Sunday, 22 November 2015

International Forum on English Language Teaching VII

Department of Anglo-American Studies
Faculdade de Letras
Universidade do Porto
Porto, 24th October 2015

On Saturday 24th October, the Faculdade de Letras of the University of Porto, Portugal, hosted the VII International forum of English Language Teaching. One more time, Nicholas Hurst and Maria Ellison put together an interesting programme with speakers from Spain, Portugal and the UK. Under the slogan “New Demands, New Directions and New Dynamics in ELT for Young Learners”, the Forum offered a wide range of sessions with a focus on EFL in primary and pre-primary education.

Sessions started at 09:00 a.m. with the plenary session 10 lessons: Working with young learners: what have I learnt from research and practice? by Annamaria Pinter from Warwick University. Annamaria shared some personal messages about inspiring children in language classrooms and offered concrete ideas that she has found inspirational in working with teachers and young learners.

After that, there were parallel sessions during the morning and afternoon. Ana Fernandez-Viciana from Oviedo University gave an interesting talk Self – efficacy: Believing in me, I believe in you focusing on the importance of self-efficacy as a factor to take into account when predicting teachers’ action in the primary classroom.

Then, Sónia Ferreirinha from APPI examined the role of coursebooks and published materials in her talk Teaching YL beyond the coursebook. At the same time, I presented We don’t teach English, we teach people and showed materials and ideas for teaching values in the primary classroom.

After lunch, Anne Parr-Modrzejewska from Lodz University gave a plenary session called Multiple faces of CLIL. The nature and effects of cross-curricular approach to teaching English as a foreign language to young learners, a number of selected studies on CLIL and real life classroom practices in various educational contexts that show how teaching a foreign language as an element of an integrated curriculum contributes to improved performance in young learners.

Florià Belinchon from Lleida University followed with a practical workshop Edtech: making the most of 2.0 tools for young learners. He analysed new ways of engaging students through the use of online tools and we tried our hand at creating materials.

The Forum closed with the plenary session Addressing the challenges in teaching English to young learners: lessons from around the world offered by Sue Garton, Director of Post Graduate programmes in English at Aston University. Drawing on data from primary teachers from around the world, Dr Garton showed how the challenges are common across contexts and therefore, how lessons can be learnt from teachers’ experiences globally.

I would like to thank Maria Ellison, Nic Hurst and the team of volunteers for a very warm welcome and a wonderful event. Keep up the hard work! 

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