Live streamed from around the world on our three ‘stages’, expert speakers will look to answer the big questions about the future of teaching and learning in schools globally. Students are becoming more and more aware of their social responsibility and will come to you with their questions and concerns. This virtual festival is happening to help you with your answers.
24 – 26 November 2020
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What does a positive future look like for English language teaching beyond 2020? To work this out, we need a positive mindset, a collaborative atmosphere and a space for voices to be heard. Much like a festival, in fact…
See the programme
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Explore the map below and browse the programme to decide which talks you want to watch!
Students know they will play a pivotal role in the future – that’s a lot of weight on their shoulders! They have questions, but do we have answers that are motivational and empowering? Our headliners will stand up and address the global issues that are at the front of our minds today, because of their impact on tomorrow.
BIG IDEAS STAGE
As well as the distant future, let’s focus on the very near future. From the point at which you log off from this stage, in fact! These practical sessions will equip you with activities and ideas that you can implement instantly in your teaching.
Teacher takeaways stage
Teaching and learning contexts are changing. Technology has played a significant role in our transition to an online school environment this year and will help us shape the schools of the future. Click your way to this stage for an exploration of digital tools and their place in teaching and learning for today’s teachers and students.
Digital futures stage
Check out the programme
Here are some of the speakers joining us at the festival
See the full line-up
Get your Own
For each session you attend, you will receive a certificate to demonstrate your professional development. Don’t worry if you miss the certificate link during the session – you’ll receive it in an email after the event as well.
The day after sessions have taken place, they’ll be on a Global Schools Festival YouTube playlist. So you can revisit those key points and remind yourself of anything that’s escaped your brain since the session!
Harry Kuchah Kuchah
All-access pass at the ready? Come on in to our virtual retreat! This is where you’ll find the festival extras, like music, activities and food. Look around at your leisure, in between the live sessions.
Schools can play a key role in saving the planet, through equipping and inspiring young people to shape a sustainable future for society, and through projects and practices that contribute to addressing climate change and restoring nature. In this session you’ll be introduced to the principles behind a ‘whole school approach’ to sustainability, and gain some inspiration and key tools to get started.
Education for a sustainable planet
• Matt Larsen-Daw
All times quoted below for the sessions are UK time (GMT)
Tuesday 24 November 2020
UK time (GMT)
Big Ideas stage
Over the past few months, teachers have been pulled in many different directions – we are parents, family members, citizens, but also leaders, educators and language professionals who have demonstrated a unique display of resilience during these testing times. During this session we will share some of the strategies and best practice used by teachers as we adapted to the new reality. We will also consider techniques to support the wellbeing of our learners, especially ahead of tests and exams.
Teacher Takeaways Stage
Resilience: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON • Rachel Jeffries and George Heritage
Love it or hate it, the mobile phone is the most important object in the majority of our students’ lives. Yet this connection, and its ability to motivate and engage our students, is relatively untapped in class, and this includes when preparing for exams. In this highly practical session, Greg Wagstaff demonstrates his five favourite activities using everyday features on a phone, and also touches on other themes around the use of mobile phones in class.
Digital Futures Stage
Using mobile phones for exam preparation • Greg Wagstaff
Find out more about how mediums including film, photography, writing and the internet can be used for environmental education in this session with filmmaker and adventurer, Jon Bowermaster. Jon will share his experiences on how he has travelled the world to film and create a broad range of educational content, including tips on how teachers can effectively introduce multi-media storytelling to the classroom.
Lights, camera, action – learning to use multi-media in environmental storytelling • Jon Bowermaster
As educators, we have a responsibility to show children the great strides that have been taken in sustainable practices and that they can be part of the positive changes to the world we live in. So, how can we do this effectively and in a way that promotes confidence and hope among our young learners, and how can we integrate this in English language teaching? In this session I will present three practical suggestions for how to weave topics of sustainability into your English classroom, including in everyday routines, by making projects more meaningful, and using stories to promote awareness and discussion of the relevant topics of today.
3 ways to bring sustainability into the primary classroom • Delia Kidd
The way we ask questions, the way we push and encourage our learners, the way we correct mistakes. All these techniques influence the willingness of our young learners to ‘have a go’, ‘to keep trying’, ‘to see what happens if…’. In this reflective webinar we consider how well what we do in the classroom prepares our younger learners for a fast-changing, uncertain future, a future which requires us all to be adaptable and think creatively.
