E-Newsletter, Issue 42 (July – August 2019)

Find ideas for further research, advice you can trust and information to keep you up-to-date, presented by seasoned professionals, frequent contributors and dear colleagues.

Feel free to get inspired and send us your work, presentation of classroom experience or project! Or why not send us a letter to let us know what you thought about some of our recent papers? Publications and commentaries, as well as inquiries, should be sent to the Editorial team at betaiatefl.publish@gmail.com.

Editors’ Corner (p.3)
Linguistic Atrophy Reflecting Extralinguistic Reality by Yordan Kosturkov (p.6)
EFL Learner Autonomy and Language Awareness Connection among University Students by Boryana T. Ruzhekova-Rogozherova (p.18)
Project work as a vehicle for developing foreign language and entrepreneurship skills by Irina Ivanova (p.39)
Students’ digital literacies: myths and reality by Mariya Chankova (p.55)
Online Language-Learning Platform DUOLINGO from Different Perspectives by Gergana Gerova (p.67)
Presentation Formats in EAP by Aglika Dobreva (p.80)
Case studies: changing students, changing the world  by Mariya Neykova, Milka Hadjikoteva, Latinka Stefanova, Slavena Dimova (p.87)
The communication between teacher and students while teaching Medical English Boyka Petkova by (p.98)
The Binomial Structure Of “Peace And Quiet” by Petranka Ivanova (p.104)
Forest school for very young learners  by Zhivka Ilieva and Desislava Terzieva (p.116)
Forthcoming Events in the World of ELT (p.131)
Writing for the BETA-IATEFL E-Newsletter (p.132)
Notes for Contributors (p.133)

BETA E-Newsletter-issue–42

TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, Northern Greece 20th Annual International Convention, 9-10 March 2013

Written by: Fatme Osmanova-Atanasova, FL Expert at the Regional Inspectorate of Education – Silistra

Fatme’s workshop

My name is Fatme Osmanova-Atanasova. I have worked in education for the past 13 years: 10 years as a teacher and 3 years as a FL Expert at the Regional Inspectorate of Education – Silistra.

I received a bursary from BETA to attend 20th Annual International Convention “ELT – The What and the How”, organized by TESOL Macedonia Thrace, Northern Greece. The event  was held on 9th & 10th March 2013, American College of Thessaloniki – Northern Greece.

In my talk I shared some good practice examples of my experience as a Foreign Language Expert in creating different opportunities for foreign language teachers to develop professionally and personally through open-class lessons, seminars and courses and my way to encourage communication and collaboration between teachers in and out of school, to help them establish contacts with representatives of accredited associations in the field of English language teaching, with a mission of supporting the teachers’ professional development (for example BETA Bulgaria), to ensure better preparation and results of their students in English tests and exams at the end of 7th, 8th and 12th grade (national external assessment), and in line with the Common European Language Framework.

Fatme’s workshop

I was honoured to meet brilliant speakers and presenters in Greece. Meet the plenary speakers:

  • Dr. Tom Godfrey – Director of International Training Institute which is a centre for teacher training and development and an ELT consultancy in Istanbul and his presentation “Whole Person Learning: The New Way”.
  • Gavin Dudeney – Chair of the Electronic Committee and his talk “Literacies: Teachers & Learners… ”. You can follow Gavin’s blog at: http://slife.dudeney.com
  •   Nicos Sifaki – an Assistant Professor in the School of Humanities of the Hellenic Open University and his talk “Differentiated instruction” which was a review of the essential underpinnings of differentiated instruction and a look into (a) practical aspects of going beyond the one-size-fits- all delivery system and (b) ways in which prospective teachers can reflect on and evaluate the impact of their own practice in the differentiated classroom context.
  • David A Hill – “Language Play & Creative Language Learning”.

The total number of the presentations were about 30 – plenary sessions, talks, workshops, a Pecha Kucha evening.
Many thanks to SEETA Board members and especially to Mr. House – Chair Person of the Board, Mr. Topalis, Theodora Pontica – Vice Chair, Natasha Jarnot and Nathan Prath not only as organizers but also as active participants in my talk Creating Opportunities for Foreign Language (FL) Teachers’ Professional Development.
Many thanks to BETA Board for choosing me as their official representative.

