Conference Abstracts

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Effective classroom teacher – how to become one? Piret Kärtner (Estonia)
Teachers are facing the complicated world of the 21st century. In order to function efficiently in today’s school, one needs strategies. First and foremost, the teacher has to become more aware of his/ her professional practice. He/ she has to find ways to develop teaching skills, learn about time and class management, psychology, learner differences, ICT opportunities, assessment and planning. As teachers are judged by what they do, it is crucial to adapt our working patterns to the orders of the 21st century.

Section 1 Primary, Secondary

March 17

Write ON: Students writing to students Robin Gingerich (Lithuania)
Reader Response is a technique of peer editing to help students improve their writing and editing skills. Students benefit from real feedback on their writing from real readers- their peers. Reader response is a method of teaching writing that promotes student involvement, active feedback for their writing and lively classroom interaction. The presenter will provide real examples of student writing and how Reader Response can enliven the classroom.

Using Film Clips in ESL Classroom Matthew Smith (Hungary)
The objective of this seminar is to discuss and demonstrate how to successfully incorporate film into EFL lessons in order to improve students’ listening comprehension, use of vocabulary, and conversational skills. We will also discuss the various media including short clips from full-length movies, streaming video, podcasts, and short films.

Working Toward Style in Academic Writing Ene Alas (Estonia)
The presentation will focus on some of the difficulties that undergraduate students face during their academic writing course. During a hands-on seminar, the author will start with some of the style-awareness building tasks and offer a number of activities that can be used in an academic writing class to enhance stylistic appropriacy.

Is teaching English enough? Empower students to make a difference in their world through Learn and Serve Maxine Pond (Lithuania)
Students actively participate in discussions and write with enthusiasm when given a topic they are passionate about. After describing the history and concept of Learn and Serve, the presenter will explain community service as a way to effectively create enthusiasm and improve English skills while instilling a sense of responsibility and helpfulness in the next generation. In addition, participants will be encouraged to explore grant possibilities.

Make it real: successful ideas for role-plays Robin Gingerich (Lithuania)
Bring life into your English classrooms/ Getting students to negotiate meaning for real purposes is not as hard as it seems. This presentation will encourage teachers to implement scenarios, role plays, and skits into the language classrooms. Initially the presenter will review the psycholinguistic reasons for role plays. The participants will then become actively engaged in learning how to successfully execute activities for maximal learning.

March 18

Connecting Three Phases in Reading: Using Graphic Organizers to Provoke Critical Thinking in the English Language Classroom Emily Ferlis (Bulgaria)
In this workshop, designed for secondary-level English educators, the focus will be on various strategies to use graphic organizers in the English language classroom, in order to provoke critical thinking in students. The workshop will look at one short story, "Carmen's Two Boyfriends", as well as eight various graphic organizers that can be used with this text. Finally, the workshop will discuss how to integrate these graphic organizers in pre-reading, during-reading, and after-reading activities.

The article, an article Mark Faron (Estonia)
Everybody knows about them but nobody knows how to use them. The rules seem capricious and irrational. So, how do you teach the English articles? This seminar will give some useful hints & tips for teaching this maddening grammar point.

Using Films for Teaching English Irina Petrova (Estonia)
Do you use films at your lessons? No time? This presentation will concentrate on why films are worth spending your valuable time on. In addition, it will demonstrate a film with accompanying activities that could be used even with elementary level students.

Tools for Teachers Aet Sarv (Estonia)
In my talk some strategies towards motivating learners will be looked at. However, the theory will be followed by practical demonstration of the wealth of resources as a way of incentive, which there can never be enough.

Did we miss the moral? Re-examining the story of ethics in the language classroom Jennifer Uhler and Kristina Mullamaa (Estonia)
The discussion-based, interactive lecture on the topic of ethics and language teaching will take a look at standards for English language teaching professionals. We will address critical pedagogy by looking at current movements in ELT as well as dilemmas arising in teaching in a global context. Together, we will problematize issues in ELT, take a brief look at the reflections of education in Estonia and mention parallels to other professions engaged in cultural mediation. Participants will be able to engage in discussions on how we can put sensitive critical pedagogy into practice in our own classroom environments.

Section 2 Higher Education, Academic, Adults

March 17

Making Writing Fun: I-search Project in the EFL Writing Classroom Michelle Foshee (Kosovo)
I-search projects allow students to create their own research questions and explore topics through experiential learning. This workshop will outline the components and pedagogical benefits of an I-search. I will present the I-search unit that I developed for my university students. In groups, participants will then brainstorm ways that the model I-search can be modified for different EFL proficiency levels and ages. Groups will then present their ideas.

Developing learners’ communication strategies in ELT Natalja Zagura (Estonia)
The aim of the present paper is to introduce the notion of communication strategies (also called compensatory strategies) and the importance of developing them while teaching a foreign language. The presentation mainly focuses on introducing enjoyable activities that contribute to the development of learners’ ability to use the strategies like substitution, description, paraphrasing and generalisation while communicating in a foreign language. In addition to improving learners’ communicative competence and expanding vocabulary these activities also bring variety and interactivity in the language classroom.

