Conference presentations index

6 10 2012

Here is a list of all the workshops, seminars, talks and plenaries I have done, with links to any relevant pages, particularly those I have reworked here on the blog:

2017

The Key to ELT – Exploit the c**ts

IHTOC9 – IH Teachers Online Conference

2015

Raiders of the lost ART

Refreshing ELT, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

IH Montevideo Spring Conference, Uruguay

Mobile Phones and the Temple of Doom

Refreshing ELT, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

Blowing Hot and Cold

IHTOC7 – IH Teachers Online Conference

2014

From Ladders To Mountains – cutting Demand High down to size

Refreshing ELT, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

Think About It!

Refreshing ELT, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

X Anglia Examinations International Congress for English Language Professionals

IH Buenos Aires Joint Meeting

Teens and Tools and Twiddling Thumbs

Refreshing ELT, Bahia Blanca, Argentina

Stringing Students Along

IHTOC6 – IH Teachers Online Conference

Bringing Out The Inner Voice

Macmillan Uruguay 4th Annual Conference (Plenary), Montevideo

IH Buenos Aires Joint Meeting

2013

Hitting the Heights – Demanding Teachers for Demanding Students

Macmillan Uruguay 3rd Annual Conference (Plenary), Montevideo

IH Buenos Aires Joint Meeting

IH60 Lesson Ideas 

IHTOC60 – IH Teachers Online Conference

Take the stage!

IHWO Live Online Workshop

2012

The Game’s Up

IHTOC3 – IH Teachers Online Conference (plenary)

Surviving through song – words of wisdom for NQTs     

IHWO Live Online Workshop

IH Teachers Online Conference – 50 years of IH teacher training (Plenary)

Back to the future – IHWO Resources Update     

International House Directors of Studies’ Annual Conference (Plenary), London

Realising Reading

Macmillan Uruguay Annual Conference, Montevideo

No Man’s Land – Finding the middle ground in the Dogme debate  

Macmillan Uruguay Annual Conference, Montevideo

Pro-T Conference, Buenos Aires

Feedback Fiesta   

IHWO Live Online Workshop

2011

Feedback Fiesta

IHTOC1 – IH Teachers Online Conference

International House Montevideo Teachers’ Centre presented by Macmillan

KEL Martinez, Buenos Aires, on behalf of Macmillan

APIZALS Conference, San Carlos de Bariloche, for Macmillan (Plenary)

Correction Celebration     

International House Montevideo Teachers’ Centre presented by Macmillan

Professionally Developing  

ABS  Conference for Directors of Studies and English Coordinators, Buenos Aires

2.0 Web or Not 2.0 Web?

ABS Younger Learners Conference, Buenos Aires

2010

Professionally Developing

International House Cuernavaca Local Coordinators’ Training Day, Mexico

International House Veracruz Local Coordinators’ Training Day, Mexico

IHWO Resources Update

International House Directors of Studies’ Annual Conference (Plenary), London

DoS Special Interest Group Thread    

International House Directors of Studies’ Annual Conference (Plenary), London

2009

Feedback Fiesta     

International House South American Regional Workshop, San Isidro

The Drill Bit               

ABS Conference of Professional Development for Teachers of English, Buenos Aires

Teenage Texts     

ABS Conference of Professional Development for Teachers of English, Buenos Aires

2008

Coordinating Against The Clock – Time Management for Coordinators     

ABS Conference for Directors of Studies and English Coordinators, Buenos Aires

LANCELOT – The Synchronous Online Training Course

International House Directors of Studies’ Annual Conference, London

2007

The Mighty Noun Phrase

ABS Conference of Professional Development for Teachers of English, Buenos Aires

ICC – It’s Just Not Cricket!

