Category Archives: Uncategorized

OUP sessions, Serbia

Slides from the seminar are available below in pdf format.

Creating a positive learning environment
We will look at principles and techniques for creating a positive classroom environment – one in which all learners can make valid contributions. We will also explore how to differentiate materials and language-learning activities to make them more inclusive and accessible.

Making the most of students’ potential
Students in mixed-ability groups each have their own unique potential, but how can we make the most of it? In this session we consider simple and practical ways in which we can make the content and language of the lesson more accessible and engaging to students in the group – whatever their language level, personality and interests might be.

Oxford Day, Bulgaria

Copies of the slides of my two talks are available for download in pdf format.

Talk 1
Beyond the classroom: the real lessons of the English class
In many ways the classroom is a miniature version of the world outside. In this talk I will look at how teachers can manage language-learning materials and communicate with their students on two different levels. On the surface, teachers develop learning skills and provide controlled language practice to prepare their students for an English-speaking world beyond the classroom. At a deeper level, however, we can also use the resources and conditions of the classroom to develop students’ non-cognitive skills and emotional intelligence.

Talk 2
Discovering English together
“How can we support our child’s learning?” It can be difficult to give good advice to parents who have the best interests of their child’s learning at heart. In this talk I will look at some Do-s and Don’t-s, helping teachers to communicate effectively with parents, and offering some practical ideas and tips for out-of-class English practice with the rest of the family.

OUP tour, Lithuania

Slides of my talks available in pdf format below:

Talk 1:
Revision: let’s take another look
Repetition and practice are vital components of the learning process, but students are generally not that keen on coursebook revision activities. In this talk I will suggest practical techniques for cyclic revision and exam practice which keep students engaged and motivated while helping to consolidate their learning.

Talk 2:
Close your books
What’s the best way to get the most out of your coursebook? Remember to close it from time to time! In this talk I will share a variety of five-minute activities which can be used to increase motivation, provide much-needed variety, and promote reflection and awareness – all without using the book.

From Confidence to Competence, OUP, Zurich

A two-part seminar for lower-secondary teachers in Zurich. Slides are available below in pdf format.

Part 1:
Mindset: the role of attitudes in language learning and self-actualization

The language classroom can be an intimidating environment for many students, especially if they have low self-esteem or counter-productive attitudes about themselves as learners. In this first session we will look the challenges posed by the fixed mindset – one that is preoccupied with notions of ‘talent’ and ‘ability’. We will then look at the characteristics of the growth mindset, and consider an approach to teaching and learning in which hard work, embracing challenges and striving to reach one’s potential are the milestones of success.

Part 2:
Activities and techniques for boosting learners’ confidence and self-esteem

In the second part of the seminar, we will look at a selection of simple and practical classroom activities designed to foster a growth mindset. We will also look a selection of classroom management techniques which can help to strengthen the classroom dynamic, in the process helping to boost students’ confidence in themselves– and their motivation to learn.

Oxford National Conference, Italy

My presentation on is ‘Engaging millennials’.
It can be hard to motivate and engage all the students in the secondary classroom – especially in mixed-ability groups. In this talk I will consider a whole-person approach to classroom interaction, in which personalised tasks, open-ended prompts, and flexible working-modes can all combine to help students find a foothold in the lesson. I will be sharing some simple, practical classroom techniques which can be highly effective in boosting students’ confidence in themselves, both as language learners and as members of the group.

You can download the slides of my talk in pdf format here.

OUP Teacher Development Tour, Latvia

The slides of my talks are available below in pdf format.

21st Century Skills in the Classroom
This session will focus on the most celebrated aspect of 21st Century Skills: the four learning skills. We will consider ways to encourage them in the classroom in appealing, relevant and motivating ways, both as extension activities based on coursebook materials and as free-standing classroom tasks.

Better Together
This talk will look at strategies and techniques for promoting collaboration and co-operation in the classroom. We’ll think about the benefits of pair work and small-group work, and explore some practical ideas for creating a motivating and inclusive learning environment for all.

Oxford Teachers’ Days, Estonia

You can download the slides of my two talks in pdf format below.

My Four C’s
You have probably already heard of the so-called Four Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. This talk is not going to focus on those Four Cs. Instead, I would like to consider the role of the teacher in the 21st Century classroom. What skills and qualities do we need to nurture? To help discover some of the answers to this question, I’ll be sharing my own ‘Four Cs’ for effective teaching in a twenty-first century context.

Speaking up
How can we help students find the confidence they need to speak effectively in class? This session will look at ways of creating space and time for language and ideas to emerge, and will offer simple and practical techniques for managing speaking activities.