Schedule, Teachers' Day 2023
21 September 2023
Teachers' Day proper kicks off with the Keynote presentation on 21 September 2023. The workshops will follow as two rounds of concurrent sessions. Registration deadline: 11 Sept. 2023.
To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we will also be hosting a party the evening before our usual day of keynote presentations and workshops. You are all cordially invited to attend; there will be a short retrospective, some food, and live music. If you'd like to attend, please visit our Registration page. See you there on the 20th of September!
Teachers' Day 2023 schedule online (opens QR-code)
|08:45: WELCOME||Prof. Dr. Remus Gergel, Deputy Head of the Department of English, Saarland University; Dr. Tina Hellenthal-Schorr, die Vizepräsidentin für Lehre und Studium, Saarland University; and Dr. Pascal Ohlmann, Head of the Department of Schools (C4 Gymnasien Unit) at the Saarland Ministry of Education and Culture|
|09:15: KEYNOTE PRESENTATION||Keynote: |
Michaela Mahlberg. Language in context—what does that mean in practice?
When the first Teachers’ Day took place, back in 2004, the aim was to create a forum for researchers and English teachers to come together and share their interest in the language. Both in research and in teaching, there is no doubt that context is crucial for the way language is used—and the way language helps us to make sense of the world. Still, more work needs to be done to raise awareness of how the contexts in which we research and teach English affect our ‘versions’ of the language. In this talk, I will look at two types of examples. Firstly, examples of English in different contexts of use—from business English to environmental journalism, and contemporary children’s literature to the classics of the canon. Secondly, I will consider examples of contexts in which such varieties are studied and taught. I am particularly interested in differences between Germany and the UK, and in contexts where research and teaching come together. I want to argue that much more can still be done to contextualise English as a subject. Specifically, I see public engagement as a key ingredient of research into English, in the same way that the English classroom needs to be connected to the real world.
|10:30–11:00: COFFEE BREAK|
|First round (concurrent workshops)|
|11:15: Workshop A||Regina Schulz. Sustainable development goals in the advanced English classroom.|
On the basis of selected UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), concrete digital examples for teaching English in the upper school will be presented and discussed. The topics include climate action, leadership, peace and innovation. We will discuss concrete approaches to transformative education.
|11:15: Workshop B||Daniel Becker. Make Your Day or Break Your Day? Exploring TikTok in the EFL Classroom.|
Since its launch in 2016, TikTok has become one of the biggest success stories in media history. With more than 1 billion active users around the globe, the video platform has passed app-giants such as Facebook or WhatsApp in terms of downloads, and its popularity is still on the rise (see e.g. JIM study 2022). One reason for this success might lie in the fact that TikTok offers almost unlimited opportunities for self-expression and/or social commentary. Thus, the digital platform allows young (and not so young) individuals to produce, consume, and share short video content on a wide range of topics, including music, DIY advice, dating, horror stories, politics, fashion, comedy, or mental health – and, as such, it becomes a digital microcosm of current (youth) cultural developments. Given this popularity, it is not surprising that TikTok is also increasingly discussed in EFL environments (see e.g. Bernard 2021), considering that it offers authentic language use and motivating incentives for communication. In this context, my workshop explores some of the potentials TikTok might offer for competence development in the EFL classroom. For that purpose, we examine selected video trends from different didactic perspectives and, among other things, consider criteria for video selection, task design, or scaffolding. In addition, we discuss some challenges and risks that occur with the platform to obtain a more differentiated idea of what TikTok can and cannot do in a language teaching setting.
|11:15: Workshop C||Günther Sommerschuh. Making the most of your textbook: Interacting with pictures and photographs.|
Pictures and photos in textbooks not only serve to present certain facts of Landeskunde, they often also motivate students to respond to them orally or in writing; furthermore they leave intensive and lasting impressions on the viewer. It is important to make use of this multifaceted potential in the context of differentiation and individualization.
