TESOL Macedonia-Thrace Northern Greece E-Bulletin Issue 45

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TESOL Macedonia-Thrace Northern Greece E-Bulletin issue 45, featuring the article Malgorzata Kosior and I wrote on ELT and TED (pages 20-25) based on the "Teaching with TED Talks" workshop we did at …

TESOL Macedonia-Thrace Northern Greece E-Bulletin issue 45, featuring the article Malgorzata Kosior and I wrote on ELT and TED (pages 20-25) based on the "Teaching with TED Talks" workshop we did at the 2013 TESOL Macedonia-Thrace Convention.

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  • 1. BULLETINTesol Macedonia-ThraceNorthern GreeceeIssue 45Jun/Jul/Aug 2013Tel: 6976845202tesolmth@gmail.comwww.tesolmacthrace.orgIn this issue:A Report on the IATEFLConference in Liverpool(p. 11)TESOL Greece 34th AnnualConvention in Athens(p. 13)Report on the 11th ELTASerbia Conference(p. 10)SEETA News(p. 9)The Desirable and the Possible(IATEFL article) ( p. 17)an associate memberAlice and the Othersin Wonderland(IATEFL article) (p. 19)TED meets ELT(p. 20)Don’t miss!Richpost-conventionissue!N.Sifakis: Αγγλική Γλώσσακαι Παγκοσμιοποίηση(p. 26)
  • 2. First of all, hats off to everyone who was involved in our 20thAnnual Convention.Excellent organisation and dedicated hard work by all mem-bers of the board along with invaluable support from oursponsors and exhibitors ensured a thoroughly memorableweekend. Pleasant weather, an excellent venue, edifying andentertaining presentations, good facilities and a warm, friendlyatmosphere – all of this and more characterised the conven-tion. What really lies at the heart of a convention such as this,aside from the plenary presentations, is the rich variety of work-shops and presentations that go on throughout the two days.Those attending had the opportunity to listen to both theirown colleagues from the region and speakers from Italy, Bul-garia, Serbia and Turkey talking on a range of topics of profes-sional interest and relevance to their teaching circumstances.A big thank you to all of you who took part. Here are just a fewcomments we received by e-mail shortly after the convention:-‘Thank you for giving practicing teachers like us this won-derful opportunity to become presenters and share ourexperience with other people.’ ‘It was a huge pleasure to participate in such an inspiringand fun convention!’‘There was very positive feedback almost immediatelyfrom participants and other presenters, and I have to ad-mit that I have become an official fan. I look forward toother events.’You can read more about the convention elsewhere in this bul-letin.The American College of Thessaloniki kindly hosted the eventand allowed us full use of their excellent facilities. Specialthanks must also go to Burlington Books for their unwaveringsupport for our organisation and thanks also to Express Pub-lishing, HAU and InputonEducation for their contributions. Fora non-profit Teachers’Association this kind of sponsorship is vi-tally important and enables the organisation to offer its mem-bers the kind of professional development they deserve.I must also mention that the British Council sponsored ourformer Vice-Chair, Rea Tsougari, and current Supervisory Com-mittee member Anna Parisi to attend their weekend seminarin Serbia on Fund Raising for Teachers’ Associations. The semi-nar was attended by representatives of 18 different TAs fromaround the Eastern and South Eastern European, and all theparticipants received a wealth of information and shared ex-perience on how to raise funds which, in these hard times,will be vital to the continued well-being of our own organi-sation. Anna and Rea will be organising a workshop on whatthey learnt later in the year so that successive boards can reapthe full benefit of it. From now on co-operation should be thename of the game.Looking beyond the forthcoming summer holidays, there is ourannual Welcome Back Event on October 20th to note down inyour diaries. There will be at least two main presentations, butof equal importance is the AGM and the fact that this year is anelection year for a new board. Your vote will be important, and Iwould ask you all to consider what benefits you might gain frombecoming a board member.With the exam period now over it only remains for me to wishyou all a relaxing summer break and leave you with Nat King Cole.‘Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.’Roger HouseMany thanks to our Convention Sponsors(in strictly alphabetical order)American College of ThessalonikiBurlington BooksExpress PublishingHellenic American UnionInputonEducationAnd those that have supported us:International PublishersStudy SpaceOxford University PressEditorial TeamBulletin Editors:Phil HollandBrigitte Mottet-DidaskalouDora PontikaWriters:Phil HollandRoger HouseMike HughesRichard Kiely (IATEFL)Errika PetrotouAdrian Tennant (IATEFL)George TopalisDimitris Tzouris & Margarita KosiorKatie Quartano & Paul ShawPhotography:Nathan PrattDesign & Layout:Konstantina KyratzidouΕΚΔΟΤΗΣΙΔΙΟΚΤΗΤΗΣ-ΕΚΔΟΤΗΣRoger House(ΠΡΟΕΔΡΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΝΩΣΗΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΗ ΔΙΔΑΣΚΑΛΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΑΓΓΛΙΚΗΣ ΓΛΩΣΣΑΣΣΤΗΝ ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΘΡΑΚΗ)TESOL MACEDONIA-THRACENORTHERN GREECEtel.: (0030)6976845202e mail: tesolmth@gmail.comA VIEW FROMTHE CHAIR
  • 3. Sunday, 16thJune 20138:30 pmSpecial prices:2€ first wine/beer/soft drink20% discount on other drinksFinger foodDel Arte cafe Bar LoungeWhite Tower Square - Vassiliko Theatre★Stay entertained with us-quizzes, drinks and chatting!★No entrance fees!★Open to non-members!‘Summerfun eventContact details: (0030) 6976845202, tesolmth@gmail.com, www.tesolmacthrace.orginvites  old  friends  and  welcomes  new  membersThursday, June 13, 2013
  • 4. 20th AnnualInternationalConvention9th-10th March 2013@‘”ELT-the What &the How”byRoger House3Pleasant weather, an excellent venue, edifying and en-tertaining presentations, and a warm, friendly atmo-sphere – all of this and more characterised the TESOLMacedonia-Thrace, Northern Greece 20th Annual Con-vention at the American College of Thessaloniki.Bright and early on Saturday morning the first plenarypresentation entitled‘New Literacies: Teachers & Learn-ers.’was given by Gavin Dudeney, in which he examinedhow the digital age has forced teachers to reassess theirapproach to the traditional three rs (reading, writingand arithmetic), long considered the cornerstones ofbasic literacy/numeracy. He gave some suggestions asto what it means to be digitally literate and exploredthe new types of literacy that have emerged with theadvent of Web 2.0. He followed this up later in the daywith a practical workshop demonstrating these kinds ofonline tools. As a teacher, materials developer, IT man-ager and web/user interface designer based in the UK,Gavin is at the cutting edge of learning technologies.Later on Saturday Tom Godfrey, the second plenaryspeaker, talked about‘Whole Person Learning: The NewWay’ and explained what a whole person approach tolanguage learning is and that some traditional valuesneed to be re-examined. He focused on the practicalissues of developing skills in a monolingual classroomenvironment by recognising the importance of satisfy-ing our students physical, psychological and linguisticneeds. Tom, who is based in Turkey, shared his experi-ence as a teacher trainer in his Sunday morning work-shop, which explored using drama techniques in Eng-lish language teaching.After a morning round of workshops, Nicos Sifakis, whois an assistant professor in the School of Humanities ofthe Hellenic Open University (HOU), gave the third ple-nary presentation on ‘Differentiated Instruction: a wayforward for teachers.’ which is  an approach to teach-ing that takes into account learners differences. Hereviewed the essential principles of differentiated in-struction and considered the practical aspects in termsof ways in which teachers can reflect on and evaluatethe impact of their own practice, which he developedfurther in his follow-up workshop.
