This September 15 and 16, 2022, we’ll be hosting ElliiCon, a free, two-day virtual conference to explore simple, effective, and practical strategies that will help you build stronger relationships with your students and engage them in a more meaningful way. This article is part of a series of posts introducing some of the conference speakers.
Readers of our blog will surely recognize this speaker! Emily Bryson is one of our Ellii bloggers. She writes educational ELT articles where she shares tons of insightful teaching tips, advice, and inspiration. We're thrilled to have her join us at ElliiCon2022 on September 16.
Emily’s teaching journey began in Poland where, during her summer break in university, she taught at a summer school.
“I loved it so much that when I graduated, I took a job teaching young learners in Daegu, South Korea,” said Emily.
In addition to being one of Ellii’s bloggers, Emily is now an ESOL lecturer, ELT author, teacher educator, and graphic facilitator.
Her favorite part about being an ESOL lecturer? The students.
“I've taught some really wonderful people from all over globe," she said. "We've had a lot of fun, and I've learned a lot about things I could never have imagined."
The importance of literacy, diversity, equity, and inclusion in education
Emily is particularly interested in literacy, accessibility, graphic facilitation, and supporting learners from refugee backgrounds.
She spoke at length about the importance of adult ESOL literacy.
“It's an underfunded area,” said Emily. “There must be so many learners in the world whose first script is not Roman, yet publishers mostly overlook things like phonics, handwriting, and very basic punctuation. So many of my learners have jagged profiles. Even at the intermediate level, I’ll find students writing letters from right to left, struggling to read, or putting capital letters in the middle of words as they haven't had this explained. It's not covered in so many courses. I'd love to see learners whose first script isn't Roman having the support they need.”
She’s also incredibly passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the language classroom.
“It's important that our lessons reflect the reality of our learners and give them a voice,” said Emily. “Talking about global issues in the classroom such as female empowerment, [LGBTQ+] rights, and refugee matters can lead to positive change and students who can advocate for themselves.”
Graphic facilitation is a powerful teaching tool
Emily’s workshops and training courses in graphic facilitation for ELT professionals have received rave reviews.
“Graphic facilitation is my passion and my superpower,” Emily said proudly.
“When I did my first GF course, I'd been teaching for years. I was in a bit of a slump," she admitted. "But it rejuvenated me and reactivated the excitement I felt when I first started teaching. I realized how powerful [graphic facilitation] was as a teaching tool. A simple drawing can make everything instantly clearer. It makes learning more accessible, fun, engaging, inclusive, interesting, and creative. It helps learners remember and reduces processing load.”
Graphic facilitation uses simple drawings to provide a template or prompt for learning.
Emily explained that this can support reflection, planning, ideation, or focus students’ thoughts.
"The drawings are not art but a visual vocabulary which can be learned just like any other language, so anyone can draw to communicate," she said.
Learn more about graphic facilitation for ELT with Emily at ElliiCon2022
On September 16, Emily will be joining us at ElliiCon2022 to talk more about how you can use simple drawings to engage learners. You’ll learn about simple facilitation techniques such as visual templates, capture sheets, graphic organizers, and sketchnoting.
“I'll be showing some basic GF techniques and tools which can save teachers time and make lessons engaging and accessible," said Emily. "I'll be demonstrating some simple drawings too, so it'll be a really practical and fun session."
Join us at ElliiCon2022!
Want to attend Emily's presentation? Register for ElliiCon2022 (it's free!).