This workshop shows how to communicate with pictures in a variety of ways beyond the question, "What can you see?"
|11:15: Workshop D||Thomas Müller. Improving student writing with AI tools. (This workshop will only take place in the morning workshop round.)|
|With the advent of large language models such as ChatGPT, many have already declared student writing dead. What if AI was not just a tool for those trying to avoid writing? In this workshop, we will explore how we can get students to write and how they can use AI tools to elevate their writing. Looking at the writing process from prewriting to publishing, we will try out different tools and explore ways of using them to help students at each step.|
|11:15: Workshop E||Stefan Diemer, Marie-Louise Brunner. “All languages. All the time.” Plurilingualism in the English language classroom.|
First and second languages, heritage languages, dialects—we all have plurilingual resources at our disposal that we can use to enhance communication. In the language classroom, these can and should be activated as much as possible rather than separated. In our workshop we illustrate a plurilingual approach to teaching English. We present hands-on activities that use examples from conversation datasets, social media, and international business communication to demonstrate plurilingual language use and to activate students’ “languaging” skills. We also illustrate the use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), a set of strategies focusing on successful communication rather than formal correctness in an international context, and show how plurilingual skills can be further enhanced through co-operation in virtual global teams.
Our aim: providing English language teachers with a “toolbox” of plurilingual examples and strategies for motivating students and enhancing their communication skills, while at the same time increasing their awareness of the interplay of languages.
|British Council: Claire Steele and Sarah Smith.Promoting Creative Thought in Young Learner Classrooms through Engaging Task Design. (This workshop will only take place in the morning workshop round.)|
Have you ever found yourself staring at coursebook materials and wondering how to make the content more creative, engaging, and meaningful for your secondary school students? In this interactive workshop, we’ll explore what creativity is (and what it isn’t), and how to promote creative thinking skills in meaningful, student-initiated task design to really engage our students. We’ll break down the process of creative task design and coursebook adaptation into five useful steps to help you plan.
We will then work together to adapt coursebook activities into more creative and meaningful tasks using the five-step framework.
|13:00–14:00: Lunch Break|
|Second round (concurrent workshops). See First Round [above] for abstracts|
|14:15: Workshop A||Regina Schulz. Sustainable development goals in the advanced English classroom. (See abstract above in morning round information.)|
|14:15: Workshop B||Daniel Becker. Make Your Day or Break Your Day? Exploring TikTok in the EFL Classroom. (See abstract above in morning round information.)|
|14:15: Workshop C||Günther Sommerschuh. Making the most of your textbook: Interacting with pictures and photographs. (See abstract above in morning round information.)|
|14:15: Workshop D||Lucy Cochrane. Practical TESOL ideas for implementing sociocultural theory. (This workshop will only take place in the afternoon workshop round.)|
|14:15: Workshop E||Stefan Diemer, Marie-Louise Brunner. “All languages. All the time.” Plurilingualism in the English language classroom. (See abstract above in morning round information.)|
|14:15: Workshop F||British Council: Claire Steele and Sarah Smith. Encouraging Learners to Reflect Using Creative Feedback Techniques. (This workshop will only take place in the afternoon workshop round.)|
|Student output needs feedback, and this includes feedback on task completion, on the learning process and on language. Feedback is often driven by the teacher and is often outcome-driven, but this doesn’t always help our learners reflect and grow. In this workshop, we will explore the five steps to encouraging creative and student-led feedback in the language classroom and then apply this to coursebook tasks.|
|14:15: Workshop G||Matthias Nikola and Lennart Barkowski. "Wish You Were Here": Using English song lyrics in the classroom. (This workshop will only take place in the afternoon workshop round.)|
|In this workshop we will go over some of the ways we have used English song lyrics in the classroom, focusing on what can be gained from such activities. Pitfalls will be mentioned as well. A few examples will be "acted out" and demonstrated during the workshop.|
|16:15: COFFEE BREAK, RAFFLE, AND FAREWELL||Join us in the Musiksaal for the chance to win great prizes.|
Location: Saarland University, Bldg. C5 1 (Musiksaal; workshops in separate buildings/rooms)
Book exhibition on site in the Musiksaal during the course of the event
WLAN Name: TD-Gasp-2023
... or scan the QR code.
Photos taken at Teachers' Day
Please be aware of the fact that we will take a handful of pictures during the event, and that a selection will be posted on our website. For the most part, participants will appear in these photos as "Beiwerk," that is, not as the specific focus of the image but rather as relatively nameless members of the event masses. Participants can retroactively request that an image in which they appear be removed.