Rediscover your passion for the English language at the ELT Conference 2020
6 January 2020

Academic Conference audience discussion 600x230

An event to leave you energised and full of ideas for the future

Do you and your colleagues want to indulge your passion for the English language and ELT? Then why not join us at our ELT conference on 17 and 18 January.

The two-day conference in London covers everything ELT, from how to teach to how to cope with stress. With a great lunch and an open, collaborative atmosphere, the ELT Conference is a space to discuss the technical, practical, strategic and wider industry and global issues and trends.

We are proud to produce conferences and offer professional development for our members. And this year we have one of the most varied programmes so far, with more opportunity than ever to find your niche and fire your passion for ELT.

"I think we have one of the friendliest and most enjoyable events for delegates in the industry," said Conference Producer Tom Weatherley. "A great venue, top quality coffee and lunch, drinks at the end – it's one of the best places to connect with similarly minded passionate ELT professionals."

Many thanks to Trinity College London for supporting the conference and to our drinks reception sponsor Macmillan Education.


Academic leadership | Friday 17 January

Vic Richardson 130x170 

Play to your strengths with Vic Richardson

How are you doing in your job? Do you worry about fixing your weaknesses or do you focus on developing your strengths? And which gives you greater satisfaction and helps improve your performance?

This interactive talk draws on research and the strengths-based movement in management and leadership from across the pond. It won't ask you to look at the world through rose-coloured spectacles but it will contrast the ubiquitous 'find out what's not working and fix it' approach with the more positive 'understand what works, appreciate it and build on it.'

The approach challenges us to look at our CPD programmes, observations and performance reviews anew and make a more positive impact on performance – including our own.

Vic Richardson was director of Embassy English. He has been in EFL for many years as a teacher, teacher trainer, university lecturer, writer, assessor, academic manager and director.

Photo SR 2016

Moving from teaching to impact on learning with Silvana Richardson

For too long teacher training initiatives and quality assurance systems have focused on the teacher and teaching techniques at the expense of what really matters - i.e. teachers' impact on learning and their learners.

This workshop will present changes that we have implemented at Bell to help us focus on the effect teaching has on learning. And to use those insights to inform future teacher learning activities and assess the quality of teaching and learning.

We will cover the minimalist lesson plan and learning-focused observation, and take part in interactive activities to consider the relevance and suitability of the presented interventions to their working context.

Silvana Richardson is head of teacher development at Bell Educational Services and programme quality manager at the Bell Foundation, a charity for research, thought leadership and training to overcome exclusion through language education. Silvana has over 30 years of experience in various roles: teacher, teacher educator, academic manager, materials writer and consultant.


Classroom practice | Saturday 18 January

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Creative ideas for the exam classroom with Paul Abbott

Paul Abbott will present a series of practical and creative ideas to use with Cambridge Exam FCE, CAE, CPE (and IELTS) students. The session will focus on ways to practice and develop exam skills in all skills by utilizing role-play, presentations, visual and audio media.

Join Paul for workshop activities and ideas on how to 'freshen up' and vary classroom activity that can often be too exam-task focused.

Paul is an experienced tutor with 17 years EFL, ESOL teaching experience in different contexts, focusing in the last few years on Cambridge and IELTS exam preparation.



Louisa Dunne 130x170

The IELTS "short-course": design considerations with Louisa Dunne

In this workshop Louisa will discuss teachers' experiences of managing student expectations around the need for specific IELTS scores and strategies for convincing students to improve their English before taking the exam: IELTS should be viewed as a means to an end, not an end in itself.

She will consider alternatives for students with lower language levels; the different aspects of preparing students for IELTS and which need to be teacher-led; IELTS course descriptions for at B2 level; and adapting materials and resources from the public domain for different contexts.

Louisa is an examinations academic support manager at the British Council in Paris, providing support to teachers in higher education, and secondary and adult teachers who are preparing students for various English language tests. She has over 20 years' experience of teaching. 


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No word is an island: the importance of word partnerships with Alex Warren

No man is an island and neither are words. Just like us, they form partnerships and relationships, working together to form something all the more substantial and useful.

Using examples from National Geographic Learning titles, this hands-on session will explore and demonstrate how focusing on word-partnerships can help speed up students' vocabulary learning, develop greater language awareness and improve their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.  

Alex is a DELTA trained teacher trainer with over 16 years' experience of working in ELT as a teacher, academic director and teacher trainer. A firm believer in a communicative approach to language learning and student-centred learning, Alex enjoys working with innovative, thought-provoking materials and presenting on a wide range of ELT-related topics, all the while driven by his passion for developing teachers on a global scale and helping them to reach their true potential. 



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The certificate for practicing teachers: supporting contextualized, plurilingual CPD with Ben Beaumont

There is a growing understanding that, while popular qualifications give teachers the basic skills and knowledge need to start careers as teachers, teacher development does not stop there. The path to diploma-leave qualifications is well established but sometimes more is required, either in terms of bridging support or something more contextualised.

To support these needs, Trinity has created the Certificate for Practising Teachers (CertPT): a new, in-service teaching qualification between certificate and diploma levels that focuses on materials development relevant to context. This talk will explore this new qualification and describe how it can support teachers in their ongoing professional development.

Ben is head of TESOL qualifications at Trinity College London and is interested in helping teachers deliver effective learning. Having moved between private ELT and state sector teacher education roles, Ben is keen to help share best practice between both. Ben's research includes support for teachers in English medium instruction contexts.


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