IH Teachers Online Conference 2020 - All sessions

On Friday 22nd May 2020, International House World Organisation held the 12th IH Teachers Online Conference, where sessions were presented by teachers, teacher trainers, and managers from around the IH World network. 

This year’s conference was particularly important due to the current global situation, with many schools working quickly and tirelessly to move their face-to-face lessons online. The theme of the conference was teaching online, and session topics included online YL vocabulary activities, online pronunciation games, and practical ideas for online Cambridge exams preparation courses.

If you missed any sessions, you can catch up below! All presentations are available on YouTube – click the session title to watch. Thank you to all our presenters!

Engaging kids through Zoom – Chloé Pakeman-Schiavone, IH Pescara

This session will include a range of tried and tested activities for engaging all students, although particularly kids, from the confines of the Zoom box.

A physical activity for a digital world – James Munday, IH British School Reggio Calabria

A series of small simple activities using only a sheet of paper to bring the physical world back into your digital classroom.

Online Testing Tips – Glenn Standish, IH Torun

With the sudden switch to online teaching, it is very important that we still try and maintain continuous assessment as best as we can. I will be looking at how you can test your students online using the platform Exam.net.

Bridging the Gap between The Classroom and the Computer – Niall O'Donnell, IH Palermo Language Centre

This talk will provide practical ideas from both an academic and student-care perspective to help teachers provide continuity between face-to-face teaching and online teaching. This will make for a more secure and welcoming learning and teaching environment, reducing the disruption students and teachers can feel in transitioning to online lessons.

The Progressive Newspaper Project: Project-Based Learning & Teaching English Through Rose-Colored Glasses – Jolien Swerts, IH Galway 

Mindful of today’s challenges, this session showcases a holistic approach to teaching language online and how to use relevant content and interest-led learning to empower our students.

Discover the magic of online project-based learning through producing a positive e-newspaper and learn about the myriad of benefits of online group work.

Transferring Popular Offline Activities into an Online Classroom – Iryna Rudzko, IH Minsk

We are going to focus on some practical activities which teachers often use in their real classrooms – board games, describing a picture, role playing, etc.

I will share my experiences of using online tools (such as Miro, Wordwall, Google Jamboard and Docs) to implement them all into teaching online in an engaging way.

The Chatbox – Ethan Mansur, IH Madrid

The chat box is a great starting point for getting creative with online lessons. There are myriad activities that can be done via this function. This session will provide a number of practical tips, ideas for activities and best practices for using the chat box during face-to-face online lessons.

Very Young Learners and works well with them in a digital classroom – Justyna Mikulak, Lacunza IH San Sebastian

Since the very young learners learn best when they have access to multi-sensory objects and activities, the time of teaching them English online may result a bit challenging. My talk will include a range of possible solutions and engaging exercises which worked well with my 4 and 5 -year-old students

Lisa's Low-tech Lowdown – Lisa Phillips, IH British School Reggio Calabria

Thrust as we have been into the 21st century whether we like it or not, the teaching community has been quick to embrace online teaching and many overnight masters of all kinds of tools and activities. I'm not one of them. The old adage "Keep it simple" has never been so relevant. Here are a few of my low-tech faves.

Bringing guest speakers to your classes – Danny Norrington-Davies, IH London

Teaching online provides an opportunity to invite friends to classes. This talk describes a lesson with a guest and how it helped my students. We will look at the tasks we did and the language emerging from them. We will also hear what the students said about the experience.

When Live Teaching is Not an Option – Joanna Szoke, IH Budapest

Working as a teacher trainer, I've seen in these past 2 months that many teachers face the difficulty of having live lessons with their students due to different reasons, such as a lack of proper internet connection, a lack of sufficient learner motivation, or the fact that students might have to help their families and work at home during school hours. Therefore, I wish to show you ways to design, teach and manage successful asynchronous lessons, which do not require live connection.

A Case for Automated Platforms: Blended Learning via Zoom – Vicente Castañar Flores, IH Mataró

The presenter is going to share his experience with blended learning from an English for academic purposes perspective. We shall discuss how to transform blended learning to a full online medium. We will have a brief look at the different kinds of platforms, from open source to paid online platforms

Using drawing in the online classroom – Emma Wooding, IH Bydgoszcz

We will look at how drawing activities can be adapted to use online with students of all ages and levels to keep students engaged and give them a break from the screen.

Teaching Vocabulary to Y.L. through M.P.F. online – Sabrina Silvestrin, IH Buenos Aires Belgrano

A really quick “Show-and-Tell”.

Succinct overview on how to teach vocabulary to young learners through the basic, classic M.P.F.: “meaning, pronunciation and form” style but online! Which has proven to be the best interactive tool? How can we replace flashcards? What online game can we create as a follow-up?

