Workshop descriptions – 40th Annual ETAS Conference 2024

Saturday 3 February 2024

Opening plenary (9.30–10.30)

Anne Wiseman
Sponsor: The British Council

The future of English: Implications for teachers We are living through a period where the pace of change seems relentless. This changing world has implications for the use and the teaching of the English language. Change creates opportunities. Opportunities to reflect, to be in the moment and also to think about the future. We will briefly reflect on where we think we are very generally in the area of English language teaching now. Then, importantly, we will suggest implications for English language teachers to think about as we move forward into a world where the education space and the stakeholders have changed. To frame our presentation, we will discuss the findings of the Future of English programme initiated by the British Council in 2020. The Future of English (FoE) is a multi-phase research project with the aim of identifying key trends that will define the role of English as a global language in the coming decade, and the issues and opportunities for countries around the world in achieving their goals for the use of English in their contexts. This is not the first time work has been done on trying to foresee the future direction of the English language and its role in teaching and learning. Existing studies, such as the British Council’s Why Global English may mean the end of “English as a Foreign Language” (Graddol, 1997, 2006), have been reviewed and findings from these reviews form the basis of the Future of English project. Teachers and learners have been at the forefront of discussion and debate as education systems have attempted to navigate new learning environments to ensure the continued provision of high-quality, effective teaching and learning. This presentation will discuss findings from the project which illuminate the role of the English teacher in a world that has recently seen dramatic change and disruption.

Workshop session A (11.00–11.45)

A1 Gina Rodriguez
Type: Workshop
Title: LinkedIn for ELT Teachers: Building your personal brand for career success
Sponsor: Independent

In the ever-evolving landscape of English Language Teaching, educators are increasingly realizing the power of personal branding. Join this interactive session to explore LinkedIn and its potential to build your personal brand in ELT. You will learn practical strategies to establish and enhance your personal brand which will enable you to attract more students and secure better career opportunities. The strategies learned can be applied to other social media networks and Gina will provide basic netiquette for different social media platforms. Gina looks forward to having you in the workshop!

Watch Gina’s video introduction for more information on this workshop.

A2 Lynn Williams
Type: Talk
Title: Translanguaging for increased opportunities in second language education: Insights into research and practice
Sponsor: Independent

Fostering translanguaging as an attitude in the classroom can result in more confidence, motivation and flexibility in learning. Furthermore, actively raising awareness of the language resources both students and teachers bring to the classroom can make for richer planning and teaching. The resulting learning can also respond better to individual language learning biographies, building on prior knowledge, skills and experience, as this talk will show. This session will offer research-based insights into translanguaging as a concept and provide ideas on how it can support the learning and teaching of a second language. Lynn will share some voices from the classroom and illustrate the talk with examples of translanguaging practices from her work in both the upper-secondary classroom and teacher education settings.

A3 Ian McMaster
Type: Workshop
Title: Using critical incidents to improve international business communication
Sponsor: Independent

English is a key language for international business communication. The term Business English as a Lingua Franca (BELF) has become popular as a parallel term to the general English term English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). In this workshop, we will briefly explore the development of business English over the past 40 years. We will also look at how the use of critical incidents with course participants can help to improve their awareness of the potential dangers of international communication (in any language). We will consider what makes a “good critical incident” and explore the advantages and possible dangers of using this technique.

A4 Jayne Kyte
Type: Workshop
Title: Motivating ideas for motivating conversation classes
Sponsor: Independent

Judging by the interest in last year’s conference workshop, teachers are crying out for new ideas to use in their conversation classes! So stop … look no further … This second workshop will look at MORE motivating ideas to propel your lessons to the next level! Have you thought about using AI to support you in planning those lessons? This is just one of the ideas that will be explored. So join Jayne to kick start the new year with new ideas!

A5 Leo Selivan
Type: Semi-promotional workshop
Title: Embedding assessment into classroom activities – with a twist!
Sponsor: Delta Publishing/Ernst Klett Sprachen

Many people think of assessment as something performed at the end of a course or outside the classroom altogether. This workshop will highlight how assessment opportunities can be embedded into everyday learning tasks and classroom activities with the teacher playing the role of assessor. After all, who, if not the teacher, is in the best position to evaluate their students?

Workshop session B (13.00–13.45)

B1 Dorinda Maio-Phillips
Type: Workshop
Title: Two questions for independent teachers
Sponsor: Independent

1. What is the motivation for older learners? Family ties? Travel? Study? And how can we facilitate their studies to make them feel that they are doing something with their lives? 2. In the context of our conference, English as a lingua franca, one basis for all good communication is the three Cs What are they? Be clear, be concise, be courteous! How can we incorporate that into our teaching so that students go on to be successful in their jobs? I am sure participants will have their own ideas, which they will be heartily invited to share in a lively discussion.

