Webinars

We invite you to join us in professional development conversations with English Language Teaching specialists, speakers from the TED stage, National Geographic Explorers, and others in the English Language Teaching field.

Currently we are building up a list of upcoming webinars

Check back soon for new webinars in 2019.

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Emerging into English: different levels, different needs

In our experience, language learning is not a linear process. Rarely is language presented by a teacher or coursebook, practiced, and then acquired, allowing the class to move on to the next grammar structure or set of words. However, coursebooks can give the impression that learning does work in this way, especially if you consider how frequently they follow a uniformly ordered grammar syllabus and provide the same format of lessons across all levels.

In this webinar, we will look at how taking a more realistic view of grammar and vocabulary development can lead to a better understanding of learners’ needs. By providing the “space” for language to emerge, it takes the students beyond the book’s syllabus and reveals important learner needs at all levels.

About the Speakers:

Andrew Walkley has 25 years’ experience as a teacher, trainer and materials writer. He is currently the co-director of Lexical Lab (lexicallab.com) an educational services provider specialising in course design and consultancy, material writing and teacher training. With Lexical Lab, he runs a variety of training courses for people in English Language education as part of a Summer school. He is the co-author of several coursebook series - Outcomes, Innovations and Perspectives (National Geographic Learning) and the methodology book Teaching Lexically (Delta Publishing).


Hugh Dellar is a teacher, teacher trainer and course book writer based in London. He has over twenty-five years’ experience in the field and is the co-founder of Lexical Lab. He has co-authored two five-level General English series, Outcomes and Innovations, both published by National Geographic Learning, as well as one level of the high-school series Perspectives. His first methodology book, Teaching Lexically, came out via Delta Publishing in 2016.

Tapping into Curiosity: Incorporating Critical Thinking in Every Situation

“I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious.” - Albert Einstein

We tend to think of critical thinking as an intellectual skill that appears in explicit, academic-type tasks. In fact, it’s part of a holistic approach to learning founded on being curious, objective and fair. It’s implicit in all we do and, in ELT, is applicable to all four skills, grammar and vocabulary, and to all levels and all ages. This approach encourages deeper engagement with content, deeper processing of language, and ultimately greater learner independence. In this presentation we’ll illustrate the benefits of a critical mindset in a wide variety of contexts, and look at examples of how critical thinking as a skill can be included in multiple lesson and task types, from young learners to adults.

About the Speaker:

Paul Dummett is a teacher and writer based in Oxford, UK, where he ran his own school teaching English to professionals from 1996 to 2006. He currently teaches refugee children in Palestine and Jordan with the Handsupproject. His main interests are the use of images and narrative in language teaching and how these can aid deeper learning and memory. Seeking out writing projects that explore these interests he has found a natural home at National Geographic Learning, co-authoring titles such as Life and Keynote and acting as a Course Consultant for Look, a seven-level primary series. He enjoys travel, exercise and live music/spoken word performance.

Key Critical Thinking Skills for Advanced Learners

With a high level of English, many of your advanced learners will probably have also developed a high level of critical thinking. However, there are some key critical thinking skills that even advanced learners often need help with. In this webinar we’ll identify those skills and consider some practical ways to enable them.

About the Speaker:

John Hughes is a teacher, teacher trainer and course book author. He has worked in ELT since 1992 and managed departments of Business English and Teacher Training. He currently combines a variety roles including part-time teaching, running online training courses, and lecturing on ELT methodology at Oxford University in the summer. He has written many books with National Geographic Learning including Spotlight on First, Practical Grammar, Total Business 2, Success with BEC Vantage, Aspire, and the six-level general English course series called Life. He lives near Oxford and writes the blog www.elteachertrainer.com and is a contributor to the National Geographic Learning In Focus Blog.

Engaging ears, eyes, brains and minds: Authentic listening at every level

Accents, fast speech, idioms and slang – these features of spoken English make listening one of the biggest challenges learners face. But low-level learners don’t want to wait to learn real English – they want to understand it now. And even at higher levels real-world listening continues to be challenging. How can teachers help learners at every level engage with authentic input? Using TED Talks as examples, this session looks at some of the brain science related to listening and offers practical tips for how to create success-oriented lessons for the classroom at any level.

