EGC Talks & Workshops

I regularly present at ELT conferences and similar teacher training events. To help you find the talk or workshop that you are looking for I’ve grouped them below by area. Clink on the links to see articles or presentations for each title. For fuller details for any of the titles you are interested in, contact me using the form at the bottom of this page.


English as a Lingua Franca

English as a Lingua Franca: Implications for the Classroom.
The most important role of English today is as a language of international communication between non-native speakers. This talk is an introduction to what this new role means for us as classroom practitioners.

Teaching the Pronunciation of English as a Lingua Franca.
What are the goals, priorities, models and skills for the pronunciation of learners who intend to use their spoken English for international communication? And who will make the best instructors?

Teaching the Vocabulary of English as a Lingua Franca.
Language users drive language change and with ELF this means that nonnative speakers will be behind the many surprising but effective adaptation and innovations in the vocabulary and idiomaticity of ELF.

Putting the Lingua Franca Core to Work.
Jenkins description of the different phonological features that have been shown to be central to international intelligibility in English needs the application of local knowledge if it is to be fully effective.

They don’t do Scottish accents.
Living languages mean variation, so preparing learners for ELF interactions means working on attittudes to accents, together the ability to accommodate to accent variation, both receptively and productively.

ELF Pronunciation: Planning and Assessment.
Where do we begin to programme an ELF approach to teaching English pronunciation, what do we include, and how can we determine if progress has been made or targets reached?



Pronunciation Matters!
But why does it matter and what matters most? Frequently marginalized en ELT, pronunciation is actually central to everything else we do when teaching English. Grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening and even reading and writing – all depend on good pronunciation.

Pronunciation teaching basics.
This session looks at key techniques for work on pronunciation. Providing models, conducting responses, working on discrimination, promoting production… In short, pronunciation teaching basics.

IDEAS for teaching pronunciation.
Imitate, Demonstrate, Explain, Associate, Stimulate – five categories of strategies and techniques for teaching pronunciation, ranging from the simple to the surprising.

(Mother–) Tongue Tied.
The learner’s mother tongue is regularly cited as the main cause of problems when trying to pronounce English. But could it be that it’s the other way round, and it is actually a fundamental resource?

Technology for Teaching Pronunciation.
Pronunciation needs an individualised approach and repeated practice with immediate feedback. So presumably technology is the answer to our problems. Or is it?

Sounds Fun.
This pratical session first explores priorities when working on pronunciation with young learners, and then looks at a variety of practical techniques to help us to teach pronunciation in a meaningful, motivating manner.

Pronunciation 14s.
Getting teenagers to work on pronunciation can feel like an impossible task, but pronunciation is too important to be left to take care of itself. The answer lies in the four Ms – Motivation, Model, Method, and Marks.

Telling Tales.
Nobody questions the power of storytelling for language learning. But badly told a story can ruin more than the ending. Pausing and the use of focus words to highlight information are key elements in telling a good tale.

Going for a Song. Songs have been part of language classrooms from the beginning. But how often are they used to introduce assimilation, elision, or other related elements of connected speech in English?

Getting a Grip on Vowels.
Consonnants we can ‘touch’ but vowels seem to roll around elusively in our mouths. Front, back, open or close – what on earth does all this really mean in terms of our mouths?


Language & Skills

Reading more than ever.
More than ever we need to know what reading is, and how to help learners to read effectively. This session looks at how we perform this ‘passive’ skill, and at activities to improve learners’ reading.

Make No Mistake.
What causes errors, and what attitude should we adopt towards them? These are two of the key questions that we will answer in this session before considering the when, how and if of correction.

Techniques for Learning Vocabulary.
How can we help students to learn all the words they need? In this session we’ll look at a range of tricks and techniques to make learning vocabulary less onerous.

Did you Hear What I Said?
This session starts by looking at what happens when we listen in L1 & L2, and then details ways we can help students to improve their interactive and independent listening skills.

Have you Anything to Say for Yourself?
Many learners find speaking difficult. This session looks at the nature of spoken language, and then explores practical steps we can take to help students to speak more freely.

Reasons for writing.
Writing is not easy, so writing in L2 constitutes a huge challenge. In this session we use two key questions so as to: a) generate content for a text, b) select the best content for a given task.


ESP & Business English

Global English: Implications for the Business English Classroom. 
A key role of English today is as a lingua franca. But to what extent does the globalization of English affect what we do in the business English classroom? In this talk I will briefly compare the terms EFL and ELF, and then look at the implications of ELF for teachers of business English.

The Sudden Specialist.
Mostly trained in humanities, teachers new to EAP, ESP, or Business English, can feel intimidated by texts characterised by dense technical vocabulary and obscure field-specific concepts. Though we know what FAQs are, we may be less at ease on encountering FABs, GDSs, or SWOTs.

Keys to Teaching English for Tourism. 
When preparing to teach English for tourism, it is important to consider the teaching context, the situation of the learners themselves, and the nature of tourism English as a discourse. This talk illustrates each of these factors by reference to three contexts that are representative of the world of tourism.

English words with Specific Purposes.
This sessions starts by looking at what constitutes technical vocabulary before exploring what we mean when we say we ‘know’ a word. Next we have the chance try out a range of strategies for helping leaerns to learn new vocabulary effectively, with a special assessment of the role of pronunciation in the process.

Task-based Learning and Skills Integration in ESP.
The use of tasks is familiar ground in ELT but how can they be successfully applied to ESP? This workshop starts with a hands-on experience of a task sequence about complaints in tourism. Post-task analysis will reveal how task choice and sequence stimulate learners to use and extend their language skills and knowledge.


The Culture(s) of English

Language through Literature.
Literature does not have to mean Shakespeare or Dickens, and this session begins by exploring what we do mean by ‘literature’, and then looks at activities that help us to introduce our students to English literature, whilst at the same time offering opportunities for meaningful practice of essential language skills

English in the Antipodes.
Why was Cook annoyed when he discovered New Zealand? Why was Botany Bay such a grim place to land? Who are the kiwis and who speaks ‘strine? Why are Australia and New Zealand so close together yet so far apart?

For the answers to these and many other questions, come ‘down under, mate’ and see what life is like down (up?) in the Antipodes.

So What’s so Great about Britain?
Big Ben, bowler hats, Brexit – Great Britain in a nutshell. Or is it? In fact, is it perhaps time to drop the Great so as to be able to get a better view of the Britain? Or is it time to get a better view of Britain in order to see why it should still be called Great?

Come with me for a unique tour of the country I’ve spent half my life looking at from inside, and the other half pondering over from the outside.