Section A. Development of Creativity& Thinking in Language Education

Saturday, 15 September
Conference Hall "Amata"

Chair persons: Irina Buchinska, Daugavpils Russian Lyceum and Susan Granlund, Kirkonkylä School, Finland


09:00 – 09:40   Irina Buchinska, Daugavpils Russian Lyceum, Latvia. Motivated and Successful Writers at the EFL Classroom. Workshop.

Teaching writing has always been an obligatory and one of the most difficult skills to teach in the EFL classroom. There are many ways and methods how to teach learners to write well. But still many learners find it difficult and uninteresting. It is true; writing is a challenging task which requires from the learner a range of skills going beyond just linguistic ones.
A good text, successfully fulfilling its communicative function, is a complex system, so in TA (Thinking Approach) we view writing as a problem solving activity. This approach gives room and provides a necessary context for introducing and practising thinking models (OTSM) thus learning, applying and developing learners’ thinking skills alongside with their language skills. While working with their texts learners systematically organise their conclusions on HOW to write a text, check and modify these conclusions, building their individual algorithms.

09:40 – 10:05   Natalia Kovilina, Daugavpils Russian Lyceum, Latvia & Marina Bagrova, Riga Herder School, Latvia. Thinking

Approach Elements at the Russian Language Lessons.

The talk will present the use of the Thinking Approach (TA) for developing public speaking skills at the Russian language lessons. I will explain the reason for dealing with this area and demonstrate how language and thinking skills of learners can be tackled simultaneously at the native language lessons.  I will then show how the main elements of the Research Technology of the TA were transformed to help the students to prepare presentations in the native language. In the end, I will share the experience of using the Thinking Task Framework for various stages of our work: the choice of topic, formulation of the goal, selection of arguments and examples, etc.

10:05 – 10:30   Renata Jonina, Riga Secondary School No. 13, Latvia. Moving towards professionalism in developing

inventive thinking: reflecting on difficulties and possible mistakes.

The modern world places a strong demand on educating creative learners who are „capable to do”, capable to solve problems and innovate. In this context, I consider teaching for inventive thinking to be one of the best ways how a teacher can meet this demand. However, at a closer look it turns out to be not so straightforwardly easy to implement this kind of teaching and to bridge theory and my beliefs about how we should teach with my everyday practice. Even though, the teacher might have a strong motivation and a certain theoretical preparation, there are difficulties and mistakes waiting at the initial stage of the professional way that one has to be aware of if (s)he wishes to develop his/her expertise in teaching for inventive thinking. The talk is aimed at presenting the colleagues with the experienced difficulties and possible mistakes on introducing the inventive thinking dimension in a secondary school language classroom.

10:30 - 11:00   COFFEE BREAK

11:00 – 11:45   Alexander Sokol, TA Group, Latvia. Parallel Learning of Grammar. Talk.

This talk is for those who believe that explicit learning of grammar can be useful. We will see that if a certain approach is followed, learning grammar does not contradict modern language teaching methodology and can be dealt with both communicatively and in a task-based fashion. Participants will be introduced to the parallel portfolio based learning of grammar developed within the Thinking Approach to language teaching and learning for pupils aged 10 and older. We will see how and why the approach  can be useful for developing the linguistic competence of pupils and at the same time contributing to developing their thinking skills in the context of learning grammar.

11:45 – 12:30   Susan Granlund & Anni Savisaari, Kirkonkylä Primary School, Finland. Creativity Through Point of View Tasks. Workshop.

This workshop will present thinking tasks and projects carried out in English (EFL) and in the mother tongue, in which primary school children have been introduced to looking at things from new points of view. We will show how we introduced the topics, led the children to be able to see the familar from unfamilair angles, and helped them to produce creative work on the basis of this. We will invite the audience to try out the steps of the tasks themselves, in order to better understand how they work and how they can be organised,as well as seeing what problems may come up, and how it feels to be the learner in such lessons.

12:30 - 14:00    LUNCH BREAK

14:00 – 14:45   Marija Nikolajeva, Teacher of Chinese, Latvia. Focus on keys, or maximum Chinese at a minimum price.


The presenter believes that creativity in language learning means the ability to look from different viewpoints, to find new ways of learning and to try new ways of using the language. These abilities represent types of linguistic problems. Creativity relies heavily on thinking which stands for selecting appropriate ways of solving linguistic problems. For beginners the skill to identify and use keys is crucial because it gives the feeling of control over the language and increases self-confidence and motivation. The presenter’s approach reflects the idea that a teacher is a facilitator of learning, the one who teaches both language and language learning techniques. The aim of the workshop is to stress the importance of the noticing ability of a learner and to inspire teachers of different languages to create similar exercises for working with spelling, suffixes, particles, auxiliaries, word order etc. by demonstrating tasks of working with key elements.

14:45 - 15:30    Merve Elbirlik Tülek and Nazan Özçınar Sirel, Özyeğin University, Turkey. Moving Pictures: The power of 

images to boost learner creativity and motivation.

This workshop presentation offers a refreshing approach to using images in the classroom and its positive effects on learner curiosity and motivation through a variety of activities. The workshop presentation shows how the use of images can move and motivate learners and enhance their overall learning experience and contribute to their critical thinking skills through the use free speaking, writing and grammar activities. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to experience a number of activities accompanied by pictures and have the chance to evaluate them.

15:30 - 16:00   COFFEE BREAK

16:00 – 16:30   Sharon Ahlquist. Kristianstad University, Sweden. Storyline and the Young Language Learner Classroom.

Creativity and thinking lie at the heart of the Storyline approach. A fictive world is created in the classroom, with learners taking on the roles of characters in a story. The story, based on curriculum content and integrating practical skills and theoretical knowledge, develops as the learners work together in small groups on open key questions. This presentation is based on the findings of a five-week study in which a class of Swedish 11-13 year olds became families moving into a newly-built street in a fictive English town. Among other things they took part in a project to live in a more sustainable way. Drawing on their knowledge of sustainability, the learners spoke, wrote, listened and read in English, motivated by meaningful, varied tasks which required critical thinking. The results of the study showed that Storyline offers significant benefits for the learning of English as a second/foreign language.

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