Thursday, 7 May 2015

29th APPI Conference, Lisboa, Portugal - Day 1

The 29th APPI (Portuguese Association of Teachers of English) 21st century skills in ELT was held in Lisbon from 30 April to 2 May and once again the APPI Board kindly invited me to give a talk. I was very lucky because my talk was scheduled on the first day so I was free to enjoy the talks and the socialising afterwards.

On the first day, the opening plenarist was Dr. Kathleen Graves, who also gave the opening plenary at TESOL-SPAIN's Annual conference in Salamanca in March.  In her talk Creativity: An essential resource for the 21st century  she developed the idea that creativity is the human capacity to use one’s imagination to think and act in innovative, original and meaningful ways and she contended that in the 21st century, cultivating creativity is essential in order to navigate the complex challenges of language education in a globalized, interconnected world. Interesting and inspiring.

The second plenary of the morning was given by Nicky Hockly. In her talk Going mobile: Mobile literacy and the 21st century she argued that although the term ‘mobile learning’ has become equated with mobile phones and ‘learning on the go’, it is much more than that. She examined how mobile devices can cross the boundaries between school and the outside world, and become a tool for developing mobile literacy, a key 21st century skill.

In the afternoon, it was my turn to talk about teaching values. I gave it the title We don’t teach English. We teach people, which was something I always reminded my students at teacher training college of. EFL teachers know that we’re teaching more than just English. One of those things is values. But the problem is whose values to teach and how to teach them as students sometimes do not have the necessary level of english to discuss certain issues. In my presentation, I proposed some guiding principles for incorporating values education in our classes and explored ways in which values can be taught from an early age.

I must say that the room was almost full and I was very happy to see Dr. Graves sitting in the audience. She later congratulated me as she had enjoyed the talk very much and had found it very interesting. I need not say I was over the moon. Some of the teachers who attended came later to say how much they had also enjoyed the talk and how useful they had found it. Thank you!