2012 Summer Symposium Online Programme

This selection of talks were broadcast live to an online audience as well as presented to the audience joining us in Paris for the 2012 Summer Symposium. 

Our Online Audience & Moderators

The BESIG Online Team (BOT) were in full force at the Summer Symposium, making it possible to simultaneously broadcast a day-long programme of selected talks from the event in Paris to a world-wide audience, including three separate groups of teachers who had gathered together in Argentina, Croatia and Serbia to enjoy and take part in the simulcast sessions. The recordings of most of these talks (for technical reasons it was not possible to record Suzanna Miles' talk) will shortly be available to you here below.

We would like to thank all those who joined us online on the day, and a special thanks to the satellite event moderators who did such a great job in bringing their colleagues together and facilitating their local event:

  • In Argentina Jennifer Verschoor and Mercedes Viola
  • In Croatia Ana Skledar Matijević and Evelina Miscin
  • In Serbia Anka Radjenovic and Dragana Vujkovic


The following talks were broadcast live from Paris on Saturday, 16 June 2012. The schedule for the online component of the symposium was as follows:

Time Speaker Talk
09.30 - 10.15 Deborah Capras & Ian McMaster The Vocabulary Challenge: Bilingual or Monolingual?
10.30 – 11.00 Pete Sharma App-tivities for Business English
11.30 – 12.00 Eric Halvorsen Task-based Language Teaching for One-to- one Business English Contexts
13.30 – 14.15 Chia Suan Chong Myths and Controversies in BE Teaching
14.30 – 15.00 Evan Frendo Using corpora in materials development
15.30 – 16.00 Ros Wright A Case of the ‘Dudders’ or Nursing English for Beginners
16.15 – 16.45 Suzanna Miles Using Scenario Planning in the Business English Classroom

Scroll down the page for more detailed information about the speakers and their talks.

This online programme was sponsored by Cambridge University Press.

 Cambridge University Press

Speakers & talks

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

The vocabulary challenge: bilingual or monolingual?

(Session A: 9.30 - 10.15)

What is your approach to teaching business vocabulary? Do you help your students to become more effective communicators by translating or defining the words and expressions they need? In this workshop, we will explore the advantages of both methods. We will also be reporting on research in this area and showcasing Business Spotlight International, a new business English magazine developed as a result of this research.

Launched in April 2012, Business Spotlight International is a bi-monthly digital magazine for business English. It is based on the award-winning and highly recommended concept of the original Business Spotlight magazine for German-speaking learners, published since 2001.

Business Spotlight International combines quality journalism and business insight with structured learning support and advice. Popular sections include Business Skills, Intercultural Communication, Global Business, Careers, Management and Technology. The digital magazine also features regular sections on Legal English, Financial English and other areas of English for Specific Purposes. A workbook is available with each issue.

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to evaluate business English teaching activities designed specifically to be used with the articles in the new digital magazine.

Participants are advised to bring along their Wi-Fi-enabled laptops or tablet computers to profit fully from this session.

Deborah Capras
Deborah Capras Deborah Capras is deputy editor at Business Spotlight and is responsible for the digital products. She is a qualified trainer.

Ian McMaster
Ian McMaster is editor-in-chief at Business Spotlight (www.business-spotlight.com) and was joint coordinator of IATEFL-BESIG from 2006–2009.

Click here to view the recording of the talk:


App-tivities for Business English

(Session B: 10.30 - 11.00)

Today's business English student may well own a mobile, Smartphone and a tablet pc. Today's business English teacher might use m-learning (mobile learning) in the class, or offer advice in a learner training session on the best apps to use after post course. But which apps are best for the business English student?

This session will provide a concise overview of essential apps for business English students. It will provide practical teaching ideas for use in-class, as well as ideas for students to incorporate into their self study. And you don't need an iPad to attend.

Pete Sharma
Pete Sharma is a Director of Pete Sharma Associates Ltd, a consultancy and training organisation: www.psa.eu.com He worked for many years in business English and is currently a lecturer in EAP (English for Academic Purposes). Pete is a well-known presenter at IATEFL and BESIG conferences. As an author, Pete has co-written several books in the business English field as well as in the area of new technology and language learning. Pete, with Barney Barrett, writes the Learning Technologies page for BESIG Issues and he is also a committee member of the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG.

Click here to view the recording of the talk:


Task-based Language Teaching for One-to- one Business English Contexts

(Session C: 11.30 – 12.00)

Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) has become central to Business English teaching and pedagogy. The tenets of this approach (a focus on meaning, non-linguistic outcomes and the students’ real-world language needs) seem to be a perfect match for one-to-one courses with professionals. However, in the one-to-one classroom, the lesson plan frameworks suggested in TBLT literature (designed for group settings and student-student interaction) quickly lose their “taskness”. In this talk, we’ll look at practical ways to adapt TBLT frameworks to the teacher-student pair while at the same time staying true to the principles of tasks. Different one-to-one TBLT frameworks will be suggested and discussed. Participants will leave the talk with practical ideas for using this student-centered, meaning-focused approach in their one-to-one lessons. Practical ideas for small groups of BE learners will also be shared..