About the Speaker:

Lewis got his first taste of teaching English in Barcelona in the late 1980s. The experience inspired him to get a Master’s in TESOL, after which he taught at a university language center in Arizona and then a manufacturing company in Japan. In 1995, he took an editorial job with a major publisher in Hong Kong developing materials for Asia, and in 1997 became a freelance editor, project manager and writer in the UK. He has worked on books, videos, tests, audio materials, worksheets, apps and online materials for English learners of all ages across the world. His most recent projects are National Geographic Learning’s Keynote and Perspectives, featuring TED Talks.

5 Ways to Teach with Real Stories

Why use real world stories in language learning? As well as being motivating – learners discover new things about the world as they learn the language - stories also draw on our narrative intelligence. They give us a structure to follow, a social context, the chance to absorb detail and see the wider picture, and provide a concrete vehicle for more abstract ideas. This talk presents five practical and transferable activities for using real world stories from National Geographic in the classroom.

About the Speaker:

Paul Dummett is a teacher and writer based in Oxford, UK, where he ran his own school teaching English to professionals from 1996 to 2006. He currently teaches refugee children in Palestine and Jordan with the Handsupproject. His main interests are the use of images and narrative in language teaching and how these can aid deeper learning and memory. Seeking out writing projects that explore these interests he has found a natural home at National Geographic Learning, co-authoring titles such as Life and Keynote and acting as a Course Consultant for Look, a seven-level primary series. He enjoys travel, exercise and live music/spoken word performance.

Using Technology to Encourage Face-to-face Conversation

Today’s classrooms and today’s learners are more connected than ever. As our learners spend more time engaging with new technology, how can we make sure that the time spent on their devices will lead to better lessons and better learning outcomes? How do we select the right technology tools to improve classroom instruction and motivate learners to express themselves confidently in face-to-face communication?

In this webinar, we will use examples from Learn English with TED Talks to explore how the right technology tools can lead to better comprehension of powerful ideas, and help develop our learners into confident communicators in any situation?

About the Speaker:

Alex Warren is a DELTA trained teacher trainer with over 14 years’ experience of working in ELT as a teacher, academic director and teacher trainer. Working for National Geographic Learning, Alex is driven by his passion for developing teachers on a global scale and helping them to reach their true potential. A firm believer in a communicative approach to language learning and student centred learning, Alex enjoys working with innovative, thought-provoking materials and presenting on a wide range of ELT-related topics.

About the Webinar:

What do learning a foreign language and becoming a TED speaker have in common? Both are about sharing interesting things with others. What counts most in either case is the content, not performance. A TED speaker and staffer from China shares her English learning experience and behind-the-scene stories of TED.

About the Speaker:

Born and raised in Hunan, China, Lisa Bu has been with TED since 2011 as its Content Distribution Manager. Before that, she spent seven years as a talk show producer and a digital media content director at Wisconsin Public Radio. She's also a computer programmer, with a PhD in journalism and an MBA in information systems from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a BA in Chinese from Nanjing University in China. An avid book reader and storyteller, she was invited to give a TED talk about the power of reading in 2013, and another talk about her experience as a first-time voter in 2012.

About this Webinar:

What kinds of literacy skills do today’s students need? In this webinar, we’ll explore how traditional views of literacy are changing, and how “new literacies”– such as information literacy, visual literacy, and cultural literacy – can be incorporated in the language classroom.

About the Speaker:

Sean Bermingham is an Executive Editor for National Geographic Learning. A former English language teacher, Sean has given presentations and workshops at language teaching conferences in Asia and North America. He is currently based in Singapore, where he works on the development of new products for the global ELT market, including coursebooks, digital components, and instructor materials.

About this Webinar:

A paradox of language teaching is that, in some ways, the easier a teacher or textbook is to understand, the less he, she, or it actually helps students. The reason? Carefully graded words and scripts and a sympathetic approach may not always prepare students to understand the language they will meet outside the ELT classroom, including in their academic classes. Luckily, using authentic content is a way to overcome this paradox. We will begin this workshop by looking at different kinds of authentic content and discussing their respective pros and cons. We will then discuss effective ways to introduce more authentic content into the classroom in ways that allow teachers to shine without causing students to feel like proverbial rabbits caught in headlights.

