The next interview was with Abdoul Ka from Senegal an Partha Sarathi Misra from India. They are IATEFL scholarship winners and they talked about what they will be taking back to their home countries and how they will communicate what they have learned to their colleagues.
The next person to be interviewed was Hywel Coleman. He has been researching the use of English in eight West African countries that use French as their official language. English is typically the third language of these African children, but there is a need for them to achieve proficiency in it driven by trade, business and international peace-keeping forces.
Then Jamie Keddie was interviewed about 'videotelling' - using video clips for teacher-led storytelling in the classroom. The idea is to deconstruct a video and take a narrative from it to tell a story. Students don't see the video until they have heard the whole story, thus increasing its impact. Jamie advocates the 'say something, ask something' approach in order to keep students' attention throughout the story. There are sample lesson plans on his website, including the one he demonstrated in this interview, 'Breathing Holes'. For videotelling to work, teachers need to plan really well - preparation, visualisation, exploration, resolution.
Jeremy stayed on to interview Vicky Saumell who talked about using e-publishing to enable students to reach a wider audience than just their teacher. Students pay more attention to accuracy if they think other people will read/watch/listen to their work. This wider audience could simply be other classes in the school or it could involve having an online presence and inviting public comment. Blogging, Skype interviews and online projects could all be used.
The next interview was with Tim Phillips, Zhou Liping and Keith O'Hare who spoke about the need for more and more teachers worldwide, particularly for junior and primary schools and in the specialism of business English. The British Council is working on this in many countries. Nowhere is the need greater than in China. They were followed into the interview room by Zhang Jinxiu and Anna Searle who continued on the same topic, Anna explaining about the BC's global offering for teachers and Zhang Jinxiu talking about her experiences of ELT in China.
ELT Journal editor, Graham Hall was next. He spoke about the journal and made a call for articles. These articles should be 4000 words long and have up to fifteen references.
New IATEFL president, Carol Read, was closely followed by Carl-Johan Westring from EF Education First. Founded in Sweden in 1965, EF now has 3,500 staff in 450 schools worldwide, making it one of the biggest private language school organisations in the world. Carl spoke about EF's English Proficiency Index (EPI), a report on how the world speaks English compiled from the results of 1.7 million test takers in 54 countries. You can read more about this at www.ef.com/epi.
The final interview of the day was with Michael Connolly, an English language advisor with the British Council in India. His work focusses on teacher training, particularly the Bihar Language Initiative for Secondary Schools (BLISS) project. Bihar is one of the least developed states in India with a history of bad governance. In the last five years, however, there has been a new, progressive government that has asked the BC to help with its English programme. Together they have set up a group of 160 teacher educators, four from each district of the state. All of these trainers are Indian and have Hindi as their first language. Teachers are from low-resourced schools and communities. 80% of homes have no electricity. Many have no water. Teachers have had no training in the past. Many of them do not even really know what a teacher is. They have, however, embraced the new ideas very quickly and Michael reports that it's a very motivating project to be involved in - tough, but challenging. You can learn more about the project by watching this video: