Monday, June 11, 2018

Summer Event 2018 - An interview with Agnes Mariakaki

1. Could you tell us more about you and your professional background?

I am a psychologist, having trained extensively in trauma therapy, social research and non-verbal behaviour. Since 1996 I have been carrying out qualitative research projects, focusing on the psychology of organisations, groups and consumers, through MindSearch, a company of consumer insights. I am a  Neuro Linguistic Programming Trainer and Coach and have carried out the only NLP Master Practitioner program in Education in Greece. I am also a certified Lego Serious Play facilitator and have found in action that creative minds express themselves best “hands on”, through play. 

2. What do you hope participants will gain from your session?

I hope that following my session they will be inspired to enrich their teaching toolkit with humour and playfulness. I grew up in an educational culture where children were seen and not heard, unless spoken too, where laughter in the classroom meant that the reverence of the teaching process was breached. I now know otherwise. Humour is a powerful kit which can make children feel safe and secure in the classroom. Laughter itself is the springboard of the kinds of positive emotions that are most conducive to learning and retention. When teaching is accompanied by fun, it becomes irresistible, and knowledge assimilation is effortless and joyous. My ambition is to communicate some ways in which that can be effected. 

3. What are some practical ways teachers can "recharge" their batteries”  during summer?

Summer for teachers is the period for “self care”:
a) Let us be physical this Summer. Throughout the school year, there is no time to focus on physical needs, but during Summer it is truly renewing to be able to swim, to walk in nature, to work out, to enjoy the sun.
b) Step back from technology: try to avoid your laptop, tablet or your mobile phone - instead, do things with your hands, like paint, draw, sing, cook, engage in your hobbies.
c) Reconnect with friends: during the school year we hardly have the time to do anything more than catching up with people that we share friendship and connection with. Yet, these close relationships replenish our strength and inner stamina, and fill us up with the joy of life.
d)  Step out of the well trodden path: do something different this Summer, go to places you have not been before, meet new people, learn a new kind of dance, watch movies that have been in your bucket list for a long time, go to a different beach you have not visited before. You do not need to travel to the other side of the world to see new things, to be inspired and to feel renewed. You can be a new person by choosing to do simple, every day things differently, exploring the many and diverse beautiful colours of life. Breaking away from routine, from habit is the most refreshing and renewing kind of rest…

Have a glorious Summer, 2018!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Summer Event 2018: A day-trip to Taxiarchis with Agnes Mariakaki

Date: Sunday, 17th June 
Place: Taxiarchis, Chalkidiki at Apolymeni Petra Resort 
Time: 9:30 (Bus leaves from White Tower) 

On Sunday 17th June, we will leave our cars home and get on a bus to go to the lovely resort, Apolimeni Petra in Taxiarchis, a verdant area in the mountain of Cholomontas ( 

After an enchanting bus ride, we reach our venue where we will be treated to coffee and cookies (sponsored by TESOL MTh). There will be two sessions on the day. 

First, Chair Maria-Araxi Sachpazian will give information on how TESOL MTh members can apply for IATEFL Scholarships and how they can use the Basic Membership option to their greatest advantage. This is going to be a very short and practical presentation. 

Our main guest speaker is psychologist Agnes Mariakaki, a person we all know and who has also been a plenary speaker in one of our past conferences. Agnes will present a light-hearted, practical session entitled “Learning through Comedic Play!”. This session will require the members’ active participation. 

Session Summary 
This session aims to examine how teachers can use “active humour” and comedic improvisation to enhance language practice, imagination, confidence, risk taking and also activate positive learning states. This practical workshop will give you a renewed sense of your own sense of humour and will help you see how you can use it with boldness and efficiency in the classroom, to win over kids minds (and hearts) for learning!

After the session, we will have a delicious lunch at Apolymeni Petra. The menu is the following: 


Appetisers (for every 4 people) 
Vegetable crepe 
Mushrooms Sauté 
Grilled goat cheese 
Choice of Salads 

Main Course (each member can choose one from the following) 
Pork Steak 
Smoked pork Steak 
Grilled Chicken 
Veal in tomato sauce 

Unlimited house Wine, beer & Soft drinks 
Chocolate gateux 

After lunch members can have coffee, hike in the forest around the resort or have a swim in the (rather cold) swimming pool. For those interested in Yoga, board member Theodora Papanagiotou will offer a session in the open air, so make sure you have your yoga mats or a towel. The bus will depart after 17:00 but this will largely depend on our mood and pleasure. 