About the Speaker:

Christien Lee, who has dual Canadian and british citizenship, has worked in English Language Teaching since 1994. His roles have included teacher, teacher trainer, curriculum developer, materials writer, director of studies, consultant, and author. He has broad experience in different aspect of ELT, but specializes in academic English and, particularly, exam preparation. Currently, his focus is on writing books and materials and developing innovative e-learning resources. He is the author of several ELT books, including other titles for National Geographic Learning.

About this Webinar:

Years ago it was the Secretaries Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS), then Equipped for the Future (EFF), followed by individual state ESL Standards and 21st Century Skills, and now College and Career Readiness Standards and English Language Proficiency Standards! How do teachers in the classroom make sense of all of these, how do they know what to emphasize and how does it all fit into the curriculum they are required to deliver to their students? Can the ideas in the various standards and initiatives be distilled into an approach that isn’t convoluted and overwhelming? The answer is “Yes, absolutely”! Good teaching is good teaching and now evidence-based strategies help us zero in on what is most important in the classroom. Learn in this webinar what is common in all these standards. Leave feeling optimistic and confident that you can meet the standards!

About the Speaker:

Rob Jenkins is a professor of ESL for Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education in California. He is a recipient of the Santa Ana College Distinguished Faculty Award. Rob is also a textbook author and consultant for National Geographic Learning. He is the author of Stand Out and series editor for World English, and Grammar Explorer. Rob and Staci Johnson, his co-author, were awarded the Heinle Outstanding Achievement Award for their contribution to publishing in 2013.

About this Webinar:

Projects Based Learning (PBL) has been at the forefront of English Language Teaching in this new age of student accountability and career preparation. This evidence-based strategy will prepare your Adult learners by working with real-life scenarios they will encounter in the workforce, and in their communities. Learn how a form of PBL called Team Projects first identified by the popular textbook Stand Out can create a collaborative and effective learning environment for all students.

About the Speaker:

Rob Jenkins is a professor of ESL for Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education in California. He is a recipient of the Santa Ana College Distinguished Faculty Award. Rob is also a textbook author and consultant for National Geographic Learning. He is the author of Stand Out and series editor for World English, and Grammar Explorer. Rob and Staci Johnson, his co-author, were awarded the Heinle Outstanding Achievement Award for their contribution to publishing in 2013.

About this Webinar:

Sugatra Mitra suggested that good questions unlock learning. What are those questions in English language teaching? Who asks them? When? What answers and feedback do they provide? What questions are taught in course books – including Outcomes – and what might they reveal about principles behind them? What questions might teachers ask themselves to develop? In this webinar, Hugh Dellar and Andrew Walkley will answer these questions from their own perspectives and hope to raise a few more questions for teachers of English everywhere.

About the Speakers:

Andrew Walkley has 25 years’ experience as a teacher, trainer and materials writer. He is currently the co-director of Lexical Lab (lexicallab.com) an educational services provider specialising in course design and consultancy, material writing and teacher training. With Lexical Lab, he runs a variety of training courses for people in English Language education as part of a Summer school. He is the co-author of several coursebook series - Outcomes, Innovations and Perspectives (National Geographic Learning) and the methodology book Teaching Lexically (Delta Publishing).


Hugh Dellar is a teacher, teacher trainer and course book writer based in London. He has over twenty-five years’ experience in the field and is the co-founder of Lexical Lab. He has co-authored two five-level General English series, Outcomes and Innovations, both published by National Geographic Learning, as well as one level of the high-school series Perspectives. His first methodology book, Teaching Lexically, came out via Delta Publishing in 2016.

About this Webinar:

Critical thinking is rather like broccoli: not necessarily easy to describe (though we know it when we see it) and not to everyone’s taste, but good for us. Yet although critical thinking is a key skill for the modern world, students and teachers often find it challenging. In this workshop, we will analyze the kinds of critical thinking exercises commonly found in ELT textbooks and examine some of the typical issues that people have with critical thinking tasks. We will then discuss various solutions to these issues, including adapting techniques from “demand high teaching” and finding ways to modify textbook exercises so the barrier to entry is lower and the benefits to doing it are greater.

