Check out our video about this year's IATEFL conference HERE!


This year we have 8 expert speakers, more than we’ve ever had at IATEFL before! See below for their session and bio details.

Paul Dummett

Making learning last – helping learners commit language to longer-term memory
Tuesday 10.40 -11.25 | Durham

Around 70% of what we forget is forgotten in the first 24 hours after initial learning. While various techniques (gimmicks?) exist for memorising items in the short-term, less is known about how and what we remember longer-term. This practical workshop will examine the roles of imagery, repetition, emotion, stories, utility factors, multi-sensory approaches and peer-teaching in helping make language stick.

Paul’s career in ELT began in Oxford in 1987, first as a teacher, then DoS, then Vice principal of Godmer House School of English. In 1996, he set up his own school which he ran for 10 years, giving it up in 2006 to concentrate on writing full-time. As a teacher and a writer, his aim is to develop materials that are stimulating and thought-provoking - that offer more than just language learning. He seeks out projects that offer this possibility. His publications include: Success with BEC (Summertown 2008), Energy English (Cengage 2010) and LIFE (National Geographic Learning (2012 and 2017) which is now in its second edition.

Katherine Bilsborough

Our story: How we write stories for primary
Tuesday 12.40 – 13.10 | Room 1

Kath and her writing partner will share their experience of writing a combined total of over 200 published ELT stories for primary learners. They will explore the ever-increasing demands placed on course book stories, compare their approaches to developing a story from the outset, and provide practical tips for creating concepts with staying power, avoiding pitfalls, and breathing life into tired themes.

Katherine has been creating ELT materials for 30 years, for her own students and for some of the top ELT Publishers. She has written more than 30 course books and many online courses. She writes monthly lesson plans for the British Council/BBC website and is the author of ‘How to write Primary materials’, a training course for ELT writers. Katherine is currently co-authoring an upcoming series for young learners of English with National Geographic Learning.

Hugh Dellar

Spacing out! In praise of distributed grammar practice
Tuesday 15.55 – 16.25 | Oxford

Although it remains less studied than vocabulary acquisition, there's nevertheless a growing body of evidence to suggest that grammar is more solidly acquired if structures are encountered regularly over a longer period of time – rather than in one massed meeting. In this talk, we’ll consider the implications of this for everyday classroom practice and for materials design.

Hugh grew up on the south coast of England and in South London and graduated in English Literature from Goldsmith’s College, part of the University of London, in 1991. He completed his DELTA and then an MA TESOL in London and moved soon afterwards into coursebook writing. As well as the series Outcomes, now in its second edition, Hugh co-wrote the series Innovations, which was shortlisted for the ELTons and the ESU Duke of Edinburgh award. He is currently working with National Geographic Learning on a secondary course Perspectives,which features TED talks.

John Hughes

Make critical thinking an everyday part of your teacher toolkit
Wednesday 12.05 – 12.50 | Durham

Critical thinking is often viewed as a separate and desirable learning objective in isolation. In this presentation, I’d like to reverse this perception. I’ll show that by making critical thinking an integral part of our everyday teaching, lesson planning is easier, classroom activities are more motivating, and learners become more independent. The session is practical and demonstrates how to make critical thinking an everyday part of your teacher toolkit.

John Hughes is an award-winning ELT author with over 30 titles including course books for students and methodology resources for teachers. His books for National Geographic Learning include Life (now in its second edition), Spotlight on First, Practical Grammar, Success with BEC Vantage and Total Business. In his 25-year career, he has taught students from all over the world and still teaches part-time with a voluntary organization. He has managed departments of Business English and Teacher Training and has lectured on ELT materials writing and critical thinking at Oxford University. He regularly writes for the blog National Geographic Learning In focus and also blogs at

Ellen Setterfield

Creating a Multicultural Classroom with Monolingual Learners
Wednesday 16.45 – 17.15 | Cambridge

Our young learners will use English to communicate with people from all over the world. But how do we address this in a monolingual, monocultural classroom? We’ll look at how we can help our young learners to be more aware of their own culture, and ways to introduce them to a diverse range of customs, traditions, and ways of life.

Elly is the Young Learner Product Marketing Executive for National Geographic Learning and is based in Andover, UK. Prior to working for NGL she taught in the UK, the Czech Republic and Russia, specialising in working with young learners. With over 13 years of experience of working with children and teenagers, she holds the Trinity CertTESOL, the International House Certificate in Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers, and is currently working towards the Cambridge Delta.

