2019 – 26th Annual Conference, Berlin

03-05 May


Here you can find the Presentations from the ICC Conference in Berlin 2019. Click on the link to open or download the PDFs.’’


Bessie Dendrinos

Athanasia (Nancy) Kontomitrou

Die Evaluationskompetenz als wichtige Lehrkompetenz

Athanasia (Nancy) Kontomitrou is Associate Lecturer at the Department of German Language and Literature of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She holds a PhD in Teaching German as a Foreign Language from the same faculty. She is a member of the scientific team for the development of tests for the State Certificate of Language Proficiency (KPG) in the German Language, in which she works since 2018 as a coordinator of the scientific team. She also works as a coordinator of script raters in the German Language for the State Certificate of Language Proficiency in the Script Rating Centre and she has taken part in organizing and conducting seminars for script raters. Since 2018 she is a member of the scientific team for updating teaching material for the module „Lesson Planning and Evaluation” of the Master Program “Teaching German as a Foreign Language” of the Hellenic Open University. Her academic interests are Foreign Language Teaching and Learning, development of teaching material, assessing foreign language competence and development and evaluation of tests.

Athanasia (Nancy) Kontomitrou ist Dozentin für Deutsch als Fremdsprache im Fachbereich für Deutsche Sprache und Literatur der Nationalen und Kapodistrischen Universität Athen. Sie promovierte an derselben Universität im Bereich der Didaktik des Deutschen als Fremdsprache. Sie ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin beim Staatlichen Sprachzertifikat (KPG) für die deutsche Sprache und seit 2018 nimmt sie an dem Staatlichen Sprachzertifikat als Koordinatorin der wissenschaftlichen Arbeitsgruppe teil. Sie ist auch Koordinatorin der Bewerter schriftlichen Ausdrucks im Bewertungszentrum des Staatlichen Sprachzertifikats und sie hat an der Organisation und Durchführung von Seminaren für die Bewerter schriftlichen Ausdrucks teilgenommen. Seit 2018 ist sie Mitarbeiterin bei der Aktualisierung des didaktischen Materials des Moduls „Unterrichtsplanung und Evaluation“ des Masterstudiengangs „Deutsch als Fremdsprache“ der Griechischen Fernuniversität. Zu ihren wissenschaftlichen Interessen gehören die Fremdsprachendidaktik, der Fremdsprachenerwerb, die Analyse und Erstellung didaktischen Materials, die Evaluation im Fremdsprachenunterricht und die Testentwicklung und -beurteilung.

Rob Williams

Underpinning language competences

There is much talk about preparing language learners to be global citizens, to be able to perform well on the international stage. Intercultural communicative competences have belatedly been acknowledged as crucial to this success. However, if we are to believe even in part studies by Mehrabian, Burgoon and others that point to a large percentage of a message being communicated and understood through non-verbal communication, then are we covering what we need to?

How well do our students know how to negotiate meaning?

How well do our students know how to cope with the unexpected?

How well do we as educators understand the subtleties and continuing evolution of the languages we teach?

This workshop argues that we need to address the knowledge, skills and attitude that lead to successful interpersonal communication in whatever language and across whatever cultural or speech community, and shares techniques that can be employed in the classroom to achieve this.

Matilde Grünhage-Monetti

From ‘language for work’ to ‘language through work’ in the context of migration and inclusion: The Language for Work Network and its tools for supporting work-related L2 development

The proposed workshop investigates interactively the outcomes of the Language for Work Network and its two projects sponsored by the European centre of Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (2012 -2018). These offer the examples of how to integrate formal instruction with non-formal and informal learning arrangements. They offer the opportunity to discuss  who can profit best from which type of learning and in which time? Which competences need key actors like language and VET teachers and providers? Which support is most adequate for which learners? What support needs employers and job centres to make workplaces into language learning places?

Myriam Pérez Carrasco

Second Language Learning – Poster Presentation

This poster presentation addresses the topic of how to successfully integrate ICT resources in second language learning to ensure the right strategies for language learning, translation and interpreting.

Prof Thomas Tinnefeld

Learner Multilingualism – Students’ Attitudes and Institutional Requirements

In the present talk, the phenomenon of learner multilingualism will be dealt with from different perspectives.