  • 5. 4conventionreport! David A. Hill is a freelance consultant and teachertrainer based in Budapest with a lot of experience inwriting educational materials for both language andliterature work. All of which he put to good effectin the final plenary presentation, which was on thetopic of ‘Language Play & Creative Language Learn-ing’. According to David, playing with language is oneof the fundamental ways in which humans learn tospeak their mother tongue and it has been seriouslyneglected in the EFL/ESL classroom. In both this ple-nary and his workshop he worked his way througha series of examples and showed how these mightbe used in class to develop learners’language aware-ness.What really lies at the heart of a convention such asthis is the rich variety of workshops and presenta-tions that go on throughout the two days. Those at-tending had the opportunity to listen to both theirown colleagues from the region and speakers fromItaly, Bulgaria, Serbia andTurkey talking on a range oftopics of professional interest and relevance to theirteaching circumstances. Rock & Roll in the classroom,Dickens and the price and value of education, car-toons, on-line courses, TED talks, story telling, dicta-tion, the feelgood factor in teaching and fairy taleswere just some of the themes touched on. The op-portunity to learn and share is what made the con-vention such a success, and this is all down to thepeople who participated.The Pecha Kucha evening has now become a regu-lar feature of the convention. In a highly entertainingsequence of consecutive six-minute-forty-secondpresentations the audience enjoyed a poem aboutmoths, the history of pecha kucha itself, a celebra-tion of 20 years of TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, North-ern Greece, bizarre book titles, a humorous look atthe classroom and even a song and dance routine.David A Hill, Malgorzata Kosior, Maria Sachpazian,Gavin Dudney, Nikos Sifakis and Tom Godfrey pro-vided the entertainment ably compered by PhilHolland. The fun was followed by a buffet kindlysponsored by Burlington Books. TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, Northern Greece would also like to thankthe Hellenic American Union, Express Publishing, theBritish Council and InputonEducation, as well as ourhost, ACT, for all their help and support in making it aweekend to remember.
  • 6. GavinDudeney20th AnnualInternationalConvention‘New Literacies: Teachersand Learners’by Roger House5Whether you consider yourself to be a digital native or adigital immigrant, there is no escaping the fact that thenew learning technologies are here to stay and we mightas well face up to it. Considering my own status to be thatof an immigrant, I found Gavin Dudeney’s Saturday morn-ing plenary presentation gave me something of a refresh-ing perspective on the whole issue.Gavin began with a personal history of his own involve-ment with computers and ICT and surprisingly, given hiscurrent involvement with on-line learning, he confessedto having started his teaching career as an unrepentantimmigrant. He soon, however, discovered the error of hisways.Then he moved on to a definition of what he meantby‘digital literacy’by giving the following quotation –“theability to understand and use information in multiple for-mats from a whole range of sources” and unpacked, as itwere, the four main areas in which this literacy operates.Print code, he explained, was the ability to manipulatethe digital environment and involved competency withconventionreport!text messaging. He also mentioned‘hyperlink heroin’andthe ability, or inability, to stay focused on a task withoutwandering off into cyberspace. The key element, though,was the search skill, which takes in tagging, bookmarkingand the process of selecting and organising information.All this, he suggested, constituted what he termed DSL orDigital as a Second Language.After showing how we all create a‘digital footprint’– Face-book being the most conspicuous example of this type of‘identity management’ – he posed the question of howfar your online image defines you and what the possibledrawbacks to this type of exposure can be. I needn’t, Ithink, go any further into this as we are all aware of ex-actly what they might be. At this point he decided to testus all with an ‘Are you digitally literate?’quiz. I didn’t notedown all the questions, but they ranged from‘Is openingyour e-mail inbox the first thing you do in the morning?to‘Do you have your own blog?’My own score was quitelow, thus confirming my immigrant status.‘Is any of this really important?’he asked. Well, yes it is, be-cause, as he said, shift happens. The major shift that hasoccurred in recent years is the speed at which informationis gathered, resulting in a new kind of mobility. For thisreason technology should play an integrated role in thecurriculum and, as teachers, we all need to become‘techsavvy’in order to feel comfortable with the new learningtechnologies. This involves not only adopting a positiveattitude but also undertaking specific training to improveour skills. I just wish I’d known all this ten years ago.You can catch the plenaries as wellas interviews with the speakers byJoanna Chletsi on YouTube. ThePecha Kucha Evening is there too.Fresh Video did the shooting andediting.
  • 7. David A.Hill20th AnnualInternationalConventionDavid A. Hill – Playing withLanguageby Mike Hughes6conventionreport!David started his talk joking about the many impostorsbearing the same name and how he had been forced toadd a middle initial to avoid confusion – he also alludedto how he had been given the ‘graveyard slot’ – the lastsession in the convention when many people may haveleft. But in fact he was talking to a full hall, a tribute bothto the power of the 20th Annual Convention and to wideinterest in the speaker and his topic!His subtle sense of humour pervaded his talk and, not sur-prisingly, perhaps, the title was “Playing with Language”.David looked at some of the fun things that can be donewith language and how to include entertaining elementsin lessons based on language itself, a kind of double bo-nus. He mentioned how ‘play’ is something that charac-terizes animals of a higher order. His knowledge of natureand particularly the animal kingdom was something wehad already admired during his very successful Pecha Ku-cha talk on the world of moths. He went on to talk aboutthe wonderful world of horses and explained some as-pects of“the Horse Whisperer”.David gave us some personal examples of playing withlanguage from his own family situation in Hungary beforeturning to Fairy Tales and how chants and familiar stories,through their repetitive elements, patterns and rhymes,can be useful in the language classroom. Examples givenhere included the well-known “Little Red Riding Hood”.These things are used by native speakers with their ownchildren and he asked why we ignore them in EFL.As an EFL writer, David gave an interesting insight intosome of the constraints that are placed on him and col-leagues. The commercial reality of EFL coursebooksmeans that any elements which could potentially offendany of the myriad markets tend to be left out, and some-times this makes for bland subject material. Most jokes,he reflected, are based on subjects which are taboo andthis means that humour, unfortunately, has to be exclud-ed from coursebooks.David went on to give many examples of things whichcan be used in the language classroom including the fa-mous knock-knock jokes, wordplay and the ever-popularand creative subject of graffiti. He showed us some funpostcards based on “Lost Consonants” by Graham Rawle,which I know have been used by teachers to add interestand fun to their language classrooms.All in all, it was a very interesting and enriching talk froma person with a very individual, stimulating point of view.It made for an excellent end to an excellent conference.
  • 8. TomGodfrey20th AnnualInternationalConventionWhole Person Learning, TheNew WayAnd the Oscar goes to…by Errika Petrotou7conventionreport!True to his plenary title and teaching principles,Tom God-frey’s presentation involved the participants and shookthem from head to toe! To begin with, for the purpose ofwarming up our vocal cords (one of the main tools of ourtrade) and increasing our concentration, we were trans-formed into owls, emitting vowel sounds and moving ourheads in an owlish manner.He then moved on to clarify what Whole Person Learn-ing is about. Tom Godfrey advocates a new holistic ap-proach to learning, away from the old main principles ofmaterialism, reductionism and determinism. The old wayrevolved around materialism, i.e. the principle that onlymatter matters. What Tom Godfrey put forward is that it’snot a question of matter but a question of that invisibleenergy that shapes and connects matter.What really mat-ters is to shape and channel that energy into a meaning-ful learning experience for our students.The second old dominant way under question is that ofreductionism. This principle reduces the whole to itsparts, segregates, compartmentalizes. But learning goalswould be impossible to achieve without the synergy of allour dimensions, that is, the body (learning through do-ing) the mind (learning cognitively) and the spirit (learn-ing by relating to things emotionally). Extending this newview, teachers should also bear in mind that what worksone day in one class in all probability will not work thesame way in other classes.Finally, contrary to the old principle of determinism,knowledge cannot be standardized (what Tom calls “TheMcDonald’s Syndrome”). It’s not a commodity that ispassed on from teachers to learners. Learners are calledto actively make sense of what they are being taught, tomake knowledge their own by interpreting it in their ownunique, individual way, and that’s what makes learningpossible.To demonstrate and consolidate this new holistic ap-proach, Tom embarked on the dramatization of a storythat takes place in the Wild West, taking his eager audi-ence along for the ride. After some necessary preliminarysteps such as setting the scene, putting pictures in order(engaging the mind), eliciting the story through mime(engaging the body), then came the casting. Every ani-mate and inanimate role was duly cast; the sheriff, the vil-lains, the unsuspecting bystander, the horse, the cactus,everyone and everything came to life (engaging the spir-it). The outcome was pure, unadulterated fun and learn-ing, the new, whole-person way. My unreserved adviceto fellow teachers is to try it wholeheartedly. It will surelymake your students feel like they are accomplished Oscarwinners!
