ISTEK Schools Third International ELT Conference

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Introducing… Kristen Acquaviva

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 Kristen Acquaviva…

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am American and from Mystic, Connecticut. I work as a Business English trainer in the charming city of Erfurt, Germany. I usually teach in companies across Germany as well as give intensive English classes as part of continuing education programs in the region. I also teach English for Specific Purposes, mainly Technical and IT English.

I love anything to do with the English language and I also am an editor, translator, and materials writer.

610021What is your teaching background?

After acquiring my Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and a CELTA, I taught English for two years in Japan. I then continued teaching in Germany and then embarked upon a Master’s in TESOL. Since coming to Germany, I have also given teacher trainer workshops and taken part in creating online development courses for teachers.

Tell us a bit about your session.

I will be focusing on how to create a positive learning community in a mixed-ability course. Mixed-ability classes can be challenging for the learners as well as the teacher. But they can also be fun. The key to success is openness and the incorporation of classroom management techniques that play off of the strengths of the learners and incorporate the role of the teacher as facilitator.

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

I am always interested in working with realistic classroom scenarios and I think many classes, to a greater or lesser extent, qualify as ‘mixed-ability’. In addition, I enjoy applying my experience teaching ESP, in which one mainly acts as a facilitator of knowledge rather than a traditional teacher, to other areas of ELT.

What should your audience expect to learn?

I would like the audience to leave with a heightened awareness of enabling a supportive and positive classroom community. I would also like them to be aware of some tactics for mixed-level grouping and tasks that channel cooperative learning principles. I also hope to learn from the audience’s input as well!

What are three words that sum up your session?

3 ½ words: Facilitating mixed-level learning

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

I am looking forward to seeing Sugata Mitra’s talk on the future of education and Ralph Tabberer’s plenary on assessment.

Can we find you on Twitter or Facebook?

You can follow me on twitter: @acquk

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

I had an eight-hour layover in Istanbul once but this will be the first time I have the chance to see and experience Turkey. I will be staying in Istanbul until Wednesday and I am looking forward to exploring one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

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

Meeting other educators and learning about the experience of being a teacher in Turkey and in other countries. I hope to share ideas and meet new people.

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