• Click on the link for the Programme:




  • Conference dinner, 18th November, 7.30pm. Very near the conference venue: Restaurante Valbom Marisqueira, Avenida Conde Valbom, n 110. Cost: 25 euros  Google maps: When you register upon arrival, please let us know if you would like to attend the dinner.



Plenary Speakers. Abstracts:

Plenary talk 1:


Jenefer Philp

“Creativity and Language Learning: Imagining the possibilities…”

Abstract: What is creativity and how might it help language learning? As a trait (Sternberg, Kaufman, & Pretz, 2002; Torrance, 1981; Mackey, Park et al., 2014), creativity involves the ability to generate ideas characterised by originality, fluency and flexibility and elaboration. Considering creativity as an individual difference or aspect of personality, we can imagine a number of ways it might be an advantage: Language learning is after all a skill that requires one to put aside the habitual and the known, to adopt news ways of meaning. We see creativity in language play (Broner & Tarone, 2001), and when novices adopt formulaic sequences to communicate (Philp & Duchesne, 2008), or when learners experiment with form, meaning and use in a new language (Ellis, 2016). Creativity, when a pleasurable experience, can be motivational for language use- to think act and talk creatively. Tasks that give learners greater control over content and topic may encourage more talk and greater engagement (Lambert & Philp, 2015). Yet some find creative tasks simply frustrating or too daunting (Otto, 1998). In this talk I consider potential benefits of creativity, and how peer interaction may facilitate those benefits. Being creative oneself, or having a creative participant in pair and group work could be an asset, and the pooled abilities may spark those aspects of creativity that some find elusive when working alone ( Mackey, Philp et al., 2016).

Plenary Talk 2:


Libor Stepanek


“Creativity: When Activity, Autonomy and Authenticity Meet”


Abstract: Creativity has always been an important component of language teaching, however, it has not always been recognised as such. It is only recently with teachers´ tendency to expose students to more authentic situations and engage them actively in complex intercultural communication that creativity has become central to some approaches to teaching. In this paper, I will present a Creative Approach to Language Teaching (CALT) that is based on a fusion of theories of K. Robinson, M. Csikszentmihalyi, E. de Bono, J.P. Guilford and B. Krouwel and views creativity as an integral part of language teaching practice. I will address questions of creative potential, processes, situations and barriers, and offer a practice-oriented insight into shifts in roles CALT learners and teachers experience. I will discuss a range of activities that foster creativity in students and help them become natural and actively engaged co-authors of their own language learning. I will also identify areas that allow teachers establish more authentic, flexible and dynamic learning environments. Finally, I will present strategies teachers can use in order to broaden their own repertoire as educators and accept roles of facilitators, guides and language advisors who share negotiated responsibilities with their learning communities of practice.


Plenary Talk 3:


Janice Bland


“Dimensions of Culture in the Teenager Classroom – Critical Literacy and Harry Potter”


Abstract: Reading a highly popular series like Harry Potter in the EFL-literature classroom can provide a wealth of stimulating cultural references as well as all the pleasures of a compelling story, which is considered by many to be crucial for consolidating and enriching students’ language skills. I will be arguing that books for shared reading in the EFL classroom should be chosen with utmost care: the reputation, inviting and exciting nature of the text should be taken into consideration as an important first criterion, as teenagers prefer to read books that they can bring into conversations with their friends. A second criterion is whether a text is accessibly well written for the target audience, and thirdly whether with empathetic and appealing characters. However teachers and students alike often consider a fourth criterion decisive – that the text provides material for ethical reflections, important for the careful analysis typical of deep reading. Media representations have a great influence on the collective imagination, thus the importance of learning how to read between the lines and sometimes against the text will be illustrated. My talk will outline opportunities offered by the Harry Potter series – for perceiving ethnocentrism, changing perspective and critical cultural literacy in the classroom.


Plenary Talk 4:


Sandie Mourão


“Communication, culture and creativity: a staple diet or supplements?


Abstract: The implementation of English in grade 3 began in Portugal in September 2015 and coursebooks were published with a lifespan of six years by an array of local publishers attempting to follow the national programme and objectives. Many teachers and teachers-to-be in Portuguese primary schools, have been extra-curricular English teachers for over a decade, albeit in quite different circumstances, often with no programme to follow and no course book to use. A dense programme and brand new course books have been challenging for most. My experience supervising primary English teachers-to-be has sparked my interest in the dilemmas many teachers encounter when using and supplementing a course book. To prepare for my talk I will be analyzing course books, interviewing teachers and teachers-to be, reading opinions from students and their parents and generally immersing myself in literature about language teaching and course books. My talk will share some of what I have discovered with a focus on the topics of our conference ‘communication, culture and creativity’. Do primary English course books in Portugal afford opportunities for real communication, for developing an intercultural competence and enabling creativity in English? If not, are teachers ensuring they do? How? We shall find out!