Educational forum

Join us for the first event of its kind in South Africa – a unique English language teaching educational forum hosted jointly by National Geographic Learning, EAQUALS, EduSA and the University of Cape Town.


An inclusive approach to teaching English in South Africa

Date: 9 August 2019
Venue: Hiddingh Hall, Cape Town
Address: 31 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Time: 10.00-13.30
Cost: Free

With a thought-provoking agenda and closing panel discussion, we encourage you to come and share your views on teaching English in the region.

  • Attendees will receive a certificate of participation for the day.
  • Goody bags from the sponsors’ will be given away.
  • A complimentary drinks reception will follow the workshop.


Developing successful English language learners for the 21st century
Alex Warren

Our role and responsibilities as English language teachers has changed. Gone are the days when our sole responsibility was just teaching English grammar, vocabulary and the four skills. Over the past decade it’s developed into something much more as a result of the way in which English is used around the world and the changing needs of our learners. Understandably this has impacted on how we teach English. Not only do we need to teach them to use English effectively, but to be global citizens – to have the awareness, values, knowledge of the world – as well as helping them to develop the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. But how can we live that change in the classroom? How can we incorporate this into the classroom? In this session we’ll look to answer those questions and explore how using real world, global content can be used to develop the 21st century skills that our students need.

Eaquals accreditation & quality assurance: benefits & opportunities
Lou McLaughlin

Accreditation is increasingly becoming the most dominant form of quality assurance in education at all levels and at both sectors – public and private. However, the process can raise a number of questions by all those involved:

  • Does accreditation lead to enhancement of standards and promotion of continuous improvement?
  • How should quality be assessed?
  • What are the underlying principles of accreditation and quality assurance?
  • What are the benefits of accreditation?
  • Does accreditation benefit all involved in the language teaching organisation?
  • How can a language teaching organisation gain the most from their accreditation?

The talk will present a brief over of the Eaquals international accreditation scheme which is designed specifically for language training providers. It will look at the principles behind the scheme and, in practical terms, will examine the benefits of accreditation from the point of view of all stakeholders whether they are owners, directors, managers, teachers or students.

Eaquals seeks to endorse a policy of inclusion for all members and stakeholders irrespective of background, context and culture. The benefits and opportunities outlined highlight how inclusion and the sharing of expertise and knowledge are the way forward for all.

Exploring (dis)ruptures in ELT: Navigating towards a pathway for an inclusive ELT in South Africa
Warren Lilley

Teachers all over the world are facing increasing pressures to ‘innovate’ in the wake of declarations of ‘the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and ‘decolonisation’. Yet, many teachers find themselves at a loss on what must be ‘transformed’ and, more importantly, what role they can actually play.

This talk invites ELT educators the opportunity to unpack the key elements of contemporary society that are (dis)rupting traditional notions of language teaching. Through this unpacking, the presenter highlights how these criticisms uniquely position the South African ELT industry as a key site where the transformation and innovation of contemporary language teaching can occur. From there, the presenter moves on to provide questions and practices that can aid educators in navigating their own pathways towards a more inclusive, democratic and revolutionary ELT pedagogy in their own classrooms and schools.


Alex Warren
Teacher Trainer: National Geographic Learning

Alex studied history at university and worked as a journalist for several years. After travelling the world, he returned to the UK to complete his CELTA qualification in Bournemouth. From 2000-2016 Alex worked as an Academic Director and teacher trainer at a successful private language school. The move into teacher training on a permanent basis in 2016 was only a matter of time, he has delivered training throughout Europe, The Middle East and Africa on a wide variety of topics, and enjoys developing teachers on an international scale.

Lou McLaughlin
Executive Director: Eaquals

Lou is the Founder Chair of ELT Ireland, the network for ELT professionals in Ireland, and is on the IATEFL Board of Trustees as the Associates Representative. Lou holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics, MA in ELT, DELTA, TESOL Cert. in Leadership & Management and Trinity TESOL Cert. Her special interests are Young Learner teacher training and management and YL teacher cognition. She wrote and developed the online YL Management Training course run by IH London and worked as an inspector for IHWO. Lou is a frequent speaker at international conferences and was the co-editor of Children Learning English: From Research to Practice (2015).

Warren Lilley
Head of Teacher Training: University of Cape Town

Warren has a BSocSc., CELTA, M.Ed.m PGCE and his PhD is in progress. He has worked extensively in South Africa and the Middle East during his career and is completing his doctorate in Education at UCT.  He is currently head of teacher training at the UCT English Language Centre and course convenor of the Certificate in TEFL programme.  Warren’s areas of academic interest are mobile-assisted language learning and decolonised pedagogy in ELT.

Michael Cummings
ELT Senior Sales Executive: National Geographic Learning

Mike Cummings joined National Geographic Learning in 2013 and supports accounts across UK, Eire, Malta, Scandinavia, Central & South Africa. Mike has 8 years experience teaching English to teens and adults at private language schools, universities, and summer schools in UAE, China, Ireland and the UK and spent many years as an IELTS tutor during this time.


09:30-10:00 Registration
10.00-10.30 The rapidly changing face of ELT, Michael Cummings
10.30-11.15 Developing successful English language learners for the 21st Century, Alex Warren
11.15-11.30 Coffee break
11.30-12.15 Eaquals Accreditation & Quality Assurance: benefits & opportunities, Lou Mclaughlin
12.15-13.00 Exploring (dis)ruptures in ELT: Navigating towards a pathway for an inclusive ELT in South Africa, Warren Lilley
13.00-13.30 Q&A
13.30-15.00 Drinks and light refreshments