MATSDA Conference 2017 - 10 & 11 June

MATSDA (the Materials Development Association) and the Teacher Education Department of Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Tilburg, the Netherlands warmly invite you to the MATSDA conference 2017 on Meaning-Focused Materials for Language Learning.

Enrolment and fees

Click here


Plenary speakers are a.o. Brian Tomlinson, Anne Burns and Marjolijn Verspoor.


Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts
(Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, FHK)
Zwijsenplein 1
The Netherlands

Practical Information

This conference is organised by MATSDA, in association with Fontys University of Applied Sciences

  • Programme Saturday June 10th
    Time Programme Speaker Area
    09.00-09.30IntroductionBrian TomlinsonAcademietheater
    09.30-10.30What Should Meaning-Focused Really Mean?Brian TomlinsonAcademietheater
    10.30-11.00Morning Coffee | Poster Presentations Foyer and D3.13
    11.00 -11.55Helping Learners Pay Attention to Form in Meaning Focused ActivitiesHitomi MasuharaAcademietheater
    12.00 -12.40 Parallel Presentations - Session 1
    12.45-13.25 Parallel Presentations - Session 2
    13.30-14.30Lunch | Poster PresentationsFoyer and D3.13
    14.30-15.25Square Peg, Round Hole? Developing Meaning-Focused Materials for Forms-Focused Courses in Teacher EducationMarina BouckaertAcademietheater
    15.30-16.10 Parallel Presentations - Session 3
    16.15 – 17.15From CLIL to FLILMarjolijn H. VerspoorAcademietheater

    Enjoy your evening in Tilburg!

  • Programme Sunday June 11th
    Time Programme Speaker Area
    09.00-09.55Meaning and Authenticity in Materials Development for English Language TeachingAnne BurnsAcademietheater
    10.00-10.40 Parallel Presentations - Session 1
    10.40-11.10Morning Coffee | Poster Presentations
    11.10-12.05Using Assessment to Promote LearningDaniela FasoglioAcademietheater
    12.10 -12.50 Parallel Presentations - Session 2
    13.00-14.00Lunch | Poster PresentationsFoyer and D3.13
    14.00 -14.40Parallel Presentations - Session 3
    14.45-15.25 Parallel Presentations - Session 4
    15.30-16.10Parallel Presentations - Session 5
    16.15-17.15Make Mine MeaningAlan MaleyAcademietheater
    17.15 - 17.30Closing RemarksBrian TomlinsonAcademietheater

    Thank you for attending the conference!

  • Enrolment and fees
    The following fees apply for the MATSDA conference 2017:
  • Travel to Tilburg

    Tilburg is easily accessible by car, train and air.

    There are two airports in The Netherlands with excellent connections to Tilburg:

    • Schiphol International Airport (Amsterdam) with a direct, 90-minute train connection to Tilburg. More than 150 direct flights to international destinations.
    • Eindhoven International Airport, with a direct 60-minute bus connection to Tilburg. Direct flights from over 50 destinations. For more information about the airport:

    Public transport

    Please visit to plan your trip by public transport, or for more information about travelling by train.

    Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts

    zwijsenplein 1, Tilburg

    Locatiekaart op adres: zwijsenplein 1, Tilburg

  • Accommodation
    Below is a list of suggested hotels and B&Bs in Tilburg:


    Mercure Hotel Tilburg

    Achter de Heuvel 3

    5038 CW Tilburg

    Bastion Hotel Tilburg

    Kempenbaan 2

    5018 TK Tilburg

    Ibis Hotel Tilburg

    Dr. Hub Van Doorneweg 105
    5026 RB TILBURG

    City Hotel Tilburg

    Heuvelring 128

    5038 CL Tilburg

    De Postelse Hoeve

    Dr. Deelenlaan 10
    5042 AD Tilburg

    Auberge du Bonheur

    Bredaseweg 441

    5036 NA TILBURG

    Bed and Breakfasts/ Apartments

    Het Wapen van Tilburg

    Spoorlaan 362

    5038 CD Tilburg

    B and B 013

    Tivolistraat 22

    5017 HP Tilburg

    B and B Loft 013

    Burgerijpad 6

    5038 EH  Tilburg

    Het Ketelhuis

    Ververstraat 2

    5038 VH Tilburg

    B and B Pino’s

    Stationsstraat 8

    5038 ED Tilburg

    Apartment Onze Lieve Vrouwe

    Lieve Vrouweplein 11A

    5038 TS Tilburg

  • June 10th - Plenary Presentations

    What Should Meaning-Focused Really Mean?

    Brian Tomlinson

    Usually when we speak or write, what we say is intended to communicate meaning. And when we read or listen, our intention is to understand meaning. But what does meaning mean?

