Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto - The Fashions of ELT

iTDi Program Director

Like tie-dyed shirts, parachute pants and the mullet, fashions in ELT come and go. New ways of teaching develop in reaction to methods that aren't working as well as we want them to, or as a result of research or new theories about learning, or even as reflections of societal trends. Historically, they provide a window into what we knew about language teaching and learning at that a given point in time. We'll take a look at some of these ELT fashion has beens—what made them popular and what replaced them—and see if there just might be a few classics that never really go out of style.

Barbara is a Program Director and author for iTDi's English For Teachers course, and believes that be best way to raise the level of teaching in EFL is to make quality professional development accessible and affordable to all language teachers, and that the best professional development comes from teachers helping other teachers. She has taught English, ESL, and EFL for more than 25 years, and has conducted teacher development workshops around the world. Barbara is a co-author of the best-selling young learners EFL series, Let's Go (Oxford University Press). Her motto is “Always try new things,” so these days, when she's not teaching, writing, or giving workshops, you'll often find Barbara online exploring the potential of social media for professional development. If you'd like to explore with her, you can usually find Barbara on her award-winning blog, Teaching Village.

Penny Ur - What is effective language teaching?

What is effective teaching? Research has not produced any generalized or coherent answer to this question. In this presentation I will discuss my own ideas about how we can identify good teaching when we see it, and suggest some useful practical principles to help make our own teaching more effective.

Penny Ur has thirty years' experience as an English teacher in elementary, middle and high schools in Israel. Now retired, she has taught M.A. courses at Oranim Academic College of Education and Haifa University.  She has presented papers at TESOL, IATEFL and various other English teachers' conferences worldwide.

She has published a number of articles, and was for ten years the editor of the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers series.  Her books include Discussions that work (1981), Five minute activities (coauthored with Andrew Wright) (1992), A course in language teaching (1996),  Grammar practice activities (2nd Edition) (2009), Vocabulary activities (2012), and A course in English language teaching (2012), all published by Cambridge University Press.

Özge Karaoglu - What I Have Learnt in Kindergarten

Kindergarten has been the place for children to meet and beat the challenges, and learn with joy and curiosity. On the other hand, it is a place for teachers to grow through many enriching experiences and learn to be imaginative and creative from kids. If you watch and listen carefully, you can hear inspiring ideas that can spark the creativity within you and your children and you can surprise everyone with the results. During this session, I will be talking about how you can collaborate with young learners to create online projects and help them to create their own English language learning materials using their own voices and drawings. I will show the examples of unique animations and digital games that were developed by children for children.

Özge Karaoglu is an EFL teacher, teacher trainer and educational consultant in teaching young/very young learners, teaching with web-based technologies for international organizations, schools and institutes worldwide. She has been developing animations, digital games and smart phone applications with her young learners for the last five years. She has a blog where she writes about teaching English through technology and web-based tools. She is currently teaching young and very young learners in Turkey and enjoying every minute of it.

Ann Mayeda - What do I know about young learners and their desire to communicate?

In this webinar, we will look at some of the spontaneous learner strategies employed by young learners and the role they play in supporting communication in the language classroom. In the quest for maintaining a willingness to communicate, an argument will be made for maintaining and nurturing these communicative behaviors not only in preschool and elementary school English programs but also into secondary learning environments where an increasing focus on communicative experiences is beginning to change the face of compulsory English language programs.

Ann Mayeda is a teacher and teacher-trainer based in Kobe, Japan. She has over 20 years of experience working with a range of learners but has always been drawn to working with young learners and all the wonderful teachers dedicated to working with them.  She has been involved in teaching and coordinating a government teacher-training program for elementary school teachers, and whenever time allows continues to conduct workshops for schools and teaching organizations. In addition to her lecturing duties at Konan Women's University, she serves on the advisory board for Our Discovery Island, Pearson's latest young learners EFL series and is a tutor on the University of Birmingham CELS MA distance learning team. The continuing theme in her teaching/learning philosophy centers on learner development and issues in autonomy as it applies to children and young adult learners, and strives to support teachers to make effective decisions about appropriate pedagogy in their own particular context.

Kate Cory-Wright - What's going on in my classroom?

All teachers are faced with questions that are specific to their own teaching situation, e.g.,: Why does Jimena lack motivation? How can I encourage Mateo to speak more in class? Why doesn't this group do their homework? It stands to reason that we cannot provide a solution until we understand what is causing the situation. Are we the cause? Is there an external cause that we don't know about?

Action research enables us to discover what is really going on - and take action! It is an exciting opportunity to "improve a particular aspect of our own professional practice in asystematic way" (Michael J. Wallace: Action Research for Language Teachers, CUP.) In this webinar Kate Cory-Wright will explain why and how action research is a wonderful example of professional development. 

Kate is an author for iTDi's English For Teachers course. She is passionate about working with teachers in international contexts. She has trained teachers in 23 countries around the world - Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. She has co-authored 17 EFL books, as well as writing video materials, e-projects, and teacher training materials. She lives in the stunning country of Ecuador in South America.