Keynote Speakers

Marta Gonzalez-Lloret (University of Hawaiʻi, Manoa)

Title: Technology-mediated Task-based Language Learning: A Window into Other Worlds



This presentation will explore the idea that the integration of Task-based Language Teaching and Learning (TBLT/L) and technological innovations opens a window to other worlds and other peoples. Technology-mediated TBLL provides students with opportunities to become citizens of a global world in which digital and language skills are essential. The presentation will introduce main principles of TBLT and characteristics of tasks that have been demonstrated by Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research to be effective for language learning. It will then show examples of already developed online tools, as well as freely available technologies that can be used to bring those tasks to language classes at different language levels and degrees of technology access, highlighting the reasons while they are effective for language learning and providing references to CALL (computer-assisted language learning) research to support them. Finally, the presentation will point out some challenges of integrating tasks and technologies, as well as important issues that need to be considered when incorporating technologies such as digital equality, matters of access, and teacher training and support. Finally, the presentation will suggest how we can move forward to overcome these issues and recommend further readings and resources.


Marta González-Lloret is a Professor at the University of Hawaiʻi Manoa where she obtained her PhD in Second Language Acquisition. Her research interests lay at the intersections of technology and TBLT (Task-based Language Teaching), technology and L2 pragmatics, Conversation Analysis for L2 interaction, teacher training, and assessment, specially performance-based assessment. Her work has appeared in significant edited volumes as well as national and international journals. Her most recent books are A practical guide to integrating technology into task-based language teaching by Georgetown University Press (2016) and the co-editing Spanish volume Technology-mediated technologies: Foreign Language Learning and Teaching by Equinox (2018). Dr. González-Lloret is currently Co-editor of the Elsevier System Journal as well as Editor of the Pragmatics & Language Learning NFLRC book series. She enjoys travelling, sharing her knowledge, and learning from others and has given conferences all over the world, including keynotes in Brunei, Spain, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico.

Scott Thornbury (The New School)

Title: The Learning Body



The separation between mind and body – a fundamental ‘truth’ in modern Western thought – is succumbing to a view that thinking, and hence learning, is ‘embodied’, i.e. that the mind extends beyond the grey matter of the brain, and is realised, at least in part, through gesture, movement, and physicality. The learning body is in turn ‘situated’ – that is, it is embedded in its social context, and learning a language is learning to align to, and to participate in, these increasingly mobile social spaces.  What might all this mean for (second) language learning?  In this talk I’ll review developments in this exciting new field, and (very tentatively) suggest some applications.


Scott Thornbury teaches on the MA TESOL program at The New School in New York. His previous experience includes teaching and teacher training in Egypt, UK, Spain, and in his native New Zealand. His writing credits include several award-winning books for teachers on language and methodology. His most recent  book is Scott Thornbury’s 30 Language Teaching Methods, to be published next year by Cambridge. He is series editor for the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers. His website is www.scottthornbury.com

Sharon Harvey (Auckland University of Technology)

Title: Exploring (our own and) other worlds through languages: Intercultural competency and languages education



As with many western countries the classrooms of New Zealand are more ethnically and linguistically diverse than ever before. Drawing on this context I examine the introduction, reception and practice of intercultural language education policy and teaching in New Zealand.  Intercultural competency (ICC) was introduced into the 2007 New Zealand national curriculum through a new learning area, ‘learning languages’. The aim of the new learning area was to ensure subject languages were available to all young learners in years 8-10 (equivalent to ages 11-14) by 2010. This particular focus on subject languages brought with it an explicit and new requirement for teachers to integrate intercultural teaching with language teaching. The paper considers the findings of national evaluative studies of the learning area in New Zealand carried out by myself and the AUT research team. The studies have examined the connection between language teacher in-service professional development, including study abroad opportunities for teachers, and the integration of intercultural competency into classroom language teaching. In light of the findings the paper questions the efficacy of the 2007 move to integrate ICC into language teaching and learning without addressing language teacher professional development more explicitly and the place of ICC and multilingual repertoires in the rest of the curriculum. Byram’s call for an all-of-education approach to intercultural education is mobilised to argue that, in the context of superdiversity, language and culture teaching and learning need to be considered holistically within the context of a comprehensive languages-in-education policy.


Associate Professor Sharon Harvey is Head of the School of Language and Culture and Deputy Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Culture and Society at Auckland University of Technology.

Sharon was an ESOL and workplace literacy teacher for many years. Over the last 20 years she has been closely involved in the development of a research culture at AUT. From 2007-2011 Sharon led three national Ministry of Education research evaluations in the areas of ESOL paraprofessionals and language teacher professional development. She is currently principal investigator of the three year national evaluation of Asian Language Learning in Schools (ALLiS) and a co-researcher on the Norwegian-led international project investigating ‘Indigenous Citizenship and Education’ (ICE).
Sharon has had considerable involvement in the push for a national languages policy, leading the writing of the Royal Society’s 2013 paper Languages of Aotearoa and participating in the development of the Auckland Languages Strategy.