  • 9. Dr. NicosSifakis20th AnnualInternationalConventionSifakis Speaks on D.I. as thenew M.O.by Phil Holland8Dr. Nicos Sifakis of Hellenic Open University spoke on “Dif-ferentiated instruction: a way forward for teachers”. He wasalso a plenary speaker in 2005, when he spoke on Eng-lish as an international language, a subject that lies at thecenter of his recently published book, Αγγλική γλώσσα καιπαγκοσμιοποίηση (Herodotos 2012, reviewed below on p.26). He is both a researcher into ELT methodology and ateacher trainer with wide experience with the teaching ofEnglish in Greek public schools.He began is talk by saying that, despite its technical-sound-ing name, differentiated instruction offers a simple proposi-tion: “catering to all your learners’ individual learning needs”.He also quoted Earl (2003):“Differentiation is making sure that the right students get theright learning tasks at the right time. Once you have a senseof what each student holds as‘given’or‘known’and what heor she needs in order to learn, differentiation is no longer anoption. It is an obvious response.”That may be easier said than done, but Nicos showed practi-cal ways to accomplish it.The brief video he showed of an American math classroomwas eye-opening. Students were working independentlyand in small groups to solve problems. Some were at theboard, some seated at clusters of desks or at tables aroundthe room. There was movement and, it appeared, a sense ofpurpose. It took a while for a viewer to pick out the teacher.And yet it was apparent that the teacher had set in motionan environment that allowed learners to work at their ownpace, getting help from their peers or the teacher himself ifnecessary. Many lessons were going on at once; no learnerwas left behind, and no one appeared to be disengaged.There were no obvious boundaries, but there was no disor-der. The class simply went about its business in a way thatappeared to have become habitual. No one was looking outthe window.Nicos characterized differentiated instruction as a way ofthinking. Its cardinal points are learner (and learning) cen-teredness, teacher autonomy, and ICT enhancement. “Thecoursebook is dead,”he pronounced. In its place the teacherorchestrates activities that will enable her students – withtheir diversity of levels, motives, backgrounds, and learningstyles – to move ahead in their acquisition of English (or ofany subject) as the individuals they are. “One size does notfit all,”he stated, proposing instead the following principles:• Every student is worthy of dignity and respect (Freire).• Diversity is both inevitable and positive.• The classroom should mirror the kind of society in whichwe want our students to live.• Most students can learn most things that are essential to agiven area of study.The presentation had a lively visual component, as Nicosshowed some paintings of the classrooms of the historicalpast, in many of which it was clear that differentiated in-struction was going on, though in those days it was simplyknown as“school”.Teachers can differentiate content, process, and product,Nicos maintained, according to learners’affect, readiness, in-terests, and ways of learning. He proposed a number of strat-egies to manage this, including stations, journals, tiered ac-tivities, learning contracts, compacting, independent study,and the use of portfolios.He also sketched a larger context for these methods, namelythat the world is increasingly demanding professionals whocan solve problems, innovate, create, and both think forthemselves and collaborate with others. The learning skillsthat we should be developing in students we should be ex-emplifying as teachers, Nicos noted, and suggested ways forteachers to apply the principles of DI in their own profes-sional lives. In short, it was a talk with both a conceptual andpractical dimension that offered plenty of material for reflec-tion and a blueprint for change.A video of the talk is available on YouTube, along with an in-terview of Nicos by Joanna Chletsi, and the slides he showedare available on request from Nicos at sifakis@eap.grconventionreport!
  • 10. 9and much more at http://www.seeta.euSEETANEWSJUNE2013byAnnaParisiSouthEasternEuropeTeachers’AssociationYoung Learners: Tips and Tricks!Anastasia Loukeris, Nora Touparlaki, Ljubica Ruzinska & Sandra VidaOn-goingTeacher’s LoungeOngoing community ForumDo you want to share your teaching ideas or find new ones? Or do you feellike chatting about this and that? Do you have a problem you’d like to discuss?Welcome to the Teacher’s loungeSEETA WebchatA monthly chat on a wide selection of ELT topics. Feel free to share yourcomments and why not? your camera and microphone? Join and share yourideas, tips and experience LIVE! See you in the conference room!On-going forum !Steliyana DulkovaMagic tricks and fun for young learners .Join us and share the fun . And lots of activities and games for young learners!On-line SEETA courseJune 2013Sirin Soyoze-portfoliosAn e-portfolio is a creative means of organizing, summarizing, and sharing artifacts,information, and ideas about teaching and/or learning, along with personal andprofessional growth. Creating e-portfolios supports the updating of skills and personaldevelopment planning.During this SEETA course we construct our own e-portfolios and share issues in 2webinars with Sirin !Webchat and Teachers’Lounge
  • 11. Report on the11th ELTA Serbia Conferenceby Phil HollandI attended the ELTA Serbia IATEFL Annual Convention inBelgrade on May 10-11 as the TESOL Mac-Thrace repre-sentative. Each organization hosts a delegate from theother at our annual conventions, in return for a presenta-tion by the delegate.Getting to Belgrade was easy, as was reaching the des-ignated hotel in the center of town. The conferencewas held at the Faculty of Education of the Universityof Belgrade, an old building but with all mod cons. I wasstruck at the Opening Ceremony by the presence on thedais of representatives from the British Council and theBritish and U.S. embassies in addition to the leaders ofELTA Serbia. It was clear from the brief speeches givenby those officials that the promotion of the English lan-guage in Serbia has official Anglo-American sup-port. There are “American Corners” in manySerbian towns, and the British Councilspreads its influence in similar ways.“Makes a change,” as they say in Brit-ain. You will recall (I recall! – and Ispoke to those who recalled) theNATO bombing of Slobodan Milos-evic’s Belgrade in 1999. In order toencourage a more democratic andWestern-friendly Serbia (the diplomatsdidn’t actually use those words at theconference), the Anglo-American powers(I consider myself a foot soldier) are promot-ing the study of English in this former member of theCommunist bloc that has aspirations of joining the EU.They want to open Serbia up to the English-speakingworld. From the look of the stores, restaurants, and cin-emas in downtown Belgrade, the West (in the form ofthe usual suspects) has already arrived, but I noticed thatthere were no English-language newspapers or maga-zines at the kiosks yet.The acquisition of English is happening fast, however,if the energy of ELTA Serbia as an organization and theprofessional ambitions of those attending the confer-ence are any indication. The English-language skits byschool children at the Friday banquet were also proofthat the coming generation will be proficient in English;idiomatic language rolled off the tongues of 12 year-oldmock pirates. ELTA Serbia was celebrating 10 years of op-eration, and its sense of mission was palpable. The con-ference was well attended (about 250 participants) andefficiently run by hosts who were hospitable and helpful.Publishers too have taken notice and sponsored manyof the plenary talks, which largely featured speakers fromabroad. Thessaloniki’s own Jeanne Perrett was the first ofthem, speaking on“Context, content, and emotion in lan-guage learning”, complete with a mass-participation Bol-lywood dancing routine. The conference theme was “Hewho dares to teach must never cease to learn”, and manytalks highlighted new trends in ELT, from textbook designand technology to approaching students with specialneeds. The curious can find the full line-up of talks onthe ELTA Serbia website. My own presentation, on “WordChoice (50 Shades of Meaning)”, was well attended, de-spite being one of the last on the program (I wouldhave stayed anyway…).The highlight (for me) was the dinnerprovided on a boat (or was it a barge?)on the Danube. Serbian raki, wine, andslivovitz accompanied Serbian sau-sages and lively talk. After the studentskits there was a raffle, and when aschool owner won a week-long sum-mer teacher development workshopin Devon, she promptly donated it to ateacher at my table who had managed tolearn excellent English without ever havingbeen abroad. Yes, that called for another round.I should also mention that ELTA Serbia puts out an im-pressive newsletter, or rather magazine, as the “m” in itsname (“melt”) signifies. That’s also available on-line.Thinking of some ELT tourism next year? There’s a directflight fromThessaloniki, and food and lodging in Belgradeare about half of what you’d have to pay here.Once again, warm thanks to my hosts.
