Scott Thornbury

Series Editor & Award-Winning Book Writer, Including About Language, 3- Language Teaching Methods and 101 Grammar Questions (Cambridge)

The Twilight Zone: Between Grammar and Lexis

Traditionally, language syllabuses make a distinction between grammar, on the one hand, and vocabulary, on the other. But this compartmentalization ignores the fact that there is a huge body of multi-word items – variously known as formulaic expressions, lexical chunks, constructions, and so on – that don’t lend themselves easily to either category. In this talk I’ll review the evidence for these phenomena, and show how they contribute both to fluency and to language acquisition, and speculate as to how they might be integrated into the second language curriculum and classroom practice.


Scot lives in Spain and, until recently, taught on an online MA TESOL program for The New School in New York. His writing credits include several award-winning books for teachers on language and methodology. He is also the series editor for the Cambridge Handbooks for Language Teachers, and a trustee of the Hands Up Project, which promotes drama activities in English for children in under-resourced regions of the Arab world. His website is


Darren Perrett

    Senior Performance and Sales Support Manager EMEA

    Cambridge University Press & Assessment

    Aligning Tests to the CEFR

    The Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) (COE, 2001) was developed in order to align language testing across Europe, providing a mental framework that enables people to say where they are on a common scale: common reference levels (A2-C2). 

    In 2003 and later in 2009 the Council of Europe produced a supporting manual which would allow language examination boards to align language examinations to the CEFR (COE, 2009). This manual adopted five inter-related approaches: Familiarisation; Specification; Standardisation; Standard Setting; Validation. 

    In this presentation we will discuss the above approaches that users are advised to follow in order to design a linking scheme in terms of self-contained, manageable activities. CEFR alignment is part of a wider validation study which language tests providers should provide evidence for when building a validation argument. It is one of the last validation research projects that should be carried out under what is known as criterion-related validity (Weir, 2005). However, in order for test scores to be interpreted by external stakeholders it is a vital piece of work, albeit equal in importance as all other validity. 


    Darren Perrett is a Senior Assessment Services, Recognition and Pedagogy Manager at Cambridge Press and Assessment. His expertise is in language test design, construction, and validation, specifically in the receptive skills (reading and listening). His PhD is focused on context validity of Cambridge reading tasks. He recently co-designed the new OECD PISA test due to be assessed in 2025, and had previously worked as Senior Assessment Manager on adaptive language tests such as Linguaskill. Before joining Cambridge, he was a teacher, exam centre manager and examiner across East Europe.

    Dr. Hashim AlSaghbini

    Regional Head of Assessment and Recognition- META

    Cambridge University Press & Assessment

    Learning Oriented Assessment: Applications in the Classroom

    Teacher learning, or education, or training, is a critical element in any teacher’s professional development. This session discusses the aims of teacher learning, what we are striving for, and the benefits in terms of classroom impact. We will consider a four-step process to support teachers’ professional development and the organisations that they work for, and define three elements for successful teacher training input: personal, professional, practical (Ellman & Lucantoni, 2022).


    Prof. Hisham AlSaghbini comes with more than 15 years of international experience. He started his career as a researcher at various institutions in the United Kingdom. He has designed various inclusive education and employment programmes for people with special needs in the UK and the UAE, and has published widely on learning approaches and assessment techniques. Hisham holds a Bachelors in Business, a Masters in Strategy in Education, and his doctorate research focused on inclusiveness in education and bridging the (under)achievement gap in Higher Education in the UK.

    Chris Graham

    Founder of ELT Footprint, a 2020 ELTons winner

    A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

    The Great Reset: How Covid-19 Has Changed the Way We Teach and Learn English

    Covid-19 has changed the way we work. This session will explore how the experiences of learners and teachers have changed, focus on those changes that are beneficial to us and and may become part of our practices, and engage with the changes that have had negative impacts on our community.


    Christopher Graham holds a degree in Politics from Warwick university, a Cambridge DELTA and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a freelance English language teaching consultant, teacher educator and author based in the UK. He has worked in the field since 1981 in over 30 countries for the British Council, ministries of education and international publishers. His recent projects have included working on approaches to the digital provision of ELT during Covid-19 in fragile locations, delivering a large-scale professional development programme online for the British Council in North Africa and supporting universities in the UK on their response to the Covid pandemic.

    Graham is one of the founders of ELT Footprint, a 2020 ELTons winner. Across 2021 he worked on research, materials writing and media activities around ELT and climate change for the British Council as part of the Climate Action in Language Education project.

    Peter Lucantoni

    Professional Learning and Development Manager at Cambridge University Press and Assessment

    A Recipe for Teacher Learning

    Teacher learning, or education, or training, is a critical element in any teacher’s professional development. This session discusses the aims of teacher learning, what we are striving for, and the benefits in terms of classroom impact. We will consider a four-step process to support teachers’ professional development and the organisations that they work for, and define three elements for successful teacher training input: personal, professional, practical (Ellman & Lucantoni, 2022).


