Colloquium on Specific Learning Differences, with the support of IPSEN- IATEFL and BELTA Belgium
24 November - 25 November
Rachael Harris is the newsletter editor for IATEFL Inclusive Practices & SEN SIG. She has taught English for almost twenty years and she teaches in a primary and secondary school in Geneva, where she has produced the SEND policy statement. She is Teens & YL SIG coordinator for ETAS (Switzerland). Rachael has published articles for several ELT publications and frequently gives workshops on a variety of ELT themes that are close to her heart – Teens, Inclusive Practices and Well-being in Learning.
Every ELT Teacher is a Teacher
of Inclusive Practices
Just as the British Department of Education’s 2015 Code of Practice states that every teacher is a teacher of pupils with SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disabilities) it seems that every ELT teacher is too. This plenary will introduce various teaching methods that encourage Inclusive Practices and demonstrate how language teachers are already well on the way to being teachers of SEND.
Judit Kormos is a Professor in Second Language Acquisition at Lancaster University. She was a key partner in the award-winning DysTEFL project sponsored by the European Commission and is a lead educator in the Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching massive open online learning course offered by FutureLearn. She is the co-author of the book Teaching Languages to Students with Specific Learning Differences with Anne Margaret Smith. She has published widely on the effect of dyslexia on learning additional languages including a new book entitled The second language learning processes of students with specific learning difficulties.
Online Plenary Presentation
Principles of Inclusive Language Teaching Task Design
The design of teaching materials constitutes an important part of language teaching as they serve as drivers of the learning process. Publishers and teachers, however, often lack awareness and skills of how to make language learning tasks inclusive and dyslexia-friendly. Guidelines for teachers often concentrate on formatting and layout only and fail to take into account how specific learning difficulties influence language learning. In this talk I will outline the key principles of designing inclusive teaching materials that are engaging and enhance second language development. Based on recent experiences in a collaborative European Union funded project, I will also discuss what obstacles material designers might face when developing dyslexia-friendly digital learning tasks and how these can be overcome. The presentation will conclude with demonstrating some successful example tasks from the Digital English and German task bank for dyslexic language learners.
I currently work as a teaching fellow at King’s College London where I teach courses on MA in Applied Linguistics and MA in TESOL. Before joining King’s, I worked at Lancaster University as a postdoctoral fellow and ran a nationwide ELT trainer training project on dyslexia and ELT in Sri Lanka. I have also been involved in Lancaster University’s Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching MOOC since its inception and have been an English teacher, teacher trainer and a researcher in many contexts both in the UK and in Sri Lanka.
Working Memory Abilities, Language Learning and Dyslexia
Dyslexia is categorised under Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs) and it mainly affects language learning (Kormos & Smith 2012). One common feature observed among dyslexic learners is their poor working memory (WM) capacity. This can lead to learners easily getting distracted, being reserved in group tasks, forgetting part or all of the instructions, avoiding answering questions and struggling with complicated tasks (Gathercole & Alloway, 2007). Recent empirical evidence on second/foreign language acquisition also indicates that learners with poor WM abilities struggle in processing novel language input (e.g., Indrarathne & Kormos, 2018). In this talk, I will summarise recent research findings on how WM influences language acquisition and explain how these findings are relevant to understanding language learning abilities of dyslexic learners. Then I will discuss some techniques that teachers can use to identify memory issues among learners and strategies that can be used in classroom contexts to help learners with poor WM abilities.
Anne Margaret Smith
Dr. Anne Margaret Smith has taught English for 25 years in Kenya, Germany, Sweden and the UK. She is also a dyslexia specialist tutor and assessor. She founded ELT well with the intention of bringing together best practice from the two fields of ELT and SpLD support, and now offers materials and training to teachers, as well as specialist teaching to dyslexic learners. She was recently instrumental in setting up the new IATEFL SIG: Inclusive Practices and SEN. Find out more: www.ELTwell.com
Identifying the Needs of Learners with Specific Learning Differences
It is not always easy to be sure if a learner’s difficulties are due to a cognitive difference, such as dyslexia, or if there are other barriers to learning. This is particularly the case if the learner – or the parents – are reluctant to undertake a formal assessment. However, it is very important that teachers find out as much as possible about our learners, so that we can decide the best way to teach them.
In this session, we will look at some simple activities that can be done in class, or in a 1:1 situation, to explore which aspects of learning may be more difficult for learners. These are activities that are independent of first language or second language proficiency and can be combined to create a comprehensive picture of the learner’s cognitive profile.
Dina Tsagari is a Professor in English Language Pedagogy/TESOL, Department of Primary and Secondary Education, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from Lancaster University (with specialisation in the area of language testing/teaching), UK. She has previously worked for the University of Cyprus, the Greek Open University and the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include language testing and assessment, teacher training, materials design and evaluation, differentiated instruction, multilingualism, distance education and learning difficulties. She is the editor and author of several volumes, journal papers, and book chapters and the coordinator of the Classroom-based Language Assessment SIG – EALTA. She is currently coordinating and participating in research projects on second language assessment literacy (www.taleproject.eu), identifying linguistic parameters accounting for progress in proficiency in high-stakes tests and authentic language acquisition in multilingual contexts, among others.