  • 12. 11A Report on theIATEFL ConferenceLiverpoolApril 8-12, 2013By Katie QuartanoThe Disabled AccessFriendly campaignhad the honourto win the firstJulia TannerMemorial Scholarshipco-sponsored by TESOLMacedonia-Thrace, N.Greece and Burlingtonbooks.The scholarship gaveus the opportunity tomake a presentationat one of the majorevents on theinternational ELTcalendar, the annualIATEFL conference,which this year washeld in Liverpool,U.K.
  • 13. 12This event attracts approximately 3,000 delegatesfrom all over the world, and if you visit IATEFL’s websitewww.iatefl.org you can find a copy of the conferenceprogramme. We were given this as a hard copy, andit was the fattest, fullest and heaviest programme wehave ever seen!TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, N. Greece, is an affiliatemember of IATEFL, and I had the pleasure of represent-ing the organization at the dinner on Sunday eveningwhich was organized for affiliates, staff and volunteers,at which David Crystal, the patron of IATEFL, Eric Baber,the outgoing president, and others gave speeches. Itwas a great delight to find myself sitting at the sametable as people whose names I recognized as the au-thors of most of the coursebooks I used when studyingfor the CELTA qualification, and I tried hard not to makeany grammatical mistakes in conversation.On Monday, Paul gave a presentation at the Global In-terests Special Interest Group (GISIG) pre-conferenceevent entitled “Stepping into unknown shoes”, focus-ing on how firstly teachers need to feel and under-stand, not assume, what it means to have a mobilitydisability, before they can raise awareness in their class-rooms about such issues. The talk also highlighted thefact that when students are exposed to an interestingidea their thoughts are stimulated, and this creates areal desire to express themselves, and subsequently aneed for grammar and language.While Paul was at the GISIG event, I attended the Af-filiates Day event, where I represented TESOL Mace-donia-Thrace, N. Greece. This was an opportunity fornetworking and to hear examples of best practicesand innovative ideas from teaching associations fromall over the world. The overwhelming message I gotwas that virtual conferences, joint events and collabo-rations are the way to go. There were representativesfrom associations with more than 3000 members, rep-resentatives from newly established associations inAfrica, and experts who offer support to teaching as-sociations such as the British Council.The British Council also works together with IATEFLto provide an Online Conference so that people notable to attend the event in person can still benefit.http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2013/. Paul and I wereinterviewed on the very first day of the main confer-ence about our work with the Disabled Access Friendlycampaign, and you can watch this online at http://iat-efl.britishcouncil.org/2013/sessions/2013-04-09/inter-view-katie-quartano-paul-shaw. That same afternoon,we gave our presentation “Lessons in Life that Matter”and this was also filmed, although unfortunately therewere some dreaded technical problems so there is achunk missing, but you can still watch it here http://iatefl.britishcouncil.org/2013/sessions/2013-04-09/lessons-life-matter. The talk was very practical, andshowed how teachers can use our free teaching mate-rial with students at all levels, and whilst still teachingEnglish, at the same time open their eyes to issues ofmobility disability.The room we were allocated was quite small, and be-cause of Britain’s all-invading “health and safety” regu-lations, people were not allowed to stand at the back,and whereas on the one hand it was very pleasing tofind that our room was completely full, on the other itwas a pity to have to turn people away at the door. Thefeedback we got after our talk was very encouraging,and we are proud that our work is so well received bythe ELT community and that it is having such a wideimpact. We now get visitors to our site from over 120countries worldwide, and average 10,000 page hits amonth.Disabled Access Friendly also had a huge poster ondisplay in the exhibition hall, and this attracted a lot ofattention.The fact that people were so interested in the work ofthe Disabled Access Friendly campaign and sought usout to talk to us meant that we were also easily able tonetwork with colleagues on behalf of TESOL Macedo-nia-Thrace, N. Greece. We spoke to many experiencedand well-known presenters, who not only expressed aninterest in speaking at next year’s conference, but alsoin visiting Thessaloniki.As a Londoner going by the anything north of Watfordrule, I was really surprised to find that Liverpool is abeautiful city, and it was a great pity that we were sobusy at the conference that we did not really have anytime to explore it. However, we did manage to go tothe Albert Docks, which were right by our hotel. Thisis where the Beatles museum is located, and the TateGallery. No gyros or souvlaki, but some truly excellentfish and chips.Thank you once again to TESOL Macedonia-Thrace,N. Greece and Burlington Books for this wonder-ful opportunity. As friends of Julia’s it was an honourfor us to win the scholarship, an honour to representTESOL Macedonia-Thrace, N. Greece, and wonderfulto have the opportunity to promote the Disabled Ac-cess Friendly campaign in its efforts to use EFL to putsomething good back into the world. Just in case youhaven’t already visited our site with free teaching ma-terial, please have a look here www.disabled-access-friendly.com.
  • 14. 13TESOL Greece’s34th Annual Convention -‘Innovation, Motivation,Education’Athens, March 30 – 31, 2013By GeorgeTopalisUpon arrival at the HAU building, a convenient down-town venue, I was immediately welcomed by the friendly,smiling faces of the board’s treasurer Sevi Iosifidou andthe eager-to-help volunteers. I felt quite pampered fromthe first minute. My luggage was quickly tucked away ina specially designated room for speakers’ luggage andequipment, and after being given my visitor’s badge andconvention bag, I dashed to the plenary room.Unfortunately, I arrived on Saturday evening and wasonly able to attend the Interactive Plenary Panel discus-sion. The plenary speakers answered a range of thought-provoking questions which ranged from exam backwashto the best moment in their teaching careers.This was followed by the Convention party on the roofgarden. I was able to catch up with old friends like AnsaLaskioti, Michael Robbs, Eftichis Kantarakis, Daria Breus-Samolada and Michael Onushco and make new ones likeDimitris Primalis and more while enjoying a glass of wineand the magnificent view of the Acropolis, accompaniedby the sounds of a live band playing traditional Greek mu-sic. A lot of sheer joy and lively dancing took place till theearly hours.On Sunday, I attended an intriguing plenary talk entitled‘English as an International lingua franca: A threat to mul-ticultural communication?’ by the current director of thePhD course in Applied Linguistics offered by HellenicAmerican University, Dr Juliane House. She raised theissue of whether English as a means of global commu-nication and intercultural understanding poses a threatto multilingualism and the profession of translating andinterpreting. She drew some quite thought-provokingconclusions for all.WorkshopsThere were a number of professional presentations withvery arresting titles throughout the day that made mewish I could be in several places at the same time.I have attended quite a few talks that have tried to ad-dress the issue of working with dyslexic students butI had not attended one of such a practical nature untilnow. After briefly presenting the nature of dyslexia, AnnaPrifti presented an impressive collection of homemadeboard games, not only very useful and practical whendealing with students that have specific learning difficul-ties but also so when trying to achieve automaticity withthose reluctant to speak or when trying to tap into thekinesthetic nature of all young learners.Anna Petala and George Stefanidis took us step by stepthrough the process of creating a school newspaper anduploading it to the web. They readily answered any que-ries and simplified all the steps so as even the most tech-nophobic practitioner could muster the courage to takeon this absolute learner-engaging class endeavor.Mark Osborne, in his lively hands-on presentation, pre-sented the audience with an array of applications foriPad’s and tablets such as Boogle, Moonbot books, andmore that can be downloaded and used in class. Thesetablet apps via a connection to a laptop and projectorcan be viewed by the whole class and the tablet passedaround, thus engaging even the most bored teen.I found these workshops very engaging and I sincerelyhope we might have the pleasure of enjoying some ofthem in Thessaloniki in the near future.Closing plenaryThe current TESOL International president ChristineCoombe delivered a talk that was highly inspiring for allEFL professionals in these financially difficult and demor-alizing times.Through her account of her own experiences, she tookthe audience down the road of self-reflection and regain-ing hope, self-confidence and motivation by implement-ing some widely accepted general business manage-ment goal setting techniques on a personal level, thusfacilitating setting a personal and professional strategicplan. She also gave her view of the 10 characteristics thatmake for an effective EF/SL teacher.Even though I could not attend the whole convention,and I received only a taste of what was available, I amsure that the rest of the presenters were of equal interest.I hope that I will be able to attend next year’s conventionand once again enjoy the whole-hearted hospitality ofour southern counterpart.
