BESIG Programme Day at the IATEFL Annual Conference 2013

The BESIG Programme Day will take place on Tuesday, 9th April in Suite 3 - 5

The BESIG Open Forum will be sponsored by Cambridge University Press.

Session 1 (10.50 – 11.35) Workshop

Candy van Olst (United Kingdom)

Is unplugged teaching a black art?

Unplugged teaching has been called many things ranging from “just chatting” to a “black art” for very experienced teachers only. This very active workshop will try to show that by using student input in the form of anecdotes and by applying various strategies, unplugged teaching is totally needs-based and student focussed and makes learning relevant, purposeful, useful and dynamic.



Candy van Olst: I have always taught and came to being a Business English teacher via South Africa and First language teaching to privileged private school teenagers, Second language exam candidates, teaching people to read and write and latterly, providing a safe, communicative environment for damaged refugees. These extremes brought me scurrying to the UK, shaking the African dust off my feet.

After arriving in the UK in 1997, I tried very hard not to go into teaching. But it seems that once one has decided to teach, it is really the only thing that will do.

I started teaching at a residential language school and have been there for 13 years. I have consistently taught people to do business in English and done that using them as my material and resource. The emphases have shifted through those 13 years due to the ever-changing needs of Business English learners, but it has always been the student who has guided what I teach and to a greater or lesser degree, how I teach.

Changes need to be accommodated, but it remains my absolute belief and the impetus that keeps me doing it, that the student is the best person to know what is needed in order to be successful and effective communicators and it is my job to ensure that they will ultimately become sophisticated global citizens.

Session 2 (12.10 – 12.40) Talk

Eduardo Santos (Brazil)

BRICS: Boosting Results in In-company Scenarios

Fast-growing economies demand immediate results for in-company clients. This talk will discuss the challenges brought by corporations in an emerging economy and the role of the Business English trainer as a coach.  This practical session will analyse techniques and tools which foster results and help align course objectives with clients’ needs.


You can view the slides from Eduardo´s session here: BRICS: Boosting Results in In-company Scenarios


Bio: Eduardo Santos has been involved in ELT for 11 years, having worked at language institutions in Brazil as an English teacher and teacher trainer. He is currently the Director of Studies of Cultura Inglesa in Recife where he is responsible for managing and training 21 teachers in two branches. He has worked with various international companies in Recife as a freelance corporate trainer teaching business English. He is also the current president of Braz-Tesol Pernambuco chapter. Eduardo holds a BA (Hons) in English/Portuguese Language and Literature and he is currently finishing his DELTA. He blogs at


Session 3 (12.55- 13.25) Talk

Andy Johnson (United Kingdom)

Narrative-based learning paths

Narrative-based learning paths are a series of lessons I have developed around case studies with characters and situations which provide over 15 hours of class time each.  In this talk, I will give you a demonstration of one such path, highlight the strengths and possible shortcomings of the approach and give some insight on how I wrote the materials.


You can view Andy´s presentation here: Narrative-based learning paths



Bio: My name is Andy Johnson.  I’m a teacher and materials writer, with over 10 years’ experience in English language teaching.  I am particularly interested in material development for pre-service Business English learners, incorporating blended learning and ICT.  I have written exam materials for Cambridge English Language Assessment and developed materials for a range of Business English and ESP courses.  I am DELTA qualified and have extensive experience of teaching business English and EAP overseas and in London.  I am currently the Courses Manager at The London School of English.

Session 4 (14.25 – 14.55) Talk

Tatiana Tolstova (Russian Federation)

Some cognitive implications of using corpora in teaching business English

How can we use corpus linguistics to teach business English to non-native learners? Involving students in compiling and employing various types of corpora can be an excellent tool to get them familiarized with the concepts and notions of business, as well as with the cognitive structure of various business genres.