Daniel Barber

Big ideas from multiple perspectives: topics in teenagers’ classes
Thursday 10.20 – 10.50 | Durham

How does what teenagers learn about global issues at school compare with current understanding? Can the ELT profession bridge the gap between knowledge enshrined in text books and a more up-to-date awareness of the issues? With examples, I will suggest how we should approach familiar topics from many angles so teenagers leave lessons smarter.

Daniel Barber is a teacher, teacher trainer and writer based in Cádiz, Spain. With more than twenty years' experience in ELT, he has taught classes of all types and ages, and worked in management, training and publishing. He’s written for Cengage, Macmillan and Richmond and co-wrote the methodology book From English Teacher to Learner Coach. He has been a course director on Trinity TESOL courses and currently tutors online on the Diploma course. His interests include motivational aspects of learning, the digital future of ELT, and neuroeducation, the science of learning and the brain. He co-writes a blog,

Andrew Walkley

Giving students a voice. Critical thinking in English classes.
Thursday 17.05 – 17.50 | Durham

Thinking critically is seen as an essential 21st century skill, but what exactly is it and can it be taught? I will briefly address these issues and suggest critical thinking tasks that fit well in communicative English classes as they offer interesting opportunities for discussion, teaching language and giving young people a voice.

Andrew Walkley has 25 years experience as a teacher, trainer and materials writer. He is the co-author of several coursebook series - Outcomes, Innovations and Perspectives (National Geographic Learning) and the methodology book Teaching Lexically (Delta / Klett). He is also the co-director of Lexical Lab ( an educational services provider specialising in course design and consultancy, materials writing and teacher training. Lexical Lab runs a summer school in London for teachers and other people in English Language education.

Alex Warren

No Word Is An Island: the importance of word partnerships
Friday 12.05 -12.50 | Durham

No man is an island, and neither are words. Just like us, they form partnerships and relationships with other words, working together to form something all the more substantial and useful. Using examples from National Geographic Learning titles, this practical session will explore and demonstrate how focusing on word-partnerships can help speed up vocabulary learning and develop greater language awareness.

Alex is the Teacher Trainer here at NGL. He studied history at university and worked as a journalist for several years. After travelling the world he returned to the UK to complete his CELTA qualification in Bournemouth. For the last six years Alex has been working as an Academic Director and teacher trainer at a successful private language school. The move into teacher training on a permanent basis was only a matter of time and Alex is now enjoying developing teachers on an international scale.


National Geographic Learning’s IATEFL Photographic Competition


We’re looking for amazing photographs taken by you that showcase some of the best hidden gems Brighton has to offer. Take a wander off the beaten track, away from the norm and see what you discover.

Upload your photo of Hidden Brighton to Facebook or Twitter with #NGLhiddenBrighton and you could be in with a chance of winning a copy of National Geographic’s Instagram book.

There will be 3 winners who will be announced at the NGL stand 80, during the Thursday afternoon coffee break.

Go forth and explore Hidden Brighton

National Geographic Photo Competition
National Geographic Photo Competition
National Geographic Photo Competition
National Geographic Photo Competition
National Geographic Photo Competition

Explore Brighton


Got some spare time to explore? Have a look at our points of interest below!

  • Brighton Flea Market - You can spend many an hour getting lost amongst the vintage and antique treasures in this trendy old coaching stop. With its distinctive pink facade you can't miss it.
  • The Regency Restaurant - Arguably the best place in Brighton for that age-old British sea-side tradition of fish and chips. With beach-front views across to the derelict yet fascinating Brighton West Pier, this is a great place for a spot of lunch.
  • Brighton Museum and Art Gallery - For a bit of culture, head to the Royal Pavilion gardens to this eclectic museum and gallery that has something for everyone.
  • Royal Pavilion - No visit to Brighton is complete without a visit to the world-famous Royal Pavilion. Built in 1786 by King George IV, this grand and exotic building is a must see.
  • The Lanes - Fancy a spot of shopping with a difference? Head to The Lanes, a collection of independent shops and boutiques hidden among intricate, winding alleyways. You'll be surprised at what you'll find!
  • Artists' Quarters - Brighton has a lively and vibrant art scene, stop by for a chat with the painters, photographers and sculptors on the seafront and marvel at their work - and maybe treat yourself to a souvenir or two?

Location/Stand Details

This year IATEFL is being held at the Brighton Centre:
Kings Rd

View the Brighton Centre on a map here.

Visit their page here for details of how to get there.

We are at stand 80 - Come and say hello!


For any more information about National Geographic Learning at IATEFL, please email