  • 15. Welcomebackevent!October 20, 2013Drop in and say hello at the TESOL Macedonia-ThraceNorthern Greece stand:August 27, 2013: The 3rd Foreign Languages Forum & Book and Re-source Exhibition organized by ELT News, at the Grand Hotel Palace,Thessaloniki.The Forum will feature professional and commercial presentationsas well as a Panel Discussion on the theme of Common Mistakes ThatEnglish Teachers Make.31 August / 01 September 2013: the International Publishers Exhi-bition, at the MET HOTEL, Thessaloniki. Book exhibits, professionaland commercial presentations.August 29 - 30, 2013 : PALSO NORTHERN GREECE, Macedonia Palace,Thessaloniki 26η Διημερίδα Ξενόγλωσσης Εκπαίδευσης“Should I stay or should I go? Language learning, a crucial factortowards a final decision»And don’t miss the annualSave that date!
  • 16. PechaKuchaEvening20th AnnualInternationalConventionP3Kby Phil Holland15conventionreport!The 3rd annual Pecha Kucha Evening brought Saturday’spresentations to an entertaining conclusion. The upperfloor of the Bissell Library at ACT provided an intimatesetting, and every seat was occupied. Host Phil Hollandopened the event by asking that members of the audi-ence have sympathy for the speakers, who he said weresubjecting themselves to considerable pressure. In fact,he claimed to have seen on the Internet that “Pecha Ku-cha” was a Japanese rendering of “pressure cooker” – be-fore disclosing that the Internet source for this dubiousassertion was his own TESOL Mac-Thrace Pecha Kucha oflast year.He knew he could take liberties, because he had beentipped off that the subject of the first presenter’s talkwas the form of the Pecha Kucha itself. Malgorzata Ko-sior stepped up and started to roll her 20 slides at 20seconds apiece. Her talk highlighted the critique that thecompressed form of the PK makes of the all-too-frequent“Death by PowerPoint” style of presentation. Her ownsnappy and fluent PK presentation was a case in point.Holland called it a tough act to follow, but follow it GavinDudeney did, and in style. He claimed to have a range ofhobbies, chief among them reading. He then led us ona hilarious tour of his Amazon wish list, which includedtitles that, while perhaps not best-sellers, apparently doexist. For example: “Towel Origami”; “Knitting with DogHair”;“Nuclear War: What’s in it for you?”;“Tattooed Moun-tain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan”– no, he wasnot making it all up, I have checked. “Do-it-Yourself Cof-fins” and the perhaps related “How to Teach Your Wife tobe a Widow”, and many more – all peppered with Gavin’samusing commentary – kept the merriment flowingwhile enlarging our conception of the universe, at leastthat of books.I should say here and now that if you want to see any andall of these PK’s in their complete form, they are on You-Tube in one continuous video, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k24RT6nKWIE.Next up was Tom Godfrey, or rather Tom Godfrey and awoman who identified herself only as “the wife”, as thiswas a team effort. The subject was serious – “The NewWay”of global awareness, imagination, collaboration, andcreativity – and it was treated in a correspondingly theat-rical way which included song and dance as well as slidesand speech that bounced back and forth between thespeakers, concluding with an uninhibited “Do the PechaKucha with me”that had the audience clapping in rhythmas the speakers locomoted off the stage. It was undeni-ably a new way for PKs at our convention.It was time for a change of pace, and David A. Hill pro-vided one, inviting us into the world of a poem he hadwritten called “Mothworld”, which he illustrated with hisown photographs. “Perhaps you do not know the worldof moths,” he began, to an audience uncertain as to howto respond. Was it a something out of Gavin’s readinglist? Not at all. It was an invitation to contemplate an-other world, the world of the night and the silent flightof moths with their wings in unexpected colors and pat-terns,“a heraldry of bars, lines, patches, spots, geometricaland perfect, book-matched on scales across frail, foldedwings…now and then weaving their fragile, secret livesinside ours.” It cast a spell. For 6 minutes and 40 secondswe werein another world.Maria Sachpazian, longtime TESOL Mac-Thrace memberand former General Secretary and Vice-Chair of the Board,was up next. The 20 x 20 PK formula invited the theme
  • 17. 20th AnnualInternationalConvention16of her talk, which was the 20 years of our organization. Itwas a trip down memory lane as well as an assertion ofthe sources of strength of TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, notleast the efforts of its volunteer leaders through the yearsand our TA’s versatility and ability to grow and respondto changes in our field. “TESOL has given us not only thechance and space to express ourselves, but most of all,choice.”Her parting message:“Engage.”That was the perfect segue to the opening messageof Nicos Sikakis’ PK, which focused on the dynamics ofteacher-student interaction, beginning with the need tomotivate students. He reminded teachers that studentswant to be challenged, but that does not mean thatthey want to be tested! He stressed the value of keepingclassrooms in motion and advocated breaking down thebarriers that all too often separate students and teachers.In short, he provided a check-list of the fundamentals ofgood teaching in today’s connected and evolving world.It was the perfect way to conclude as spirited, creative,and thought-provoking a set of PK presentations as you’llfind anywhere. A special thank you to our six brave pre-senters.
  • 18. Feature articles10 IATEFL Voices 232the sharing of ideas is one of the teacher’s responsibili-ties.11 Learning activities should have three features: com-municative purpose, choice and feedback (includingself-assessment).Student12 students are communicators and are actively engaged innegotiating meaning.13 students should focus on figuring out the speaker’s orwriter’s intentions and meanings.14 When communicating, a speaker/writer has a choiceabout what to say and how to say it.15 students should be given opportunities to developstrategies for interpreting language in authentic usecontexts.16 students should reflect on the kind of learner they are,and the implications of this for strategy developmentand planning.The possibleThe possible is the other entity. This is not so fixed, andcertainly not so transmissible. What is possible in a givenclassroom context or eLT environment can be exploredthrough three questions: What is possible for the teacher?What is possible for the students? And what is possible inthe context?What is possible for the teacher?This is a self-assessment question for each teacher. It relatesto students and context of course, but most importantly,it is a personal, private question, to be engaged with in asafe reflective space, and answered as a tentative set ofnew activity-types for the classroom. In relation to activitieswhich correspond to the desirable, the key question is ‘CanI make this happen?’. Thus, when considering innovativepractice such as a focus on fluency, telling stories, studentself-assessment, or using internet resources, each teacherhas to look inwards and imagine themselves using andperforming this kind of activity to transform their classroominto an engaging, fun, fizzing learning space.The factors which shape the answer to this questioninclude teaching identity and language competence andconfidence. Teaching identity refers to the sense of self inthe professional environment. The teacher has to considerhow the innovative practice can align with their typical styleof teaching:• how does the focus on input determine my teachingstyle?• how does the focus on control determine my teachingstyle?• how much time is available for planning innovativeactivities?The desirable and the possibleRichard Kiely looks at managing change in ELT.Managing change in eLT is aboutmaking the desirable possible. Thedesirable is a constant, but the canvasof the possible is infinitely variable. sothe challenge of managing change isone of fitting a square peg, not into around hole, but into a hole the shapeof which is unclear, undetermined,and in all likelihood changing all thetime. This article sets out an approachto this task.The desirableThe desirable in eLT can be understood as a set of principleswhich, although varying according to culture and context,tends to cluster around those core values in eLT which havebecome universal in our sector: teaching english using acurriculum referenced to the four skills (listening, speaking,reading and writing) in an interactive way, and emphasisingthe development of a strong individual learning identity.Much of the success of labels such as ‘student-centredlearning’, and ‘communicative language teaching’ (CLT)arises from their usefulness in identifying such values. Thusthey provide a handy characterisation of the desirable in eLT.The principles are set out below in terms of implications forlanguage teachers and students. They reflect what I mean by‘desirable’: the principles which have guided managementof change initiatives in english language teaching in class-rooms and in online learning contexts over recent decades.Language1 Language as it is used in real-world contexts should bean overarching principle of the teacher.2 Language is a puzzle as well as a set of rules: onefunction may have many different linguistic forms, anddifferent forms have different meanings.3 errors are seen as the natural outcome of the develop-ment of communication skills.4 fluency is as important as accuracy.5 The social context of the communicative events is essen-tial in giving meaning to the samples of language.6 The target language is used a great deal, though notnecessarily exclusively, in communicative activities.Teacher7 Opportunities should be given to students to expresstheir stories, ideas and opinions.8 The teacher acts as an advisor during communicativeactivities, a facilitator of students’ learning, a managerof classroom activity, or a co-communicator.9 The target language is the preferred vehicle for class-room and online communication.10 Creating situations in classrooms and online to promoteRichard Kielyis professorof AppliedLinguisticsand Languageeducation inthe CentreforInternational language Teachereducation (CILTe) at universityCollege plymouth st Mark &st John.17 Article taken from IATEFL Voices 232
