International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

Linking, developing and supporting English Language Teaching professionals worldwide



December 2016

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As 2016 is winding down, I hope you will find the time to slow down, relax, and recharge your batteries for the New Year ahead. As usual, there are plenty of development opportunities offered by IATEFL for the months to come.

On the webinar front, ReSIG invites you to join them for a webinar on researching emotions on 26 January. On 28 January you can be part of TDSIG’s exciting Web Carnival.  Finally, YLTSIG is organising their first Web Conference around the magic number 30 – please mark 24-26 February in your calendar.

Other events include the MaWSIG January Meetup to be held in Germany on 14 January. Two conferences to look forward to in the summer of 2017 are the LASIG Conference entitled ‘Learner Autonomy: Current Practice and Future Developments’, and the ESPSIG event exploring the theme of ‘Emerging contexts and practices in ESP and ESAP provision’.

Before the summer, though, we hope to see many of you at our 51st Conference in Glasgow, 3-7 April. Find out more about the exciting pre-conference events planned by our 16 SIGs on our Conference site. A visit to the site will also give you more information about our plenary speakers. Jane Setter will be talking about a place ‘where Angels fear to tread’ – read her abstract and her interview to discover what her professional passion is and to find out what the 3 Ts of intonation stand for. Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for early bird registration for the Conference is 12 January. 

Wishing you a restful and peaceful end of year,

Margit Szesztay, Vice-President and Chair Publications Committee

From Head Office

conference news

Early bird booking

Book and pay by 12 Jan 2017 and take advantage of a substantial discount on the standard fee and be automatically entered into our prize draw for one of our many fantastic prizes. Visit this conference website for more info.


IATEFL still has some amazing opportunities for all companies big or small, old or new. We will market your company to the perfect ELT audience before, during and after the annual conference and exhibition. Whether you are launching a product, want to rekindle your relationships with old clientele or build new ones, sponsorship is an ideal way to do this. For more information, please contact Lisa or go to the sponsorship page of our IATEFL Conference website.

Pop-up presentations

IATEFL is bringing back the pop-ups, bigger and better than the huge success at our 2016 Birmingham conference! So make a note to come and see what is happening on the stage, hear about new products and services being offered and enjoy the vibrant and social atmosphere of the exhibition. Watch the IATEFL website and future eBulletins to see the line-up of what’s in store for 2017.


New for 2017 – we will be opening the exhibition on 3 April, at the end of the afternoon after the pre-conference events have come to an end, to allow delegates to have a look round before the start of the welcome reception. We are delighted that we have over 38 confirmed companies attending. Come and visit the stands and get a head-start on what’s available with a free cup of coffee on us!

The exhibition still has some stands remaining, if you would like to take part in one of the biggest annual ELT resource exhibitions on the calendar, please contact Lisa for more information.

eBulletin sponsor

TELC trans

telc-Language Tests are the proud sponsors of the delegate bags for the conference and exhibition in Glasgow 2017. To see what they can offer you visit their webpage for more information, or find them at their stand in Glasgow. 


From the SIGs

From the Research SIG

26 January 2017: ReSIG Webinar

On 26 January 2017 at 17.00 GMT, Christina Gkonou will run a webinar about how emotions can be researched through the use of scenario-based questionnaires. In particular, she will describe an emotion-regulation questionnaire developed for foreign/second language learners. It highlights the need for designing questionnaires which are contextualised and describes specific classroom situations. 

3 April 2017: Glasgow PCE

The theme of our pre-conference event at IATEFL Glasgow is ‘Researching ELT history’. This one-day event, which will be led by Richard Smith and Friederike Klippel, aims to show how uncovering ELT history can provide useful new perspectives, both for our own professional practice and for the field more generally.

Sarah Mercer and Daniel Xerri, Joint ReSIG Coordinators


From the Testing Evaluation and Assessment SIG

TEASIG Conference – slides and photos available

Over 80 delegates and partners attended the TEASIG Conference in October which looked at assessment literacy in teaching and integrating the idea of testing, examinations and assessment into the learning process. Presenters’ slides and photos from the event can be seen here.

TEASIG Committee

Proposals will be invited soon for the two committee posts of Newsletter Editor and Joint Events Coordinator to take over from the IATEFL Annual Conference in April 2017. If you are interested in finding out more about what is involved and talking to the present holders of these posts, please contact the TEASIG Coordinators.

TEASIG Newsletter

The deadline for the next TEASIG Newsletter is 31 January for the pre-conference issue. Please send submissions (articles, book reviews, reports of events) of TEA-related issues to the Acting TEASIG Newsletter Editor, Judith Mader. We would particularly welcome member spotlights. All you have to do is to answer a few questions about yourself and your views on testing issues. The questions can be found here.

