30 May 2014

IATEFL Webinar: 'Motivation, Imagination and L2 Identity'

Date: 31 May 2014

Time: 3pm BST

Presenter: Jill Hadfield

The webinar will deal with recent research on the relationship between motivation and the identity of the learner. This method, known as the L2 Motivational Self System by Zoltán Dörnyei, combines three motivation factors and looks at the use of imagination to enable learners to envision a new identity.  The webinar will cover the theory behind this method, explain how it can promote language learning and suggest practical activities for teachers to use in the classroom.

To join the webinar please click here.

Go to IATEFL for more information.

26 May 2014

Druga konferencija o posebnim obrazovnim potrebama

U organizaciji British Council Serbia održava se Druga konferencija o posebnim obrazovnim potrebama i inkluzivnom obrazovanju.

Vreme: Subota, 14. jun, 2014, 09:00

Mesto: Sava Centar, sala 1, Milentija Popovića 9, 11070 Beograd

Kroz plenarna predavanja i radionice, cilj ove konferencije je ukazivanje na značaj inkluzivnog obrazovanja i adekvatne obuke nastavnika koji takvu vrstu nastave izvode.

Prijava za učešće na konferenciji biće naknadno objavljena i dostupna od 2. juna. Broj učesnika je ograničen.
Detaljnije o konferenciji i predavačima možete pročitati ovde.

14 May 2014

Seminar/Webinar: Focus on global English

Date: Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Time: 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (BST)

Venue: British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2BN, London, UK

Speakers: Richard Cauldwell, Katy Davies & Laura Patsko


Accent and identity, prejudice and insecurity

In this presentation, Richard will track the history of his prejudices and find evidence of it in other people. He will also give a quick survey of the accents of the British Isles, including those of non-native speakers who live in England. He will conclude by suggesting that three factors (the requirement to be mutually intelligible, the desire to assert or preserve one's identity, and the durability of prejudices about accents) influence one's sense of self- worth as an individual.

Richard Cauldwell has taught English to speakers of other languages for over thirty years. Since 2001 he has been designing and publishing electronic materials for the study of listening and pronunciation. Two of his publications have won British Council Innovations prizes: Streaming Speech (2004) and Cool Speech (2013). 

Practical ideas for teaching pronunciation and listening in an ELF context (English as a lingua franca)

This seminar explores practical ideas for teaching pronunciation and listening based on the presenters' experiences in Dubai and London, respectively. 

Katy Davies teaches full-time at the British Council in Dubai and recently completed her MA in English Language. She is particularly interested in the use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) in the UAE, and designing materials to support teachers whose students need to communicate in an ELF context.

Laura Patsko works at St. George International in London as a senior teacher and teacher trainer on the Trinity CertTESOL and DipTESOL courses.  She completed her MA in ELT & Applied Linguistics in September 2013.  She is particularly interested in teaching pronunciation and investigating the practical applications of linguistic research.

13 May 2014

The 50 Most Positive Words in English

A group of mathematicians at the University of Vermont published a paper in 2012 on positivity in the English language. They took over 10,000 of the most frequently used English words from different sources, such as Twitter, Google Books, The New York Times, and music lyrics, and had people rate them on a 9-point scale,  from least happy to most happy. In the resulting data, ''laughter'' comes in at number 1 and ''terrorist'' comes last. Here is the list:
  1. laughter
  2. happiness
  3. love
  4. happy
  5. laughed
  6. laugh
  7. laughing
  8. excellent
  9. laughs
  10. joy
  11. successful
  12. win
  13. rainbow
  14. smile
  15. won
  16. pleasure
  17. smiled
  18. rainbows
  19. winning
  20. celebration
  21. enjoyed
  22. healthy
  23. music
  24. celebrating
  25. congratulations
  26. weekend
  27. celebrate
  28. comedy
  29. jokes
  30. rich
  31. victory
  32. christmas
  33. free
  34. friendship
  35. fun
  36. holidays
  37. loved
  38. loves
  39. loving
  40. beach
  41. hahaha
  42. kissing
  43. sunshine
  44. beautiful
  45. delicious
  46. friends
  47. funny
  48. outstanding
  49. paradise
  50. sweetest

Which words do you consider the most positive? What is your favourite? 

Photo source: www.etsy.com

12 May 2014

Seminar/Webinar: Does learning a foreign language make you smarter?

Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Time: 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (BST)

Venue: Parc Hotel by Thistle, Park Place, CF10 3UD, Cardiff, UK

Programme: British Council

Speaker: Miguel Angel Munoz

There are numerous reasons for learning a language. Cognitive development is often one of the most cited ones. Learning a language is said to improve memory, attention, multitasking performance and mental health. This talk aims to present an overview of the latest research published in this area in order to dispel some myths and highlight the real cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language.

Miguel Á. Muñoz (DELTA, M.A. University of Kansas, M.A. UIMP-Instituto Cervantes) has taught English, French and Spanish in Spain, Morocco, Reunion Island and the United States. He currently teaches general English at the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas in Guadalajara.

10 May 2014

Top 10 Verb+Verb Combination Mistakes

The following list shows the ten mistakes that advanced students most often make when they put one verb after another. In each case the form of the second verb is incorrect.

