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World Teachers' Day 2021

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Find out more about our events to celebrate World Teachers' Day 2021.

World Teachers' Day

UNESCO World Teachers' Day takes place every year on 5 October. It is a perfect opportunity to thank teachers for their hard work and reflect on the difficult and challenging work they do.

"In this crisis, teachers have shown, as they have done so often, great leadership and innovation in ensuring that #LearningNeverStops, that no learner is left behind. Around the world, they have worked individually and collectively to find solutions and create new learning environments for their students to allow education to continue. Their role advising on school reopening plans and supporting students with the return to school is just as important.”

Joint statement from Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization, Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF, David Edwards, General Secretary, Education International on the occasion of World Teachers’ Day 2020

Since 2016, TeachingEnglish have celebrated World Teachers' Day by hosting a series of talks and workshops designed to support you in your teaching or your work in teacher development. From hosting a five-day web conference in 2016 to one-day online events in 2019 and 2020 with IATEFL, we see World Teachers' Day as an important time to offer as much support as possible to educators around the world. 

World Teachers' Day 2021

In 2021, we will be hosting eight talks by experienced teachers and experts in English Language Teaching. Each 60-minute session will give you the chance to think about and discuss a range of different issues and themes with English language teachers around the world, as well as providing you with practical ideas that you can take into your online or face-to-face classrooms.


Our year's World Teachers' Day online event for 2021 starts on 5 October at 12.00pm UK time, and runs until 8 October. 


Tuesday 05 October - 12.00pm UK 

Sophia Mavridi - De Montfort University 

Looking back to look ahead; Language teaching experiences during COVID-19

The rapid transition from face-to-face to alternative ways of instruction has significantly disrupted all sectors of education including English Language Teaching. While this disruption has exposed existing gaps and inequalities, it has also revealed extraordinary educational resilience and resourcefulness. 

Drawing on a large-scale study on language teaching experiences during COVID-19, this session will offer in-depth insights into language professionals’ perceptions, experiences, challenges, and opportunities as instruction shifted from face-to-face delivery to online. More importantly, it will look ahead and discuss how these positive and negative experiences can inform future decision-making, planning and strategy. 

As the findings relate specifically to teaching languages remotely, this session is relevant to language professionals (teachers, trainers, managers and policy makers) who are interested in sustaining transformative change; not just as an emergency response but as a way of moving the educational experience forward.


Tuesday 05 October - 17.00pm UK

Lesley Fearn - Open University 

Single Voices, Global Choices: An Online Community Project

There has been much research into the global value of Online Community Projects (OCPs), but little into their potential for foreign or second language teachers. Therefore, many secondary school language teachers create their theory by integrating OCPs into their curriculums, even during the recent pandemic and lockdown.

This presentation provides examples from ‘Single Voices, Global Choices’(Zielonka and Fearn, 2021), an OCP hosted on various platforms, such as WordPress, eTwinning and Teams. It explains how integrating OCPs into language curriculums can support teachers in their professional development and incite learner-centred approaches. The difficulties and compensations of learner-centred OCP activities are outlined in this presentation, and examples are given of how they motivated and empowered both teachers and learners, even during the darkest days of lockdown.

Participants following this presentation will come away with a clearer idea of what an OCP is and how it can enrich their curriculums and empower their learners.


Wednesday 06 October - 12.00pm UK

Joe Dale - Independent language consultant

Quizzing tools, retrieval practice and multi-modal feedback in language lessons

In this webinar, Joe Dale will showcase a variety of examples of good practice in online teaching from practising secondary school languages teachers on Twitter. He will explain ways in which teachers have dealt with life during the pandemic and show how different cross-platform tools can promote collaboration, independent learning, retrieval practice and assessment opportunities in a remote teaching and hybrid teaching context. Joe will demonstrate how easy it is to enhance learning in a purposeful way with a range of tools which are device agnostic allowing learners to practise, reflect and share the results easily. Participants will have the opportunity to explore a practical evidence-based approach to formative assessment.


Wednesday 06 October - 17.00pm UK

Matthew Ellman - Cambridge University Press

A recipe for teacher learning

To be worthwhile, teacher development needs to have an impact on teaching and learning. In this talk we’ll look at the essential ingredients of impactful teacher development activity. If you’re a teacher, you’ll learn how you can make sure that the time you spend on development is productive, and make lasting changes to your classroom practice. If you’re a trainer, you’ll find out what you can do to ensure your training makes a difference once your trainees go back to their classrooms.


