Annual Conference 2016

The 24th Annual LATE Conference ”Energising English” was held on the August 18-19, 2016 in collaboration with the University of Latvia Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art.

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

Assessment and Feedback

Erika Osvath


In this talk we will analyze forms of traditional assessment and their effect on student behaviour and performance. There will also be a chance to consider the benefits of continuous assessment, self-assessment and portfolio assessment. The emphasis will be on providing practical ideas for assessing students in a way that supports learning.

Focusing on the Creative Self in the mixed-ability classroom

Erika Osvath


This workshop will highlight the importance of building on opportunities for self-expression in creative ways to engage students of different language levels. We will also look at some practical ways of enabling learners to pool their linguistic and non-linguistic skills to create personalized pieces of work, which motivates them to use language conscientiously, resulting in better outcomes and higher self-esteem.

Final Exams As A Positive Factor In Teaching

Tatiana Ginzburg

Express Publishing

Most people have no love for exams. At the same time, exams greatly influence our programmes and classroom practice. We will look at the ways to turn this effect into a positive one through bringing together the real-life skills needed in the 21st century, study materials we use and our teaching.

21st Century Skills

Steven Lever

Express Publishing

21st century learners need a skill set capable of meeting the constantly changing demands of modern life. These skills are not only linguistic, but include a range of cognitive and practical tools that will help learners communicate, collaborate and use the resources available to them creatively, critically and effectively.

Play is the thing

Steven Lever

Express Publishing

Play allows learners to explore and practice new language in an enjoyable and motivating way. Games create a context for meaningful communication, and provide the opportunity for comprehensible input and output. We will discuss how games can lead to acquisition and look at different games using all the language skills- and have some fun along the way.

Platforms, Digi-Books And Dog-Proof Homework

Steven Lever

Express Publishing

During this presentation, we will demonstrate some of the possibilities that the digital versions of course material can provide for schools, students and teachers. We will demonstrate some of the basic functions and look at how they can make language learning more immediate and flexible for students at levels from beginners to IELTS.

Content learning and teaching: a challenge for students and teachers

Irina Marina and Griņevska

Riga Secondary School 34

The workshop focuses on the advantages and challenges of applying CLIL in the classroom

The objectives of the workshop are:

  • to share the experience on designing the programme for teaching science and social studies in English for Grades 5 and 6 students;
  • to show the possibilities of using new technologies in CLIL classroom;
  • to involve the participants of the workshop in the challenges of CLIL.

Shakespeare in the Classroom

Inta Augustāne and Rita Skara-Mincāne

Rīgas Valsts 3. ģimnāzija

Latvijas Universitāte

2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This workshop will share our experience of talking about the great bard in English lessons in upper-secondary school. We will use Shakespeare’s quotes to introduce Shakespeare’s legacy through various challenges and activities, videos, reading and vocabulary tasks and quizzes.

Bring Your Learning into Focus

Iveta Vītola


Students learn best when a lesson combines motivating material with memorable exposure to language through a series of meaningful tasks. We will look at the ways how to help students build their range of lexis, develop their reading skills and gradually prepare for their school leaving exam. The session will be illustrated with material taken from Pearson’s brand new secondary course Focus.

A Walk in Their Shoes

Anna Radzihovska


What makes the primary classroom special? How do the unique characteristics of this age group influence the way we teach? This session will look at some of the challenges faced by teachers especially of primary age pupils and to present a selection of practical strategies and approaches aimed at making classes more engaging, students more focused – and importantly – language more memorable. A selection of ready to use fun activities will be demonstrated.

Drama in EFL

Kristīne Upīte and Anita Muižniece

University of Latvia

This workshop is based on research carried out in order to examine how drama techniques reduce learners’ speaking anxiety in EFL lessons.

During the workshop different ideas for implementing drama activities in English lessons will be provided.

Young Researcher’s Panel

Raimonds Jankovskis, Arturs Lukjanovs, Ulrika Veismane, Kristīne Upīte

Latvijas Universitāte

The panel presentation will introduce newly qualified teachers as researchers. Students will share their research findings. The topics for the research deal with poems to teach grammar, webquests in EFL classroom, authentic videos to encourage students to express their opinion as well as drama techniques.

Write Poems to Learn English

Ulrika Veismane

Latvijas Universitāte

The workshop will explore ways how writing poems can facilitate learning English. The idea for this interactive workshop was conceived when doing classroom research in basic school. The workshop will present how learners can be encouraged to create different types of poems – acrostic, sonnets etc. using online poem generator.

Aptis – new forward thinking English testing

Inga Saulīte-Bēniņa

Baltic Council for International Education

Aptis provides reliable, accurate results about your English skills. I will talk about Aptis can help teachers and their students in their language learning and testing.

“Energising English” Panel Discussion

Erika Osvath, Steven Lever, Tatiana Ginzburg, Iveta Vītola, Silvija Andernovics and Rob Buckmaster

In this panel discussion, the panel will discuss ”energising” English and answer audience questions on teaching YLs, Teens and adults.

Reading: the Deep Text and Dual Text Approaches

Rob Buckmaster

The English Ideas Project

In this workshop I will show you how to use the Deep Text and Dual Text Approaches to reading with your teenage and adult learners. Using these two approaches will improve your learners’ knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, understanding of discourse and their ability to read in English. These two approaches are an essential part of a learning focused approach to English.

Deep Text Sample Materials

The Dual Text Approach

Different Scenarios of becoming an English Teacher in Latvia

Indra Odina

Teacher Education Department
Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, University of Latvia

In this panel discussion, English teachers with different teacher education backgrounds, but with similar experiences, will engage in a discussion of the topic: the pitfalls and payoffs of different teacher education scenarios in Latvia. The audience will be involved in sharing their experience of becoming an English teacher. The expected outcome would be creative solutions for future English teacher education programmes in Latvia.

Strategies For Developing Students’ Critical Thinking Skills

Sandra Kalniņa

University of Latvia

The aim of the workshop is to acquaint the participants with some strategies (‘Reading with prediction’, ‘Questioning the author’, Stepping into the picture’ etc.) to develop students’ critical thinking skills. The participants will be actively involved in experiencing these strategies and their feedback will be expected.

Dependency Grammar

Rob Buckmaster

The English Ideas Project

In this workshop I will explore dependency grammar and suggest that using it with your teenage and adult learners will improve their understanding of English, their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary and will enable them to speak, write, read and listen better in English. Using dependency grammar should be part of a learning focused approach to English. In the workshop you will get hands-on practice of dependency grammar.

Latvia in the Context of World Education Research

Andris Kangro, Andris Grīnfelds, Antra Ozola

Educational Research Institute of the Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, University of Latvia

International organizations – OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development,, IEA (International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement,, EU – perform extensive organizational and research work and elaborate recommendations for education policy to assist governments in addressing the issues in the sphere of education quality and enhancement of education system. The audience will get a brief overview on the involvement of Educational Research Institute of the Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, University of Latvia at regular international assessment programmes (OECD PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), IEA TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study), IEA PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study), TALIS (Teaching and Learning International Survey), CIVIC etc.); key findings from the recent data will be shared and the door opened to the “kitchen” of the PIRLS 2016.

Latvia Rural Export Clubs

David Barry

Latvijas Lauka Eksporta Klubi

Rural export clubs build on the experience of export clubs in the Lake District, Cumbria. In 4 centres, every month, expert speakers deliver training and motivation to rural businesses in exporting. Today, schools are interested in sending groups to the clubs to enable young people to be more aware of exporting and enable them to network with Latvian professionals.