    I’m claiming that the meaning of an utterance includes:

    • the denotation of the utterance (i.e. what it refers to)
    • the connotation of the utterance (i.e. the attitude(s) it implies)
    • the intention of the utterance (i.e. what it is intended to achieve)
    • the effect of the utterance (i.e. what effect it achieves)

    In my presentation I’m going to claim that many supposedly meaning-focused activities in many commercial materials focus on denotive meaning and that inadequate attention to connotive meaning, to communicative intent and to communicative effect can lead to apparently successful language learners being unprepared for the reality of post-course communication in the target language. I’ll be analysing narrowly ‘meaning-focused’ coursebook activities and demonstrating ways in which they can be adapted into meaning-focused activities which provide the learners with a richer experience of communication. I’ll also be demonstrating how materials can be prepared which initially engage learners in all four aspects of meaning outlined above before guiding them to make discoveries about what meaning was achieved in the initial activities and how it could have been achieved more effectively.

    Helping Learners Pay Attention to Form in Meaning Focused Activities

    Hitomi Masuhara

    SLA theorists, such have Rod Ellis, Michael Long and Peter Skeehan, have demonstrated that paying attention to form whilst engaged in meaning focused activities can facilitate language acquisition. Yet most commercially published materials continue to feature activities in which the learners are asked to focus on predetermined forms presented in decontextualized texts, practised in isolation and ‘produced’ with no communicative intent.

    In my presentation I aim to demonstrate and discuss how learners can be helped to pay attention to salient features of the language whilst and after being engaged in meaning focused activities.

    Square Peg, Round Hole? Developing Meaning-Focused Materials for Forms-Focused Courses in Teacher Education

    Marina Bouckaert

    There is a question which has been on my mind since I started working in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher education: how can I stimulate the development of meaning-focused materials and meaning-focused lessons by student teachers in pre-service courses which explicitly focus on form? I would like to explore this question by looking, on the one hand, at the historic developments in EFL teaching and learning in the Netherlands which have resulted in a general pedagogy that still seems to be very much focused on form (Kwakernaak, 2014) – with exceptions, of course. On the other hand, I would like to discuss some of the potential ways in which teacher educators and those involved in the professional development of EFL teachers can “teach what they preach”, as is commonly expected of them (Lunenberg et al., 2007; Swennen et al., 2008; Murray, 2009). Concrete examples will be shown and discussed in light of relevant theory underpinning second language acquisition and communicative language teaching, as well as the practicalities of the curriculum and everyday school/college life. Conference participants will be challenged to consider whether the square peg (i.e. meaning-focused materials) can indeed be made to fit a round hole (i.e. form-focused courses).

    From CLIL to FLIL

    Marjolijn Verspoor

    As second language teachers, we often overlook the great potential of movies in language learning. If the goal is to teach learners to be able to communicate in the target language, what better way than to eavesdrop on real target language speakers in an exciting and engaging context? However, just showing a movie may not be the way to go. In this talk I will explain how language and language acquisition should be viewed from a dynamic usage based (DUB) approach (we need to focus on the language as a whole and repeat often) and what that entails  in teaching (we need real meaningful content to work with). I will argue that we need an approach like Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) to film, which results in Film Language Integrated Learning (FLIL). The talk will end with some very practical FLIL ideas that can be implemented for any foreign language and different levels of proficiency.

  • June 11th - Plenary Presentations

    Meaning and Authenticity in Materials Development for English Language Teaching

    Anne Burns

    A long-standing debate in English language teaching has been the need to provide students with materials that are meaning-focused and authentic. However, is it the case that these two concepts are interchangeable or do materials developers need to balance moves towards authenticity with students’ ability to create meaning? In this talk I will consider the relationships between these two concepts from the point of view of teaching the skills of speaking and listening. My talk will be illustrated by examples of meaning-focused materials that have been developed by teachers involved in action research projects to help students expand their abilities to handle authentic text.

    Using Assessment to Promote Learning

    Daniela Fasoglio

    Assessment, and its crucial role in the integral language curriculum, should take a strategic place in language teacher training programmes. Assessment does not limit to traditional tests, but includes a wide variety of methods and tools to evaluate, measure, and document learning. Assessment should not just be used for the purposes of accountability, but and above all to support and enhance learning as the bridge between teaching and learning.

    Formative assessment encompasses all those activities undertaken during learning by teachers, and/or by students and their peers, which provide evidence of students' achievements. Such evidence can be interpreted and used as feedback to modify teaching and learning activities, in order to better meet students' learning needs and to improve both teaching and learning. Practice in a classroom is formative to the extent that evidence about student achievement is elicited, interpreted, and used by teachers, learners, or their peers, to make decisions about the next steps in instruction (adjusted from Black &Wiliam, 1998: 7, and Black & Wiliam, 2009).

    In this short talk I will share with you some practical examples of language activities designed to implement formative assessment in the EFL classroom.

    Make Mine Meaning

    Alan Maley

    It strikes me as peculiar that after so many years of ELT, we still need to talk about the centrality of meaning.   What else is there?  But it is also true that we have often contrived to make language learning tedious and leached of meaning.  In this talk I shall focus on four aspects of meaning/meaningfulness:  a) Meaningful texts and inputs, b) Meaningful processes, c) Meaningful outcomes and d) Meaningful interaction.

    a) will suggest criteria for text selection. Apart from more aesthetic inputs, we need to extend the range of geographical choice and of text-types we use.

    b) will discuss current and possible future processes to engage students. I will suggest that we need to extend the range of processes to include more creativity and critical thinking.

    c) considers what kinds of outcomes might engage students more meaningfully with the material being learned. One way is to give them greater choice and ownership of outcomes, and to focus on more psycho-social factors.

    d) discusses the quality of the interaction between teacher and students and among participants. This is perhaps the most important of all, and is currently rather poorly catered for in training programmes.

