IATEFL Manchester Moments Part 1: The ordinary sides of ELT heroes

April 2015

Manchester, England

It’s hard to put your feelings into words when you realized the door keeper of Manchester Central on the first day of 49th IATEFL Conference was Gavin Dudeney. He welcomed guests to enter the venue. He smiled at participants. He gave directions. He was an ordinary person among us. Not the Edtech hero who has inspired teachers worldwide in appropriate pedagogy of technology integration in the classroom.

Then when you attended sessions, you’d be amazed when you happened to see the thinking face of Jeremy Harmer. What was he questioning? I remembered that session was about inclusion strategies of dyslexic children in the classroom. Did he agree with me that the presenter was not very convincing and the session was a bit full of de-motivation?

You’d be amazed too when you caught the silent gaze of Adrian Underhill in Alan Maley’s lead of the C for Creativity Open Forum. We did have a heated discussion but if it served me right he didn’t say a lot. The day after I interviewed him about his sources of inspiration for teaching. He mentioned jazz, which scared me a bit because I couldn’t play a musical instrument. Anyway the talk was fun. Just imagine you had chance to personally interview a legendary ELT improvisation expert.

Before that you’d had David Nunan, Cynthia James and Sue Garton on how research was gaining more momentum in the working agenda of IATEFL. I very much loved their sincere sharing.

And you’d had Sarah Mercer, the new coordinator of ReSIG. She admitted that all research work is a mess. And that we as teachers had to straighten them up, and had the courage to end the research show. That was really inspiring for a young researcher like me! Giving up is always a lasting temptation, even for expert researcher.

Then I finally had a chance to talk to Nickly Hockly, just to thank her and the Consultants-E for the E-moderation scholarship in 2014. Without that course, I didn’t think my writing skills would have been that sharp to win an IATEFL scholarship.

On writing this I am frozen. IATEFL is a dream that I didn’t dare to dream. And it just happens anyway.

Thank you IATEFL.

Thank you Lord.

Adrian Underhill (right)
Gavin Dudeney (right) presenting Quality Assurance of Online Courses
Roy helping me to rehearse for my presentation
with Cambridge scholarship winners and granters
Manchester Central
Sue Garton, David Nunan and Cynthia James


With the Nepalese delegate


Reading Activities

Here comes the most useful reading activities to bring fun, surprise and engagement to your static classroom:

Photo credit: http://www.cmrls.lib.ms.us/srp%202008%20web%20banner.jpg
Photo credit: http://www.cmrls.lib.ms.us/srp%202008%20web%20banner.jpg
  1. Running Dictation: print texts on a wall a few meters from student B who has questions and asks student A who then runs back and forth to find answers. Variation: you can use the projector to show the text. Student B sits with their back to the board.
  1. Synonym Race: I’m not sure with TOEFL IBT reading but for IELTS students have to look for synonyms. Choose one paragraph. Show it on the projector screen. Give synonyms. Students then race to find synonyms in the paragraph. Award points to first finishers.
  2. Keyword Bingo Guess: give the title/topic of the text. Cover the text. Ask students to write down 10 words relating to the title/topic. Students then skim/scan the text to check if the text mention their predicted words. Award points to correct guessers.
  3. Text-to-speech: you can use a good text-to-speech software to begin the reading lesson with a listening activity.
  4. Miming: pick one sentence from the text that can be demonstrated via body language J Ask volunteers to learn that sentence and then improvise acting. Peers then guess what that sentence is.
  5. Find an interesting Youtube video relating to the topic. Watch and enjoy!
  6. Banana’: pick one sentence. Choose one keyword in that sentence. Read that sentence aloud, replacing the keyword with the word ‘banana’ Students then guess the original word of ‘banana’.