2017 – Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena: I Campus Internacional de Verano
Sponsored by Trinity College, I ran a one-week course under the generic title of Teaching the pronunciation of English. Twenty-five teacehrs from a mix of primary, secondary, tertiary and CLIL backgrounds joined me to explore how the pronunciation of English works, how to perfect their own pronunciation, and how to teach pronunciation effectively in their very different classroom settings. A challenging but ultimately very satisfying week.
2017 – Trinity College Spain
So far 2017 has been full and varied. Started off working in Castilla-La Mancha through the agreement that Trinity has with the regional education authority for training. Part of the work I did was on pronunciation, but I also did a two-day intensive course on CLIL. This set me up nicely for February and a one-week course for teachers from vocational training in Cantabria. These teachers are preparing to use a CLIL approach in their work, and so here my 22 years teaching English in the Asturias School of Tourism proved of great value. Related to all this work on CLIL was an intervention in March at a conference on EMI.
2017 – Oxford University Press
Early March took me the length and breadth of Italy traveling with OUP author Ben Wetz, and speaking about learners’ mistakes and what to do with them (Make No Mistake). I’ve also been collaborating with OUP España and their webinar programme. The first was about pronunciation for teenagers, an age at which getting pronunciation right can be the last thing on your mind. Also for OUP España was a plenary session in Valencia at the 10th Annual Conference of Spain’s Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas.
More recently I was back in Madrid with colleague Ronnie Lendrum for another La Salle teachers one-week language immersion course. As before, participants eat, sleep and drink English without the expense of traveling to the UK or US. This year we were in the La Salle complex in Griñón, just south of Madrid.
2017 – MacMillan Education
Occasionally MacMillan Education ask me to lend them a hand. This time it was at their Academy Day in Bilbao on June 2nd. They’d seen me talking about dealing with accents in ELT (They Don’t Do Scottish Accents) and asked me to fine-tune this session to the audience they were expecting.
2017 – IATEFL Annual Conference, Glasgow
As part of my own development I attend the IATEFL Annual Conference most years. This year I took part in the Pre-conference event run by the PronSIG under the title of Pronunciation then and now. It was a very good day, but especially memorable for me as sitting in the audience as I spoke was Peter Roach. Principal editor of the Cambridge Pronouncing Dictionary, Peter is also the author of English Phonetics and Phonology (CUP), the book on which I cut my teeth in terms of pronunciation.
2016 – Consejería de Educación de la Junta de Andalucía.
My collaboration with Trinity College in Spain has also seen me back in the Centros de Profesorado run by the Junta de Andalucía. Following on from work I did for the Andalucian regional government in 2015, November 2016 once again saw me working my way around all eight Andalucian capital cities to provide teachers with further insights into the ISE exam, together with training in the theory and methodology behind teaching reading skills to L2 users of English.
2016 – Trinity College Spain
In addition to picking up on any loose ends regarding the Revised ISE exam, I also delivered two new ‘Best Practice’ workshops. Reading More Than Ever looks at the skills and strategies that effective readers employ and ties them into a range of classroom activities to promote these skills. Make No Mistake takes a very hands-on look at the cause and class of learner errors, and suggests different ways we can react to and work with these mistakes in class.
2016 – Consejería de Educación de la Comunidad de Madrid
Collaborating with Trinity College in Spain has taken me back to my roots as a teacher trainer. In July and September I worked with teachers through the Madrid Community’s network of teacher training centres (Centros Regionales de Inovación y Formación – CRIF). On both occasions the training was aimed at CLIL teachers from the bilingual schools in the Madrid. In July I spent a week with teachers from primary schools, and a week with colleagues from secondary and vocational training. In September I met with teachers from bilingual secondary and vocational centres to help them with lesson planning for CIL. I’ll pick up from where I left off with these teachers in February 2017.
2016 – Oxford University Press España
July 2016 saw colleague Ronnie Lendrum and myself back in Madrid to repeat our two one-week residential courses for teacher’s from the La Salle primary and secondary schools in Spain. Teachers from all over the country shared an intensive immersion experience in English whilst living in the heart of the Spanish capital. A centre-piece to the week’s work was the visit to the National Museum of Archaeology, which we used as a focus for project work developed by the teachers on the course. Feedback was once again excellent for both weeks.
2016 – IATEFL Annual Conference, Birmingham
As part of my own training I attend the IATEFL Annual Conference most years. This year my presentation, They Don’t Do Scottish Accents, was about the need to incorporate activities into pronunciation teaching that will help learners deal with the multiple accents they are destined to meet when using today’s globalized English. But the highlight of the conference was the chance to share quality time with American pronunciation expert, Judy Gilbert, who has been an inspiration to so many of us.
2016 – Oxford University Press Italy
One of the highlights of 2016 was the week I spent in Italy working for Oxford University Press. The workshop was about how we might go about dealing with our learners’ mistakes, and OUP took me the length and breadth of Italy in five unforgettable days. Starting in Naples I travelled up the east coast then across to Turin, working en route with some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, OUP staff and teachers alike. Looking forward to being back there in 2017.
2015 – Higher School of Economics, Moscow
A two-day course at Moscow’s prestigious Higher School of Economics thanks to the initiative and hard work of IATEFL colleague, Elena Velikaya. The participants in the seminar all taught English to undergraduate students of economics and finance. In six sessions spaced over two intensive days’ work, we looked at English as a lingua franca, pronunciation teaching, oral communications skills, and strategies for dealing with learners’ errors and mistakes.