Thursday 07 October - 12.00pm UK

Joanna Gore - British Council 

Teenagers: Flow and the random factor

This session will demonstrate two approaches that stimulate teenagers’ motivation to learn:

  • Flow theory – helps us create the classroom conditions for intrinsic motivation to flourish. 
  • ‘The random factor’ (that is, exploiting activities based on an absurd premise) – takes away students’ fear of the wrong answer, and encourages critical and creative thinking.


Thursday 07 October - 17.00pm UK

Jessica Mackay - EIM, University of Barcelona 

Using WhatsApp for interactive tasks 

As teachers, we are constantly looking for opportunities to exploit the learning potential of the tools and resources that our learners are already using. WhatsApp, or other free messaging platforms, are now almost ubiquitous in many contexts. This interactive workshop reports on a project designed to increase EFL learners’ exposure to English outside class through a programme of tasks on the social media platform ‘WhatsApp’. We will look at the different activities used, e.g. drills, Q & A and guessing games and discuss the participation generated and the type of language produced. We’ll also see how the learners’ interaction in the group went beyond the tasks set by the teacher, which has interesting implications for learner engagement, group dynamics and learner agency. Finally, we’ll use this experience to suggest some tips for encouraging successful online interaction.


Friday 08 October - 12.00pm UK

Nicky Hockly - The Consultants-E

Digital literacies

Digital literacies are the technical skills and social practices needed to effectively interact with digital technologies. As English language teachers, we are helping our students to communicate in a global lingua franca in an increasingly wired world. We need to ensure that they are given not just the linguistic tools to do so, but an awareness of the wider social practices surrounding the appropriate use of language which is increasingly being mediated by technology. This workshop looks at some of the theory underpinning digital literacies and explores how teachers can develop their learners’ digital literacies (while often developing their own!). By the end of this webinar, you will have a clearer understanding of what digital literacies are, and why they are important. You will also have some practical ideas about how to develop your learners’ digital literacies in class while also supporting their language learning.

Register for this event


Friday 08 October - 17.00pm UK

Ceri Jones & Katherine Bilsborough - ELT Footprint 

Eco-literacy: What? Why? And How?

If you are thinking, Eco-literacy! What is it? Why is it important? How can I do it? … this webinar is for you. You will leave the session with a clear understanding of what eco-literacy means, why it is important and, more importantly, how you can easily start developing your learners’ eco-literacy skills … from tomorrow.

Register for this event


How to register for the events

You can register for each directly from this page by clicking the 'Register for this event' link. Alternatively, click on the titles of the talks you are interested in above to see more information. For each talk, there is a 'Register for the webinar' link. Click on the link to register for the talk.


Important information about our webinars - please read

How to watch the webinar

Our webinars are free.

They take place in Zoom. You do not need any special equipment to watch the webinars apart from a computer with the audio on. 


You should register for the webinar at the link provided above. In order to receive updates and a link to join the webinar, you will need to provide a valid email address. Your information will not be used for marketing purposes unless you explicitly give us permission to do so during the registration process. For more information about the British Council's privacy policy, please follow this link: 

Once you have registered for the webinar, you will receive an email with:

  • a link to join  
  • a passcode that you will need to enter to join the webinar 
  • any other relevant information

Please do not delete this email.

If you have any specific accessibility requests, please contact us by email at You should say which webinar you are attending and ask us to contact you regarding your needs. 

Instructions for joining the webinar

  1. Click on the link that was emailed to you when you registered for the webinar
  2. If requested, introduce the passcode that was emailed to you when you registered for the webinar
Webinar recordings

All TeachingEnglish webinars are recorded and available to watch on demand between 24 and 48 hours after the live webinar has ended. To view the recording of this webinar, please visit the same page on TeachingEnglish, or go to where you will find a list of all webinars and available recordings. Recordings will be available to watch for a minimum of six months and up to two years after the live event.


Certificates of attendance are available for all attendees. The link to obtain your certificate is provided in the following places:

  • At the end of the webinar in the chat box
  • In the 'Thank you for attending email' that you will receive 1 day after the webinar.
  • At the end of the feedback survey once you have answered the questions.
  • You should type your name on the certificate and download it. We recommend using Google Chrome or Internet Explorer to do this.
Copies of the presentations

Where possible, we will make a PDF copy of the presentation available for you to download. However, for copyright reasons, this may not always be allowed.