Teaching for creativity with young learners • Paul Drury
In this session, super model and activist, Arizona Muse, will speak about the importance and power of young people taking a stand and speaking up on issues of sustainability and challenging brands and businesses to do more. Teachers will be informed of key climate issues which they can share with their students and will be provided with ways in which they can inspire students within the classroom to take action and have a voice.
Big Ideas Stage
Taking a stand; inspiring students to take action • Arizona Muse
There is plenty of evidence that extensive reading (ER) has benefits beyond just developing fluent reading skills. However, relatively few schools implement Extensive Reading (ER) programmes. This talk will briefly summarize the benefits of ER before suggesting practical ways in which learners can be encouraged to engage more with reading programmes and therefore gain the rich rewards that reading offers.
8 ways to make reading happen • Peter Watkins
In his book There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years, Mike Berners-Lee outlines practical and inspiring ideas for what we can all do to help humanity thrive on this – our only – planet. The school children ‘strikes’ – led by Greta Thunberg – show that these issues are on the minds of many school children. I would like to share some ideas with teachers and educators on how to impart to students (and their parents!) some good practices on how we can all live more in harmony with a healthy Earth.
There is no Planet B? What can I do? • Mike Berners-Lee
From synchronous to asynchronous, from face to face to online. The categories of space and time look different in today’s ELT classroom. During this talk we’ll present practical activities to support successful teaching and learning, adopting a variety of methodologies and approaches: from collaborative learning and debate to the flipped classroom and more!
Managing time and space effectively in the 2021 ELT classroom • Fabio Galvanini and Sarah Ellis
Digital pedagogy allows for fruitful and beneficial learning experiences for all age groups. Nonetheless, there is still some disbelief about whether young children should be exposed to digital technologies and what repercussions this exposure may have down the line. Is digital pedagogy necessary or a necessary evil when it comes to teaching children? This plenary session will focus on research conducted within the field of digital pedagogy for Very Young Learners (VYLs) and Young Learners (YLs) in connection to children’s developmental needs across the stages. The talk will provide ample information and illustrations of the value of digital pedagogy in pre-primary and primary ELT, and present age-appropriate recommendations for learning by using a variety of digital tools and content. The talk will offer practitioners, material developers and course designers evidence that will help them make informed decisions when creating or choosing learning materials of a digital nature, and inspire participants to explore a digital approach that will benefit children through their journey of language learning.
How to navigate the kaleidoscope of digital pedagogy in pre-primary and primary ELT • Christina Giannikas
Join West End actor and star of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Noah Thomas, as he shares his top confidence and performance tips which teachers can apply within the classroom. Noah will delve into his experiences of working in the West End and highlight helpful advice that can be passed onto students to encourage and motivate them to present and communicate effectively and with confidence.
The world’s a stage – presenting confidently within the classroom • Noah Thomas
People with strong oracy skills are excellent communicators. They listen actively and are successful facilitators and collaborators. They are confident speakers who connect with their audience and are good at persuading others. They are natural leaders! Given the importance of being an effective communicator in today’s world, oracy should be considered an essential skill to be developed in primary education. Yet, as a teacher, you may wonder how students just learning how to speak English can focus on oracy. With your tight schedule and established syllabus, you may also question whether you have time to integrate a new approach. In this presentation, Kimberley will offer a practical, step-by-step strategy to help you implement oracy skill-building into your primary ELT classes as part of regular speaking practice. Surprisingly, it’s neither complicated nor time-consuming - and with consistent oracy work, you and your students will be pleasantly surprised by the results!
How to integrate oracy in your primary ELT classroom • Kimberley Silver
Wednesday 25 November 2020
When we talk about a broader education and ‘going beyond exams’ what do we mean? Are 21st century skills all about understanding and using technology in new ways? Ed Fidoe, co-founder of London’s School 21, argues that there are some habits and skills which have helped humans succeed for centuries, qualities like speaking skills (oracy), craftsmanship and making connections between subjects. However, these ‘superpowers’ are not always exploited in school or rewarded by exams. He will give examples of how School 21 has built these skills into the curriculum, the successes and failures, and will share ideas of how to do this while also teaching everything else!
The superpowers we can teach in schools • Ed Fidoe
In further education and at work the rate of change for what we need to know and be able to do is accelerating all the time. This means educators of all stripes need to focus not only on imparting subject knowledge but also on developing their students’ learning skills more generally, to enable them to become better and more independent learners overall. This session will look at how this can be done in the English language classroom, with a focus on easy, practical activities that can be done during lessons with teens.