Learner multilingualism will first be considered in relation to CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) with English as the medium of instruction, as, more often than not, learners of different mother tongues, i.e. multilingual learners, are the target group of this teaching approach. The focus here is on students’ attitudes towards this approach and on whether they find it useful and fruitful for themselves.

While CLIL can represent one way of teaching students from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, the question of whether an English-only approach or a multilingual approach should be followed when implementing non-language targeted study programmes is of high relevance as well. For this purpose, the results of a long-term survey will be presented that refers to the problem of implementing study programmes of International Business Administration and International Tourism Management with one foreign language (English) only or in a combination of English and French or English and Spanish, respectively, thus enhancing learner multilingualism in an English-plus-X approach.

It becomes clear, then, that in the present talk, the phenomenon of learner multilingualism will be tackled not only from different perspectives but considering the two endpoints of the underlying continuum, with CLIL representing the one extreme and English plus X, the other one. This is done so as to relate students’ attitudes and institutional requirements, because only the consideration of both of these factors will lead to fruitful teaching and satisfactory learning outcomes.

Michalis Karakonstanti and Ifigenia Georgiadou

Teacher Training through the EUROLTA methodology in Greece

This workshop refers to the organization of the EUROLTA teacher training in Greece, and describes the different parts of the training, includes testimonies of trained teachers and their trainers on professional development, and shows how some original language games and activities work in a class.

Ileana Boeru

Multiligualism and gamification

Proposal for the workshop : The use of gamification in learning and teaching foreign languages.

  • concept of gamification
  • use of elements of gamification in non-gamified situations: missions, levels and rating
  • how do we conceive curricula
  • how can we train facilitators/teachers for teaching adults this method
  • what do we need for that : e-platform, mentors, students

All the teaching /learning process is done on the platform and some exercises are also face to face. (blended learning)

Monika Hrebackova

Redesigning language learning/ teaching  through virtual exchange

Higher education has been fundamentally shifting as a result of technological development, demographic changes and globalization as well as due to the way we interpret and present knowledge. Traditional curricula have therefore been less effective and educators admit the need for a change to keep up with the rapid changes. In an attempt to prepare more thoughtful graduates who will be better prepared for the real business world as well as modern workplaces, MIAS School of Business at the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) has redesigned and innovated its foreign language courses by implementing virtual exchange practice in effort to intensify intercultural communicative competence, critical thinking as well as learner autonomy in their students.

The workshop will brief the participants on the background and main objectives of the virtual exchange activities implemented into language courses for business and management students at several European universities as well as it will provide hands-on practice of selected intercultural tasks in the team project work. Focusing on English as a lingua franca in intercultural context, it will briefly look at topics such as working in multinational teams and living with local and global identities.

At the same time, it will aim at opening up the discussion to what extent virtual exchange redefines status of learning, how much multidisciplinary, critical and reflective learning and teaching is involved, and what role a teacher has.

Michael Carrier

Incorporating Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity into Language Education

We are living in a globalised world and we talk constantly about the need for globalised language tools, and point to English as a global lingua franca, or Spanish and Mandarin or Arabic as world languages that globalised people need at their fingertips.

But a lingua franca (whether English or others) does not necessarily improve global communication if cultural misunderstandings impede open and clear communication and positive relationship building. In his BBC Reith Lecture Jeffrey Sachs, former Director of the UN Millennium Project, claims:

“Our generation’s greatest challenge… is learning to live in a crowded and interconnected world that is creating unprecedented pressures on human society “. BBC Reith Lectures, 2007.

Learning or teaching a language always entails some aspects, even if unspoken, of cultural awareness and understanding of cultural beliefs, assumptions, knowledge.

In providing language education, then, we need to ensure that the development of the language proficiency that is a pre-requisite of effective communication with speakers of other languages, is matched by a development of the cultural competence that underpins the real-world use of that language.

Effective and successful communication across borders is not just about language proficiency, but also cultural proficiency – knowledge and competence in the cultural aspects of communication, and attitude to dealing with aspects of difference and diversity.

This talk looks at how we analyse and teach the kind of intercultural awareness that our learners need in order to be global citizens, looking at theory, practice and activities of incorporating intercultural awareness into language teaching and learning.

