Maria Isabel Requena De Lamo & Matthew James

Developing Multilingual and Multicultural Forums with English

With the advent and demand for multilingual pursuits that effectively use English as an intermediary for multicultural academic and professional development, we will demonstrate how English can enhance multilingualism and multiculturalism in order to justify the realisation of professional forums between experts and language learners. Moreover, we will stress the importance of continuous multilingual training for ESL/EFL teachers.


In this talk, we will show how there is a fundamental gap between language learners and ESL/EFL experts, professionals and teachers with regard to English-language training and teaching in a multicultural context. We will also highlight how a unique and original event like Feria de Ensañanza de Idiomas de Castilla-La Mancha (together with TESOL CLM as a co-organizer, which was the first of its kind in Spain) can encourage ESL/EFL experts, professionals, and teachers to increase their interaction with language learners. This type of interaction that quite frankly almost remains absent and undefined negatively impacts the creation of innovative methodologies for the classroom and extended learning beyond. With the subsequent implementation of various perceptions and realised techniques, language learners can remain informed with how to best strengthen their capabilities.

We will shed light upon how current trends in English Language Teaching fail to consider the growing importance of multilingualism and how the English language as the dominant intermediary can play an even greater role in increasing their respective scope, thereby faciliating the development of multilingual pursuits. Naturally, the development of multilingual pursuits in English such as the realisation of professional forums like FEREICAM requires the necessary justification. Here, we will define the profile of both the expert and language learner while analyzing their interactive behaviours. Moreover, we will stress the importance of why multilingual and multicultural awareness training for ESL/EFL teachers can actually benefit language learners.

Lastly, we will reflect on the difference between language learning and language acquisition while it is the responsibility of language experts to promote both from various perspectives (academic, leisure, cultural, social, etc). Every ESL/EFL teacher will undoubtedly find this topic relevant for their professional development and will benefit from the endless possibilities to connect and network with other language experts and language learners.


With studies in English Philology from the University of Murcia, as the director of Shakespeare Idiomas since 2003 and recently a Cambridge Examiner, Maria Isabel has presented at several conferences such as FECEI and CIEB (among others) regarding language development. She is the founder and co-organizer (with TESOL CLM) of Feria de Ensañanza de Idiomas de Castilla-La Mancha (FEREICAM).


With more than 15 years of academic and professional experience throughout the US, Europe, and Asia in Economics and Finance, Matthew joined Shakespeare Idiomas as a Language Consultant to promote multilingual development with English. Matthew is also a national member of the British Chamber of Commerce Spain and the Delegate for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce Spain to Castilla-La Mancha.