Learning to learn for the future – promoting learner autonomy in teenagers • Dan Vincent
Classroom assessment is an essential tool for teachers to monitor young learners’ progress. It can also be very effective in driving learning and motivating young students by making learning visible for them. However, any assessment needs to be carefully considered so that it takes account of the variation in young learners’ social, emotional and cognitive maturity and nourishes, rather than damages, their self-esteem. In this session we will look at practical examples of the variety of ways in which we can assess young learners in the classroom and how we can involve learners and use those assessments to progress learning.
Practical tips for assessing young learners in the classroom • Elaine Boyd
In this session, Clare Brook, CEO of the Blue Marine Foundation and Cindy Forde, Founder of Planetari, will be sharing their knowledge and offering valuable information and tips for how to communicate about ocean-specific environmental issues. During the session, Clare and Cindy will also share practical advice for how teachers can approach these issues within the classroom in a way that younger children can understand, and for how both the teachers and children can take positive action to make a difference.
Dive in! Approaching environmental issues within the classroom • Clare Brook and Cindy Forde
How do you effectively develop listening, reading, writing and speaking skills for B2 and C1 teenage and adult learners in the digital age? This presentation will provide attendees with some practical activities and ideas for teaching these skills in a face-to-face, blended and remote teaching environment.
Instant ideas for developing exam skills online, offline and somewhere in between • Dan Akidil
In this presentation Nick Peachey will outline the 6 key areas that teachers need to be aware of in order to transfer their teaching skills from the physical to the remote classroom. I will focus on one of the key elements - Interpersonal - and how teachers can develop their teacher presence in the remote classroom. The session will include practical tips and advice as well as some suggestions for activities that help promote a stronger interpersonal connection in the remote classroom.
Building rapport in the remote classroom • Nik Peachey
During the recent school closures, many picturebook creators have generously recorded themselves reading aloud on YouTube. These clips offer teachers engaging materials for developing children’s English, both online and face to face. Inspired by the freely downloadable e-lessons from the Picturebooks in European Primary English Language Teaching website, David Valente will share drama techniques to move beyond the book, add children’s own voices and give them creative choices. He will demonstrate TPR for retelling, inventing characters and scripts, acting out creature introductions, recreating scenes, superhero poses and doing dances. So, come along, be brave, be bold and be dramatically inspired!
Drama techniques to give 'choice' and 'voice' in primary ELT • David Valente
6 building blocks for engaging lessons: practical ideas for the future-proof language classroom • Matt Larsen-Daw
Brains are wired to be curious and to learn. But they are also wired to be distracted and to react to stress, often with negative effects on learning and health. What is going on in the brains of school students when they sit in front of us in the classroom? What prevents them learning? How do pressure, anxiety, self-consciousness, screens and brain bandwidth affect how students hear (or don't hear) our words? Nicola Morgan is an expert in teenage brains, wellbeing and all aspects of learning. In this keynote for teachers of all age groups, she outlines today's main problems and points you towards solutions.
Helping you to understand the learning brains in your classroom • Nicola Morgan
Young learners think, see and communicate in pictures. How can we as educators use this stimulus to foster and promote visual literacy in the classroom? This session will offer practical ideas for communicating ideas visually through different formats such as infographs, storyboards, art, diagrams and memes with a view to creating a more inclusive, contemporary and democratic learning environment in our classrooms.
The image generation: practical ideas for communicating visually in the classroom • Claire Medwell
Thursday 26 November 2020
Learning in a classroom in face-to-face settings or online in a digitally mediated environment can pose challenges for all learners during these pandemic times. However, there is one group of language learners, students with specific learning difficulties (SpLDs), such as dyslexia, who might find it particularly difficult to cope with the new academic, emotional and social demands of this extraordinary situation. If teachers are aware of the variety of needs of students with SpLDs and are familiar with the means and techniques of inclusive language teaching, they not only support those with SpLDs to become successful language learners but also create a pathway to higher language proficiency for all learners. In this presentation Judit Kormos will start with a brief overview of what specific learning difficulties are and what we currently know about their academic and emotional effects on learning additional languages. She will then discuss the specific needs of language learners with SpLDs in studying online and in person classrooms during the Covid-19 crisis. Judit will give detailed suggestions on how we can create a nurturing digital and face-to-face inclusive language learning environment to ensure that all learners have equal chances to learn another language effectively.
Inclusive language teaching in pandemic times • Judit Kormos
Breathing, moving and stretching the body in some ways have a huge impact on our nervous system. Come and learn some simple breathing and stretching techniques to use in your classes which can help your students (and you) release stress, anxiety and fears as well as encouraging better learning. These are very easy and totally safe techniques. Practise them during the session and then share with your students, and those around you.
