Connect, Grow, Thrive

Special Interest Group Coordinators (SIGs)

Business English SIG

Business English is perhaps the most widely diverse and fastest growing area of ELT. BE is exciting and rewarding, and at the same time very challenging. So BESIG is here to support both experienced and new trainers in staying on top of the field by sharing new methodologies, materials and most importantly, ways to network. Our national events always offer workshops and presentations from the top names in our field and the ETAS e‑Newsletter keeps you updated on regional events as well. Whether you teach BE as a freelancer or in the Swiss school system, there's something for everyone in the ETAS BESIG.

 Markus Jürgen Dietz, SIG Coordinator

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Markus is from Germany, where he started his teaching career in 2001. In 2012 he moved to Lausanne, mainly to learn French, and joined ETAS just a few months later. Having a degree in Business and the Cert IBET, Markus teaches General and Business English as well as German to adults and young adults. He also speaks Spanish and some French. Markus is passionate about travelling and takes great pleasure in watching films, learning languages, reading, and writing. As a member of the ETAS Journal Editorial Board, he edits the e-Newsletter. He is also the ETAS Business English Special Interest Group (SIG) Coordinator.

Cross-Cultural SIG

The importance of intercultural communication today cannot be overly stressed as markets continue to converge and act as one, driven by new communication technologies that allow teams all over the world to work on projects and share information without leaving their desks. At the same time the workplace is increasingly diversified as immigrants from abroad arrive in Europe and the US while more and more expatriates are being posted abroad to the Middle and Far East. Such cultural diversity affects how business messages are conceived, sent, received and interpreted in the workplace.

This SIG will provide interested teachers with a platform to develop intercultural awareness and sensitivity and if desired, undertake further training so that they can better support their learners in situations of potential conflict ranging from international meetings, presentations, negotiations, sales or international teambuilding.

Christina Kwok  Angela Mercado, SIG Coordinator

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Angela was born in Patagonia, Argentina where she studied to become an English teacher. In 2011 she moved to Switzerland and continued teaching Spanish and English. To broaden her teaching skills, she took CELTA and is now busy with DELTA. Her professional interests include Business English, English for Specific Purposes and professional development.

Drama and Literature SIG

Adult as well as younger learners enjoy the kinaesthetic aspect of drama and the fact that all the senses are involved in tackling a piece of fiction or non-fiction through drama - with the result of enhanced skills in speaking and writing. The drama and literature SIG is a forum for drama teachers in Switzerland to swap new ideas and brush up old ones. It also offers newcomers to drama the opportunity to become familiar with this teaching method through workshops. Everybody is welcome, and if you would like to have more information, please contact one of the SIG Coordinators.

Eva Göksel, SIG Coordinator

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Eva hails from Vancouver, Canada, where she completed her MA in Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia with a focus on drama in education. 


Globalisation is not the most elegant term, but to young lawyers setting out on their careers in big city law firms, doctors sharing their expertise across national and linguistic boundaries, engineers working on inter-continental projects or bankers at home in the financial capitals of the world its a reality, and one which can open many doors. But there's little doubt that a good command of English is the key to unlocking those doors. As ESP teachers our task is to help our students meet that challenge. As an ESP SIG our aim is to provide a forum for ESP teachers, to share what we have in common, swap what we don't, and to provide support and encouragement to all those setting out on the ESP road.

Choreanne Frei Choreanne Frei, SIG Coordinator

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Immersion/CLIL SIG

This SIG will give interested teachers the opportunity to learn more as well as share and collaborate on their immersion/CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) experiences.

Peach Richmond, SIG Coordinator

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Peach grew up in England and Switzerland and has been teaching EFL since 1983 at various institutions. He has a degree in languages and history from the University of Zurich and Exeter (UK), and is interested in CLIL and TBL.

Learning Technology SIG

The use of technology has played an important role among both English language learners and teachers and it has been used to both assist and enhance language learning.

The Learning Technology SIG aims to provide a space where teachers can reflect and share new ideas when it comes to using technology in the language learning. The LT SIG’s objective is not only to keep teachers up-to-date on the new trends on digital learning but also to encourage the ones who are still reluctant to integrate these tools with their students.

