International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language

Linking, developing and supporting English Language Teaching professionals worldwide




March 2019

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This is the last edition of our monthly eBulletin before our Annual conference in Liverpool and as always, we are happy to share with you news and updates about the activities of our Special Interest Groups (SIGs). In this edition, we bring you the latest updates about Pre Conference Events (PCEs) and Showcase events in Liverpool and you will also find news about webinars, publications, blogposts, SIG committee changes as well as opportunities to join a SIG committee and share your experience.

It is also the last eBulletin being edited by Roy Bicknell, whose tenure in PubsCom is coming to an end after 6 years. He has been a fundamental presence in the Publications Committee and we wish him success in his future endeavours. We will miss him.

We are delighted to let you know that the conference app and programme are now available online and our strategic partner, the British Council, is putting everything in place to bring you live coverage of some of the sessions, if you are unable to attend the conference in person. We look forward to seeing some of you in Liverpool.

With best wishes from all of us at PubsCom,

Harry Kuchah Kuchah, IATEFL President, Chair Publications Committee

From Head Office


For those of you coming to the Conference, the app and programme are now available from the Conference website so you can start planning your time at the event. Don’t forget that online booking closes at 16.00 GMT on Tuesday 19 March 2019. If you do not book by this time you will need to make your booking and payment on arrival at the Conference venue.

For those who are unable to make the Conference in person, don’t forget that you can follow online thanks to our strategic partner, the British Council. Go to IATEFL online to follow the live coverage.

Pop in to the Exhibition

If you are joining us in Liverpool, don’t forget to visit the Exhibition in Hall 2. With over 50 exhibitors looking forward to meeting you, you’ll be able to find out about the latest ELT trends, resources and useful services. Pop in and say hello to industry professionals who will be on hand to answer your questions!

Opening times:

Monday 1 April: 17:00 – 18:30 (Preview Evening)

Tuesday 2 April: 08:30 – 17:30

Wednesday 3 April: 08:30 – 17:30

Thursday 4 April: 08:30 – 16:30

Friday 5 April: CLOSED

Don’t forget: There will be a variety of short talks at the Pop-up Presentation Stage throughout the week, including during the Preview Evening. Head down to hear about some interesting topics in the world of ELT!


Liverpool IATEFL Tribute

3 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL tribute session

The Tribute session at this year’s conference will be at 17.30 on Wednesday 3 April. It’s a session at which we remember colleagues in the profession who’ve died during the year since the last conference. If you’ve lost a colleague, whether an IATEFL member or not, and would like to say a few words about them, do please come along. You can bring mementos in the form of photographs or teaching materials if you wish, although of course this isn’t necessary.

The session is open to everyone – so please come along and listen, whether you've a colleague to remember or not. If you want to know more or if you have a colleague you’d like to talk about, you’re welcome to get in touch with Peter Grundy before the Conference.


 From the SIGs 

From the Learning Technologies SIG

1 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL PCE

The IATEFL LTSIG is ready to host a fruitful and insightful pre-conference event on 1 April at IATEFL 2019 and we strongly encourage members and non-members to join us. Please note that the event is offsite at The Racquet Club Hotel, 5 Chapel Street, Liverpool. The day will run from 10.00-17.00. Badges must be collected from the ACC before you join us for the pre-conference event. Please find more information about the event here and be sure to register to ensure your place. Join us for what is expected to be a very promising pre-conference event.

3 April 2019: LTSIG Showcase

The IATEFL LTSIG has planned a very exciting Showcase this year, rich in talks and workshops. The SIG will also be featuring its annual Open forum from 14.15 to 15.30 and invites everyone to join us for SIG news, networking and, of course, wine and nibbles. The Showcase will run from 10.15-18.15 on Wednesday 3 March in Room 12.