How to create positive energy for learning • Yasemin Aslan
In this session, human rights activist and founder of She Writes Woman, Hauwa Ojeifo, will be sharing practical advice on how teachers can ensure gender equality and disability inclusion in the classroom. The session will equip teachers with knowledge and tips for how to introduce conversations on topics including gender equality, mental health and disabilities to the classroom and advice for how teachers can manage their classrooms to ensure equality at all times.
Gender equality and disability inclusion in the classroom • Hauwa Ojeifo
I’ve learnt so much from my mistakes I think I’ll make some more! Since its humble beginnings, where I connected alone from my kitchen to a group of children in a library in Gaza, The Hands Up Project now has over 50 active volunteers in every continent except Antarctica! From the outset we’ve embraced an approach to online learning which emphasises students making mistakes and we’ve certainly made some mistakes as teachers too. I’d like to share how these mistakes have led to success stories for our teachers and the learners we serve.
What I've learned from my online teaching mistakes • Nick Bilbrough
Storytelling is one of the oldest teaching tools we and our ancestors have used through the centuries. So how can we apply this tool to teach the skills we need for life in the 21st Century? In this talk we will look at how we can use stories to develop critical thinking, one of the key skills for 21st Century learning, and identified as one of the six key competencies in the Cambridge Life Competencies Framework. We will look at some key strategies to enhance learners’ critical thinking skills when reading or working with stories, and look at some activities for then applying and developing these same thinking strategies to other contexts.
Modern lessons from traditional tales: using stories to develop critical thinking skills • Susannah Reed
New advancements in technology mean that we’re constantly bombarded with attractive digital tools that promise to keep students engaged and motivated. But how do you cut through this digital noise and focus on what’s meaningful and truly adds value to the learning process? Are there any specific digital interactions that can help improve learning outcomes for primary and secondary learners? Join Kasia to explore these and other questions related to digital learning. We’ll examine how insights from digital pedagogy can make teaching with digital tools more meaningful and we’ll look at some tangible examples of how this can work in practice.
Digital learning for schools • Kasia Brzoska
In this session, Herbert will give you a glimpse behind the scenes in the creation of the coursebooks that make a difference to you and your primary and secondary learners. He will explain how he and his team weave together the materials in them, using findings from educational philosophy, cognitive psychology and neurobiology, to create the features that you can rely on when you’re reaching out to students, whether cognitively or emotionally or both. He will give you examples from the forthcoming new editions of Super Minds and Think to illustrate his points, and will round off the session by pointing out three mistakes to be avoided by writers so that course books can be challenging, educationally meaningful and fun.
Behind the scenes: how writers create great coursebooks • Herbert Puchta
Getting learners to be engaged and motivated in class can be really hard! Hard enough when we’re there in person, so what are we supposed to do when we’re teaching online? Or doing a mixture of both? And what is engagement anyway? In this talk we explore how learners feel about the changed classroom conditions, and what you can do to keep them willing to be engaged for now and for the future. Based on research insights, we look at 6 building blocks of what makes language learning engaging, and share practical tips for your own teaching so you will feel confident and inspired.
6 building blocks for engaging lessons: practical ideas for the future-proof language classroom • Heike Krusemann
Teachers know that every learner in their class is different. Even though every learner is using the same coursebook, teachers have methods for differentiating learning and ensuring that each child gets what they need. This talk will look at the role that technology can play in helping the teacher. Possibilities include providing different content for learners who need to focus on different areas, or using data to create a profile of each learner, that a teacher can use to supplement what they already know. We’ll look at the benefits, and the shortcomings, of what is currently available, and discuss what the future might hold.
Progress and personalisation: how can technology help the teacher? • Glyn Hughes
A large part of the response to the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic has been on how teaching can best be sustained rather than on how learning can be developed. The central argument of this presentation is that to ensure a positive future for language learning, we need to acknowledge learners as experts in learning and develop practices which put learners at the forefront of pedagogic processes. To illustrate this, I present a brief overview of my experiences of teaching and researching language pedagogy in an underprivileged context and go on to show how, through investigating learners’ perspectives on how they learn, it may be possible to develop pedagogic practices which take into account learner autonomy and agency. Drawing from examples of classroom activities and student generated resources, I demonstrate that instilling a sense of shared responsibility for teaching and learning can help students develop a sense of autonomy which is essential for their language learning in the real world. The presentation concludes with some reflections on autonomy and authenticity in language pedagogy for young learners and teenagers.