Cost (For lunch and bus fare): 22 euro per person 

For people who are not TESOL MTh Members, but want to join on the day the special 30 euro offer we usually have during Exhibitions in August will also apply. 
The day attendance option of 25 euro is also a valid option. 

Steps to register for the event and how to pay 

TESOL MTh members need to pay prior to the event. In case there are not enough members taking part, the event WILL NOT take place, therefore your support and presence are both very important. 

A. Use the google form link to complete your data. 
* Link: 
B. Use the payment information and deposit the money. 
* Don’t forget to write the names of all the people you are paying for. 
* Use ‘’TESOL MTH TRIP’’ as payment justification 
C. Take a photo or scan the deposit slip and email it to 
D. On the day of the trip, make sure you have your payment information with you. 


Agnes Mariakaki Bio 

  • M.A. in Organizational Psychology, University of Lancaster
  • Graduate of the Paul Ekman Emotional Academy, London
  • Certified Lego Serious Play facilitator, Rasmussen Consulting, Denmark
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming certified trainer with the R. Bandler International Society of NLP
  • In charge of MindSearch Consumer Insights company since 1995
  • Member of the Board of Women in Business,  Greece, 2018
  • Μember of the  ESOMAR, 2018
  • Google Awardee, 2016

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Dear members, please welcome the TESOL Macedonia Thrace Northern Greece Executive Board 2018-2020. 
Chair: Maria Araxi Sachpazian 
Vice Chair: Maria Theologidou 
Secretary General: Emmanuel Kontovas
Treasurer: Dr. Linda Manney 
Membership Secretary: Maria Vaggeloglou 
Social Media Managers: Nora Touparlaki in charge of Linkedin 
Theodora Papapanagiotou in charge of blog and Facebook 
Dimitra Christopoulou in charge of Youtube, Twitter and 
Member at Large: Dr. Luke Prodromou.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the AGM and let us wish our association the best for the next 25 years.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Zoi Tsiviltidou & Andrew Wilcox

Speaker: Zoi Tsiviltidou 
Title: Building literacy with synthetic phonics using online tools for class practice
We will present you ways of using online tools for teaching phonics and building your students’ reading skills without compromising fun. Advanced digital learning technologies have bridged digital media literacy to English literacy for better task performance rates. We will use illustrative examples of how online tools can be used to support your teaching of synthetic phonics.

About Zoi: Certified EFL teacher and award-winner PhD Candidate working in Greece and the UK. 

Speaker: Andrew Wilcox
Title: Keeping out of touch: critical thinking and digital information 
“New” does not necessarily mean “useful” or “appropriate.” Innovation is not synonymous with progress. Sometimes they coincide, as with anaesthetics or antiseptis. Sometimes they do not, as with chlouroflourocarbons. The speaker contends that we need to take a hard critical look at the technologies that have emerged in recent decades.

About Andrew: Freelance teacher and proofreader. Decades of experience, MA, BA, PGCE. Former board member and chair of Tesol Mth

Meet Our Speakers - Helen Dalakas & Asimenia Featham

Speakers: Helena Dalakas
Title: Promoting creativity in the classroom
I will start by telling audience members a little bit about who I am.  Then proceed in explaining where and how I implemented this lesson including expectations (rubric).   
As a hands-on activity, I will break the audience in small groups and allow them to create their own enviro-bag.  Once finished, each group will spend a few minutes to present their product.

About Helena: BA(Honors), MEd, ESL specialist, Teacher, Thessaloniki, Greece

Speaker: Asimenia Featham
Title: Mind against Mind - Debates: The Ultimate Challenge for FL Learners (A guide for school debates)
Debates are without doubt an important educational tool and an effective teaching strategy with multiple benefits for language learners. This presentation will explore the potential benefits of the art of debating and will provide a step-by-step guide to demonstrate to teachers how to conduct their own debates in the FL classroom.

