COBIS Conference for EAL Staff, 16-17 February, 2017

Supporting EAL Students in International Schools

Location: British School of Bucharest, Romania

Dates: 16-17 February 2017

Delegate fees: COBIS member: 375 EUR / Non member: 475 EUR


A mixture of keynote speeches, breakout workshops, question and answer sessions and individual consultations. Sessions will include:

  • Equal Rights to the Curriculum: Promoting home languages as a right, a fact and a resource
  • Interlingual Teaching and Learning
  • ESL Strategies for Secondary Mainstream Teachers
  • Translanguaging
  • Deconstructing Academic Language
  • Using Inspirational Pedagogy to Teach Through a Multilingual Lens
  • Opportunity for participating schools to share and discuss their school EAL policies and approaches

Click here to see a copy of the conference programme

The course will be facilitated by leading EAL experts:

Dr Patricia Mertin. Patricia Mertin is an enthusiastic educator whose special area of interest is developing effective teaching methods to achieve successful learning in particular for second language students in international schools. She offers professional development for teachers in the area of second language acquisition and the role it plays in making teaching and learning accessible to those students whose mother tongue is not English. Many years of experience in this area, combined with consulting engagements in a variety of international schools, have prepared her well to advise high quality international schools.

As a fluent bilingual speaker, in both English and German, she has been an advocate for second and additional language learners. Dr Mertin has presented regularly on topics connected to language acquisition at conferences for the Association of German International Schools (AGIS), the Central and Eastern European Schools Association (CEESA), and Europe Council of International Schools (ECIS). She has also given in-service training at a number of schools. She was a member and then Chair-person of the ECIS English as a Second Language (ESL) and Mother Tongue committee for several years. During this time she was the local organizer in Düsseldorf for the ECIS ESL and Mother Tongue conference, with over 400 participants, in 2011.

Eithne Gallagher. Eithne Gallagher is a recognised authority in the field of ESL in International Education and has over twenty years’ experience of teaching in international schools. She has twice been chair of the European Council of International Schools ESL & Mother-tongue Committee. She is a regular presenter at International School conferences, has delivered workshops and lectures for teachers, administrators and parents across the world, and has contributed to several IB initiatives. Her writings on ESL & Mother-tongue issues have been widely published in educational journals and magazines. Her book, “Equal Rights to the Curriculum”, argues for school reform to meet the educational needs of all children growing up in a multicultural society. Eithne’s most recent work, “The Glitterlings”, is a story-based Early Years programme for International Schools and Pre-schools. It was published by Oxford University Press in October 2015. Eithne is the mother of three bilingual children.

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Dr Maurice Carder.

Maurice Carder graduated with a BA honours degree in Spanish in 1967 (Bristol); he followed a PGCE with a special focus on ESL in 1970 (London, Institute of Education); an MA in Linguistics for English Language Teaching in 1979 (Lancaster); and delved deeper into the complexities of student language potential in a doctorate on ‘Challenging The English-Only Orthodoxy: Linguistic Pluralism, Recognition And Diversity Rather Than Assimilation’ in 2010 (University College London, Institute of Education). From 1967-1981 he was teaching English in various parts of the world in universities, institutes and schools, and from 1981-2009 headed the ESL & Mother Tongue department at the Vienna International School, Secondary. He worked closely with the IB on developing ‘language A2’ in the Diploma programme, and on the ‘language B’ Guide and the ‘Second Language Acquisition and Mother Tongue Development’ Guide for the Middle Years Programme. He was an examiner for the IB Diploma language A2 and a moderator for language B in the IB Middle Years Programme. He served on many CIS Accreditation teams around the world, co-chairing them at times. He chaired the ECIS ESL & Mother Tongue Committee and organised several conferences. He has given workshops on ESL and mother tongue issues at international schools worldwide, including teaching ‘ESL in the Mainstream’. He was full-time head of department and teacher at the Vienna International School until his retirement at the age of 65 in 2009.

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Conference dinner:

Date: Thursday 17th February

Location: Caru Cu Bere, a famous traditional Romanian restaurant

Transport: Buses will be provided


Hotel Tecadra, 500m from school (preferred hotel).

Other hotels can be found on the same street, approximately 1 km from the school.

Delegates are responsible for arranging their own accommodation and transportation between hotels and the school.

Further information:

For further information about the event, delegates may contact:


Booking for this conference has now closed.