Assessment and Testing of l2 Students with SpLDs
The population of students around the world these days is becoming increasingly diverse, both culturally and linguistically. The numbers of children diagnosed with specific learning differences, SpLD (e.g. dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) and the number of students enrolled in special education are steadily increasing. This situation has placed an emphasis on appropriate teaching and assessment provision. These issues are of particular concern to second or foreign language teachers (Kormos and Smith, 2012; Nijakowska, 2010) and test providers (Taylor, 2012; Tsagari and Spanoudis, 2013) who are very often faced with the challenge of having to offer special arrangements (accommodations) to second language (L2) learners with SpLDs.
The presentation summarizes current discussions and research findings in the field of language assessment for L2 learners with SpLDs, and identifies key stakeholders who are closely connected to successful assessment and discusses their obligations and responsibilities. The presentation also identifies good practices and issues for improvement in both external and classroom-based assessment that are in need of attention. Finally, the presentation offers examples to practitioners and suggestions to future researchers as to the areas for improvement of assessment of L2 learners with SpLDs.
9:00 Registration (Ongoing)
10:00 – 18:00 Exhibition (Open throughout the Colloquium)
10:00 Welcome / Opening Remarks
Lilika Couri (Tesol Greece Chair)
Sylvia Karastathi (New York College)
Anne Margaret Smith (IPSEN’s founder, board member and representative)
Anastasia Metallinou (Tesol Greece SpLDs coordinator and representative)
10:15 – 11:15
Anne Margaret Smith
Identifying the needs of learners with specific learning differences
11:30 – 12:15
Multisensory instruction in the EFL classroom: Exploring the power of the senses!
Every brain is ‘wired’ differently. Multisensory instruction teaches to more than one sense at a time. This ensures that students engage with the material in more than one way, to make connections and learn concepts. The more our senses are engaged the more easily learning can occur.
Katerina Mantadaki O.TR., has been working as a Teacher & Teacher Trainer for more than 20 years. She holds a BA in Occupational Therapy and a PgCert in Teaching Foreign Languages to students with Dyslexia and other SEN.
Implementing visual-based instruction in reading and writing tasks for students with high functionality Autistic Spectrum disorders in an inclusive EFL classroom.
The inclusion of students with high functional autism in the general EFL educational environment has challenged educators. How can educators render writing and reading tasks pragmatically meaningful to students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? This workshop aims to show how visual-based instruction with the aid of ICT can foster students’ pragmatic understanding.
Katerina Davari holds two Bachelor degrees in English and French language and literature. Her scientific interests lie in inclusive instruction and sociolinguistics.
12:30 – 13:15
Autism speaks via Poetry In Motion: Creating Miracles.
How can we help our autistic learners learn? How can the notion of ‘Poetry In Motion’ can successfully apply to their needs? This presentation of twelve years active and practical personal research will help learners, teachers and parents unlock hidden keys and provide the best possible learning quality.
Vasiliki Mandalou is a Philology, Philosophy and Literature teacher. She holds a Msc on Mental health learning difficulties. Projects “Poetry In Motion speaks for Autism”, “Philosophy for children”
How to teach students with visual impairment
Students with special educational needs meet barriers of all types, especially those with visual impairments.Visual impairment has an effect on educational progress, social interaction and student’s self-esteem. With the appropriate support and teaching techniques we can minimize the impact of the factors we mentioned above. Learning knows no boundaries. Embrace every single child and their differences.
Klodiana Papajorgjlu is an English Language teacher and a Special Educator. I have an MA in Special Educational Needs and a Braille certification.
13:15 – 14:15
14:30 – 15:30
Assessment and testing of L2 students with SpLDs
15:45 – 16:45
15:45 – 16:10 Room K2.1 (2nd floor)
Wonder is the beginning of Wisdom – Wonder the bright new Express Publishing course for Primary learners will bring wonder to your Junior classes! Donot miss thechancetomeet ROLO,thefirst Augmented Reality app for EFL learners.
15:45 – 16:10 Room A1 (ground floor)
Title: “ESB Exams: Every Student Benefits”
Presenter: Maroula Atmatzidou
16:15 – 16:40 Room A1 (ground floor)
16:15 – 16:40 Room K2.1 (2nd floor)
‘’Digital Noisis Model”: An Innovative Approach to Academic Writing
Dr. Anna Bougia, Academic Coordinator for Postgraduate Studies | New York College, Athens
15:45 – 16:10 Room K2.1 (2nd floor)
ENGLISH SOUNDS FUN; Ready, Steady, Go!
English Sounds Fun is a dyslexia-friendly method, accessible to all learners. This session introduces the innovative features of this holistic programme that allows allstudents to enjoy learning English, while developing firm foundations for progress towards proficiency. Level: A1 and A2
Presenter:Dr Anne Margaret Smith
16:15 – 16:40 Room K2.2 (2nd floor)
17:00 – 18:00
(online) Room A1
Principles of inclusive language teaching task design
18:15 – 19:00
Selecting, Adapting and Designing ELT Materials for Learners with Dyslexia
In this practical workshop, we will consider implications for the selection and design of materials such as texts, exercises and tests suitable for dyslexic learners of English. We will look at examples of available dyslexic-friendly ELT materials and will consider how we can adapt existing materials and produce our own.