1. Main Verb: suggest
suggest (sb) to do sth
I suggest to send our kids on a similar course.
suggest (that) sb do sth
I suggest (that) we send our kids on a similar course.

2. Main Verb: recommend
recommend to do sth
I recommend to write your feelings down on paper.
recommend doing sth
I recommend writing your feelings down on paper.

3. Main Verb: look forward to
look forward to do sth
I look forward to hear from you.
look forward to doing sth

I look forward to hearing from you.

4. Main Verb: need
need do sth; need doing sth
We need resolve a lot of other important problems.
need to do sth
We need to resolve a lot of other important problems.

5. Main Verb: consider
consider to do sth
I would like you to consider to sell the house.
consider doing sth
I would like you to consider selling the house.

6. Main Verb: want
want do sth
If you want have the body you have always dreamed of, you must join a gym.
want to do sth
If you want to have the body you have always dreamed of, you must join a gym.

7. Main Verb: be used to
be used to do sth
✗ She was not used to speak Cantonese.
be used to doing sth
✓ She was not used to speaking Cantonese.

8. Main Verb: (would) like
would like do sth
I would like thank the families for their help.
would like to do sth
I would like to thank the families for their help.

9. Main Verb: can
can to do sth
We need to find new markets where we can to sell our products.
can do sth
We need to find new markets where we can sell our products.

10. Main Verb: help
help (sb) doing sth
My job was to help operating the rollercoaster.
help (sb) to do sth; help (sb) do sth
My job was to help (them) to operate the roller-coaster.
 My job was to help (them) operate the roller-coaster.

Which verb+verb combinations trouble you the most?

9 May 2014

ELTForum.sk 2014

Eltforum.sk is an annual  international English teachers' development conference held in Slovakia in June. It is organised by the Slovak Chamber of English Teachers (SCET), the Association of Language Schools, ELT publishers and teacher training institutions in Slovakia. 
This year it is held on 6-7th June at the University of Economics in Bratislava.

All the plenary speakers are international experts in the field of ELT, including David Crystal, Maggie Kubanyiova, Gabriela Lojova. 

If you want to get inspired and learn something new, you can register here and check out all the necessary details.

7 May 2014

Teaching vs. Technology

Date: Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Time: 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (BST)

Venue: British Council, 10 Spring Gardens, SW1A 2BN, London, UK

Speakers: Joanna Norton & Karen Wilkins


Technology has shared a long history within education. With each new invention came assurances that teaching and learning would never be the same again. However, during each innovation pedagogy has been noticeable mostly by its absence, and decisions about which types of technology  to use have been informed increasingly by behaviour patterns in the consumer space.

By the end of the session, teachers will have a better understanding of what mobile learning is and also how to assess and evaluate its impact on teaching and learning. The session will also provide teachers with an opportunity to explore alternative pathways around their own professional development and possibly consider education technology as a viable alternative.

1800 – 1815 Welcome and refreshments
1815 – 1900 It's time for educators to reclaim the technology debate with Joanna Norton
1900 – 1915 Comfort break and refreshments
1915 – 2000 How are new technologies changing the relationship between student and teacher? with Karen Wilkins
2000 – 2030 Networking reception

Joanna Norton is an educator with deep domain expertise teaching in today’s diverse, multilingual learning environments. A multimedia author and editor, her experience of using mobile phones for teaching and learning led to the creation of Keywords English. Keywords English is an app designed to support young language and literacy learners with the academic vocabulary of science, in both their first and second languages.

Karen Wilkins currently works as the Director of Studies for IH Intuition Languages, a global network of homestay tutors.  Karen has been teaching since 2004 and has worked in Spain, Japan and the UK. Karen has an MA TESOL, where her interest was in extensive reading. She is currently a part-time PhD student researching the effect that new technologies have on our relationships.

6 May 2014

Seminar: 'It's not about language, it's about people': Do ESOL learners benefit from engagement with museums?

Date: Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Time: 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM (BST)

Venue: Marriott Hotel, 4 Trevelyan Square, Boar Lane, LS1 6ET, UK

Program: British Council

Speaker: Julie Carr

Julie Carr is a museum educator, and has recently finished an MA looking at how people learn in museums. She has also served time teaching secondary History. Currently, she is the Programme Manager for adult learning at the Museum of London, where she is responsible for the ESOL provision.


This seminar will focus on the results of the presenter’s MA dissertation, which tested the hypothesis that visits to museums do benefit ESOL learners. The results show that trips to museums are about improving the life skills of the learners as well as their language skills. They embolden the learners to step outside the confines of their communities and neighbourhoods to explore London and its museums, as well as improving relationships with each other and their families.

To demonstrate how visits to museums can support language learning, knowledge about life in UK and self-esteem.

1730 – 1800 Welcome and refreshments
1800 – 1855 'It's not about language, it's about people': Do ESOL learners benefit from engagement with museums with Julie Carr
1855 – 1905 Short break
1905 – 2000 Creative ESOL: The power of participatory arts in English language learning with Eleanor Cocks and Theah Dix
2000 – 2030 Networking reception