Presenter Profile

Marion Williams

Marion Williams was formerly Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics at the University of Exeter, UK, where she coordinated the postgraduate programmes in TESOL. She is passionately interested in all aspects of psychology in language learning and she has written extensively in this area. Her publications include Psychology for Language Teachers: A social constructivist approachThinking through the Curriculum,and Teaching Young Learners to Think. Her recent books includePsychology for Language Learning, Multiple Perspectives on the Self, and Exploring Psychology in Language Learning and Teaching,written jointly with Sarah Mercer and Stephen Ryan, which won the Ben Warren prize for outstanding contribution to teacher education. Marion was President of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language from 2007-9.

Understanding Our Learners: Lessons from Psychology

In this talk I shall discuss how a knowledge of educational psychology can help us to better understand our learners and therefore enable us to give them a more fulfilling and successful learning experience. If we can understand our learners’ anxieties, beliefs, feelings, sense of self and motivations we will be in a better position to help them to succeed in learning the language. I shall provide some ideas for fostering a positive classroom climate that will help to facilitate learning.

Trevor Harley

Trevor Harley is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Dundee. He completed his PhD on speech errors at the University of Dundee in prehistory. After many years at the University of Warwick, he moved to the University of Dundee in 1996, where he became Chair of Cognitive Psychology and Head of the Psychology Department in 2003. His research interests are varied, and he has published in many areas including slips of the tongue, speech production, aphasia, speech therapy, learning second languages, Alzheimer’s disease, computational modelling, depression, suicide, the weather and psychology, memory, and much more.

Teaching the Psychology of Language with a Language Impairment

For many, many decades I have taught and research on the psychology of language and language learning, and written several books on the topic, with what I have only recently come to realise is a language impairment. I suffer from a general phonological impairment. One of the many consequences of this impairment is that some areas of language are opaque to me. How has this affected my development, research, writing, and teaching? How widespread are such disorders, and how many difficulties go undiagnosed? All of these considerations have led me to consider the notions of “normal” and “average” in teaching, development, and life. What lessons are there for teaching and learning? I will leave plenty of time for discussion and will be happy to answer any question on psychology, language, and the meaning of life.

Steve Hirschhorn

Steve Hirschhorn is now busily retired but previously worked in ELT for around 40 years in many position from the ground up. He has spent years studying the so-called Humanistic Approaches and has taught and trained teachers in a wide variety of teaching approaches. 
Milton Erikson is one of his gurus, in the sense of a person who provides a visionary lead.

Erikson in the Classroom: Managing Unhelpful Behaviour

Milton Erikson was a genius therapist who worked in the US. He managed to adjust or eliminate unwelcome behaviour by the apparently simple use of a few extraordinary strategies, many based on the use of language. This workshop will introduce participants to some of his practices which I have adapted for use in the classroom. Participants will be encouraged to share their own student behaviour issues and we will attempt to find workable solutions to them.

Zina Pittrova

Zina Pittrova is an English teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer with twenty years' teaching experience (children and adults, Master's degree in ELT, University of West Bohemia and Masaryk University, Czech Republic). Apart from teaching, Mrs. Pittrova gives practical ELT workshops for Czech teachers of English and writes online materials and interactive activities for ELT teachers and children. She has always been interested in developing learners' communicative abilities, learner-centred teaching and using technology in ELT.

Pronunciation Mnemonics and Problem Words

Teaching English pronunciation can be very challenging. In this workshop, I would like to share my own system of mnemonics which really help my students understand and remember the pronunciation of individual sounds. We will also focus on some problem words that are commonly mispronounced by ELT learners and non-native teachers. We will try out many original activities and games to show you how pronunciation teaching can be fun and effective, including teaching IPA transcription.

Marusya Price

Marusya Price is an English teacher from Bulgaria, living in England. So far she has enjoyed teaching English professionally in her home country, Spain and England. Currently, Marusya provides English classes online and designs the free e-zine “Inspirational English” for passionate teachers who want to bring POSITIVITY into modern education. She believes that every student carries something authentic that is waiting to be recognised and the role of a teacher is to help release it. Marusya is interested in Applied Positive Psychology and how it could be used by educators to empower their students. She creates positive lesson plans on topics such as happiness, mindfulness and compassion. You can find more info about her work and the e-zine at 

Empowering Students

With the workshop, I would like to share my experience as an educator on how Positive Lesson plans, Meditation and Visualisation could be used to grow students’ mind-sets as well as to inspire them to become more authentic, happy, compassionate, and last but not least, to believe in themselves.
I intend to illustrate various effective methods that I use and their impact. In addition, I will show different sources available to obtain useful materials to achieve the above-mentioned goal. Finally, I’ll demonstrate one of my lesson plans with the teachers so that they can see the positive effect this type of resource might have and still be a great way to improve the learners’ language skills.

Kate Smook

Kate Smook. After a career in nursing and health service management, Kate moved into ELT teaching in 2007. She's worked in China, Russia, Poland and the UK and has been working as full time Director of Studies for Millfield Enterprises since January 2018. Her main interests are teaching teens and developing teachers. She studied Psychology at university and enjoys exploring how psychology influences language learning and the impact this has on teaching.