This is the programme for the day:

10.20-11.35 Forum on teaching and learning online:

Uncovering the possibilities of virtual schooling for EFL (Susana Galante)

Interaction versus e-interaction: can you recreate classroom interaction electronically? (Lowri Mair Jones)

Increasing engagement in online environments: goal-setting and inclusion (Maggie Sokolik)

12.05-12.50 Escape the classroom! (Graham Stanley)

14.15-15.30 IATEFL Learning Technologies Special Interest Group Open Forum

Connecting and supporting teachers in the use of learning technologies

16.00-16.30 Video content or audio podcasts: which improves listening comprehension more (Craig Wealand)

16.45-17.15 GUINEVERE - learn a language through games in virtual worlds (Heike Philp & Letizia Cinganotto)

17.30-18.15 Quick wins with technology in the BYOD language classroom (Joe Dale)

For full details, see here.

IHBCN Conference Write-ups

The LTSIG is happy to share Georgios Kormpas’ write-ups from the IHBCN conference in early February. Georgios won the Roving Reporter’s grant and his role was to report on the five LTSIG strand sessions that took place at the conference. Enjoy his write-ups on our website.

Write for us

Remember we are always looking for good content, so do find some time to write for us. Please, contact our Newsletter Editor, Graham Stanley and/or our Webmaster, Phil Longwell with your articles, videos, blogs and ideas on the use of technology in language learning.

Join our Social Media Groups and Pages

Our Facebook Page for announcements and news

Our Facebook Group for discussions and postings by members

Our Twitter timeline for conversations during events and throughout the year

Our Instagram account for pictures and updates

Our LinkedIn Profile for our professional productivity

Sophia Mavridi, LTSIG Coordinator



From the Research SIG

1 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL PCE

The ReSIG pre-conference event ‘Communicating and learning from research’ will take place on 1 April 2019 in Liverpool. There will be plenary talks by Anne Burns and Richard Smith, poster presentations by students, teachers and academics involved in research, and a final wrap-up of the day led by David Nunan. For more information about this event please visit this webpage.

4 April 2019: ReSIG Showcase

The ReSIG Showcase Day at the IATEFL conference will take place on 4 April in Liverpool. It will feature relevant talks on research in ELT and an Open Forum for anyone who is interested in learning more about our SIG. For more information you can visit this website.

26-27 April 2019: ELT Research In Action

ReSIG is supporting the ELTRIA (ELT Research In Action) conference, which this year will take place on 26 and 27 April at the University of Barcelona, in Spain. This two-day event aims to demystify research and encourage teachers to read, engage with, and participate in relevant studies with clear practical grounding in order to bridge the gap between theory and practice. For more information please go to this webpage.

Latest ReSIG publication

The ReSIG supported the publication of Stories by Teacher Researchers in an Online Research Community, edited by Aslı Lidice Goktürk Sağlam and Kenan Dikilitaş, which you can find on our website. Click here.

Ana Ines Salvi and Kenan Dikilitas, Joint ReSIG Coordinators


From the Testing Evaluation and Assessment SIG

Best of TEASIG Vol. 1

Best of TEASIG Vol. 1 is now published. The first of three volumes, this online publication contains a wealth of articles included in TEASIG Newsletters between 1992 and 2001. These are of historical interest, reflecting important topics and issues for practitioners during these years, and still relevant to testing (and teaching) today.

The publication is a tribute to TEASIG members, both past and present, and to all those who have contributed to the work of TEASIG over the years. In the spirit of fulfilling TEASIG’s mission to share, spread, support and enhance knowledge of testing, evaluation and assessment worldwide, this publication will be open to everyone interested in this field and will be available to download. We hope you will enjoy reading this inspiring collection of articles from our contributors and find them as engaging and informative as when they were first published.

The link to the publication has recently been emailed out to TEASIG members but be sure to keep an eye on our website, social media accounts and also the emails that we send for news on when Best of TEASIG Vol. 1 will be available to the wider public.

1 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL PCE

The theme of TEASIG’s pre-conference event in Liverpool is ’Authenticity in Assessment of Productive Skills.’ It will be a 2-part event where testing and assessment experts will give presentations followed by hands-on workshops. The pre-conference event is aimed at teachers with all levels of experience who wish to expand or refresh their knowledge on this subject and put it to practical use. There will also be room for questions to the speakers during our panel discussion on best practice at the end of the afternoon. Speakers include John Pill, Sian Morgan, Andrew Kitney, and Dana Gablasova. For full details on event and speakers see here and to register for the event see here.