Giuseppe Trotta

Interculturale teaching practices in Italian L2 for refugees and language policy

The Council of Europe has identified a fundamental element of social cohesion in the intercultural aspect of plurilingual education. In recent years, the “migrant emergency” has undermined the social cohesion of the countries most affected by migratory flows because of the scarcity of resources and effective integration policies, and of the negative representations widespread among the population of the host countries. Italy is proving to have many problems in managing the reception and integration of the various categories of migrants, especially refugees and asylum seekers who require urgent and timely intervention. Within the second reception system, that is, the set of initiatives aimed at “building individualized paths of integration […] based on vocation, on the skills and competences of local actors” (Annual Report SPRAR 2017, page 8), these interventions are entrusted to the SPRAR system, Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees.

The learning of the Italian language is a fundamental part of the integration process and 89.6% of the Italian language courses are held by internal staff in the SPRAR projects. However, the committed personnel are not always required to have specific training in teaching Italian L2 to refugees. Furthermore, the proposed activities almost never see the participation of local communities.

The present proposal starts from the above questions and aims to: 1) analyze Italian language policy with reference to the linguistic integration of refugees, starting from the collection and analysis of data on the level of teacher training, on the presence of refugee languages in educational activities, on intercultural teaching practices with involvement of the local community; 2) outline the design and implementation of intercultural linguistic teaching activities based on the facilitated dialogue model, as conceived and implemented by Lo Bianco (2015) in his work as expert advisor; 3) to propose a model of “bottom-up” language policy that is an alternative to current policies that only take into account the economic aspect of the question of refugees’ reception.

The purpose of this intervention is therefore to present the research field, the methodology and the first data obtained.

Barry Tomalin

Getting Reading Right – Critical Awareness in handling International Media

Authentic materials are an important classroom language training resource and our globalising communication world has given teachers a whole new range of resources from which to select and adapt teaching materials. Apart from so-called ‘legacy’ media, print newspapers and magazines, we have a host of online and social media resources at our disposal. However, this richness offers both opportunity and challenge. The challenge is how do we distinguish between fact and fiction in much modern reporting? How do we teach our students to develop the skills to distinguish between objective reporting in a foreign language and opinion.  Nothing wrong with opinion, as long as we can distinguish it from fact.

Global citizenship involves tolerance and acceptance but also the critical awareness skills to assess what we read and view and learn what we can accept and what we shouldn’t take at face value.

This session uses examples from different languages to offer a number of strategies teachers can use to develop their students’ critical reading skills, offering a training that goes beyond language but helps students in school, at work in their careers and in their relations with other communities around the world.

Barry Tomalin lectures on language, culture and international communication at Birkbeck College University of London and the Global Academy of Diplomacy at Glasgow Caledonian University, London and is the author of several books on culture and international communication. He has also taught diplomatic writing and text interpretation at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. His current research is in techniques of developing critical awareness in reading authentic materials, enabling students of language to make informed judgements about what they read, especially in international journalism. Barry is former Editor of BBC English by Radio and Television, BBC World Service and is currently News and Features Editor of 7DNews.com, an online news website. He is also Joint Managing Editor of Training Language and Culture (TLC), the academic journal of ICC-Languages.

Dr Dafni Widenmayer and Dr Evelyn Vovou

Teaching for Symbolic Competence. Cultivating Teacher Awareness of Foreign Language Students’ Needs in Multilingual/ Multicultural Environments

The landscape of foreign language teaching in multilingual/ multicultural societies is subject to constant change. Language teachers must be able not only to teach through that change but to reconsider the competences that their students need, in order to negotiate and convey meaning in multilingual/ multicultural environments. The workshop offers participants the chance to adapt and design teaching materials through the lens of symbolic competence (Kramsch 2006, Kramsch/ Whiteside 2008, Kramsch 2011), which adds a performative value to foreign language learning, in a way that enables students to dialogically perform both their L1/C1 and their L2,3/C2,3 across diversity. This can be achieved through the introduction of narratives, stories, histories and literature, in such a way that resonates with the students own linguistic, social, historical, aesthetic, etc. experience. Workshop participants will be firstly introduced to the notion of symbolic competence. The practice-oriented application will focus on ways to adjust and incorporate the aforementioned material to everyday foreign language teaching practices, and thus help teachers and students aim towards transcultural performance (Back 2015) of language skills and social identities.

