Saturday, 17th October // free of charge

ICC 1day Online Conference 2020

Conference Recording


What will happen after Covid-19? How will teaching and training change? What are the challenges and opportunities? Is it a time for ‘risky thinking’?

In its first ever online annual conference, ICC-Languages hosted members and friends to discuss Teaching and Training in the Time of Covid-19 and the way forward when the pandemic is finally under control. Excellently organised by the ICC-Languages committee under its chair, Ellinor Haase, ably supported by Ozlem Yuges as ICC-Languages coordinator and Malou Berger, the conference featured presentations by teachers from Belgrade (where the original face-to-face conference was scheduled to be hosted), Naples, the ECML in Graz and London.

Quoting the Italian fashion designer, Giorgio Armani, saying ‘Fashion is ahead of its time’ in her opening keynote, Susanna Slivensky of the ECML (European Centre for Modern Languages) asked why language training should not also be considered also ‘ahead of its time’ and stressed the importance of the ‘human touch’ in successful teaching and teacher education and how Covid-19 had frustrated that purpose while promoting the search for fresh opportunities for communication online. She went on to describe the initiatives taken by the ECML to bring teachers together online to ensure  teaching and training was ‘fit for purpose’. Things will change for sure as a result of Covid-19, she said and expressed the need for innovative ways of reaching teachers and achieving the democratisation of teaching and learning. New innovation would demand ‘Risky Thinking’ she concluded.

Following the theme of achieving the human touch in spite of social distancing, Marijana Prodanovic from Belgrade explored humanistic approaches in online language testing. The practice of testing has always been a challenging one within the language teaching-learning process and required delicate attention paid by all the participants. The COVID-19 outbreak, which marked the beginning of the year 2020, has brought about abrupt and major changes on everyday life; education has experienced them overnight and so intensively that the old habits, approaches and teaching methods, as well as testing practices have to be adapted to a newly created virtual learning environment. A study has been conducted, aiming to illustrate some prominent perspectives of tertiary level ESP teachers and learners on language testing in online context. It has been concluded that the overall attitude towards the novel, Covid-19 imposed, language teaching-learning environment is rather positive – anyhow, all the parts of such an environment, testing being an important one, are still evolving and need humanistic approaches support along the path.

Barry Tomalin from Glasgow Caledonian University London turned the discussion to focus on intercultural training in the corporate world, stressing the importance of focus on the business requirement to improve performance in international business relations rather than a straightforward description of the cultural characteristics of a new partner or client or team. Expanding on Susanna Slivensky’s point about ‘risky thinking’, he invoked the recent work of Milton Bennett, director of the Portland University Oregon Intercultural Development Research Institute (IDR), and his concept of COVID-19 allowing entry to a new ‘constructivist’ paradigm which would allow teachers to connect more equally with students by a thorough process of inclusion as equals in the learning process, being tolerant and practising humility while embracing and respecting students’ cultural identity.

Emma Abbate from Naples, a teacher of history and Geography in CLIL approach, described her use of online tools to make her classes at once more lively and more involving while still being relevant. She uses the EU digital platforms European and Go-Lab to teach a foreign language together with subject’s content specific vocabulary and to promote multilingualism in classroom. Europeana is the European digital platform for cultural and scientific heritage: it provides free access to a collection of millions of digitised items – books, music, artworks and more- from around thousands of libraries, museums, archives and galleries across Europe. Go-Lab is a platform aimed at free access to online/virtual laboratories and is an integral part of Scientix, the community for STEM teaching in Europe. Both portals are also a great support for teaching online because they provide a lot of material for lesson planning and creating.

In the final presentation, Rob Williams, former chair of ICC-Languages and principal lecturer at the University of Westminster in London, initiated a discussion of how students and teachers could work together on co-creating assessments and methodology, always taking into account university regulations, thereby empowering and engaging students actively in the assessment process. Rob argues that within the limits of the examination format students could be involved in deciding the examination tasks thereby talking charge of their own learning rather than just practising tasks. As he said, “If students take an active role in how they are evaluated, they become more invested in the content of the course and in being successful on it.”

The discussion continued with a panel discussing opportunities for changes in language education following the pandemic and concluded with a ‘virtual cocktail’ offered by the chair, Ellinor Haase. A good time was had by all.

Teaching in the Time of Covid-19 (TTC):

“Teaching and Learning Languages in the Multilingual World: Policy and Practice”

The Online Annual Conference will take place on Saturday, 17th October between 10:00 and 17:00 European Time (CET) virtually.

This year the ICC Board is hosting a ‘1-Day Online Conference’ in place of the annual face-to-face conference which aims to stay connected with all the ICC members as well as other professionals and researchers worldwide.