  • June 10th - Parallel Presentations - Session 1

    Reading Picture Books - A Resource for Meaning-Focused Language Learning Opportunities

    Julia Reckermann (Dortmund)

    In this presentation I would like to summarise prior research on picture books in EFL learning and briefly provide an overview of the present use of such books in class. In a next step I will give an overview of my reading study and present central results of it, focusing on the learners’ reading comprehension of picture books. I would then elaborate on the potential of focusing on meaning when working with authentic texts in EFL learning, centering on a pre-, while- and post-reading task cycle. This will also include an explanation of why meaning-focussed reading should begin in the primary school and to what extent picture books can provide a dual-focus on language as well as content. Finally, implications for future teaching will be given, also containing an outlook on reading at secondary school level.

    LGBTIQ Inclusion in English Teaching

    Laila El-Metoui (LGBT Education Consultant & Teacher Educator)

    If learners are not in an environment where they feel free to talk about themselves -  their identities and personal lives - then there is a strong likelihood it could hinder their language acquisition. The issue is particularly relevant to LGBTIQ English ESOL/EFL students whose classmates may have strong homophobic views linked to cultures, religions or personal beliefs.

    I would like to explore strategies to foster a positive and inclusive environment conducive to language acquisition and development based on my experience of not only designing resources but managing LGBTIQ inclusion projects in adult and further education. In my presentation I will endeavour to dispel some of the myths, identify current practices and offer strategies to challenge discrimination and prejudice.

    Stories of Resilience

    Barbara Roosken (Fontys Lerarenopleiding Tilburg)

    This workshop will bring together stories novice teachers tell about their first days as an EFL teacher. The aim of my research was to explore the strategies that novices have when responding effectively to challenging behaviour in the EFL classroom. A qualitative methodology was therefore deemed appropriate since it emphasizes novices’ understanding of their personal experiences. The data collection, analysis and discussion were organised into twelve cases. A thematic data analysis was used (Guest et al., 2012; Braun & Clarke, 2013) with the help of ATLAS.ti 7 software.

    The workshop consists of the following activities:

    Task 1: Discuss briefly with your partner the critical incidents you came across in the past 6 months?

    Task 2: What are the coping strategies that contribute to changes in your resilience?

    The findings show that the ECTs were often expected to take on the full range of teaching tasks in isolation with little support to cope with all the demands of their new role. Although the development of resilience was different for every ECT, participants also shared common strategies that contributed to development of resilience such as emotional regulation, seeking renewal, goal setting and help seeking when overcoming the setbacks they experienced. By identifying strategies that impact on resilience, this research has strengthened the guidelines on which induction programmes at Teacher Education Colleges can be made. It is suggested that the critical incidents approach designed to support ECTs in building stories about their teaching experiences can be used as a teaching methodology for trainee teachers at Teaching Education Colleges.

  • June 10th - Parallel Presentations - Session 2

    CLIL: Teaching History through English to Teenagers

    Irina Vilch

    CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) can be a highly motivating, cognitively engaging, and rewarding approach both for students and for teachers of English. This is a different way of learning, where English and various subjects are intertwined, thus making English a medium for instruction. CLIL methodology develops higher-order skills by involving learners in activities in which they have to apply these skills (such as creative thinking, critical evaluation, or hypothesizing, etc).

    During this presentation I will share my experience and my findings about materials development and adaptation for teaching History through English to a group of Russian teenagers (12-14 years old). I will speak about selecting and developing materials for a CLIL curriculum, the best ways of using authentic texts and videos, applying Task-Based Learning approaches and project work in the classroom. Hopefully, this practical guidance on how to make CLIL a reality will serve as a springboard to enable you to design your own CLIL materials and expand your repertoire of classroom techniques.

    The Learner Knows Best. Involving Secondary Students in Topic and Materials Selection for Meaningful Classroom Activities

    Isabella Seeger (University of Muenster)

    Deciding what topics and materials are meaningful for their students in the sense of the CEFR can be a complex challenge for teachers and materials designers. Firstly, educators' pedagogic aims and their personal and professional experiences very often differ from the students' interests, life experiences and (future) professional needs. Secondly, curricular demands for conformity to educational standards may conflict with students' desires to conform to peer group values. Thirdly, adult notions of classroom suitability concerning language and content of authentic materials are often virtually mocked by teenagers' constant real-life experience with "unsuitable" materials. However, Motivation theory and research into Learner Autonomy point to ways of how this divide between two worlds might be bridged, in particular with regard to the different secondary school types in Germany. This paper therefore postulates that learners' influence on the selection of topics and materials and their (semi-)autonomous exploration according to personal interest promote meaningful language production and classroom interaction. Presenting examples from classroom practice, this paper points out ways of involving learners in the selection of materials such as song, literature and film with the aim of making learning activities more meaningful to them and more gratifying to the teacher.