Competency Based English Language Teaching: Educating the Leaders of Tomorrow – Rosie Elsman, IH Mexico

This pandemic and the required isolation has taught us that now more than never we have to start educating professionals that will make a difference in our future. Innovation, new technologies and environmental care are key for a better tomorrow.

We thought it was going so well, but… – Choreanne Frei, IH Zurich-Baden

This session will focus on what we found challenging when changing to online teaching, but also on what both our learners and teachers appreciated about teaching with zoom. We thought it was going so well, but then in-company clients started voicing concerns. We will look at these concerns and the measures imposed on our school.

Using everyday phone apps in an online classroom – Linda Moran, IH Galway

Traditional classroom rules would usually prohibit the use of phones, but for many students these days their smartphones are their only resource for learning and education.

This talk is about finding creative ways to employ your everyday apps as effective learning tools in an online lesson.

ELT RPG - Games with Aims – James Egerton, IH Rome Manzoni

Looking for new ideas for teaching online? Want to find out how to be a Games Master alongside your teacher role? Roleplay games (RPGs) are very engaging and provide the perfect opportunity for real-life-like improvisation under pressure, not always the case in the sterility of the classroom.

Practical ideas for Online Cambridge Exams Preparation courses – Mario Tipte, IH Lima

Practical and feasible ideas to empower our online students preparing for Main Suite Cambridge exams. Strategies and tips to enhance distance learning using different tools found on the net in order to promote and develop learner's autonomy. Useful tasks and lots of practice to be implemented in our sessions and make things easier for students and teachers maximising productivity.

Flip it (with Filip) – Filip Bigos, IH Arezzo

What does a perfect lesson look like? (Insert your answer here.) We all strive to deliver it, F2F or online. What’s the most challenging thing online? (Insert your answer here.) Well, I’ll show you an old trick that can do a lot more than solve your grammar qualms online!

A game of uncertainty – Sandy Millin, IH Bydgoszcz

Online learning doesn't only have presentations and technology. In this analogue interlude, I'll show you how to repurpose a classic craft to create a fun tool for coping with any uncertain situation you might face at work right now. Intrigued? Come along, and bring a piece of paper with you!

Taking your Conversation Club Online – Vicki Robinson, IH Cape Town

Right now, conversation clubs are a chance to connect students all over the world. This talk will share practical ideas and feedback from our experience of starting a conversation club online. With tips on different levels, creating rapport and tech, these ideas are useful for setting up any speaking class

Online Pronunciation Games – Milena Montalbano, IH Team Lingue

In this session I would like to show how the online environment is great for some classic pronunciation games. As a secondary aim, I would like to show how to exploit students L1s to raise awareness of English phonology.

Are online listening tasks enjoyable? – Eman AL-Badawi, IH Amman

Teacher encourages students to listen outside the classroom and needs to assess their listening. Also, students should be able to use various materials through getting involved into many activities. How would listening go smoothly and amazingly through online teaching?

Keep them active! Ideas for YL vocabulary activities involving movement – Shannon Thwaites, IH Reggio Calabria

The move online has been a particularly interesting one for YLs, whose face-to-face lessons are often very active and tactile! This talk will demonstrate some of my favourite vocabulary activities for keeping YLs active and teaching them vocabulary in the online classroom.

The unexpected advantages: developing primary literacy skills online – Anka Zapart, BKC IH Moscow

Transfering YL classes to the online world means that preparation takes longer, some things have become more difficult and some simply impossible. However, some tasks have got easier and one of them is definitely literacy skills development in primary. In this session we are going to look at the ways of the whats and hows of that.

Handing over to your learners: promoting student centeredness in online lessons – Manoel Monteiro, IH Coimbra

Recently I heard many teachers say "I must do this and that" in response to the often time-consuming task of adapting materials for online lessons. But what if our students took the lead instead? In this session we will look at practical ways to promote learner centeredness and accountability online.

Using Kahoot as a Challenge – Ahmad Zabadi, IH Amman

In this presentation I am going to show teachers how they can use Kahoot as a teaching tool to present new target language in more fun and engaging ways.

The Typing’s on the Board: Better Online Boardwork – Marie Pepper, IH Manchester

As we adapt to new teaching environments, the board remains an essential tool for effective practice. This presentation will look at how to replicate good traditional boardwork, as well as how to exploit the many advantages virtual whiteboards have to offer.

It's all immaterial – Danny Coleman, IH Belgrano, Buenos Aires

Benefits for teachers and students of material-free classes, particularly online, with 3 concrete activities to show

For further viewing, you can find sessions from the 2019 IH Teachers Online Conference here.