Thessaloniki, Greece

With Roger House, President of TESOL Macedonia Thrace, Northern Greece


8th International and 12th National ATECR conference, Hradec Králové 2012

Written by: Zarina Markova, South-West University, Blagoevgrad
The 8th  International and 12thNational ATECR conference took place from 14 to15 September 2012 in the picturesque historic town of Hradec Králové 2012 , in North-Eastern Bohemia, the Czech Republic. It was housed in a convenient place in the centre of the town – the new building of the Pedagogical Faculty, University of Hradec Králové, which seemed to accommodate everybody: conference participants, presenters and organizers, exhibitors and potential customers while offering enough space for coffee breaks and the reception. Everything seemed to work smoothly thanks to the energetic team of student assistants, many of whom are would-be teachers of English initiating themselves into the wider ELT community.
There were over fifty talks and workshops on various aspects of English language teaching and learning, with learning technologies slightly predominating. As the conference title suggests, they were focused on new approaches to the same old areas of interest:  teaching the language skills, culture, literature and intercultural competence, test preparation, using coursebooks, differentiated instruction. A recurrent motif of the sessions was the reappraisal – of teaching practices, materials, attitudes, involvement. The presenters were from different backgrounds: teachers, teacher trainers, materials writers. My first impression was that too much weight was given to presentations on behalf of publishers. However, this seemed to be in tune with the conference participants’ desire to follow the latest trends in English language teaching and publishing.

With Asuman Eray (Turkey), Daria Paro (HUPE Croatia), Molly McCord (MITESOL Michigan, USA) and Snezana Filipovic (ELTA Serbia) in the centre of Hradec Kralove.

The conference was both informative and enjoyable. It proved to be an exciting blend of professional discussions and  informal talks, cross-cultural   communication and entertainment. To me the highlights were the Thursday dinner, a delightful opportunity to get to know Olga, Pavla and Mihal form the ATECR committee and Asuman, Daria, Molly and Snezana from the partners’ associations, and Friday morning, when Jiří Heger took us on an unforgettable tour round Hradec Králové. Many thanks to all the organizers for an inspiring event. Many thanks to BETA for choosing me as their official representative for the 8th International and 12th National ATECR conference.

ELTA Serbia 10th Conference "Teaching Outside the Box"18-19 May 2012

Written by: Tsvetelena Taralova, School No 88 in Sofia

As a member of BETA, I received a bursary from our association to attend the 10th ELTA conference “Teaching Outside the Box” in Belgrade Serbia, where I had a session on “JEOPARDY GAMES IN ELT”. As a warm up I presented the school life in Galena High School, Reno, Nevada, US; where I had my internship during the Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program in the fall 2011. The main part of the workshop was a Jeopardy Game on the US, with subtopics History, Geography, Literature, Quotes by famous Americans, and Sport; played by participants.
The 10th ELTA conference title derives from a metaphor and the theme “Teaching outside the box” was discussed and interpreted throughout the different sessions. In accordance with the title, the event focused on innovative teaching methods. The conference venue was Teachers Training Faculty, which is part of University of Belgrade. It is an impressive building, which dates back to the end of the 19th century and has been recently renovated. The Main Hall and six other classrooms were used for presentations and workshops and the second floor gallery provided the exhibition area for ELTA partners and sponsors.

There were about 200 participants and guests, among whom were HE Mary Warlick, US Ambassador in Serbia; HMA Michael Davenport, UK Ambassador; Tony O’Brien, Director of the British Council Serbia, Dr Aleksandar Jovanovic, Dean of the Faculty of Education and a Representative of the Ministry of Education. Teachers and teacher trainers at state and private schools and universities in Serbia; and representatives of IATEFL partner organizations were helped by student volunteers throughout the whole event.
There were about 50 presentations: plenary sessions, and workshops. The latter events were divided under the headings of the following SIGs:
• Making original teaching materials;
• Innovations in teaching language skills, vocabulary and grammar;
• Teaching English for specific purposes;
• Teaching young learners;
• Teaching teenagers;
• Teaching adults;
• Preparation for international examinations (Cambridge ESOL, IELTS, TOEFL).
The plenaries were delivered by:
• Jayme Adelson-Goldstein, Professional development specialist and ESL author at Lighthearted Learning;
• Geraldine Mark, Freelance author and editor: EFL and applied linguistics;
• Sophie Ioannou-Georgiou, Lecturer/teacher trainer, researcher, materials developer (EFL);
• Danae Kozanoglou, Teacher trainer, author and owner of PROFILE Teacher Training School in Athens;
• Steve Oakes, Head of Teacher Training at International House, Budapest;
• Tony O’Brien, Director of the British Council Serbia;
• Steve Lever, Senior ELT consultant at various publishing houses;
• Graham Hall, Senior lecturer in applied linguistics/TESOL at Northumbria University Newcastle UK.
The special dinner and the raffle party event was in Leonardo restaurant, at an impressive location – on the mouth of the Sava River into The Danube. The amazing view of the two rivers and the fortress on the opposite side supplemented the prize draw and the quiz about Charles Dickens, dedicated to his 200th anniversary. Most of the teachers went home with a useful book, which would remind them of the conference. During the warm evening I could talk to teachers from Serbia and some other countries and got a little relieved listening to the same stories about lack of money for education, yet a lot of motivated teachers and good practices to share.

