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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Useful information!

Access to the Convention on Sunday, 19 March 2017.

As the Athens Half Marathon Race is taking place on Sunday, 19 March 2017 at 09:00,

through the center of Athens, access to the venue will not be possible by car.

We would advise you to set off half an hour early,

and take the metro (red line) to “Acropoli” Station.

The venue is just a 4-minute walk. 

 

 

For more information about transportation, please visit:

http://tesolgreece.org/38th-annual-convention/transportation.html

 

Here is a map of the areas that will be affected.

Please consider all streets marked, inaccessible by car.

 

For more information about the Athens Half Marathon you can visit:

http://www.athinahalfmarathon.gr/index.php/en/half-marathon-en

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

 

“Feeding the BEAST: Online Assessment Websites”

Could you tell us a few things about your presentation and how it relates to this year’s Convention theme?

Online assessment is becoming a reality and this can be a very practical issue nowadays.  My presentation will focus on how online assessment websites are assessing student writing and how much work is still needed.

 

Briefly tell us a few things about yourself as a professional.

I consider myself a lifelong learner and passionate about professional development.  I participate in many events around the world related to professional development.

 

Is “keeping it practical” an important part of present day EFL classrooms? Why, do you think, this is?

Practical is something that you can use right away and is helpful for you.  This is what teachers need nowadays, practical things they can take in a classroom and use.

 

Are there problems when new practices are applied in the classrooms?

Everything that is new will bring resistance.  New is always seen like that despite the fact that it may help a lot in the process of learning.

 

Has it become easier or more complicated to teach English these past

decades?

I don’t think it has changed a lot, it has always been challenging and it still is.

 

What is one piece of advice that has been a beacon for your teaching over the years?

Persistence and diversity are the most important aspects of my teaching.

 

How important is CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in the teaching of languages?

One of the most important aspects of teaching as you need to keep up to date with new trends.

 

What do you find demotivating as far as teaching is concerned?

Grading!!!! And long teaching hours within a day.

 

What is one of the things you will not forget from past TG Conventions?

Friday but mostly Saturday night parties!!!

 

IF you could one piece of advice to new Educators in the field of ELT what would it be?

We will always be needed and will never be “completely” replaced by machines.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

 

"Performance Awareness in a Diverse Society: Reflections on Identity"

Could you tell us a few things about your presentation and how it relates to this year’s Convention theme?

Our talk-workshop is mainly based on a project called #ProjectFound which is designed and introduced by Christina Chorianopoulou. It is an on-going process, a long-running project that is shaped according to our learners’ interests, thoughts and ideas and nothing could be more practical than that. Not only because of the opportunity to use language in different and natural contexts but also because language process goes beyond specific structure, set of rules and standard language. Language becomes synonym to negotiation. In our talk-workshop we are going to demonstrate how SLA theories could be applicable in language learning environment through a series of practical activities and performing techniques.

 

Briefly tell us a few things about yourself as a professional.

I have done studies in English literature and linguistics and I have been specialized in Drama and British Theatre in England. I have been teaching English for over sixteen years both in private and public sector. Right now, I am doing a Master's degree course in "Language Education for Refugees and Migrants” and I am working as a substitute language teacher on Secondary education.

Is “keeping it practical” an important part of present day EFL classrooms? Why, do you think, this is?

Of course it is! Actually it is in great demand because theory can be understood through practice. And our learners’ needs for a meaning context is becoming more and more vital.

 

Are there problems when new practices are applied in the classrooms?

It depends on the classroom environment and on how learners can identify with new practices and learn through them. In a multicultural learning environment for example new practices should reflect the variety of the leaners’ backgrounds in order to be effective and cultural misunderstandings would be avoided.

 

Has it become easier or more complicated to teach English these past decades?

I would say that it is definitely more challenging and demanding. It involves a combination of skills and deep knowledge of the subject in order to be successful and effective.

 

What is one piece of advice that has been a beacon for your teaching over the years?

Be open to new challenges and opportunities and never hesitate to test your limits and try out new things. Keep being educated.

 

How important is CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in the teaching of languages?

Very important! It is like opening new doors to knowledge and life-long learning. It is an opportunity to improve ourselves.

 

What do you find demotivating as far as teaching is concerned?

It is difficult to tell. Maybe when our profession sometimes keeps us away from family and friends (either because of distance or long hours).

 

What is one of the things you will not forget from past TG Conventions?

