Time to introduce our second set of speakers for our TDSIG Day – David Byrne and Mark Heffernan. They are the pair behind Textploitationtefl, having previously given talks at IATEFL on the use of texts and getting the most out of minimal resources, but this time they’re focusing on how to be more overt in teaching. Without further ado, here’s what David and Mark have to say!

David Byrne & Mark Heffernan – Be overt not covert!

David Byrne and Mark Heffernan

What’s your session at IATEFL all about?

Mark and David: We have been teaching, blogging and leading workshops together for about 5 years now. In previous IATEFL workshops, we focused mostly on exploiting texts and getting the most out of them but this year we decided to do focus on something a little different: overt teaching. The idea with overt teaching is simple – we feel our learners deserve the truth so what we propose is opening the door to teaching and letting them in. We want our teachers to tell our students exactly why they’re doing what they do. This starts with objectives and aims, continues with EFL staples like pairwork and finishes with students actually buying into your lesson because they know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and how it will benefit them.

If you were stuck on a desert island, which ELT book would you take with you?

David: For us, it’s all about Field’s Listening in the Language Classroom. It opened up a whole world of possibilities to us and we (and our students) will be forever grateful for this. Also though, Implementing the Lexical Approach by Michael Lewis – it underpins a lot of what we do.

What is your favourite source for classroom activities?

Mark: Sticking with listening as it’s probably our favourite skill to teach, we would probably go with activities from Hancock and McDonald’s Authentic Listening Resource Pack. This is a book I could have done with when I started out teaching.

What piece of advice would you give to a teacher starting to think about their practice?

David: Plan less, teach more. A good lesson doesn’t mean having a pile of papers for every eventuality, it means having an objective and helping your students to get there.

Mark: Wait to give students the chance to respond and give good valid praise, don’t say well done to everything, but do congratulate students when they achieve something.

David has been in EFL since 2008. He started out in Ireland but his teaching travels have taken him to South Korea, Spain and finally London. At present he is the Director of Studies at EC London but when he’s not dossing, he works with Mark on their blog, Textploitationtefl, or develops workshops.

Mark began teaching in 2004. From 2007 to 2016 he focused heavily on exam classes, writing materials for them at EC London as well as working on syllabi and running CPD sessions. Since 2016 he has been working at Queen Mary, University of London, teaching presessionals, insessionals and Pre-masters programmes.

Thanks, David and Mark!

There is still time to book your place in Glasgow for the 51st IATEFL Annual Conference. Check out the Conference rates on the IATEFL Conference website and secure your spot!