4 April 2019: TEASIG Showcase

Join us on 4 April for a full day of talks on assessment in language teaching and learning. At the end of the day we will have our Open Forum where you will have the chance to meet the committee and join in lively and friendly discussions on all current issues related to testing and teaching. Drinks and nibbles will also be on hand. For more details, download the brochure on the Conference webpage.

TEASIG Committee change

Neil Bullock, who has been the Joint Coordinator of TEASIG, will step down after Liverpool following his 3-year stint and he will be replaced by Mehvar Ergun Turkkan, who has been appointed from the TEASIG committee as the new Joint-Coordinator. Neil will stay on the TEASIG Committee, and will continue being a part of the webinar team.

The Fair List, UK

We are happy and proud to announce that we are once again on The Fair List, UK, which celebrates excellence of gender balance in plenary speakers, keynote presenters or speaker panels at ELT events, annually, in the UK. We have won our place because of the gender balance of speakers at our pre-conference event in Brighton in 2018.

Follow us on social media

Follow us on our social media accounts:Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Ceyda Mutlu and Neil Bullock Joint TEASIG Coordinators



From the Teacher Development SIG

TDSIG Developod, Episode 10

Topic area: Experimental teacher development. Host Christian talks about 'Positive Discipline' with Tina Wu, who is teaching young learners in Taiwan. Listen here or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

1 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL PCE

We will be holding a joint pre-conference event with the Global Issues SIG. On the topic of the intersection between social justice topics and teacher development, we have 8 speakers, plenty of open-space discussion with them, drinks and snacks. For more info or to register soon, click here.

17-18 May 2019: InnovateELT 2019

We’re teaming up for this event in Barcelona, which is themed ‘Back to the future’. TDSIG members receive a 20% discount on admission. Check for more details here.

Tyson Seburn, TDSIG Coordinator

From the Global Issues SIG

New GISIG Coordinator

We are delighted to announce that Varinder Unlu will be taking over from Chris and Jules as GISIG Coordinator from April, having been the only applicant for the position via the call for nominations. Varinder comes to GISIG with a wealth of experience (as outgoing coordinator of IPSENSIG) and a strong commitment to promoting global issues more widely. As she says in her own words: Global issues are something I feel passionately about and raising awareness of these through education is, in my opinion, the most effective way. Welcome Varinder – we very much look forward to working with you.

GISIG Bonus events @IATEFL

IATEFL GISIG has teamed up with Liverpool museums during the IATEFL conference to offer two free, fascinating tours of Liverpool museums and we hope these prove beneficial to you in your teaching practice.

The first, on Wednesday 3 April, is an “Introduction to teaching slavery in the classroom - resources/handling collections showcase” with Adam Duckworth. Please meet in the ground floor foyer of the Maritime Museum at 15.00.

The second, on Thursday 4 April, is on the “Fight for Rights - women’s suffrage’ tour of the Museum of Liverpool” with Claire Davies. Please meet in the foyer of the Museum of Liverpool at 15.00.

Please complete this registration form to show which event you want to register for (spaces are strictly limited to 10 delegates for each tour and last one hour). Spaces are on a first-come-first-served basis. Your name will be passed to the IATEFL GISIG Coordinators Chris Sowton and Jules Schoenmann so that they can advise Adam and/or Claire who to expect on the tours.

6 April 2019: HandsUp Project Conference

On Saturday 6 April 2019, immediately after the IATEFL conference, The Hands Up Project will be running its 2nd Annual conference. The theme this year is ‘Language and Resilience’. It costs just £15 to register for the event and this will include a delicious cooked Palestinian lunch. The event is sponsored by Cambridge University Press, The British Council, and IATEFL GISIG and the speakers will include HUP Founder Nick Bilbrough, Maricarmen Gamero, Richard Gallen, Alexander Guzik, Sahar Salah, Colm Downes, Scott Thornbury and Tony Capstick, as well as the GISIG joint coordinators.

There will also be theatre performances by Palestinian children and from a playback theatre company. You can register for the conference here.

