Christopher Graham is a freelance ELT consultant based in the UK but working globally, delivering talks on a range of topics from managing challenging behaviours in the classroom to using digital resources in ELT. He is currently working on an MPhil exploring the influence of English-medium education on national self-identity.
As a course writer and trainer, he has recently taken part in projects such as the British Council SEEDS scheme in Algeria and the ‘English for Iraq’ project under the auspices of the Iraqi Ministry of Education in Iraqi Kurdistan and Beirut. he has also delivered a series of workshops for teachers in Lebanon under the auspices of the ‘Association of Teachers of English in Lebanon,’ seminars in Mozambique for government ESOL teachers, and an Educational Management course in Istanbul. He was on a panel of specialists at the IATEFL conference in Birmingham in April 2016 and a speaker at IATEFL 2017 in Glasgow.
Christopher also works as an accredited writer and trainer for Oxford Teachers’ Academy and regularly trains teachers in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, and Saudi Arabia. His other professional interest is cross cultural communication and he lectures in this field on two MBAs for a German university.
Cross cultural awareness in English language teaching – some things to consider.
Cross cultural awareness is arguably the most important of the 21st century skills in our increasingly connected and globalised societies. Cross cultural training can be an excellent preparation for university, and also ultimately enhances employability and promotion prospects.
Many English language teachers at secondary and tertiary level find themselves discussing cross cultural issues in their classes on occasion. My interest is how many of them have used cross cultural awareness in a structured and integrated way as a learning focus, rather than just mentioning it in passing.
This practical talk will suggest that cross cultural communication can offer teachers of adults or teenagers a range of ideas to provide both content for classroom interaction as well as developing 21 century skills. We will attempt to define ‘culture’ and then briefly discuss the key theorists in the field, including a look at the work of Hofstede, Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner. These cultural frameworks can be an excellent skeleton upon which to build a range of classroom activities. The final stage will look at some of these practical classroom applications, specifically focussing on ways of embedding cross cultural awareness into existing ELT activities.
Teacher development – it’s in your hands!
The conventional wisdom has been that continuous professional development for teachers, (CPD), is designed and provided by somebody else. That somebody else might be a ministry of education, a school board or an association of teachers. It is becoming increasingly apparent that this ‘top down, one size fits all’ approach is not the most effective way and that involving serving teachers in the choice, design and implementation of their CPD is a better way of responding to individual needs.
This talk has two stages. The first element will discuss the role that reflective practice plays in defining the developmental needs of a particular teacher. We will explore ways of implementing reflective practice and self-evaluation and ways of ‘converting’ these reflections on beliefs, experiences and behaviours into developmental action.
The internet has provided us with opportunities and some challenges. The second stage will look at approaches to CPD both at the level of self-help and through external online resources both free and commercially available. The focus is on the idea that CPD is continuous and that we all have a professional responsibility to engage in it autonomously by creating individual developmental pathways based upon our reflective practice. This teacher-driven CPD is seen as additional to and supportive of the provision by our employer or other third parties.