About the Speaker:

Christien Lee, who has dual Canadian and british citizenship, has worked in English Language Teaching since 1994. His roles have included teacher, teacher trainer, curriculum developer, materials writer, director of studies, consultant, and author. He has broad experience in different aspect of ELT, but specializes in academic English and, particularly, exam preparation. Currently, his focus is on writing books and materials and developing innovative e-learning resources. He is the author of several ELT books, including other titles for National Geographic Learning.

About this Webinar:

Critical thinking often features in higher level language teaching materials but what is its place in lessons for beginner, elementary and pre-intermediate students? In this webinar, we’ll explore the role of higher level thinking in lower level classes and find out how – even with basic language aims – critical thinking can add motivation, develop student-independence, and improve learning outcomes.

About the Speaker:

John Hughes is a teacher, teacher trainer and course book author. He has worked in ELT since 1992 and managed departments of Business English and Teacher Training. He currently combines a variety roles including part-time teaching, running online training courses, and lecturing on ELT methodology at Oxford University in the summer. He has written many books with National Geographic Learning including Spotlight on First, Practical Grammar, Total Business 2, Success with BEC Vantage, Aspire, and the six-level general English course series called Life. He lives near Oxford and writes the blog www.elteachertrainer.com and is a contributor to the National Geographic Learning In Focus Blog.

About this Webinar:

Preparing students for academic success in college requires more than teaching grammar and vocabulary. To fully equip students for college work requires relevant and meaningful content that motivates students and promotes critical thinking, academic language skills that prepare students to communicate and thrive in academic settings, and a strong vocabulary base of words across several disciplines. Join us as we discuss how Pathways Second Edition ensures academic success through these three areas.

This is the first webinar in the four-part Pathways webinar series

About the Speaker:

Laura Le Dréan is Executive Editor at National Geographic Learning, in charge of the academic and professional development lists. She has an M.A. in TESOL/TEFL from San Francisco State University. She has over 20 years of teaching experience in ESL/EFL programs in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. She has also done teacher training in the U.S., the Middle East and in Vietnam. She has been working in ELT publishing as an editor for the last 19 years creating learning materials for students and teachers.

About this Webinar:

Around 70% of what we forget is forgotten in the first 24 hours after initial learning. Techniques exist for memorizing items in the short-term, but less is known about how and what we remember longer-term. What we do know is that effective learning comes from the brain making links between things and that these links are strengthened by use. In this workshop, I will use practical examples to show the kinds of stronger links we can help students to make using: imagery, repetition, emotion, stories, language with a high utility factor, multi-sensory approaches and peer-teaching.

About the Speaker:

Paul Dummett is a teacher and writer based in Oxford, UK, where he ran his own school teaching English to professionals from 1996 to 2006. He currently teaches refugee children in Palestine and Jordan with the Handsupproject. His main interests are the use of images and narrative in language teaching and how these can aid deeper learning and memory. Seeking out writing projects that explore these interests he has found a natural home at National Geographic Learning, co-authoring titles such as Life and Keynote and acting as a Course Consultant for Look, a seven-level primary series. He enjoys travel, exercise and live music/spoken word performance.

About this Webinar:

We know that grammar is important in mastering a new language. Teachers agree. Learners agree. As a result, the curriculum of most programs talks specifically about grammar that their students will study in their courses. How does your program teach grammar? Perhaps you use a book specifically for grammar, or maybe you use a book with grammar integrated throughout. However, a very important question for teachers to consider in 2017 is which grammar we are teaching. Are we teaching grammar that our students need? Or are we teaching grammar because it is what we learned many years ago.

In today’s talk, we will look at the grammar needs of today’s students as we consider: (1) verb tenses in academic writing, (2) verb tenses in conversational English, and (3) vocabulary + grammar (the specific vocabulary connected with one grammar focus, modals). We will look at actual examples from student writing and spoken English as well as teaching materials that reflect this new information. In 2017, it is time for all of us TESOL educators to really put our learners’ true English needs at the forefront.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Folse is Professor of TESOL at the University of Central Florida, where he has taught in the undergraduate TEFL program, the master’s in TESOL program, and the PhD in TESOL program. He has taught English in the U.S., Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. He research has appeared in TESOL Quarterly, TESL Reporter, Language Teacher (JALT), Perspectives (TESOL Arabia), among others. His main research interests are best research-based teaching practices in teaching grammar and vocabulary in ESL. He has done teacher training all over the world and is the author of 67 textbooks, including six books in National Geographic Learning’s Great Writing as well as three books in the Grammar for Great Writing.

