• Dates: 17th or 18th May 2017
  • Speakers: Varinder Unlu, Joanna Borysiak
  • Time: 17:30 – 20:30 (BST)
  • Locations: Brighton, Bournemouth



Teaching Learners with Special Educational Needs: a practical, interactive session

The majority of our students learn English and other languages without too much difficulty, but there are many students who struggle and find it challenging.

There are many reasons for this, some of which can be identified quickly by teachers and they can help learners to acquire language more efficiently. However, there are learners who find language learning particularly difficult because their general approach to learning is different. These students get labelled as being difficult, disruptive, unresponsive or just bad language learners.

Many of our teacher training courses such as CELTA, Trinity TESOL or even the more advanced DELTA or Dip TESOL do not teach us how to deal with students who have Special Educational Needs (SEN). Yet around ten percent of our students have a special learning difference, which could be dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia, Asperger’s syndrome, literacy problems or it could be a physical disability such as sight impairment or hearing problems.

Teachers need to have an understanding of students with learning differences and how these affect general learning processes and the mechanisms of second language acquisition. In this workshop I want to present a number of case studies of such students taken from my experience as a teacher, trainer and academic manager and highlight the importance of being able to recognise the signs of SENs.

The session will also give useful advice about how to deal with students with SENs and what teachers can do to help their students. By understanding this issue teachers can be more inclusive. We will share best practice and experience in terms of accurately identifying language learners’ additional needs and disseminate information about inclusive teaching methods, materials and resources for working with learners who have additional needs in the classroom.

When motivation alone just isn’t enough

Everything is in place. Engaging materials – tick. Inspirational teacher - tick. Committed students - tick. And yet, the magic is not happening… We will look at what types of limiting beliefs are rife in the adult English classroom and discover how knowledge of selected coaching models and an understanding of basic concepts related to occupational psychology can be used to help students remove barriers to them achieving their full potential.


Time Activity
17.30 – 18:00 Registration
18:00 – 19:00 Teaching Learners with Special Educational Needs: a practical, interactive session (Varinder Unlu)
19:15 – 20:00 When motivation alone just isn’t enough (Joanna Borysiak)
20:00 – 20.15 Oxford Teachers' Academy (Richard Carr)
20:15 – 20:30 Raffle

Please note, this event takes place in Brighton and Bournemouth, UK and is not an online event.


Varinder Unlu

Varinder Unlu has worked in ELT for 26 years in all contexts from private language schools to FE and HE, teaching students from 6-80 years old. She has been a DOS/Academic Manager since 2002. She is currently Academic Director at Bloomsbury International. She is also a teacher trainer for both Cambridge CELTA and Trinity TESOL. She is currently doing an MA TESOL. She is the coordinator of the Inclusive Practices and SENs IATEFL SIG.

Joanna Borysiak

Joanna Borysiak: An educator at heart, Joanna started her career in ELT fifteen years ago, armed with an MA in English, and working for a leading private language school in Warsaw, Poland, where she specialized in corporate Business English and ESP training. In 2006, she moved to the UK and joined Oxford University Press, working across the educational parts of the business in roles across marketing, professional development and assessment. She is currently focusing on the exciting area of educational measurement, testing and assessment – delivered online using the latest developments in assessment theory and technology.


17th May

Stafford House School of English
61 Western Road
East Sussex

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18th May

Kings Bournemouth
St Peters Quarter
St Peter's Road

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