PD Fest 2019 Melbourne – Details

PD Fest Melbourne
Saturday 26 October 2019

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Full Session Details


Magda Tebbutt
Swinburne University of Technology

Assoc. Prof Simon Winetroube
President UECA


Dr Elena Verezub
Associate Director, Learning and Academic Skills Centre
Swinburne University of Technology

Presentation (PDF)

Session 1A: News with a VUE

Carla Bardella & Shawna Lavis
Victoria University

Presentation (PDF)

As part of this year’s EA action research program we developed a unit of work to aid student confidence in pronunciation whilst giving opportunities to travel outside their comfort zone. Student’s attitudes towards pronunciation is often a barrier to communicating with others in English. The program incorporated technology (Padlet) and current news stories and was delivered in two parts. Part 1 classes drew awareness to a suprasegmental feature using various news stories. Part 2 classes focused on scripting and filming. Students were responsible for creating and filming their own news stories. The program started with them interviewing a classmate, and progressed to interviewing a VU staff member and finally a stranger. All of the videos were stored on a Padlet page which provided access to all students. This enabled the students to watch the videos several times and reflect on their progress, and on that of their peers. Feedback from the students has been overwhelming positive. All of the participants have spoken of an improved confidence with their pronunciation as well when speaking with others using English.

Carla Bardella is currently the Independent Learning Centre Coordinator at Victoria University English. Over the past 11 years, she has focused on delivering quality General English and EAP courses to a diverse range of international students in China, Hong Kong and Melbourne. Her current role includes organising extra lunchtime classes, individual assistance and student engagement. Having taught for many years and having learnt a foreign language herself, she is aware of the need to provide rich learning experiences to students.

Shawna Lavis has been teaching, both English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and General English (GEN), at Victoria University, Melbourne, since 2012. She has over 14 years’ experience teaching a wide range of courses, across every level, having taught in both Melbourne and Nagoya, Japan. Aside from teaching, she has experience working as the Independent Learning Centre Coordinator. She holds a BA from the University of New Brunswick in Canada and a Graduate Diploma in TESOL from QUT.

Session 1B: Creativity Sub-skills:Creative Thinking In Use

Virginia Mawer
Independent Scholar

Presentation (PDF)

To teach 21st century students, we need to be innovative thinkers. And in order to truly innovate, we need to employ creative thinking, which centres around new ideas, but is also concerned with creating unexpected connections between existing ideas.

Creative thinking is a skill that can be learnt and improved, rather than an innate ability that is bestowed upon the few. By learning and developing creative thinking strategies, we can think differently to create new solutions to old problems. These can include new ways to approach teaching and learning through lesson and course preparation, delivery, feedback and homework. This can help increase student engagement and energy levels, problem solving opportunities as well as provide variety within lessons, increased student agency and ownership of learning.

This workshop will provide a number of creative activities that you can use in your next class, as well as offer a series of creative thinking “sub-skills” and the opportunity to put these strategies into practice. The possibilities are infinite when simple creative strategies are applied. We’ll learn how to make use of techniques used by creative professionals, such as list-making, unusual connections, the “yes, and” technique, employing the absurd and engaging in serious play.

By modelling creativity, we may be able to provide students with necessary tools for their academic lives and for their futures. They will need to be “literate” in divergent and convergent thinking, spontaneity, tolerating mistakes, finding comfort in ambiguity and the unfamiliar. These creative skills are vital to our students and ourselves, and allow innovation to occur on a daily basis.

Virginia has over ten years’ experience in the ESL classroom and has taught a variety of general, academic and exam courses. She has taught in Sydney, Melbourne and Italy and has created 99waysesl.com and amItalkingenough.com as tools for teachers and students alike. In the classroom, Virginia draws from her experience as a performer, artist and translator, using humour to de-stress the stressed and to wake the sleepy. She hopes to travel and work in every continent and to one day be able to sing in 5 languages.

Session 1C: Practical and Fun Class Vocab Activities

Tom Gaffney
Swinburne University of Technology, English Language Centre (SUELC)

Presentation (PDF)

The aim of this session is to present and demonstrate 3 engaging and versatile classroom activities on the practice and review of vocabulary and word formation.

