Janice Bland

(Day 1 plenary)


Multimodal texts for multisensory learning

We can confidently expect more opportunities for out-of-school English learning worldwide in the decades to come. While in some contexts, primary English teachers have children in their classrooms who have acquired quite fluent English reading and listening skills through gaming, television and YouTube videos etc., most children worldwide do not have easy access to opportunities to use English out-of-school. Extensive listening and reading out-of-school strongly support autonomous learning, which is important to develop. At the same time, the classroom still needs to focus on creativity and critical thinking, for these competences are as yet seldom integrated in primary ELT. Multimodal texts such as story apps and picturebooks can help prepare children for out-of-school learning, now and in the future. For many English experiences are now multimodal – with images and sound as important modes of communication, whether on page or on screen. This keynote will illustrate how we can use the multimodal picturebook to prepare for autonomous multimodal learning and second language acquisition, while supporting multisensory learning, empowerment, creativity and critical thinking.


Faculties for now and the future – feelings, empathy, respect!

Learning to understand ourselves as individuals with significant potential, put our feelings into words, while discovering respect and empathy for others, are educational processes that can already be trained, but will probably increasingly play a role in the primary English classroom of the future. In this interactive workshop we will discover and experience how teachers can make use of the visuals of the picturebooks Zoo (Anthony Browne, 1992) and Thunder Boy Jr (Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales, 2016) to support students in empowering language and literature learning. Contemporary and innovative creators of texts on serious themes are increasingly turning to visual narratives, and picturebooks on globally relevant topics can make a considerable depth of understanding achievable, also for young learners. The workshop will focus on environmental competence, agency for children as well as for nonhuman nature, interculturality, perceiving problems and creating solutions.


Janice Bland is Professor of English Education, Nord University, Norway, where she prepares student teachers for the teaching of English language and literature at the primary and secondary level. Her core interests are concerned with creativity in ELT: creative writing, children’s literature from picturebooks to young adult fiction, visual and literary literacy, critical literacy and global issues, intercultural learning and drama methodology. Janice has been plenary speaker in the UK, Turkey, Germany, Greece, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Finland and Japan.

Sophia Mavridi

(Day 2 plenary)


Digital literacies and the new digital divide

New technologies have become pervasive in the way students live, learn and communicate, challenging our values and norms in education and literacy. For many educators, preparing students for an ever-changing, multimodal and interconnected world is not just a choice but a necessity; yet, addressing this need can present most of them with overwhelming challenges.

This plenary will argue that along with the traditional access inequalities, there is a new and increasingly concerning digital divide that separates those who have the literacies to use technology in a reflective, responsible and sophisticated way and those who do not. After exploring the impact of this disparity on students, we will look at how embedding digital literacies in ELT curricula can help bridge the gap. This will lead to a final discussion in which we will attempt to draw some practical conclusions about the way forward.


It’s showtime! Filmmaking in the language classroom

Are you looking for exciting and student-centred ways to make your teaching more engaging? Do you want to use technology in a pedagogically sound way to help your students develop their digital literacies and language skills? Then join this hands-on session and learn how to design simple filmmaking projects for your students.

Informed by digital literacy and task-based language learning frameworks, we will explore how you can introduce filmmaking in the language classroom and how you can guide students through the process of planning, drafting, editing and revising short films. You do NOT need advanced digital skills or equipment to participate in the workshop; just bring in your creativity and imagination along with your mobile device.


Sophia Mavridi is an educational technology & EAP lecturer, teacher trainer and researcher. She is currently teaching in UK higher education as well as providing in-service training for institutions around the world. This experience along with her previous roles as a primary and secondary school EFL teacher and director of studies help her to provide informed and realistic ideas to the teachers she trains. Sophia is the IATEFL learning technologies SIG co-ordinator and her research interests lie in the transformational role of innovative pedagogies in language education.