2015 – IATEFL Pronunciation SIG event, Dublin
I’ve been a member of the IATEFL Pronunciation Special Interest Group since the early 1990s, so it is always a plaesure to participate in the SIG’s events, especially those that take place outside the main IATEFL Annual Conference itself. In Dublin we had a great day, largely thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of Louise Guyett.
2015 – Trinity College London (Spain)
The introduction of revised Integrated Skills in English (ISE) exam has meant a lot of work for me in the second half of 2015, and has seen me travelling to many different parts of Spain in order to explain to teachers what the revision consists of, and what the changes mean for themselves and for the candidates that they are preparing.
2015 – MacMillan Education
2014 – Trinity College London
In addition to training aimed specifically at the preparation of candidates for their GESE and ISE exams in English, Trinity in Spain provide teacher development sessions around the theme of Best Practice in ELT. I now collaborate with TCL and will be working initially all over the country providing part of this service. Here I am on my home base at the Meres International College, Asturias.
2014 – British Council Spain
The opening plenary at the British Council 11th Teacher’s Conference in their Somasaguas school premises in Madrid. The conference theme was creativity in ELT, and I spoke about being creative when rethinking goals, priorities, models and instructors in pronunciation teaching. The session went out in live-stream, but a recording can be viewed here.
2014 – Oxford University Press España
I spent the last week of July 2014 in Madrid, but this time to record a series of twenty-one, 2-minute training videos that will soon accompany the OUP title English File through OUP España’s dedicated online teacher development platform.
2014 – Oxford University Press España
Two one-week residential courses for teacher’s from the La Salle primary and secondary schools in Spain. Teachers from all over the country shared a full–on immersion experience in English whilst living in th heart of Madrid. In addition to the improving their language skills, La Salle asked colleague Ronnie Lendrum and myself to introduce participants to the concepts of collaborative and cooperative learning.
2014 – Regional Government of the Principado de Asturias
The Regional Government of the Principado de Asturias asked me to give a plenary on English as a Lingua Franca for their foreign language assistants. I gave the talk in Spanish because of the French and German language assistants in the audience. This forced me to think more deeply about how to apply what we are learning from teaching ELF to foreign language teaching in general.
2014 – Servicios y Gestión Educativa
Teacher training with the Asturias-based company SyG (Servicios y Gestión Educativa), who ask me to run workshops for the staff that accompany their students on immersion courses either in Garaña, Asturias, or in Vegacervera, León. The teachers choose from a menu of workshops which I then adjust to fit the teachers’ profiles – primary or secondary, English teachers or CLIL subject teachers.
2014 – OUP Teacher’s Day, Bern, Switzerland
As part of their annual teacher’s day, OUP Switzerland asked me to run two workshops for users of English File. The first, Mind the Gap, was on how to help learners to get off the intermediate plateau successfully. The second, Techniques for Learning Vocabulary, drew a big crowd. As it had been the previous year in Bern, it was a pleasure to work the local OUP team.
2014 – International House Bucharest
Based on what she saw in London, Catinca Nicolau, the Academic Manager of IH Bucharest, invited me out to the centre to do a weekend of workshops on teaching pronunciation and listening, and on English as a Lingua Franca.
2014 – IATEFL Annual International Conference
The IATEFL Annual Conference returned to Harrogate this year. I started the week as one of the speakers at the Pronunciation Special Interest Group’s Pre-conference Event, and finished the week off speaking about motivation on behalf of OUP.
2014 – OUP España, Teacher’s Day, Madrid
OUP España invited me to participate in their Teacher’s Day in Madrid. I gave a session called Pronunciation 14s in which I explored what to focus on in pronunciation when teaching adolescents, as well as on IDEAS, the basic strategies of Imitate, Demonstrate, Explain, Associate, and Stimulate that we can use with teenagers.
2014 – International House Andalusia Teacher’s Day, Seville
Sponsored by OUP España, I was asked to participate in the IH Andalusia Day and to talk about pronunciation in response to the need to increase its presence in the teaching done in IH centres throughout Andalusia.
2014 – International House World Organisation DOS Conference
Two years ago I was invited to speak at the IHWO DOS Conference. This annual event takes place in the most wonderful part of London, Greenwich, so when I was invited to go back this year and run two 1.5h workshops on Teaching pronunciation: Priorities and Practice, I jumped at the chance.
2013 – Palma de Mallorca
Speaking on behalf on Oxford University Press at the II APABAL Convention on the theme of fostering quality teaching. Have you anything to say for youself? was a session about getting teenagers and young adults talking to each other in English. No easy matter as we all know.
2013 – Poland
Two full days in Krakow (October 26th) and Warsaw (27th) working on skills for listening (Earful), pronunciation (Tongeful) and speaking (Mouthful) as part of the e-DOS ELTea Masters in Action programme.
2013 – Santiago de Chile
Working for OUP, I was able to return to my routes and talk about English as a Lingua Franca with teachers and trainees teachers at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado, and with tourism students and their teachers at the School of Tourism, DUOC, Universidad Católica de Chile.
2013 – Mar del Plata, Argentina
A great experience. I was made to feel really welcome and felt completely at home in my first, but hopefully not last, visit to the Jornadas Internacionales de Fonética y Fonología. And as if the warmth of the welcome wasn’t enough, the level of enthusiasm and commitment from the students during the afternoon workshops was unbeatable.
2013 – Buenos Aires
I spent a week in Buenos Aires working with Oxford University Press giving talks to primary school teachers on pronunciation (Sounds Fun), to DOSs and Heads from private language schools on getting students talking in English (Have you anything to Say?). I ended the week at the 38th FAAPI Conference, with the talk ‘So What’s so Great about Britain?’.