Presentations and training
Tips for teaching real English
The majority of English-language interactions don’t involve a first-language user of English, and don't take place in a country where English is an official language. This is the reality of English as it’s used today. What does this mean for 21st Century learners? What kind of accent should we encourage them to aim for? What do they need to know about culture? How can we teach them the importance of understanding their audience? This webinar discusses these questions and offers practical answers for how to address them in the classroom, using fascinating ideas from TED Talks and examples from National Geographic Learning's Keynote.
• 12 September 2017 – Hosted by National Geographic Learning
TED Talks: Powerful communication through learning English
Have your students ever struggled to say something in English like they would say it in their native language? Teaching the English of thoughts, feelings, ideas, and even humor is challenging. TED speakers provide learners with dynamic examples of powerful communication that empower learners to speak English with personality. Co-presenter: Caitlin Thomas
• 24 March 2017 – TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, Seattle, USA
TED Talks: Powerful ideas to inspire 21st Century learning
When people want to learn, they do. Explore how powerful ideas from TED Talks, combined with compelling real-world content from National Geographic, will get learners asking questions like “What if?”, “Have you ever wondered?”, and “Could this be true?” and sets the stage for impactful 21st century learning. Co-presenter: Anders Bylund
• 22 March 2017 – TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, Seattle, USA
Anatomy of an iceberg: Beneath the surface of TED Talks and authentic listening
Everyone knows TED Talks are great for listening practice in the ELT classroom, but there's much more to them than that. This talk explores the power of TED at deeper levels and how learners can use them to become powerful communicators, with examples from the Keynote series.
• 20 March 2017 – National Geographic Learning event, San Francisco, USA
Keeping it real: Authentic video at every level
All too often, video is used simply for listening rather than as the multi-sensory resource that it is. And especially at lower levels, authentic input alone often isn’t appropriate — the language level is too high. How can teachers make full use of the benefits of video? And how can we bridge the gap between low- or intermediate-level learners and the higher-level video material they all want to watch? Using TED talks, this workshop will show how unedited, ungraded video can be fully used in the classroom to encourage learner engagement and promote language development at all levels.
• 1 October 2016 – English UK North Academic Conference
Accent, culture, communication: What are the targets for global learners?
Globally, the majority of English-language conversations don’t involve a native speaker. Using TED talks by non-native English speakers, this session explores these questions: What are the teaching implications of English as a Lingua Franca? How should teachers approach non-standard or ungrammatical input? How do we prepare learners for real-world communication?
• 10 June 2016, Plenary – Slovakia ELT Forum, Bratislava, Slovakia
• 17 July 2016, Plenary – BrazTESOL, Brasilia, Brazil
• 21 January 2017 – English Teachers Association Switzerland 33rd Annual Conference and AGM, Zürich, Switzerland
• 19 February 2017 – Best of British ELT Conference, Mexico City, Mexico
Engaging ears, eyes, brains and minds: Authentic listening at every level
Accents, fast speech, idioms and slang – these features of spoken English make listening one of the biggest challenges learners face. But low-level learners don’t want to wait to learn real English – they want to understand it now. And even at higher levels real-world listening continues to be challenging. How can teachers help learners at every level engage with authentic input? Using TED Talks as examples, this session looks at some of the brain science related to listening and offers practical tips for how to create success-oriented lessons for the classroom at any level.
• 22 April 2016, National Geographic Learning VIP Event, Museo ABC, Madrid, Spain
• 26-28 April 2016, National Geographic Learning Ideas Worth Spreading Events, Turin, Milan and Bologna, Italy
• 15 July 2016, Associação Alumni and Seven Idiomas, Såo Paulo, Brazil
• 20 July 2016, 11th ABCI Conference, Fortaleza, Brazil
• 12 December, 2016, British Council English Agenda webinar
• 22 January 2017 – English Teachers Association Switzerland 33rd Annual Conference and AGM, Zürich, Switzerland
• 10–16 February 2017 – National Geographic learning events in Monterrey, Mexico City, Mérida, Puebla and Querétaro, Mexico
• 18 February 2017 – Best of British ELT Conference, Mexico City, Mexico
World Englishes and authentic input: Addressing English as a lingua franca in the EFL classroom
The majority of English language conversations globally don’t involve a native English speaker. How can teachers and materials developers prepare learners for communication in those contexts? What sorts of authentic materials are appropriate for the classroom? How should we approach non-standard or ungrammatical English as input for lessons? Using TED talks by non-native English speakers and examples of lessons built around them, this workshop will explore the above questions and the EFL teaching implications of the variety of “world Englishes” in use today.