    Language Diversity and Language Assessment

    Claudia Saraceni (University of Bedfordshire)

    Meaning-focused language learning is often considered effective in the language classroom, relevant to learners’ needs and beneficial for learning, as it is thought to be interactive, context-driven and learner-centred. It is also very often associated with communicative language use in the classroom, and its well celebrated characteristics and purposes. However, in the relevant literature the principles and practices of meaning-focused language learning and teaching are frequently defined in mutually exclusive terms, often in contrast with form-focused language teaching and learning. The general consensus on the potential value of meaning-focused approaches, however, doesn’t seem to be reflected in a large proportion of language assessment practices. These are largely influenced and often determined by a rather standardised, forms-focused controlled language practice, commonly present in widely used, internationally recognised test papers. In turns, this type of language assessment also tends to inform the practice of language teaching in the classroom as well as in the materials. In doing so, it seems to feed and justify its own existence in a kind of cyclical process, which seems to lie beyond language pedagogical principles.

    In this presentation, we will discuss and explore ways of making language assessment subordinate to language learning. This will be considered with the aim of moving away from the divergent, binary definition of concepts related to meaning-focused and form-focused language teaching, and of promoting the diverse nature of language use through a more realistic, authentic, learner-centred and localised approach to language assessment.

  • June 10th - Parallel Presentations - Session 3

    Seeding Task-Based Interactive English Second Language Learning through Meaning-Focused Materials at Post-Graduate Level

    Junia Ngoepe (University of Limpopo, South Africa)

    Lectures should arguably begin with a focus on meaning and not on form. In an attempt to respond to the English second language needs of South African (SA) University of Limpopo (UL) cohorts of post-graduate students the lecturer emphasises the use of meaning-focused materials when doing task-based learning and teaching activities based on specific topics or themes. Task–based learning (TBL) is an approach which relies on learner interaction. The rationale for using TBL is that students have more opportunities to interact with one another. Interaction and output are essential components in facilitating Second Language Acquisition (SLA). Tasks are tailored to the needs of specific classes to make them more engaging and motivating. This also places a premium on devising clear instructions for tasks. Listeners and readers are not regarded as passive; they are seen as active participants in the negotiation of meaning. Message sending or message receiving representation is the collaborative nature of meaning making. Meaning-focused materials engage readers in texts and encourage readers to reflect and think about what they have just read. Reader activities lend themselves well to incorporation into meaning-focused teaching materials. Students eventually learn to take control of their own performance from their own perspective. If a task can create this condition, it will succeed in reflecting much real-life communication. Which is why materials should return control to the student; his or her personal decisions should be respected.

    The aim in this presentation is to discuss how South African (SA) UL post-graduate students respond to the planned use of meaning-focused L2 materials in their SLA module, which are designed so that

    practical sequences of meaning-focused activities can sometimes lead to a focus on form.

    An Examination of the Mindset of Teachers in Turkey: The Case of Materials Development

    Buket Kasap (Ankara University)

    In Turkey, the Ministry of Education prepares the curriculum and has textbooks written and distributed to all state schools before each school year. However, English language teachers prepare materials for their learners to supplement these text books. To that end, 10 in-service teachers from primary and secondary level, who had received teacher training on materials development, were interviewed on their habits of materials development. It was observed that teachers “intuitively” worked on materials. They paid attention to students’ needs, interests, learning styles, and backgrounds when they prepared materials for them. It was critically important for them to make the class more enjoyable and appealing to students because they excessively complained about the content and presentation of the textbooks. As long as the textbooks remained unchanged, teachers claimed they had to support it with extra materials to differentiate the instruction. Most teachers felt proud of themselves because they worked on materials for their students. However, teachers prepared their own materials mostly during the early years of teaching because they felt more enthusiastic to make a difference as a teacher and they had more free time. Even so, working on materials took up around two hours of their preparation time.

    Telling the Story: Reflections of a Reading Teacher on a Scientific Writing Course

    Stephanie Lehrer (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

    Academic writing in English as a foreign language poses a diversity of challenges. Conscious of the importance to their careers of proficient written English, students of the sciences are also aware they must do more than merely generate grammatically correct text. Israeli Ph.D. candidates enrolled in a mandatory scientific writing course often comment that they want to “tell a story,” or to be able to write in such a way that their message is accurately perceived by their readers. 

    While lessons focused on identifying collective errors proved useful in providing students with the tools they need for self-correction, collaborative error analysis in one-on-one sessions seems most effective.  However, merely correcting the technical aspects of writing does not ensure language flow; it is only after employing certain additional features that smooth transitions between sentences are facilitated.  Informing writers of these principles enables them to understand interpretive clues derived by readers from particular structures, thus more easily achieving in their own writing that elusive quality of flow.

    Using student-generated texts for purposes of demonstration, the presenter will explain these linguistic principles and show how students possessing advanced EFL writing skills might incorporate them in order to convey meaning in as clear and comprehensible a manner as possible. 

