Speaker Abstracts - Teacher Training Conference

We are very excited to announce our speakers for Saturday 24th November. Here you can find information about the two plenaries, followed by speaker abstracts for the talks and workshops. Timings can be found on the conference program.


Opening Plenary: A little more conversation, a little more action
Danny Norrington-Davies

John and Brita Haycraft are justifiably recognised for their vision and innovation in creating the first International House teacher training qualification in 1962, so much so that IH has been described as doing more than any other private institution to shape the evolution of the ELT profession.

But what of English Language teacher development at International House today? Are we and other teacher educators and training providers shaping the evolution of the profession, as Brita and John did? Or are we so reliant on a standard set of procedures, frameworks and conceptualisations of teacher knowledge, that we risk becoming detached from the realities of most teachers working today, let alone those wishing to become the teachers of tomorrow? If this is the case, are we the right people to be suggesting what future training should look like?

In this talk I will draw on history, research findings, conference presentations, articles, blogs, anecdotes, musings, conversations and rants to explore the extent to which current models of teacher education are fit for purpose and to speculate on what we can start to do to shape the evolution of the profession. 

Plenary: The baby AND the bathwater
Gabriel Diaz Maggioli 

The field of English Language Teacher Education (ELTE) has suffered the same vagaries as the field of English Language Teaching (ELT) and when changes to the status quo are made, much of the good stuff of the “old way” is lost to the (many times unfulfilled) promises of innovation.

When it comes to rethinking the initial training of teachers, we should be aware of the many forces that influence that activity and be weary not to let go of those aspects that have contributed to the establishment of reputable programs.

While, on surface, it may appear that the “craft” tradition is alive, and well and living in the training room, I would like to argue that this is only part of the picture. In this talk, I will address four perspectives to teaching teachers, starting with the craft model, progressing to the academic model and positioning the reflective model as a viable alternative to these two. Additionally, we will look at the “Sociocultural turn” in ELT (Johnson, 1998), and what it has to offer to teachers of teachers in the twenty-first century, while suggesting ways in which programs can begin to incorporate this perspective.


Training the Future Trainer – Practice vs Theory
Will Nash

Teachers need advanced qualifications to compete for specialised and well rewarded jobs.  These can include academically demanding courses like Diplomas and Masters and require an understanding of theories and methods of learning and teaching.   Does training for teacher trainers include teacher education as its own academic discipline and does it include the theory that underpins its practice? Is experience of being a teacher and practice of training enough? This talk will review current training routes and suggest possible future ones.

Are we undermining ourselves? The dangers of parochialism in ELT
Ben Beaumont

Why is ELT described as ‘light-weight’ by some and ‘not real teaching’ by others? We will consider reasons behind such comments by comparing ELT to other educational sectors, identifying a systematic malaise propagated by some of the profession’s leading voices. With reference to wider literature and international education, this talk will give suggestions to future-proof trainers’ skills and knowledge, moving them into areas beyond those limited by traditional initial or in-service courses, thereby helping teachers develop a global learning perspective.


Introducing differentiation on short initial teacher training courses
Karin Krummenacher

The CELTA and Cert TESOL attract growing numbers of participants but syllabi have changed little to accommodating the needs of a growingly diverse group of trainees. This talk discusses practical ideas on how monthlong initial teacher training courses can hold up to a growingly diverse and multilingual audience with a variety of needs and backgrounds by introducing differentiation to the traditional one-size-fits-all model in order to stay relevant in the 21st century. The talk examines how personalised training can contribute to professionalism and seeks to spark ideas for teacher trainers and course designers.

PEP talks for teacher development
Nick Bilborough

Language teaching which adopts a one size fits all approach has been criticised (eg Bax 2003) for failing to take contextual factors into account. To what extent should such contextual factors come into play when planning and implementing teacher training and development programmes? Reflecting on my experiences running trainer training courses for future teacher trainers in UNRWA schools in Palestine, I’d like to propose PEP (Practice - Evaluation - Personalisation) as a possible framework for planning context-specific teacher development sessions.     

