Annual Conference 2021

LATE’s Annual Conference took place on the 25/26th August 2021. The Conference was entitled ‘Setting Goals; Meeting Goals’. This was an online conference like last year. The Conference was a free event for all LATE Members with a valid membership until August 2022.

Conference Programme

The US Department of State Exchange Progams for Teachers.

State Examination in English 2020/2021: Discussion of Results and Recommendations for Preparation

by Tatjana Kunda (VISC)

This session will provide an overview of the results of the state examinations in English, focusing on strong and weak areas in the candidates’ performance. It will also give you an insight into the most essential aspects of assessment in Year 12.

Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program

by Inese Ozola-Zaļā (Kandavas K.Mīlenbaha Secondary School)

Recently I have returned from America where I took part in this prestigious program. I would like to share a little of my experiences but mostly concentrate on encouraging and motivating other teachers to not hesitate and use all the opportunities we have to improve ourselves personally and professionally as well. This was a lifechanging experience for me so I would love to share it with teachers who are open to changes and would like to hear about this program more.

Introducing American Studies as a part of the program for B1 level students

by Katrina Loboda (Riga Secondary School No 41)

Nowadays teenagers are interested in American culture due to Netflix, YouTube and other U.S. culture’s influence on our society. Integrating American studies into your curriculum can be beneficial and interesting to the students. Firstly, students develop 21st century competencies. Secondly, it’s a great opportunity to learn from the authentic sources and develop students’ language skills.

30th Anniversary Quiz

by Paula Elksne (RTU Riga Business School)

Building on 30 years of experience, the U.S. Embassy in Latvia and RBS will join efforts to review the foundations for successful cooperation, past events and accomplishments, and the avenues for future cooperation. The findings will be shared with society through an innovative live-streamed virtual competition for high school students. This presentation will introduce you to the opportunities that students will have to participate in the quiz.

Embracing Isolation by Enhancing Student Autonomy

by Phil Warwick (Pearson)

Last year saw many changes and challenges to the traditional model of education. As schools have flipped from face-to-face to online learning and back, it has been a steep learning curve for both teachers and students to try and maintain the same level of instruction in different formats and through different mediums. One of the few benefits is that online learning has shifted the focus more on the students and encouraged them to become more autonomous and take personal charge of their learning – it is important that teachers embrace this and encourage learners not to lose their newfound autonomy when they return to more classroom-based instruction. In this session we’ll look at what true autonomy is and how teachers can support and build on it to help students create a personalised learning platform that will improve success regardless of the format.

Finding the Formula for Successful Assessment in Stressful Times

by Phil Warwick (Pearson)

One of the results from the previous year is that students facing their final school leaving exams have been affected more than most. Worried and anxious that they will not be as well prepared through remote learning as they would have been with in classroom work, these students should give us pause for thought and allow us to reflect constructively about exam preparation and whether we could make it more productive and efficient for learners regardless of the medium of instruction. This session will look at practical ideas that teachers can use to prepare students to successfully pass tests in both online and face-to-face learning.

Keeping Our Promise: Writing

by Robert Buckmaster (The English Ideas Project)

Language learning in the classroom is both a promise and a problem. The problem is how can we fulfil our promise. In this session we will consider the promise and the problem, and then focus on how we can teach writing better so that our learners will do better in exams, at university and in the workplace, and in life.

Cambridge and IELTS exam news in Latvia in 2021

by Inga Saulīte Bēniņa (Baltic Council for International Education)

During this seminar we will present news of the Cambridge exams in Latvia. During this special time, the examinations were held in person, following all epidemiological requirements. In 2021, we started Computer Based exams (A2-C2 levels), and the most significant benefits are the availability of faster results, just 2 weeks after the exam.

Helping Learners Build Core Vocabulary

by Dace Miška (Oxford University Press)

Oxford 3000 and Oxford 5000 are research-based word lists that were designed to help learners build a core vocabulary of high-frequency words and phrases. This session will look at how the word lists were compiled and how teachers and learners can use them to build vocabulary in manageable stages and focus their efforts on high-value words.

