Connect, Grow, Thrive

2019 ETAS Annual Conference presenter's slides

Our presenters were amazing again this year! Many of them have made their slides available and we are very grateful to them! You can find them below.


Katherine Stannett

Teaching a language, educating a person

Sponsored by National Geographic Learning

As ELT professionals, we are tasked with teaching our students a new language.  In this talk I will be looking at how language is so much more than just a school topic; so much more than just a collection of words stuck together with the glue of grammar. I will be examining how our language tells us about our culture and our society and how it enables our students to describe and examine their own lives, realities and culture. I will explore how, as teachers, we can fulfil the increasing demands made on us, by creating a global classroom for our English lessons; a classroom in which all students are welcome, all students feel motivated to participate and all students can progress. Finally, I will argue that, in this global classroom, we can provide a truly supportive, flexible, 21st century education for our students.

Marjorie Rosenberg

Getting unstuck – stretching out of our comfort zones

Sponsored by Express Publishing

As our daily work takes up so much of our time and energy, we rarely have the chance to consider ‘what else’ we could be doing. Our routines have become comfortable and we may miss out on chances to grow and stretch. This talk will explore the implications of this regarding factors such as methods, teaching styles, and the classes we teach. A number of possibilities available to ELT professionals will be offered and will hopefully encourage the audience to take on new challenges in order to take  the first steps to becoming ‘unstuck’.

Please support Marjorie by taking her research survey

Session A (Saturday morning)

Sue Wood

Time to revisit translation?

Grammar-translation methodology has been frowned upon for years. However, our students inevitably use translation as a learning strategy. Given this conflict, isn’t it time to review our attitudes to translation and develop an approach that accepts reality and enhances learning opportunities for our students? This workshop will focus on the good, the bad and the ugly of translation and look at possible ways of incorporating the art of translation into our teaching.

Jillaine Farrar

Integrating intercultural content in lessons

There is so much more to intercultural communication than high and low-context communication. We will look beyond the theories at some practical ways of helping students become more able to do business internationally. Jillaine will share ideas for tasks, including how she integrates intercultural and international research tasks into sessions. There will also be a possibility to share successful ideas of your own.

Jędrzej Stępień

Rethinking and revamping conversation classes for adults

With more and more L2 teaching being outsourced to computers and apps, conversation classes remain a solid bastion of human to human exchanges. Yet the ongoing disruption opens this area of teaching to being inundated by amateurs. What is the difference between professional and amateur conversation classes? The presentation is going to outline the state of conversation classes today, and propose a way forward to make the conversation experience richer, more satisfying and – most importantly - unmatched either by tech or unprofessional teachers.

Susanna Schwab

Is the coursebook your script or your resource?

In Swiss primary and lower secondary schools, ELT coursebooks are all prescribed and teachers cannot choose their own coursebook. Despite teaching with compulsory coursebooks, teachers still have to evaluate the materials and make informed decisions on what to teach and how to teach it. My own experiences and discussions with pre- and in-service teachers have shown a lack of teacher textbook awareness. Instead of relying on intuition and/or instinct, teachers should take decisions based on principles. McGrath’s principled approach to adaptation will be presented and discussed.

Session B (Saturday afternoon 1)

Lee Shutler

Modernising tradition: Dictation and Dictogloss for the 21st century

This workshop will look at re-assessing the "old favourites" of dictation and dictogloss. We will consider ways of modernising them and making them relevant activities for 21st century teaching. In the course of the workshop, we will experiment with different ideas - from the teacher, from the students and from the web - with the aim of creating student-centred activities that are applicable to all levels of student.

Sylvia Goetze Wake

Developing your use of peer-to-peer feedback in the classroom

2-part concept: 1) Using peer feedback in the language classroom to build autonomy, confidence and classroom dynamics. 2) Using tools in Moodle for peer feedback in a university setting.

Margaret Fowler

You know it, so prove it! Helping learners demonstrate their true level in speaking and writing tests

Whilst students may have good knowledge and control of grammatical structures and vocabulary, all too often they do less well on the exam day because they fail to produce explicit examples of this knowledge in the speaking and writing tasks. This workshop will show how teachers can raise candidates' awareness of this issue and help them to produce a broader, more ambitious range of language, thereby achieving their full potential in most types of exam

Session C (Saturday afternoon 2)

Marjorie Rosenberg

Spicing up the Business English Classroom

Communication skills are vital for Business English learners at work and with business partners around the world. Although they may be experts in their own fields, they are often not as confident when they need to speak spontaneously. The supplementary activities in Communicative Business English Activities (Express Publishing) have been designed to spice up your business English lessons as they are relevant, engaging and encourage learners to speak. Come along to this interactive workshop to find out how to liven up your lessons and get your learners communicating.

Geoff Tranter

Dealing with Cultural Misunderstandings in the EFL Classroom

In view of the negative social trends in many countries nowadays, the issue of nationality, citizenship, prejudice, bias and cultural misunderstandings is a topic that lends itself to being incorporated into the English language classroom where the communicative approach can perhaps make a contribution towards increased awareness. In this workshop I will be presenting a range of materials and methods that I have used in a number of classes and which have proved themselves suitable for approaching the subject. The practical workshop will also allow time for a discussion on how these ideas can be implemented.

Katrina Ward

English File 4th edition gets you talking

English File is loved by teachers worldwide for getting students talking. In a recent Impact Study (2018), 90% of English File teachers who participated perceived that the series improves students’ speaking skills and 84% think that it helps students speak English more confidently. With relevant, lively lessons and its renowned communicative approach, English File 4th edition gets students talking more than ever before. Come to this workshop for a first look at content from the 4th edition and find out why it is so popular with teachers and students.

