The 31st edition of the APPI annual conference was held at ISCTE-IUL, in Lisbon, between April 28 and 30, 2017. Assistant Public Affairs Officer, Meg Young, at the opening session spoke about the programs and offers the U.S. Embassy and the Department of State provide to teachers and learners of English. In this year’s session the U.S. Embassy was represented by two distinct speakers.
Dr. Leslie Opp-Beckman, Director of Innovative Programming, University of Oregon, American English Institute, presented twice during the conference. Dr. Opp-Beckman was the speaker of a well-attended opening plenary entitled “Data-Driven Decision Making: Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?” that explored the notion of data-driven assessment and decision making and what it may mean to each of those in the role of educators; what data-driven assessment is both as a culturally-grounded notion and as a personalized day-to-day way of teaching and learning. Dr. Opp-Beckman also did a follow-up workshop on “Working the Web in Search of Assessment Resources” where she gave an overview of web-based resources available to educators in the form of references and practical tools.
Phillip Wenturine, currently living in Portugal, as a grantee of the Fulbright Program English Teaching Assistant, and teaching at the Instituto Politécnico de Santarém, did a lecture on ”Education and Creative Writing: How Immersive Projects Enhance Learning” to show that project based learning helps students take ownership of their education. Through a creative writing and translation project, “Pessoas of Portugal”, Phillip helps his students to practice English and communication skills.
Throughout the conference, the U.S. Embassy offered publications for both teachers and learners of English as a Second Language.