About Asimenia: MIL, Dip. Trans., MSc in TE Aston University UK. School owner, DoS, teacher trainer, QLS Chair.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Maria Gourmou & Olga Christodoulou

Speaker: Maria Gourmou
Title: Teaching English to young learners in Greece: Obstacles and Practical Solutions
How can English language teachers overcome the obstacles of teaching young learners? To answer this question, the attributes of young learners and the obstacles teachers face will be presented. In addition, practical solutions such as activities and techniques will be suggested in hope that more English language teachers will take on the challenge of teaching young learners in the future.

About Maria: BA English Language and Linguistics, ESL Teacher, Thessaloniki, Greece

Speaker: Olga Christodoulou
Title: Is the Shoe perhaps on the wrong foot? Dyslexia and Reading problems: Signs and Inclusive teaching practices
Reading is the most important skill that a child must acquire at school because someone must learn to read in order to read to learn. In this workshop we will try to identify the key issues in overcoming reading comprehension difficulties through the implementation of inclusive teaching practices.

About Olga: BA English Language and Literature/MA Inclusive Education specialised in Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties/Lecturer in New York College/ EAP Teacher/ Thessaloniki/Greece

Pre-Conference ELTeaser

With only a few hours away from our 25th Jubilee International Conference, don't miss the chance to read our pre-Conference ELTeaser featuring the interviews with our 5 inspiring plenary speakers, Ron Morrain, Dr Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken, Dr Luke Prodromou, Michael Robbs and Agapi Dendaki. Make sure you also check out the Conference Programme so that you can plan your time in advance! Last but definitely not least, find the report of our TESOL MTH Pie Cutting Event and Dimitris Tzouris's column! Looking forward to seeing you all over the next 3 days!
Read here

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Vasilis Ploumis, Katerina Morou, Eleni Kastrani, Vasiliki Shajaku, Maria Karagianni

Speakers: Vasilis Ploumis, Katerina Morou, Eleni Kastrani, Vasiliki Shajaku, Maria Karagianni (Mentor: Foteini Malkogiorgou)
Title: Transforming text-book language practice activities into meaningful Pedagogical Tasks
Task based language learning and teaching can achieve a pedagogically valued outcome in second language learning and facilitate language acquisition and development. Nunan (2014) supports that in order to create learning opportunities in the classroom, we must transform real-world tasks into pedagogical tasks. In this session, we will transform text-book language activities into pedagogical tasks with the aim of offering learners opportunities for authentic interaction and increased fluency and control over forms they have already partially acquired. 

Vassilis is an EFL teacher and the owner of an EFL learning center in Thessaloniki, Greece. He has been exercising the teaching profession since 2011. He is also a third year undergraduate of the BA (Hons) English Language and English Language teaching of the University of Greenwich offered at New York College. 

Vasiliki Sagiakou is currently a third-year undergraduate student at the BA (Hons) English Language and English Language Teaching Programme of the University of Greenwich offered at New York College Thessaloniki Campus. Vasiliki is working as ELT private tutor.

Katerina Morou is currently a third-year undergraduate student at the BA (Hons) English language and English language teaching programme of the University of Greenwich offered at New York College Thessaloniki. She also holds a CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) qualification awarded by Concorde International UK and she is currently working as an ELT teacher.

Maria Karagianni is an EFL teacher and private tutor. Her first degree is in journalism. Her need to enrich her knowledge and develop professionally led her to becoming a student at New York College of Thessaloniki and attend the BA (Hons) English Language and English Language Teaching programme of the University of Greenwich.

Eleni Reina Kastranis is 22 years old she is half Greek and half Dutch. She has lived in six countries and speaks three languages. She is currently a third-year undergraduate student at the BA (Hons) English Language and English Language Teaching Programme of the University of Greenwich offered at New York College Thessaloniki Campus. 

TESOL MTh 25th Jubilee Conference Program

 Our program is out! Please click here to view.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Jean Linehan & Ana Tripkovic

Speaker: Jean Linehan
Title: Read to me! Reading aloud is allowed.
In this workshop, we will discuss the many benefits (linguistic, academic and emotional) of reading aloud to students.  Next, looking at several available books, we explore ways reading aloud is used to make connections to other subjects, topics and real life issues.  Finally, we will read excerpts from the chosen book modeling best-practice read aloud techniques.

