What is the craziest thing you have ever done in your classroom?

In this fast-paced and interactive plenary we will explore factors affecting our learners’ motivation, including the traditional classroom layout, student and teacher expectations, and the five senses!

Working within these parameters, we will set aside the traditional classroom, drawing inspiration first from multiple teachers internationally, who will outline their unusual approaches to enhance student motivation. The speaker will then provide some of her own tried and tested techniques, ranging from encouraging text messaging to sitting on (or under) tables to organizing cooking classes; the ideas presented are ready to use and adaptable to varying classroom contexts. We will also look at practical ways of handing over responsibility to our learners. Finally, we will briefly discuss issues that can hold us back from innovating in our classrooms.

At the end of the plenary, attendees will take away:

• Self-reflective questions for their teaching approaches and their students’ motivation levels,

• Tips and tricks on how to get out of your comfort zone,

• Some unusual, and perhaps slightly crazy, ideas to try in the classroom.

About the Speaker:

Bethany Cagnol is a professor of English at Telecom ParisTech in Paris, France where she teaches engineering students and heads the school’s new EMI program. She has an MA in Teaching Second and Foreign Languages from the University of London and specializes in communication and public speaking skills, materials design, and language skills assessments.

Bethany has been president of TESOL France and Treasurer of IATEFL BESIG and has served on the IATEFL Conference Committee. She has also published materials for Pearson, Cambridge University Press, Cornelsen, and Vocable.