talk too much’? This workshop takes a fresh look at role plays.

Download this presentation here.

The joys of text – lesson planning using short texts from the internet

This workshop looks at different ways to approach a reading or listening text. In addition to proposing a lesson planning format around a text, I also have a kit of useful and practical ideas that help make full use of the texts for language teaching. In the session we’ll be using authentic texts from the internet, but the techniques are portable – you can use them with your own texts or coursebook texts.

Global English, Global Voices and a Global Vision

This talk looks at the philosophy and methodology behind my course for adults Global (published by Macmillan). It addresses how culture and literature can play a renewed role in language acquisition and examine issues about English as an International language today. Additionally we shall look at the latest developments in the field of digital learning and multimedia lessons, using the new innovative Global eworkbook.

Download this presentation here.

 

 

 

 

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