About Jean: MA International Education/ English Language Fellow Belgrade,Serbia

Speaker: Ana Tripkovic
Title: Learning tools for captivating learners
In this dynamic and practical workshop teachers for students of all ages will find some interesting ideas about using popular online tools for engaging students in creative activities. The participants will try out some of the activities and get a list with ideas that could be used in their classrooms.

About Ana: PhD ELT methodology/ Teacher, Teacher trainer, interpreter/ Serbia

Meet Our Speakers - Dina Dobrou & Bobby Zlatkov

Speaker: Dina Dobrou
Title: Dream it. Be it. The Power of the Human Brain in Education
When it comes to teaching and learning, one tool is of utmost importance: the brain. Do we know how it works and how it can be used for optimal results? In this experiential workshop you will attend a sample lesson of what it feels like to be able to harness the power of the brain and you will discuss the learning and Professional Development opportunities that derive from it.

About Dina: DipTrans, CELTA, EFL Teacher at British Council Greece

Speaker: Bobby Zlatkov
Title: Read ON
Encouraging students to read is a grand thing and maybe I am expected to give a universal recipe for this. Unfortunately, this is virtually impossible. 
Instead, I am going to share 5 very simple ideas which some of you may have already thought about, but which are tried and tested and which you will find useful for your classes.

About Bobby: CELTA & DELTA, senior teacher and teacher trainer, Sofia, Bulgaria

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Members Registration Form for TESOL Macedonia Thrace Northern Greece

Please use this form to register online. You DO NOT need to pay online or enter credit card details. This is only to save time at the registration desk and get a better understanding of our mebership. Please share this post.

Meet Our Speakers - Christina Chorianopoulou & Cory Koby

Speaker: Christina Chorianopoulou
Title: Learner Voices: The Ears Peeled Project 
How do I sound in English? And does it matter? The Ears Peeled Project has some answers; it was co-designed with learner groups and has assisted them in overcoming fears and improving skills, while helping them find their own voice. The workshop will take participants through the collaborative design process, its multi-level tasks and the (often unexpected) outcomes. 

About Christina: Christina is an English language educator, a blogger & Editor for TESOLGreece, email:, Social Media: @kryftina

Speaker: Cory Koby
Title: Proven Results of an Ambitious Extensive Reading Programme
Over a two-year period, all first and second-year students in our English department are involved in a dedicated extensive reading (ER) program in which they are required to read a minimum of 540,000 words to earn a passing grade. The presenter will demonstrate the specific methods and approaches employed to motivate learners to achieve highly successful outcomes. Benefits of an ER-specific LMS called XReading will be demonstrated, including student reading verification and convenient data collection.
About Cory: MA ELT/ Assistant Professor/ Miyagi Gakuin University, Sendai, Japan 

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Alexandra Valtzidou & Eirini Triantafyllidou

Speaker: Alexandra Valtzidou
Title: English Language Learners with Learning Differences: Who are they?
ELLs with learning difficulties (LD) represent an large part of the school population. Yet statistically they are often under-identified as sometimes the  characteristics of typical ELLs look similar to the learning differences experienced by students with LD. The current presentation will focus on how ELL students with LD differ from typically developing ELLs in several areas of language development and skills.

About Alexandra: BA Psy., BA. S. Ed, MSc L.D./ Learning Specialist/ Thessaloniki/ Greece

Speaker: Eirini Triantafyllidou
Title: My experience in UK-Based Summer Schools - Teaching multicultural classes, mixed ability classes
Many of the strategies , methods used in Summer Schools  might help teachers to get all students, active or reflective learners  to get involved to the whole procedure, create conditions that enable learners of various learning preferences and personalities to contribute and learn.

About Eirini: Business, General English Teacher, Senior Teacher/ Programme Manager Uk Summer Schools

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Meet our Speakers - Effie Kyrikakis & Despina Kalaitzidou

Speaker: Effie Kyrikakis
Title: Global Projects – Shaping a Connected World

Hear your heart beat fast. See the eyes of your students sparkle with anticipation! Feel the rush of excitement as you prepare to delight!  Why will a Global Project benefit your class? How can it be implemented into the curriculum? What projects can you participate in?