The last evening I stayed in Belgrade was the museums’ night, celebrated all over Europe. While waiting for my bus at midnight, I could visit 4 museums and learn more about the Serbian life, culture and traditions. Friendly and helpful Serbians made me realize how close we are, and how little we know about each other.
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to BETA for supporting my participation at the Conference in Belgrade, Serbia and keeping me motivated with my work.
Tsvetelena Taralova, Head of Foreign Language Department at School No 88 in Sofia
E-mail: ts_taralova@abv.bg
P.S. If you are interested to read my notes about different items in the presentation, you can find them under each slide.
Download Tsvetelena’s Conference PowerPiont Presentation on JEOPARDY GAMES IN ELT

TESOL Macedonia – Thrace, Northern Greece 19th Annual International Convention 10th -11th March 2012

Written by: Anelia Georgieva, English Language School in Ruse, Bulgaria

My name is Anelia Georgieva and I have been a teacher of English for 15 years. At present I teach 8th graders at the English Language School “Geo Milev”, Ruse, Bulgaria.
As a member of BETA I applied for and received a bursary from our association to attend the conference and to present there my lesson on teaching vocabulary of natural phenomena and disasters.
I would like to express my gratitude to BETA for supporting my participation at the Convention in Thessaloniki, Greece and to TESOL Macedonia – Thrace for the warm welcome and fruitful experience.

From 10th to 11th March 2012, the 19th Annual International Convention“Experimentation: that`s the name of the game!” was held at Diakonia Conference Centre, Thessaloniki, Greece. The organizing committee consisted of enthusiastic people working in the field of Linguistics, Literature, Culture, Philosophy and ELT. There were about 40 presentations: plenary sessions, talks, workshops, a Pecha Kucha evening and a theatrical performance.
The talks and workshops were divided under the headings of the following SIGs:
•Project Work
•Modern Technologies in ELT
• Teacher Development with CELTA and DELTA
•Phonetics and Phonology
•Semantics and Cognitive Studies
•Literature Studies
• Lexis and Grammar
•Media, Communication and Culture
The plenaries were delivered by Dr Lindsay Peer, educational and chartered psychologist, speaker and author, Jamie Keddie, a European-based teacher, teacher trainer and writer, and Sophie Ioannou – Georgiou, an author, a teacher and teacher trainer and coordinator of CLIL implementation in Cyprus.
There was a SEETA meeting and its host was Anna Parisi, SEETA community manager, a course tutor and materials designer for teacher development courses. South Eastern Europe Teachers` association is an on-line community of enthusiastic colleagues who are ready to share various ideas in all spheres of teaching English.
The Pecha Kucha evening was an impressive event. The presenters were Anna Parisi, Dr Sophiem Ioannou – Georgiou, Jamie Keddie, Dr Luke Prodromou, MA in Shakespeare Studies and a member of a Greek theatre group, Jay Schwartz, a teacher trainer, a writer and a director and Phil Holland, Chair of the English Department at Anatolia College.
Their presentations, interviews and a lot of pictures are available at the sites of SEETA, TESOL Macedonia – Thrace, their Facebook profiles and on YouTube.
I was honoured to be part of this great convention. I was fortunate to meet such brilliant speakers and presenters and make friends with a lot of foreign colleagues. This wonderful experience keeps me motivated and empowered with my work as a teacher of English in Bulgaria.
Download Anelia’s Conference PowerPiont Presentation on Teaching Vocabulary of Natural Phenomena and Disasters

10th Jubilee LATEUM Conference “Linguistics and ELT Today: Tradition and Innovation”

Written by: Zhivka Ilieva, Dobrich College of Shumen University, Bulgaria
Many years ago, at IATEFL East in 2001 in Plovdiv, I received an invitation from the President of LATEUM (Linguistic Association of the Teachers of English at the University of Moscow) to present at their conference. This year I was invited again to participate in their 10th conference. As a member of BETA I applied for and received a partial bursary from our association to attend the conference and to present there my paper entitled “The Modern Technologies and their Contribution to Tourism College Students’ Foreign Language Development”.
I would like to express my gratitude to LATEUM for inviting me to this event and to BETA for supporting my participation at the Conference in Russia.