27 April 2019: GISIG Webinar

Join us on Saturday 27 April at 16.00 GMT for our webinar on building teacher communities through using WhatsApp to support teacher development. Whether you have regular opportunities to meet other professionals face-to-face or fulfil your own developmental needs in isolation, this webinar will show you how the online world is connecting teachers like never before. Find out more by clicking on this link.

Julietta Schoenmann and Chris Sowton, Joint GISIG Coordinators



From the Inclusive Practices & SEN SIG

1 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL PCE

There is still time to book onto our interactive, multisensory pre-conference event, “Home”: Reaching Out to Creativity, which takes 3 creative art forms as starting points and explores their application in the ELT classroom, considering how they can enhance inclusivity. We’ll be looking at ways of using music, drama and storytelling in the language classroom, and then we’ll bring them together in a performance, including all the participants. The day will also include time for the participants to talk about their own practice and share their experiences.

For more information and booking, click here.

2-4 April 2019: IPSEN SIG hub at the exhibition

Got some questions about our SIG, or about inclusion or SEN? Come and find us on stall 3 (the ELT well stall). Enter our SIG quiz, win prizes, ask your inclusion-related questions or join in with the musical activities going on there. You can also find out more about our mentor scheme.

3 April 2019: IPSEN SIG Showcase

We will be in Room 11b for most of the day with a great line-up of speakers: Tyson Seburn, Jade Matos Carew, Ross Thorburn, Ellen Darling, and Efi Tzouri will all be considering different aspects of inclusive practice.

From 14.15-15.30 we will be in Room 14, for our SIG Open Forum. Here, we will have a round-up of the year’s news and talk about our future plans, including: committee elections.

IPSEN SIG is now 3 years old, and so it is time for the acting committee to step down, to allow for fresh elections to all the committee posts: Co-ordinator, Treasurer, Secretary, Events co-ordinator, Newsletter Editor, Web Manager, and other roles in the publications and communications teams. If you would like to be a part of this team, please do look out for the call for nominations, and get in touch to tell us where your interests lie – all expressions of interest are very welcome. The elections will be held on-line shortly after the conference, but our SIG Showcase will be a great opportunity for us to meet and talk about any questions you have about IPSEN or volunteering with IATEFL.

Varinder Unlu, IPSEN SIG Coordinator



From the Young Learners and Teenagers SIG

March Blog Post

Please visit our March blog post by Nick Bilbrough, who focuses on the use of drama to ‘reach and teach’ children and teenagers in crisis-affected Palestine. Please leave your comments directly on the blog.

1 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL PCE

Our pre-conference event at the IATEFL Conference on 1 April will be in Room 11a of the ACC. This year’s theme is: ‘Building bridges and finding common ground in TEYLs’.

Janet Enever will open with her plenary on ‘21st Century ELT for 3-10 year-olds’. This will be followed with a second plenary by Dave Spencer about ‘(R)EVOLUTION: New ideas seeping into Secondary Education’. We then have four shorter talks:

  • Early Years: ‘Building bridges to the primary classroom: engaging early literacy practices’ by Joan Kang Shin and Luciana Fernandez
  • Primary: ‘Primary learning: borrowing the best from ELT and the mainstream’ by Shelagh Rixon and Amanda Davies
  • Lower Secondary: ‘Making English your own: developing ELF-aware lower secondary students’ by Dirk Lagerwaard and Bruno Andrade
  • Upper Secondary: ‘The next step: preparing upper secondary learners for the future’ by Leticia Moraes and Simon Pounder

After these shorter talks, delegates will participate in an open space. We plan to wrap up the pre-conference event with a workshop facilitated by Virginia Parker on ‘Tools for empowering learners and facilitating learning in TEYLs’. To find out more and register, please click here.

4 April 2019: YLTSIG Showcase

The line-up of the YLTSIG Showcase at the IATEFL Liverpool Conference on Thursday 4 April features a variety of YL ELT learning and teaching contexts, a focus on different learner life stages and an interactive debate with bubbles and canapés. We look forward to welcoming our members, followers and friends in Room 12 at the ACC.

