• The Macmillan Online Conference 2013




    Thanks to everyone who attended this year’s Online Conference…our biggest so far!

    All eighteen talks from the six different sessions are now available to watch again below.

    Click on the “Watch the Sessions again” buttons and allow the content time to download to your computer. There is one recording for each session, each featuring three talks. Once the download is complete you can skip through to see whichever speaker you are most interested in.

    If you’re having problems viewing on this site then please try the Online Conference playlist on our YouTube channel.


    The Macmillan Online Conference uses Blackboard Collaborate, Unsure of how to use this software?

    Watch this introductory guide to BlackBoard Collaborate!


    Monday 11th November 2013

    Morning - Business Sessions

    Photo of Mike Hogan, Author.
    10.00am - 10.45am - Mike Hogan: The Mobility of Business English


    This webinar will look at how changes in both technology and society can affect how our learners learn and how we deliver training. We’ll consider the implications this has for Business English training, and how Business English training needs to respond to the needs of learners on-the-go by offering more mobile options, whether by using high or low tech resources. We’ll then look at how the use of mobile devices can enhance learning, both when teacher-driven and when used autonomously.

    Photo of Karen Richardson, Author.
    11.00am - 11.45am - Karen Richardson: Meeting the challenge of bringing variety into the Business English classroom


    Whether you teach in-company or at a university or vocational college, we all know that sometimes students of Business English can, for completely diverse reasons, have difficulties with their motivation.

    They do want to learn, but they also want you to entertain them and teach them in "interesting" ways and "not just from the course book".

    In this talk we'll look at ways of bringing variety and motivation into the class room, lecture room, or meeting room - whereever you teach - without chucking out your prescribed course book or deviating too much from your prescribed syllabus or course design.

    Photo of John Allison, Author.
    12.00pm - 12.45pm - John Allison: Developing people skills in Business English


    In recent years, BE conferences, blogs and publications have seen a growing interest in extending the scope of language teaching to include communication, cross-cultural, life and other 'soft' skills. Using hands-on examples of classroom materials and activities, this workshop explores the challenges and benefits of developing 'soft' or 'people' skills alongside the four language skills. We will consider exactly what skills are involved, look at some practical ways they can be fostered in the classroom, and consider the implications for ourselves as teachers and managers.

    Afternoon - Primary Sessions

    Photo of Jeanne Perrett, Author.
    2.00pm - 2.45pm - Jeanne Perrett : Content, Context and Emotion in Language Learning


    Drama-based activities, songs and music impact significantly on memory, motivation and pronunciation. They also help to add context to language learning, make content meaningful and, by encouraging an emotional response to the language we are teaching, help to unify and unite our students.

    In this webinar we will explore a variety of simple-to-manage ‘EFL drama’ activities, looking at techniques such as improvisation, mime, tableau, expressive movement, creating mood and atmosphere and the use of props.

    Photo of Dave Tucker, Author.
    3.00pm - 3.45pm - Dave Tucker: Stop, Think, Learn - Teaching Primary Grammar


    My writing and reading over the last year have led me towards 3 main aims for my teaching this year, and I would like to share them with you! The key words are: Context; Challenge; Shhhh! The three books I wrote or collaborated on this year won’t be on the shelves until 2014, but I’ll share insights and examples of what I learned about the central role of contextualized learning, the benefits of varied exposure for autonomous acquisition and, from my recent reading, the value of QUIET and the contribution of the quiet ones in our classes.

    Photo of Roisin O'Farrell, Author.
    4.00pm - 4.45pm - Roisin O'Farrell: Engaging listening and speaking activities for primary students


    Children need a lot of practice and confidence to become comfortable with speaking and listening in another language. In this webinar we will look at a range of simple techniques and activities that maximize the communicative opportunities in class and engage children so that they want to interact in English.


    Tuesday 12th November 2013

    Google Hangouts with Macmillan
    Google hangout time!

    Share your thoughts on the Conference and discuss the topics raised with other attendees during one of our special Google Hangout sessions, which will take place on Tuesday the 12th and Thursday the 14th of November.

    Visit the Macmillan Education Google+ page for full details: plus.google.com/107211160258991177189/posts


    Wednesday 13th November 2013

    Morning - Secondary Sessions

    Photo of Dave Spencer, Author.
    10.00am - 10.45am - Dave Spencer: Warmers, Coolers and Lesson-Planning for teenagers


    We often remember to have activities to warm up students at the start of a Secondary class. But we may sometimes forget to also prepare activities to cool them down when they get too excited. This session will look at some practical ideas for warmers and coolers. But it will also make a more general point. It will suggest a different way of going about planning lessons for teenagers, where we don’t just think about the language or skills we are aiming to practice with the students but also look at the warming or cooling effect that each stage of the lesson will have on them.

    Photos of Philip Prowse and Judy Garton-Sprenger , Authors.
    11.00am - 11.45am - Philip Prowse & Judy Garton-Sprenger : An insider’s guide to the new American English course for teenagers


    In this interactive webinar, we’ll take you through the key features of Inspired, with lots of quizzes and questions. We’ll look at cross-curricular and cultural content, treatment of grammar and vocabulary, integrated skills work, solutions for mixed-ability classes, and learner independence, with examples from all four levels.