B2 Dina Blanco-Ioannou
Type: Semi-promotional workshop
Title: Enhancing English language teaching through plurilingual and intercultural education
Sponsor: University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW)

Have you ever wondered how plurilingual and intercultural education can impact your language classroom? Tailored specifically for secondary school English language teachers, this workshop explores the rationale behind plurilingual and intercultural education and its relevance in today’s English language teaching classrooms. Join this dynamic session to explore hands-on activities that empower your students to thrive in an interconnected world, celebrating linguistic and cultural diversity. Cultivate your teaching skills with straightforward, practical tools tailored to embrace your students’ diverse backgrounds and languages, fostering an enriching English language experience that sparks curiosity and bridges cultures. Are you ready to embark on this transformative journey to inspire and empower your students? Then join Dina on this adventure!

B3 Geoff Tranter
Type: Workshop
Title: Ever tried or thought of teaching at C2 level? Here’s how to go about it
Sponsor: Independent

Based on the experience gained over 10 years of teaching at C2 level, the presentation will concentrate on the specific features of C2 proficiency that teachers need to focus on. With active participation of the attendees, we will work on a basic course structure and discuss the topics, activities and assignments that are necessary to progress to this advanced level. After presenting a typical course format that provides opportunities to achieve C2 both in terms of linguistic skills and communicative competence, attendees will have the opportunity to develop their own lesson plans to take students to the required level of language awareness, knowledge and communicative competence. The planned takeaway is a blueprint for designing a full C2 course.

B4 Jane Kaskova
Type: Semi-promotional workshop
Title: How to provide meaningful feedback while testing and evaluating writing skills
Sponsor: CEL-Cambridge English Languages

This workshop is designed to enhance the evaluation and feedback processes for written language skills specifically in the context of the IELTS examination. Participants will gain valuable insights into strategies and techniques for assessing and delivering constructive feedback on written responses in the IELTS test. By focusing on the unique demands of this standardized exam, the workshop aims to empower educators to refine their assessment and feedback methods, ultimately making them more meaningful and advantageous for IELTS test takers. The primary goal of the workshop is to equip participants with the tools necessary to elevate the quality of their evaluation and feedback procedures, contributing to the advancement of their students’ writing skills and success in the IELTS examination.

B5 Lee Shutler
Type: Semi-promotional workshop
Title: Learning from the past for a better future
Sponsor: Hilderstone College

This workshop will look at techniques that have come from “old TEFL” and consider how they can be adapted for the next generation of students (and teachers!). Computers are great but they can go on strike, the Wi-Fi goes down, the students lose their phones, the interactive whiteboards stop talking to the laptop etc. What do we do then? We could be boring and just plough through the coursebook. Or we could be creative with the students! Let’s see how! We will look at how we can present, practise and produce language using a variety of techniques and ideas that should never be forgotten!

Workshop session C (14.30–15.15)

C1 Carol Waites
Type: Workshop
Title: How to teach English to today’s multilingual adult students in international settings
Sponsor: ETAS

As a teacher, how do you address the reality that English as a lingua franca is used in workplaces and academic courses? And that maybe traditional English models are no longer so useful or appropriate? Consequently, what is English as a lingua franca, and how should we teach it in terms of grammar, idiomatic expressions, vocabulary usage, writing skills and accessibility issues in creating texts? Do you encourage students to access Grammarly, ChatGPT and other AI to help them with their writing skills? In this workshop, Carol will give real examples from her current students’ writing. We will discuss them reflecting on the questions above.

C2 Ridha Mejri
Type: Talk
Title: “Corporate Adventure” an entrepreneurial project
Sponsor: Independent

“Corporate Adventure” is a business project where students create their own company. This project consists of four units: company profile, market profile, elective subject and recruitment day. The students create a company and decide whether they will offer a service or sell a product. They also think about the company structure, its mission statement and its organigram. They also identify their target market and create a consumer profile by conducting a telephone survey to gather consumer data. Moreover, the students create a job advertisement including a description of the ideal candidate and they prepare an interview questionnaire. Finally, the various teams present their company to a big audience pursuing venture capital. They show their self-created video commercials and their flyers. They should highlight their USP (unique selling proposition) to convince venture capitalists to invest in their companies. On balance, the students improve their four Cs: communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. They also develop their presentation, digital, marketing, intercultural, conflict management and decision-making skills.

Watch Ridha’s video introduction for more information on this talk.