10:20-10.50 Simon Pounder, “Using debates to promote critical thinking in the secondary classroom’ (Talk)

11.05-11.35 Matthew MacGregor-Stubbs, ‘Early years literacy assessment: learning from the literature’ (Talk)

12.05-12.35 Angela Govender, Jenny Joshua, Abraham Enos Dhladhla, ‘The impact of a teacher development project in South Africa’ (Talk)

12.50-13.20 Maria-Jesus Inostroza, ‘Using Chilean sign language to teach English in early years’ (Talk)

14.20-15.05 Sandie Mourao, Gail Ellis, ‘Reflecting on pedagogical principles for English in pre-primary’ (Workshop)

15.20-15.50 Roger Dale Jones, ‘Political issues in the EFL classroom: teacher and learner perceptions’ (Talk)

16.20-16.50 Chris Roland, ‘Eight practical principles for managing teens’ (Talk)

17.05-17.50 Interactive Debate: This house believes we have an obligation to allow children’s own languages in English lessons (Open Forum facilitated by Nayr Ibrahim

27-28 April 2019: YLTSIG - TED Atakent College

We are collaborating with TED Atakent College on a joint event to be held in Istanbul on 27 and 28 April. The theme is ‘The GIFT of creativity’ and features plenaries by Sandie Mourao and Chris Roland. To find out more and to submit a speaker proposal please click here. To register, please click here.

David Valente, YLTSIG Coordinator

From the English for Speakers of Other Languages SIG


On 28 February Scott Thornbury treated us to a wonderful webinar entitled: ‘ESL: An Ecological Process’. Nearly 100 people joined in. It was a great success. If you are an ESOL SIG member you can find the recording on the members only part of the ESOL SIG website. We are now busy planning the next webinar and will post information about it soon.

1 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL PCE

Please join us on 1 April for our pre-conference event entitledMeeting Challenges and Exploring Solutions in the ES(O)L Classroom’.  Our SIG consists of tutors, teachers, and academics from around the world who are passionate about all aspects of ES(O)L practice – from teaching to research to policy. The pre-conference event is a chance to meet other ES(O)L practitioners, attend interactive talks and workshops and learn about the work of IATEFL and the ES(O)L group. Please visit our website for details about the day including the line-up of speakers.

2 April 2019: ESOL SIG Showcase

Registration for the full conference allows you to enjoy our showcase day on Tuesday 2 April. During the day we will hold our Open Forum where you will be able to meet the SIG Committee and meet other members. Refreshments will be provided. For more details, download the brochure on the Conference webpage.


Call for contributions: please consider submitting articles for our newsletter, send to ESOL SIG. We want to hear from you.

Lastly, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @iateflesolsig

Lesley Painter-Farrell and Oya Karabetca, Joint ESOL SIG Coordinators

From the Teacher Training and Education SIG

1 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL PCE

BESIG and TTEd SIG are preparing a joint pre-conference event: ‘Training (Business) English teachers to prepare learners for modern workplaces: Integration of soft skills’

Our speakers in this particular event and their presentations are:

  • Ben Knight, Director of ELT Research at Cambridge University Press, ‘Understanding what we really mean by soft skills in the context of teacher education’.
  • Gordon Lewis, from Laureate Network Universities, ‘Incorporating workplace readiness skills: Successes, challenges and opportunities’.
  • Ros Wright, Freelancer, ‘Incorporating workplace readiness skills: Successes, challenges and opportunities’.

There is still time to register. Places are limited so make sure that you sign up soon here.

2 April 2019: TTEd SIG Showcase

Our Showcase will be covering a wide range of teacher training topics. Speakers include Briony Beaven, Ben Beaumont and Tessa Woodward. For more details on the event download the brochure on the conference webpage.

Webinar recording

Our recent webinar with Lindsay Clandfield was a really fascinating look at how to design online tasks, as well as how to maintain engagement in online training courses. TTEd SIG members can watch the recording here.

See you in Liverpool

Please come and say hello to us in Liverpool. You will see us wearing our bright yellow TTEd T-shirts. You can’t miss us!

