Plenary Speakers

The Head - (He)art – Hands of Multilingualism: Linguistic Well-being in English Classroom

Nayr Correia Ibrahim

Nayr Correia Ibrahim is Associate Professor of English Subject Pedagogy at Nord University. Previously, she worked as Head of Young Learners and BilingualEducationat British Council, France. Nayrholds a MA TEFL and a PhD in trilingualism, triliteracy and identity from the University of Reading.Shehasbeeninvolved in various projects, includingreviewing the EU’s Key Competences for Lifelong Learning (2018). She was local coordinator for the Erasmus+ ICEPELL project, which won twoEuropean Language Labels in 2023. Sheisparticipating in theELLiL project, and developing a reading framework for in-depth learning. She regularly presents on multilingualism and identity, the translingual and transcultural dimensions in picturebooks and metacognitive processes in language learning. Sheis a member of the Nord Research Group For Children’s Literature in ELT (CLELT) andtreasurer for the newly-launchedEarly Language Learning Research Association (ELLRA). Herpublication, Teachingchildrenhow to learn, Delta Publishing, with Gail Ellis, won an award at the 2016 ESU English Language Awards in the category, Resources for Teachers. Herresearchinterests include earlylanguage learning, bi/multilingualism, multiple literacies, language and identity, learning to learn, interculturality, children’s literature and children’s rights.
Inclusion at the Heart of Everything We Do

Valerie Coutinho

Valerie Coutinho is the British Council’s Regional SEND Coordinator for Europe and Americas. Based in Portugal, she has had a long career as an English language teacher and translator, during which she has taught in a wide range of settings from kindergartens and language schools to vocational colleges and universities. She currently leads and supports a team of Special Educational Needs Coordinators and Champions across the region, where her goal is to foster a classroom culture in which SEND provision is built in rather than bolted on. She has an MA in Special and Additional Learning Needs and is currently working towards obtaining the international SENCO award.

Elsa O’Brien

Elsa O’Brien is a young learner English teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator for the British Council in Madrid. She is also a teacher trainer for primary and secondary teachers in the state bilingual school system. Elsa has been one of the teachers in the project with the Spanish association for the blind to include visually impaired students in the British Council courses. She has a Master’s in English Applied Linguistics and Policy Planning and has carried out research around the topic of equality of opportunities in the bilingual classroom.
Getting to the Heart of Reflective Practice

Thomas S.C. Farrell

Thomas S.C. Farrell is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Brock University, Canada. Professor Farrell’sprofessional interests include Reflective Practice, and Language Teacher Education & Development. ProfessorFarrell has published widely in academic journals and has presented at major conferences worldwide on thesetopics. A selection of his work can be found on his webpage:
Engaging and Empowering Learners Through Action-Oriented Mediation and Plurilingualism. The CEFR 2020 in the Classroom

Brian North

Brian North has been an English teacher, project coordinator, course director, researcher and manager. He was chair of Eaquals, the international quality assurance association for language programme providers from 2005 to 2010. In a long collaboration with the Council of Europe, he coordinated the 1991 intergovernmental Symposium that recommended the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and European Language Portfolio (ELP), for which he developed the levels and descriptors in his PhD (The Development of a Common Framework Scale of Language Proficiency 2000: Peter Lang) as part of a Swiss National Science Foundation project. He then co-authored the CEFR, the prototype ELP, the Manual for relating examinations to the CEFR, and Eaquals’ CEFR Core Inventories for English and French. He coordinated the 2013–20 Council of Europe project that produced the CEFR Companion Volume, of which he is co-author, and is main editor of the case studies related to it: Enriching 21st century Language Education: The CEFR Companion Volume, Examples from Practice (2022, Council of Europe). Other publications include: The CEFR in Practice (2014: Cambridge); Language Course Planning (with M. Angelova, E. Jarosz & R. Rossner: 2018: Oxford), and The Action-oriented Approach (with E. Piccardo, 2019: Multilingual Matters).

Enrica Piccardo

Enrica Piccardo PhD is a Professor of Applied Linguistics and Language Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. A collaborator with the Council of Europe (CoE) since 2008 and co-author of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Companion Volume (Council of Europe, 2020), she has coordinated international research projects on language teaching innovation and teacher education in Canada and Europe. She has presented in numerous countries and in different languages and has published extensively, both scholarly articles/books and publications for teachers. Among her recent publications are The Action-oriented Approach. A Dynamic Vision of Language Education (2019) with Brian North and The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual language Education (2021) co-edited with A. Germain Rutherford and G. Lawrence.
Heart and Reason: the Core of Empathetic and Transformative Leadership on ELT

Debra Suarez

Dr. Debra Suarez is President-elect of the TESOL International Association. With almost 13,000 global members in over 144 countries, TESOL International is the largestworldwide community dedicated to advancing the expertise of ELT professionals. Dr. Suarez comes to this executive position after a professionallifetime of servingmultilinguallearners of English and the educators and organizationswho serve them. Shehasbeen an ELT/EFL classroomteacher, university professor, international educator, senior federal leader at the US Department of Education, an English Language Specialist with the US Department of State, and the senior advisor for the AAPI White House Initiative. Debra holds a PhD in Language in Education, an MS in TESOL, and an MBA specializing in education business management. A highlight of her career wasreceiving the Maryland TESOL Lifetime Achievement Award. As a seasoned TESOL leader, Dr. Suarez nowfocusesherscholarship on leadership studies, and on developing the next generation of strong, impactful ELT advocatesthroughtransformational and responsible leadership, coaching and mentoring. Dr. Suarez’sterm in the TESOL presidential-line is 2023-2026.

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