About this Webinar:

Personalization in the classroom is always considered desirable but in reality it’s often hard to achieve. As teachers, we try to personalize the language but this can be challenging in larger classes. There is also a delicate balance between asking students to personalize language and asking them to say too much about their real lives. Finally, if we want to use texts, videos and images which bring real-life topics into the classroom, we need to find personal connections between the individual student and global issues. In this presentation, I’ll explore these issues and share a variety of practical techniques and activities which bridge the gaps between the individual, the language and the wider world.

About the Speaker:

John Hughes is a teacher, teacher trainer and course book author. He has worked in ELT since 1992 and managed departments of Business English and Teacher Training. He currently combines a variety roles including part-time teaching, running online training courses, and lecturing on ELT methodology at Oxford University in the summer. He has written many books with National Geographic Learning including Spotlight on First, Practical Grammar, Total Business 2, Success with BEC Vantage, Aspire, and the six-level general English course series called Life. He lives near Oxford and writes the blog www.elteachertrainer.com and is a contributor to the National Geographic Learning In Focus Blog.

About this Webinar:

Language and identity are closely connected – the way we speak, the things we talk about, and even our accent help make up who we are. But what does this mean for language teachers and learners?

With content from Artist Hetain Patel, and ideas from National Geographic Learning and TED Talks, ELT materials writer Lewis Lansford makes connections between the big ideas of identity, voice and collaboration and the practicalities of language teaching.

About the Speakers:

Hetain Patel is a british artist of Indian heritage. He makes films, photographs, sculptures and live performances for galleries and theatres worldwide, including Tate Modern and the Royal Opera House, London, Venice Biennale and Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing.

His artwork, exploring the subtle and often humorous complexities of identity formation, crosses a number of art forms, which he finds reflects the multiple ways of looking at and expressing ideas.

Taking inspiration from a bruce Lee quote, he loves the idea of identity being, “formless, shapeless, like water”. This philosophy is something embedded into his creative and professional life. Being british born of Indian origin, and married to a French person of Spanish origin, this fluidity of languages, geography and thinking constantly inform his life and art.

www.hetainpatel.com

Lewis got his first taste of teaching English in Barcelona in the late 1980s. The experience inspired him to get a Master’s in TESOL, after which he taught at a university language center in Arizona and then a manufacturing company in Japan. In 1995, he took an editorial job with a major publisher in Hong Kong developing materials for Asia, and in 1997 became a freelance editor, project manager and writer in the UK. He has worked on books, videos, tests, audio materials, worksheets, apps and online materials for English learners of all ages across the world. His most recent projects are National Geographic Learning’s Keynote and Perspectives, featuring TED Talks.

About this Webinar:

Preparing your students to become more employable while meeting new goals like College and Career Readiness can be challenging. Learn how to incorporate meaningful activities in your classroom while empowering your students to learn English, develop key employability skills and prepare for future endeavors. In this webinar, Rob Jenkins, one of the authors of Stand Out, will address how Stand Out exceeds the requirements set by WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), and helps students develop and master the skills employers are looking for in today’s workforce. Communication, Collaboration, Teamwork, Critical Thinking, Creativity, Leadership, and Organization are among the key employability skills that are seamlessly woven into the series in a variety of engaging activities with real world applications. Rob will demonstrate how Stand Out uses Critical Thinking Activities, Problem Based Activities, and Team Projects to successfully prepare your students for future success in the workplace and beyond.

About the Speaker:

Rob Jenkins is a professor of ESL for Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education in California. He is a recipient of the Santa Ana College Distinguished Faculty Award. Rob is also a textbook author and consultant for National Geographic Learning. He is the author of Stand Out and series editor for World English, and Grammar Explorer. Rob and Staci Johnson, his co-author, were awarded the Heinle Outstanding Achievement Award for their contribution to publishing in 2013.