3 April 2017: Glasgow PCE

The theme of our joint pre-conference event is ‘Testing and assessing ESP and EAP: approaches and tensions’. Nicola Johnson will present a preliminary programme. For details see here.

This will be followed by panel discussions on topics including ‘Testing in ESP’ and ‘An institutional perspective on improving skills in an academic setting’. Speakers include Carolyn Westbrook & Neil Bullock, Aysen Guven, and Maggi Lussi Bell & Caroline Hyde. There will be several Open Spaces for participants to exchange views. You can register for our pre-conference event here.  

Judith Mader and Neil Bullock, Joint TEASIG Coordinators 


From the Business English SIG

3 April 2017: Glasgow PCE

We are pleased to announce that the latest schedule for the BESIG pre-conference event in Glasgow is now available to download from this conference events page. A line-up of six experienced business English trainers will guide participants through various topics on the theme of 'Which skills? Which English? Helping learners to develop the language, business and intercultural skills for an ever-changing business world'. We do hope you will join us there.


Information about BESIG's online activities is available on BESIG website as well as on the SIG's Facebook group and Twitter account. All IATEFL BESIG online events are free and open to everyone. The recordings are made available after the event to IATEFL BESIG members exclusively.

Increasing membership

We are currently looking into ways of how to increase IATEFL BESIG membership. If anyone has any ideas, please email Andrzej Stesik

Julia Waldner, BESIG Coordinator 


From the Learner Autonomy SIG

2 April 2017: Pre-PCE dinner

As in previous years, there will be a dinner prior to the pre-conference event where presenters and delegates have the opportunity to meet at an informal get-together, rather than it being organised by IATEFL, in one of Glasgow’s newest and best eating-places. Check our website in January for updates.

3 April 2017: Glasgow PCE

The LASIG pre-conference event in Glasgow will focus on ‘Affective dimensions in language learner autonomy: from theory to practice’. We are happy to welcome back Scott Thornbury (The New School, NY) whose plenary talk, ‘Taking the bull by the horns: de-fossilizing my Spanish’, will focus on his experiences as a native speaker of English learning Spanish. In the afternoon, he will follow up with a workshop on practical approaches to issues such as anxiety, motivation, willingness to communicate and identity formation. In addition to this, LASIG offers you a diverse international programme of speakers offering short talks and poster presentations covering a range of issues. You can download the pre-conference event programme here.

2-3 June 2017: LASIG Conference

The LASIG conference will be held in Graz, Austria, the theme of which is, 'Learner autonomy: current practice and future developments.' This two-day event, organised by Anja Burkert, focuses on implementing learner autonomy in practice. Keynote speakers are David Little, Leni Dam and Sarah Mercer. Invited speakers are, among others, Frank Lacey, Annamaria Pinter, and Marjorie Rosenberg. Further information about the conference programme is available on the local conference website. To register, login to the member's area of the IATEFL website, go to 'Register for events' and select the 'IATEFL and SIG events' section.

LASIG Webinars in 2017

We are happy to announce that the successful LASIG webinar series will be continued in 2017. Our confirmed speakers for next year are Jo Mynard (KUIS, Japan) and Cynthia White (Massey University, New Zealand). Jo Mynard’s webinar ‘Self-access language learning in the web 2.0 era' will explore the potential of some future directions for the field of self-access language learning while Cynthia White will talk about ‘Locating autonomous practices in contemporary arenas for language learning’. Please check our website for further information. If you have any suggestions for future webinars, please contact Giovanna Tassinari.

LASIG blog

If you are interested in sharing and discussing your experiences of implementing learner autonomy in classrooms worldwide, then the new LASIG blog is exactly what you are looking for. Contact our blog moderator Sandro Amendolara to find out more about our blog and submit your own article.

Call for book reviews

Please note that we are always on the lookout for new items for review related to learner autonomy and for people interested in review-writing. If you know of such an item or if you think you would like to write a review, have a look at the reviews section of our website and contact our reviews editors: Carol Everhard and Diane Malcolm.

Christian Ludwig, LASIG Coordinator 

From the Young Learners and Teenagers SIG

3 April 2017: Glasgow PCE

We are offering an interesting and thought-provoking pre-conference event on 3 April 2017, ‘21st century values education in teaching English to young learners’ and are happy to confirm Carol ReadJoan Kang Shin and David Valente as our featured plenary speakers. We will be announcing additional workshop facilitators on our social media by the end of December.

24-26 February 2017: Web Conference

We are delighted to be holding our first web conference, ’30 pearls of YLT wisdom’ featuring 30 speakers, each giving a 30-minute talk on an area of YLT. This online event will include all YL age groups (early years, primary and secondary). Check our social media in the New Year for registration information.

