Creativity in English Language Teaching. Our Trainers’ views.


At ETI we believe in CPD, (Continuous Professional Development). We encourage our trainers to develop their knowledge and their skills.

Last week, a number of our trainers attended the 4th ELT Malta conference, Creativity in ELT.
Here is what some of our trainers, had to say about a few of the workshops and sessions they attended:

Sandra Attard Montaldo

As always the ELT conference was a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and other trainers as well as refresh and develop my own teaching skills. ELT conference ETI Malta Sandra and PierreHere is what I took away with me from the conference:

  1. Digital Literacies:

In a world where Digital Literacies are as important as the 3 Rs – Reading, (W)riting &  (A)rithmetic, one should incorporate activities which get students to look critically at websites for information resources.

Get them to examine its features:

What impression does the website give? Does the font look serious or frivolous? Are there too many links? Is it overall credible?

The bottom line is that,we shouldn’t restrict ourselves to teaching only our subject; we should make sure our students become digitally aware. Nowadays,it is part of their lifelong education .


  1. Mobile phones should not be banned outright in schools. They can be incorporated in lessons by setting meaningful tasks. In order to avoid students usinELT conference mobiles in the classroomg them for other purposes, give time limits for tasks, and use classroom management techniques like asking them to place themface down or in their bag or simply switch them off when you do not wish them to look at them. Isn’t this what we would do with any other realia we use in class, such as books? Why is the mobile phone any different?


3. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Instead of discarding good activities simply because they were conceived a few years ago, give them a new twist or slant, or introduce the unexpected into them. For example, introduce the activity by showing them a related picture/worksheet for a few seconds and then closing it. If you don’t have an Interactive White Board or projector, use an Overhead Projector. Ask them to remember what they saw. Challenging students’ memory can motivate them.

Niki Stokes:
I really enjoyed the conference this year and I always appreciate the opportunity to brush up on my teaching skills
and to get some new ideas to use in our training programmes and classrooms.
I found JJ Wilson’s workshop on teaching listening skills, particularly useful as I find this the hardest skill to teach and the one which tends to cause the most problems for students.ETI Malta Niki and Valerie ELT Conference
I now have numerous new ideas which I’m looking forward to trying out in class in the near future.

Chaz Pugliese, also suggested some simple to use exercises during his plenary called, Jazzing it up: The Creative teacher. These exercises are designed to make classes more creative, motivating and engaging.
I’ve already used one of his ideas with my class of  teachers and it worked really well: Half the class write 3 or 4 sentence starters beginning with ‘On the one hand…..’ The other half of the class write 3 or 4 sentence endings beginning with ‘…..on the other hand….’

The class then mingles and they try to find a matching sentence half which either makes sense or makes them laugh.

Peter Hotton
I attended Alan Maley’s, a TEFL legend, workshop on Creativity: What? Why? How? and Michael McCarthy and Jeanne McCarten workshop on Key Concepts in spoken grammar.

I think the most useful teaching tips I got from the conference were:
1) How frequently we use present tenses in narratives on past experiences and the importance of teaching this use to advanced learners and
2) In role play situations, the necessity of always including an element of conflict.
I will definitely be using these tips and incorporating them in my teaching.

Valerie Zammit

I attended a number of  workshops.Chaz Pugliese, Jazzing it up: The Creative teacher., was particularly inspirational. The main goal of this workshop was to remind us to be innovative, to avoid routine lessons and to steer clear of predictable English language course books. Although at ETI, we don’t use course books, we design and adapt each lesson to our learner’s needs, it was useful to be reminded of the importance of creativity in language learning.   Here are a couple of tips that I will definitely be keeping in mind when planning my own lessons and also passing on to the teacher trainees that attend our courses:
Try to surprise your students.
For example, write a six word story. Then share and explain it to your partner; bring an object to class, look at the object carefully, ask students to become the object and to write or discuss a ‘day in the life of that object.’
I was also reminded about various techniques for learning new vocabulary. Firstly as teachers and trainers we should encourage our students to take responsibility for their own language learning.
Encourage them to make vocabulary lists memorable by categorizing them according to topic or theme. Remind them to use the words in context and to write sentences using the new vocabulary.  For visual learners we should remind them to create visual images of any new vocabulary, this will help their recall.
We will be using and incorporating these tips and techniques into creating more creative sessions. What about you? Do you have any creative teaching tips, you would like to share with us?
If you would like to learn more about our short courses, please do not hesitate to contact us.