Presenter Profile

 Plenary Presenters

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 approach Thinking through the Curriculum, and  Teaching Young Learners to Think.  Her recent books include Psychology 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.

Lonny Gold

Lonny Gold , who is Canadian, hated school with a passion¦ and so on graduation he immediately went into teaching! He 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.

Teaching WITH the brain instead of AGAINST it

Teachers often feel that they are managing a curriculum; in actual fact they are managing their students, with their emotional states, aspirations and self-image. Teachers don’t just convey information – computer programs can do that better than we can and at a lower cost! – we create a safe and highly stimulating environment, where learners delight in their newly acquired capacities in the presence of other witnesses. Our work is fundamentally psychological and the most critical part of our job is to fool our learners into succeeding because “Nothing succeeds as well as success”. We must entertain in an unforgettable way, ensuring that learners perceive essential material indirectly because this is the channel that feeds long-term memory. We will need to become perceptual engineers as well as purveyors of exquisite fun; and at some moments we will even need to be masters of illusion.

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.Trevor

 Workshop Presenters

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

Thom Jones has lived in more than a dozen countries and delivered training in over 70. Having been a truly useless student (and proving it frequently by failing all the exams he was set) he started his professional life as a waiter before going into teaching, then management, before going freelance. Formerly part of the senior executive at Embassy CES before becoming Director of Operations USA for Studygroup he returned to the UK to work with Trinity College London and now works with a variety of organisations on a wide variety of projects. He is principal of Oxford College International summer programme for SBC and runs his own company: Brock Solutions Agency. He presents regularly around the world on a range of topics and is a guest lecturer at four universities

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

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.

Barbi Bujtás

Barbi Bujtas is a freelance EFL teacher (Barbi's Classes) and materials developer in Hungary, with 19 years of experience. Her focus areas are ICT, DOGME, engagement, authentic materials. Recently she has been engaged with hands-on experiences in the EFL classroom, user-friendliness and learner experience design.

Eliminate Boredom by Building on Senses

We are facing the challenge of digital generations of learners behaving and thinking differently. People are born into a world of neuromarketing, an abundance of information, triggers for feel-good hormones. Their channels of perception are slightly different from ours’ and they appear to seek fun all the time. Is fun the right word? In my practice I have found that the magic ingredient to grab and maintain attention and raise motivation is not fun as entertainment, but fun as something relevant, a dopamine-booster, something that is familiar in a pleasant way. Instead of digital tools some very basic mechanisms of human functioning have proved to be well-suited and even compelling: senses. We will explore how (instead of irrelevant and unfamiliar content) tastes, textures, sounds, temperature or smells can be the key to attention and building new skills on existing knowledge.

Philip Pound

Philip Pound is from Ireland, and has been living in Tokyo, Japan for the past 6 years. He has also lived in the UK and China. Prior to teaching English in Asia, Philip worked as an advertising executive in Dublin, and worked in a number of sales positions in various industries. Philip is the founder of EFL Magazine which he set up in 2015. The magazine regularly get up to 50,000 readers per month, and has had hundreds of contributors over the past 3 years. Philip first became involved with EdYOUFest for Sicily,2016.

No Safe Spaces

In recent years there’s been an increasing number of students and teachers presenting with anxiety and anxiety-related symptoms. The knee-jerk reaction has been to mollycoddle and shield the student. This is an era of “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings”. In this workshop, Philip will draw on the work of Dr Albert Ellis, and in particular REBT, to present a simple and practical system to deal with anxiety, worry, and “cognitive distortions”.The workshop will be hands-on and interactive, and enable the attendee to use the REBT system to work with students and/or colleagues.

John Milton

John Milton trained as an EFL teacher in 2010 and spent 7 years teaching all levels and age groups in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and spent one year as Director of Studies, at the city’s premium English course. In 2017, he moved to Spain where he has continued teaching to all levels with an added focus on Exam Preparation classes. Since 2015, he has been a member of the Millfield English Language Holiday Course team, fulfilling various roles such as EFL teacher, working on the teacher training team and as Principal Teacher.

Lasting connections, lasting learning

I attended a conference recently where I saw a workshop titled, “Teacher? Entertainer? Why not both?!” and I shuddered. I feel there is huge pressure on EFL teachers, especially those working in unsupportive, ‘client’-centred language courses to entertain their students as opposed to teach them. All this focus on FUN and being liked can lead to pointless gimmicks being introduced to the classroom and detract from the job at hand. I’d like to lead a discussion on how we can leave those pressures at the door and use our personalities, humour, body language and classroom management to get students engaged, focused and on-task

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.

