SPELT conference looks at building links with students.

KARACHI -- The emerging trends in English Language Teaching (ELT) across the globe were open to study at the 38th edition of the two-day Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT) International Conference being held at the Habib Public School over the weekend.

After holding the annual conference online for the last two years, the distinguished panel of national and international teacher trainers, scholars and educators are putting their heads together at a hybrid SPELT conference this time as several were present in person and several more were present online. The two keynote speakers on the initial day also joined in virtually.

In her keynote address, Dr Gabriela Kleckova, who chairs the Department of English at the Faculty of Education at the University of West Bohemia in the Czech Republic, offered plenty of food for thought when she compared teaching in the classroom to entertaining guests at home and spending an enjoyable time with them while cooking meals for them.

She said that when inviting guests over for a meal, she has certain key questions in mind such as her own cooking skills, who she is cooking for, what her guests like to eat, what she should cook for them, what ingredients she needs to make the meal, what she already has in her kitchen and how much time does she have.

'My dinner parties are not for eating in a rush. They are for not just eating, but talking, enjoying and connecting, too,' she said.

'That's cooking. As we all know in language teaching, connection with students, matter. So the same should be happening in your classrooms as well. Your students should enjoy the moment like your guests enjoy at your dinner party,' she pointed out, while sharing another set of questions similar to those you may have at the back of your mind when planning a dinner to plan lessons.'

'What teaching skills do I have? Who are my learners? What do they like and need? What do I want to achieve? What do I need to do to achieve the goal? What is my teaching context like? How much time do I have? I have all these key questions in my mind when lesson planning, and so my students laugh, have a nice time in class and when they leave class, their plates are empty. Just like my dinner guests want to keep coming back to my house, my students want to keep coming back to class,' she said.

The second keynote speaker Dr Gabriel Diaz Maggioli, an academic advisor at the Institute of Education at the Universidad ORT Uruguay, spoke about...

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