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The 5th ELT Malta Conference - Learner Engagement in ELT

Published on Friday, March 24, 2017

An eventful start to this conference: 14:10 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, Minister Evarist Bartolo walks in and it is time for the opening ceremony. Daniel Xerri starts by thanking all the people involved in the organisation of this event and then invited the Minister to give the opening speech.


"Unless we respect learners we are not engaging them...We also need to be passionate about what we do. If we really want to inspire ourselves, our colleagues and our learners, we also need to be passionate."


Minister Evarist Bartolo went on to say how important it is to celebrate teachers who work hard day after day to engage learners.


Next, Odette Vassallo presented the Inspiring ELT award. The 4 nominees were Pamela Borg, Caroline Campbell, Matt Done from and Ian Scerri. We at Schools & Agents would like to congratulate all the four nominees for all the hard work they do and a big well done goes to Ian Scerri who was the winner of the award this year.  You can view our interview with him in the video below.


Not long after, it was time for the plenaries to take place. Plenary 1 was given by Marjorie Rosenberg entitled "Getting Stuck: Stretching Out of Our Comfort Zones". This plenary was about how within the classroom we tend to stick to specific routines and forget to take advantage of other possibilities which can help us  stretch ourselves or even take on new challenges in other areas. Marjorie Rosenberg ended her presentation by telling participants to "enjoy trying something new." Plenary 2 "Gap-fills? No, thanks"  given by Michela Formosa and Rosabel Azzopardi was about how even though gap-fills are found in various coursebooks, students still find them boring and do not see them as an engaging classroom activity. Michela and Rosabel gave various alternatives to these exercises, in order to help teachers personalise their lessons and increase the learning of form, meaning and use of the target language.


The rest of the afternoon included a series of workshops given by local and foreign speakers. The participants were all engaged and interested in the subjects discussed and following the intense afternoon, everyone was delighted to have some time for informal networking during the evening reception.


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