YLT SIG website

Please visit our new website, which has useful information about the SIG, the newsletter, CPD and upcoming events in 2017.  

Nicky Francis, YLTSIG Coordinator 

From the English for Specific Purposes SIG

3 April 2017: Glasgow PCE

The speakers for our joint ESPSIG and TEASIG pre-conference event have now been chosen and you can find out about the full programme as well as book your place here.

24 June 2017: Sheffield

The ESPSIG is holding a one-day event in cooperation with the University of Sheffield on 24 June 2017, exploring the theme of ‘Emerging contexts and practices in ESP and ESAP provision’. The event aims to debate pedagogical approaches and delivery models of ESP/ESAP courses, as well as the challenges and opportunities of providing EAP and ESP in the future. The call for papers will be coming out on 15 January 2017. Please keep an eye on our website for more details.

ESPSIG Facebook

Join our Facebook community and be among the first to receive details of important news and events.

Aysen Guven, ESPSIG Coordinator 

From the Teacher Development SIG

28 January 2016: TDSIG Web carnival – update

We’re delighted to announce that the second TDSIG Web carnival, Learnings when the wheels fall off, has been inundated with speaker proposals, meaning that the 2017 event will be even bigger and better than our first carnival. Details are currently being finalized and will be available soon on the SIG website.

Sinéad Laffan, TDSIG Coordinator 

From the Materials Writing SIG

Committee changes

The MaWSIG committee has bid a fond farewell and said a huge thank you to Events team member Karen Richardson. Karen, who is based in Germany, was the brains behind MaWSIG’s participation in the annual IATEFL BESIG Conference in Munich in November. The conference featured a special MaWSIG workshop or talk during every session. The pre-conference seminar included a seminar on ‘How to write excellent materials’. Speakers have blogged about their sessions on our website here.

Karen is replaced by Alex Popovski, originally from Sarajevo, but living in Macedonia for the past 24 years. Alex is a teacher and teacher trainer for the British Council and ELTAM (English Language Teachers’ Association of Macedonia). She is a perfect recruit for the Events team, having been actively involved with ELTAM for 17 years, organising international conferences, seminars and workshops.

14 January 2017: MaWSIG Meetup

Save the date for our Meetup in Trier, Germany, on Saturday 14 January. The Meetup aims to bring together people who write ELT materials and/or are involved in publishing ELT materials. The main event is 14.00–18.00 at THEO, Simeonenstraße 59, Trier. Entrance costs 15€ including a homemade 'Kaffee & Kuchen' buffet. In the evening, there are two further optional events. There is a wine tasting with five regional wines from 18.30. Finally, there is a dinner afterwards in the same restaurant; prices will vary. There are no tickets; please register to attend any of the three parts of the Meetup here and then pay on the day.

3 April 2017: Glasgow PCE

We are excited to announce our line-up for the IATEFL pre-conference event on 3 April 2017 ‘Nuts and bolts: practical considerations for the ELT materials professional’. Writer and editor Penny Hands delves deep into the author−editor relationship. Chris Lonsdale, Reader in Procurement and Supply Management at Birmingham University Business School, spills the beans on negotiation skills – vital for in-house staff seeking better salaries, as well as for freelance editors and authors negotiating with publishers. Teacher, teacher trainer and author Dan Barber talks about time management and what it’s like working with a coach. Last but not least, ELT academics Julie Norton and Heather Buchanan curate an interactive session on what makes an outstanding ELT coursebook from the publishers’ perspective and based on interviews with publishers; this will be followed by a panel discussion. Our pre-conference events are very popular and places are limited, so book here now to avoid disappointment.

Rachael Roberts, MaWSIG Coordinator 

From the Learning Technologies SIG

3 April 2017: Glasgow PCE

We have news about our pre-conference event; as always, we try to create events where we can have the maximum amount of sharing of knowledge and experiences of our members. Our two plenary speakers will be ELTJam and Nicola Meldrum but we are also featuring: a ‘Tech SpertsShow’ in the style of the popular TEDx presentations where 6 practitioners introduce 6 tools which they use to help develop their teaching as well as themselves as teachers, and an Open Space event in the afternoon which will give us a chance to explore topics further.

Our blog

In preparation for our pre-conference event organised jointly with TDSIG, we are featuring an article on technology in teacher development featuring a pedagogical discussion on working with multi-level groups, with Mike Harrison, Divya Madhavan and Tyson Seburn from the Teacher Development SIG Online Team. As ever, we welcome contributions from our members. Submission guidelines can be found here

Shaun Wilden and Sophia Mavridi, Joint LTSIG Coordinators