About this Webinar:

The majority of English-language interactions don’t involve a first-language user of English, and don't take place in a country where English is an official language. This is the reality of English as it’s used today. What does this mean for 21st Century learners? What kind of accent should we encourage them to aim for? What do they need to know about culture? How can we teach them the importance of understanding their audience? This webinar discusses these questions and offers practical answers for how to address them in the classroom, using fascinating ideas from TED Talks and examples from National Geographic Learning's Keynote and Perspectives series.

About the Speaker:

Lewis got his first taste of teaching English in Barcelona in the late 1980s. The experience inspired him to get a Master’s in TESOL, after which he taught at a university language center in Arizona and then a manufacturing company in Japan. In 1995, he took an editorial job with a major publisher in Hong Kong developing materials for Asia, and in 1997 became a freelance editor, project manager and writer in the UK. He has worked on books, videos, tests, audio materials, worksheets, apps and online materials for English learners of all ages across the world. His most recent projects are National Geographic Learning’s Keynote and Perspectives, featuring TED Talks.

About this Webinar:

This webinar will provide participants with student-centered activities from the new edition of Stand Out. Rob Jenkins will demonstrate how these activities promote College and Career Readiness, El Civics, and critical thinking through National Geographic content. Come prepared to practice and learn how to teach with Stand Out’s new edition.

About the Speaker:

Rob Jenkins is a professor of ESL for Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education in California. He is a recipient of the Santa Ana College Distinguished Faculty Award. Rob is also a textbook author and consultant for National Geographic Learning. He is the author of Stand Out and series editor for World English, and Grammar Explorer. Rob and Staci Johnson, his co-author, were awarded the Heinle Outstanding Achievement Award for their contribution to publishing in 2013.

About this Webinar:

What grammar do your students need for better writing?

What grammar problems should teachers anticipate?

How can you help your students with the grammar they need for their writing?

About the Speaker:

Dr. Folse is Professor of TESOL at the University of Central Florida, where he has taught in the undergraduate TEFL program, the master’s in TESOL program, and the PhD in TESOL program. He has taught English in the U.S., Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. He research has appeared in TESOL Quarterly, TESL Reporter, Language Teacher (JALT), Perspectives (TESOL Arabia), among others. His main research interests are best research-based teaching practices in teaching grammar and vocabulary in ESL. He has done teacher training all over the world and is the author of 67 textbooks, including six books in National Geographic Learning’s Great Writing as well as three books in the Grammar for Great Writing.

About this Webinar:

Critical thinking is one of the key 21st Century Skills but is it the role of the teacher to develop those skills alongside English language learning? In my talk I’ll address this question by considering how teachers might use higher order thinking activities to enhance their lesson planning and materials design. We’ll also see how critical thinking in the language classroom demands more from the learner but in doing so makes their language learning a much more rewarding experience.

About the Speaker:

John Hughes is a teacher, teacher trainer and course book author. He has worked in ELT since 1992 and managed departments of Business English and Teacher Training. He currently combines a variety roles including part-time teaching, running online training courses, and lecturing on ELT methodology at Oxford University in the summer. He has written many books with National Geographic Learning including Spotlight on First, Practical Grammar, Total Business 2, Success with BEC Vantage, Aspire, and the six-level general English course series called Life. He lives near Oxford and writes the blog www.elteachertrainer.com and is a contributor to the National Geographic Learning In Focus Blog.

About this Webinar:

Students learning to learn, working through problems, and addressing new ideas is at the forefront of College and Career Readiness standards. Students at all levels can engage in critical thinking activities in the classroom. Learn how to help students learn to learn in this webinar!

About the Speaker:

Rob Jenkins is a professor of ESL for Santa Ana College School of Continuing Education in California. He is a recipient of the Santa Ana College Distinguished Faculty Award. Rob is also a textbook author and consultant for National Geographic Learning. He is the author of Stand Out and series editor for World English, and Grammar Explorer. Rob and Staci Johnson, his co-author, were awarded the Heinle Outstanding Achievement Award for their contribution to publishing in 2013.