Sessions / Plenary

Addressing the Reading-Writing Gap in Second Language Learning #1077

Sat, Feb 20, 11:00-12:00 JST | Main Stage

Research shows that reading and writing are closely connected. Students who can read well can be expected to write well. However, repeated observations show that this is not always the case. Students who have developed an advanced reading ability often continue to experience difficulty when they try to express themselves in writing.

In my talk, I first discuss oft-cited sources of students’ writing difficulties, which typically involve difficulties at the linguistic (e.g., grammar and vocabulary) and cognitive levels (e.g., text coherence). I will then explore the relationship between reading and writing in detail, highlighting areas that need to be linked more closely together.

In the last section, I will present an instructional model that can promote more efficient processing of language by the students. The model encourages student writers to engage in writerly reading and readerly writing to further strengthen their writing proficiency. This talk will be of interest to teachers who wish to better understand the link between reading and writing and how they can help students become better writers.

Dr. Willy A Renandya is a language teacher educator with extensive teaching experience in Asia. He currently teaches applied linguistics courses at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is a frequent speaker at international ELT conferences and has published extensively in the area of second language education. His publications include Language Teaching Methodology: An anthology of current practice (CUP 2002, with Jack C Richards) and Student-centred cooperative learning (Springer 2019, With George Jacobs).

Re-envisioning ELT Through the Lens of Digital Literacies #1079

Sun, Feb 21, 20:00-21:00 JST | Main Stage

New technologies have become pervasive in the way people live, learn and communicate, challenging our values and norms in language education and literacy. With the pandemic exposing existing digital gaps and divisions, there is now both the urgency and the momentum among language educators to embrace new technologies. However, is technology alone really the answer?

This plenary will re-envision English Language Teaching through the lens of digital literacies. It will argue that as communication is becoming increasingly multimodal, language students need new literacies to read, listen, view, comprehend, and critique complex information online. Language education cannot ignore the extensive changes to literacy that take place in this multimodal world and assume a key role in helping students to navigate it. This will lead to a final discussion in which we will attempt to draw some practical conclusions about the way forward.

Sophia Mavridi is a Digital Learning Specialist & Lecturer in English Language Learning at De Montfort University (UK). Her research focuses on online learning and the increasingly important role of digital literacies in language education. As a consultant, Sophia supports institutions and teachers to integrate technology in a pedagogically sound way and has trained for major organisations around the world. She is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences and the joint-coordinator of the IATEFL Learning Technologies Special Interest Group. Her latest publications are 'English for 21st Century Skills' (Express Publishing, 2020) and 'Digital Innovations and Research in Language Learning' (IATEFL, 2020), both of which reflect her keen interest in innovative pedagogies in language education.

Inspired Imaginings: Exploring the Future of TEYL #1074

Tue, Feb 23, 20:00-21:00 JST | Main Stage

To mark the pearl anniversary of the IATEFL Young Learners and Teenagers Special Interest Group in 2016, Carol Read contributed a special centerpiece entitled An ABC of changes in primary English language teaching and learning over the last 30 years. This fascinating overview unpacks how historical developments have influenced and shaped current TEYL practices.

My plenary takes its inspiration from Carol’s centerpiece by focusing on five of her ‘ABCs’ and imagining ways that they might develop over the next 30 years - and beyond.

Specifically, I will shine a light on these TEYL areas:

C is for Curriculum K is for Kindergarten S is for Special Educational Needs and Disability U is for Use of Technology X is for Xpertise

My explorations are inspired by over two decades of engagement in TEYL as a classroom practitioner, materials creator, teacher educator as well as my current PhD research. I am especially looking forward to interacting with conference participants to discover how far my predictions resonate with colleagues’ ideas on the future of TEYL.

David Valente is the Coordinator of the IATEFL Young Learners and Teenagers Special Interest Group. He works as a PhD Research Fellow in English Language and Literature Subject Pedagogy at Nord University, Norway, where he teaches on the 5-year Master's degree in Primary Education. David has over 20 years' experience in ELT as a teacher, teacher educator, academic manager, author and editor. His specialist interests include children's literature in ELT, primary and secondary teacher education and intercultural learning. David is also one of the authors of the Cambridge University Press FUN Skills series.

The Future of Teaching English with Technology #1073

Thu, Feb 25, 20:00-21:00 JST | Main Stage

At a webinar last year, an audience member asked a question: “Will language teachers be replaced by technology?” I confidently answered with a big "No". Yet, the question lingers. Surviving almost one year teaching language online, today I am convinced that some language teachers will not be replaced by technology — but others will.

In this talk, I will discuss how technology has been used and how it will continue shaping our job as language teachers. Reflecting on my own teaching experience and exploring the potentials of technology, I will also discuss how future language teachers can teach English with technology.

To be able to successfully teach English with technology, we will need to stop seeing technology as a powerful tool that brings about definite results without considering how it is used.

We need to go beyond finding out whether an app is effective for learning or teaching grammar, vocabulary, or pronunciation, for instance. We need to consider that technology is not merely an instrument we use to serve language teaching purposes. It has penetrated our lives so deeply in many different ways that its use has changed the way we teach and the way language learners learn.

Francisca Maria Ivone currently teaches at the Department of English, Universitas Negeri Malang in Indonesia. She has a Bachelor of Education from IKIP Malang, Indonesia, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics from The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. She researches and publishes in the area of ELT, TELL, CALL, Extensive Listening and Viewing (EL/V), Extensive Reading (ER), learning autonomy, and collaborative learning. She is passionate about the use of technology in language teaching and learning. She also gives training to pre-service and in-service teachers on the use of technology in language teaching and learning, ER, and EL/V.

