ELT Conference 2023: Academic management day
10 November 2022

ELT Conference 2023: Academic management day

Friday 27 January | Hybrid

Venue: Leonardo Royal London St Paul's, 10 Godliman Street, London, EC4V 5AJ

Our ELT Conference is the largest annual gathering of UK ELT academic managers and teachers. This is a fantastic opportunity to discuss best-practice in ELT management and teaching as we step into 2023.

Our 2023 academic managment event is hybrid. Join us at our London venue - Leonardo Royal London St Paul's - or online.


09:30 – 09:45 | Welcome from English UK and our sponsors

09:45 – 10:30 | Navigating the capacity challenge – teacher recruitment with Huan Japes and panel

Join us for a panel session on teacher recruitment and the capacity challenge in 2023 and beyond. Our panellists will focus on recruiting and retaining staff year-round, the specific challenges of recruiting seasonal teachers, the wider recruitment picture in the UK post-Brexit and how awarding bodies can and are rising to the challenge. The panellists will give practical advice on key recruitment strategies and English UK will outline the industry-wide response to the challenges. 

10:40 – 11:10 | Beyond language: multimodal literacy and ELT. Opportunities and challenges with Jacopo Castaldi

In a highly digitalised world, the pandemic has amplified the need for computer-mediated communication. This has increased the need for those working with English as the Lingua Franca in professional or education settings to add to their communicative repertoire, beyond mere linguistic knowledge.

A focus on multimodal literacy and expertise in designing and running curricula that fully address the multimodal nature of communication in professional and educational settings can provide institutions with opportunities to offer courses that are not only more appealing to the digital native, but also better representative of the international contexts in which communication occurs and, hence, functional to the global professional. The talk will give an overview of the potentials and challenges of multimodal ELT courses by looking at curriculum design, teacher professional development and marketing strategies for both face-to-face and online teaching contexts.

After working as teacher, teacher trainer, Director of Studies and Principal for over 10 years in the private sector, in 2018 Jacopo Castaldi was awarded a scholarship from Canterbury Christ Church University to pursue a PhD in Applied Linguistics, which he completed in 2022. He also holds PG Diplomas in TESOL from CCCU and in ELT Management from Trinity College London / English UK. He lectures at CCCU, teaching on several programmes including pre-sessional English courses for international students embarking on BA, MA and PhD programmes.

11:40 – 12:10 | Who do they think they are with Steve Tulk

In language schools, the relationship between the sales/marketing teams and the academic team can be fraught with danger. Often caused by a lack of understanding of each other's roles, this troubled relationship can be quite dysfunctional and become irksome to all parties.

In this session, Steve Tulk will look at reasons why this marriage is often on the rocks and why it needs saving. Steve will suggest ways that we, as academics, can make peace with our marketing partners, and go one step further - positioning ourselves as marketing-positive, sales-friendly and even as influencers within the institution.

Steve Tulk is an education marketeer with a solid background as an ELT teacher, director of studies, school director and teacher trainer. Now working as Head of Brand Marketing at GEDU Global Education (the home of English Path) Steve specialises in ELT and HE marketing. He is DELTA qualified, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce.

11:40 – 12:10 | How to support neurodiversity in your ELT organisation and classrooms with Laura Broadbent

Neurodiversity is becoming more common in our everyday conversations, but many leaders and educators don't feel confident supporting neurodivergence in staff and students.

Supporting neurodiversity in the classroom requires a shift in the way our teams see other ways of thinking. In this talk, Laura will explain the reasons for some types of behaviour neurodivergence can present and suggest ways to respond. She will also give action points and resources you can try in your organisation to give you the confidence to celebrate and harness the rich diversity that a range of people can create.

Laura Broadbent is an ELT writer, SEN specialist, teacher trainer and co-director of ELT digital agency, otterelt. She taught English before becoming an educational translator, and then ELT materials writer. Following her husband's diagnosis of dyslexia as an adult, she trained as a dyslexia teacher and worked as a Speech and Language Therapist assistant. She works on a range of SEN materials for ELT student courses and is a SEN and inclusivity consultant for ELT publishers.

12:20 – 12:50 | Performance Management and CPD as a route to staff retention with Dawn Harry

We are all familiar with the importance of performance management and CPD for quality control, student satisfaction and accreditation, but this is from our corporate perspective as managers. In this session, we will look instead at the personal value of development from the employees' point of view and ask: What role can a thoughtful development programme play in encouraging staff to stay and what does a thoughtful development programme look like?

Principal at Kaplan International in Oxford, Dawn Harry has an extensive background in EFL, teaching and teacher training at language learning institutions, schools and at university level in the Middle East, South East Asia and the UK. She holds the DELTA and MA TESOL, with a focus on teacher development.

12:20 – 12:50 | Update on British Council inspections 2023 with Liz McLaren and George Pickering

This session will provide you with a general update on inspections for 2023 and refer to the types of inspections that are running, the support offered to providers and criteria that need to be given particular attention.