• 26 November 2015, Oxford House College, London
• 18 April 2016, IATEFL Conference, Birmingham
Gaps and bridges: Connecting education and learner needs
Most English learners today study the language in order to do something with it – use it an a job, continue their education, or gain access to the wide world English-language material available on the internet. The job of everyone who works in the field of English language teaching (ELT) is to build bridges that help learners cross the gap between their current level of English, and the level they hope or need to attain. This talk will discuss some of the challenges that learners and ELT professionals have always faced, and look at some new challenges brought on by current trends in the field – and in the wider world.
• 27 August 2014, Teachers Development Conference, Centro Cultural Peruano Norteamericano, Trujillo, Peru (Under the title 'Gaps and Bridges: Addressing old and new challenges in ELT')
• 21 November 2015, National Geographic Learning Educational Forum: Bridging the gap between education and employment, Abu Dhabi, UAE
What I mean when I talk about meaning: A materials development perspective
This talk will begin by considering the role of English as Lingua Franca (ELF), and will also look at global contexts in which French, German, and Spanish are used by both native and non-native speakers. We’ll discuss the implications of ELF for learners and teachers, and also look at how the increasing preponderance of English for Specific Purposes, English for Academic Purpose, and Content and Language Integrated Learning affects teachers, materials writers and learners. Finally, we’ll consider how authentic materials can be adapted and supported for use in the language classroom.
• 24 October 2015, Engaging with meaning in language learning workshop, University of York
Fighting the many-headed Hydra: Coping with specialization in ELT
English language study is becoming increasingly specialized earlier and earlier in the curriculum – English for academic purposes, engineering English, English for the tourist industry, and so on. With so many highly specific uses for English, how can teachers possibly give learners adequate preparation? Where can teachers find appropriate authentic input? How can real English be delivered at lower levels? This talk considers needs analysis and the broad base of skills and abilities that all learners need to develop, no matter where they’re going with English.
• 19 September 2015, IATEFL Poland conference, Kraków
• 30 September 2015, National Geographic Learning webinar for teachers in Warsaw, Poland
• 26-28 April 2016, National Geographic Learning Ideas Worth Spreading Events, Turin, Milan and Bologna
The power of student presentations: How preparing and giving talks develops transferrable skills
This workshop will begin by discussing exactly what we mean by ‘transferrable skills,’ and the extent to which they are important for university students of English as Second Language. We’ll then look at the wider context of English communication in the workplace and the skills needed to succeed in both academic and professional life. Finally, we’ll watch and a TED Talk and discuss the merits and challenges of using it as authentic input in the classroom. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:
• explain the role of presentations in education beyond the usual ‘presentation skills’ syllabus
• identify transferrable skills that can be developed through presentation work
• organise a lesson based around a TED Talk
• 21 September 2015, Teacher training session, University of Economics, Katowice, Poland
• 22 September 2015, Teacher training day, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
• 29 April 2016, Building Bridges Conference For English Teachers, Free University of Bolazno, Italy
• 10 June 2016, Slovakia ELT Forum, Bratislava, Slovakia
The role of teacher's books in EAP teacher education
Who do materials writers have in mind when they are writing an EAP course book? What competencies are hoped for or assumed? How can course leaders bring together the skills of their teams and the skills needed to teach their courses?
Panel speakers: Sue Argent, Edward de Chazal, Lewis Lansford
Chair: Karen Nicholls
• 29 November 2014, British Association of Lectures in English for Academic Purposes Professional Issues Meeting, Sheffield Hallum University, Sheffield, UK
Bringing the workplace into the classroom: Making the most of authentic materials in ESP
English for specific purposes is the language of the real world – the language of getting things done on the job. Teachers know that using authentic materials is important, but real-world English-language contracts, technical manuals and emails are not – in their raw state – usually suitable for the classroom. This talk explores what “authenticity” really means – and considers how teachers can best make use of authentic materials to deliver pedagogically sound ESP lessons in any field.
• 29 August 2014, SENATI International Conference on Teaching English for Technical Purposes, Chiclayo, Peru
The elements of ESP: What every teacher needs to know to deliver effective lessons
English for aviation, English for medicine, English for engineering ... the list of “specifics” in English for specific purposes is virtually endless. Can an English teacher ever possibly know enough to teach pilots, doctors and engineers confidently? This talk explores the elements that all areas of ESP share in common and discusses how teachers can cope with specialist content from outside their own area of expertise.
• 27 August 2014, SENATI International Conference on Teaching English for Technical Purposes, Iquitos, Peru
• 28 August 2014, SENATI International Conference on Teaching English for Technical Purposes, Chiclayo, Peru
This workshop will consider how the use of video in the ELT classroom has changed over the last 30 years. We will discuss the pedagogical advantages of using different video types and what they can bring to the learning experience. There will be an opportunity to share experiences and ideas.