  • June 11th - Parallel Presentations - Session 1

    Metaphors vs. Materials: Saying the Same Things in Different Ways 

    Patrícia de Oliveira Lucas (Federal University of Piauí, Brasil)

    Metaphors have been used in many research areas and one of the major contributions came with the study of Lakoff & Johnson (1980) with their seminal work in the educational field. With regard to the teacher preparation area, Munby (1986) has suggested that metaphors that teachers use in order to express their own points of view seem to be a fruitful way to understand what these professionals have inside of their minds when they are teaching their students in their classrooms. In terms of materials development, studies proposed by McGrath (2002; 2006 and 2013) have strongly fortified how these teaching resources are understood and consequently used by teachers. Equally important, Lucas (2016) has described the roles materials have according to teachers’ practices by observing how they deal with those teaching resources within their professional contexts. McGrath (2006, p.1) has stressed that “metaphors may be a conveniently economical way of focusing such reflection”, especially when their focus is related to the comprehension of teaching-learning processes.

    The intention of this paper is to share and discuss with the audience some of the metaphors reported in a research that was developed with the cooperation of public school teachers, emphasizing the existence of some previously used ones regarding teaching materials, such as “sacred object” (Graves, 2000; Bosompem, 2014) and “recipe” (McGrath, 2002), along with some new ones, as the idea proposed by the “didactic seesaw” (Lucas, 2016), highlighting the benefits of their uses within teacher education field. The intention is also to discuss with the participants some of the metaphors related to teaching materials that were reported in a research that was developed in urban and suburban public schools with the cooperation of teaching professionals, highlighting the benefits of their uses within teacher preparation programs.

    Promoting Genre Awareness, Language Awareness, and Creative Language Use through Authentic Texts and Language Analysis Activities

    Linh Phung (Chatham University, Pittsburgh)

    The presentation explains how a “grammar for writing” course achieved the goals of promoting genre awareness, language awareness, and creative language use through authentic texts and language analysis activities.

    Writing has been recognized as an act of using language for meaning making in a particular context to a particular audience (e.g., Byrnes, 2009; Hyland, 2004, 2007). However, writing courses often focus on academic genres with an ambiguous and distant audience of “educated readers.” In a grammar and writing course, to help learners to become better aware of the relationship among audience, communicative purpose, and language use, I incorporated texts of various genres, including personal narratives, inspirational speeches, and academic texts, as input for the course. In addition, instead of following the traditional PPP (Present-Practice-Produce) approach to teaching grammar, the course engaged learners in collaborative language analysis and language discovery activities after they already understood and discussed the content of the texts. These activities encouraged learners to construct their linguistic knowledge through collaborative dialogue (Swain and Lapkin, 2001; Swain, Brooks, and Tocalli-Beller, 2002). Furthermore, learners were assigned several writing tasks requiring them to imagine a specific audience, think deeply about their message, work collaboratively, and use language creatively. These tasks included an email response to the author of a story, a commencement speech, and a speech to advocate for equal rights of a minority group. Learners’ reflection essays and their writings showed that they were more aware of the requirements of different genres, successfully appropriated language in the input texts, and creatively manipulated language forms and lexis.   

    In the presentation, I will explain my approach to materials development, share some courses materials, and illustrate how learners’ reflection essays and writing products showed development in genre awareness, language awareness, and creative language use.

    Transform your Storytelling! A Multisensory Immersive Approach to Teaching a Mixed Ability Beginners’ Spanish Group

    Rosa-Maria Cives-Enriquez

    In this workshop I aim to put human stories at the heart of my lesson content, because in my opinion, it’s the most effective way to create relevance, engage students and deliver messages which aid language acquisition.

    My aim is to create ‘character-led’ stories that make my students feel something because it’s the emotion produced by a story/journey that makes it memorable and ensures its message sticks.

    I blend my own methods with research from leaders and pioneers in language education, such as Stephen Krashen, Steven Pinker, and Blaine Ray. Krashen and Pinker promoted natural language acquisition—communication and immersion over traditional grammar and drilling. Ray invented TPR Storytelling in the 1990s, a story-based method gaining rapid popularity among teachers worldwide.

    Step by step, my deceptively colour coded (3 tier ) content introduces new words and phrases. Target vocabulary is woven into short, culturally relevant stories that makes language accessible and adaptable to the student’s own life experiences— and they forget they are actually learning. Students pick up language naturally, effortlessly, through repeated exposure to comprehensible input.

    My material and content is authentic, relevant and is designed to work flexibly with different teaching methods and environments.

  • June 11th - Parallel Presentations - Session 2

    Do Engineers Dream of Electric Sheep?

    Claire Brett (University of Bristol)

    How an awareness of engineering ‘thinking and doing’ behaviours can inform meaning-focussed materials design for international engineering students.

    Traditionally, engineering often ends up being defined by its relationship with science and maths (Royal Academy of Engineering, 2014), rather than its relationship to more creative skills and behaviours with which the majority of English for Academic purposes (EAP) materials writers may more readily identify. In addition, the fact that relatively few EAP writers have an academic science background may cause a challenge for those attempting to create materials for engineers that are not only authentic in terms of task nature, but also allow for meaningful engagement with content.

