IATEFL Global Get-Together Day 1

10.00 - 10.15 UK time

Welcome and introduction

Harry Kuchah Kuchah, President of IATEFL

Harry Kuchah Kuchah has been involved in English language teacher education since 1996 and has worked with different teacher communities in Africa, Europe, South America and Asia. He currently leads the MA TESOL, Young Learners programme at the University of Leeds, and serves as member of the British Council ELAG and President of IATEFL.

10.15 - 11.00 UK time

What's new in the English language?

David Crystal, Patron of IATEFL

David Crystal reflects on some of the language changes that have taken place in the fifteen years between the second (2003) and third (2019) editions of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. The 2019 edition has 50 new pages, with subjects including Shakespeare's vocabulary and pronunciation, fresh insights into the growing cultural identities of 'new Englishes' around the world, developments in digital language with the emergence of new online varieties in social media, and much more.

David Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor, and works from his home in Holyhead, North Wales as a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster in language and linguistics. He is patron of IATEFL, and author of over 100 books on various aspects of the English language, including The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (3rd ed, 2019). A full biography and complete list of his publications can be found at www.davidcrystal.com.

11.15 - 12.00 UK time

Be a 'smart' teacher: focus on your wellbeing

Tammy Gregersen, representing IATEFL Conference sponsor Oxford University Press

Teacher wellbeing is essential for effective, creative and impassioned teaching, especially in a time of crisis as we chart unfamiliar territory concerning methods of delivery and the emotional demands of isolation on everyone - teachers and learners. In this talk, we address the need to become ‘SMART’ teachers who invest in their wellbeing in order to teach to the best of our abilities at this difficult time. A ‘SMART’ teacher attends to their Self, Motivation, Activity, Relationships, and use of Time. Together we will discuss various strategies to enable us to become ‘smarter’ teachers so we can flourish as people and professionals. 

Tammy Gregersen received her MA in Education and PhD in Linguistics in Chile, where she also began her academic career. She is currently teaching and researching at the American University of Sharjah where she also coordinates their Masters in TESOL program.  She has co-authored/co-edited several books.  She is particularly excited about her newly published title: Teacher Wellbeing.

12.15 - 13.00 UK time

IATEFL Associates getting together session 1

Speaker 1: Lou McLaughlin, IATEFL Associate Representative
IATEFL Associates – Who, What, Why?

Being part of a teaching association is a good way to build and grow your professional network at local, regional and national level. Although in today’s world, we can connect online and have a global reach, a local teaching association allows you to be part of a community well-versed in the challenges you face within your local context. All teaching associations themselves face common issues and becoming part of the IATEFL Associates network provides the opportunity to share concerns, share best practice and support each other at a global level. 

Lou McLaughlin is the Executive Director of Eaquals (Evaluation & Accreditation of Quality Language Services) and is on the IATEFL Board of Trustees as the Associates Representative as well as serving as a Trustee for the Bell Education Trust. Her special interests are Young Learner teacher training, teacher cognition and management in ELT.

Speaker 2: Maria Marta Mora, FAAPI, Argentina
FAAPI: Forty-nine years devoted to professional development, achievements and challenges

The presentation intends to introduce FAAPI (Federación Argentina de Asociaciones de Profesores de Inglés), and to share the Association’s mission, vision and activities. At present twenty-two sister associations scattered around Argentina’s vast geography work together as a Federation with forty-nine years of challenges coupled with strategies for growth. In its desire to strengthen ties with similar associations, FAAPI has established strong bonds with LAALTA (Latin American Association for Language Testing and Assessment). As a result, FAAPI will hold its Annual Conference, in collaboration with LAALTA, in Buenos Aires later in 2020. The main topic of the event will be testing and assessment.

Maria Marta Mora is an EFL teacher in a state-run school in Buenos Aires. She is a coordinator in APIBA Teacher Research SIG and the winner of FAAPI “Daniel Fernandez Scholarship” (2018) and GALA award (2019).

