Breaking barriers within education

Next month the University of Salamanca will host the TESOL-SPAIN 43rd Annual National Convention.

The theme of the convention — Breaking barriers: make it happen, make it matter! — “invites us to reflect on the powerful forces that contribute to modern life, including the emergence of Artificial Intelligence with its unforeseeable impact on our lives. Students must be prepared for the demands of this ‘brave new world’ by learning useful and relevant knowledge, skills, character qualities and learning strategies. However, we face many challenges as educators and the barriers to education are still many and varied and the perceived vulnerability of certain social groups requires timely solutions.”

The keynote speakers are Daniel Xerri (University of Malta), Judit Kormos (Lancaster University), Lindsay Clandfield and Sarah Mercer (University of Graz). I’ll be there, too, to share some findings from our research at the University of Shiga Prefecture into the CEFR language framework, and how it can help personal goal-setting.


Phnom Penh. Image: Chanrasmey Miech/Wikimedia Commons.

This weekend, meanwhile, my research partner Dr Maki Taniguchi will be at the 16th Annual CamTESOL Conference, at the Institute of Technology Cambodia in Phnom Penh. Maki’s talk is also based on our work in Japan: she will be discussing the benefits of ‘team teaching’ (ie, having two teachers for one class).


Our research is supported by a grant from the Japanese government, reference number 18K00874.

Published by Graham Jones

Astrophysicist and language teacher