Footsteps in sandCreativity is an elusive concept to define and a challenge to develop and foster in the English language classroom, whatever the age or level of the students we teach. In this talk we will explore the notion of creativity and look at issues and tensions in the relationship between teaching, learning and creativity.

The talk will begin with examples from the world of art in order to establish a number of key points about the essential nature of creativity and how these may be applied to our own field. We will then go on to compare and contrast a range of definitions and assertions by key writers in recent creativity literature. While these capture core elements of the concept of creativity, they are also divergent and raise a number of complex questions.

In the main part of the talk we will explore the questions about creativity that are most pertinent to language teachers and learners through an engaging, interactive story quest. Participants will be invited to consider such matters as the differences between creative teaching, teaching for creativity and creative learning. We will also look at the differences between big ‘C’ and little ‘c’ creativity, and the implications that these have for our classrooms. A range of easy-to-implement strategies to promote creativity in teaching foreign languages to all ages and levels of learners will be offered. We will also squarely confront the reality of barriers to creativity in our classrooms that exist for all of us.

Loads of complex theory cleverly digested into an entertaining hour.”

Annie, UK

“I loved the way you did it through the story and got us all involved.”

Mark, Hungary

“One of the best plenary sessions I’ve ever seen.”

Graeme, Brazil

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