Mary Fawcett – Dundee, 13th May 2017

“Breaking the Sound Barrier and Beyond”

SATEFL is returning to Dundee this spring and we are delighted to Mary Fawcett as our speaker for the day, who has not one but TWO related topics for us. This is Mary’s introduction:

In the 1980s I travelled extensively in South America teaching English, developing an understanding of some of the barriers to language learning. I studied the ‘Silent Method’ of teaching, which has continued to influence both my teaching and work on curriculum design with its needs led, learner centred approach. In 1985 I gained the RSA Diploma in TEFL (Distinction). From 1998-2014 I taught music in the primary sector in Aberdeenshire, which gave me an insight into the links between music and spoken language. I devised a system of music notation for pupils with additional needs. This became so popular that it was adopted by all the pupils and allowed me to recognise the need for a flexible, creative and reactive approach to both teaching and curriculum design. In 2014 I moved to Edinburgh, where I continued to teach and for the last two years have been the Director of Studies for the Edinburgh School of English Young learners’ Summer school. This has given me the opportunity to totally re-design and deliver a brand new course, which focuses on the role that phonology plays in improving communication for all students at all levels. The wide-ranging changes continue to be developed but so far the course has received extremely good feedback from students, teachers and the British Council during their recent inspection.

Continuing: Tried and Tested! We would like to revive this once popular feature where SATEFL members share their favourite activities. Seen something great at IATEFL, do share it with us. This way you can also gain experience as a public speaker and be published in our Newsletter (coming soon).

Book stalls:
Cambridge University Press book stall at event will include sample books to browse and read plus resources details from book representative
SATEFL book stall at event for attendees to look at and take away to review.


10:00 – Registration and refreshments

                    *Refreshments at the event are sponsored by Cambridge University Press

10:30 – Talk by Mary Fawcett

1 How can an understanding of the role of sounds and rhythm in English improve speaking and comprehension skills?

2 How can this be effectively applied to curriculum design in Young Learner Summer programmes?

The talk will

  • Identify the challenges facing learners in understanding and being understood in English
  • Look at the structure and rules of spoken English
  • Examine the roles that sound and rhythm play in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing and the extent to which this can improve comprehension and communication
  • Look at how the Edinburgh School of English Young Learners’ Summer School curriculum has been designed to reflect the key role that phonology plays in improving communication for all students at all levels.

11:30 – Coffee and biscuits

11:45  – ‘Tried and Tested!’  – Turning PowerPoints into interactive videos in a few simple steps using the free Office add-on: Office Mix – with Mate Varadi

12:00 – Close

Members: free – Non-members: £10, payable on the day

Individual £35, Student/unwaged £15, Institutional £75 (2 people), £150 (5 people)

For more information or to renew membership, please contact


Dundee and Angus College, Gardyne Campus, Gardyne Road, Dundee DD5 1NY

Travel information available on the university’s website

The TESOL rooms are indicated in Level 3 on the campus map.


Looking forward to seeng you in Dundee.


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