As teachers we know that our students are our greatest resource in the classroom. They are the starting point for our planning, the driving force of our lessons, the yardstick of ourachievements. Their stories, lives, opinions and personalities provide constant stimulus forthought and discussion. And their input provides endless teachable moments as we explorethe language that emerges through their contributions.But they are not only a resource for the teacher, they are also an invaluable resource foreach other. Students learn with and from each other as much as, if not more, than they do from their teachers. In the language classroom, in discussion tasks and group work, studentstudent interaction offers more linguistic variety and depth than teacher-student interaction. Students experiment more with new language and invest more time and effort in negotiation of meaning when they’re talking and collaborating with peers.

Peers can also have a direct and positive effect on on-going motivation. They offer a much more realistic and attainable role model. Even within the same class, students can act as role models for each other. Each student in the class has their individual strengths, strategies and experiences to share. And it is important that we explore how we, as teachers, can make the most of this potential in the classroom. In this session we will explore not only how we can benefit from our students, but also how our students can benefit from each other, at all ages and all levels.

About the Speaker: 

Ceri is a freelance teacher, teacher trainer and materials writer. She's been working in ELT since 1986. In 1998 she completed an MA in TEFL at Reading University with

a dissertation exploring approaches to needs analysis in general English classes and the positive influence of successful peer-to-peer interaction in multilingual classes. She has presented talks, workshops and webinars at a number of national, international and online conferences.

She has worked as teacher, trainer, educational manager and director of studies in Italy, Hungary, Spain and the UK. She also works as an online tutor and trainer, preparing teachers for the Trinity TESOL Diploma, working with teachers in Spain and various Latin American countries who are implementing CLIL in their local contexts and introducing university teachers to the online tutoring skills required to work on blended courses.

She currently shares her time between online courses, face-to-face classes and materials writing. She has written for a number of coursebook series for both adults and teenagers as well as supplementary grammar and reading material. Most recently she has been involved in a British Council writing project for upper secondary students and a new course for adults for Cambridge University Press.

She is particularly interested in student-centred materials and activities and is currently carrying out research into peer learning, near peer role models and their effect on on-going motivation.