ABS Conference for Directors of Studies and English Coordinators, Buenos Aires

2006

Tip Top Teacher Talk

ABS Conference of Professional Development for Teachers of English, Buenos Aires

Metaphor Magic

ABS Challenge Your English Conference, Buenos Aires

Putting Action Research into Action

ABS Conference for Directors of Studies and English Coordinators, Buenos Aires

2005

A Perfect Present – The Future of Grammar

ABS Conference of Professional Development for Teachers of English, Buenos Aires

Nurturing Noun Phrases

IH Buenos Aires Annual Conference

Teacher Talk Hokey Kokey

IH Buenos Aires Teachers’ Centre

Get Cracking!

ABS Challenge Your English Conference, Buenos Aires

Keeping to the Script

ABS Conference for Directors of Studies and English Coordinators, Buenos Aires

2004

Forward Thinking on Feeding Back

IH Buenos Aires Annual Conference

Drill Bill Vol.1

IH Buenos Aires Teachers Centre

2003

Keeping It Real

IH Buenos Aires Annual Conference (Plenary)

101 Vocab Bag Activities

IH Buenos Aires Teachers Centre

2001

Just Joking!

IH Prague Annual Conference

IH Budapest Annual Conference

2000                           

Revealing Remoteness

IH Prague Teachers Centre

Win When You’re Singing

IATEFL Annual Conference, Plzen

IH Prague Annual Conference

1999

Christmas Crackers

IH Prague Teachers Centre

If you have a particular workshop you would like me to rework (or come and present in your town/ school, please do let me know by commenting below!

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A Sporting Chance – The sticky wicket of sports-inspired idioms

23 03 2012

A Sporting Chance is a workshop I’m presenting on Sunday 25th March 2012 at the ABS conference ‘Challenge Your English’ – a conference for non-native teachers of English to boost the level of their own English.

Handout A Sporting Chance

ABS Challenge Your English

ABS Challenge Your English

Slides A Sporting Chance

The workshop focuses on English idioms from the world of sports, starting with sailing, then baseball, cricket, cards and finally a free-for-all called guess the sport.

As they are introduced to the idioms, the teachers play sports themselves which can be used in the classroom.

Abstract:

Do you find yourself behind the eight ball when idioms come out of left field?  Are you out of your depth when idiom-loving friends call the shots? Give yourself a sporting chance to cover all the bases as we dive headfirst into the world of sport-inspired idioms, exploring their meaning and background to give ourselves the inside track in the idiom race, allowing us to paddle our own idiom canoes and put a new vocabulary arrow in our language quivers.





No Man’s Land – Finding the Middle Ground in the Dogme Debate

16 02 2012

No Man’s Land – Slides from Montevideo 29/2/12

Macmillan Montevideo

On Wednesday 29/2/12 I had another go at No Man’s Land at the Macmillan Montevideo Conference 2011 held at the Anglo.  It was interesting to see how the talk changed as a result of  having a different dialogue with a different audience – Montevideo was much less impressed with Dogme than Buenos Aires was and quite a few members of the audience were brave enough to call themselves Textbook Traditionalists at the beginning of the talk, although we all ended up as Dog-maurauders at the end.  The talk was also shorter, so I focused more on the ten key principles and had also summarised 10 key Dogme-rauder principles which the audience were happy to accept and take away to consider.  Let us know how you get on!

Many thanks to Nicolas from Macmillan for organising the day, my impressive fellow speakers Aldo Rodriguez, Phil Hanham and Gustavo Gonzalez and, of course, the anglo for hosting the event – although it was the great audience that made the day such a success.

Pro-T Buenos Aires

Here are the slides from the talk at Pro-T 2012 on Thursday 16th February 2012.

No Man’s Land

Many thanks to everyone who came to the talk on Thursday and to @lcamio and the Pro-T team for inviting me and organising everything so smoothly.  I really enjoyed the talk and discovering much more about the principles of Dogme ELT through the process of researching, planning and writing the talk and sharing it with you on Thursday.  It was exciting (and empowering) to put the decision about whether or not to ‘convert’ myself into a Dogme-gician in your hands, and participating in that Dialogic Co-construction of knowledge to see what emerged was an enlightening process.  I hope the talk has helped some of you to look at your classrooms from a slightly different angle and gives you some ideas about how to ensure our students are at the centre of everything we do.

