TESOL Italy Convention 2021

TESOL Italy’s 46th National Convention, provocatively entitled “Disruptive Innovations in ELT” echoing Clayton M. Christensen’s famous theory, wishes to provide a shared space for inquiry, reflection and discussion on the disruptive impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has turned our personal and professional lives upside down changing education dramatically, while also leading to positive innovations and transformations. In this sense, we have used the term ‘disruptive innovations’ as they have caused a paradigm shift in the ELT field.

How have we, as ELT teachers, educators and professionals, coped with change? How have we reacted to the pandemic disruption? Our responses have actually been disruptive and extraordinary, turning unprecedented challenges into opportunities and reimagining English learning and teaching:

  • adapting to virtual / hybrid environments, dealing with online challenges and digital overwhelm, using new interactive e-learning platforms;
  • enhancing online collaboration and sharing experiences and resources;
  • building relationships and communities of practice;
  • adjusting teaching methods, strategies and content to the changed scenario;
  • rethinking assessment systems and feedback practices;
  • experimenting and adopting new ways of teaching and learning, and finding innovative, creative and inclusive solutions within and beyond the classroom to meet learners’ new needs;
  • responding to ever-growing multilingual challenges and adopting translanguagism as a perspective and pedagogical approach in ELT;
  • fostering sustainable development and social justice, and promoting students’ agency and empowerment;
  • developing resilience, collaboration, empathy, digital literacy, soft skills, global competencies while enriching professional profiles.

In our two-day event, we will explore the pedagogical implications and applications of current disruptive innovations in ELT by focusing on the latest trends and approaches, and providing examples of best practices and experiences.

The need to transform the education sector is overdue. The closure of schools around the world triggered by the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the challenges faced by schools, teachers and students to secure education continuity away from classrooms. How has the pandemic changed education and opened an opportunity to rethink schooling? In addition, the recognition of non-formal and informal learning is an important means for making the ‘lifelong learning for all’ agenda a reality for all and, subsequently, for reshaping learning to better match the needs of the 21st century. It is very likely that learning taking place at home or elsewhere, is a lot more important, relevant and significant than the kind of learning that occurs in formal settings. How can we recognize, appreciate and value this?
Global Citizenship Education is a strategic area of UNESCO’s Education Sector programme, and builds on the work of Peace and Human Rights Education. It aims to instil in learners the values, attitudes and behaviours that support responsible global citizenship: creativity, innovation, and commitment to peace, human rights and sustainable development. Global citizenship has become one of the most important issues for English language teachers around the world, as we are witnessing its growing importance in the international scenario and its incorporation as part of a process of inclusion/e-inclusion.  How can inspiring input, suggestions, and ideas related to the issue of global citizenship be addresses in ELT?
It is widely recognised that at the outset of the pandemic, many teachers felt they lacked appropriate training and were unprepared for the remote and hybrid teaching scenarios they had to face. Teachers found their beliefs challenged as they had to adapt to new modes of teaching, collaborate with colleagues, and work in unpredictable, challenging situations. To what extent are these new scenarios having an impact on teachers’ beliefs?  Research shows that faced with a plethora of online CPD opportunities based on new pedagogical approaches for the new normal, teachers have constantly risen to the challenge and demonstrated their commitment to professional learning and development and that their paramount values and beliefs have continued to help teachers forge their didactic action. But just how are new forms of CPD currently influencing teachers’ practices, and what CPD can we offer to support evolving post-pandemic teacher profiles?
During the last decade more people than ever in the history of mankind have been on the move all over the world, because of unsustainable social conditions. Forced to abandon their homeland, they brought with them their own identities and their language. This disruptive condition has modified the language and cultural landscapes of many countries and of their school population. It is within this reconfiguration of peoples and cultures that the notions of ‘translanguaging’ and of ‘translanguaging spaces’ have emerged. Translanguaging has been defined as “the ability of multilingual speakers to shuttle between languages, treating the diverse languages that form their repertoire as an integrated system” (Canagarajah, 2011). The pedagogical implications of translanguagism are multiple, and translingual practices have proved as particularly effective when used by multilingual learners to communicate and to learn in the language classrooms. Welcome to this conference are all those teaching and learning experiences and projects that use translanguagism as an approach engaging multilingual learners to communicate and to integrate their language repertoires.


The deadline for submitting speaker proposals is July 10th, 2021.
In preparing your proposal, please bear the following in mind:


Adapt your presentation either to the convention theme or to one of the subthemes


Submit one proposal only


Provide all the requested information. Incomplete proposals will not be accepted


Respect word/character counts for title, biodata, abstract and summary


Send a profile photo to be published in the Convention E-Program


1. TESOL Italy is unable to reimburse speakers for expenses. All presenters are kindly requested to pre-register for the Convention and cover the required fees (membership and participation fees), thereby establishing their membership to TESOL Italy.
2. The time allocated for each presentation is 30 minutes.
3. Types of presentations:

Workshop: speaker introduces a topic with a mini-lecture, and guides active participation of the audience;

Talk: speaker describes and discusses theoretical/practical issues related to the themes of the Convention;

Demonstration: speaker shows how certain materials, techniques, etc. can work in a classroom;

Panel: three or more speakers present their ideas on a topic followed by a Q&A session with the audience;

Poster Session: speaker presents posters with pictures, charts and/or realia, and shares ideas with attendees;

Commercial Presentation: speaker promotes materials published and advertised at the Virtual Book Exhibition.

4. Professional/ Biographical background: please avoid references to personal websites, lists of course-books or other personal commercial activities, as they will be removed in the editing phase.

Please note that TESOL Italy will not accept proposals which do not conform to the guidelines above.

Deadlines Summary

  • Proposal Submission: July 10th, 2021
  • Paper Acceptance Notification by TESOL Italy: July 31st, 2021
  • Speaker’s Contribution Fee Deadline: September 20th, 2021