Acknowledging and developing learner expertise in language learning • Harry Kuchah Kuchah
Christina Giannikas is an education and research consultant and has worked with publishers, Ministries of Education and educational institutions worldwide.
Judit Kormos is a Professor in Second Language Acquisition In Department of English Language and Linguistics at Lancaster University.
Nicola Morgan is a multi-award-winning novelist and internationally-acclaimed authority on the learning brain and the effects of stress, screens, social media and reading for pleasure.
Nick Bilbrough is an ELT author and teacher trainer and founder of the award winning educational charity, The Hands Up Project.
Matt Larsen-Daw is Education Manager at WWF-UK.
Dr Herbert Puchta is a full time writer of coursebooks and other ELT materials and a professional teacher trainer.
Mike Berners-Lee thinks, writes, researches and consults on sustainability and responses to the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Ed Fidoe is the co-founder of School 21 and is leading the creation of a new university, The London Interdisciplinary School.
Glyn Hughes is Head of Assessment Quality and Validity at Cambridge Assessment English.
Arizona Muse is a super model and activist.
Clare Brook is CEO of the Blue Marine Foundation.
Cindy Forde is the Founder of Planetari.
Hauwa Ojeifo is the founder of She Writes Woman, and a Human Rights Activist (gender and disabilities).
Noah Thomas, West End Actor.
Kimberley Silver is a Commissioning Editor in Primary at Cambridge University Press.
Elaine Boyd is a consultant in English language assessment.
Susannah Reed is an experienced author and educational consultant, specialising in Primary ELT materials.
David Valente is the Coordinator of the IATEFL Young Learners and Teenagers Special Interest Group.
Delia Kidd is a Senior ELT Research Manager at Cambridge University Press.
Daniel Vincent has taught English for over 20 years in the UK, Japan, Ukraine and Spain.
Peter Watkins is the Course Leader for the MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the University of Portsmouth.
Dr Heike Krusemann
Dr Heike Krüsemann is an ELT research consultant and writer at Cambridge University Press.
Harry Kuchah Kuchah is Lecturer in Language education at the University of Leeds.
Rachel Jeffries is Pedagogical Lead at Cambridge University Press, Iberia.
George Heritage is Assessment Services Manager for Spain and Portugal for Cambridge Assessment English.
Paul Drury is a freelance Primary ELT specialist.
Claire Medwell is a teacher, teacher trainer and independent materials writer.
Yasemin Bhairavi Aslan is an Operations Manager in ELT as well as a yoga & breathing teacher and ecotherapist.
Nik Peachey is a teacher trainer, award winning author, instructional designer and director of PeachPublications Ltd.
Kasia Brzoska is Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Cambridge University Press.
Fabio Galvanini is a Product Manager at Cambridge Exams Publishing.
Sarah Ellis is a Senior Manager, Assessment Services, Europe for Cambridge Assessment English.
Greg Wagstaff is a teacher trainer, academic manager and EFL video content creator based in Seville, Spain.
Dan Akidil is Commissioning Editor for Cambridge Exams Publishing.
Jon Bowermaster, environmental filmmaker, writer, activist and adventurer.
The speaker presentations will not be shared with attendees, but the recordings of each session will be available on our YouTube channel so you can view the presentation slides again.
Will the speaker presentation slides be shared with us before or after they are presented?
Frequently Asked Questions
We are offering a certificate of attendance for all the ELT webinars. Look for this certificate icon on the individual programme sessions.
Which sessions do I receive a certificate for?
During each of the live sessions a link will be placed in the chat box and on the presenter slides for you to download the certificate. Don’t worry if you miss it, we will send you an email on Friday 27 September with a link to all the certificates to download.
How do I get my certificate?
As we have thousands of attendees attending our event it is impossible for us to put all your individual names on them. Don’t worry though, the PDF is editable so once you have downloaded it you can insert your own name in the area highlighted.
Why is my name not on the certificate?
All our sessions will be available to watch again on our YouTube channels:
I missed a session. How can I watch it again?
At peak times it may take around an hour for the email to come through. If it has been longer than that please check your junk mail as some of our emails, unfortunately, end up there.
I haven’t received a link to the session I registered for. What should I do?
No. The Global Schools Festival is an online event and completely free of charge.
Does attending the event cost anything?
You can choose to attend as many sessions as you like across the three days of the event. When you register you’ll be asked to choose the sessions and you’ll be sent links to access them. We really do have something for everyone, so read our programme and attend as many as you like!
Do I need to attend every session?