St.Petersburg English Language Teachers' Association was created in 1994 as a forum for anyone interested in teaching, studying, or using the English language.
The Association aims at bringing together St.Petersburg teachers of English at all levels and in all areas: junior and secondary school, college and university, adult education and ESP.
One of our primary objectives is to encourage specialists in EFL methodology and communication, teachers and textbook writers, as well as interpreters and translators to share experience and discuss ideas with colleagues both from Russia and the English-speaking world.
We have identified the following areas that require SPELTA's special attention:
It is our firm belief that the joint efforts of St.Petersburg English language specialists and their foreign colleagues will help English teaching in Russia to meet the country's rapidly changing needs.
SPELTA works in close conjunction with the British Council and American Cultural Center in St.Petersburg, drawing on their resources and the experience of their experts. We are glad to have full cooperation and support of St.Petersburg State University, the Russian Academy of Sciences, Hertzen Pedagogical University and other colleges and schools, as well as the publishers: Cambridge University Press, Macmillan Heinemann, Oxford University Press, and Longman.
SPELTA is an Associate of IATEFL, the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (Great Britain) and an Affiliate of TESOL, the US-based organization of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
The main activities of SPELTA are aimed at providing EFL teachers with more materials, making them aware of new trends. They are built around two major conferences usually held in autumn and in spring. These events attracted audiences of hundreds.
In autumn, it is a kind of set sail to make a good fresh start for the academic year. In spring, it is more like sharing new findings and summing up. Traditionally the conferences are theme based, the spring one usually being devoted to American Studies, while the autumn one is usually connected with one central theme, such as Dictionaries, Teaching Materials, Testing, Listening Comprehension, Grammar and numerous other subjects, and all papers are thematically organised into the tracks of the different Special Interest Groups (SIGs). A number of joint book exhibitions have helped to acquaint Russian teachers with recent publications on ELT.
SIGs deserve to be mentioned specially. These are groupings within SPELTA focusing on the Special Interests which the group members have in common. The SIGs are an acknowledgement that most of us have a Special Interest within the profession which is important to us. In the periods between conferences, SIGs may arrange seminars and workshops of their own on smaller scale, but not necessarily less effective. However, the majority of SPELTA members do not consider themselves belonging to one SIG. They prefer to participate in all kinds of activities they can.
Long-term effective collaboration of SPELTA with the British Council and US Information Service American Center as well as with publishers and by all means the international status of our organisation, an Associate of International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) and Affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) enable us to provide SPELTA members and conference participants with international links to highly qualified ELT professionals all over the world, to invite famous ELT authors and lecturers, such as Michael Swan, Catherine Walter, Jeremy Comfort, Simon Greenall, Joanne Morley, Philip Hosay, to name just a few. There are also opportunities to hear and talk to St. Petersburg ELT celebrities from the main higher education establishments like St. Petersburg State University, Hertzen Pedagogical University, RussianAcademy of Sciences, Institute of Foreign Languages, etc.
Apart from big conferences, SPELTA holds various smaller scale seminars and workshops, not exclusively through SIGs, sometimes intensive training for in-service teachers who wish to "recharge batteries" and improve language and methodology level.
SPELTA Newsletter is published twice a year, in April and November, informing the members about major events in the world of ELT. It contains materials on methodology, conference proceedings, interviews with famous ELT authors, etc. Membership in IATEFL and TESOL provides us with nternational ELT news as well as information on forthcoming conferences, symposia, etc.. It is distributed free among our approx. 500 members, and outside oganisations and individuals who take an interest in our work.
We see the future of SPELTA both as an idea-generating body and a powerful instrument for disseminating information aimed at raising ELT standards in this country. We seek close connections with similar associations inside and outside Russia and the chance to cooperate fully on the international ELT scene.
SPELTA is open to professional teachers of English: we are glad to consider all applications.
You can join SPELTA's ranks by paying a nominal entrance fee. Membership can be either individual or collective. To become a member go here.
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