The feeling of being a big family. I think this warm atmosphere is unforgettable.

 

IF you could one piece of advice to new Educators in the field of ELT what would it be?

Don’t hesitate to be exposed, to gain experience, to explore, to experiment. And keep networking and socializing. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017
 
"Are you an Educator or an Edupreneur?" 

 

Could you tell us a few things about your presentation and how it relates to this year’s Convention theme?
The most "practical" issue for every educator is to render their passion into an abundantly earning vocation. How? It's a secret until Sunday!
 
Briefly tell us a few things about yourself as a professional.
I am a global learning facilitator, a passionate life-long learner, a discoverer with a growth mentality  
 
Is “keeping it practical” an important part of present day EFL classrooms? Why, do you think, this is?
With the world around us changing at inconceivable speed, it is practical both for educators and learners to go further than the theoretic aspect of education... It is essential that we all develop skills that will see us into the new era, such as grit, flexibility, collaboration and leadership. 
 
Are there problems when new practices are applied in the classrooms?
As I love telling my learners, "there are no problems, only solutions”. After all, problem solving is one more 21st century skill to master, is it not? 
 
Has it become easier or more complicated to teach English these past decades?
Easy and difficult are a matter of perspective. It definitely has become infinitely more creative!
 
What is one piece of advice that has been a beacon for your teaching over the years?
Fail early, fail often, fail forward
 
How important is CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in the teaching of languages?
Nowadays, I would rephrase CPD to Continuous Personal Development. All change comes from within, so it is only by changing our mentality that we are able to see all the myriad new possibilities open to us in this, oh so exciting, era for education...
 
What do you find demotivating as far as teaching is concerned?
Like change, motivation comes from the inside... that's why we often share with seminar attendees the story of Kupe...I promise I will share it in my talk this year as well!
 
What is one of the things you will not forget from past TG Conventions?
I love the spirit of innovation and growth that transpires through the talks and workshops.
 
IF you could one piece of advice to new Educators in the field of ELT what would it be?
Love, share, dare!
Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Final programme of the

38th TESOL Greece Annual International Convention

"Keeping it Practical"

is out! 

You can view it online,

or download it here.

Monday, 13 March 2017

 

"No Need to be Picasso: Using Drawings in the ELT Class"

Could you tell us a few things about your presentation and how it relates to this year’s Convention theme?

I will be talking about using drawings as a way to present/ teach grammar, writing, and language in general. The focus of my talk is on how beneficial teacher drawings can be. In fact, drawings can be used to simplify difficult concepts, like the connection between the topic sentence and an argument in writing or a drawing that will effectively present the future perfect tense for example, so as to make these teaching points more comprehensible for the learners. Drawings can be an effective teaching tool not only when teaching young learners, but also EAP and Business English students. Teachers do not have to be artists in order to draw in the classroom!!

My presentation is very practical as I will be showing you the drawings I have been using in my classroom. You will be taking part in the whole drawing process as well, so make sure you have a pencil on you!

 

Briefly tell us a few things about yourself as a professional.

I studied English language and Philology at the University of Athens. I also hold a M.ed in TESOL and the Cambridge Delta. I have been teaching in various context for about 20 years now. I teach mostly exam classes, Business English online, and EAP. In a few weeks I will be working at the University of Sheffield where I will be teaching English for academic purposes. I am also an educational blogger www.myeltrambles.com

 

Is “keeping it practical” an important part of present day EFL classrooms? Why, do you think, this is?

Of course it is. As far as classroom practice is concerned, I think we need to be able to make learning as practical as possible. What we teach needs to resonate with our learners. They need to know that what they are learning will be helpful for them in the future. As far as teacher education is concerned, I really enjoy keeping up to date with learning theories, but realising what I learn in the classroom is one of the best parts of teaching!

 

Are there problems when new practices are applied in the classrooms?

I think that whatever you learn can be helpful. If a teacher feels uncomfortable trying out something new, maybe they should leave it for a bit later on when they are more informed. By that time any new practices will have been tried out, and the teacher can learn from the feedback his/ her colleagues give. New practices give life to the class. They help teachers not feel like they are in a rut.

 

Has it become easier or more complicated to teach English these past decades?

