We arrived fashionably late, so unfortunately we missed the first set of presentations which started at 10:00. We went to get ourselves signed in and were asked to make some name badges for ourselves, I felt like a student arriving for his first day at a brand new school. This feeling was further enforced by every presentation that I observed, learning new and creative materials or teaching tools from many experienced English teachers and publishers working around the country.
Next up was David Paul’s presentation on “motivating teenagers and adults to communicate”. This was a presentation I did not want to miss as from personal experience a student who is not willing to communicate is the most difficult to teach. Many ideas and techniques were presented with an emphasis on personalization and the importance of recycling language to build confidence in the students (also as a way making sure they aren’t forgetting everything you teach them as soon as they walk out of the classroom!). We looked at using activities which encourage a communicative response rather than using language that is situational and regurgitated from any old classroom textbook.