Annual Conference 2013

The 2013 Annual Conference Success and Challenges in ELT was held from the 22nd to the 23rd August at the Education and Information Centre of Riga city.

This was LATE’s 21st Annual Conference and the 13th Baltic IATEFL Conference.

The Conference attracted over 140 English teaching professionals from all over the world.

You can see photos and read the conference abstracts below, as well as visit the pages for previous conferences.

This conference brought together a wide range of speakers from the world of English language teaching, and, thanks to the British Council, two speakers who are not teachers – Andrew McKenzie and Marcus Orlovsky – who had important perspectives to add to the proceedings.

A new Board was elected and the number of members on the Board reduced from 13 to 9.

Many thanks must go to the LATE Board and other volunteers who made the conference so successful, to Sandra Prince [British Council], Andrzej Raczowski [Cambridge University Press], Dace Miška [Oxford University Press]; Nick Goode [Macmillan]; Iveta Vitola [Pearson Longman] and Tatiana Ginzburg [Express Publishing] for bringing in such interesting speakers and all our other presenters and of course to all our members.

Please Forget to Remember What You Don’t Need To Know

Andrew McKenzie

British Council/Simply Superior

Nobody needs to know anything more than they think they already don’t realise that they already do: what we need is to know what we don’t need to know, because it’s what we’re thinking when we’re not thinking what we should be thinking that’s the problem!

Confusing? It should be! And so is the task of teaching anything to anyone in a world where we have unlimited choices and no good reasons for making any of them. This presentation introduces ‘complementary’ thinking with special regard to language, and what this could mean for you!

Online Support and online communities

Nick Goode

Macmillan Education

In this talk we will look at the internet as a source of inspiration for the classroom. We will look at some of the excellent Macmillan materials available online, some paid-for but mostly free of charge, and discuss how best to make the most of these in a classroom context.

Towards Cambridge English First – Target Vocabulary for a B2 Course

Annette Capel

Freelance/Cambridge University Press

Informed by research from the English Vocabulary Profile, Annette will focus on the areas of vocabulary that require coverage during a B2/ Cambridge English First preparation course. These include less frequent meanings of polysemous words in English, such as take, keep and way, phrases and collocations appropriate for the B2 level, and the important area of affixation and word families.

The write stuff – developing the writing skill

Robert Dean


Writing is often seen as the poor relation of the four skills – the one that ís left for homework because it ís not really considered a valuable thing to do in class. This session will look at some arguments in favour of using class time to develop the writing skill, and will show that far from being a boring, solitary activity, writing in class can be interactive, communicative, and even enjoyable. We will look at some approaches and activities that can be used with students at a variety of levels.

Young Learners’ Needs

Craig Huxley


In order to effectively teach our young ones we should be fully aware of how they think, how they learn and what their needs are. We should adapt the classroom into a suitable learning ground that sets the foundations for strong future users of the English language. Teaching young learners is an art and there are many ways of bringing our primary classrooms to life!

Integrating grammar practice into your day-to-day-teaching

Chris Graham

Oxford University Press

Grammar matters, and our students need clear and precise explanations and targeted practice within their language learning activities. This talk will look at the ways in which grammar practice can become an integral part of your communicative teaching. Reference will be made to both written and spoken practice and to ways of developing learner autonomy and grammatical self-awareness.

Watch This Space: Going Digital Made Simple

Robert Buckmaster

Freelance/Cambridge University Press

In this session we will look at the exciting features of two new course books for teenagers from Cambridge University Press – Your Space and Interactive. They both have interactive websites with a wealth of extra activities and are easy to teach from. We will then look in detail at how a lesson from one of these courses works in practice and how it helps your learners learn more effectively and makes your life as a busy teacher easier.

Teenage Learners: implications for a language classroom

Tatiana Ginzberg

Express Publishing

Teaching teenagers has always been considered a challenge. Neither children, nor adults, they often seem to expect entertainment more than anything else. In this talk we’ll look at the ways teenagers learn and at things to keep in mind when dealing with ‘digital natives’ to provide for their affective needs and intellectual development while teaching a foreign language.

Things to do on Monday

Robert Dean


Preparation-free, student-centred, age-adaptable, multi-sensory, materials-free, highly versatile… do these describe the sort of classroom activities you like? If so, come and join us for a selection of highly practical ways of adding a bit of spice to next Monday’s lesson (as well as Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, Thursday’s and Friday’s…)

Where Learning is an Adventure!



How to engage primary students in 21st century learning? During this hands-on workshop we will uncover clues and solve mysteries with the new tried and tested primary course Our Discovery Island and weíll continue the adventure online where students have a chance to play, explore, create and interact in English in a digital environment that they are naturally drawn to.

Teaching writing successfully

Craig Huxley


Despite the technological aids to writing that are now freely available, good writing is still an art. It is also a communicative skill that learners are required to master. In this session we will look at ways in which we can help our learners communicate effectively through the written word.

Understanding and mastering American English pronunciation

Elina Banzina


Students are overwhelmingly exposed to the American accent due to its predominance in the popular culture. The purpose of this workshop is to help non-native English teachers understand the intricacies of the American accent and practice it by engaging in hands-on activities. Tips and tricks on vowel and consonant production, stress, rhythm, connected speech, and voice quality will be shared.




Scientific phenomena, the natural world and ancient civilizations have been areas of interest and study for many years.

