2016 Annual Conference Online Programme

You can join us online for an exciting and varied programme of talks broadcast from the 29th IATEFL BESIG Annual Conference in Munich, Germany. Please see below.


The online component of the IATEFL BESIG Annual Conference was streamed live from Munich. Recordings can be accessed using the links in the table immediately below.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

 Watch recording
Speaker(s) Talk / Workshop / Discussion


here Chia Suan Chong
Helping learners communicate internationally


here Sylvie Donna

Facilitating the development of a credible business-like persona


Mike Hogan
The 10-step path to success with low-level business English learners


here Evan Frendo
Where are we with BELF? And where are we going?


here Oksana Hera Teaching English for a more fulfilling career


Ben Butler ESP: Becoming a non-expert expert

Sunday, 6 November 2016

 Session Room Speaker(s) Talk / Workshop / Discussion


Justine Arena
Business model teacher: apply a business approach to freelance teaching


Bob Dignen
Leading international projects


Helen Strong
A matrix for developing learners' business, language and intercultural skills
 K2 speaker cancelled Christopher Williams
Outside of the classroom, who are our Business English students?


Please scroll down the page for more detailed information about the speakers and the talks.


This online programme is sponsored by Pearson.


Speakers & talks

The details of the speakers and talks included in the online programme are as follows:


Saturday, 5 November 2016

Helping learners communicate internationally

Saturday - Session A: 10.45 - 11.45 CET (9.45- 10.45 GMT)

English is now used as a lingua franca around the world but what does this mean for us? How can
we oil the wheels of cross-cultural communication? How can we teach learners the
accommodation and adaptation skills they will be needing? Using roleplays, critical incidents and
activities encouraging reflection, Chia will explore some ways we can help our students become

Chia Suan Chong

Chia is a teacher trainer and communications skills trainer based in York. A regular presenter at
ELT conferences, Chia is fascinated by the interplay between culture, communication, language,
and thought. Chia is also a materials developer and has been
English Teaching Professional’s regular blogger (www.etprofessional.com) for the last four years 

Facilitating the development of a credible business-like persona

Saturday - Session B: 12.55 - 13.15 CET (11.15- 12.15 GMT)

This talk will present a rationale and activities for facilitating linguistic personality development.
Despite the focus on student-centred classrooms in recent decades, attention is rarely paid to
students’ need for a clearer and more comfortable identity when speaking English, or at least for
identity development to be facilitated by our teaching. There is the implicit assumption in
materials and teaching methods that identity is static and/or that its development is unimportant
while students learn English. In fact, since an English-speaker identity may well significantly affect
a business person’s success levels in international communications, it is helpful to focus on this.

Sylvie Donna

Author of the CUP title
Teach Business English and experienced BE teacher and trainer, Sylvie Donna now teaches BE on MA courses at Durham University.
She also supports lecturers at Durham University Business School, which gives her an ongoing insight into issues relevant to communication in the field of business.

The 10-step path to success with low-level business English learners

Saturday - Session C: 14.15 – 15.00 CET (13.15- 14.00 GMT)

A familiar challenge that low level Business English learners have is the need to build confidence,
progress quickly and become successfully functional when communicating in English. In this talk,
I will share with you 10 essential checkpoints on the journey to achieving these goals.
Examples from the forthcoming new edition of
Business English for Beginners A1/A2 (Cornelsen)
will be used, and you’ll leave with a selection of ready-to-go activities and ideas for your training.

Mike Hogan

Mike Hogan is a director of York Associates and specializes in professional language and communication skills training, international team and leadership training, and teacher training.
Titles published by Mike include the award-winning
Basis for Business B1 + B2 (Cornelsen) and Business English for Beginners A1 + A2 (Cornelsen).

Where are we with BELF? And where are we going?

Saturday - Session D: 15.15 – 16.00 CET (14.15 - 15.00 GMT)

As business English practitioners most of us rarely have enough time to keep up with academic
research into business English as a lingua franca, despite its obvious relevance to what we do.
Recent findings have been reported in various places, including “Teaching ELF, BELF and/or
intercultural communication” (JELF, 2015), “ELF in Japanese Academic and Business Contexts”
(Routledge, 2016), as well as several PhDs and journal articles. In this session I would like to
summarise some of this recent research, and discuss practical implications for our work as
business English teachers, trainers and writers.

Evan Frendo

Evan Frendo is a freelance trainer, teacher trainer and author based in Berlin. A frequent speaker
at conferences, he also travels regularly in Europe and Asia to run courses or to work as a
consultant. Since 2014 his main focus has been on developing e-learning courses for corporate
clients – see

Teaching English for a more fulfilling career

Saturday - Session E: 16.30 – 17.00 CET (15.30- 16.00 GMT)

Drawing from my experience of teaching English in Lviv (Ukraine), my talk will be based on some
of the most common challenges my learners have to overcome to make their everyday
workplace communication easier and more efficient. I am going to present a set of activities that
my business English learners find helpful, as well as the approaches and techniques I use to
enable my learners to feel more confident and ready to perform better in the fast-changing
international market.

