Title: The Buzz about Creativity

The world is currently all abuzz with creativity. In many spheres of life there are pressures to outperform the competition through creative processes and products. In education, curricula are becoming more crowded with less room for teachers to move, calling on them to be more creative within these confines. In language teaching, there are many pressures to conform to guidelines and meet language proficiency outcomes. Further, we are in the post-method era with a firm belief in teachers applying their knowledge of the content they are teaching, their knowledge of general pedagogical principles, and most importantly, their skills at combining these two forms of knowledge into an interesting, accessible, learnable and motivating form of knowledge and skills for their students.

This key role for creativity in language teaching is the theme of this talk. How can creativity be realised in the everyday life of the classroom? What principles of creativity in classrooms can we apply to areas outside of the classroom, for teachers as well as for language learners? I’ll provide some thoughts on this based on my own recent research projects, and set the scene for a conference day filled with teachers’ ideas for fellow teachers on how to "do creativity".

Phil Chappell is a TESOL educator in Macquarie University’s Linguistics department. He convenes the Graduate Certificate of TESOL, conducts research into language teaching and learning, and publishes articles, book chapters and books from his research. His new book is all about group work and interaction in the language classroom, and a forthcoming book chapter is on fostering creativity through dialogue in the classroom. Phil is also the Executive Editor of the English Australia Journal and an active contributor to AusELT social networks.

Chappell, P. (2014). Group work in the English language curriculum: Sociocultural and ecological perspectives on second language classroom learning. London: Palgrave MacMillan
Chappell, P. (2015) Creativity through Inquiry Dialogue. In R.H. Jones and J.C. Richards (eds). Creativity in Language Teaching. Perspectives from Research and Practice. London: Routledge (August, 2015)