The 3 activities provide:

  • Meaningful review and practice of vocabulary items covered in classes
  • Manipulation of language and word formation using interdependent skills
  • Dynamic and student-centred classroom interaction patterns
  • Easy modification across a wide range of learner levels

Tom Gaffney has been teaching English as an additional language for the last 10 years. He has taught in Canada and Chile, but mostly in his beloved home town of Melbourne. He has a passion for the creation and use of activities that provide students with meaningful learning while keeping an energetic classroom atmosphere. He is currently plying his trade at Swinburne University of Technology English Language Centre where he is a regular contributor to curriculum and professional development sessions.

Session 1D: Creating an English speaking classroom? How can we encourage our students to speak English in the classroom?

Luisa Buccella
University of Adelaide English Language Centre

Presentation (PDF)

This workshop will look at the challenges that teachers face, explore reasons for student reticence, and discover ways to create a safe and supportive environment. We will explore ways to encourage students to take responsibility for speaking English in the classroom.

An English Language Teacher at the University of Adelaide ELC for 6 years. Prior to that, 25 years experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in various roles including training and sales. Qualifications B.Sc B. Ed (Adult Ed & Training) Cert IV in Tesol

Session 2A: Task design for online reading lessons

Karl Emmett
IH Sydney

Presentation (PDF)

In this presentation, teachers are shown one criterion for selecting online resources, along with a series of tasks designed to discover how much the students understood without limiting the scope of their interest in the selected text.

By the end of the presentation, educators will be able to design their own online reading lessons and be equipped with evaluation techniques to monitor students’ progress during the lesson and over the semester.

Karl Emmett is an ESL teacher and course designer who has dedicated the past five years to language visualization and online material integration into student-centered lesson. He has run PD sessions at IH Sydney and Bondi, presented on listening, speaking and pronunciation lessons at other schools, in online webinars and earlier this year at UNSW.

Session 2B: Student Self Assesment and 21st Century Skills

Ana Bratkovic

Presentation (PDF)

Self and peer assessment are attracting greater interest in the education sector. This interest is driven by the widespread acceptance that the roles of teachers and learners are changing. Students are playing a much more engaged role in teaching and learning and are encouraged to develop the 21st century skills of collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity. The model of assessment where the classroom teacher or lecturer holds all the power and makes a finite set of choices about assessment outcomes limits the potential for learners to develop the skills needed for success in the 21st century.

This workshop explores the benefits of student self- assessment and examines samples of tools that can be used in the ELICOS classroom.

Ana Bratkovic is the General Manager of the Quality Assurance organisation, NEAS. Ana’s left her first career as an Economist with the Australian Bureau of Statistics in order to work more closely with people and became a High School social science teacher. She then moved into ELICOS, teaching at SELC before commencing a career in accreditation and quality assurance with NEAS in 2002.

Ana has enjoyed a range of roles at NEAS contributing to the full range of accreditation and monitoring services in both ELICOS and AMEP including desk audits, on-site reviews, course assessments and workshop delivery.

Ana applies her passion for quality and continuous improvement in all aspects of her work including compliance auditing, quality assurance processes, assessment validation and workshop delivery.

Session 2C: Role-plays: versatile, purposeful learning

Duncan Perrin
Monash College

Presentation (PDF)

This is a practical workshop that looks at how role-plays can be used in a variety of interesting, purposeful ways in an English language classroom.

Participants will see a number of different lesson ideas that demonstrate the versatility of role-plays including:

  • no planning vs extensive planning examples
  • examples for general English, business English and EAP contexts
  • scaffolding and extension activities
  • different ways of giving feedback

The session is hand-on and participants will try out the role play activities and be able to take away ideas to apply in their own teaching context.

Duncan Perrin has been Manager Strategic Projects and Teacher Development at Monash College since 2016. He is responsible for teachers’ induction, training and ongoing professional development as well managing teacher training programs and various projects.