Dr. Maria Skiada and Ifigenia Georgiadou

Creative use of literature for L2 teaching – Workshop or paper or poster presentation

Activating mechanisms of creative and critical management of the linguistic input from the trainees’ part, irrespective of their level of linguistic competence, is one of our aims in this experiential workshop. As language teachers and literature readers, we want to preserve the authenticity of a text and at the same time to transfer it to a new context, that of a language classroom. The attempt to learn a foreign language involves a congenitales cultural disharmony, which undermines and ultimately impedes the learning process. This workshop will engage participants in designing and applying activities for teaching a literary text to adults in a L2 classroom. We will also create conditions for authentic understanding and stochastic interaction with literature, based on an authentic text, which might be at a higher linguistic level.

Dr. Martine Jago Presentation

Multilingualism in Early Childhood: Perceptions, Policy, and Practice

This study explored the professional values which underpin choices made on behalf of young children for learning a foreign language in English preschools and elementary schools. Since the Education Reform Act of 1988, students aged three to seven years in the public sector have been excluded from the foreign languages curriculum in England. Local, regional, and national language policies were deconstructed. The aim of this inquiry was to expose the belief systems of individuals in institutions with the power to influence the quality of the early learning experience and notions of status and control with regard to the conceptualization of both ‘childhood’ and ‘foreign language education’. The research questions which led the investigation are as follows:

  • Why are foreign languages omitted from national policies for preschool settings and primary schools?
  • To what extent, if at all, have school districts already established foreign language initiatives?
  • What are the challenges facing public schools for the implementation of a national policy?
  • What is the underpinning structure that supports the policy making framework for this content area?

Very little research has been undertaken by government departments in terms of policy development, national surveys, or analysis of innovation for foreign languages in early schooling which, for the purpose of this project, is defined as exposure to languages other than English with children between the ages of three and seven years in preschools and elementary schools. The purpose of the project was to identify relationships shaping policy and practice and to understand the specific ideology imposed by policy makers on practitioners in multilingual regions. The outcomes had implications for education policy and practice in the UK, and are likely to raise questions in the US context (CSBE 2003 and CSBE 2009).

Sirje Jakobson

Study Quality Model and Guidelines for Teachers

The presentation is based on the results of Nordplus Horizontal project where 10 partners from the Baltic States were involved. The aim of the presentation is to give a brief introduction of the theoretical background of the model from the perspective of a teacher, and concentrate on some guidelines for the teachers. Although the main focus is on a multicultural classroom and actual problems students face in their studies in the context of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the theoretical background proves that these are global problems. The issues discussed are based on the case studies collected by the project partners. The idea of the presentation is to give practical hints for the teachers struggling with teaching in the multicultural classroom.

Nilüfer Hatemi

Teaching Ottoman Turkish in the United States: Princeton University case study (2014-2019), plenary panel  

Desislava Karaasenova

Teaching across cultures: highlights from a study of academic mobility in higher education

The presentation will draw on data from a grounded theory qualitative study of the experience of Bulgarian academics who taught at educational institutions in the United States under the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program. The presentation will look closely at the contextual factors and the personal characteristics that affected the Bulgarian scholars’ teaching experience abroad. It will place a special focus on the effect of the scholars’ culturally conditioned assumptions and orientations on their actions and reactions in their teaching activities. The presentation will provide recommendations to stakeholders involved in higher education teaching mobility – visiting scholars, receiving institutions and organisations administering teaching mobility programs.

The findings in this study highlight the necessity to approach one’s international teaching mobility with the awareness that teaching practices and social interaction behaviours are not universal and should not be directly transferred from one academic context to another. It is in the students’ best interest that scholars be conscious of how the cultural context of learners manifests itself in students’ learning style preferences and demonstrate culturally aware teaching by adjusting their pedagogical approach accordingly to make the learning process a meaningful activity. Scholars should bear in mind that linguistic competence alone is insufficient for successful interaction in a multicultural educational context and take steps to acquire and demonstrate intercultural communicative competence, which goes beyond linguistic skills to include sociolinguistic, discourse and interaction skills (as per Michael Byram). The findings make the case for recommendations for institutional policies to minimise challenges in transcultural teaching mobility and make it beneficial to all the parties involved.