This interactive professional talk promises to be a discovery journey of sorts! Be there!

About Effie: Global Educator/ Change Agent/ Winners Education International Program Facilitator

Speaker: Despina Kalaitzidou
Title: Using Drama in TEFL: Human Rights Activities
Drama is one of the most creative and effective strategies in language learning, especially when context is provided. This workshop will be focused on Human Rights Education and will provide the students with the opportunity to practice their speaking skills, along with their creativity and imagination. The learning objectives are: to practice speaking skills, to develop awareness of human rights, to develop team building skills, to develop sensory-motor skills and coordination,to develop their imagination and creativity.

About Despina: BA English/ MA Literature / MEd Drama in Education / Teacher / Drama Facilitator /Thessaloniki

Meet our Speakers - Rina Krasniqi & Erëza Mehmeti

Speaker: Rina Krasniqi
Title: Let’s Ice-Break
Are you a teacher who constantly worries over breaking the ice with new students you meet every year? Do you feel stressed out, anxious, and clueless about where to begin? If YES, attend this workshop and help yourself and your students pave way for a better year! Carefully chosen and multiple stirring icebreakers will be presented which will be highly beneficial during your classes with different age ranges. These gripping activities will undoubtedly foster emotional comfort in class, will keep them interesting and fun, and most importantly will help students get acquainted and build rapport.

About Rina: MA in Applied Linguistics with TESOL/ English Teacher

Speaker: Erëza Mehmeti 
Title: Practical Application of Game-Based Learning/ Play. Learn. Grow.
Children enjoy learning while playing. Keeping students engaged in lessons can be a great challenge for teachers. Game-Based Learning creates a comfortable environment and provides opportunities to acquire knowledge. By using games in the classroom both learners and teachers benefit. Young learners will consider learning to be an enjoyable experience whereas teachers can collect information on students’ progress.

About Erëza: MA Applied Linguistics with TESOL/ Teacher, Teacher Trainer/ Prishtina/ Kosovo 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Margarita Kosior & Eftichis Kantarakis

Speaker: Margarita Kosior
Title: Difficult Topics Made Easier with Film
Film is a unique tool which allows students to make connections between their personal lives and the people and events on the screen, and to develop high levels of empathy. Therefore, approaching global issues through feature film, documentaries, or short inspirational videos, is an effective strategy. Thanks to its audiovisual nature and authentic appeal, film brings real life into the classroom providing a context in which the language is learnt, the students are motivated and the difficult issues are discussed with more confidence and ease.

About Margarita: Educator, teacher trainer, conference presenter, materials author, storyteller.Hobbyist photographer and dancer.

Speaker: Eftichis Kantarakis
Title: Is the future of Education in Gamification? Where did "Pokemon Go"?
Gamification seems to be the next buzz word in ELT. Based on the assumption that children love e-games, teachers have for years tried to exploit this "love" to teach English. Let's try and see how much of this is possible and whether we can trust games to do the work of planting knowledge in the minds of young learners.

About Eftichis: RSA Dip, / Teacher Trainer / Athens / Greece

Meet Our Speakers - Jeanie Iskos & Paschalia Patramani

Speaker: Jeanie Iskos
Title: Injecting Values in the Education of English Learners of Young Learners
English Curriculum especially at young levels needs to provide students not just verbal communication skills, but social and classroom skills.  Injecting lesson plans promoting values can benefit the classroom and the teacher in many ways such as classroom management and life-long interpersonal skills. This presentation will discuss what and how these values 

About Jeanie: B.A, B.S, M.Ed, Anatolia Elementary Teacher

Speaker: Paschalia Patramani
Title: Bringing out the best in students through engaging
learning experiences
How can teachers engage students and help them discover new interests while learning the English language? This presentation will demonstrate various activities in which teachers can cultivate a love for learning and an appreciation of English. The attendees will participate in some activities and see how they can bring out the best in their students.