Originally from the UK and with a BA in Politics from the University of Nottingham, he has CELTA and DELTA teaching qualifications. Prior to Monash College he worked internationally for nearly two decades in 12 countries, in teaching and management roles mostly for the British Council.

SESSION 2D: Laughing, while Learning

Meghan Oare

Presentation (PDF)

Students travel to English speaking countries in the hope of acquiring the language faster in addition to experiencing the culture. However, they unintentionally segregate the language from the culture and view them as two separate entities though they are intertwined.

Part of learning and adopting a language is understanding the body language and rhythm that accompanies it. Since behaviours and jokes native English speakers use often mystify students, teaching chunking through jokes allows students the opportunity to adopt a natural rhythm while learning about the culture.

Participants will evaluate how they can present information in the classroom and how it can be processed and stored successfully. They will also have the opportunity to partake in activities that are designed to have an academic focus with an artistic twist, by simultaneously implementing the cognitive chunking strategy with the culture of jokes. Experimenting with these strategies will provide the participants with an alternative teaching device to allow them to convey the language of the lessons as well as develop stronger relationships and engage their students.

Using jokes in the classroom atmosphere creates a safe and relaxing environment for the students, enabling them to develop confidence, improve productive skills, avoid ostracisation and build a rapport with their classmates and beyond.

Making a joke of yourself for the betterment of your students.

Meghan Oare is a qualified CELTA English teacher who began her career working for Kaplan International in 2010. She has taught in the United States and Australia.

After receiving numerous academic scholarships and studying in Germany, she took an interest in Swedish, Spanish and French. Additionally, she has produced two books, a colouring book accompanied by a poem and a 200-page multilingual book outlining her artwork and theory.

Cultural interactions are what motivate Meghan to teach English and are the inspirations for her artwork.

Session 3A: Education and Technology: Is the Honeymoon Period Over?

Jigar Adhyaru
Chisholm Institute

Presentation (PDF)

Since the rise of technology, educators have been trying to integrate it with education and learning process to achieve desired outcomes. Technology in education has been hailed as a game changer. It has been described as an element that makes different generations and different types learners engage easily with the subject matter. However, after the initial few years of effective, inspiring and innovative partnership, we need to look at the flip side of using technology in Education.

The session will be a mixture of slideshow presentation and interactive elements where participants will share their classroom experiences and strategies to counter the negative influences of technology in the classrooms. It will deal with the topic of technology becoming a barrier rather than a learning aid in the classrooms. It will aim to answer questions like: Have we become over dependent on technology? Are learners isolating themselves by overusing available technological resources? Is technology stopping learners from engaging with other learners? Are students becoming less adaptive because of technology? Is technology affecting integrity of learning and assessment process?

This session will provide participants with a platform to share if and how technology is proving to be a barrier in their classrooms and what strategies can be used to counter it.

Jigar Adhyaru has been working as an English language educator for over a decade. He has worked with a variety of education providers including Not-for-profit organisations, Universities, TAFEs and Multinational institutions. He holds a Master of TESOL and a Diploma in Computer Engineering among other qualifications. He has worked with NESB learners in the US, India and Australia. A qualified computer engineer, he is keen to learn and focus on positive as well as negative aspects of using technology in learning process.

Session 3B: Embodied cognition and language learning

Malcolm Kirkwood

Presentation (PDF)

This session presents insights from research on embodied cognition as applied to language learning. A primary aim of the presentation is to demonstrate how embodied cognition can explain, as well as inform, effective and engaging language learning. Practical language learning techniques and tips are drawn from this theoretical overview.

Malcolm Kirkwood has a teaching philosophy premised on growth and research. He has teaching experience in numerous countries and educational contexts and is preparing to submit his PhD thesis in the field of multimedia learning. Malcolm will present on findings from embodied cognition and explores its connections with language learning.

Session 3C: Reinventing Team Teaching in a tertiary context

Emilija Malinova & Anne Motti
RMIT Training

Presentation (PDF)

Team teaching is an approach to course delivery where two or more educators share teaching responsibilities within a classroom setting. The same group of students has been taught by a team of two English teachers (Academic Literacies and Critical Analysis) and another team of two maths teachers (Advanced Maths 1 and Advanced Maths 2) across two semesters.

