The 3rd EFL Symposium and Book Exhibition in Berrhœa

The State English Teachers’ Union of Imathia in co-operation with Mr Theodoros Skenderis, ELT Adviser for Emathia, Pella and Pieria, organised their 3rd consecutive EFL Symposium and Book Exhibition, kindly sponsored by Burlington Books, Express Publishing, Hillside Press and MM Publications, at the Elea café/restaurant in Berrhœa on Wednesday 6th September 2006.Teachers of English arrived in their dozens to browse the fascinating titles displayed at the stands and make enquiries to the obliging sales representatives.
(Photograph legend: Above, Mr Nicolaides, and Ms Blatsioti with glimpses of the audience;
below, Ms Papadocostace and a general view of EFL teachers attending.)
Plenary speakers rightly riveted attending teachers with their insightful presentations. Mr Constantine Nicolaides (Hillside Press) focused on “ELT textbooks and social norms”, stressing the EFL publishers and teachers’ joint responsibility to promote healthy role-models for the young to follow, raise the children’s awareness of really significant issues, enhance critical thinking and instil moral values that ought to be an invaluable asset in a person’s character and last a lifetime.
Next, in a lecture-cum-workshop session, Ms Athena Blatsioti (Express Publishing) discussed “Left Brain v Right Brain” skills, aptly demonstrating how to diagnose potential priority of one type of skills associated with one side of the brain over the other, and the enormous ramifications this aspect may have for learning and teaching styles alike. It was also illustrated that if teachers are to cater for their pupils’ needs, they should endeavour to adopt a balanced syllabus and present new language or set assignments in several different ways so that every individual student is accommodated and motivated.
After the coffee break, it was Ms Chara Papadocostace’s (MM Publications) turn to engage the audience with a sprightly performance of “Songs in the EFL Classroom”, highly reminiscent of the active role teachers are expected to play with a view to transforming language classes into hives of absolutely enjoyable, yet fully efficient activities. Added to that, ingenious modes of turning nursery rhymes or popular songs into account as regards vocabulary or grammar acquisition were put into practice, creative learners coming up with some big hits - no pun intended!
Finally, Mr Theodoros Skenderis initiated teachers into “Differentiated Pedagogy”. Citing a well-updated bibliography concerning the rationale behind alternating tasks vis-à-vis their degree of difficulty, he helped make it obvious with specific examples that virtually the same sources, be it coursebook texts or authentic material, can equally benefit most students in multi-level classes, by offering rewarding, hence motivating, experiences to all learners and cultivating a spirit of noble emulation among them.Not surprisingly, feedback on the thoughts and impressions of participants has clearly shown that the 3rd Symposium was an excellent resource for teachers, who are looking forward to a new similar event.
The new committee of the S.E.T.U.I.
After the biennial general assembly and the elections for a committee at the State English Teachers’ Union of Imathia last September, the new board of directors has consisted of the following members:
Demetrios Hadjinicolaou (chairperson), Anastasia Asikidou (deputy chairperson), Maria Foutzitzi (secretary), Eleni Kostopoulou (treasurer) and Sarra Tsismanidou (member). Mrs Helen Baki was elected as an alternate member.