Tuesday 30 October
Wednesday 31 October
Thursday 1 November
Friday 2 November
Focus on vocabulary in speaking in English for Academic Purposes · Averil Coxhead
In this talk, we will look at three studies of spoken academic English and how these pieces of research might inform our teaching, approaches to learning, and how we work with materials in classes. The first study focuses on teacher talk in secondary classrooms. The second study looks into spoken English in university tutorials, laboratory sessions and lectures. The final study resulted in the Spoken Academic Word List (Dang, Coxhead & Webb, 2017).
Extending Critical Thinking Past the Text: Strategies for creating supplemental printouts that focus on students’ needs · James Dunn
There are some excellent options available when it comes to English language learning textbooks, but no one textbook will perfectly fit every class. This presentation will look at how to deconstruct units of a course book with an eye on pushing students into the higher order thinking skills and supplementing the information covered to support a more CLIL type of curriculum. This is achieved by viewing a unit among two interconnected dimensions, the knowledge dimension and the cognitive dimension, in which gaps in higher order thinking or critical thinking skills in a unit can be identified. Once identified, the areas of information supporting the students’ needs and or interests can be integrated into the classroom with original supplemental printouts. Attendees will leave with ideas to help maximize the CLIL and Critical Thinking potential of any classroom for a student experience that better matches their needs.
An intentional approach to syllabus design for EAP courses · Rhonda Petree
Do your assignments and tasks align with your course learning objectives? Does your syllabus have a balance of formative and summative assessments? Have you built in routine homework assignments and quizzes into your course?
In this presentation, I will provide tools for planning a course and designing a syllabus that will illustrate your teaching beliefs and motivate your students. I will share suggestions for aligning learning outcomes with evaluation and assessment tools, creating routines and creativity, including formal/informal and formative/ summative assessment measures, and marking and grading. Let’s make our syllabi meaningful and inspiring!
Teaching HOT (Higher Order Thinking)
Reading skills: teaching summarising more effectively with two strategies · Gaby Lawson
The aim of this presentation is to help teachers improve learning outcomes in summarising skills with any syllabus materials for EAP/IELTS learners ranging from B1 to C1 level (IELTS 5.0-IELTS 7.5 level) through the use of 2 simple graphic organisers/strategies.
PEE "Point Evidence Example" and KWL “What I know, What I want to know, What I learned” tables can be used with any syllabus text for scaffolding summarising, as well KWL can be used to scaffold ‘reading for a purpose’ skills and research skills.
The key take-aways are: 1. EAP students need to build a range of strategies for managing reading complex academic texts. 2. PEE and KWL graphic organisers are simple enough to use successfully with intermediate students or higher, and they are easy to apply to existing syllabus materials on your course. 3. Having these strategies in your 'teacher toolkit' will give your reading skills lessons a clear HOT skills learning outcome.
Plagiarism and academic literacy: What EAP teachers need to know · Diane Pecorari
Plagiarism presents a paradox: academic institutions devote increasing resources to preventing and detecting it, and yet these efforts do not appear to have resulted in a decrease in plagiarism. Research in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) has suggested one explanation for this: avoiding plagiarism requires very strong academic literacy skills. This session focuses on the skills students need to write conventionally, meet expectations, and therefore avoid accusations
Using active listening skills to improve listening comprehension in expository discussions · Melissa Oldroyd
ESL learners find it challenging to engage well in opinion-based discussion practice, both with what is said and with each other. Teachers generally provide students with a communication ‘toolbox’ of various speaking functions needed to participate in discussions – giving an opinion, disagreeing politely, asking for clarification and so on – but the uptake tends to be disappointing. Students express an opinion but they do not always listen to each other or respond relevantly, and communication is inauthentic.
It is apparent that opportunities for discussion practice and ‘telling’ students what to do is not enough. But how do you teach students to communicate more authentically? This talk will introduce the findings of my 2017 action research project applying active listening skills, a communication technique often used in counselling and conflict resolution, in classroom discussions and the positive outcomes for students in terms of motivation, confidence and quality of communication. The audience will be shown use of the six sub-skills of active listening - showing interest and building empathy through body language and back-channelling, echoing, clarifying, paraphrasing, commenting and questioning - with fun hands-on activities they can apply in their own contexts helping to transform classroom discussions into more real, lively, enjoyable conversations in the L2.
How to help students develop strategies for giving more effective presentations · Rachel Robinson
Many students focus on developing their reading and writing skills with the expectation that these alone will lead to success in their academic studies, but giving an academic presentation is also a key skill not to be ignored. However, students asked to present as part of their course assessment often believe that as long as they can speak English ‘well’, they will be able to deliver a successful oral presentation. In fact, an impactful, polished presentation will require careful content selection, organisation and of course, practice. This talk will highlight some of the challenges faced by students when presenting in an academic context and puts forward strategies to help equip them with the skills for such a task.
Academic Writing – the challenges and solutions · Peter Lucantoni
Moving from general English to academic English writing can present new challenges for learners, and indeed for their teachers. This talk considers the differences between academic and non-academic writing skills, and highlights what aspects of the former create the obstacles for learners. We will discuss common approaches to teaching and developing writing skills, and suggest how we can support learners to become more confident and successful writers of academic English.