If you feel you are a Dogme-gician, it would be great to hear how you have managed to incorporate your Dogme teaching style into the confines of the educational context where you work.

Dogme-gician's believe in all the magic of Dogme.

If you’re a Dogme-rauder, it would be great to hear which principles of Dogme you have particularly pillaged and which ’emergent’ tasks and activities you have used successfully or are going to try out.

Dogme-rauders have a soft spot for the 10 key Dogme principles, but prefer to loot and pillage the best of all methods

And if you’re a Textbook Traditionalist, then it would be great to hear the reasons why.

Textbook traditionalists start their planning from the next page of the course book and feed their students grammar mcnuggets

The ones that came up during the talk were pressure from above (Principals getting in the way of principles?) and the necessity to prepare students for exams.

The first problem is going to take time and persistence in order to convince principals, parents and even ministries of education, that the syllabus can be covered and students can learn English and prepare themselves for exams without having to faithfully follow a course book step by step.

And exam classes can easily prepare through a less materials dominated approach.  Students choose the texts they want to work with (be they authentic, course book, test book or whatever).  Students can construct test activities for each other from these texts, empowering them to discover much more about the tests and the strategies needed to complete them successfully.   Students can decide which tasks to work on when, depending on mood, trending current affairs topics, previous classes, perceived weaknesses.   Students can design the course syllabus, selecting the test materials to use, the balance of test types to focus on, writing proposals at the beginning of the course, progress summaries during the course, reviews of the course as it progresses and reports on their progress towards the end of the course.  Obviously, the students will choose to use Practice Test materials during the course (I imagine), but this is all part of being a good Dogme-rauder – letting students choose, allowing the syllabus (as well as the langauge) emerge through a dialogue involving the whole class.

Al, Vicky and Susan enjoying the talk – laughing in the face of Dogme?

I seem to have burst into song – lyrics a-merging!

Looking forward to hearing where you stand and I was relieved to find out I can continue to be a Dogme-rauder at the end of the talk!





Very Professionally Developing

4 11 2011

Click here for slides IHBsAsProfessionallyDeveloping

I was asked to give a workshop today for the teachers at International House Recoleta and Belgrano based on the talk I did at the ABS Conference for Coordinators back in August.  Since I was confident they are already doing lots of the development ideas I addressed in the original talk, I wanted to attempt to make it a more personal and specific experience by adding in more interactive tasks and giving them summaries of the different tools on a plate, so to speak.

I enjoyed the journey they took me on and a lot of interesting ideas came out of it.  Hopefully some of them will go on to discover Suggestopedia in an experimental practice lesson or do some Action Research to improve their FCE learners listening skills.  Or at the very least they’ll come and comment on my blog.

Enjoy the slides and the handouts and I hope they help you to decide where to take your own Continuous Professional Develoment next.

Click here for the handouts  Professionally Developing





My slowest, shortest Fast – an achievement all the same

3 11 2011

Fast by mcneilmahon at Garmin Connect – Details.

Seems a bit odd to call last night’s run a fast one since I averaged around 6:30/km, not to mention the fact I only ran 5.3k.  But this all just goes to show how far I went and how far behind I now am.  The important thing is I managed to run 5k as fast as I can now without giving up and without injuring myself.

I managed to go 8 days without a run beforehand, which wasn’t part of the plan.  I need to be stricter with the days when Mer can’t run and go anyway.  The Nike 10k is only 10 days away now and I’ve only managed to run half the distance.  I need to go out every other day between now and the race, which is doable: Friday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday and try and get up to at least 8k during these races.  It will actually be fun to not have run 10k before the big day, a long way away from the days of running 20k three days before a 10k race, but then it was overdoing it like that that got me injured and where I’m at now anyway.