Burcu Tezcan Unal, TTEd SIG Coordinator



From the Business English SIG

Would you like to be part of our teams?

BESIG is looking for volunteers who would like to form part of the Events and Administration & Sponsorship teams. If you are interested, please contact us at BESIG.

11 May 2019: IATEFL Poland

BESIG will be supporting IATEFL Poland in holding their second one-day business English event, in Krakow on Saturday 11 May. Further details are available on the BESIG website.

BESIG on social media

To stay up to date with our regular news and updates, follow IATEFL BESIG official accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Dana Poklepovic and Evan Frendo, Joint BESIG Coordinators

From the Materials Writing SIG

1 April 2019: Liverpool IATEFL PCE

Our pre-conference event at Liverpool will be a joint event with LitSIG, the IATEFL Literature Special Interest Group. The pre-conference event is a fantastic opportunity to share expertise and experience in incorporating literary, visual or musical materials into classroom as well as published materials.

David Crystal is giving the opening plenary ‘Language BLANK Literature: from Conjunction to Preposition’ in which he argues for the integration of the study of language and the study of literature, by focusing on the notion of linguistic creativity which underlies both.

Our stellar line-up includes Chris and Eduardo Klein Wolf look at choosing Shakespearean extracts and designing materials around them. Cheryl Palin explores the advice of great writers on their craft. Alan Pulverness discusses the British Council’s BritLit project, suggesting approaches for writing materials for bringing literature into the EFL classroom. Hania Bociek highlights how learner interaction with paintings can inspire the materials created for/used in your classroom. Walton Burns and Alice Savage talk about teaching communication skills with theatre and video scripts. Helen Holwill and Nicola Prentis explore how to write graded readers, as well as how readers are selected and produced by publishers.

Look out for blogs by the speakers giving a taste of their talks on the MaWSIG website here. You can book online here up until 16.00 GMT on 19 March 2019. If you miss this deadline you will need to complete your booking onsite at the Registration Desk.

4 April 2019: MaWSIG Showcase

The MaWSIG Showcase is a day-long series of sessions covering a variety of materials writing perspectives, with talks, forums and workshops – as well as the Open Forum, MaWSIG’s annual conference meet-up.

  • Forum on research on materials writing: Luis Carabantes, ‘Materials design in English teacher education: a neglected craft’, Andrea Geroldo dos Santos, ‘Corpus and CLIL: a possible integration?’ and Jane Ward and Colin Campbell, ‘An evidence-based re-evaluation of second language listening pedagogy’.
  • Jen Dobson, ‘Integrating soft skills in materials for early years’
  • Robert Howard, ‘How to survive as an independent author’
  • Marina Bouckaert, ‘What (SLA) principles are reflected in your classroom materials?’
  • MaWSIG Open Forum at 15.20. The Open Forum is your chance to meet the MaWSIG committee and fellow members – an excellent for opportunity for networking and putting names to faces over a glass of wine (or juice) and canapes. There’s a raffle of goodies donated by publishers and a very brief recap of the past year’s highlights, and an outline of plans for the coming year. We’d like to hear YOUR views as well.
  • Sylvia Karastathi, ‘Adapting museum education resources for language learning’
  • Jill Hadfield, ‘How to create interactive online tasks’.

What about ...? webinar series

MaWSIG’s monthly webinar series, the What about ...? webinars, has just ended. Each webinar was led by an expert or experts in specific aspects of materials writing. Brian Tomlinson gave the first webinar entitled ‘What about principles for materials development?’ in September 2018 and in October Vicky Saumell asked, ‘What about writing digital materials?’ In November, Henning Rossa and Karoline Wirbatz gave a webinar called ‘What about writing CLIL materials?’ We ended the year with Dr Catherine Walter asking ‘What about writing grammar activities?’ In January Elaine Hodgson asked ‘What about writing Teacher’s Guides?’ and in February Leo Selivan concluded the series with his session, ‘What about writing vocabulary activities?’ Recordings of the webinars, as well as blogs featuring responses to unanswered questions from the webinars, can be viewed on the MaWSIG website here.

Aleksandra Popovski, MaWSIG Coordinator