In this session, we will take a closer look at how the CLIL approach to language learning can broaden our students’ awareness of the world they live in, improve their cognitive skills, and help them discover, ‘A World of Wonders at the Turn of a Page’!




This workshop focuses on New Media tools and artistic expression as a vehicle for discovering and internalizing a foreign language. Moreover, I use multimedia and web-based applications to make the learning process more intuitive which is essential when considering the amont of information teenagers receive every day.



Univeristy of Latvia

In the 21st century it is vital for the professionals and students to master the English language at the required level in various study and career contexts. The goal of the presentation is to show and tell about flexible, technology-enhanced language proficiency testing system that correlates with the English proficiency levels defined in CEF and the year 12 examination.




Tired of crowded classrooms and lack of fresh air? Take your kids outside for language learning fun! This workshop will give a deeper insight in outdoor language learning as well as provide ready-to-use ideas and activities to try out. It is a great way to motivate you students, revise vocabulary and practice speaking in a fun and healthy way. Real life English from the physical activities and creative tasks will add another dimension of adventure to your English classes.


Robert Dean


There was a time last century when language learning was merely about reciting verb tables and doing tedious written exercises – not exactly the stuff of dreams. This is the 21st century though, and a lot has changed. Course materials have changed, methodology has changed, students’ expectations have changed. This session will focus on some key principles involved in creating a motivating learning environment, and will demonstrate some simple approaches and activities that can be employed to make learning fun, memorable and effective.

It is all in the mind

Robert Buckmaster

Freelance/Cambridge University Press

In this session we will start by looking at what makes English in Mind 2nd edition published by Cambridge University Press special for you and your learners: both in the books and the extras. Then in workshop mode we will take a closer practical look at how one lesson works and explore how you could teach it to maximise the learning of your students.

Short Videos in English Lessons

Linards Kumskis and Rita Skara-Mincāne

University of Latvia

Short videos can be used to involve students in the foreign language learning process. This workshop will demonstrate how to adapt excerpts from movies, short films and Google doodles to raise students’ interest in EFL as well as improve their language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing.




It’s always good to remind about things everybody knows but probably aren’t using them. Teachers do perform each lesson and try to involve students in activities. Using Double P can help teachers to attract students’ attention and involve them. Everybody has used it, just few tips not to forget about the advantages of Double P.

Turning Cinderella into a Princess: The workbook re-invented


Oxford University Press

This session focusses on giving new life to the use of the workbook by dealing with the online workbooks available with many OUP coursebooks. Participants in the session will consider the characteristics of students today. Based on these, the session provides practical activities, reinforcing the benefits of using online workbooks.

Professional Development of Mentors for English as a Foreign Language Teachers

Indra Odina, Rita Skara-Mincāne, Ligita Grigule

University of Latvia

This is a special offer for the mentors who have qualified to be mentors of student-teachers before 2008, to update their qualification in mentoring. 2 workshops of 90 minutes will deal with the expected mentors’ support for the developing competences necessary for English language teachers and implementing students’ teaching practices in the Teacher Education Department, Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, University of Latvia.

Cooperative Learning Structures to ‘Include’ Students in English Lessons

Indra Odina

University of Latvia

Cooperative Learning structures can be adapted to accommodate full inclusion of language learners at all language acquisition stages: pre-production, early production, speech emergence, intermediate fluency and fluency. The same structure can involve limited as well as fluent speakers so that language practice and content mastery are combined. Language proficiency truly can be acquired simultaneously with content mastery and achievement of challenging performance standards through cooperative learning structures.

Selecting the Best into Teaching: Policy Features in Europe and a Case of Latvia

Indra Odina

University of Latvia

This overview presentation followed by discussion outlines some basic policy features in European countries, as far as the issue of selecting and attracting the best candidates into the teaching profession is concerned. The topic is tightly interwoven with contextual issues about Teacher Education and recruitment, the status and attractiveness of the profession, the teacher supply/demand match, and teacher quality/evaluation.

Mind the Gap

Marcus Orlovsky

British Council/Bryanston Square Foundation

The enormous pace of change in technology has shrunk the worldís boundaries, brought a dependence upon ëworldí languages. English and the opportunities it brings has never before been so in demand. This interactive presentation will cover changes in recent years, global opportunities and how best to help young people take advantage of what the world has to offer.

Screen Capture Software for Providing Feedback on Students’ Written Work

Zanda Medne

The presentation examines the ways Screen Capture software can be used to provide feedback on students’ written work in lower secondary school lessons of English and give practical recommendations on how to use various Screen Capture software programmes for providing feedback.

Lingvodidactic Aspects of Vocabulary: Teaching English at Secondary School


Vocabulary is one of the most important aspects in teaching any foreign language. In the workshop will be offered useful solutions in teaching vocabulary in English at secondary school. There will be introduced activities how to organize and teach vocabulary.

How to Mean What You Want to Mean When You Mean It

Andrew MacKenzie

British Council/Simply Superior

This is a short seminar with practical introductions to ways in which the use of language can be linked with Emotional Intelligence techniques to prepare yourself and your students for the world of the future. Based on recent cognitive brain research and tried and trusted techniques from the cutting edge of communication studies, background and practice will be covered, so that new tools will be waiting in the box for you when you need them, as well as giving you food for thought of the very best kind!