Neil McCutcheon

Task-Based Learning Remastered

In this workshop, I aim to introduce briefly the task-based approach for teachers who are not familiar with it, and to review the advantages of adopting an analytic task-based syllabus (where possible) or simply of introducing more task-based procedures into general English lessons. I will recap briefly the history of TBLT, and define what a task is; and show how TBLT is supported by key principles from SLA theory. The audience will be involved in at least one of the tasks from my forthcoming book so that they can have some direct experience of the approach.

Olaf Lenders

Writing Tasks for B2/C1 students

Although students at upper-intermediate and advanced (B2 / C1) level have developed a wide range of vocabulary, they often lack the practice and experience to write appropriately across different genres and registers.  In this workshop, we will look at and discuss example tasks suitable for this level of students. These tasks include: 1. conducting and writing up a cross-cultural interview; 2. writing reviews of books and technical gadgets; 3. writing a travel blog.  Participants will be provided with a handout.

Carol Waites

Supplementing your coursebook intelligently with C1 learners

Overusing a coursebook can hold learners’ progress back.  At this level, they need to become autonomous. How can we achieve this? My students need to improve their level and prepare for an official exam. The textbook can help with exam techniques. But to pass the exam they need to prove they can work independently in English. They need to deal with grammar analytically and efficiently, and master authentic listening and reading materials.  Students must play a central role in the process. The talk will present concrete examples of how to help students achieve these goals.

Beth Sollberger and Beverley Todeschini

Virtual 'bulletin' boards in your English class

Using online virtual “bulletin” boards in and out of the classroom. Padlet allows students and teachers to collaborate, reflect, share links and pictures, in a secure location. We’ll demonstrate concrete examples. Participants will initially experience this tool as students before creating their own virtual boards as teachers for their own classes. A hands-on workshop, please bring a digital device.

Session D (Sunday morning)

Tim Black

Has IT in the classroom reached tipping point?

The talk aims to look at the use of IT in the Swiss state school system and the impact this has upon teachers and the way they teach. The presentation draws upon the speaker’s personal experiences over the last 10 years. Having looked at the current situation we discuss what actions we teachers can and should take.

Katherine Stannett

Global explorers and 21st century skills

As teachers, we know that students benefit greatly from the support of knowledgeable persons such as teachers, parents and peers. In the classroom, it can be easy to fall into a routine of treating students as passive recipients of this knowledge. But we know that active learners are more motivated, learn better and retain more. How can we encourage our teenage learners to become active participants in the classroom? How can we build an environment where all students are engaged in the learning process and feel inspired, involved and motivated? In this session, I will be looking at creative tasks that can be used in any classroom to help students express their point of view in English and take responsibility for their own learning. Through these activities, we can transform our classrooms into creative, active learning environments that appeal to all types of learners, with different availabilities and a range of interests.

Lee Shutler

Repetition of Language - is it really dead?

The word "repetition" is often seen as "dirty" in EFL. It gets connected to "old" methodology like drilling. This workshop will look at how we can re-invent repetition in fun, dynamic and interesting ways. We never say anything once in life, so why should we restrict ourselves in the language classroom?

Urs Kalberer

Listening activities for elementary and intermediate levels

It should not be difficult to realise the importance of listening when we consider that it occupies about 45 per cent of the time adults spend in communication. This is significantly more than the other skills. Yet, for all its importance, students (and even teachers) often fail to give listening the attention it needs. This workshop focuses on ways to teach listening and presents activities ready for classroom use.

Session E (Sunday afternoon)

Halina Kaptsiuh

Listening skills: Let's get way from pre-teaching, listening for gist and detail

In this workshop you will learn a different approach to teaching listening. It helps to let students see listening as a real life activity, not as an exercise in the lesson which will, consequently, scaffold their confidence in their listening skills and make them better listeners.

Ben Hoyt

Lesson + lesson + lesson = syllabus Is this the best way?

Every course has a structure, but how much is planned from the start and how much just happens by chance? How much of our planning do we delegate to a coursebook and how do we integrate outside materials in a coherent and meaningful way, especially when we have external goals or requirements? How can we comprehensively catalogue our library so we can access all of our materials when needs are identified? In this workshop, we’ll look at a few frameworks for course planning and needs’ analysis and then share our own solutions to this common conundrum.

Stephen Lander

Machine Translation: How good is it really? Can it be used in class?

Machine Translation (MT) is now freely available online and some, including EFL materials writers, claim its quality is very high. This interactive workshop examines how modern online MT systems work and how well they translate from German, French, and Italian into English. It concludes with a discussion as to whether and how MT might be used in the EFL classroom.

Rachael Harris

How to develop Positive Discipline with Teens and Young Learners

Positive Discipline is an approach based on Alfred Adler’s philosophy (later published in a book by Jane Nelsen). It results in a kind but firm attitude built on mutual respect and cooperation. This workshop will present tangible, practical tools that can create a positive working environment and help solve problems in the teen and young learner classroom.

Ruth Benvegnen

The power of music, rhythm and song for learning language at any age

This will be a hands-on, noisy workshop that promotes the use of music and rhythm for teaching English as a foreign language. Participants will put grammar and vocabulary into chants and raps, look at how to work with authentic songs and generally be shown how to include more music, rhythm and songs in their own classrooms. The idea is that everyone hopefully goes away with concrete ideas for musically motivating the following week’s classes. For teachers of YLs and adults of A1 to B2 levels.