Erika Gonçalves, SIG Coordinator

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Erika was born and raised in the Southeast of Brazil. She was doing her studies in Communications in 2005 when she was bitten by the teaching bug. She did a Postgraduate in English and worked as an ESL teacher in Brazil for 6 years. She moved to Lausanne, Switzerland with her husband in 2012 and started working as an English teacher here as well. She did her CELTA in 2013 and finished her DELTA in 2015. She is currently teaching in a private school in Lausanne to both teenagers and adults, as well as working a speaking examiner for Commerce students. She also started a Bachelor degree in Letters at Université de Lausanne in 2016, where she studies English Linguistics/ Literature, History and French as a Foreign Language.

Materials Writers SIG

Like our IATEFL counterpart (Materials Writing SIG), the ETAS MaWSIG is for teachers who:  create their own classroom materials; aspiring writers who would like to get their work published; published authors and ELT editors, publishers and designers. It aims to share and promote best practice in ELT materials writing, offer professional development workshops to writers and editors, and eventually connect our members with other writers and publishers.

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Research SIG

The Research SIG goals are to promote and support research in English language teaching, including but not limited to: the nature of research in ELT, the processes of doing research, processes of disseminating research, evaluating research, as well as the role and relevance research on ELT teaching practice and material design.

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Swiss Cantonal Teacher & Teacher Educator (SCT&TE) SIG

The SCT&TE SIG aims to bring English Language Teachers and English Language Teacher Educators from all sectors and cantons of the Swiss education system together.  So, whether you work at a PH, an English department within a University of Applied Sciences or University, Business school, within the Secondary (lower and upper) and Primary sectors, international school, private or public, experienced or just starting out in the Swiss education system in any shape or form then this SIG for YOU!

Eva Göksel, SIG Coordinator

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Eva hails from Vancouver, Canada, where she completed her MA in Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia with a focus on drama in education. 

Teacher Training and Development SIG

Teaching is a demanding job and even the best of us feel down-hearted and stale sometimes. The TTD SIG offers support for EFL teachers and would like to help and try out new paths and new ideas so that we can constantly approach the job from refreshing and exciting angles. You are invited to participate - take on more responsibility for your own professional growth. It also offers the opportunity to explore different and new methods and approaches and is also the perfect SIG to join if you are new to teaching.

Nancie GantenbeinNancie Gantenbein, SIG Coordinator

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Nancie Gantenbein is originally from British Columbia, Canada. She has 20 years of EFL teaching experience at all levels and qualified as a CELTA Teacher Trainer in 2008. Nancie has worked at TLC IH Baden since 1997 and has been involved with teacher training since 2001. She finds helping teachers to explore different techniques to enhance learning very rewarding. When not teaching or training, Nancie loves hiking and skiing.

Testing, Examinations and Assessment

The Testing, Examinations and Assessment SIG aims to develop interest in ideas and approaches in two principal directions. For many teachers mainstream EFL examinations, such as the Cambridge suite, are a major concern, and the SIG offers the opportunity to discuss problems in this area, through email contact and through branch workshops and presentations. The second main area of interest is for those teachers who have to produce their own test and assessment instruments, on either an institutional or individual class level. Again, contacts and workshops can be organised in response to demand.

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Young Learners and Teens SIG

Teaching English to young learners is a hot topic and a growing industry with more and more courses being offered in schools throughout Switzerland and beyond. Working with children is a very rewarding experience, it is a particulary creative area of teaching with many fun tools at a teacher’s disposal. It can also be quite challenging, with classroom management being one of the biggest difficulties, especially for new teachers. This SIG is a place to exchange ideas, share resources, discuss triumphs, fix problems and to meet like-minded teachers.  Through workshops and regular updates on this website, we hope to address a variety of topics such as classroom management, differentiation, craftivities, storytelling, use of songs, exploiting/adapting materials, technology, etc.

 Rachael Harris, SIG Coordinator

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Rachael comes from Nottingham, England. She has taught English as a foreign language for almost twenty years and she now teaches young learners and teens in a French speaking secondary and primary school where she has produced the SEN policy statement as well as being external examinations and Advanced English coordinator. Rachael also publishes articles in various EFL publications and gives workshops at EFL conferences. She is presently preparing an M.A. TESOL with Sheffield Hallam university. 
You can follow her on twitter at @fabenglishteach or visit her website