Speaker 3: David Fernando, ANELTA, Angola
The importance of knowing and mastering the sounds of English

You cannot talk about pronunciation without referring to the sounds of English, because they make up part of the main features of pronunciation that teachers have to teach in the classroom. Moreover, teachers cannot teach word stress, connected speech, past simple of regular verbs, -s (third person singular, plural nouns, etc) without mentioning them. Unfortunately, some teachers usually talk about letter combinations when they teach pronunciation. I believe they do not teach it effectively because they do not know English sounds. However, this presentation will focus on the role of English sounds in the effective teaching of pronunciation in the classroom.

David Fernando is an English teacher and a teacher trainer. He works for IQ-International and Luanda Communication Centre. David has recently published a Phonemic Chart and had an article published in Africa TESOL Newsletter Issue-4, June 2019, and the same article was published in IATEFL Voices Issue 272, January/February 2020.

13.15 - 13.45 UK time

Inclusive ELT materials: principles for design, selection and use

Alex Popovski, MaWSIG Coordinator
Anne Margaret Smith, IPSENSIG Coordinator
David Valente, YLTSIG Coordinator
Rob Hill, LITSIG Coordinator
Varinder Unlu, GISIG Coordinator

Moderator: David Valente
Five IATEFL SIGs will collaboratively explore key principles for designing, selecting and using ELT materials to champion diversity and inclusion. The speakers will briefly share one principle each framed according to their particular SIG’s focus. Following the speakers’ contributions, we will open the discussion to participants’ questions. Our aim is to demonstrate that inclusion is the responsibility of all ELT special interests and by collaborating around materials, we can help make this a global reality for educators and their learners.


  • Aleksandra Popovski has an MA in Professional Development in Language Education from the University of Chichester, UK. She is a translator, teacher trainer and invited speaker at international conferences. Her professional memberships include TESOL, USA and IATEFL, UK. She is the current president of ELTAM (English Language Teachers' Association of the Republic of North Macedonia) and the Coordinator for the IATEFL Materials Writing SIG.
  • Dr Anne Margaret Smith has taught English for 30 years and is also a dyslexia specialist tutor and assessor. She founded ELT well to bring together best practice from the two fields of ELT and SpLD support, and offers materials and training to teachers, as well as specialist teaching to dyslexic learners.
  • David Valente is Coordinator of the IATEFL YLTSIG. He works as a PhD Research Fellow in English Language and Literature Subject Pedagogy at Nord University, Norway, where he teaches on the Masters in Primary Education. He is also Reviews Editor for the Children's Literature in English Language Education (CLELE) Journal.
  • Robert Hill is a graduate in English literature from Oxford University and Robert taught in Spain, Greece and England before moving to Italy. He taught English at the universities of Verona and Milan and is now an author and teacher-trainer. He regularly speaks at conferences worldwide and is Coordinator of the IATEFL Literature SIG.
  • Varinder Unlu has worked in ELT for 26 years in all contexts from private language schools to FE and HE, teaching students of all ages. She has worked as DOS/Academic Manager/Principal since 2002.  She is also a teacher trainer for both Cambridge CELTA and Trinity TESOL, a materials writer and a conference speaker and was the Coordinator of the IATEFL Inclusive Practices and SENs SIG and is now Coordinator of IATEFL Global Issues SIG.


14.00 - 14.45 UK time

Observing ourselves

Will Nash, representing IATEFL conference sponsor University of Sheffield ELT Centre

Language changes as it linguistically travels with global development.  Like aspects of globalisation, some languages have benefited. The 6 official languages of the United Nations are arguably growing and controlled well.  However, policies at a local and an international language level seem fragmented and territorial, like those of other global, borderless phenomena. This talk will touch on various language areas, through a lens, both metaphorical and literal, of self observation and reflection.  What roles could English Language Teachers play in future language development? 

Will Nash is currently social distancing in the UK.   A lifelong language learner, Will hopes his talk contributes to our professional development.  But, as a wise Serbian said before speaking at her conference, '...it doesn't matter what you say Will, as long as it’s in English'.  Keep collaborating, cooperating and communicating.

15.00 - 15.45 UK time

How to empower learners through the Sustainable Development Goals

Carol Read, IATEFL Past President

We are living through an unprecedented crisis where there will be a ‘before’ and ‘after’ in terms of education and social responsibility. Through developing understanding of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), students become confident communicators and are challenged to think critically and creatively. They also develop social skills, values and attitudes that underpin responsible global citizenship. This session explores practical ideas, suitable for learners as from upper primary, which use the SDGs as a springboard to integrate the development of language and thinking skills, values education and intercultural understanding, and empower students to learn in a self-directed way.