  • 19. Feature articlesMay–June 2013 Issue 232IATEFL Voices 232 11… eachteacher has tolook inwardsand imaginethemselves usingand performingthis kind ofactivity totransform theirclassroom intoan engaging, fun,fizzing learningspaceLanguage competence and confidence refers to theteacher’s sense of self as a language user and languageauthority. Therefore, in the context of each innovative activ-ity, the teacher has to consider:• how does this practice align with my language level?• Can I use this activity to enhance my own languageskills?• What are the risks for my authority as an english expertwith this activity?What is possible for the students?students can be the participants in the eLT context whoare most oriented to the traditional practice. The successfulstudents may wish to adhere closely to the requirements oftests and examinations. They may want to focus narrowlyon the grammar rules and vocabulary lists which they aregood at. Other students may not have thought much abouttheir role as ‘learner of english’ and may be confused aboutany innovative activities. Their confusion and insecurity maylead them to resist, make fun of, or undermine initiativesintroduced by the teacher. The questions for teachers toconsider here are:• What kinds of activities seem to work well in mylessons?• how can features of the desirable be integrated intosuch activities?• how can students be nudged to participate in aninnovative way?What is possible in the context?The context in which english teachers work is often charac-terised by the coursebook and the examination format. It isnatural that these should represent the shared sense of pur-pose of the curriculum for stakeholders, such as teachers,students, parents, and managers. The questions for teachersto consider here are:• how closely does teaching follow the coursebook andexamination formats?• how closely does teaching have to follow thecoursebook and examination formats?• What are the opportunities to introduce new features ofthe desirable?• how can these be justified in terms of achieving thelearning goals of the coursebook and examinationformat?This is an outline framework for managing change in eLT,through a focus on teacher development. This developmentis not so much based on transmission of new knowledgeand techniques (though these may play a part), but onteachers’ own individual reflection on, and analysis of whatis possible. This may be largely a private activity, but can besupported and guided by a workshop and planning process.The workshop process could have three elements:1 The desirable, which can be set out in terms of theinnovative practices and the policy framework. This canbe an input aspect to start the workshop, and focus thedescription and reflection stages.2 The description of current practices, which is both col-lective—what typically happens—and individual – whathappens in each teacher’s own classroom. The goal hereis to establish for each teacher, a realistic base line forthe innovative practices.3 The reflection by each teacher, on how they can engagewith the implementation of the desirable, is the transla-tion of glimpses of the desirable into a practical plan byeach teacher. Thus, the input may provide explanationand demonstration, the workshop may explore issues ofimplementation and pedagogic strategies which bridgethe desirable and the possible in a general way. But theessential characterising of the possible is a task for eachindividual teacher. This possible has no ‘ifs’: there are noadditional conditions which need to be met first. Thisinvolves a plan of implementation, based on an analysisof what is possible in terms of self, students and context.essentially the plan has to have:a an innovative activity, representing something fromthe desirable, but which is implementable;b a time-framing, such as 20 minutes of the weeklyscheme of work, and which can become a strandof the teacher’s planning, alongside grammar input,reading comprehension, etc.c a framework for evaluation which allows initialdisasters to be understood as part of the developmentprocess, and embeds perseverance which ensuresboth teachers and students can make the strandwork.Two further points are worth bear-ing in mind in understanding thisframework for managing change ineLT. The desirable has to be understoodby teachers as an idea, rather than asa fixed technique or body of practice.Thus, it can be changed, fragmented,reconstructed and re-moulded in waysrequired for teacher ownership andclassroom implantation. The explana-tion and demonstration in the inputstage need to be workshopped so thatteachers see the innovative practiceas their own practice, not someoneelse’s.second, the input and demonstra-tion need to be engaging as effectivepractice. sometimes this happens withthe trainer or presenter playing a teacher role and theteachers playing the student roles. The workshop andreflection stages need to ensure that this is understood, andthe practice is effectively transformed into what is possiblefor the teachers. If the teachers see the demonstration as asuperbly engaging performance, which they can admire asthey might the performance of a prima ballerina or Olympicgymnast, they might not be on the road to seeing it as pos-sible for them, in their own classroom.rkiely@marjon.ac.uk18
  • 20. Feature articles12 IATEFL Voices 232she disappears. however, she is fond of pronunciation par-ticularly the distinction between ‘p’ and ‘f’ as in pig and fig.In the staff room (with the Mad Hatter,March Hare and Dormouse)As in most staff rooms there are characters aplenty—thedozy one who has spent all night burning the candle at bothends, the loud, brash one who is full of themselves and theslightly demented one who may have been teaching younglearners for too long! Of course, these three teachers frus-trate the Alice teacher no end. As she says ‘I think you mightdo something better with the time than asking riddles thathave no answers’.0 Welcome to the tea party!The Queen of HeartsThere’s always one in every school, isn’t there? full ofherself, even more so than the Mad hatter! A disciplinarianwho doesn’t really think about the effect they have on theirstudents or colleagues and who isn’t used to being chal-lenged. The Queen of hearts can often be heard declaring,‘It wasn’t like that in my day’ or ‘young people today!’.demanding and exacting, the Queen of hearts teacherexpects nothing less than perfection and has some of thebest exam results in her school—which she uses to vindicateher methods.do you recognise any of them?adrian.tennant@ntlworld.comAlice and others in WonderlandAdrian Tennant takes a light-hearted look at teaching styles.here are a number of the charac-ters from Lewis Carroll’s most famousnovel to describe teachers and teachingstyles that I’ve seen in my twenty-plusyears of teacher training...Alice‘What is the use of a book’, thoughtAlice, ‘without pictures or conversa-tion?’ Alice as a teacher would usevisuals to stimulate her students andlots of pair and group speaking prac-tice. however, she is rather impetuous.After all, who would jump down arabbit hole, or drink out of odd bottles without thinking?she also likes to show off her knowledge and use bigwords—even when she isn’t quite sure what they mean.The White Rabbit‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’ how long will activitiestake? What happens if I run out of time? The White rabbitteacher also often calls people by the wrong name, mixingup Alice with Mary Ann, though it can be hard rememberingstudents’ names!The DodoAll-action and far from extinct, the dodo teacher thinks thatthe best way to explain something is to do it and he certainlyis fond of games. The only problem is that there is often a lotof confusion involved—after all, unlessthe rules of a game are explained beforeyou start playing the result is generallycontrolled chaos!The CaterpillarWhat a teacher! supremely confidentand constantly probing his studentswith ‘explain yourself!’ and ‘Who areyou?’ keeping teacher talking time to aminimum by never saying more than isnecessary, the instructions are conciseand he tries to include critical thinking in his lessons. Believesin using traditional methods such as drilling, memorisingand reciting long texts such as ‘you are old, father William’.The Cheshire CatGrinning ear-to-ear, you’d think the Cheshire Cat wouldmake an excellent teacher, but how wrong you’d be! Whenasked a question she gives the kind of evasive answer you’dexpect from a politician. ‘What should I do?’ asks a student.‘That depends on what you want to achieve’, replies theCheshire Cat teacher. And, just when you need her most,AdrianTennant isa freelancetrainer, writerand consultantand is particu-larly interestedin linkingmethodology to teaching. heruns in-service training coursesincluding trainer training,materials development andeducational change courses.he’s currently studying archae-ology and has signed on for acourse in forensics!Grinning ear-to-ear, you’d thinkthe Cheshire Catwould make anexcellent teacher,but how wrongyou’d be!The Mock TurtleWith the word ‘mock’ in the name of this teacheryou’d almost expect a stooge, a teacher who preparesthe students for the exam so that the Queen of heartscan take credit – well, you couldn’t be further from thetruth, the Mock Turtle teacher is his own man! fondof history and telling stories, although rather slow towarm to anything (other than soup) the Mock Turtleteacher’s lessons can be quite boring and laborious.his teacher was a turtle called tortoise, because, as theMock Turtle says. ‘he taught us.’ Of course, the MockTurtle teacher likes laughing at his own jokes whileeveryone else around groans. he’s also rather lazy ashis lessons get shorter each day as they lessen fromday to day!so, which of the teachers are you? do you knowanyone who’s the Queen of hearts or the dodo? Is yourstaff room like the tea party?ReferenceCarroll, L. 1865. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Bookbytedigital edition.Article taken from IATEFL Voices 23219
  • 21. TEDmeetsELTMalgorzata Kosior (mkosior@otenet.gr)Dimitris Tzouris (tzouris@act.edu)The following article isbased on a talk given bythe authors at theTESOL Macedonia-Thrace 2013 ConventionHow do great ideas spread ina connected world?How can educators use suchideas to inspire their studentsand help them learn?