About Paschalia: BSc Villanova University, USA/ EFL Teacher/ Serres/ Greece

Meet Our Speakers - Joan Macphail & Angeliki Apostolidou

Speakers: Joan Macphail & Angeliki Apostolidou
Title: TEFL: Fast Food or Gourmet Gastronomy? Food for Thought!
Increasingly we rely on ready-made food and learning packages.  Our workshop considers Fast food and Gourmet food outlets, and their correspondence with teaching establishments. 

 We look at our profession in comparative terms, considering actual policies, practices, perceptions which create problems. Finally, in our very own Bake-Off, we work to produce solutions to our perceived obstacles, creating recipes for gourmet teaching. 

About Joan: MA,Teacher-trainer, Asessor, Director, Thessaloniki.

About Angeliki: DOTE, Teacher, Teacher-trainer, Director, Athens

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Dimitris Primalis & Tatjana Jurišić

Speaker: Dimitris Primalis
Title: Creativity has classroom boredom for ...breakfast

Looking for an antidote to students’ indifference and lack of engagement? Developing creative thinking skills along with traditional skills can be done seamlessly without radical changes in the syllabus. The workshop focuses on simple ways you can tweak activities and tasks to stimulate learners’ imagination with or without learning technology. 

About Dimitris: Dip. RSA/Teacher/ Athens/Greece

Speaker:Tatjana Jurišić
Title: Shadow Theatre in ELT
This workshop aims at presenting and practicing techniques and methodology of using Shadow Theater while teaching EFL to young learners. The participants will get acquainted with various materials and equipment that can be used and gain experience of directing and performing a short play.  

About Tatjana: BA TEFL / Teacher, Teacher Trainer / Novi Sad / Serbia

Meet Our Speakers - Kyriaki Koukouraki

Speaker: Kyriaki Koukouraki
Title: Keep calm and keep reading

Extensive reading in EFL classrooms is often overlooked, considered time-consuming, difficult, or even perceived as irrelevant in exam-oriented courses. However, the targeted incorporation of extensive reading, e.g. literary texts,has multiple advantages such as the improving students’ reading skills,widening their horizons, expanding their vocabulary and language awareness,developing their emotional intelligence,and fostering critical thinking.

About Kyriaki: Dr Koukouraki is a DELTA certified lecturer for English (EAP) and has major teaching experience at Greek and UK universities. Her academic interests also include Translation, Sociolinguistics and Intercultural Communication.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Despina Karamitsou & Effrosyni Bisiri

Speaker: Despina Karamitsou
Title: Classroom Crimes ans Court Cases
You are invited to taste a ''mysterious'' recipe for success, with lots of practical ideas that will enchant and transform the most reluctant, bored, indifferent student into someone who will be highly interested and actively participate in the lesson in order to  examine the evidence, find the culprit and distribute justice (suitable for students over 11years old).

About Despina: MA in English Language, Literature & Culture/ Thessaloniki/Greece

Speaker: Effrosyni Bisiri
Title: Designing a story-based syllabus
When designing a syllabus based upon a specific framework for young learners, teachers have to be aware of how the various tasks and activities will contribute to the child development and language learning creating a pleasant and motivating learning environment. For this reason, stories allow the learners to be active participants in the learning process and encourage them to be autonomous.

About Effrosyni: BA TEFL, M.ed. TEFL, Kozani, Greece

Meet Our Speakers - David Gibson & Danny Singh

Speaker: David Gibson
Title: The Use Of Fairy Tales in Language Teaching
Everyone around the world knows Fairy Tales. Call them Folk Tales or Traditional Stories, they are universal. In this illustrated and interactive workshop we will explore the nature of Fairy Tales and how the features of them can be used to enhance learning in students of all ages.

About David: David Gibson taught for 44 years in England and Greece. He is a founder-member of TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, Northern Greece.

Speaker: Danny Singh
Title: Team Building Inside and Outside the Classroom
Team building is as important to a great lesson as the content itself. If all members of the group are willing to collaborate with each other, the lesson will be successful and everybody benefits! In this practical workshop, we will actively perform several team building exercises that you can use inside and outside the classroom with guaranteed success!  

About Danny: Danny Singh is a Teacher trainer, Writer, Team Builder/Rome/Italy