Today the foot doctor, tomorrow the knee doctor.  Let’s hope they give me the all clear and I can continue the comeback.

Last night’s thoughts: what do I have to do nd when do I have to do it.  Professionally Developing talk for IH Recoleta?belgrano on Friday, needs to be finished off tomorrow.  It’s going to be completely different to the times I’ve done it before in Mexico and ABS, since the audience will have heard of almost if not all the means of developing, so it’s gonna be more of a refelction on what suits each of us best.

Feedback Fiesta for Montevideo on the 19th November.  Again, very different since a three hour talk instead of an hour.  Lots more time to focus on error correction and separate out the three types of feedback and look at each in more detail.  Will need quite a bit of work mind to get it ready, though that will have to wait until the weekend after next, since this weekend is dedicated to preparing for the first IH Teachers Online Conference on Friday 25th November.  Really exciting project, I just hope the teachers hear about it and decide to come share with us.





Feedback Fiesta

16 10 2011

Ways of Varying Feedback Handout that goes with the session

One of my favourite subjects and favourite workshops, I have recently revamped and improved this session for talks I have recently done for Macmillan Argentina, at the APIZALS conference in Bariloche, Rio Negro on Friday 30/9/11 and at KEL in Martinez, Buenos Aires on Saturday 15/10/11.

I intend to explore different aspects of this talk in more detail when time permits, adding posts on why feedback is so important and others giving more details and activities for personalising, etxending, revising and motivating – stay tuned!

Reworking

I presented the latest version of this workshop at the inaugural IHWO Teachers Online Conference (IH TOC) on November 15th 2011.  And will be repeating it on February 10th and 13th as a Live Online Workshop (IH LOW) for International House teachers around the world.  After these workshops I will add the latest edition of the slides and hopefully a video of the session.





Professionally Developing

26 08 2011

Here are the slides from the workshop I’ve just given at the ABS Conference for Coordinators and Directors of Studies in Buenos Aires.  It’s an overview of different things teachers can do, or coordinators can encourage their teachers to do, in order to continue to develop either individually or as a school, incrementally or taking giant steps, face2face or online.

Enjoy the ideas and please share your favourite ways of continuing your professional development and let us know how you get on with putting some of these ideas into practice.

And a special thanks to all those who tweeted us from home and abroad during the session!





Coordinating against the clock

26 08 2011

Coordinating Against The Clock Powerpoint slides

Coordinating against the clock Handout

Coordinating against the clock was a workshop on time management that I gave at the ABS Intermational Conference for Coordinators and Directors of Studies in Buenos Aires in 2008.  The workshop looks at planning your to do lists, how to stop procrastinating, how to deal with your inbox efficiently and how to avoid needless interruptions.

As always, I post it here as it was originally presented and I hope to update it with new ideas when I get the chance.  Please help with the reworking by adding your comments and questions about the slides and handout.  I hope you find the materials helpful.

 





A call for help after Facebook frenzy

5 08 2011

Something very strange happened in my Advanced One class this evening.  We’d discussed last class how they knew they needed to practice writing (I managed to stop myself correcting them to develop) but that they didn’t like the writing tasks in the next unit of the book.  So I’d decided to be cool and trendy teacher (they’re 14/15 year olds) and suggest setting up a blog.

However, I also decided to be a student-centred, Dogme-style teacher (I know, I know, we went to the computer room) and let them actually set up the blog during the class.  The plan was to choose a name and what categories we’d aim for and then head to the computer room, set it up, discuss which theme to use and I’d set them a homework task of writing their profiles for the About page.

But when I mentioned this option to them, something strange happened.  They nigh on demanded that instead of a blog we open a Facebook group.   My immediate reaction was to say no, but I couldn’t think of any particualr reason why not (apart from a rather worrying nagging voice in the back of my head singing ‘security, security, security’ at me while I tried to dissuade them from continuing).  What followed was a coherent and cohseive debate on their part of the advantages of Facebook groups over blogs, I meekly conceded, but insisted they sat back down and we planned the launch properly (they had stood up as if by instinct as soon as I mentioned the words ‘computer room’).