The team has been making high stake decisions regarding co-planning, co-teaching, co-marking and at the same time being able to give each other constructive feedback and reflection. All teachers have an equal role and complementary styles to improve the student experience with highly interactive strategies. The benefits are multifaceted as both the students and the teachers involved have a positive opinion about student engagement, experience and results and teacher professional development.

The highlight of the project to-date is making most of the skills that students develop transferrable across both subjects such as groupwork, communication, creativity and analytical skills. Another skill that students developed is building a strong sense of community and belonging in which English is the only language of communication. Since students come from 14 different countries, team teaching has helped the process of their adjustment and acculturalisation in their transition to Australian education system.

With a combined teaching experience of 55 years in English Language Centres, TAFE, vocational education, VCE and Higher Education, Anne and Emilija started working together at RMIT Foundation Studies. They both share a commitment to support international students of mixed abilities to articulate into higher education. After being assigned to work on a study support project they discovered they shared a similar pedagogical approach to teaching which progressed into a successful team teaching pilot program at tertiary level.

Session 3D: Shaping Academic Integrity through Technology

Paul Williams

Presentation (PDF)

This presentation will begin by reviewing the importance of teaching EAP students about academic integrity and the differences between process and product approaches to academic writing. Teachers will then be provided with some strategies for using technology to create teacher-student dialogue during the research and writing process. It will be argued that the use of technology allows for improved monitoring, ongoing feedback, scaffolded support and transparency, which is likely to shape students’ understanding of academic integrity and ethical behaviour as a student.

Examples from classroom practice will be used to demonstrate how teachers can implement these strategies with their own students. Providing timely and effective feedback will be shown to encourage greater honesty during the writing process, in preference to identifying plagiarism once students have already submitted their assignments.

Paul Williams is a Senior Teacher for CQUEnglish in Melbourne. He has been teaching Business, General and Academic English courses for almost 15 years. Paul is interested in all aspects of English Language Teaching and Management. He has completed several postgraduate courses including the DELTA and IDLTM and is currently studying the MBA at CQUniversity.

Session 4 Panel: Better Through Benchmarking

A/Prof Thomas Roche Southern Cross University
Jarrod Tebb Swinburne University of Technology
Dr Phoung Tran Monash University
Carolyn Matthews Sydney University
Will Alderton CQUEnglish

Presentation (PDF)

This panel sessions presents a brief overview of UECA’s nation-wide initiative assessing the language standards of Direct Entry and ELICOS pathway programs. The presentation shares learnings from the Benchmarking Project involving some 60 assessors from 20 Australian University Centres using the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to externally validate university partners’ writing assessments and international student work samples.

Panel members will share the experience and learnings gained from the perspective of participants in the project.


A/Prof Thomas Roche
Associate Professor Thomas Roche is the Director of SCU College at Southern Cross University. He specialises in the design, management and delivery of higher education pathways for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. His primary research interests are in academic literacy and applied linguistics (English language proficiency and assessment).

Jarrod Tebb

Jarrod is the Coordinator of English for Academic Purposes at Swinburne. He has worked on a range of projects including curriculum design, assessment design, teacher training and benchmarking, among others. He has a great deal of interest in psycholinguistics.

Dr Phuong Tran

Dr Phuong Tran is Leading Specialist Teacher, Assessment at Monash College in Melbourne, Australia. She leads the Assessment team to develop, validate and assure the quality of assessments across all English language programs. Phuong has a Master of Education (TESOL) from Monash University and a PhD in Education from The University of Melbourne. She has extensive experience in language teaching, teacher training, and assessment design, development and validation. Her areas of interest include assessment development and validation was well as curriculum design and management.

Carolyn Matthews

Carolyn is the Deputy Director for Teaching and Learning at the University of Sydney CET.

Will Alderton

Will Alderton (MAppLing TESOL, IDLTM, Cambridge Delta) is the Director of Studies at CQUEnglish, CQUniversity Australia’s English Language centre in Melbourne, and the Convener of English Australia’s Direct Entry Programs Special Interest Group.

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