ISTEK Schools Third International ELT Conference

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Introducing… Simona Bali

In the lead up to the ISTEK Schools 3rd International ELT Conference, we’ll be introducing some of the presenters on the blog. Next up is Simona Bali…

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Simona Bali. I am a full time senior lecturer in English at the Department of British and American studies of New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria. As such I am mainly involved in teaching English as a foreign language at all levels, teaching English for academic purposes and teaching English for specific purposes. Until last year I was also Director of all foreign language courses so for four years I was in charge of programme development and management– scheduling, teacher staff recruiting and management, exam session management, teacher training and development supervision. I have participated in quite a few national and international conferences among which 13-14 March 2006, BETA-IATEFL conference Plovdiv; 7-8 October 2006; ELTAM conference, Struga, Macedonia, 19-20 May, BETA-IATEFL conference, Blagoevgrad;13-14 May 2008, BETA-IATEFL conference Sofia; 23-24 October 2008, ELTAM conference Skopje, Macedonia, 16-17 May 2009, BETA-IATEFL conference Stara Zagora; 23-25 April 2010, BETA-IATEFL conference Veliko Turnovo; 29-10 October 2010, ELTAM conference Skopje, Macedonia; 25-27 March 2011, First International ELT conference, University of Economics, Izmir, Turkey, 1-2 March, 2013, International conference “Improving Standards in Quality of Language Education and Research”, co-organised by QUEST Romania, the “ISQALE” Grundtvig Learning Partnership, and The Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication of ASE the Bucharest University of Economic Studies

610016What is your teaching background?

I have been teaching English for about 22 years now, first as a free-lance teacher at some private schools, then as a full time teacher at the Institute for Foreign Students in Sofia and since 1996 as a full time teacher at new Bulgarian university in Sofia. My main expertise is teaching general English (levels A1-C2), English for academic purposes and English for specific purposes

Tell us a bit about your session.

My workshop focuses on creative writing as a means of self-expression which can encourage learners to explore their own imagination and creativity and involve them into the process of learning grammar, vocabulary, sentence and paragraph structure while enjoying a non-traditional, motivating and stimulating activity.

Why are you interested in the area you’ll be presenting on?

I am interested in creative writing first and most of all because I enjoy writing myself 🙂 Furthermore I find it an extremely motivating way to make learners realize their own potential for self-expression in the foreign language which they often forget about or think impossible. taking them out of the context of the structured written exercises in course books makes them gain more confidence in their ability to create written texts in the target language.

What should your audience expect to learn?

In all the workshops I have done so far I have always aimed at giving my audience something that they can take away and apply immediately in the classroom. So again what my audience can expect is something practical and enjoyable that they can do with their students right after they get back to their classrooms.

What are three words that sum up your session?

Creative, challenging, fun

Which other presenter(s) are you looking forward to seeing?

Of course I am looking forward to hearing the key-note speakers and any other presenter that offers something more practical.

Can we find you on Twitter or Facebook?

No, you can’t because I am one of those “anti -social networks” people 🙂 I consider it a waste of time though I realize their value as a marketing tool. Besides I communicate via so many other online channels like email, Skype and other messengers, Moodle etc. that I don’t have time for Facebook or Twitter

Have you been to Turkey before or is this your first time?

Yes, I’ve been to Turkey lots of times and Istanbul is actually my favourite city, simply adore it.

What other aspects of the conference are you looking forward to?

Meeting colleagues from different countries and institutions.

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