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Keynote speakers

NATECLA's National Conference 2017






NATECLA National Conference NATECLA is delighted to announce two very exciting keynote keynote talks as part of our National Conference programme in 2017:

  • Saturday morning 09:15 - 10:15: Rachael Roberts, a well-known ELT materials writer, teacher, teacher training and blogger will open Saturday morning's programme with her fascinating talk on 'The Guilty secrets of the ELT classroom'. 

Melanie Cooke and James Simpson: Recognising multilingual realities in ESOL

Friday 7th July 2017, 19:30 to 20:30

About the talk: Recognising multilingual realities in ESOL

In our talk we bring together research into multilingualism and ESOL classroom practice. We begin by introducing theories of multilingual language use which put the user first, rather than the language code. Current understandings of language use take as their starting point the idea that people have at their disposal a repertoire of semiotic resources (languages, styles, registers). This is an alternative to understanding languages as separate, bounded and discrete. With examples from the Translation and Translanguaging (TLang) project, we show how people draw upon their repertoire of resources in flexible ways, to communicate in the linguistically and culturally diverse contexts of their lives. 

ESOL students, who are by definition bi- or multilingual, typically use English as part of a multilingual repertoire, moving fluidly across languages, styles and registers, or translanguaging, as they make meaning. In some areas of education, teachers incorporate translanguaging into pedagogy, to the benefit of learning. In the next part of our talk we give examples of this practice, and then ask why a ‘multilingual turn’ has not reached mainstream ESOL classrooms. We note practical, professional and ideological reasons for the enduring monolingualism of ESOL teaching. 

Finally, and referring to the current Diasporic Adult Language Socialisation (DALS) project, we offer a path towards incorporating sociolinguistic data and findings into ESOL classrooms and multilingual pedagogies into ESOL practice.


Dr Melanie Cooke, ESOL Researcher

About Melanie Cooke 

Melanie has been involved with English language education for 27 years, as an EFL teacher in Spain, an ESOL tutor in London and subsequently as a researcher and lecturer at King’s College, London. Her research is concerned with the cultural, political and pedagogical aspects of the teaching of ESOL in the UK. Most recently she collaborated on the seminar series ‘Queering ESOL: towards a cultural politics of LGBT issues in the ESOL classroom’ and is currently working on a Leverhulme funded research project, ‘Diasporic Adult Language Socialisation’. She is co-author (with James) of ESOL: A Critical Guide (OUP, 2008).

About James Simpson

James Simpson University of LeedsJames has worked at the School of Education, University of Leeds, since 2004, where he leads the Language Education Academic Group. Much of his research concerns the teaching and learning of English for multilingual students in migration contexts. As well as co-authoring ESOL: A Critical Guide with Melanie, he is the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics (2011), and the co-editor of Adult Language Education and Migration: Challenging Agendas in Policy and Practice (Routledge, 2015). With colleagues, he is working on the AHRC-funded project ‘Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities’.



Rachael Roberts: Guilty Secrets of the ELT classroom

Saturday 8th July 2017, 09:00 - 10:00 

About the talk: Guilty secrets of the ELT classroom

Rachael Roberts ELT teacher trainerWe all have them, those guilty secrets. Things we do in class that we might not want an observer to catch us doing! For example, getting students to read aloud, talking too much ourselves, explaining rather than eliciting, letting students use their first languages or just getting side-tracked away from what we planned.

In this workshop we will look at some these ‘guilty secrets’ and consider the evidence for or against the practice. What does research have to tell us? Do we really have anything to feel guilty about? A chance to confess, explore and consider our practice. 

About Rachael

Since 1989, Rachael has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer in both ELT and ESOL contexts. She started her career abroad, in Portugal, Brazil and Poland, then returned to the UK, where she spent ten years at Solihull College, before becoming a tutor on the ESOL Level 5 qualification at Warwick University. Currently Rachael spends most of her time writing teaching materials and has co-written and number of well known course books include Total English Intermediate and Real Life Advanced, but still teaches from time to time at Warwickshire College. She is one of NATECLA's official trainers through our training arm and spends rather too much time on Twitter (@teflerinha) and on her website, www.elt-resourceful.com. writing posts on different aspects of materials writing and teaching .