Lomonosov Moscow State University, where the University halls of residence are and the participants who had chosen to stay there (including me) were lucky to feel the unforgettable atmosphere day and night.

From 28 to 30 September 2011, the 10th Jubilee LATEUM Conference “Linguistics and ELT Today: Tradition and Innovation” was held at Lomonosov Moscow State University. It marked the 20-year anniversary of LATEUM. It is the oldest Russian association of teachers of English founded at the Department of English Linguistics, Philology Faculty, Moscow State University (MSU). MSU is the oldest Russian university with over 250 years of history and LATEUM is an affiliate of IATEFL and a member of the World Federation of Modern Language Associations accredited by UNESCO.
The venue was Moscow State University, Humanities Building 1. The working languages were English and Russian. The organizing committee consisted of young and enthusiastic people working in the field of Linguistics, Literature, Culture and ELT. There were about 100 presentations: plenary sessions, talks, workshops.
The talks and workshops were divided under the headings of the following SIGs:

  • Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics
  • Business English
  • Modern Technologies in ELT and Teacher Development
  • Global English
  • Phonetics and Phonology
  • Semantics and Cognitive Studies
  • Literature Studies
  • Translation and Contrastive Studies
  • Media, Communication and Culture
  • Lexico-Grammar and ESP.

The plenaries were delivered by scientists from MSU and other institutions: Prof. Natalia Gvishiani, Prof. Ronald Carter, Prof. Svetlanna Ter-Minasova, Christian Duncumb, Thomas Santos, Toni Hull, Gavin Dudeney, Prof. Marklin Konurbaev, Prof. Tamara Nazarova, Prof. Vera Zabotkina, Prof. Olga Aleksandrova and covered topics like Corpus Linguistics, Global English, IT in Language Education, eLearning, Teacher Autonomy, etc.
There were more than 200 participants, representatives of about 40 institutions from all over Russia and from different countries in the world.
There was a Book Exhibition and Fair and a rich social programme: a welcoming wine reception, an evening for visiting theatres, concerts, exhibitions, or just walking around Moscow, a conference dinner. All these events together with the very well organized coffee breaks provided opportunities for professional and friendly conversations with colleagues from various universities and ELT associations in Russia and around the world, for exchanging information and invitations for the events we organize.
Overall, the event was impressive! The organization was perfect and the guests received a warm welcome!

9th ELTA Conference, Serbia: Get Connected – 200 Mbps wireless teaching speed to meet the demands of your users

Written by: Steliyana Dulkova,  Freelance Teacher, Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria

Novi Sad, April 8-9 2011, Serbia

Here I am, sat on the train from Novi Sad to Beograd sighing with relief, after  taking a bus in the wrong direction which rather than taking me to the central station, took me to this small train stop. I was lucky that during the weekend the train actually stops there. Chewing some almonds that I bought with my last dinars I am looking through the window observing the changing scenery outside the train. We are travelling alongside the river bank of the Danube. It is so beautiful. Spring has come here already (in comparison to the cold weather in Bulgaria) and the various greenery has thrived in abundance. I grab a pen and a piece of paper so I can put down any fresh thoughts and impressions from the conference before they fade away during my trip back to Bulgaria.
I am quite a naturalist in my beliefs and lifestyle and I have to admit that what left the most vivid impressions from the conference was that a great deal of the plenaries and workshops talked about how much technology and mainly the Internet have affected, are affecting and will affect learning, teaching and what is more striking our brains and ways of perception and thinking.
Jim Scrivener gave it the first kick with his opening plenary “The New Science and Skills of Reading”. I have become aware that watching TV and constant browsing on the Internet has been slowly pushing aside the old-fashioned romantic way of reading paper books; that more and more people prefer the Internet because of the immediate access to the abyss of information. But what I haven’t been aware of is that the main influence comes from the speed, actually! That is what Jim called it. Speed is like a drug that we are getting more and more addicted to. Speed combined with the abundance and variety of information, reachable within a click or two of the mouse. But what really threw me was the fact that actually all of the above has influenced and changed our reading style, or at least to a lot of people, especially people from the younger generation. Scanning and skimming for information, reading every other line, trying to extract as much information as we can for the least possible time. This is what the minds of the C(yber) generation are, as David Marsh called them later on in his plenary. Checking your emails, texting a friend with one hand and skyping with the other, while the TV is on.  “An ecosystem of interruption technologies” is what Jim called it, citing Nicholas Carr and his book “Shallows” which was quite often referred to in the plenary.  We like being interrupted is what Carr also explains in his book. We develop new skills and multitask way of thinking and acting. And at the end of the day, may be this is what the future citizens of the globe will need. Multifunctionality, “discovering emergent meaning among contexts that are continually in a flux.”