Larissa Albano

Larissa Albano is a Trinity Tesol Certified EFL teacher, she is taking the Trinity DipTesol in Oxfordshire and she is the founder of Larissa’s Language Studio. Larissa has been creating her own EFL materials and games for more than ten years. She started tutoring foreign language students when she was only 16. She is creative and energetic and she is able to turn everything she sees into a game! She is also an ELT blogger and her British Council award-winning blog is read by teachers from all over the world.

The EFL classroom from nightmare to wonderland: strategies to lower the ‘affective filter’

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.

Charles Goodger

Charles Goodger is a writer, musician, teacher and teacher trainer. Before setting up FunSong Education in Windsor, he wrote text books for publishers including Longmans and Mondadori. He has lived, taught and worked in Spain, Latvia, Israel and Italy and for several years was a committee member of the IATEFL Young Learners SIG. Charles has indefinite tenure as a teacher trainer at Bologna University.

Kick-starting language learning through action songs

I will provide a dynamic and enjoyable workshop on how to combine music and mime, rhythm and rhyme in language teaching. First, I will focus on the concept of meaning in sound and the relationship between music and language on a neurological level. I will then go on to illustrate how and why the correct use of catchy, ear-worm language-learning action songs can be such an effective way of presenting and teaching new language, especially in terms of their mnemonic and phonological properties. During my practical demonstrations of this Elton’s-nominated teaching method, I will invite you to put yourself in the shoes of a language student; at the end of the workshop you will be shown how to stream free song-based material (mp3s and videos) from the FunSongs website into the classroom.

Chris Walklett

Chris Walklett is an EFL teacher/teacher trainer & history/cultural studies lecturer at a well-known UK university. His passion is using songs and song lyrics in the EFL classroom and he has given many presentations on the topic including a recent TedX talk. He is the author of the Teaching Tracks series on using songs and their lyrics in the language classroom.

How to Teach Tracks

New teachers are discovering (and older hands are rediscovering) using songs and song lyrics in their classrooms.
However when one looks for anything more than short, basic, off the peg activities, or even less realistically, ready-made lesson plans both in coursebooks and on the internet one finds that there are surprisingly few ‘go to’ places that offer both suitable and pedagogically sound materials, meaning that teachers are often left needing to produce their own.
This session will offer ideas as to ways in which to engage more with what this resource has to offer. After some input, there will then be an opportunity for participants to construct their own materials. Ideas generated can hopefully be turned into usable (structured and staged) materials, and/or lesson plans.
This session hopes to offer an overview of the things to remember (and also maybe the things to forget) when using this resource in ELT.

Chaouki M'kaddem

Chaouki M’kaddem is a Tunisian senior EFL teacher. He has been teaching for nearly twenty-six years in state schools. He has presented at many international conventions, including TESOL International in the USA. He has been dedicated to peace education since the training he received at the United States Institute of Peace. He took part in many activities during the celebrations of the 72nd anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks in Japan.

Incorporating Peace Education in Young Learners and Teens’ Classrooms

This workshop will show participants how to introduce the concept and aspects of peace to young learners and teens through interactive activities. It also offers hands-on activities on how to enable learners not only to understand the aspects of peace but also to embrace them. Participants will gain knowledge about what aspects to teach, what stages to follow, and what their students are expected to produce

Gabi Kotlubaj

Gabi has over 25 years of experience in the world of EFL as a teacher, teacher trainer and academic manager. Her interests have always been centred around needs-based learning, differentiated teaching and learner autonomy. A strong believer in CPD, Gabi has written and delivered workshops, seminars and training courses to teachers from all over the world, including courses on creative methodologies, Inclusion & Special Educational Needs and CLIL. In her free time she reads philosophy, enjoys hiking and rock climbing, and writes teaching and teacher training materials. Gabi has a degree in Philosophy and the University of Cambridge Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, she is also a Celta Trainer.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink

By analogy, how can we make our students notice features of language in order to help them learn more effectively? According to Richard Schmidt, noticing is at the heart of learning and we are more likely to actually use language when our attention has been drawn to it in some way.
In this workshop, we will focus on how reconstruction activities help students notice features of language such as grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. We will look at a selection of reconstruction activities reflecting on their learning value, and how they lend themselves to differentiated teaching. This will offer an opportunity to explore The Noticing Hypothesis and its use in the classroom.
The workshop will be hands-on and interactive, and it will offer opportunities for teachers to share experiences through collaborative tasks as well as guided group discussions. Throughout the session, the techniques and approaches being discussed will be used by the trainer to help participants experience them first hand.

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