You can view the slides from Tatiana´s session here:

Some cognitive implications of using corpora in teaching business English

Bio: Tatiana Tolstova has a PhD in Linguistics and 10 years’ experience of teaching Business English. She is an Associate Professor at Samara State Aerospace University (Russia). At the same time she teaches English at Volga Branch of International University in Moscow and Samara Regional Centre for Children and Youth’s Technical Creative Activities. She also takes part in the project supported by Samara Regional Ministry of Education on teaching Business English to School teachers of English of Samara Region to help them incorporate Business English into their current English Language syllabus. In 2008 she won a BESIG Scholarship to enable her to present a paper on "Corpus as a Tool of Objective Researching and Teaching Business English” at the 21st Annual BESIG Conference in Sankt Augustin (Germany). She is a member of IATEFL.

Session 4 (15.00 – 15.30) Talk

Edward Pegg (United Kingdom)

Doing power

This talk will introduce participants to the language items and discourse structures that successful managers use when ‘doing power’ or being assertive The talk will outline high frequency language items in successful management discourse and provide participants with practical ideas on how to develop their clients’ English in order to help them express themselves assertively but respectfully in business contexts.

You can view the slides from Ed´s session here: Doing Power

Bio: Ed has worked in business and executive English for several years. He works daily with multi-cultural groups of professionals on intensive courses at the London School of English.

Working mainly with senior managers in international companies, Ed is particularly interested in indentifying the language that effective professionals use in their daily work and incorporating this into English training programmes and resources.

In his training, Ed focuses on applying discourse analysis, pragmatics and cultural competence training to practical, language focused instruction that allows his clients to better perform at work.

Session 5 (16.05- 16.50) Workshop

Barry Tomalin (United Kingdom)

Make your meetings work

Business people don’t meet face to face any more. Budget and travel restrictions have stopped this. They ‘conference call’ instead. Now they are ‘faced’ with speakers they can’t see who have strange accents and talk too fast. How can we help?

This workshop demonstrates techniques from Collins Key Business Skills to help students participate in and run successful conference calls.


You can view the slides from Barry´s session here: Making meetings work


Bio: Barry Tomalin MA is Cultural and Communication Consultant at International House London and Visiting Lecturer in Cultural Awareness and International Communication at the University of East Anglia, London Academy of Diplomacy. He consults with leading companies on how to improve international communication  and is author of a number of books, including, ‘Key Business Skills’ (Harper Collins 2012), The World’s Business Cultures and How to Unlock Them’. (Thorogood 2010). And ‘Cross-Cultural Communication: Theory and Practice’ (Palgrave Macmillan 2013).  Barry is a former broadcaster and producer in the BBC’s World Service and  has trained staff in international communication skills, business English and cultural awareness in over 60 countries.


Session 6 (17.05- 17.35) Talk

Atul Sharma (India)

IATEFL BESIG Facilitator Scholarship winner

Is Business English teaching in India aligned with industry needs?

More than two hundred thousand students graduate from Business Schools in India every year. A large number of these graduates remain unemployed Employers are of the opinion that a large number of these graduates are unemployable One of the key skills these graduates lack is Business English proficiency. Is Business English teaching in India aligned with industry needs?


You can view the slides from Atul´s session here: Is Business English teaching in India aligned with industry needs?


Bio: Atul Sharma, born 1 March 1960, is a B.E.(Honours) Civil Engineering, M.A. (English), and MBA, employed at the Galgotias Business School, Greater Noida, India, as Senior Associate Professor and Chairman – Placements. He has also served as Chairman – Management Development Programs. Atul’s areas of interest include – Business Communication, Business English, Corporate Readiness & Soft Skills, Sales Management, Total Quality Management, Operations Management and Ethics & Values.

Atul regularly conducts training programs for Industry Associations and Chambers, the National Institute for Administrative Research and several nationalised Banks, industry houses and institutes.

Atul uses a lot of innovative techniques to enhance learning, one of them being theatre. Atul devised and conducted a very successful management development program titled ‘Business Communication through Theatre Technique’.

Session 7 (17.50- 18.20)

BESIG Open Forum

sponsored by Cambridge University Press

The Open Forum, sponsored by Cambridge University Press, gives members the chance to have their voices heard, meet up with other BESIGers and mingle over refreshments. This is the place to be to meet the 2013 BESIG Facilitator Scholarship winner, find out who won the lesson plan competition, get the latest on future events and gather input and ideas from other members. Don’t miss this opportunity to get to know the committee and other SIG members as well as get updates on the latest news!