C3 Samvidha Srinath
Type: Talk
Title: Using authentic media in the English language classroom
Sponsor: Independent

The classic ELT lesson consists of a grammar and vocabulary portion, some reading and speaking. However, this format is often considered to be boring for the students as the chosen material is often decontextualized. Students, at this point, may feel like they are unable to effectively engage and relate to the content that is being taught. This is where the use of authentic materials comes in. The teacher chooses a film,  a TV series or even a book based on the students’ interests and constructs a lesson surrounding the material. In this presentation, Samvidha will talk about how authentic materials can be used in order to keep the students engaged and plan effective lessons that allow them to learn the English language within a given context.

C4 Cynthia Werner
Type: Semi-promotional talk
Title: Exciting enhancements to the TOEFL iBT® test
Sponsor: ETS Global B.V.

This talk aims to introduce the enhanced TOEFL iBT test that brings benefits to both students and teachers of secondary and tertiary education. In this session, we will incorporate information about the modernized user-built format to evaluate all four academic language skills, automated scoring, and immediate feedback mechanisms to achieve an accurate, valid and reliable evaluation of students’ language proficiency. Emphasis will be given to the shorter test time (less than two hours), streamlined test instruction and the new writing task. Furthermore, this talk will show how TOEFL iBT improves students’ engagement with academic English, helps them stand out confidently and leads to greater student success.

C5 Nicole Küpfer
Type: Workshop
Title: Creative writing, drama and presentation
Sponsor: Independent

Are you interested in building group trust, fostering creativity and kinaesthetic learning? Then join this active, hands-on workshop. We will develop pieces of creative writing that serve as the inspiration for scenes acted out according to the principles of improvisational theatre. A sequence of voice training leads over to the recitation of our written creations in front of the group. You can take away and adapt a multitude of teaching ideas to embed in your language and literature teaching with students of (almost) all levels. The workshop content targets teenage and adult learners with language skills around B1 level.

Watch Nicole’s video introduction for more information on this workshop.

Workshop session D (16.00–16.45)

D1 Mary Schnueriger
Type: Semi-promotional workshop
Title: Thriving in an intercultural environment and honing the skills of the lingua franca
Sponsor: Pearson

As the trend and pedagogy in Switzerland, from the vocational schools and Gymnasiums right up to the office, heads towards employability skills: collaboration, communication, creative and critical thinking, leadership, self-management and social responsibility, our students need lessons which go beyond the present perfect. Lessons which help students become versatile and successful communicators in a rapidly changing and increasingly intercultural environment. We recognize that in addition to language skills, students need to be equipped with a range of other skills to improve their levels of employability and help them to thrive in the future and in an intercultural environment. Join us for this interactive workshop where we look at mediation, how to and future skills lessons to help our students thrive.

D2 Jillaine Farrar
Type: Semi-promotional workshop
Title: Harmony in diversity: Navigating intercultural waters at school and at work for global success
Sponsor: SIETAR Switzerland and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – Business

This workshop is about embracing cultural diversity and working together effectively. In addition to showing how Jillaine bridges theory and practice, she will share some examples of activities she finds useful when teaching intercultural and English topics at bachelor’s level and executive level. As someone who’s witnessed firsthand how intercultural experiences broaden horizons, cultivate cultural understanding and enhance personal and professional growth, Jillaine confirms that this topic is also very relevant for English teachers at all levels and for study-abroad programme coordinators.

D3 Anna Bennett
Type: Semi-promotional workshop
Title: Fostering communicative and transferable skills in the era of English as a lingua franca
Sponsor: Trinity College London

English, now more than ever, stands at the crossroads of global communication, meaning that teachers need to equip learners with robust communicative and transferable skills apt for the international stage. This workshop will focus on practical, creative tasks that reflect real-world situations such as delivering talks and presentations, assimilating information and responding appropriately in discussions on familiar and unfamiliar topics. We will consider how to assess students’ use of English as a tool for communicating in particular contexts, rather than assessing the fluency of the language itself. Reference will also be made to Trinity College London’s Communicative Skills exams that help develop a range of transferable skills that can have a positive impact in both education and the workplace.

Watch Anna’s video introduction for more information on this workshop

D4 Meg Einhorn
Type: Workshop
Title: Art and language: Working with creativity
Sponsor: Independent

This workshop will explore how painting style can influence language learning. Be it pop art, collage or abstract work, this workshop will use visual practice to enhance learner inspiration. Meg will bring pictures and short texts to this hands-on workshop.

D5 Sirja Bessero
Type: Talk
Title: Empowering students through classroom coaching
Sponsor: Independent

It’s no secret that for profound learning to occur, learners need to play an active role in the process. By bringing coaching into the classroom, you can truly unlock the language-learning power instilled in every learner. In this session, we’ll dive into the world of classroom coaching, revealing how it can ignite the language learning potential within every student. Join us as we explore the “why” and “how” of classroom coaching and equip you with practical coaching techniques that will empower your learners to take charge of their language-learning adventure.