Oksana Hera

Oksana Hera is based in Lviv (Ukraine). She is a CELTA qualified teacher, holding an MA in
Linguistics; IATEFL BESIG member since 2013. She teaches English to adults (general, business
and ESP). Her professional interests lie in materials design, in-company training, learners’ testing
and motivation.

ESP: Becoming a non-expert expert

Saturday - Session F: 17.15 – 17.45 CET (17.15 - 17.45 GMT)

New or experienced teachers often feel fear when asked to teach or cover a class involving ESP,
professional, business or technical English of which they have little knowledge. This talk will aim
to show that in fact any good teacher can conduct classes on any topic provided their approach
and style follow some simple dos and don’ts. In addition, it will look at how material can be
accessed and adapted to suit a variety of different purposes and how teachers can become
expert facilitators of communication without being subject experts.

Ben Butler

Ben Butler has over 15 years teaching English experience and works as Courses Manager at The
London School of English. He is Cert TESOL and DELTA qualified and is currently doing the Trinity
DELTM. While teaching he taught a variety of ESP Courses, as well as general English and exams.


Sunday, 6 November 2016

Business model teacher: apply a business approach to freelance teaching

Sunday - Session G: 9.30 – 10.30 CET (8.30 - 9.30 GMT)

In this interactive session, the speaker will share some insights that have helped her as a
freelancer. To this end, she will use ideas from business modeling, design thinking and marketing,
encouraging participants to reflect in their own practices. By the end of this session, the
participants will be equipped with some business tools and literature references that will allow
them to re-think and re-design their freelancing practice in order to become a better and more
competitive solo business.

Justine Arena

Justine Arena is a business consultant and a business English trainer. She uses her international
business experience to help clients to develop themselves using English as a communication tool.

Leading international projects

Sunday - Session H: 10.45 – 11.30 CET (9.45 - 10.30 GMT)

International projects, particularly those driving strategic change and innovation, impact on the
lives and careers of business professionals significantly. It is vital that ELT practitioners become
familiar with the dynamics of these project contexts, and knowledgeable about the leadership
solutions applied by project managers. Bob Dignen will give insight into the life of international
projects using case studies co-written with experienced practitioners, taken from his forthcoming
management title,
Leading International Projects, published by Kogan Page.

Bob Dignen

Bob Dignen is a director of York Associates. He currently specialises in international team and
leadership training, and international executive coaching. He is an author for
Business Spotlight
and of a number of ELT and management publications.

A matrix for developing learners' business, language and intercultural skills

Sunday - Session J: 12.00 – 12.30 CET (11.00 - 11.30 GMT)

The skills that business people need in the modern workplace are becoming ever more
demanding. A knowledge of English is no longer sufficient to be able to function effectively on
the global business stage; people also need good business skills, soft skills and intercultural skills.
But how do we accurately identify which skills to work on and how do we provide opportunities
for our learners to develop them? In this talk I will present an approach for making sense of the
complexity of skills which learners need to develop and give tips on how to integrate several skills
into one task.

Helen Strong

Helen Strong is a business skills trainer, teacher trainer and materials writer based in the south of Germany with many years' experience in corporate training. She tutors on the Cert IBET (Certificate in International Business English Training) for The Consultants-E. Her website is 


Outside of the classroom, who are our Business English students?

Sunday - Session K: 12.45 – 13.15 CET (11.45 - 12.15 GMT)

The benefits of understanding Business English (BE) learner’s identity and learner autonomy
offers insights into how these BE learners approach learning on their own, particularly when
using technology. The influential factors of a BE learner’s identity and how their autonomous
behaviours are affected by these identities can offer some answers. The objective of this ongoing
study is on the relationship of the BE learners’ identity and autonomy when the learners are
control of their own learning. Thus far, the study has demonstrated that BE learner’s identity
plays a role in their current autonomous behaviours outside of the classroom

Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams, M.A., MBA is Pedagogical Manager at Berlitz Deutschland and a research assistant and PhD student at the Universität Ulm. He has over eight years of Business English teaching experience and is on Berlitz Germany-wide Work Council. He lectures on human resources, corporate communication and collaborative learning.


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BESIG Simulcast Team

Members of the BESIG Online Team (BOT) and delegate volunteers - Shanthi Streat, Kristen Acquaviva, Kirsten Waechter, Julie Pratten, Helen Waldron, Pete Rutherford, Rob Szabó, Justine Arena and Mercedes Viola - will moderate the annual conference online programme.

Please contact us here if you have any questions : pete.rutherford@besig.org or mercedes.viola@besig.org.