Bringing ELT theory to life at the English UK Teachers' Conference
29 October 2015

Ever wondered about those case histories cited in English language teaching theory and research? More will be revealed about Alberto, Wes and Nora at the the English UK Teachers' Conference - and speaker Scott Thornbury thinks their stories will be of real interest to teachers.

"There are interesting things to be gleaned. People are nervous about anything overtly theoretical at a conference - they want practical ideas, and this is a way of making theory more accessible, with practical implications," explains Scott, series editor for the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers and associate professor on the MA TESOL programme at The New School in New York. 

His session, the SLA Hall of Fame, about second language acquisition, will open the English UK Teacher Conference in London on Saturday 7 November.

Scott explains: "There are seven or so case studies dating back to the 70s and 80s which launched the field of second language acquisition, and introduced key concepts into the language and the discourse of second language learning theory, such as noticing and scaffolding. Teachers are often aware of these but don't necessarily know where these terms derived from.

By putting a face to them it brings them to life, and the stories are very interesting - they included people learning a second language as adult and as children, people who were successful, people who were less so, people who were highly motivated and did well, and people who were highly motivated and didn't do well. People identify with these stories and there's something very human about them. They have a resonance and people can relate to them which is why I'm using this as peg to hang histories of second language acquisition on."


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