Jim Scrivener

I find myself scanning my notes, looking for key words to take me to David Marsh’s plenary about the C( yber generation). I wish I could press Control+ F, so the little search box can pop up.  I’m going through  Christine Coombe’s  wonderful plenary on “ 10 Characteristics of a Highly Effective Teacher” out of which “ being street smart”, “ a lifelong learner” and “ life outside the profession” were the ones that I decided I  should consider more closely.
With the corner of my eye I come across a sentence that had really copy-pasted itself in my mind: “Teach the students the skills, not the test’’, Tony Green, as far as I remember, on tests and teaching. Yes, there it is his name, scribbled further down in my notepad. “Washback – positive, negative…”. My eyes shift towards the train window, gaping at the darkness outside and browsing my memory trying to recall what exactly washback was. May be for most of you it is a term that you are already familiar with but for me it was the fist time that I came across it. As far as I understood it was something about how adequate tests are when it comes to really testing the students’ knowledge. Students and the teachers focus on test preparation and memorization of a test pattern, neglecting the development of other beneficial skills in the L2 learning which would be really practical to the students in their further usage of the target language and would also support the successful passing of the test.
Girls laughing loudly while talking on a loud speaker to a couple of other friends on their mobile, which is playing some music at the same time, takes me back to my notes. David Marsh’s “Inside the minds of the Internet generation” of which I was reminded just now by those girls. “Integrated technology -integrated entertainment….” Same idea coming into the picture: multifunctionality- one thing serving many functions. A phone used to be a phone only, nowadays on top of that is a camera, an mp3 player, a data carrier and can be used to browse the Internet. This is why we need to resort to integrated learning if we want to be competitive with the surrounding ocean of information and media. Not learning English for the sake of learning English but use it as a scaffolding around which content is built or call it CLIL- Content and Language Integrated Learning. Students from  generation C are like sponges- their short-term memory is being strengthened by the constant exposure to English which is all around and the principle use as they learn and learn as they use is very much applicable to them. You may as well convince them to be more hard-working in their language classes by telling them that language learning develops various other skills and it will help them to become better at gaming, was an interesting point that David made. Learning a foreign language from an early age, or simply being exposed to it while browsing the Internet or playing a computer game, places the knowledge of the new language in the human brain in place where it overlaps with the knowledge of the mother tongue, compared to learning it later on, which positions it in a completely separate area. So the model of thinking that the new generation has is very different. They think in a mixed way using both languages, so the approach for teaching should be different.
And to top up the innovative methods and techniques in the terms of technology that the poor language teachers should master, I attended a workshop on using text messages in the classroom. The workshop was held by a couple of Macedonian teachers who really thrilled me with the idea that texting can be used in the classroom and even if not with real phones, at least with checked sheets that contain only 160 squares ( the same number of characters that one can use in a text message).  Of course there are pros and cons as you would imagine- won’t it lead to bad grammar and spelling but then it helps to serve its main purpose which is to get the message across and it can also be used to make students aware of the proper register according to the receiver of the message- formal, informal…

I am interrupted by the whistle of the train. I had transferred to the train for Sofia and have been travelling already a few hours. It is getting quite late and my writing muse feels a bit exhausted. I close my notepad, turn the light off and I lie in the darkness listening to the monotonous rattling of the train which sends me drowsing. I love it and I hope that they don’t change it soon with some high speed Japanese like trains that will be absolutely sound-proof.