2020 Online Professional Learning for Teachers of Italian

An applied linguistics MA and PhD graduate, Dr Gianfranco Conti has been teaching MFL for over 25 years both at primary, secondary and university levels. He has researched the impact of metacognitive strategies training and error correction on essay writing under the supervision of Oxford University Ernesto Macaro both during his PhD and a large-scale project in English comprehensive schools documented in Professor Macaro (2001)’s book. He currently has lexicogrammar acquisition, listening instruction, metacognition, error correction and learner autonomy as main research interests.

Dr Conti is also the founder of the interactive language learning website and the co-author of the best-selling handbook for MFL professionals, ‘The Language Teacher Toolkit’. He has recently published with Steve Smith his second book ‘Breaking the sound barrier: teaching listening bottom-up’ based on his own classroom research.

Joe Dale is an independent languages consultant from the UK who works with a range of organisations such as Network for Languages, ALL, The British Council, the BBC, Skype, Microsoft and The Guardian. He was host of the TES MFL forum for six years, former SSAT Languages Lead Practitioner, a regular conference speaker and recognised expert on technology and language learning.

He has spoken at conferences and run training courses in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, the Far East and Australasia. He was a member of the Ministerial Steering Group on languages for the UK coalition government and advised on the Linguanet Worldwide project for The Language Company. He created ICT activities for the new Institut Français, ALL and Network for Languages Primary French Project Niveau Bleu, Blanc and Rouge courses and was short-listed for a NAACE Impact Award in 2013 too.

Joe supported the Erasmus Plus project Conflict to Cooperation with 5 European countries and is currently involved in the Supporting Schools Reform in Algeria project through the British Council. He was recently described in a Guardian article as an 'MFL guru' and 'the man behind the #mfltwitterati.'. 

Prof John Hajek is Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Melbourne, and has taught Italian for many years. He completed his tertiary studies in Australia, Italy and the UK. He has a keen interest in the positive promotion of languages education in Australia and elsewhere. In 2019 he was awarded the AFMLTA medal and received the FIPLV international citation for his efforts in the areas of language education and multilingualism.

Sarah Pavy  consults to schools and organisations in a range of areas, including Differentiation, Special Needs, Gifted Education, Curriculum Planning, Assessment and Feedback. Sarah facilitates short and long-term projects, tailoring objectives, workshops and ongoing support to the needs of the teachers with whom she works. Sarah oversees VET Applied Language programs in Victoria and interstate.

Elena Pirovano is a teacher of Italian, an academic tutor and a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. She has taught Italian from kindergarten to tertiary students in Italy, the US and Australia. From 2010 to 2018 she taught Italian in primary schools in Victoria. Within this role she has introduced a CLIL program at her school, launched a network of Italian teachers and presented at conferences and school professional development sessions. Her current research interest is on the potential of plurilingual pedagogies in teaching and learning Italian.

Dylan Viñales has taught for 15 years, in schools in Bath, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur in state, independent and international settings. He lives with his wife and two children in Kuala Lumpur. He is a passionate, career linguist, fluent in five languages, and able to get by in several more. Dylan is, besides a teacher, a professional development provider, specialising in E.P.I. (Extensive Processing Instruction), metacognition, teaching languages through music (especially ukulele) and cognitive science.

In the last five years, together with Dr Conti, he has driven the implementation of E.P.I. in one of the top international schools in the world: Garden International School. This has allowed him to test, on a daily basis, the sequences and activities mentioned in this workshop. His students have won language competitions both locally and internationally. At his school he has designed an original Spanish curriculum, bespoke instructional materials, based on E.P.I, Reading and Listening as Modelling (RAM and LAM). Dylan co-founded the fastest growing professional development group for modern languages teachers on Facebook, Global Innovative Languages Teachers, which includes over 12,000 teachers from all corners of the globe.

He authors an influential blog on modern language pedagogy in which he supports the teaching of languages through E.P.I. Dylan is the lead author of Spanish content on the Language Gym website and oversees the technological development of the site.

He is currently undertaking the NPQML qualification, after which he plans to pursue a Masters in second language acquisition.

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