Professional Learning Workshops with Dr Gianfranco Conti (The Language Gym)

17 October 2017
2.00pm – 5.30pm
Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower 2,
Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Docklands.

The Centre for Teaching and Learning Languages (CTaLL) presents Dr Gianfranco Conti, co-author of ‘The Language Teacher Toolkit,' winner of the 2015 TES best resource contributor award and founder of ‘The Language Gym.’

Event details

Part of the Innovative Languages Education seminar series, these workshops will bring together language education professionals to explore contemporary research and its hands-on implications for teaching.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in practical activities for teaching; handouts and material for future reference will be provided and a certificate of attendance for professional learning can be provided upon request.

Registration costs $25 for a single workshop; $40 for both.
Registration is free for Deakin University staff and students.


Maximising Long-Term Retention by Working with Human Forgetting Rates

2.00 pm—3.30 pm

Dr. Gianfranco Conti will discuss the challenges that the finite processing and long-term storage capacity of the human brain and other affective factors contextual to language learning pose to the foreign language teachers. Based on the latest cognitive and second language acquisition research, he will suggest practical ways to maximize teaching and learning time by (a) embedding ILRs (Implicit Learning Routines); (b) teaching high-surrender-value functional chunks as opposed to single words and (c) a range of recycling techniques which maximize uptake of the core elements of the target curriculum through extensive spaced exposure to comprehensible input and pushed output.

Breaking the Sound Barrier – Teaching Listening Bottom-Up

4.00 pm—5.30 pm

Dr. Gianfranco Conti will propose that the listening-instruction methodologies currently in use are flawed as they focus on the product of listening, i.e. the answers to questions on a text, rather than on the process of listening, (i.e. learning how to listen). As an alternative, he will advocate an approach to Modern Languages listening instruction based on Skill Theory, which addresses the most neglected dimension of aural instruction, i.e. micro-listening skills acquisition. After providing a concise account of the way aural input is processed by the human brain and discussing the challenges that L2 comprehension poses to novice-to-intermediate L2 learners, he will propose an evidence-based approach to listening instruction he calls L.A.M. (Listening as Modelling) which focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on the development of bottom-up-processing skills. A range of activities and instructional sequences illustrating his approach will also be presented, demonstrated and discussed.

About the presenter

Dr. Gianfranco Conti is the co-author of the best-selling guide for language teachers ‘The Language Teacher Toolkit’ and is internationally renowned for his popular award-winning blog ‘The Language Gym’ whose mission is the dissemination of current research in a language that is accessible to classroom practitioners. An accomplished author of instructional material, in 2015 he was awarded the Best Contributor Award by the TES (Times Educational Supplement. In the same here he founded his language learning website,

Dr. Conti has been teaching Modern Foreign Languages for 25 years. He has taught French, English, German, Italian and Spanish at primary, secondary, further education and university level. He has been Head of languages at various secondary schools in Britain and overseas and he is currently teaching French and Spanish in a leading British International School in Malaysia.

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Key information

Date and time

17 October 2017
2.00pm – 5.30pm


Deakin Downtown, Level 12, Tower 2,
Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Docklands