Home schooling in Latvia

Diāna Poņemecka (University of Liepaja)

The presentation consists of three parts: 1) Description of what home-schooling in Latvia looks like. 2) The main approaches of teaching/learning English at home. 3) Recommendations for better cooperation between a public school English teacher and a home-schooling family.

Visual Aids to Support Flexibly-Paced Learning

by Maira Asare (Vecpiebalga Secondary School)

Competence-based education requires considering the diverse background of students’ needs and prior knowledge. Therefore, the study aimed to explore how visual aids can foster flexibility in the learning pace. The results confirmed that autonomous work with materials improves academic achievement and self-directed learning skills. However, teachers lack support materials. The presenter will demonstrate the planning of flexibly-paced learning and share the visual aids.

An inductive Approach to Introducing Grade 5 Students to Formal Writing in English to Develop their Writing Skills

by Elvira Laizane (Kekava Secondary School)

The introduction of a competency-based approach has initiated a discussion about efficient lessons where students learn to think, analyze and conclude. An inductive approach aims to develop students’ deep learning and focus on long-term results. The presentation will explain how to use the inductive approach to improve students’ writing.

Promoting Parental Engagement for the Form 1 – 3 Students in the English Learning Process (or Reaching Parents, Meeting Goals)

by Elīna Barreta (Mores Elementary School)

Parental engagement is necessary to enhance the children’s participation in the learning process in the classroom as well as at home. Teachers and school administration are mainly responsible for initiating, establishing and maintaining positive partnerships between parents and the school. This presentation demonstrates a form of communication which serves as a meaningful, two-way, and convenient tool for parents and teachers and thus leads to improvements in the child’s learning process.

Teacher Experience Using Visual Media to Develop Students’ Critical Thinking and Visual Literacy in Secondary School English Language Lessons: Research Results

by Sandra Kalniņa and Elza Strazdiņa (University of Latvia, Cesu State Gymnasium)

Visual media, especially advertisements, play not only a crucial role in our students’ private lives, but also have been incorporated in the new EFL teaching curriculum. However, what are the practices of using it? In the presentation the teacher experience of using visual media in secondary school English language lessons will be explored by discussing results of a Master thesis research.

Development of Self-Regulated Learning Skills in the Learning Process

by Inga Linde

During the seminar, teachers will be introduced to a teacher professional development course and research, which aims to give broader insight in the understanding of self-regulated learning skills and their meaningful applications, in order to be better prepared to nurture these skills in their students.

Presentation skills for teachers and students

by Tatiana Ginzburg (Express Publishing)

Did you know that the fear of speaking in public tops the list of phobias? At the same time, our students will need to present at university, work and even while they are at school. We will look at the general guidelines for presenting successfully. We will also consider some specific tips and tricks related to presenting online.

The Sounds and Shapes of Words: Teaching Reading Effectively

by Steve Lever (Express Publishing/Janis Roze)

Establishing early literacy skills in the ELT classroom is an essential objective for primary teachers. However, the traditional method of beginning with the English alphabet can initially cause more problems for young learners. It has become clear that teaching the English code requires a more principled approach that makes use of careful strategies and scaffolding techniques.

English Connects

by Roy Cross (The British Council)

Pre-Recorded Session 1

Using technology for setting goals and tracking progress

by Lauren Anderson (National Louis University, US Embassy Riga)

How can we use technology to help students set goals and track their own progress? The presenter will share lessons learned from framing goals, setting goals, and keeping track of progress using engaging technologies. This session will focus on secondary students.

Pre-Recorded Session 2

Differentiated instruction – myth or reality?

by Annie Altamirano (Freelance)

Mixed ability classes pose a challenge, which can be faced by implementing differentiated instruction. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about what differentiated instruction is. This session offers guidance to understand what differentiation is and what it is not and how to differentiate different elements of the lesson. I will finally offer tips for managing a differentiated lesson.

Publisher Presentation: Express Publishing

Publisher Presentation: Pearson

Publisher Presentation: National Geographic Learning