Abstracts & short bios
Subject: The Sound Foundations approach to pronunciation: origins and core features
I will outline the principles that guided the development of both the Sound Foundations phonemic chart and the associated approach to learning and teaching pronunciation. I will draw attention to the core features of the Sound Foundations approach and to what distinguishes it from mainstream approaches to pronunciation teaching, then and now.
I’m a trainer and consultant, past president of IATEFL and current IATEFL ambassador, ex director of International House Hastings, and series editor of Macmillan Books for Teachers. From the 1980s I developed the Sound Foundations phonemic chart and the methodology described in Sound Foundations Learning and Teaching Pronunciation (2004 Macmillan Education). I explore the notion of humans as fundamentally ‘learning beings’, and the role of improvisation, playfulness and intuition in the development of ourselves through learning.
Dr Thomaï Alexiou
If you change nothing, nothing will change’. Making change happen through the EAN project
Following current trends on promoting multiculturalism and taking into consideration the benefits of introducing languages early, the official introduction of English as a foreign language in Greek preschools is realised as of September 2021 through the EAN project.
Two of the main of pillars of this project will be presented, namely: (a) developing a teacher training course, (c) developing appropriate and multimodal educational materials.
The EAN project instils a culture of cooperation and supports teachers’ work though training and developmentally suitable CLIL educational scenarios. A fresh pedagogical and methodological framework is established, advancing international practices and catering for the holistic development of young children, hence making early EFL a quality experience at preschool education.
Dr Thomaï Alexiou is an Associate Professor at the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, School of English, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (expertise: 'Learning of English as a foreign/second language in preschool and school age'). She holds an MA in TEFL from Canterbury Christ Church University and a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Wales Swansea, UK (full scholarship). She has taught English as a foreign language for about 10 years in Greece and Britain. She currently teaches courses in methodology of language teaching, pedagogical foundations in learning a foreign language and materials design for preschoolers. Since her employment she has been involved in research projects specialising on young learners such as PEAP (English for young learners educational project) and other areas such as DysTEFL2, CLIL-Prime etc. She is also the coordinator of the Modules ‘Teaching English to Young Learners’ (at the postgraduate level) at the Hellenic Open University.