Associate Professor Averil Coxhead teaches undergradate and postgraduate courses in TESOL and Applied Linguistics in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand. She is the author of Vocabulary and ESP research (2018, Routledge), the co-author of Academic Vocabulary for Middle School Students: Research-Based Lists and Strategies for Key Content Areas (2015, Brookes), and developed the Academic Word List (Coxhead, 2000).
James Dunn is a Junior Associate Professor at Tokai University and the Coordinator of the Japanese Association for Language Teaching’s Critical Thinking Special Interest Group. His research interests include Critical Thinking skills’ impact on student brain function during English learning as measured by EEG. His educational goals are to help students understand that they are capable of more than they might think and to expand their cultural competence with critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, Rhonda Petree was U.S. Fulbright Scholar and visiting lecturer in the Division of Foreign Languages at Narva College of the University of Tartu in Estonia. For seven years she was the founding director of an academic English language program at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, U.S.A. Prior to that, she taught adult immigrants and refugees in St. Paul, Minnesota. She earned secondary school licensure in Wisconsin and Minnesota, U.S.A. where she taught in elementary, middle, and high schools. She began her English language teaching career 20 years ago when she was a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Aktobe, Kazakhstan. She is a frequent presenter at professional conferences and an active member of many professional organizations.
She holds an MA in English as a Second Language from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a BA in Political Science and History with certificates in European and Global Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Gaby Lawson has officially now been teaching for 20 years having completed her CELTA in 1997 and Dip Ed in 1998. After working as an Aussie supply teacher in the UK for 5 years, she taught TEFL in Canada, the UK and Italy. Starting out her career as a History teacher, she quickly fell in love with the fascinating problem of teaching and learning languages. During her time in the UK, she taught in many summer schools and later became the Director of Studies of a language school in Bristol for two and a half years. She has been working at Monash College in Melbourne since 2008 and during this time has been: an IELTS examiner, IELTS teacher, EAP teacher, assessment writer, curriculum developer and most recently Teacher Developer. She loves teaching English – currently has an enthusiasm for Growth Mindset and cognitive load theory. The best part of the job helping both students and teachers to get the best out of themselves.
Diane Pecorari is Professor of English and Head of Department at City University of Hong Kong. Her research investigates aspects of English for academic purposes and second-language writing, (including source use and plagiarism), and the widespread and growing phenomenon of English medium instruction.
She has designed and taught professional skills development courses for university teachers addressing questions such as how to work against plagiarism, how to promote students' writing skills and how to teach effectively in the English-medium classroom.
Her publications include Teaching to Avoid Plagiarism (Open University Press) and Student Plagiarism in Higher Education (Society for Research into Higher Education & Routledge; with Philip Shaw).
Melissa Oldroyd has worked in language education for almost 20 years. Her professional career bridges between ESL and business. She has taught in Australia and overseas, in Spain, Japan and China in a range of settings from small private schools to vocational colleges and universities teaching English for Business and Global Communication. She presently works with international students on pathways to graduate degrees in various fields at Monash University as well as with postgraduates preparing to enter the Australian workplace.
Rachel Robinson teaches at the University of Leeds in the UK and leads the Academic Study Skills module for Foundation Year students who are preparing for their undergraduate degree courses. She previously taught English in Spain before relocating to Japan where she worked at the British Council teaching a range of courses including preparation classes for the Cambridge Suite of Exams and IELTS. She was also an examiner and examiner trainer for both the Cambridge English Exams and IELTS. After working in several Japanese universities teaching academic reading, writing, seminar and presentation skills, she returned to the UK to take up her current post. Her interests include developing students’ presentation skills, and the use of technology in EAP.
Peter Lucantoni has been teaching English, training teachers, and writing teaching and learning materials for nearly 40 years, and has an MA TESOL from the University of Edinburgh. He has lived and worked outside the UK since 1986, in Europe and the Middle East, and is now based in Cyprus. Peter is Senior Teacher Training Consultant for Cambridge University Press, and is the author and co-author of several popular coursebooks for students, including Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language, and Introduction to English as a Second Language, both published by Cambridge University Press. Peter regularly presents at conferences and trains teachers internationally, both in the public and private sectors, at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
For any questions surrounding the conference please email
Our Better Learning conference attendance is by invite only.
You should now have all your flight information, if this is not the case, then please do get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
All of our guests will be greeted at the airport, you should receive details via email over your airport transfers two weeks before the conference start date.
Once exiting arrivals at your London airport (after clearing immigration and collecting luggage) a representative will be waiting to collect you, they will be easily identifiable, as they will have one of our Better Learning Conference and Cambridge University Press signs, they will then drive you straight to Churchill College in Cambridge.
Download our immigration letter here.
All of our guests are staying at the Churchill College and this is where the conference is hosted.
Is one of the prettiest Cambridge University Colleges and set in spacious wooded grounds, just outside of the Cambridge city centre. There are local shops, restaurants and cafes close by for convenience.
During your spare time, outside of the conference programme, you may wish to explore the historic city centre and we will be happy to advise the best ways of doing this.
Look at the map ›
All of our guests are invited to attend our formal dinner at Churchill College. Dinner will be served at 19:00.
Dress code is smart/formal, but no need for black tie!
This will be a free evening for guests to spend as they wish
After lunch we have arranged to take our guests on a guided punting tour on the river Cam, to see the famous sights of Cambridge. There will also be some free time for guests to explore Cambridge themselves too (please note comfortable shoes are advised).
Monday 25th June
Tuesday 26th June