IATEFL Manchester Conference 2015

Manchester Conference HUB

10 April11 April


PCE informationGISIG Track Day InformationGISIG Presence at the ConferenceGet involved

Pre-Conference Event with Scott Thornbury

Summary by Xiaobing Wang

The ‘meat’ of the day was a workshop on the topic of gay rights. Scott facilitated a variety of activities: discussion cards, consensus discussion, case studies, role-plays, carousel and personalisation round. For me the role-play worked surprisingly well, because it put me in someone else’s shoes and stimulated self-reflection. The order of the activities was cleverly planned. At the beginning, we discussed other people’s feelings and incidents, which made us feel safe. During the process, trust was built up among us and we felt more comfortable to express our views. When the final personalisation round arrived, we were eager to volunteer to talk about our own story or incidents related to the taboo topic, which some of us never imagined at the beginning of the day they could talk about in any public context at all.

The day was a series of workshops focusing on how to get the most out of oral interaction with EFL groups in secondary school classrooms, higher education seminars and adult education contexts. Our main focus was on ways of making English language teaching intellectually challenging and personally engaging. We were looking at discussion triggers that wake up minds and create an urge to exchange ideas, express views, and come to appreciate a richness of perspectives. We explored the way debate, discussion and dialogue can lead us to question taken-for-granted assumptions and can help us to think creatively and compassionately. The triggers for talk included video clips, TED talks, short articles, poems and taboo topics related to politics, religion and sex.

In addition to triggers for talk, we considered the role of the teacher as discussion leader, debate organizer and dialogue facilitator. What can we do if one or two people dominate a discussion? What if students respond with apathy and the discussion falls flat? What should we do with shy, introvert students who are reluctant to speak? What if there is conflict among group members? What if some of our students express views that are intolerant and hurtful to others? How can we create a culture of open-mindedness and high-quality listening? These were some of the key issues to be addressed.

We reflected on the way engaging in group dialogue can widen horizons, raise awareness of global issues and motivate us to take action.

Excellent PCE! Scott’s first workshop was an eye-opener for me and I’m still thinking whether I – as someone in a heterosexual relationship – would be a good facilitator for this. I’m not aware of a number of issues or situations, so I feel I’m an outsider here, unlike with most global issues that I can identify with.  … I liked the way Margit referred back to what Scott was doing, highlighting some key discussion leading roles and techniques.

The role play opened something up in me. Having no experience in something closes a door for discussion, role play can open that door.  

It was good to have people with opposing views talking about their feelings.

Thank you for the way you managed the day and how you were able to make us interact while discussing a taboo issue with people from all over the world with different backgrounds, cultures, values.

I enjoyed the topic and all the activities, how interactive and involving the PCE was. I think this is an important SIG that gets at the heart of our entire profession and asks a lot of questions that don’t need answering. Just the fact that they are raised is enough. Thanks!

GISIG Track Day – @Central 6

Session 1.1 (10:40-11:25)

Where’s the language? Spiraling teachable moments throughout a content-based curriculum
Sylvia Ozbalt & Cristina Peralejo (University of British Columbia, ELI)

Sustainability, civil society, global citizenship. Such topics are current and often personally relevant to instructors and students alike. But how do we keep the EAL classroom grounded in language instruction, without letting content dominate? We will address this issue in a practical and interactive workshop, focusing on gathering and continuously recycling language that emerges during in-class discussions and project work.

Session 1.2 (12:00-13:05)


Nurturing resourceful students through 3Cs: cultural understanding, creativity and collaboration
Kyuyun Lim (Sangsin Middle School)

Many EFL learners have difficulties in making conversation with foreigners, even though they have basic communication skills, due to a lack of cultural understanding or background knowledge. I discuss how my classes have been designed, focusing on nurturing resourceful students who are able to understand cultural diversity around the world, create their own contents and information, and collaborate with their peers.

Nurturing creative global citizens through collaborative learning
You Kyoung Jung (Skocho Middle School)

This session discusses what would happen when learners create a web poster and give a public presentation as a group project on behalf of their school, community and country. They can develop not only speaking and writing abilities, but also creativity and global citizenship. Motivation and interest, needless to say, can be increased as well in authentic and meaningful contexts.

Practical guideline of English class toward global citizenship education
Sohyon Jo (Baekma Middle School, Kyounggi Province)

In this presentation, I shall focus on the English curriculum I redesigned in a Korean secondary school, addressing global citizenship education. The curriculum structure, materials and activities will also be shared. How EASA cooperative learning model (Harmer, 1998) allows students to practise and demonstrate their cooperative skills and creativity in this global citizenship education will also be discussed.

Session 1.3 (14:05-14:50)

International Youth Forum model – a leadership skill-building workshop
Tatiana Ishchenko (Private English language school ‘Edelweiss’)

International Youth Forum model is a leadership skill-building event, where students present one of the world’s countries, speak on 3-4 global problems and later discuss these problems in groups, make projects and find solutions. This workshop will be helpful for secondary school teachers and mentors who work with teens.

Session 1.4 (15:05-15:35)

Global Issues Special Interest Group Open Forum
Are you a compassionate teacher?

Join us for an interactive session on the role of compassion in our work as caring, socially responsible teachers. We will explore the links between empathy and bringing real-world issues into our classrooms and training rooms. There will also be a chance for you to find out what our SIG does and how you can get involved. Members and non-members both very welcome!!!

Session 1.5 (15:50-16:35)

Doing diversity in English language programmes for young learners
David Valente (IATEFL YLTSIG Newsletter Editor)

This workshop will explore classroom-based approaches to the use of age- appropriate authentic materials to incorporate equality, diversity and inclusion when teaching children and teenagers. This forms part of a wider movement in young learner ELT to embrace our broader educator remit and embed intercultural learning throughout the curriculum. Attendees will experience an outcomes-based approach to diversity-focussed task and syllabus design.

Session 1.6 (17:10-17:40)

Something to MULL over: mapping the urban linguistic landscape
Damian Williams (Freelance)

This talk will report on the Map of the Urban Linguistic Landscape (MULL), an online collaborative project, open to all, which aims to map the global urban linguistic landscape. After a brief overview of the background and findings which have emerged so far, I will share some practical ideas on how to use the map as a teaching resource.

Session 1.7 (17:55-18:25)

Migrant workers and mobile phones: an aid to learning?
Mike Solly (Open University, UK)

Over a million migrant workers from Bangladesh work in manual labour overseas. They have little or no preparation for the language and cultural demands they will face, with most coming from poor uneducated and semi- literate backgrounds. I will briefly discuss some new research into their language and other needs and demonstrate a possible learning package deliverable on their mobile phones. Read more

GISIG presence at the conference

You can get in touch with GISIG online via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you can catch us we will happily record a video message from you and deliver it to all GISIG members. It’s your chance to become famous and tell the world why you care about Global Issues.

Also look out for these jolly faces at the conference venue:

gisig-com-manchester-presentfin grab

More ways to get involved

If you are with us in Manchester, feel free to post photos and videos to our Facebook page.

Could not attend the conference this year? Don’t worry. An excellent way to get involved is to watch the sessions live at the IATEFL website or follow the awesomeness on our social media sites. Feel free to comment, ask questions.

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