    Photo of Malcolm Mann, Author.
    12.00pm - 12.45pm - Malcolm Mann : Phrasal verbs: making do with a problematic area or coming up with practical solutions?


    In this workshop, we'll explore why phrasal verbs are particularly difficult for some students to learn. We'll examine successful - and not so successful - approaches to the teaching and learning of phrasal verbs, both in terms of lexis and grammar. We'll ask how the presentation of phrasal verbs should fit within the broader area of vocabulary teaching in general, and - following on from my last webinar for the Macmillan Online Conference - see if an understanding of metaphor can help us make sense of some troublesome phrasal verbs.

    Afternoon - Exams Sessions

    Photo of Roy Norris, Author.
    2.00pm - 2.45pm - Roy Norris : Preparing for the changes to the Cambridge English: First exam


    The changes to the FCE exam come into effect from January 2015. I’ll be looking at what’s different in the exam and how to go about preparing your students for it. In particular, I’ll be revealing the new features of Ready for First, which has undergone a complete revision and been updated in response to the changes.

    Photo of Sam McCarter, Author.
    3.00pm - 3.45pm - Sam McCarter : Top Ten Tips for teachers preparing students for the academic version of IELTS


    The presentation will look at the Top Ten Tips to help students improve their chances of obtaining a higher score in the academic version of the IELTS exam. The focus will be on increasing students’ awareness of organization and flexibility so that they can use what they know from the grammar and vocabulary point of view efficiently across the four components, listening reading writing and speaking.

    Photo of Jaimie Scanlon, Author.
    4.00pm - 4.45pm - Jaimie Scanlon : Critical Engagement in Academic English


    Critical thinking skills have long been identified as essential for academic success. But how can we ensure that we are maximizing our students' potential to gain these skills through our teaching? What kinds of tasks help students make habits of inquiry, analysis, and problem-solving? This Macmillan Online Conference workshop presents five core critical engagement skills to aid teachers wishing to enhance opportunities for students to engage with content in a deep, meaningful, and purposeful way.


    Thursday 14th November 2013

    Google Hangouts with macmillan
    Google hangout time!

    Share your thoughts on the Conference and discuss the topics raised with other attendees during one of our special Google Hangout sessions, which will take place on Tuesday the 12th and Thursday the 14th of November.

    Visit the Macmillan Education Google+ page for full details: plus.google.com/107211160258991177189/posts


    Friday 15th November 2013

    Morning - Adults Sessions

    Photo of Scott Thornbury, Author.
    10.00am - 10.45am - Scott Thornbury: 'The SLA Hall of Fame'


    The relatively recent history of second language acquisition (SLA) research has produced a small number of case studies that have an almost iconic significance in the literature: you only have to mention Alberto or Wes or Nora, and scholars will know exactly what feature of language acquisition you’re talking about. In this webinar I’ll briefly review these figures in the SLA ‘Hall of Fame’, and suggest that they still have relevance to today’s classrooms.

    Photo of Ceri Jones, Author.
    11.00am - 11.45am - Ceri Jones : Making the most of reading texts


    Reading texts should not only be used for developing reading skills, they should also be exploited for their linguistic content and as an opportunity to train students to notice how the language works. If we can encourage students to read intensively and carefully in the classroom, we can help them become active “noticers” outside the classroom. In this workshop we will look at a series of practical lesson ideas that can be adapted to any text with minimal preparation.

    Photo of Susan Holden, Author.
    12.00pm - 12.45pm - Susan Holden : Combining cultural exploration and Language Learning


    Exploring other countries and cultures often raises awareness of one's own culture and social structures. Finding similarities and differences can be a motivating experience, lending itself naturally to discussion and questioning.Factual input from both text at the appropriate language level, and photos carrying a visual message, is a natural way of combining language and culture and provides a stimulus for reading for both information and pleasure. The Macmillan Cultural Readers series provides titles which achieve that dual objective.

    Afternoon - Classroom Tips Sessions

    Photo of Nik Peachy, Author.
    2.00pm - 2.45pm - Nik Peachy : Using Word Clouds.


    Word clouds are a simple to create, but effective resource for the language classroom. This session will explore the potential of word clouds and their application to English language teaching. We will look at a number of different tools for creating word clouds and then examine some activities that we can use with them to support skills and vocabulary development.

    Photo of Pete Sharma, Author.
    3.00pm - 3.45pm - Pete Sharma : ‘Apptastic’


    They say there’s an ‘app’ for nearly everything! New apps appear daily. But which apps can best help students with their language learning? I’ve spent some time considering a range of apps from a pedagogical perspective. This practical talk will first discuss hardware (tablets and Smartphones), trends (like BYOD – ‘bring your own device’), and finally, present some exciting new apps for students along with practical ideas for the classroom and autonomous study. Result? ‘Appiness!

    Photo of Duncan Foord, Author.
    4.00pm - 4.45pm - Duncan Foord : Surviving language teaching


    What do teachers carry with them in their bags? How do they use body language effectively? What makes a successful staffroom? These are some of the practical challenges that teachers face which they haven’t necessarily been prepared for in their training. Lindsay Clandfield and I have been exploring the answers to these questions and others in a series of articles on Onestopenglish. Come along and find out what we discovered.

    *All times are UK time - To convert the time from your local area please visit this site: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html