Using Songs to Enliven Language Learning and Enlighten your Students Olivia Turner (Estonia)
Using songs in the classroom provides students with a link to real life. We are surrounded by music and most popular songs worldwide are in English. Music can be emotive and our life experiences and memories are often linked to it. This seminar will review some of the ways in which you can integrate songs into your lessons, including ways in which songs can be used as a stimulus or context for vocabulary and grammar.

Secrets of overcoming the drudgery of giving feedback Jennifer Uhler (Estonia)
Do you face seemingly endless piles of papers and illegible notes sitting on your desk? Come to this session to help overcome your dread of giving feedback. In this seminar, we will discuss effective and efficient ways of giving good quality feedback on student work. Strategies and tips for successfully enduring cycles of evaluation will be shared and re-examined. Follow-up notes from our meeting will be synthesized into an online document available to everyone.

Using Limerick to support teaching grammar in the EFL classroom Jon Poynter (Estonia)
Grammar can often be perceived as ‘boring’ or a ‘chore’ for the ESL student. So, why not try to inject a little fun into your grammar classes? In this presentation I aim to show some ways in which might help achieve this, by using the concept of Limerick poetry as a support mechanism. As part of the presentation, delegates will be encouraged to take an active part in the process.

March 18

Internet-Based Tools and Resources for (T)EFL Gergo Santha (Hungary)
Come and develop yourself as a teacher, teacher trainer, or learner to be an even more experienced surfer of the internet. In this session we will explore and discuss a colorful range of internet-based tools and a wealth of online resources that may be of interest for teachers, teacher trainers, and learners of English alike.

How to become a (more) successful language learner? Ene Peterson (Estonia)
Learning a foreign language comes "naturally" for some students, with great difficulty for others. At tertiary level students are expected to be independent and self-motivated. But is it always like that? I doubt. How to help students discover their personal resources and identify their skills_ How to combine aspects of online and face-to-face instruction? Maybe you'll find some activities useful for your students too; come and see for yourself.

Kosovo in Transition: The Perspective of youth Kirsten Mashinter (Kosovo)
As Kosovo emerges from the post-conflict emergency phase it has been in since 1999, a generation is coming of age. In Prizren, a small city in southern Kosovo, the schools these students attend are segregated. For this project, a multiethnic group of teenage English language learners were tasked with a photography/writing assignment that culminates with an exhibition in a local gallery space. This presentation will examine this project.

Restricted collocations in ESP of Engineering: Friends and false friends of Estonian students Terje Keldoja and Kaarin Raud (Estonia)
Aiming to be of more systematic help to Estonian students of engineering, I argue for identifying the English-Estonian congruent/noncongruent opposition of respective subject-specific collocations.The pilot translation test revealed a statistically significant divergence in students’ sense of salience for the Estonian counterparts of collocations with high/low. For instance, for the noun phrase soil of low bearing capacity, 19 out of 36 freshmen provided the literal madala kandevõimega pinnas, while 16 students opted for the acceptable väikese kandevõimega pinnas and 1 produced nõrga kandevõimega pinnas, which is an adopted variation
Supervising student research Piret Kärtner (Estonia)
Academic teaching and learning is research- based. Both university and secondary students get involved in doing research during their studies. English Language Olympiad is one of the many contests where students have to present research papers. In universities students write seminar papers, BA, MA and PhD theses. Just the same way teachers and lecturers have to act as supervisors to their students. The session is discussing the main aspects of the supervision procedure and the roles of students and supervisors on the different stages of the process.

Section 3 ICT in Language Teaching

Finding the Literacy Level of Students Jennifer Holder (Hungary)
Teachers are often presented with mixed ability groups or have the task of grouping students appropriately to ease instruction. This workshop will provide participants with hands on tools to assess students skills across the Literacy Domain. Some of the techniques to be discussed will be Running Record, Word Their Way, Picture Retells, and Writing rubrics. Participants will see how their results then can be used to drive instruction.

Using ICT for Language Learning Sergei Jegorov (Estonia)
One of “bottlenecks” in language teaching is a lack of practice. Fortunately, the latest developments in ICT enable us to cater to the needs of mixed-ability students. I will concentrate on one particular practice and teaching tool available at This system enables an English teacher to create his/her own “virtual classroom,” i.e., his/her own space. I will give step-by-step explanation on how to: start a virtual classroom, use a variety of interactive grammar quizzes, integrate web links, and provide writing and listening practice.

Beyond Word and PowerPoint Jennifer Holder/Matthew Smith (Hungary)
Technology in the classroom is increasing the learning opportunities for students. Many instructors are using Word and Powerpoint for simple presentations and documents but both have greater potential. Participants will be given the steps to practice and create Multiple Choice documents on their computers, Uses of Read and Write Aloud Programs, and how to use Powerpoint to create games and Audio/Visual projects.

Additional Conference Presentations

Author’s Self-Reference in Academic Texts in Russian and English Vjatšeslav Konovalov (Estonia)

Benefits of Experiential Learning for English Language and Literary Studies on the Example of “Oleanna” by David Mamet Nina Raud & Anna Golubeva (Estonia)

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