    This session will demonstrate an approach towards materials design which attempts to address this issue by drawing on a report by the Royal Academic of Engineering (2014) that identifies typical engineering ‘thinking and doing’ behaviours, presented a set of core ‘Engineering Habits of Mind’ (EHoM): namely, ‘systems thinking, problem finding, visualizing, improving, creative problem-solving and adaptability’.  A case study will exemplify this approach in which 1st year undergraduate engineering students on an EAP unit are encouraged to apply EHoM behaviours. 

    It is suggested that an explicit awareness of EHoM can enable non-content specialist EAP writers to create meaningful tasks and activities which contribute towards an authentic and constructive learning and teaching environment.  This enables students to not only learn English as a subject, but engage with subject content and academic literacy through it (Gibbons, 2003).

    Speaking Many Voices in Greenland

    Anne-Mette Korczynski (University of Greenland)

    Due to grim evaluations in 2015 of both the Greenlandic primary and lower secondary school and the Institute for Learning, University of Greenland, both parties have set sails to change the present situation.

    Geographically Greenland is huge with only about 56300 inhabitants –16000 of them living in the capital of Nuuk. The population in Greenland is a mixture of people speaking Greenlandic as their mother tongue and Danish as their second language or the other way around, Danish as the mother tongue and Greenlandic as second language, some are bilingual, some do not speak Greenlandic and others do not speak Danish. Besides Danish and the three kinds of Greenlandic: West, South and East, immigrant language such as Polish, Vietnamese, Thai, English, Russian and Tagalog is heard. In the historical and political context language and identity issues play an immense role to some groups of Greenlanders and Danes and the topic about bringing English in as the second language have raised some tensions. The Greenlandic primary and lower secondary school lack qualified teachers and Danish teachers are employed. In some settlements the population is down to a few hundreds, with only a few teachers to carry through all subjects in the curriculum. As the Danish teachers lack the Greenlandic voice the language challenges for all parties are tremendous.

    So – how to qualify and prepare Greenlandic students to their forthcoming professions as new teachers in the Greenlandic primary and lower secondary school where lack of materials is enormous!

    My line of approach to the subject: Danish as a Second Language is socialcontructionism, combining a relational theory of learning with the interactional view of language learning. In the relational learning process, relation between Self and Other is created in generative joint.

    The Learners’ Feedback on the Implementation of Teaching Materials in an Outdoor Education ESP Course in Chinese Tertiary Context

    Song Han (China University of Geosciences, Wuhan)

    In 2005, China University of Geosciences (CUG), a Chinese key comprehensive university, first established Outdoor Education (OE) as a sub-discipline of PE and an undergraduate program, followed by other universities within the past decade. This area demands and accentuates international communication. Therefore, the reflection on the OE ESP course once hold in CUG will shed lights on the curriculum construction of OE program to groom students with international vision and the ability to participate in international exchange and corporation successfully. The paper gives a detailed account of learners’ feedback collected respectively by the end of a one-year OE ESP course in 2009 and in 2016 when those learners have become PE or OE teachers, outdoor instructors, outdoor club managers and other relevant professionals. On the one hand, all learners agreed that the teaching materials were highly relevant to their subject learning experiences and thus meaningful and comprehensible, overtly different from two-years’ General English course materials, and beneficial to their English and content study. On the other hand, they hold rather disperse opinion on the implementation of the materials. Some suggested more pre-input and some requested more post-input exercises. Some were strongly against the relaxed classroom environment. The long term effect seems limitedly favorable. The paper analyzes the feedback in relation to SLA theory and materials development framework and argues for the reopen of the course earlier in the undergraduate program with longer class hours to generate further productive teaching and learning practice and research in this area.

  • June 11th - Parallel Presentations - Session 3

    Portuguese as a Foreign Language and Teaching Materials: Fulfilling the Needs to Achieve the Wants

    Patrícia de Oliveira Lucas (Universidade Federal do Piauí), Leandro Rodrigues Alves Diniz (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais), Nelson Viana (Universidade Federal de São Carlos ), Elias Ribeiro da Silva (Universidade Federal de Alfenas) and Bruna Pupatto Ruano (Universidade Federal do Paraná)

    The teaching of Portuguese as a Foreign Language (PFL) has been growing considerably in many countries around the world. This new scenario has offered lots of different opportunities to both professionals and apprentices, as the former needs to develop, among other things, teaching materials to help foreign students to improve their language skills. By dealing with some special features of the language, that are discussed according to the teaching of PFL, we intend to demonstrate how tailor-made materials can help students to understand some linguistic aspects in a better way, mainly when they have a specific purpose to use the target language.

    During this presentation, we will discuss some personal professional experiences that we have faced, when working as a team in a national project at the same educational context. We intend to demonstrate how materials played an important role in guiding us throughout this teaching process, where we were recruited to teach a group of Spanish speakers learning Portuguese as a foreign language for a very specific purpose. This experience has shown us that tailor-made materials are, indeed, an essential part of the course and when well-designed they can help students to improve their skills in a FL. In addition, materials can lead professionals to (re)think their own pedagogical practices, both as teachers and also as learners of their own first language.