  • 22. TEDYou do knowTED, don’t you?Then I don’t have to mentionthe many astonishing ideas presented by brilliant peopleat the TED conferences each year. But did you know thatTED stands for Technology Entertainment Design? Atfirst, most of us relate the second letter with educationinstead. In fact, TED has been a lot about education, sinceit’s much more than a conference. TED is a platform forsharing ideas, which educators around the world havebeen tapping into in order to inspire their students. Notsurprisingly, the most popular TED talk, counting morethan 20 million total views to date, is Sir Ken Robinson’stalk about schools killing creativity.A Platform for Spreading IdeasIn 2009, TED launched the TEDx program, allowing any-one to register and curate an independentTED-like event.Four years later, the TEDx programme has allowed peopleall over the world to share their ideas and inspire localcommunities. Today, more than 6,000 TEDx events havetaken place in 1,200 cities (including Thessaloniki andAthens), by 2,000 registered organizers in 133 countries.There are even events focused solely on education orteen speakers, as well as events organized at univer-sities or entirely by students. Since all talks have to berecorded and made available online for free, some getpicked up and amplified by TED by getting posted on theTED website. Really inspiring TEDx speakers might also beinvited to give a talk at a main TED conference.Going MainstreamAlthough TED started appealing to a constantly increas-ing audience via the Internet, offering all the talks for freeon the TED website, as well as on YouTube, iTunes andvia iOS and Android mobile apps, it has also startedspreading via mainstream media in order to reach a wideraudience and create conversations around those ideas.TED Books offers longer narratives based on TED talksand NPR’s TED Radio Hour focuses on specific themes bygrouping talks and interviewing speakers. TED’s latest ini-tiative was a TV special focused on education. TED TalksEducation featured 8 speakers, including Sir Ken Robin-son and Bill Gates. All talks are available online.ELT loves TEDWe are rapidly moving away from a world of informationscarcity to a highly networked world, where informationis in great abundance. The Internet has enabled all of usto become active learners and to connect with the grow-ing community of educators who share ideas on teachingand learning.TED is where English language instruction and social me-dia meet and thrive.Educators have been encouraged to use TED talks in theclassroom for two reasons: To provide students with thecontext within which the English language can be used,and to help them gain a different perspective on a vari-ety of issues, change their attitudes and spark their mindsthrough contact with dynamic users of English.Talk SelectionTED talks are a brilliant resource for listening and speak-ing classes at (upper-) intermediate and advanced levelsfor young adults and adult learners. They are presentedin a casual manner, but introduce advanced vocabularyand colloquialisms at the same time without, however,overwhelming the students with sophisticated lexis andsyntax.Several criteria should be considered in the selection ofthe talk appropriate for your class.In terms of content, the selected talk should be of gen-eral interest to the target audience. Young adult learnerswho are about to start their careers need positive mes-sages which will make them believe that one day theycan make a difference in the world.Another important criterion is the level of difficulty. Al-though there is an option of watching each TED talk withEnglish subtitles, talks delivered by native speakers orones with near-native but clear accents, and with a chal-lenging but not intimidating level of difficulty will helpyour students engage in the process, maximize languagelearning benefits and capture their attention. An interac-tive transcript provided for each TED talk enables you togo directly to the part you want to watch and focus on.However, it is worth emphasizing that talks delivered bynon-native speakers, or speakers of languages other thanEnglish, can be equally engaging, inspiring, and enter-taining. The goal is accomplished if your students leavethe classroom with upgraded language competenceand cultural awareness, and walk away with a message,a memorable line…Finally, learning English is not only about expanding vo-cabulary and learning new structures. It is about connect-ing with the world. TED talks make students global citi-zens who are willing to experiment, explore and discover,and embrace diversity.A language is not just a body of vocabulary or a set ofgrammatical rules. A language is a flash of the humanspirit. It’s a vehicle through which the soul of each par-ticular culture comes into the material world. Every lan-guage is an old-growth forest of the mind, a watershed,a thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities (WadeDavis: Dreams from Endangered Cultures)Once watching TED talks becomes a new everyday habitfor your students, English gets integrated into their livesin a natural way, and from a mere tool for passing stan-dardized exams it becomes the key to meaningful com-munication.21
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  • 24. Steps, Tasks, and ActivitiesUse the following practical hints to prepare your owntasks:1. Prediction - introduce the speaker, ask the students todeduce the content of the talk from the speakers profile2. Vocabulary work - while watching, ask the studentsto select 5-10 vocabulary items (words and expressions)which convey the message of the talk3. (Classic) open-ended questions to be answered whilewatching the talk4. Debate - follow-up on a controversial talk5. Essay assignment - ask the students to respond to aquotation from the talk they have watched6. Presentation style critique and evaluation - ask the stu-dents to consider the following questions:a. How would you describe the tone of the talk?b. What does the presenter do or say to convey his or herconfidence?c. What overall impact does the speaker’s body languageand eye contact have on the quality of the talk? (watchingparts of the talk muted helps focus on the body language)d. In what way does the speaker use the slides?e. What elements can you identify in the structure of thetalk (how does the speaker begin, develop an argument,conclude)?7. Encourage your students to prepare their own TED-style talka. Tell a unique storyb. Speak from experiencec. Convey a strong idead. Be authentic and passionatee. Sound confidentf. Rehearse, but do not“over rehearse”- make sure you donot sound like a presentation robotg. Leave the notes behind and be yourselfTechnology provides a great advantage for teachers: Itcan free up class time by providing tools for educators inorder to create educational content that can be accessedfrom anywhere, thus enabling personalized learning andturning class time into an opportunity for practice, col-laboration and discussion. This is known as the “flippedclassroom”model.TED Begets TED-EdIn April 2012, TED launched TED-Ed, a website aimedat teachers and learners that features talks and originalanimated lessons based on TED talks. TED-Ed is an edu-cational platform that allows anyone to create an onlinelesson, not only based on any TED or TEDx talk, but alsoon any YouTube video. Using TED-Ed, any video can eas-ily become inspiring teaching content, supporting the“flipped classroom” model. This means that students be-come independent learners and in charge of their ownlearning process. They learn about new ideas by meansof a foreign language, and vice versa, they learn the lan-guage while discovering those new ideas.Flip it! The advantages of using theTED-Ed platform to create flippedlessonsIt is a given that our students are digital natives. They of-ten take the use of technology in class for granted, andthey enjoy online tasks more than the ones printed onpaper, even if they are exactly the same tasks.Another advantage is that TED-Ed gives students accessto the lesson at any time, at their convenience. Their an-swers are tabulated and the instructor can provide onlinefeedback and use student responses to generate furtherdialogue.And finally, lessons uploaded by any teacher can be avail-able to any user and shared, just like the ideas promotedby the talk you chose to flip.Teaching with TED WorkshopThe TESOL Macedonia-Thrace Northern Greece com-mittee was kind enough to offer us the opportunity topresent a workshop titled “Teaching with TED Talks” atthe 20th Annual Convention and also invited us to host aSEETA webchat shortly after that.Here are the links:Workshop material: http://tz.rs/ted-edWebchat recording: http://tz.rs/tedwebchatPre-webchat online interviews: http://tz.rs/seetakosiortz-ouris23