• 13 March 2014, TESOL Arabia Conference, Dubai, UAE
Working with external content providers
With the increasing demand from teachers and students for more highly visual material and video content, a number of ELT publishers have joined together with external content providers such as National Geographic (Life) and the BBC (Speakout). What are the advantages (and disadvantages) to authors of working with external content providers? What difference does it make to the authorial ‘voice’? How does it affect the whole process of writing?
Panel speakers: John Hughes, Antonia Clare, Lewis Lansford
Chair: Karen Spiller
• 25 January 2014, The IATEFL Materials Writing Special Interest Group New Directions in ELT Materials Writing conference, Oxford, UK
The bridge to nowhere and other materials development follies to avoid
Bridges are the central image and theme of this webinar. We'll talk about why technical English teaching materials are like bridges, and we'll look at case studies of five actual bridges – four of which failed in some way, and a fifth that was completely successful. As we go, we'll consider what lessons from the bridge case studies can be applied to the development of materials for the technical English classroom, using examples from published technical English materials that the speaker has developed or written.
• 22 October 2013, Webinar for the International Association of Technical English Trainers
• 23 May 2014, Workshop for the 7th Austrian UAS Language Instructors' Conference, Vienna, Austria
Earth, air, fire and water: Harnessing the elements in English for engineering
In this session, we’ll look at four elements that make up effective ESP teaching materials. We’ll consider features that the most useful materials have in common and discuss the special challenges of teaching English for engineering. The talk will include case studies of engineering English teachers and materials developers and offer practical tips for success in developing and writing appropriate and teachable lessons. The talk will include examples from the Oxford English for Careers series and Tech Talk.
• 17 November 2012, BESIG Conference, Stuttgart, Germany
Workshop: Careers in publishing
This workshop will address five questions:
1 What is publishing?
2 What does publishing (via a publisher) involve?
3 Who works in publishing?
4 How do you get into publishing (and what do you do once you’re there)?
5 What skills are useful in publishing?
6 How are e-books changing publishing?
The questions will be addressed via case studies of publishing projects and of people who work in publishing. The workshop will include hands-on, publishing-related tasks and will offer tips and resources for finding out more about the publishing industry and getting a foot in the door.
University of York, UK:
• 27 June 2012
• 10 June 2013
• 25 June 2014
• 5 June 2015
From roughneck to romeo: Case studies in ESP materials development
In this session, we'll look at the process of developing published ESP materials for use in several different professional environments, including the oil and gas industry, commercial aviation, and medicine. We'll consider what all ESP materials have in common, discuss the unique challenges of some specific fields, and offer teachers tools they can use to develop and write their own materials. The talk will include examples from the Oxford English for Careers Series and the Express Series.
• 28 April 2012, MELTA ESP Conference, Munich, Germany
• 25 May 2012, University of York, UK
Authentic, pedagogically sound, teachable: An ESP materials development workshop
In this workshop, established ESP materials writer Lewis Lansford will begin with the question 'What qualities do the best ESP materials have?' After a brief discussion, workshop participants will then collaborate in small groups to turn authentic materials (to be supplied) into lessons that are teachable, pedagogically sound, and engaging to learners. The workshop will conclude with a whole-group discussion of the lesson ideas that the participants will have generated.
• 27 April 2012, Audi Akademie, Ingolstadt, Germany
Pearson signature event: 21st Century skills for ELT
Facilitator: Rob Dean
Panel: Vicki Hollett, Lewis Lansford and Gareth Rees
In an increasingly complex, demanding and competitive world, students need to go beyond the traditional three Rs and embrace the four Cs: communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. This is the view of the 21st Century skills movement which is helping to redefine the goals of general education for today's world. But what does this mean for ELT? Do we need to include the four Cs in our teaching? Our panel will discuss the relevance of the four Cs for ELT and discuss ways in which they can be incorporated into our courses.
• 22 March 2012, 46th Annual IATEFL Conference, Glasgow, UK
Mudmen and monkeyboards: Coping with specialist content in ESP
The goal of this session is to explore ways to overcome one of the greatest challenges of teaching ESP: working with complex technical content. We’ll discuss how non-experts can prepare for and deliver effective ESP lessons by maximizing their own strengths, utilizing their students’ knowledge, developing their own materials, and making the best use of available published materials. The session will include examples from the Oxford English for Careers series.
• 11 March 2011, University of Leeds, UK
• 17 April 2011, 45th Annual IATEFL Conference, Brighton, UK
• 1 October, 2011, 3rd Annual ESP Conference, Ulm, Germany
Materials Development module, MA course
As a lecturer (part time), co-taught materials development module for MA course in applied linguistics to experienced teachers from a variety of countries. The course project was the development of a set of potentially publishable ELT materials.
• Spring term 2004, Durham University, UK