    Telling the story: Reflections of a Reading Teacher on a Scientific Writing Course

    Stephanie Lehrer (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

    Academic writing in English as a foreign language poses a diversity of challenges. Conscious of the importance to their careers of proficient written English, students of the sciences are also aware they must do more than merely generate grammatically correct text.  Israeli Ph.D. candidates enrolled in a mandatory scientific writing course often comment that they want to “tell a story,” or to be able to write in such a way that their message is accurately perceived by their readers. 

    While lessons focused on identifying collective errors proved useful in providing students with the tools they need for self-correction, collaborative error analysis in one-on-one sessions seems most effective.  However, merely correcting the technical aspects of writing does not ensure language flow; it is only after employing certain additional features that smooth transitions between sentences are facilitated.  Informing writers of these principles enables them to understand interpretive clues derived by readers from particular structures, thus more easily achieve in their own writing that elusive quality of flow.

    Using student-generated texts for purposes of demonstration, the presenter will explain these linguistic principles and show how students possessing advanced EFL writing skills might incorporate them in order to convey meaning in as clear and comprehensible a manner as possible.

    English for Security

    Tony Waterman (Directorate of Education and Military Culture, Oman)

    The presenter’s 28-slide practice-oriented presentation explains the need for an innovative English course for Omani air force security personnel and sets a clear context for producing such material. He details the extensive needs analysis process undertaken and how these data were analysed to construct a comprehensive syllabus. Tony focuses on key language in security contexts for each unit of the syllabus and how this underpinned the planning and production of classroom tasks. He continues by showcasing one sub-section of one unit to exemplify the result of the design and production process and discusses the importance of multiple opportunities afforded learners for intake, uptake and output during each unit combined with regular review and re-cycling to build learners language and confidence incrementally. Tony also showcases the rationale and design of the student and teacher’s books, together with review and assessment materials. He proceeds to highlight key implications of such an approach to course design and offers conclusions regarding ESP course design involving meaning-focused language instruction.

  • June 11th - Parallel Presentations - Session 4

    A Few of Our Favourite Things: e-tools to support an EAP course

    Peter Levrai and Averil Bolster (University of Macau)

    In an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course, meaning matters. One of the aims of an EAP course is to encourage students to engage with content in a meaningful way and develop an academically sound argument in answer to a question. A common challenge when designing an English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP) course is finding subject content that students can connect to, whatever their discipline of study. This paper will discuss an EGAP course based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on different e-tools which can be used to help students build their content knowledge and work together to develop projects and assignments. We will explore some useful online tools that can be used to introduce a topic and different online platforms where students can discuss that topic and collaborate in order to complete their coursework.

    Note to audience: a mobile phone or other Wi-Fi enabled device would be useful (but not necessary) during this presentation.

    PALM – An Interactive Platform for Language Learning in Eight Languages

    Claudia Mewald and Sabine Wallner (University College of Teacher Education in Lower Austria, Baden)

    This paper presents the ongoing Erasmus+ project PALM, which is a 3-year collaborative endeavour of twelve schools and six higher education institutions. PALM exists through and for 6-14 year-old learners who are authors and consumers of an interactive platform in eight languages: English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Ladin and/or Spanish. Teachers supervise the pupils in text production and selection in “PALM Boards”. Learning materials for the platform are generated by teacher trainees and practising teachers.

    The authentic texts produced by bi- or multilingual speakers of the eight languages are intended to provide interesting reading and listening input for learners of the same age who want to study these languages. This sharing of texts and tasks that provide immediate feedback through new media is expected to increase motivation and to develop transversal skills and multilingualism.

    Through writing and speaking about free-time activities, experiments, reports, films or books as well as topics that create personal interest, pupils are expected to transfer skills which have been acquired in informal and authentic contexts to situations and tasks at school. Therefore, enhancing digital integration in learning, teaching, and training at various levels is a priority of the Erasmus+ Project PALM. It aims at the strategic use of open educational resources, virtual and blended mobility through the PALM platform, which will serve as a virtual learning space for the pupils in the project and beyond.

    Re-imagining Global Content and Pedagogy for Intermediate Spanish Language Courses

    Nausica Marcos Miguel and Bob Hershberger

    The Global Crossroads’ initiative from the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) aims to 1) “advance internationalization of the programs of learning” and 2) “engage meaningfully with people and achievements of other cultural, ethnic, and linguistic traditions” at colleges in the US. Following this call, two Spanish professors at two GLCA colleges have been working to incorporate more global content in intermediate Spanish language courses. This call is particularly timely as both institutions are in the midst of major curricular renovations in order to engage global challenges of the 21st century more centrally in their respective curriculums. The textbooks utilized in two language courses were closely examined, seeking points where global topics could enhance the curriculum. Moreover, the approaches of content-based instruction and critical pedagogies were taken into consideration so that learners were reminded of issues of power and privilege when regarding other cultures and cautioned against exoticizing and essentializing these cultures to a mere collection of neutral artifacts, customs, and festivals. The approach used resonates strongly with ACTFL’s 5 Cs, i.e., Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. Materials that have been utilized in these classroom will be discussed, as well as ideas to craft further topics. We will also consider alliances with relevant interdisciplinary programs.