Liz McLaren has worked in accreditation for three quarters of its 40 year British Council history and still enjoys helping language centres benefit from developments in the Scheme.

George Pickering is a senior inspector for the Accreditation UK Scheme and has been an inspector for over 20 years. He is also the academic course director of the English UK Diploma in English Language Teaching Management (DELTM) in the UK and China.

13:00 – 13:30 | Innovations in products and services, stories from the sector

Listen to how educators adapted and innovated to create new and exciting products for their students.

13:30 – 14:30 | Lunch and exhibition 

14:30 – 15:00 | The balancing act: managing concerns and allegations of abuse against staff with Natasha Lawrence

Managing professional allegations of abuse is a legal requirement of educational settings, set out in "Keeping Children Safe in Education". Dealing with legal requirements whilst embracing procedural fairness is a fine balancing act that can only be achieved with robust processes and procedures in place. This can include concerns about auxiliary staff including supply teachers, volunteers, and contractors.

This session will set out a definition of 'low level concerns', what should be recorded and will debunk myths in relation to the guidance. It will cover a real-life scenario where a culture of safeguarding has led to the prevention of harm to pupils, positive outcome and mitigation in reputational risk. Get the opportunity to ask questions and identify the patterns and trends which might require escalation.

Natasha Lawrence has always been passionate about safeguarding children and protecting those vulnerable within our society. During her policing career she specialised in sexual offences and interviewing vulnerable adults and children. As an acting Detective Sergeant on the Safeguarding Referral Unit Natasha managed incoming referrals around adults and children and requests under Sarah's Law. Natasha qualified as a Police Trainer and was instrumental in creating a new Joint Interview (ABE) course and delivering safeguarding and sexual offences training to new police recruits and trainee detectives. Today she manages the Safeguarding Team at MyConcern and has recently completed her NSPCC Train the Trainer course and is a qualified Mental Health First Aider.

14:30 – 15:00 | Let's talk: Lego® Serious Play® with Afshan Baksh

A child's toy? No, it's so much more than that. Lego® Serious Play® is a powerful technique developed by Lego and the methodology is now used in many businesses. Participants imagine, create and explore in 3-D! It can be used to develop ideas, have difficult conversations, future planning or to develop processes, strategies and new services and products.

In this session, you'll get a taste of Lego® Serious Play® and experience a different way of thinking and imagining.

(in person only)

15:10 - 15:40 | Retaining and attracting ELT staff post-pandemic: the increasing importance of welfare and working conditions with Shirley Norton

As the industry focuses on growth and recovery post-pandemic, it is more important than ever to consider welfare and working conditions if we want to attract and retain the best staff.

No-one decides to work in EFL because they want to be rich but having a dynamic working environment where everyone has the possibility to be happy, is vital. This talk outlines why we decided to focus heavily on staff welfare and conditions as part of the recovery process and will share some ideas that can work in different contexts and with different budgets.

Shirley Norton is Director of Operations at the London School of English with oversight of the Academic, Client Experience and Catering departments, which includes staff welfare and HR for her teams.

15:10 – 15:40 | Let's talk: British Council accreditation and the higher and further education sectors with Liz McLaren and Rhona Hodgart

HE and FE language centres have been a valued part of the British Council accreditation schemes for 33 years but together make up less than 15 per cent of the current total of accredited providers. This is a discussion session for HE/FE members on inspections for academic English in an HE/FE setting.

(in person only) 

15:10 – 15:40 | Let's talk: Supporting new teachers with Huan Japes

Join this discussion to share the challenges of inducting new teachers and supporting those who are either newly qualified, or just new to you. Share effective ways to motivate and support new teachers to improve their performance and job satisfaction so that you can retain this precious resource.

(in person only) 

16:00 – 17:00 | Developing happy and productive workplaces in uncertain times - how do we ensure that the people within our organisations are driving growth and productivity? with Afshan Baksh

The 2020 pandemic was just the start of a series of events that have left people and life around the world changed. We were relieved when it appeared that Covid was over until we realised that it was here to stay. Businesses have had to cope with the consequence of this as well as economic and political turmoil and climate change. This session will help you to implement ways of working that ensure you and your teams are driving growth regardless of what the future holds.

Afshan Baksh has over 23 years of leadership and business development experience in the UK education sector and international development where she has delivered projects in 34 countries. Afshan founded her international development business in 2015 and was enjoying huge success. Soon after March 2020, as we entered a global lockdown, Afshan was forced to change and adapt her business, this resulted in the launch of Transformation Space where she now focuses on people and organisation development. Afshan has helped teams and leaders at organisations such as Amazon, Microsoft, NHS, the British Council, and universities such as UCL, LSE, and the University of the Arts to strengthen their businesses.


English UK member prices: £180 (in-person attendance) / £110 (online attendance)

Full price (non-members): £265 (in-person attendance) / £195 (online attendance)

Registration note: when registering please select either 'at venue' or 'online' attendance. Members should enter their member number as the promo code to access the member discount. There is no need to register separately for the teaching practice programme.

> Register for the ELT Conference management programme


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