The current uncertainty caused by Covid-19 has not prevented us from learning and interacting. There has been an acceleration to move to the virtual world, therefore, we are all closer than ever! The concept of the ‘global village’ makes sense within the virtual world more than ever. We used to have a preference when communicating with others, either online or face-to-face, but now we do not have that option so let us talk online!

At the beginning of the lockdown, even though there was some ‘online culture shock’ for some facilitators and learners, in terms of going virtual, technology has brought the whole formality of classroom settings with teaching and learning, into our home offices or rooms. This has forced us to tailor our training to the current online development system.

With the consideration of effective management of the Covid transition, we, the ICC International Language Association board acted fast to adjust ourselves as an organisation to fill the gap virtually. In the face of this situation, we invite you all to come along and share your expertise with us.

This year, we reduced the number of days and the speakers of the conference considering the concentration span.
Please see our speaker list below.

The Online Conference Theme

The theme of the conference will be: “Innovation in Language Teaching – New ways to learn and teach more effectively – new methods, new technologies, new materials, new assessment, and new CPD opportunities”. The conference will offer speakers and delegates the unique opportunity to meet educational experts in their specialised fields to exchange ideas with fellow colleagues.

The concept of “Innovation in language teaching” has generated much interest in the last two decades as a result of globalisation and technological developments. As a consequence of increased mobility, the challenges for language teachers are becoming more diverse. New challenges often require innovative solutions. What kind of innovative teaching methods, approaches, resources and materials are needed for the contemporary language teaching world? The purpose of the ICC 2020 Conference is to create a platform for teachers and trainers to share good practice and to take away valuable innovative ideas for teaching and learning.

Some fields that the conference will cover are on 17th October:

  • Digital platforms in teaching and learning
  • Innovative Teacher Developmental Programmes
  • Innovation in Virtual Learning Environment and Communication Technologies
  • Mobile Learning and Learning through Gamification
  • Integrating Refugees into Formal Language Teaching Environments
  • The importance of intercultural communication in training
  • Barriers facing innovation in language teaching
  • Assessment methods to test different abilities
  • Creative Approaches to help learners learn effectively in the future
  • Practical and hands-on ideas for the classroom
  • Moving from classroom teaching to online teaching

The conference will enable its guests to find out about the best teaching and learning strategies and to help individuals utilise their previous learning experiences to more open up new ways of learning.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Certificate

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is extensively recognised to be of great importance in language teaching and this conference offers a certificate for attendees.

What will you take away from this conference?

At the conference, you will have a chance to maintain and broaden your knowledge in addition to gaining the skills needed to use appropriate tools in teaching. It will give you the chance to develop an awareness of current developments in language teaching and cultural learning to create a substantial impact on learning online and face-to-face environments.

Conference Speakers

Susanna Slivensky (ECML), Keynote Speaker, “Developing future plans of the ECML in times of Covid-19”

Barry TomalinBarry Tomalin: “Innovation in Business Cultural training”

Elena Yakovleva and Ruben Agadzhanyan “Interactive FL teaching: project activities in context to digital innovations”

Rob Williams  “Co-created Assessment”

Emma Abbate “How to implement a CLIL approach using the EU digital platforms Europeana and Go-Lab”

Marijana Prodanovic “Testing the Untestable: Humanistic Approaches to the Modern-Era Language Testing”

Online Round Panel Discussion-Q&A

Additional open discussion session with Q&A covers online teaching culture shock; online teaching experiences; and how to make teaching more accessible and productive during Covid-19 and beyond.


Please feel free to send your questions before the conference to

Conference Programme

Timetable has set according to Central European Time (CET)

Saturday, 17.10.2020
09:30 -10:00 The live stream opens to participant to interact
Keynote Speaker
10:00 – 10:30 Susanna Slivensky, Deputy Director European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML):
Developing future plans of the ECML in times of Covid-19
10:30 – 11:00 Marijana Prodanovic:
Testing the Untestable: Humanistic Approaches to the Modern-Era Language Testing
11:45 – 12:30 Barry Tomalin:
Innovation in Business Cultural training
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch break
13:30 – 14:00 Emma Abbate:
How to implement CLIL approach using the EU digital platforms Europeana and Go-Lab
14:00 – 14:50 Rob Williams:
Co-creating assessments: empowering and engaging learners
Panel Discussion – Q&A
15:00 – 16:00 ICC Board members will lead the discussion:

Covid period and beyond: Online teaching experiences; online teaching culture shock; and how to make teaching more accessible and productive during Covid-19 and beyond.

16:00 – 16:30 Virtual party