Connect, Grow, Thrive

Annual Conference plenaries

Opening plenary (0915-1015)

John Hughes

Creative thinking and language learning inside the box

Sponsored by National Geographic Learning

We are all familiar with the idea that creative thinking means thinking ‘outside the box’.  However, there is an alternative viewpoint that real innovation occurs by working ‘inside the box’ (Boyd and Goldenberg, 2013). In this presentation we’ll consider the place of creativity in the classroom and challenge the notion that we want our learners to use language with complete freedom. Instead, by providing them with frameworks and templates to work within, your students can use language more creatively resulting in relevant, authentic and motivating communication. This session will demonstrate a variety of practical ‘inside the box’ activities which you can use with your students tomorrow.

Speaker bio: John Hughes is an award-winning ELT author and teacher trainer. With over 40 book titles, his best-known course series is National Geographic Learning’s Life and he is also a co-author on the new third edition of World English. As a teacher trainer, he has run courses, workshops and given conference presentations in over 40 countries. His main specialism is materials development and bridging the gap between theory and practice. He still teaches and pilots his own materials with students in Oxford.

Closing plenary (1700-1745)

Rob Dean

From Slates to Books to BYOD - Evolution in ELT

Sponsored by Pearson Schweiz

Nobody is quite sure when the first English lesson was given to a speaker of another language, but it’s safe to say that it was a very long time ago. Back then, grammar translation was daring and new, and it would have been supported with such cutting edge teaching technology as the reusable personal visualisation device (a.k.a. slate); no doubt followed by the portable folding information storage solution (a.k.a. book) – all the way up to the digital resources we use today alongside our current day methodologies. This session will take a light-hearted look at where we’ve been in ELT; where we are now and where we might end up in the future.   

Speaker bio: Rob has been involved in ELT since 1994, and is currently based in Poland. He works as an independent international teacher trainer and methodology consultant, and travels widely delivering talks, workshops and seminars – as well as online webinars - to teachers all over the world.