LABCI highlights


Yesterday was the first day of the LABCI conference so here are some highlights from the MEC delegates over in São Paulo.

From left: John Murray, Susan Holden, Jenny Lovel and Mike Green

Emma Shercliff, Managing Director: ‘It’s been a very stimulating and thought-provoking first day at LABCI. We have had lots of high profile coverage here for MEC, including a mention of e-Campus by Princess Anne in the opening conference address and a great presentation this afternoon by the Cultura Inglesa São Paolo (CISP) e-Campus coordinator, Vilson Coimbra, about using Campus on an interactive whiteboard (IWB). I was particularly struck by the wisdom of Lorraine de Matos, President of LABCI and General Manager of CISP (and an architect of the original e-Campus), who used her conference address to emphasize the importance of striving for innovation in language learning and not being content simply to reflect on past or present success – a lesson for us all and evidence of exactly why the Cultura network remains an example of best practice at the forefront of technology and learning.

I also really enjoyed Herbert Puchta’s plenary on students’ attention span, with lots of useful tips about teaching the Web 2.0 generation. He quoted one 13-year-old student who said that “Sitting in class is like being in the car with your parents on a long road trip without your CD player”. Those of us trying to cater for the demands of these “digital natives” are confident that LABCI will give us all some new ideas about how incorporating technology into language learning can benefit and motivate students and teachers alike.’

Acrobatics at the LABCI opening cocktail party

Susan Holden, MEC author: ‘The Macmillan stand. For 2 reasons – the ever-changing MEC displays on the IWB and the red aprons worn by the Macmillan Brazil staff, looking like very professional pizza waiters. Plus of, course, the wonderful books!’

Macmillan aprons, from left: Cristina Roberts, Managing Director, Macmillan Brazil; Rafael Alarcon-Gaeta, Adult Publisher, Macmillan Education; Emma Shercliff, Managing Director, MEC; Jenny Lovel, commissioning Editor, MEC; John Murray, Sales and Marketing Director, MEC

John Murray, Sales and Marketing Director: ‘The ideas David Graddol investigated in his plenary session this morning: the future of English as a global lingua franca and the declining importance of native speakers as always necessarily being the best EFL teachers. And watching Argentina beat on TV last night!’

Jenny Lovel, Commissioning Editor: ‘Seeing Vilson Coimbra of CISP show so effectively how MEC could be used with an IWB as a springboard to further classroom activities. A very lively session with plenty of audience participation!’

Mike Green, Training Manager: ‘David Graddol‘s plenary again. The notion of “Just In Time” learning – that learning is, of course, a lifelong process and how the learners of today rely more on more on learning new skills as and when necessary, rather than skills learnt at school – particularly where technology is concerned. And the caipirinhas – no one mixes them like the Brazilians.’


  • Hi everyone from the 2007 LABCI conference!

    I’m posting this during my talk, which is entitled ‘Teacher support materials for and from the online world’. I’m demonstrating both the MEC support site and this blog, plus the onestopenglish Staff Room, with which many of you will be familiar.

    The audience here with me say ‘Hi’ to you all from Sao Paulo. Here it’s a balmy 22 degrees: I hope it’s stopped raining in London at last…

    We’ll be reporting in more detail from the conference when we’re back in London next week, so watch this space!


    Posted by Mike on July 13th 2007
  • Thought I’d just say ‘Hi’ to everyone – I was really sorry not to make it to the conference but how great to log on and get a flavour of it while it was happening. And it’s good to see the first bit of video in the blog!

    Posted by Fiona MacKenzie on July 16th 2007

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