They came up with the most boring name in the world, insisted the group was closed so none of their friends could laugh at their English (I doubt they have any friends whose English is better than theirs) and then positively begged me to post homework tasks so that they could complete them as notes on Facebook.

And off we went to the computer room…what followed was half an hour of incredible interaction, 95% of which was in English and about 40/60 split between writing and speaking.  The interaction between the four of us (I know, very small class, not empirically acceptable) while we sat at the computers was some of the best conversation I’ve witnessed in one of my classes.

One of the girls was overgrouped and so couldn’t join our group and noone could find her groups to ungroup her to allow her to join us in our group – there was language of suggestion, demonstrations of frustration, explanations, demonstrations, justifications for various odd groups she’d joined, all carefully monitored by yours truly.  Chucking in the odd technical Facebook / computer word and reformulating some of their functional language, they quickly took on new phrases and made them their own.

The other girl set up the group, named the group and invited us all and the absent ones to the group, when something really cool happened.  One of the boys who hadn’t turned up to class accepted her invitation to the group.  He even then did the task I set them – to write a quick intro to themselves.  And I merrily reacted to the content of their posts and included correct versions of their language in my responses.  And was even able to get the lad who’d not come to do the homework for next class.   I found out about their favourite music, the sports they play and that they’re all addicted to Facebook, all useful info to use to tailor texts and tasks to their likes.

Having used up my homework task in the class, I even managed to come up with another one on the spot for them to do at home, simply recommend a website in English and give three reasons why we as a class would like it.  Hopefully that will stoke their enthusiasm til next time.  My problem, and where you come in is, what do I do next time?  I mean, what do we do next time?  I can’t let them spend all their classes on Facebook, but have I lost them from the classroom?  Maybe I can use it as a reward at the end of classes if they’ve worked well and kept it in English?  Or just use it as a homework tool from now on?  They seemed so enthusiastic about the group ‘this is cool’, ‘I’m having fun’ (even the lad who was absent seemed to feel he was missing out) that I really don’t want to poor cold water on their fires by going the wrong way next time out.  Help!

What I need is advice, suggestions, ideas and help, any help, please.  Does anyone tend a Facebook group with their classes?  How do you use it?  What do you get the students to do on it?  How often do you use it?  What’s the balance between class and home time?  How do you go about improving their language while they use it?  Today has engendered such feelings of success (where’s @Harmerj and his flip when you need him) but also a plethora of questions.  Can you help me with the answers?





Comment on Alastair Grant’s blog post ‘Share and Share Alike’

3 08 2011

http://alastairjamesgrant.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/share-and-share-alike/

Some excellent points here from Susan, Brad and Colin, responding to Alastair’s excellent post on a conference I can’t believe I missed (I blame my school’s director – ha ha!). While I agree with everyone’s sentiments and have shared similar experiences both as a developing teacher and then as a Director of Studies, I do think Brad’s questions are difficult to answer. Some of the problems we have to overcome are pretty challenging and I see two of the biggest as: – the costs of bringing native speakers out to your institute almost prohibits letting them go if they don’t come up to (the CPD) scratch – getting practising teachers to realise they have as much (or even more) to contribute than the learned non-practitioners can be almost impossible But the solution to both seems to be the same – championing and focusing our efforts on developing, or should I say ‘providing opportunities for them to develop themselves’ the committed, locally-based teachers, such as those here in Argentina who went to the Share convention and hopefully those I’m going to meet this weekend starting out on the Delta journey in Uruguay, And one way of doing this is to stop organising conferences and presentations where a big name says a lot about very little and organising more conferences like the Share convention where the focus is on practising teachers collaborating to the benefit of all. See you next year at Share!