Susan Morris

How to build confidence teaching EFL/ESOL: decisions along the way

Audience focus: Teachers of adult learners, Academic English teachers, Teacher trainers, Freelance teachers


This session is about the day-to-day events that occurred in the EFL/ESOL classroom during my 35 years’ teaching experience. How I coped with them, from the supposedly “unteachable” student (Is it even possible?) to the group of girls who decided to ‘catch me out’ every day for 4 weeks by asking me the most difficult grammar questions they could think of, and let’s not forget the one older man who enjoyed the show! Yes, these events, and more, happened over a span of around 30+ years of fun in the EFL/ESOL classroom with some truly amazing students. The aim of this session is for you to relax and enjoy yourselves. Get to know me, the teacher, and contemplate the scene set and the solutions I chose at the time. Maybe you would have done something else? There is no correct answer here, just a solution I tried.


My love of languages led me to my first university degree in Coventry in 1981. My love of ltranslating from one language to another brought me to teaching English Language and finally to both my Masters degrees in Translation & ELT. En route I did the qualification before CELTA, a Diploma in TEFL, various Level 3 management qualifications through the Institute of Management and a Post Graduate Certificate in Further Education to name but a few.
Initially I began teaching in Casablanca in 1985, followed by Germany, England & Wales, and I have since taught every age group.(6-81 years old), perhaps every nationality, as well as those students who have a substantial educational background &, at the other end of the spectrum, those who have the bare minimum in terms of educational opportunities, ie those who have no international words, like hello, and cannot hold a pencil. Best not forget those who are educationally somewhere in-between!
I have been an examiner of speaking and listening exams for IELTS (Lifeskills, General & Academic) and Trinity College London (GESE, ISE, SELT & Int ESOL) and I have also prepared students for Cambridge ESOL exams & TOEFL.