    Peter Lucantoni has had a long career in English language teaching, teacher training and management, in Europe and the Middle East, and is now based in Cyprus. He is the author and co-author of a range of popular course books for students, including Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language, and Introduction to English as a Second Language, both published by Cambridge University Press.  Peter is Professional Learning and Development Manager for Cambridge University Press in the MENA region, and regularly speaks at ELT conferences and trains teachers internationally in both the public and private sectors. Peter’s interests are in teacher learning and development, and in the transition from teacher to teacher educator.

    Kasia Brzoska

    Digital Transformation Expert | Head of Marketing | Curious Mind. Cambridge University Press & Assessment

    Engaging students in meaningful digital interactions

    New advancements in technology mean that we’re constantly bombarded with attractive digital tools that promise to keep students engaged and motivated. But how do you cut through this digital noise and focus on what’s meaningful and truly adds value to the learning process? Are there any specific digital interactions that can help improve learning outcomes? Join Kasia to explore these and other questions related to digital learning. We’ll examine how insights from digital pedagogy can make teaching with technology more meaningful and we’ll look at some practical examples from Cambridge One to see how this this can be applied in practice.


    Kasia holds a BA in English Philology and an MA in British and North American Studies. She taught English in Poland, Spain and Ireland before embarking on a digital career with well-known brands in the travel and retail industries. She now uses her digital expertise in online content, social media and digital customer experience to help Cambridge University Press & Assessment reach, engage and inspire millions of teachers and learners around the world. Having lived in 6 countries, Kasia is happily settled in Cambridge, where she enjoys long country walks and rowing on the local river.

    Hussain Al Sharoufi

    Associate Professor of Linguistics at Gulf University for Science and Technology

    Award-Winning Developer of Academic Writing Wizard

    Past President of TESOL Kuwait

    The Downfall of Dogmas in English Language Teaching: Pragmatic Grammar as a New Approach to Teaching Contextualised Language 

    There is a strong affinity between theory and practice and teaching English as a foreign language, TEFL, is the best area where TEFL practice is heavily impacted by theory. Over the last fifty years, the linguistic theory has undergone several upheavals that have paved the way for the emergence of certain dogmas that have severely affected ELT practice afterwards. Formal language theories are principally based on two important pillars, the first of which is decontextualisation, and the second of which is reductionism. These two pillars have negatively affected the linguistic theory and have hindered any development of a genuine sociocultural understanding of language, creating thus grave dogmas in linguistics and in TEFL. With the emergence of pragmatics in the sixties and cultural linguistics in the 90s, a new approach to linguistics was born, and as such a new ray of hope for breaking linguistic dogmas appeared. In this talk, I will focus on the new outcomes of cultural linguistics and pragmatics in envisaging a new era of effective English language teaching, away from the shackles of linguistic dogmas that hinder foreign students from learning and producing English naturally. Non-native students of English need to construe the sociocultural context in second language learning and should develop an awareness of using language effectively in appropriate situations. Grammar, as such, should be taught as a spring of water serving the communicative purposes of non-native speakers. English teachers thus should not be teaching sporadic sentences, simply to show their students how phrase structure rules operate. Rather, the mechanics of language should be presented to students as helpful tools to achieve communicative goals. This is achieved through observing the following:

    1. Identifying causes of non-native speakers’ mistakes when communicating their messages in English,
    2. Developing pragmatic repertoires as instructional components,
    3. Developing tests based on gauging pragmatic skills,
    4. Helping non-native speakers to be strategically aware of using pragmatic acts in real-time situations,
    5. Incorporating technology into teaching pragmatic skills.

    In a nutshell, if English teachers really want their non-native students to excel at performing English naturally, they should pay heed to the crucial importance of pragmatics and its role in creating a communicative confluence in English language teaching and learning.


    Dr. Hussain Al Sharoufi, associate professor of applied linguistics in the English department at GUST and former president of TESOL Kuwait, presented papers at over twenty-eight international refereed conferences. He published more than twenty refereed articles in applied linguistics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, and language teaching in various international academic journals. He is an active member of IPRA, International Pragmatics Association, AMPRA, American Pragmatics Association, TESOL International, and TESOL Kuwait. He further reviews academic articles for several international journals, including Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism (Published by SAGE, UK), Journal of Pragmatics (Elsevier-UK), the International Journal of Language and Communication, Denmark, and Reading and Writing Quarterly, USA. Dr. Al Sharoufi is also known for originating the Academic Writing Wizard, AWW, which is a new web-based application for teaching academic writing.

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