Conferences for teachers of English in Spain

British Council

We organise free talks, seminars and conferences for teachers in Spain at our centres in Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia. In fact our annual conferences for teachers of English have been running for over ten years now! To find out what is coming up in your local area please see our events page or sign up to our newsletter for teachers.

Teacher Associations in Spain also organise great training opportunities for teachers which the British Council is happy to support whenever we can. Find out more about Teacher Associations in Spain at the websites below.


Gender differences in English language learning motivation

When considering the gap between boys’ and girls’ levels of English language learning motivation, some of the most eminent scholars in the field speculated in 2006 that: “the global nature of English will cause this gap to disappear completely because English will become the first L2 choice for virtually everybody, regardless of their sex” (Dörnyei et al., 2006).

The British Council’s 2017 English Impact study compared English language achievement and motivation amongst 15-year-old learners the Madrid region. 1773 learners of English completed a test and motivational questionnaire. Both levels of motivation and relationship between motivational variables were examined, and comparisons were drawn between gender groups, amongst others.

Despite the researchers’ earlier predictions, this study provides evidence to show that that boys continue to report lower levels of motivation than girls. Boys also appear to rely more than girls on external stimuli, such as parental and social expectations, to motivate them. In spite of higher overall proficiency scores, it is interesting to note that the female learners do not report themselves to be better at learning English than their male counterparts. In this session, we also discuss the potential implications of these findings for the language classroom.

Dr Janina Iwaniec, University of Bath. 

Janina has worked as an EFL teacher in Poland and the UK, EAP tutor, applied linguistics tutor and TESOL lecturer. Her research interests include language learning motivation in foreign and second language contexts, gender role in language learning, and the role of contextual factors in language learning. She has published in System, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development and European Journal of Applied Linguistics.

Dr Karen Dunn, Senior Researcher British Council.  

As Senior Researcher in measurement and evaluation at the British Council, Dr Dunn’s role  involves analysing operational data for the British Council’s suite of English language tests (Aptis), as well as in-depth research into scoring and validity issues. She is also involved in project work addressing a range of language assessment issues. Karen holds a PhD in Applied Social Statistics and a Masters in Language Studies. The focus of her PhD research was on using Explanatory Item Response Theory (EIRT) to investigate word difficulty for L2 learners of English.


“Teaching the elite?: Do CLIL and EMI programmes only work for the best students?

Mark Levy will moderate the round table debate one of the main criticisms of bilingual and CLIL programmes.  Do they overwhelmingly favour brighter, better educated or better-off learners who have an advantage in academic study, and /or in English and/or in being able to afford private language support & travel to English speaking countries.



The other invited panellists (pending confirmation) are:


•Do Coyle – University of Edinburgh

•Marisa Perez – Universidad de Jaén 

•Elena del Pozo – secondary teacher Madrid (thanks to you!)

•Mayte López – primary teacher Madrid

Encouraging your learners to have a Growth Mindset

Lesley Keast, British Council Madrid

The concept of Growth Mindset has long term benefits for learners and drives children to persist when learning gets difficult.  In this session we’ll get to grips with the key features and attributes and how we can instil this approach through our teacher feedback, using some motivating resources and sharing examples of practice from the Spanish classroom.


What's after learning the sounds?

Alix Tregenza, British Council Bilbao

Many people teach the sounds using a synthetic phonics scheme and then stop and wonder why children still can't spell and write well in English. This session looks at what to do once you have taught all the sounds.

Creating critical thinking activities for the English classroom

Amanda McLoughlin, British Council, Bilbao

This session is for teachers who want to encourage critical and creative thinking in their learners, but find that published materials don't really offer activities which do this effectively. First we will look at what critical creativity is in the language classroom. Then various activity types will be presented which encourage critical creativity in our learners. Finally, we will think about how we can adapt these activities to our own specific contexts.


Flashcard games galore

Catherine Morley, British Council

There are few resources more versatile than flashcards. Whether for recycling previously seen vocabulary, activating new language, or simply making good use of a few spare minutes of class time, you’ll leave this session with a ‘toolkit’ of low-prep activities, suitable for Primary aged students, which you can go back to again and again.


Keeping material current and incorporating 21 Century Skills

Peter Blagdon, British Council, Alcobendas, Madrid

With the instantaneous nature of the world where updates come by the minute or hour, there is a need to reflect this in the materials we use in class. This session looks at how it’s possible to easily incorporate these types of materials & how to exploit them focusing on critical thinking, collaboration & creativity – all 21st century skills.


Ideas for Teaching Writing to Secondary Students

Amy Kelly, British Council Madrid Teaching Centre

How often do we struggle to make writing fun and approachable for our students? The session aims to arm teachers with some practical ideas related to giving writing importance, course-book lifting to make writing tasks more motivating, ideas for term-long writing projects and use of correction codes.

Are we really supporting new teachers?

Alastair Roy, British Council Villaviciosa de Odón

When facing the challenge of a new school a mentoring and induction programme should support teachers on their journey. But are these as effective as they could be? In this session we will analyse teachers’ experiences and identify areas where our mentoring and inductions programmes can better bridge the gap between teacher education and the classroom.


Five tips for using audio and video transcripts

Jemima Collins, British Council Madrid Teaching Centre

Audio and video transcripts remain a neglected resource in many language classes despite their potential value and increasing availability. In this workshop, participants will sample a range of practical activities which demonstrate the versatility of transcripts as a tool for building learners' confidence with listening, enhancing their listening skills, and encouraging them to notice features of spoken English and vocabulary.

Oral Error Correction: Why, When and How

Oral Error Correction: Why, When and How

Hazel Watling, British Council, Madrid

Often, teachers correct students’ oral errors without thinking of why they are doing it, whether the time is right, or if the errors should be corrected at all.  This practical session is aimed at teachers of any CEFR level and addresses all of those concerns, as well as practical techniques that can be used to correct spoken errors.

Making English part of your young learners' daily life

Amalia Grapa, British Council   

As the mother of a trilingual four-year-old child, it is easy for me to understand why exposure to one or more languages is everything. The aim of this talk is to share some strategies and activities that will help young learners live the ‘English language’ experience without the pressure they sometimes feel in class or at home. 


See also

External links