  • June 11th - Parallel Presentations - Session 5

    Meaningful Language Teaching Through TPRS

    Kirstin Plante (TPRS Academy)

    Are you curious to know what an on-the-spot meaningful language class can look like? Come sit in a Storytelling class and find out more about the successful approach of TPR Storytelling! Summary: One of the most meaningful approaches to language learning is TPR Storytelling, a very dynamic way of teaching second and foreign languages. Teacher and students co-create engaging and personalized stories, through which vocabulary and grammatical structures are acquired almost unconsciously. TPRS offers the teacher many tools to provide in an endless stream of interesting comprehensible input, through which the students can acquire the new language in a natural way. In this workshop, participants will be a language student in a Russian demo class. After the demo, there will be time to discuss ways of creating resources for this approach.

    Using Linked Skills Tasks to Promote Learners’ Oral Fluency

    Sakae Onoda (Juntendo University, Japan)

    This paper will show how linked skills tasks can improve fluency in L2 speech production. Linked skills, which need not be specific to speaking skills, can be utilized for L2 oral fluency development. In linked skills tasks, a single piece of subject matter is focused upon for an extended period and engages the learners in a sequence of tasks utilizing different skills. For example, students watch an easy TV news clip and answer some comprehension questions and then they read the script or an easy newspaper article about the same topic. After their comprehension is confirmed, they summarize the story and write their own opinions about the topic. Finally, they talk about the story and their opinions in different pairs a number of times.

    L2 literature indicates that this teaching procedure is effective because it includes such fluency-enhancing elements as the recycling and deep processing of vocabulary (i.e., using words in different contexts), formulaic expressions, and automatization. In fact, Onoda (2013) shows that university English majors improved in fluency and motivation in relation to their speech production.

    The presenter will demonstrate a type of linked skills tasks with the participants and show a DVD that explains how Japanese students engage in the task. The presenter will also discuss the results of a study that investigated the effects of linked skills tasks on oral fluency development.

  • Poster Presentations
    On both conference days you can enjoy poster presentations during morning coffee and lunch (room D3.13)

    Learner Meaning Making from Teacher Made Materials: Insights from Conversation Analysis

    Sajjad Pouromid (Osaka University, Japan) and Seyedeh Zahra Hoseini Nasab (Shiraz University, Iran)

    Materials development research has been critical of the widespread use of “global” textbooks, an overreliance on which has resulted in the marginalization of language teachers (McGrath, 2013). There have been propositions though to empower teachers by giving them more crucial roles in evaluating, adapting and producing materials (Tomlinson, 2003; Masuhara, 2011). Teachers can be producers of materials for their own classes especially where commercially produced materials fall short of reflecting SLA research findings. They can also be in the best position to assess their materials encouraging insider evaluation. Based on these arguments, the present study sought to evaluate a teacher-made visualization task (Tomlinson, 2011) drawing upon Conversation Analysis (CA) as an emic method of inquiry.

    The participants comprised 32 elementary learners assigned into 16 pairs. 8 of the pairs were given an L2 poetry visualization task while the rest dealt with a task without visualization prompts. The learners’ on-task interactions were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed within a CA framework. The results, mindful of both actions and sequences (Schegloff, 2007), indicated that the pairs making use of the teacher-made visualizing task were more successful in dealing with vocabulary problems as well as sentence and discourse level  L2 poetry meaning making.

    Bringing EAP Material to Life: Pedagogical Relevance and Context of Application - An experiment and a case study

    Iffat Subhani (University of Southampton)

    Saraceni describes “Adaptation as Awareness Development” (Tomlinson, 2003) but adaptation, does not entail exposing students to different materials alone. Equally important are pedagogical adjustments towards a cultural framework, especially in the context of Global English. It is making materials relevant to their personal and academic needs, so they use knowledge of English rather than just have information of English.

    This poster illustrates how I designed supplementary lessons for my students from Saudi Arabia in an academic pathway program in Toronto. Drawing on the principles of English in the lingua franca communication contexts – teaching and testing, I will show how Western content is introduced against a traditional backdrop; and combined with linguistic and stylistic features of general academic English. These are extracted from language proficiency assessments (e.g. IELTS Academic) and transferred across learning situations (EAP or exam English) because language is not dissociated from grammar, logic and rhetoric, which inform the exploratory and analytical potentials of a text.

    Task outcomes indicated students’ active engagement in processing semantic information after their cognitive filters were reset. Also facilitated was their development of critical interpretation of materials because the true meaning of an exposition was conveyed through their linguistic output placed in context (app.1).

    Exploiting Classroom Walls

    Tony Waterman

    Tony’s poster offers motivational reasons for adorning classroom walls with artefacts relating to learners’ current English course. His poster details a wide range of potential artefacts including pictures, symbols, learners’ work and more. Then a wide range of activities are presented covering how and when to exploit such artefacts.