Independent Learning Association Conference (ILAC) 2012

Pre-conference Workshops

Pre-Conference Workshops, presented by keynote speakers and other recognised specialists, are available in addition to the conference. These are held concurrently, and each costs $100 to attend (not included in any registration fee).  The Workshop fee includes afternoon tea and entrance to the Welcome Function.
Spaces are limited and are allocated on a first in basis, when selected with your online conference registration.

Dick Allwright is now unable to attend the conference to present his pre-conference workshop and keynote plenary. Therefore the Exploratory Practice: Using class time to help learners develop as practitioners of learning workshop has been cancelled.

If you have registered to attend the workshop by Dick Allwright, and would like to attend another workshop, please go online and update your registration details.

How to change your workshop selection
You can change your workshops online, using your reference number and email address. When you have retrieved your online registration, using the green menu bar go to the 'Select Workshops' tab. Make your changes then click 'Save & Continue' to save your selections. If you have further changes to make, please proceed through the registration pages to make your changes. If you have no other changes to make, you may close the screen (Don't forget to Save & Continue').

If you have registered to attend the workshop by Dick Allwright, BUT DO NOT want to attend any other pre-conference workshops that are available, please email the conference organisers on, to arrange your refund.

Advising in language learning: Working effectively in diverse contexts
Presenter: Sara Cotterall
This workshop explores the crucial role of context in designing and delivering effective advising in language learning (ALL). First, I reflect briefly on important contextual differences in my experiences of language advising in New Zealand and Japan. Next I introduce Mynard’s (2012) Model for Advising in Language Learning with its three interconnected elements – dialogue, tools and context. Participants will be invited to choose one of these components and discuss and report on the challenges and opportunities it affords in the way language advising is carried out in their context.

Encouraging independent vocabulary learning in another language

Presenter: Paul Nation
This workshop looks at how learners of a foreign or second language can be helped to gain control of their vocabulary learning. Gaining control involves being able to choose what vocabulary to learn, to plan a balanced vocabulary learning programme, and to gain fluent control of the most useful vocabulary learning strategies of guessing from context, learning using word cards, using word parts, and using dictionaries as vocabulary learning resources.

Writing for publication in academic journals

Presenter: Sue Starfield
I have been the co-editor of English for Specific Purposes, an international peer-reviewed journal published by Elsevier, since 2009. I have also run many writing for publication workshop for academic colleagues at the University of New South Wales and could offer a similar workshop at the ILA conference.
In the workshop I offer my perspectives as an editor and provide advice to prospective authors.  I then look at the typical structures of article introductions and discussion sections after which participants engage in an activity. The final section of the workshop involves peer review of a draft article by another participant.
Participants are expected to bring along an article from a journal that they would like to publish in and a draft of an article they are working on. So the workshop is aimed at people who already have a rough draft of a paper that they are prepared to let someone else look at and receive feedback on.

* * Due to low registration numbers - the following workshop has been cancelled * *
Using Screen casts for Writing Feedback
Presenter: Yvonne Hynson
Screen casts (videos of your computer screen) have been highlighted in recent years by Russell Stannard but in New Zealand they have not been used much in ESOL. Since 2009 I have taught teachers how to use them to scaffold all kinds of content and skills and how to integrate with other e-learning tools without realizing Russell had been promoting them since 2006.

However, using screen casts to give feedback on students’ writing has been the most successful way I have used in 25 years of teaching. Over a 15-week course students showed considerable autonomous development in their written language skills, redrafting as many as four times whereas past students only redrafted once. Students find them engaging; it has encouraged some of them to learn to type or type better and motivated others to concentrate on their writing accuracy. All of them like the listening practice. Some have even started sharing them with their family and they are learning together.

This approach engages visual, aural and kinesthetic ways of learning, allows the student to learn when they want, at their own pace, share and learn from each other, gives personalized feedback from the teacher, has the ability to present tone and provides an alternative to often illegible teacher’s handwriting feedback. This workshop will also show pitfalls with examples of screen casts from ESOL adult learners.

There were funding cuts from Tertiary Education Commission in 2011 so individual literacy support for refugees, and others who were assessed as needing help, did not eventuate. Screen casts became an effective way to replace the delivery of these one to one weekly tutorials, for my students at least. These adults, who are unable to transfer literacy skills from their first language, are now passing their final writing assessments.