Jon Hird teaches English at the University of Oxford and is a teacher-trainer and an ELT materials writer.
Using augmented (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the language classroom
Virtual and Augmented Reality are taking over the classrooms in the whole world. They offer a fresher approach to teaching any subject. This presentation will look into and demonstrate how VR and AR can be used to assist SpLDs learners and their teachers offering new ways to motivate and enhance their learning.
Christos Sotiropoulos is a language teacher, school owner, digital course designer and an educational technologies specialist.
New York College, Cafė and Exhibition Area
9:00 Registration (Ongoing)
10:00 – 15:00 Exhibition (Open throughout the Colloquium)
10:00 – 11:00
Every ELT teacher is a teacher of Inclusive Practices
11:15 – 12:00
“It’s as simple as ABC” – or is it not?
Is the process of learning the alphabet as simple as many people think? Do children effortlessly learn the associations between letter names, letter sounds and their corresponding letter shapes? Why is well-developed alphabet knowledge important and how long should it take to teach the alphabet?
Lilian Stathi has specialized in teaching English to dyslexic learners (MA TESOL). She is a teacher at the British Council.
Handwriting and Letter Formation for Students with Dysgraphia
This presentation will include an intro to dysgraphia (terminology, types, and symptoms) and will move on to highlight the importance of teaching proper letter formation emphasizing how to do so (types of resources and means) via showing photos of actual tasks/activities, evaluating them and making suggestions for improvement.
Tyna Constantopoulou holds a BA in English Lang and Lit and a MEd in SpEd. I teach students with SEN.
12:00 – 12:30
12:45 – 13:30
Let’s do it differently! Feel it, touch it, learn it
This presentation focuses on introducing alternative ways of teaching English as a foreign language to students with special educational needs. The key principle of this approach is the material and lesson management through multisensory techniques so that the students can be active members of the teaching/learning process.
Antonios Gatsotis: B.A.: English language and literature (UOA) M.A.: S.E.N(University of Liverpool) English teacher for students with SEN
How does it feel to be ‘different’?
How does it really feel to be ‘different’?Is it a ‘curse’ or a ‘blessing’?Does it influence only the individual or the whole group?What are the emotional and social consequences for everyone involved in the educational process?Are there any consequences in the Society in general?
Mandy Pistikou Loves Young Learners and Children with Learning Differences.She attended a course on Dyslexia(Lancaster University)among others .
Literacy Skills: Typical ESL Development & SLD Indicators
ELLs with learning difficulties (LD) represent a large part of the school population. Yet statistically they are often under-identified as sometimes the characteristics of typical ELLs look similar to the learning differences experienced by students with LD. The current presentation will focus on how ELL students with LD differ from typically developing ELLs in several areas of language development and skills, whilst providing real work samples from ELL and ELL with LD students.
Alexandra Valtzidou was raised in Australia. She holds a BA in Psychology, a BA in Special Education, a PgC in Health Science and a MSc in Special Education, specialising in LD and Bilingual Education. Alexandra is currently the Learning Specialist at Pinewood American International School of Thessaloniki.
13:45 – 14:45
Working memory abilities, language learning and dyslexia
Downloadable Event Programme
Plenary Presentations Kindly Supported by
Getting to the venue
By train: Line 1
Kallithea Station (5 minute walk)
Tavros Station (3 minute walk)
Availability & Price: double and single for the period 24 + 25/11/2018.
The final availability of rooms will be confirmed by the demand.
Special rates for this TESOL Conference Greece
The above rates are per day per room and include American buffet breakfast and WI-FI.
*The VAT rate and other taxes and levies may be changed by legislation. If the VAT rate or other taxes are changed after the conclusion of this offer, the prices will be adjusted accordingly.
Accommodation Tax: The room tax of 3 € per day / room has not been included, which is applicable as of 1/1/2018 according to Law 4389/2016 and will be payable by customers upon departure.
Payment and warranty : A credit card will be required to confirm your booking or to make a deposit. Cancellations without cancellation fees up to 72 hours prior to arrival.
Additionally to Novotel Athens you have the following facilities with your stay:
- FREE disposition of the underground parking space 120-seat.
- Wireless (Wi-Fi) FREE in the rooms and public areas
- FREE coffee filter or tea in the room.
- FREE use of our gym and outdoor swimming pool.
- Children Policy – Family & Novotel policy: Free stay for 2 children up to 16 years old with breakfast in the same room as their parents.
ATHENS TIARE SALES
Interested people should use the code below to make their reservation.
The code offers:
10% discount for Fully Flexible breakfast rates for Comfort Rooms and Deluxe City View Rooms
The code for which customers will get the discount is: TESOL18
Interested parties will visit the hotel website, then from BOOK NOW will choose their period of stay.
You must then choose the Fully Flexible Rate with Breakfast and before completing the booking you must apply the TESOL18 code to the Discount Code or Voucher / Promo Code field.