Carol Read has over 30 years’ experience in ELT as a teacher, teacher trainer, academic manager, materials writer and educational consultant. Carol specializes in pre-primary and primary English language education. Carol is an award-winning author and former President of IATEFL. You can find out more about Carol by visiting www.carolread.com

16.00 - 16.45 UK time

Integrated tasks in standardized assessment and positive washback

Yasemin Arşın, representing IATEFL Conference sponsor ETS Global

The aim of this presentation is to provide an insight into the standardized assessment of academic speaking and writing skills through integrated tasks, and to discuss how it creates positive washback in an EAP context. The practical information to be shared concerning the integrated tasks in the writing section of the TOEFL iBT® test is likely to influence the way teachers approach to these tasks that require the use of English language holistically. This session will finally present resources and tools developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which can support instructors in developing their students’ academic writing and speaking skills.

Yasemin Arşın joined ETS Global in 2016, currently holding the position of Academic Relations & ELT Coordinator, based in Istanbul, Turkey. Yasemin holds a B.A. in American Culture and Literature and is an experienced teacher trainer. Previously, she worked as a teacher in various private educational institutions in Ankara, Turkey. 

17.00 - 17.30 UK time

Thinking outside the box

Dana Poklepovic, BESIG Joint Coordinator
Mike Chick, representing ESOLSIG
Wayne Rimmer, representing PRONSIG

All three SIGs are having to try new things at unprecedented speeds. Although we have different emphases, we share a mission of promoting best practice as well as reacting to different complex situations in our classrooms, and this remains true in the present challenging environment. In this session we would like to talk about some of the ways we have been approaching the current situation and supporting our members both as professionals and as individuals vulnerable to the increased stress levels. Each SIG will present for 5 mins, after which we will take questions.


  • Mike Chick has been at the University of South Wales since 2004 and is the award leader for the BA minor in TESOL. At present he is focused on pre-service teacher education and he organises and oversees the ESOL collaborative project between the University and the Welsh Refugee Council. Since 2017 he has been researching language education issues surrounding resettled Syrian families in Wales. He also advises Rhondda Cynon Taf local authority on ESOL provision for resettled Syrian families.
  • Dana Poklepovic is a business English trainer, communication skills specialist and certified executive and Conversational Intelligence Coach. She has a PhD in Modern Languages, a university degree in Translation and the LCCI Further Certificate for Teachers of Business English. Dana is IATEFL BESIG Joint Coordinator.
  • Wayne Rimmer is a former Coordinator of PronSIG. He has been a member of PronSIG before many of you were born and has always valued the sense of community and shared purpose which the SIG encourages.

17.45 - 18.40 UK time

Tell us a timely tale

David Heathfield

We’re hungry for stories to get us through this global crisis, so let's share timely tales from our global IATEFL community. Sit down and be nourished by a mezze of very short stories (2-5 minutes) and, if you wish, tell one yourself. These will be mostly folk tales with one or two life-affirming personal tales - stories which touch on our common experience in these uncommon times. Please contact me [email protected] beforehand if you'd like to tell a tale, so we can aim for an inclusive and diverse session. As host, I will serve up a tale or two myself.

David Heathfield is an international storyteller who teaches English, runs training workshops for teachers and tells stories from around the world. He wrote Storytelling with our Students: Telling Tales from around the World (DELTA Publishing) and is sharing tales on YouTube to get us through this crisis.

18.45 - 20.00 UK time

IATEFL Quiz Night

To end the first day of our get-together we thought we’d kick back and bring you a social event.  Inspired by years of watching Gavin (Dudeney) do the IATEFL International Quiz, Trustees, Shaun and Colin have probably bitten off more than they can chew to bring you the IATEFL Global Get-Together Virtual Quiz! You can guarantee they’ve agreed to so without really thinking through how to do a quiz online … So, come along and have a laugh at them or maybe, if they’ve worked out how to do it, come along and try and answer a question or two.


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