Joan-Tomàs Pujolà holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh and is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Language, Science, and Mathematics Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Barcelona (UB). He currently collaborates with the Institute for Professional Development (IDP-ICE) of the UB in the initial training for HE teachers and developing teaching programs on digital competence for university teachers. He is the principal investigator of the consolidated research group realTIC . His research interests focus on different areas of technology-enhanced language teaching such as mobile learning, gamification, digital portfolio, generative artificial intelligence, and teacher training on digital competence. More detailed information is in his professional e-portfolio.

Joan-Tomàs Pujolà

GenAI: Unleashing Innovation in ELT

In the dynamic landscape of L2/FL education, the integration of Generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) has emerged as a transformative force, revolutionizing the way we approach teaching and learning. Advancements in AI-driven technologies have paved the way for a new era of personalized and adaptive learning experiences. This plenary session will explore how GenAI can empower educators to create tailored curricula, cater to individual learning styles, and facilitate engaging language tasks using GenAI tools such as ChatGPT. This plenary session will delve into the revolutionary potential of GenAI in redefining EFL education and intends to help teachers of English gain insights into harnessing GenAI as a powerful ally in the classroom.

Divya Madhavan

Keeping it real in the classroom

As a language, an international culture, and one of the world's most influential currencies, English holds immense power in shaping how we communicate and connect. As English teachers, we shape the exchange rate of this linguistic currency through daily decisions in our classrooms, which in turn shape our students' English-speaking identities. No two students of ours shape this identity in the same way because no two students are alike.

So, how do we create a classroom experience that includes everyone? How do we keep our classroom interactions personal and authentic in an era where we, English teachers in the classroom, can sometimes feel like we're in competition with other intellectual stimulation - "I just asked ChatGPT"-, alternative forms of instruction -"I'll find a YouTube tutorial"-, and an all-powerful world of entertainment -"but I put the subtitles in English when I watch Netflix." These things can really challenge what constitutes an interesting English class for our students and sometimes leave us feeling like we're playing catch-up with a pace of educational change that we'll never match.

However, we do match this pace quite easily by remaining dynamic and direct in our approach to classroom management, which will be the focus of my talk. I suggest a critical mindset that language teachers can adopt to safeguard our teaching space and students' sense of agency while bridging the gap between the expectations of what English language learning should be and the scope of what we can manage within our own teaching contexts. I will share ideas from critical pedagogy as I explore how we can ask the right questions and build the right reflexes when designing our lesson spaces.

Divya is the Director of the Department of Languages and Cultures at CentraleSupélec, an engineering school in France. She teaches courses in English and coaches debaters for inter-varsity competitions. She is also the Founder and Director of Université Paris-Saclay’s Academic Writing Center, which provides communications training and publications support to one of France’s most prominent research communities. She is a graduate of the universities of Warwick, London, and Exeter and a Fellow of the RSA. With extensive experience in building language policy, designing curricula, recruiting, and training teachers, she strongly believes in professional development that is truly meaningful and useful to busy teachers who so often have even busier lives.

Evan is a freelance teacher, trainer and author, specializing in Business English and English for Specific Purposes, and has been working in this field since 1993. Most of his experience has been with corporate clients, although he has also written several coursebooks for mainstream publishers. His methodology books include How to Teach Business English, (Pearson, 2005), New Ways in Teaching Business English, (TESOL, 2014), with Clarice S.C. Chan, and The 6 Principles for Exemplary Teaching of English Learners: Academic and Other Specific Purposes, (TESOL, 2020), with Sherry Blok and Robin Brinks Lockwood. Recent projects have included training and consulting in the maritime industry, training courses for business English teachers, and in-house materials development for corporate clients. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany, but his work takes him to different parts of Europe and Asia. Please visit to find out more about who he is and what he does.

Evan Frendo

TESOL and the world of work

We are all familiar with the world of TESOL, even if our specific contexts, experiences, and perspectives are slightly different. There is a lot we share.

Even if we do not teach business English or ESP, many of our learners will end up using the English we teach them in a workplace context. It could be argued that it is part of our job to make sure that they have the necessary skills and competence. Despite this, for many in our profession, the world of work is a context that remains unfamiliar, even uncomfortable. In my talk I would like to explore this gap between TESOL and the world of work, and suggest possible ways of filling it, or at least bridging it.

The talk will be in two parts. First, we look at what we mean by English in the world of work. Often multilingual, certainly intercultural, inevitably context-specific, and inextricably linked to professional know-how, it offers challenges which learners may not meet in a traditional language learning context.  What is effective use of English in the international workplace? Is asking someone to pass a test designed to meet "native speaker" norms the best way to judge competence? Is it even ethical? How useful are our coursebooks, our classrooms, and our research in dealing with these issues? How many of us have the skills to observe and analyse communication in a specific workplace context, and then advise learners on how best to avoid miscommunication in such contexts?

These questions will lead us to the second part of the talk where I will suggest how we might be able to fill the gap. Some are already happening, such as use of generative AI, informal learning and microlearning, but may not yet be universally accepted or exploited by the TESOL community. Others, such as learning on-the-job, peer coaching and curation of workplace learning assets, may be less familiar. Not all of these will be useful in every context, but perhaps we need to at least be aware of them if we are to remain relevant to our learners’ needs.