Innovate Events Blog

InnovateELT 2020

New Dates: 18th-19th September, 2020, Barcelona

Innovate ELT 2020

Be Part of the Solution

Picture a future where the ELT industry has solved some of the biggest problems we are facing today. 

  • Our students are ready to take on challenging new careers 
  • Our educators feel secure in their roles and valued as professionals
  • Our industry practices have evolved to be zero-waste and carbon-neutral 

But how do we get there? 

Join us at InnovateELT 2020 and be part of the solution.

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The Conversation Experience

Jędrzej Stępień will be doing a demo lesson with real students at #iELT18, where attendees will get a better understanding of what are good, educative questions, as well as what is innovation of the content in education, and that it does not require technology. He’ll be speaking at 12:10 – 13:10 at Room 9. Read more on this session here. I have always been fascinated by the potential of second language classes for adults. It is one of the rare chances for grown-ups of various trades, experiences and insights to meet and talk about anything. Being a freelance teacher, I have been...
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Fun & Challenge in the YL Classroom

While fun is an important element in the young learner (YL) classroom, it’s not just simply colouring, playing games and singing. Teachers of this age group need highly-specialised training to plan lessons with age-appropriate activities that help move students forward in their learning, and oftentimes this training is not available or perceived as essential for a teacher walking into a YL classroom for the first time. My talk, Saturday May 12th at 17.40h (Room 7), provides practical activities so that teachers can bring Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) to life in the YL language classroom. Fun and challenge complement...
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Getting Better at Listening: Just for the Phon of it.

Oxford Tefl Dip TESOL tutor Shaun Sweeney will be doing a live lesson at iELT. In this video he talks about the background to planning the lesson. Developing listening skills can be a struggle for learners, and a struggle for teachers too. Apart from just giving more practice, what exactly can we practically do to ensure each listening experience marks a journey of improvement? This lesson will attempt to demonstrate some simple, easily-applicable techniques we can use to make sure we don’t just test comprehension and sell our learners short by telling them not to worry about understanding everything. I...
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Loose parts in the young learner classroom

Loose parts play refers to the use of materials that can moved, put together, taken apart and used in any way children desire. This post is for anyone who wants to bring innovation and creativity into their lessons using inexpensive materials which maximise a child’s development. Today, I’d like to share what I have learned about loose parts through extensive reading on the topic but mostly through my own teaching experience. I’ve loved the change that this type of activity has brought to my lessons. So what exactly are loose parts? The term was coined by Simon Nicholson way back...
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Visualise this!

Teresa is a course tutor on the Trinity CertTESOL in Active Language, Cádiz. She’ll be presenting a workshop on guided visualisation at the conference this year in May. Read more about it here.  I have a very clear memory from my childhood of sitting with my eyes closed as my sister told me a ghost story set in a lighthouse. I could see the waves crashing against the rocks at the foot of the lighthouse, feel the wind whipping my face as I approached it in the darkness and sense the tension rising within me as I climbed the stairs...
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Exploring group dynamics

Oxford TEFL Director Duncan Foord will be presenting the Pre-Conference Training Session ‘Exploring Group Dynamics’ at the upcoming InnovateELT conference. In this blog post he reflects on what group dynamics is and explores case studies which highlight the challenges teachers face. It will come as no surprise to readers with experience working on Intensive pre-service training courses that not all groups are equally happy and productive. What has puzzled us at Oxford TEFL, Barcelona is the random nature of this. We run intensive 4 week CertTESOL courses throughout the year and can get very different responses from one month to...
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Whiteboards: The Force Awakens. Boardwork Tips for Teachers.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to present at the third annual InnovateELT conference in Barcelona. The brainchild of the lovely people at ELTJam and hosted by Oxford TEFL, it’s become famous for a diverse and friendly crowd, relaxed and productive atmosphere, and innovative format: 10 minute plenaries in the garden, sessions involving learners, and 30 minute talks. I delivered one of these short sessions on the topic of using the whiteboard. No, not interactive, just the act of writing with a pen on the board. As a CELTA tutor, observing lessons and boardwork is a key part of my...
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Taking the Task-Based Approach to the Extreme

Have you recently given your students a real-life task? A genuine out-of-classroom task that they were supposed to complete in order to make their lives (personal or professional) better: sending an email, publishing a blog or social media post, giving a presentation, etc. A few years ago, at an English language centre I was in charge of, our students would do presentations quite frequently. But very often we felt those presentations were not benefitting them as much as they should. It seemed our students often treated those presentation as yet another classroom activity that needed to be completed before the...
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