Eric Halvorsen
Eric Halvorsen Eric Halvorsen is Head of English Language Training at a French telecommunications firm. Eric has been in ELT for 8 years and has taught in Mexico and France. He holds an M.A. in TESL/TEFL from the University of Birmingham and is a member of the TESOL France Executive Committee.

Click here to view the recording of the talk:


Myths and Controversies in BE Teaching

(Session D: 13.30 – 14.15)

‘The use of L1 in the classroom is an absolute no-no’. ‘BE teachers should be teaching English, and not business’. ‘Native speaker teachers are better than non-native speaker teachers’. These are some of the statements that often provoke a strong reaction within BE teachers and trainers. And these are some of the myths prevalent in BE teaching and training that perhaps need re-examining and debunking. Drawing on recent dialogue in our field, this workshop aims to throw up several beliefs that we might have taken for granted, maxims that we have followed since the start of the communicative era of language teaching, and hopes to encourage debate and questioning of the relevance and applicability of them in the BE classroom of the future.

Chia Suan Chong
Chia Suan Chong Chia Suan Chong is a graduate in Communication Studies and has an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT from King’s College London. Currently running Business and General English classes, in addition to teacher training (CELTA) courses, at International House London, Chia is often seen at conferences speaking about ELF, Dogme, Systemic Functional Grammar, and Intercultural Pragmatics. She speaks English and Mandarin as her first language, and Japanese, Italian and Spanish as her second. Active on Twitter, Chia loves a good debate and blogs regularly at chiasuanchong.wordpress.com.

Click here to view the recording of the talk:


Using corpora in materials development

(Session E: 14.30 – 15.00)

Most of us are aware of the excellent corpus analysis tools now available to business English teachers, tools which help us analyze the language our learners need, and use that analysis to inform how and what we teach. Many of us, however, never really move beyond this awareness to take full advantage of these tools – it simply takes too much time or effort. In this session I would like to describe my own experience in this area, and demonstrate some simple techniques for producing corpus based materials which I have found useful in my own teaching.

Evan Frendo
Evan Frendo Evan Frendo is a freelance trainer, teacher trainer and author based in Berlin. A frequent speaker at conferences, he also travels widely in Europe and Asia, either to run courses or to work as a consultant. He has written a number of books over the years, including “How to Teach Business English” (Longman, 2005), and most recently four books for the new Pearson Vocational English series. He writes the regular research review in BESIG Issues, and also runs an active blog, English for the Workplace, which explores issues relating to ESP and business English teaching.

Click here to view the recording of the talk:


A Case of the ‘Dudders’ or Nursing English for Beginners

(Session F: 15.30 – 16.00)

Bedpans and dentures, pain maps and flow sheets, ABCs and ECGs, responsible nursing is NOT simply a series of routine procedures. Neither is nursing about treating the patient purely on a physical level. Nursing is a holistic process that also takes into consideration the psychological, socio-cultural, environmental and politico-economic impacts on the patient, their symptoms and their treatment. Emphasis placed on the therapeutic nature of nursing means our learners, more than any other, have a very real need to communicate effectively from day one. Theorists from the field of medical communications highlight the need for comprehensible pronunciation, active listening skills, non- verbal communication and the ability to bridge professional and lay language. The presenter demonstrates how, by incorporating authentic content and a grammar syllabus while replicating current nursing methodologies, trainers can provide nurses with the essential tools for effective communication in English, even at low levels.

Ros Wright
Ros Wright Twice President of TESOL France, Ros Wright has focused on English for medical purposes (EMP) in Paris since 1998. She is co-author of several EMP titles including Vocational English for Nurses 1&2 (Pearson) and now offers specialised EMP teacher training courses together with Virginia Allum and Marie McCullagh.

Click here to view the recording of the talk:


Using Scenario Planning in the Business English Classroom

(Session G: 16.15 – 16.45)

Scenario planning is used by many companies as a way to secure success in the marketplace of the future. By identifying the key trends and principle drivers of growth over a period of time, strategies are put in place to build on successful past performance and policies are implemented to face the challenges of the future. Future planning also involves pinpointing or imagining potential risks and creating measures to minimize their impact on business operations. This talk will focus on how the scenario approach has been used successfully in teaching Business English and English for International Tourism Management to both undergraduates and postgraduate students. Using authentic case studies from the world of tourism and business as a starting point, students are introduced to a range of language and skills that make for exciting and creative learning. Practical ideas for classroom-based tasks, including report writing and oral presentations, will be given.

Suzanna Miles
Suzanna Miles has been teaching ESP to undergraduate and masters students in the Department of Management at Venice University since 1995. She is also the founder of Proenglish, a small language centre providing one-to-one training in professional English skills and tailor-made programmes for Italians working in both the public and private sectors. She is constantly searching for ways to bring new ideas and stimuli into the classroom. She is particularly interested in creating teaching materials that meet the real needs of the language learner in a professional context.

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