Motivating Learners – from Theory to Practice

Most lesson plans include activities and many language schools have reward schemes designed to ‘motivate’ learners. However, what is motivation and how do we successfully motivate students. This interactive workshop will enable participants to explore several motivation theories and look at how they affect language learning. We will then consider some strategies and activities to help create an environment where students are motivated to learn and develop their language skills. Participants will be encouraged to share their own experiences and learn from each other as well as from the presentation. 

Richenda Askew

Richendra Askew.Having started as a clinician in the health service, Richenda has grasped opportunities to develop her skills as a trainer.  These opportunities have enabled her to train managers and clinical staff in the NHS, teachers in many countries including Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan and several European countries, in addition to training international trainers in the Armed Services and commercial companies.  Richenda is a highly qualified professional committed to maintaining her own learning and development in order to deliver high quality training.  Her qualifications range from a clinical degree in Speech & Language Therapy, to an HR qualification from CIPD, as well as a PGCE (QTLS) and several English Language Teaching qualifications.  She is presently studying for a professional Doctorate in Education.

Training the International Trainer and Learner

This workshop will help participants to understand the cultural and linguistic issues common to the international training room/ classroom and discuss the management of these situations. Participants will also be encouraged to consider the pros and cons of learner-centred techniques in different cultural environments, considering the differences in study and learning cultures . Participants will have the opportunity to discuss why misunderstandings happen and how the trainer/teacher can better prepare themselves for the international training/teaching environment.

Thom Jones

Politics or Pronunciation? A Moral Compass in a Time of Change? 

To begin with…we will look at our role: in a time when former moral absolutes seem to up for discussion....Why do some teachers feel we should go beyond our syllabus and teach students about life, politics and things unrelated to the mechanics of language? How does anyone feel qualified to do that? At what point is opinion indoctrination? How easy is it to slip from talking about ideas directly into cultural imperialism? We’ll be looking relevance and motivation. 

We’ll move on to……The “native speaker” fallacy and language teaching as colonial tool. We’ll end by...deciding on what our role should be and could be....It will be interactive, there will be workshop elements and learning and doing. Main points to be covered: What is a moral compass? Classroom control.When to talk, when to listen? Ways to use your phone as a valid educational tool. A selection of communicative teaching exercises that will work at all levels.Motivating each other

Lonny Gold

Lonny Gold, who is Canadian, hated school with a passion… and so on graduation he immediately went into teaching! He’s taught at secondary schools in London, at the Sorbonne in Paris and at top French business schools.In 1977, Lonny discovered Suggestopedia, a Bulgarian method used by the Canadian government to speed up language learning and he has been at the very heart of Suggestopedic teaching since 1978. Lonny runs seminars in language, communications, pedagogy and psychology throughout the world. All of his work is based on ways of appealing to the unconscious mind in order to make learning unforgettable.

Iryna Piniuta

Iryna Piniuta, PhD in Education, Associate Professor, works at Baranovichi State University, Belarus. The professional interests include cross-cultural psychology, intercultural communication, information and communication technology in language education. Iryna Piniuta is the author of nine student course books, e.g., “English: Intercultural communication” (2017). She shared her teacher experience in conferences in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Spain, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Lithuania.

Differentiated instruction: Benefits for English Learners and Teachers

In order to develop students’ intrinsic motivation to learn the subject and, therefore, reduce teachers’ burning out, differentiated instruction in the foreign language classroom is of great help. Differentiated instruction increases learners’ communicative and social skills and their self-efficacy. The presented techniques that are aimed at meeting students’ abilities and needs help to better understand the content, master the learning process and create a new product. Also, the use of ICT technology multiplies the benefits of differentiated instruction in a flipped classroom. Differentiated process implies assigning students with different roles to organize discussion on a written, video or oral text. This repertoire makes it possible to apply such tools as Video Notes and Coogle. The product of differentiating instruction, that shows what learners have learnt, can be obtained and then analyzed by means of Meeting Words, Google Docs, Google Forms, etc.

Walton Burns

Walton Burns is the senior editor at Alphabet Publishing, an independent press specializing in creative ELT materials. He has 15 years of classroom experience as a teacher and teacher-trainer in the South Pacific, Central Asia, and his home country, the US. In addition, he is an award-winning materials writer. His clients have included Oxford University Press, Compass Publishing, and 2LTI Testing. He also has authored teacher activity books with Alphabet Publishing and Pro-Lingua. Wrangling with Adobe InDesign and enjoying his son take up most of his time.

Playing with Language: Using Drama to Teach Speaking Skills

Playwrights are experts at pragmatics. They understand the way conversations unfold through characters’ choices of what to say, how, and when. As a result, plays can model common rhetorical moves such as declining a request, airing a grievance, or other communication goals in natural ways. However, our teaching materials tend to focus more on grammar and vocabulary input. 

In this workshop, participants will experience activities that demonstrate how plays can be used to help students notice, understand, and ultimately apply pragmatics and other oracy skills. These activities will cover using voice and body language to convey attitude and meaning; reverse-outlining a conversation to notice how rhetorical moves are made, such as changing the subject, indicating agreement or disagreement, and pre-closing; and analysing rhetorical strategies characters use in certain situations, then applying them to roleplays of real-life situations. A handout includes the activities, lesson plan options, and other resources.

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