I think that it is very easy to be overwhelmed nowadays, so, in my view, teaching is not easy or complicated these days. There is so much out there, so many voices regarding what works and what does not work in the classroom. Do all practices make teaching easy? I cannot really say because I like to take my time before I try something new. I am not the first to jump on the band wagon of a ‘cutting edge’ teaching practice. I do like to explore though and see what will work for me and then try it out

 

What is one piece of advice that has been a beacon for your teaching over the years?

Listen to your learners. Yes, you have your lesson plan ready, your handouts in your hands, but if the learner is not ‘in it’, then listen and do what the learner needs. It’s that simple.

 

How important is CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in the teaching of languages?

It is very important. Teachers need to keep learning. There are also so many opportunities nowadays for CPD and I think that it can only be beneficial for teachers to educate themselves.

 

What do you find demotivating as far as teaching is concerned?

I think that as teachers, we give heart and soul and sometimes that is not recognized. I really wish society showed more appreciation towards teachers.

 

What is one of the things you will not forget from past TG Conventions?

I love the atmosphere. Everyone is so friendly and eager to connect and build bonds. You learn a lot during conventions. I love sharing what I know and learning from others. TESOL Greece events are very welcoming and everyone feels like friends! I cannot wait to be there and see everyone again!

 

IF you could one piece of advice to new Educators in the field of ELT what would it be?

It’s OK to make a mistake, it’s OK to not know everything! Take your time and learn. Rome was not built in a day!

Monday, 13 March 2017

 

"Healthy Little Eaters and the Pouch of Happiness"

Could you tell us a few things about your presentation and how it relates to this year’s Convention theme?

Healthy Little Eaters is a special program designed within ELT classes in order to help children adapt to a new healthy diet. The program has triggered a domino effect not only within our school’s premises, but within our society, since almost everyone is eager to contribute. The program involves teaching and encouraging children to consume healthy snacks, the collection of the peels from the fruit they consume, the making of our own compost and the cultivation and consumption of our very own fruit. Locals contribute in different ways such as cooking healthy meals for the kids, giving seminars or guided tours, providing coffee grounds or fruit peels from their cafes for our compost, help us organize events and many more. Healthy Little Eaters have become a movement with a great message to the world in the form of a pouch called: “The pouch of happiness” that we are sure will change your lives forever. Healthy Little Eaters and the pouch of happiness is closely related to this year’s Convention theme since it is all about practicality and every day issues that no matter how simple they are, they have the power to change people’s lives.

 

Briefly tell us a few things about yourself as a professional.

I hold CEELT 1 from Hammersmith and West London College. I have been an ELT teacher since 1995 and a language school owner since 1998. I have also been an oral examiner for London EDEXCEL Exams twice.

 

Is “keeping it practical” an important part of present day EFL classrooms? Why, do you think, this is?

Keeping it practical is THE most important part of present EFL classrooms especially in Greece. Young children and their families are under a lot of pressure because of the economic crisis and practicality id of utmost important since according to my opinion helps them acquire basic survival skills.

 

Are there problems when new practices are applied in the classrooms?

I do not think there are problems when it comes to new practices being applied in the classrooms. It has to do of course with the philosophy of the teacher and the trust he can convey to their pupils. Everything is a matter of will.

 

Has it become easier or more complicated to teach English these past decades?

I wouldn’t say that teaching has become easier or more difficult for me over the years. Things of course change all the time but that is the beauty of our profession. Trying to adapt to a new era can be demanding but challenging as well. If you love teaching, you also become a chameleon if circumstances require so.

 

What is one piece of advice that has been a beacon for your teaching over the years?

A phrase which has always been a beacon in my teaching career is the following: “Success is not just about what you accomplish in life, it’s what you inspire others to do”. It is not a piece of advice really but an idea that keeps me going.

 

How important is CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in the teaching of languages?

CPD is of utmost importance in the teaching of anything really. However, languages are the ultimate bond among all people and CPD is even more important in this field.

 

What do you find demotivating as far as teaching is concerned?

I do not find anything demotivating in teaching. I have managed to create my own little world within my school and try to keep all negativity outside. My most important achievement throughout my career is my ability to turn negative things into positive ones.

 

What is one of the things you will not forget from past TG Conventions?

Having attended the 24th Macedonia Thrace Convention as a speaker on 12th March 2017, I can honestly say that hospitality was the most important feature for me.

 

If you could one piece of advice to new Educators in the field of ELT, what would it be?

A piece of advice to new Educators…no I would rather welcome them aboard and wish them they enjoy this lifetime trip, as much as I have.

