Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin,
37 Great James St,
BT48 7DF

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This Conference is aimed at agents and teachers who are involved in the English Language Teaching Industry. The location of the conference is DERRY in the North of Ireland and will highlight the unique qualities the city has to offer as a place to study, work and live. Derry is a city renowned for its Arts, Culture, Music, History and Politics and these cornerstones of its existence make it both a rewarding and interesting location to be based. It is currently the frontier where the UK meets Europe and it is the centre of EU-UK geopolitics.

The theme of the conference is Creative Innovations in the ever-changing EFL Industry.

In the conference you will:

  • explore how NWA constantly innovate in the changing world of ELT and Work Based English programmes

  • gain insight into accredited learning and certification when travelling abroad: Cambridge; IELTS; TRINITY etc....

  • visit our extensive range of school accommodation

  • sample the product: why the North West of Ireland? You will visit some of our outstanding scenic landmarks. Possible visits are The Giant’s Causeway (World Heritage Site), Grianan Fort, Inishowen Peninsula and the Atlantic Way

  • experience “A taste of Ireland”- cutting edge cuisine from some of the youngest and brightest chefs in Ireland 

Who is it for: 

  • Professionals working in the EFL industry and EU mobility projects 

  • English language teachers in primary and secondary schools

  • EFL agents

  • Principles of schools interested in developing school trips

  • Organisations working in EU mobility projects 

  • Travel Agencies who organise overseas language programmes

What is in the programme: it is a 2-day event which will incorporate industry workshops, case studies, sightseeing, music and dancing, plus speakers from British Council and one of the most expert business enterprises in the north west of Ireland.

Cost: The conference and your stay in Derry for 2 nights is free of charge!

How to participate: Please fill in the application form and send it back to francesca.giacomini@northwestacademy.net  ; you will receive a confirmation of your participation within 2 days of receipt. Hurry as spaces are filling up quickly!

How to get to Derry: 

Fly into any of the following airports: City of Derry (11km from NWA); George Best, Belfast (115km from NWA); Belfast International (91km from NWA); Dublin (223km from NWA);

Frequent and competitively priced bus fares from Belfast and Dublin to Derry: https://www.translink.co.uk/usingtranslink/specialoffers






Saturday 16th November 2019 Events:

9:00 – Registration (Tea, Coffee, Refreshments)

9:30 – Welcome from John McGowan (Managing Director, NWA)

10:00 – Overview of Conference Schedule – Derek Nicholl (Assistant Director of Studies, NWA)

10:30 – Main Plenary – Jonathan Stewart (Director, British Council, Northern Ireland)

11:00 – Comfort Break/Networking

11:30 – Workshops Session 1

1:30 – Lunch

2:30 - Workshops Session 2

4:30 – Case Studies

5:00 – Closing Remarks – Francesca Giacomini (Operations Director, NWA)


7:30 - An evening reception will be hosted by NWA with a vast array of Irish culinary delights, song, culture and the warmest of welcomes.


Sunday Events:

The north of Ireland has many must-see attractions to the isle. From top tourist attractions to lesser known hidden gems, there is a wide variety of places to explore. The trip on Sunday will provide you with a snapshot of all that Derry and its surrounding areas have to offer. This will most certainly be a highlight of the conference.


** Programme subject to change



Jonathan Stewart: 

Jonathan has worked for the British Council in Northern Ireland for over nineteen years. 

He initiated and organised a number of high profile events such as the now annual mock Council of the European Union event which began in Northern Ireland during the UK’s presidency of the EU in partnership with the European Commission. He is responsible for the Peace and Beyond conference, marking the 20th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 10-12 April 2019.

Currently Director of British Council Northern Ireland, Jonathan has managed the British Council's Annual Lecture series in Northern Ireland bringing Shami Chakrabarti, Ben Hammersley and President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins to deliver the annual lecture. 

John McGowan:

John McGowan is a native of Derry and the Director of the NWA. John is also Group Chief Executive of Enterprise NW which is a Local Enterprise Agency which provides advice and incubation space for start-up companies. John is also Chairman of the Nerve Centre which has offices in Derry and Belfast and employs 70 people within the Creative sector. John was a journalist for 10 years writing about Economics and business and is also a Political advisor on the Economy. John started the North West Academy in 1997 and has been involved with it ever since. It is now one of the leading language schools in Ireland having gained 6 points of excellence in its British Council inspection of 2018.


Workshops Summary:

  1. Preparing a student and tutors for an oversea stay Workshop

This workshop will focus on helping the teachers/agents to prepare themselves and the students for their trip. The speakers will provide tips on what should be done before they come and what their role is while they are in Derry. What is more, attendees will also receive advice on how to prepare their students, so that they have the best possible experience.

    2. Brexit: how it will affect Ireland north and south

"BREXIT" has quickly become one of the most popular words in the English Language. For the island of Ireland, BREXIT has the potential to either Unite it or at least bring NI closer to the EU. This workshop will explore studying in both parts of Ireland post BREXIT.

     3. Life Coaching

At NWA, not only do we promote academia and vocational training but we also teach our students about true life experiences: how to be a foreigner in the UK and Ireland; how to travel around the world; how to organise your home budget; how to present yourself in front of a crowd when you deliver a speech; cooking along with an Irish Chef. This workshop will showcase this NWA course in an interactive way.

     4. Accommodation in families VS residences: pros and cons

This workshop will give an insight into the different options available for any potential clients, help them choose what type of accommodation they want, from an Irish family perspective to staying in a residence with closed groups and/or living with other nationalities and experiencing in a self-catering option.

     5. Innovative Learning in ESL – How to incorporate the Creative Arts in ESL and language teaching.

At present there is an emphasis on cooperating the Arts into ESL teaching. Music, Drama, Art and Dance/Movement all play an important part in this creative learning environment. Participants in this workshop will examine various creative options and evaluate their relevance, suitability and adaptability for the classroom. It will also explore the place of using Drama methods in the English classroom. 

     6. Mobility and Teacher Training Opportunities at NWA

Are you interested in refreshing or extending your teacher training skills? This workshop will promote the acquisition of new teaching skills while learning innovative methods to keep up-to-date with your class interests and needs. 

NWA is the only provider of the European renowned CertTESOL and attendees will discuss the benefits of this and many other teacher training  programmes that we provide such as CLIL, Methodology and Innovative Teaching.

     7. How Companies and Students Cooperate in Structured Work Based Learning Projects (WBL)

If you are interested in investigating work based projects for your students, this is the workshop for you. In 2019 NWA embarked on their first WBL project in collaboration with Derry City Council. The project witnessed the students divided into two groups and to work on two live marketing projects - Halloween and Christmas. The project was overseen by both NWA staff and marketing professionals from DCC and allowed students skills to be developed throughout the project. At the end of the four weeks the students presented their work and many off their ideas are now being used on an ongoing basis within the marketing department of Derry City Council.

     8. Irish Culture

Music, language and culture are all words that come to mind when people around the world think of Ireland. Come along to this interactive workshop where you will learn some Irish phrases, try some Irish dancing and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Irish culture.


Case Studies

  1. “The Musical”- Drama Project – a review of our own musical project from the teacher and trainer point of view 

  2. “ The Green Economy” -  Work based learning project -  outcomes and feedback 

  3. “Ciao Event Italian festival” - Work based learning project - outcomes and results 

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