Invited Speakers

Marina Shine

Title: Mindfulness in the Language Classroom



Teaching a language is most of the time a rewarding undertaking. We often choose a language we can relate to or to which we have a personal connection. When we first start teaching we developed strategies to teach ‘our’ language. Skills like fostering careful listening and mindful repetition are highly valued, whether it be working with vocabulary, sounds (phonetics) or phrases. Having developed listening material based on mindfulness skills (FokusLernen-Cards) I would like to share some of the findings and ideas that made me go down the path of using mindfulness in teaching a language, in my case German.

In teaching young adults we are often faced with students that feel overwhelmed, are too tired to learn properly and fear exposure when learning a second language. New sounds, the limitations in being able to express yourself and different cultural standards often function as learning barriers. We know though that every academic discipline and any mainstream curriculum can be improved by using mindfulness practices. The point is to recognize how this type of mental training enriches whatever you do and to put it into practice.

Using mindfulness simply means to develop your capacity for paying attention and improving awareness in the present moment. Our own experience and recent research tells us that balanced emotions, a calm mind, and greater skill at paying attention contribute to academic achievement as well as social and emotion learning. A short excursion into theories about learning (focused on youth) will form part of the presentation.


Marina has trained in Germany as a secondary teacher and has worked in various primary and secondary schools before becoming the head teacher at Goethe-Institut in Sydney. For the past 10 years Marina was heading the Institut’s Language Department, and is currently Head of Educational Services responsible for the ACT, NT, NSW and Qld.

Marina is passionate about all aspects of learning but in particularly interested in how children and youth can be motivated to engage more and focus better in the language classroom. Supporting learning and teaching German in an innovative way and bringing new ideas and material to Australian classrooms is the main focus of her work at the Goethe-Institut.

Professor Peter O’Connor

Title: Playing in Imagined Worlds



The joyful possibilities to be found in imagining yourself as someone else sits at the heart of a pedagogy of surprise.  Based on over thirty years’ experience of working in schools, prisons, psychiatric hospitals using theatre as a way to both think about and celebrate the world, Peter considers the possibilities of theatre as a medium for learning.

A pedagogy of surprise suggests that the pursuit of inflexible and stated goals is a limited way to consider the possibilities of teaching. Teaching should be about seeking beauty, chasing serendipity, and uncovering the poetic. A pedagogy of surprise embraces teaching as an improvised art form that celebrates uncertainty and risk.  It recognises that teachers carry into classrooms not just their heads and their planning books, but their bodies and their senses.  In a time of intense uncertainty about not only the future but also our present, teaching in and through surprise is a genuine response to the twenty first century.  Not teaching to prepare for it, but teaching that is part and parcel of it.


Peter is the Head of the School of Critical Studies in Education, at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Auckland. He is an internationally recognised expert in applied theatre and drama education. His research focuses on applied theatre in marginalised and vulnerable communities. It has led to developing cutting-edge models of interdisciplinary praxis that explore the nexus of critical and creative pedagogies, aesthetics and social justice. He was the founding director of Everyday Theatre, a national theatre in education programme on preventing family violence and child abuse. His work in Christchurch schools following the series of earthquakes lead to UNESCO funded research and programme development and the development of the Teaspoon of Light Theatre Company. Peter’s most recent research includes multi and interdisciplinary studies on the creative pedagogies and the arts, the nature of embodied learning and the pedagogy of surprise.

Recent Books:

The Possibilities of Creativity. (2016). Cambridge Scholar Press.

A Pedagogy of Surprise (2016). Drama Australia.


Guest Speakers

Will Flavell

Will Flavell is a Doctor of Education student, Henderson-Massey Local Board Member and Secondary School teacher living in West Auckland. He grew up in Whangārei, attended Bream Bay College and is passionate about realising the potential of our young people. After leaving school, Will attended Waikato University and completed a Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts conjoint degree, Post Graduate Diploma in Māori Education and a Masters of Education with honours. Will is currently teaching te reo Māori and Japanese at Rutherford College and will submit his EdD early next year on the learning experiences and motivations of non-Māori secondary school students learning te reo Māori.


Nirvana Graham


Nirvana Graham is a Specialist New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Resource Teacher working at van Asch Deaf Education Centre. She graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor in Teaching Primary; then received a Certificate in Deaf Studies: Teaching NZSL from Victoria University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Education: Resource Teacher of the Deaf from the University of Canterbury. Nirvana is an experienced NZSL teacher with 18 years of experience in different settings. She was involved in setting up NCEA NZSL as a new subject and currently teaches at Hillmorton High School in Christchurch. Nirvana is proudly Deaf and uses NZSL as her daily communication. She has two sons: one is deaf and one is hearing.


Dr. Michelle Johansson

Dr Michelle Johansson is a Polynesian theatre-maker and mother, doctoral scholar, educationalist, and a former high school dropout.  She is currently Associate Programme Director at Teach First NZ: Ako Mātātupu and the Creative Director of the Black Friars Theatre Company. She works in the spaces where Education, Equity and the Performing Arts meet for Young Brown Scholars.


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