Call for Speaker Proposals

The Slovak Chamber of English Teachers (SKA) is excited to invite English teachers and teacher trainers from Slovakia, Europe and around the world to share their expertise at its 2nd annual international ELT conference the 23rd and 24th of September 2016, in Košice, Slovakia.

(Registration for participants starts 1 RollUpBanner_SKA_print-page-001June 2016.)

We’ve chosen this year’s theme – Mind the Gap: Linking Cultures via ELT – because of its current relevance to our situation in Slovakia and Central Europe. We welcome all practical workshop proposals, but those facilitating intercultural communicative competence are preferred. (For more information on what is meant by intercultural communicative competence, please read the explanation at the bottom of this post.)

As foreign language teachers and educators, we are in the unique position of being able to provide young people with the space and language to communicate across cultures, to facilitate understanding and acceptance among all our students. 

Thus, we invite workshop proposals that share practical exercises and insights which facilitate intercultural communicative competence, as well as the learning of the English language.   We’d like to hear what you have discovered works with your students.

For SKA 2016, there will again be 4 sections of interest:

  • Teaching Teens and Adults
  • Teaching Young Learners
  • Using ICT in ELT
  • Using Drama in ELT

We welcome proposals for 45-minute workshops relating to any of those four areas.

Definition of ‘workshop’:

 

  • A practical presentation which shows, rather than tells, an ELT technique/activity/idea that can be used later in the classroom or for personal professional growth. The speaker involves participants through hands-on activities.

To send in your proposal, please fill out the form here.

Deadline: 20 June 2016

We look forward to hearing from you!

SKA 2016 Conference Committee

Intercultural Communicative Competence

Intercultural communicative competence does not get much space in either our Slovak English teacher-training programs or our lessons. Yet the CEFR (2001: 43) calls for it in our classrooms:

The learner does not simply acquire two distinct, unrelated ways of acting and communicating. The language learner becomes plurilingual and develops interculturality. The linguistic and cultural competences in respect of each language are modified by knowledge of the other and contribute to intercultural awareness, skills and know-how. They enable the individual to develop an enriched, more complex personality and an enhanced capacity for further language learning and greater openness to new cultural experiences. […] A place is of course given to these activities and competences, which differentiate the language learner from the monolingual native speaker. 

The Council of Europe goes a bit further, calling on us to ‘be role models’ and ‘create a community of students’ based on ‘democracy and human rights’ (2008: 32):

Educators at all levels play an essential role in fostering intercultural dialogue and in preparing future generations for dialogue. Through their commitment and by practising with their pupils and students what they teach, educators serve as important role models. Teacher-training curricula need to teach educational strategies and working methods to prepare teachers to manage the new situations arising from diversity, discrimination, racism, xenophobia, sexism and marginalisation and to resolve conflicts peacefully, as well as to foster a global approach to institutional life on the basis of democracy and human rights and create a community of students, taking account of individual unspoken assumptions, school atmosphere and informal aspects of education. 

Europe has faced (multi-)cultural challenges for centuries. These days, it’s a bit more intense on a variety of levels. Slovakia has also seen a rise of xenophobia among our young people – something most find incomprehensible.

As foreign language teachers and educators, we are in the unique position of being able to provide young people with the space and language to communicate across cultures, to facilitate understanding and acceptance among all our students. 

Be counted among the many other great teachers and teacher trainers who have shared with us!

Here are just some of many from SKA 2015 Bratislava: Learning Together, Teaching Together

A few more from 2014 when SKA organized ELTForum

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