  • 25. Here are some of the TED talks wehave flipped:Matt Cutts:“Try Something New for 30 Days”An entertaining talk in which Matt Cutts encourages us to develop andmaintain new habits and/or subtract old ones in order to improve thequality of our lives.http://ed.ted.com/on/8q8OAF7eBenjamin Zander: The transformative power of classical musicA moving and entertaining talk about classical music, leadership and therole of a leader, and the power of positive thinking.http://ed.ted.com/on/UaFFRT6YRichard St. John: "Success is a continuous journey"A self-described average guy who found success doing what he loved,Richard St. John spent more than a decade researching the lessons ofsuccess -- and distilling them into 8 words, 3 minutes and one successfulbookhttp://ed.ted.com/on/nNfuooMcEdith Widder: How we found the giant squidEdith Widder combines her expertise in research and technological in-novation with a commitment to stopping and reversing the degradationof our marine environment.http://ed.ted.com/on/YL0hf8aw24
  • 26. TED talks recommended for an ELTclassroom1. Sir Ken Robinson:“Do Schools Kill Creativity?”A funny and engaging talk arguing that we need to change the education system so it fo-cuses on the natural creative abilities of children.http://on.ted.com/gbZr2. Rita Pierson:“Every Kid Needs a Champion”A call to educators to reach out to their students, connect with them, and make a differencein their lives.http://on.ted.com/caKo3. Aimee Mullins:“The Opportunity of Adversity”Born without both shin bones and, as a result, a bilateral amputee, Aimee explains that ad-versity is not a limitation, but a challenge that can be overcome, or even an opportunityopening door to human potential.http://on.ted.com/baMU4. Jamie Oliver:“Teach Every Child about Food”A talk supporting Jamie’s campaign in favor of a healthy diet and food revolution.http://on.ted.com/fbKs5. Susan Cain:“The Power of Introverts”A compelling talk dispelling common myths regarding introversion and extroversion.http://on.ted.com/eaPD6. Jonathan Harris: the Webs secret storiesArtist and computer scientist Jonathan Harris makes online art that captures the worldsexpression -- and gives us a glimpse of the soul of the Internet.http://on.ted.com/gba77. Cameron Russell: Looks arent everything. Believe me, Im a model.Cameron Russell has stomped the runways for Victorias Secret and Chanel, and has ap-peared in many magazines. But she is much more than just a pretty face.http://on.ted.com/qERy8. Jill Bolte Taylors stroke of insightBrain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened -- and has become apowerful voice for brain recovery.http://on.ted.com/baNA9. Wade Davis: Dreams from endangered culturesA National Geographic explorer celebrates the variety and diversity of the world’s indige-nous peoples and cultures and tries to convince us that a language is more than just wordsand structures, and that storytelling can change the world.http://on.ted.com/sFVs10. Amanda Palmer: The art of askingAlt-rock icon Amanda Fucking Palmer believes we shouldnt fight the fact that digital con-tent is freely shareable -- and suggests that artists can and should be directly supported byfans.http://on.ted.com/gcfZ25
  • 27. Αγγλική γλώσσακαι παγκοσμιοποίηση Nicos SifakisIf you’ve ever wondered how you come to be doing what you’redoing as an English teacher in Greece, this book probably hasthe answer. Addressed not only to teachers but to policy makersand members of the general public, it’s a comprehensive lookat the worldwide spread of English and in particular at the roleof English and ELT in Greece. It is almost 500 pages long andsupported by scholarly references, but it’s written in a lively andaccessible style aimed at the Greek general reader, befitting awork that its author once characterized as“a labor of love – loveof English (and of Greek and all languages), love of users of thelanguage, and of those who teach it”. It is, in fact, the only bookof its kind written in Greek (with a five page summary in Englishat the end).The author, Nicos Sifakis, is a university professor of ELT method-ology with both a theoretical and practical feel for his subject,the latter acquired in the course of research and training activi-ties involving, among others, English teachers in Greek publicschools. Given the rapid advance of the twin forces of globaliza-tion and English (closely related, says Sifakis) over the past de-cade, the book is timely and aims to suggest a way forward forthe use and teaching of English in this country.The pervasive presence of English in Greece, says Sifakis, makesit less a foreign language than the country’s unofficial secondlanguage. Its predominance in fields related to science andtechnology, entertainment and communication, is well known.Sifakis argues convincingly, however, that English functions inGreece as a lingua franca, not as an extension of the influenceof anglophone countries like the US and Great Britain. That is,Greeks look upon and use English as an international language.Sifakis sees a paradox. Countries such as Greece where there is arelatively high degree of competence in foreign languages maybe seen, on one hand, as progressively cosmopolitan, and onthe other, as subject to the invasion of foreign cultural elements.At what point does openness to the culture and language ofglobalization begin to threaten national cultural identity andthe mother tongue itself? English is a famously assimilative lan-guage whose spread in the 20th century was powered by a na-tion which sees itself as a cultural melting pot. Sifakis says thatthe stronger a country’s national identity is, the more it can ab-sorb English on its own terms.Given that Greeks still use their mother tongue almost exclusive-ly in speaking to one another, he sees English as no particularthreat to Greek identity. He does note, however, that it can leadto inequities, especially in the workplace. Older workers mayhave acquired English certificates in years past that may not givethem the skills needed to function in the language in the pres-ent. Those who, for whatever reason, fail to have a commandEnglish in Greece, may operate at a disadvantage in a worldwhere competence in the language is assumed.Sifakis distinguishes two approaches to English that differ intheory. The first (and the dominant one in Greece, accordingto Sifakis) sets the standards and culture of native speakers asthe target and views the study of English (or of other foreignlanguages) as part of the general study of human culture. Thesecond aims to give students communicative abilities in Englishas an international lingua franca, that is, to enable them to com-municate with others whose native language is not necessar-ily English. In practice, Sifakis argues, these approaches can becombined. He is concerned not to foreclose the open-ended-ness of a classroom where English is a medium of cross-culturalexchange in the name of a narrower standard of correctnesswhich can undermine learners’self-confidence. He envisions aninteractive English classroom where students see themselves asachieving functional goals, not falling short of native-speakernorms as embodied in standardized tests. What matters, he says,is less how and how well someone learns a foreign language ashow they are able to use it to get to know our globalized world.Sifakis outlines the skills needed for teachers to be effective inthis new environment. The good news is that he campaignshard for increased teacher autonomy. At the same time, he ex-pects teachers to have increased cross-cultural awareness andbe able to tailor their lessons to the needs of their students asindividuals, which takes extra preparation and awareness.And then there is the matter of “πιστοποιιτικοκρατία”, a coinageof his own which he glosses as “the dominance of certificatesfor their own sake”. He has some recommendations on howexamination bodies, especially the Greek State through its ΚΠΓexams, can reform their exams to lay greater emphasis on can-didates’ abilities in lingua franca English, but he concedes thatthe standard exams now narrow the scope of what should be abroadening experience. He has strangely little to say about thefrontisteria, which are the real backbone of English teaching inthis country, but what he does says applies equally to them.In summarizing the lessons of his book Sifakis begins by sayingthat students should be no less aware of the value of English asa means for communicating with other native and non-nativespeakers of English than of the fact that every time they use thelanguage they make it their own. In this he echoes the view putforward by Chinua Achebe in 1975 in“The African Writer and theEnglish Language,” that English must become a creative tool inthe hands of its users, reflecting their own cultural identities.You don’t have to take my word for it. The book is available forsale and at the Bissell Library at the American College of Thessa-loniki. Sifakis also discussed the work in a presentation last yearthat is available on YouTube.by Phil Holland26
  • 28. ConventionMoments!20th AnnualInternationalConvention27Many thanks to board memberNathan Pratt for Conventionphotography!
  • 29. David A.Hill20th AnnualInternationalConvention28
  • 30. bulletinseminarseventsconventionsideasteachingmembersnetworkcommunityBe a member of all that!contactTESOL Macedonia-ThraceNorthern Greece(0030)6976845202tesolmth@gmail.comhttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=11101494043or join us at a future event!expertseducationlearningfun