What the E L does it stand for anyway?
Jo Stansfield

All the acronyms related to our industry feature these two letters, but what are they therefore telling us? Is English language teaching different to other language teaching? Is language teaching specifically different to other types of teaching, or teaching in general? Growing trends such as CLIL and PBLT are gaining critical and practical traction around the world, with the language element more and more sidelined. Should initial teacher training courses now be just that – training teaching skills rather than language analysis? Can we narrow it down in order to open it up?

Striking the Balance
Nikki Fortova

The original four-week teacher training course was designed as a tool kit for the native English speaker. However, statistics have recently shown that the number of non-native speaker candidates taking the CELTA now outweighs the number of native speaker candidates. The question is, do they need the same tools? This talk explores the similarities and differences in needs between these demographics and aims to show how we can strike a balance between the two.

We’ve always done it that way…
Sinead Laffan

The four week course. It's taken some bashing over the years. And still it survives. But is it really still fit for purpose? Does it serve trainees as well as it can? Or are there alternatives? What can we do in 120 hours? Can we do any better? For these and many more questions, drop by!

Up creek, no paddle: training in language skills teaching.
John Field

Since the heady days of the early 1990s, skills instruction seems to have lost its way. This talk suggests that we need to rethink how we describe the four skills to teachers and the methodology that we recommend. The alternative is a future of loosely structured lessons with no clear end-goals, and teaching materials that are sometimes poorly-informed and fail to develop the skills progressively. The issues will be discussed with particular reference to listening.


Trends in training – a Cambridge perspective
Tim Banks

I’ll discuss some current trends in training as we seem them in Cambridge, looking at the candidature for CELTA in particular, and at how we see the future of training courses and qualifications developing.



Synchronous online teaching observation standards. Where is the love?
Renata Franco Wilmot 

Online learning has undeniably become accessible on a global scale to both teachers and students. But where can we find best practices? Where are the standards? Can we transfer the offline classroom teaching and teacher training standards to the online space? What should we be looking for as trainers when observing newly-qualified and experiences teachers teaching synchronous online lessons? This workshop will explore best practices and standards for observing synchronous online teaching  and offer suggestions for trainers to keep up with an ever-evolving digital learning and teaching landscape.

What if we took away input?
Melissa Lamb

Unlike other skills training such as piano, football, learning to drive etc. Teacher-training courses spend a disproportionate amount of time giving input.  What if we didn’t? This talk examines the role of input and presents an alternative way of structuring the course to really maximise skills development.

What do we mean by ‘appropriate’ model?
Martin Oetegenn

CELTA trainees, coming from a variety of English-speaking countries, or having English as a second language at a C1 level, are all expected to provide appropriate models of English. Despite the rumblings of change in the industry, there has been little guidance on how to interpret this criteria with global Englishes in mind. This talk aims to explore the issues surrounding what we mean by appropriate model, and hopes to draw some conclusions on best practice for teacher trainers.

Exploring Trainer Development: stories, experiences, practices
Teti Dragas

This workshop will build on a previous study presented at IATEFL 2018 that explored the training and professional development of teacher trainers drawing on data from over 50 teacher trainers/educators working within ELT in a variety of contexts around the world. The results of the study, gathered from an online questionnaire and follow up interviews, will provide a starting point from which to share our own stories and to kick-start our own online bottom-up CPD network for teacher trainers.

Making sense of meaning
Gabriella Petchey

How do we train teachers to clarify meaning and check understanding in a way that’s meaningful?
On the certificate courses, we learn the basics of how to clarify meaning and check understanding, however, in the post-CELTA years, how do teachers develop their skills in a way that moves away from display questions and examples towards real, useful exploration for our learners?  What issues do teachers face in the classroom that we could support them with in Certificate and Diploma courses?

Don’t forget the online teacher
Lindsay Warwick

As online teaching grows, the need for trainers to adapt training courses to meet the needs of online teachers also grows. In this workshop, we’ll explore the key differences between online teaching and face-to-face teaching. We’ll then discuss a set of typical classroom activities and techniques presented on training courses and consider how an online teacher would need to adapt them to suit a digital environment, giving you ideas to use in your own training sessions.