Monday, 13 March 2017

 

"Mind against Mind - Debates: The Ultimate Challenge for FL Learners" 

Could you tell us a few things about your presentation and how it relates to this year’s Convention theme?

We have been conducting debates at our school for years and we find that once learners overcome their initial inhibitions they find participation in debates really exciting, inspiring and rewarding. Participants use “words as their weapons” to defend their position and to voice counter arguments, challenge and be challenged, persuade and rebut. Debating is a practical and invaluable life-skill because it relates directly to a multitude of real life situations. I will be providing a step-by-step guide to demonstrate how to conduct debates in the FL classroom.

 

Briefly tell us a few things about yourself as a professional.

I started teaching when teachers were left largely to their own devices, with limited teaching resources and practically non-existent technology. So teachers had to use their creativity and enthusiasm to make lessons more interesting and motivating. This made me feel the need to constantly keep active and up-to-date with innovative approaches avoiding stagnation, thus I welcomed every opportunity for professional development.

 

Is “keeping it practical” an important part of present day EFL classrooms? Why, do you think, this is?

Keeping things practical, is absolutely essential in day-to-day teaching, as I feel that    ideas or methods may initially seem inspiring and generate enthusiasm but if  not practical, they will not be easily applied, adopted or embraced by present-day busy teachers. Consequently, their worth or effectiveness may never be appreciated or demonstrated.

 

Are there problems when new practices are applied in the classrooms?

Yes, quite often when staff are not trained, ready or even willing to adopt new practices. This can also happen when new practices are more or less imposed on staff without involving teachers in the decision-making stage before introducing a new programme in a school. As not all new practices can be applied to all classrooms and are not suitable for all learners, teachers and situations, a lot of factors have to be taken into consideration with room for flexibility and adaptability being essential.   

 

Has it become easier or more complicated to teach English these past decades?

It has definitely become more complicated, as the abundance of innovative methods, resources and technology available is overwhelming and we are really spoilt for choice. Another factor to consider is that learners get easily bored, and their interest has shifted from the printed book to the screen and social media, which take up a lot of their already limited time. This, combined with the Greek financial crisis, has created a growing demand for shorter courses and much quicker results, which in turn puts greater pressure on schools.


What is one piece of advice that has been a beacon for your teaching over the years?

Put the learner at the centre of your teaching and get to know your learners so you can make them feel special in your class. A teacher has to respect the multiple variations in the ways learners learn, and must remember that no one teaching method will work best for all learners at all times. What may be very successful with one group of learners may be less so with another, so allowance has to be made for adaptability, personalisation and differentiated instruction in order to cater for the variety of learning styles in our classes.

 

How important is CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in the teaching of languages?

CPD is an essential part of a teacher’s life, as one has to keep abreast of the times in order to avoid stagnation in a constantly developing field like ours.

We cannot possibly overlook the role technology plays in the life of teachers and learners, or the fact that the needs of our learners change.

Even though the basic principles of teaching remain, we need CPD to make us more effective teachers and make a teacher’s life more interesting, challenging and rewarding, which encourages objective self-assessment.

 

What do you find demotivating as far as teaching is concerned?

Preparing learners for different exams, especially fast-track preparation, focussing entirely on passing exams. Parents and learners are particularly interested in certification which is “fast, cheap and easy,” quite often at the expense of quality language learning.

 

What is one of the things you will not forget from past TG Conventions?

Over the years I have missed very few TESOL Greece Conventions and each and every one without exception has been an invaluable source of information, inspiration as well as a great opportunity to meet enthusiastic colleagues. Without any doubt TG Conventions have made a great impact on me as a professional.

I find it difficult to isolate only one thing, as I have so many fond memories, but the one that springs to mind first was a presentation on story-telling by plenary speaker Jan Blake. It was quite an experience to remember!

 

If you could one piece of advice to new Educators in the field of ELT, what would it be?

There is always room for improvement.

Do not resist change, so adapt to new situations, take advantage of new opportunities and adopt innovative ideas, be prepared to unlearn things and move from your comfort zone. Bear in mind that what will be etched in your learners’ minds will be the experiences they had with you and how they felt in your class. So, introduce variety in your lessons, encourage them, create powerful experiences for them to remember, and do it with enthusiasm and love.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Meet the Presenters of the 38th TESOL Greece Annual International Convention

 

"Keeping it Practical!"

 

Check out the presenters tab, under the 38th Annual Convention Menu, and find out more!