Plenary Speech

A couple of weeks ago, I gave a plenary speech at excitELT, a conference that always makes me feel excited.
Of course, it did not go as planned (nothing does, right?), but nevertheless, here is the script.
You can also find the link to download my article about the Dialogical Feedback project in the text below.

———- (INTRO) ———-

Oh well… I am feeling very nervous right now.
Actually, I’ve read somewhere on the internet that this is the worst phrase you can choose to start your presentation with.

However, at the same time, even though hardly anyone admits it out loud while presenting, the majority of people do feel nervous and even anxious when they have to speak in front of an audience, even a small and well-known one.
In fact, public speaking anxiety and communication apprehension, in general, are among the most widespread types of anxiety.

Communicative Language Teaching emphasizes communication. Students are constantly talking to each other, even if it’s a simple pair-check for the answers for some activity.
At universities, they have to take discussion classes, presentation classes and all other kinds of highly communicative classes.

Raise your hand if you teach such a class.
Raise your hand if you think your students might feel anxious during your classes.
Raise your hand if you ever felt anxious when communicating in a foreign language.
Raise your hand if your teacher ever asked you how you felt about communicating in a foreign language.
Raise your hand if you ever asked your students how they feel about communicating in a foreign language.

Continue reading “Plenary Speech”



Like all lessons (well, most of them) begin with a lead-in, I start my blog with a lead-in post.

Who am I? 24601. Well, nope. My name is Lina, I’m 25. I originally come from Russia, and I am an English Instructor at a university in Tokyo.
I have an MA in Scandinavian Studies (surprise surprise!) from the University of Edinburgh and two ELT certificates: TEFL and CELTA.

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for quite a while but would always find an excuse not to do this, such as ‘you’re not experienced enough’, ‘oh come on, what do you have to say about ELT? you hardly read any monographs!’, and ‘do you really think anyone would read your dull entries?’. You see, I’m being like extremely extremely honest right now.

Anyway, the time has come, and I do have some things to say about teaching English (and about being a non-native teaching English as well).

What you will NOT find in this blog: Long academic entries filled with quotations and sophisticated arguments. I ain’t good at academic writing, and I do not intend to make you doze off.

What you will DEFINITELY find in this blog: Short notes based on my own experience teaching English to Japanese students, practical tips and sample lesson plans.