The More Things Change, the More they Stay the Same. #1078

Fri, Feb 26, 20:00-21:00 JST | Main Stage

When we ponder the question of how our lives are likely to change over the coming years and decades, it is tempting to let our imaginations run wild. When we think about learning foreign languages, for example, we may dream of technology that will allow us to have new languages uploaded automatically to our brains as we sleep soundly in our temperature-controlled hover-beds. Alternatively, the more pessimistic among us might live in dread of a nightmare scenario in which AI holograms render our entire profession obsolete.

It is important to remember, however, that when it comes to education, and particularly to language education in institutional settings, there are some basic elements of what we do that are unlikely to change anytime soon, if ever. Today, we have access to technologies and resources that would have been unimaginable as recently as 20 years ago, but is the way we teach and learn now really so very different from the way we did it back then? In this session, I will look at what I consider to be the fundamentals of language education and make the case that when we envision the future, it is just as important to be aware of the things we know will not change as it is to imagine all the things that might.

David Barker is the director of the English Center at Gifu University in Japan. Originally from Wales, he became a language teacher after working for two years as a police officer in Liverpool, England. He has a PhD in language education and has taught English in Singapore, New Zealand, and Japan, where he has lived for 23 years. He is the founder of BTB Press and the author of a wide range of bilingual textbooks. He is also the author of four Japanese language books about learning English, two of which became national bestsellers. His main areas of interest are cross-linguistic interference and materials development.

Future Proof #1075

Sat, Feb 27, 11:00-12:00 JST | Main Stage

Even before the pandemic hit, I was contemplating the evolving nature of work in our profession. What does it mean to hold a “full time job”? Is freelancing something you work up to, or work to get away from? Should experience bring a higher salary for the same work, or for more responsibilities? Is an hour of teaching worth more or less than an hour of working in an office?

And then the move to online learning and teaching so many of us experienced over the last year—and continue to experience this year—led to even more questions. Should a teacher be paid according to their own local living expenses, or according to students’ local living expenses? How do we balance our need to support ourselves with our desire to support economically challenged students? How much of what we do—not just teaching but writing articles, giving webinars, professional development, and so on—should be free and how much should be paid? What are the options for someone who loves their job but feels underpaid? How can we future-proof our careers for uncertain times?

I’m not going to pretend to have the definitive answers; I don’t think there are definitive answers. But I’d like to share with you the questions I’ve used to focus and adjust my own work life and mentor others. The conversation about how we work and how much we work and what all that is worth is one we should be having, not just with ourselves and our employers but throughout our profession.

We'll let Dorothy introduce herself!

"I'm an author, editor, teacher, and teacher trainer in the field of English Language Teaching (ELT). I taught English, French, and Japanese for over 20 years in Asia, Africa, and the US. My MA in TESL is from the School for International Training in Vermont.

I currently write and edit English language teaching materials and textbooks, and conduct teacher training workshops. My areas of specialty and interest include teaching writing, teaching reading, business English, academic English, testing, and humor. I'm a frequent plenary speaker at international conferences, and in 2012 founded my own small publishing company, Wayzgoose Press, that publishes fiction, non-fiction, and of course ELT materials for teachers and students."

A Look at the Social Brain Will Change Your Ideas about ELT Forever #1072

Sun, Feb 28, 10:00-11:00 JST | Main Stage

Through fMRI research, Matthew Lieberman discovered a large network in our brain devoted to figuring out other people's thoughts and intentions: the mentalizing network. The social brain is also important for learning and is active anytime the working memory network, which we use for analytical thinking, is not. Lieberman calls it our Superpower, but he also defines our Kryptonite: traditional education. Educators tend to see the social aspect of learning as a frivolity, or ignore it altogether. For designing rich online classes, synchronous or not, the social brain has much to teach us, from why we experience "Zoom fatigue," why we might advise aspirin for that student that just broke up, to ways to use Dancing Matt to get learners into the right "brain state" for language learning.

Curtis Kelly (EdD.) is a professor at Kansai University, a founder of the JALT BRAIN SIG, and a columnist for the KoTESOL Teaching English Connection. He's a brain nerd. In pursuit of his life mission, "to relieve the suffering of the classroom," he has written numerous textbooks, 30 books, including the Cambridge Writing from Within series.

Teaching Language Classes Online: A Learner’s Perspective #1076

Sun, Feb 28, 11:00-12:00 JST | Main Stage

Many teachers used to doubt that a language class could be taught effectively online. However, a worldwide pandemic has forced language instruction to go online in many parts of the world and we have all seen how some areas of language teaching have changed now. Because of COVID-19, both experienced online teachers and novice online teachers have now had almost a year of real experience teaching English and other languages online. When this is over or when a majority of learners and teachers can go back to a somewhat normal teaching situation again, how might instruction be different?

I am a very experienced language teacher (40 years) and language learner (7 languages). In the past six months, I have also gained another type of experience: I have been an online language learner in an asynchronous university German course.

In this talk, I will offer some interesting and sometimes unexpected insights I gained about online language instruction based on my perspective as a real learner in a real language course that was completely online.

Dr. Keith Folse, Professor of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), University of Central Florida, teaches undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral classes. Originally secondary certified in English and French, he has taught English as a Second Language for 40 years in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Kuwait, Japan, Spain, and the United States. For the last eleven years, he has also taught online courses, both synchronously and asynchronously.

Dr. Folse is the author of 70 English and teacher education textbooks and is a frequent conference presenter all around the world. His presentations often deal with best teaching practices, vocabulary, grammar, and speaking. He has won numerous teaching and research awards from his university, TESOL International Association, and National Geographic Learning.