Monday, June 11, 2018

Summer Event 2018 - An interview with Agnes Mariakaki

1. Could you tell us more about you and your professional background?

I am a psychologist, having trained extensively in trauma therapy, social research and non-verbal behaviour. Since 1996 I have been carrying out qualitative research projects, focusing on the psychology of organisations, groups and consumers, through MindSearch, a company of consumer insights. I am a  Neuro Linguistic Programming Trainer and Coach and have carried out the only NLP Master Practitioner program in Education in Greece. I am also a certified Lego Serious Play facilitator and have found in action that creative minds express themselves best “hands on”, through play. 

2. What do you hope participants will gain from your session?

I hope that following my session they will be inspired to enrich their teaching toolkit with humour and playfulness. I grew up in an educational culture where children were seen and not heard, unless spoken too, where laughter in the classroom meant that the reverence of the teaching process was breached. I now know otherwise. Humour is a powerful kit which can make children feel safe and secure in the classroom. Laughter itself is the springboard of the kinds of positive emotions that are most conducive to learning and retention. When teaching is accompanied by fun, it becomes irresistible, and knowledge assimilation is effortless and joyous. My ambition is to communicate some ways in which that can be effected. 

3. What are some practical ways teachers can "recharge" their batteries”  during summer?

Summer for teachers is the period for “self care”:
a) Let us be physical this Summer. Throughout the school year, there is no time to focus on physical needs, but during Summer it is truly renewing to be able to swim, to walk in nature, to work out, to enjoy the sun.
b) Step back from technology: try to avoid your laptop, tablet or your mobile phone - instead, do things with your hands, like paint, draw, sing, cook, engage in your hobbies.
c) Reconnect with friends: during the school year we hardly have the time to do anything more than catching up with people that we share friendship and connection with. Yet, these close relationships replenish our strength and inner stamina, and fill us up with the joy of life.
d)  Step out of the well trodden path: do something different this Summer, go to places you have not been before, meet new people, learn a new kind of dance, watch movies that have been in your bucket list for a long time, go to a different beach you have not visited before. You do not need to travel to the other side of the world to see new things, to be inspired and to feel renewed. You can be a new person by choosing to do simple, every day things differently, exploring the many and diverse beautiful colours of life. Breaking away from routine, from habit is the most refreshing and renewing kind of rest…

Have a glorious Summer, 2018!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Summer Event 2018: A day-trip to Taxiarchis with Agnes Mariakaki

Date: Sunday, 17th June 
Place: Taxiarchis, Chalkidiki at Apolymeni Petra Resort 
Time: 9:30 (Bus leaves from White Tower) 

On Sunday 17th June, we will leave our cars home and get on a bus to go to the lovely resort, Apolimeni Petra in Taxiarchis, a verdant area in the mountain of Cholomontas ( 

After an enchanting bus ride, we reach our venue where we will be treated to coffee and cookies (sponsored by TESOL MTh). There will be two sessions on the day. 

First, Chair Maria-Araxi Sachpazian will give information on how TESOL MTh members can apply for IATEFL Scholarships and how they can use the Basic Membership option to their greatest advantage. This is going to be a very short and practical presentation. 

Our main guest speaker is psychologist Agnes Mariakaki, a person we all know and who has also been a plenary speaker in one of our past conferences. Agnes will present a light-hearted, practical session entitled “Learning through Comedic Play!”. This session will require the members’ active participation. 

Session Summary 
This session aims to examine how teachers can use “active humour” and comedic improvisation to enhance language practice, imagination, confidence, risk taking and also activate positive learning states. This practical workshop will give you a renewed sense of your own sense of humour and will help you see how you can use it with boldness and efficiency in the classroom, to win over kids minds (and hearts) for learning!

After the session, we will have a delicious lunch at Apolymeni Petra. The menu is the following: 


Appetisers (for every 4 people) 
Vegetable crepe 
Mushrooms Sauté 
Grilled goat cheese 
Choice of Salads 

Main Course (each member can choose one from the following) 
Pork Steak 
Smoked pork Steak 
Grilled Chicken 
Veal in tomato sauce 

Unlimited house Wine, beer & Soft drinks 
Chocolate gateux 

After lunch members can have coffee, hike in the forest around the resort or have a swim in the (rather cold) swimming pool. For those interested in Yoga, board member Theodora Papanagiotou will offer a session in the open air, so make sure you have your yoga mats or a towel. The bus will depart after 17:00 but this will largely depend on our mood and pleasure. 

Cost (For lunch and bus fare): 22 euro per person 

For people who are not TESOL MTh Members, but want to join on the day the special 30 euro offer we usually have during Exhibitions in August will also apply. 
The day attendance option of 25 euro is also a valid option. 

Steps to register for the event and how to pay 

TESOL MTh members need to pay prior to the event. In case there are not enough members taking part, the event WILL NOT take place, therefore your support and presence are both very important. 

A. Use the google form link to complete your data. 
* Link: 
B. Use the payment information and deposit the money. 
* Don’t forget to write the names of all the people you are paying for. 
* Use ‘’TESOL MTH TRIP’’ as payment justification 
C. Take a photo or scan the deposit slip and email it to 
D. On the day of the trip, make sure you have your payment information with you. 


Agnes Mariakaki Bio 

  • M.A. in Organizational Psychology, University of Lancaster
  • Graduate of the Paul Ekman Emotional Academy, London
  • Certified Lego Serious Play facilitator, Rasmussen Consulting, Denmark
  • Neuro Linguistic Programming certified trainer with the R. Bandler International Society of NLP
  • In charge of MindSearch Consumer Insights company since 1995
  • Member of the Board of Women in Business,  Greece, 2018
  • Μember of the  ESOMAR, 2018
  • Google Awardee, 2016

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Dear members, please welcome the TESOL Macedonia Thrace Northern Greece Executive Board 2018-2020. 
Chair: Maria Araxi Sachpazian 
Vice Chair: Maria Theologidou 
Secretary General: Emmanuel Kontovas
Treasurer: Dr. Linda Manney 
Membership Secretary: Maria Vaggeloglou 
Social Media Managers: Nora Touparlaki in charge of Linkedin 
Theodora Papapanagiotou in charge of blog and Facebook 
Dimitra Christopoulou in charge of Youtube, Twitter and 
Member at Large: Dr. Luke Prodromou.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the AGM and let us wish our association the best for the next 25 years.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Zoi Tsiviltidou & Andrew Wilcox

Speaker: Zoi Tsiviltidou 
Title: Building literacy with synthetic phonics using online tools for class practice
We will present you ways of using online tools for teaching phonics and building your students’ reading skills without compromising fun. Advanced digital learning technologies have bridged digital media literacy to English literacy for better task performance rates. We will use illustrative examples of how online tools can be used to support your teaching of synthetic phonics.

About Zoi: Certified EFL teacher and award-winner PhD Candidate working in Greece and the UK. 

Speaker: Andrew Wilcox
Title: Keeping out of touch: critical thinking and digital information 
“New” does not necessarily mean “useful” or “appropriate.” Innovation is not synonymous with progress. Sometimes they coincide, as with anaesthetics or antiseptis. Sometimes they do not, as with chlouroflourocarbons. The speaker contends that we need to take a hard critical look at the technologies that have emerged in recent decades.

About Andrew: Freelance teacher and proofreader. Decades of experience, MA, BA, PGCE. Former board member and chair of Tesol Mth

Meet Our Speakers - Helen Dalakas & Asimenia Featham

Speakers: Helena Dalakas
Title: Promoting creativity in the classroom
I will start by telling audience members a little bit about who I am.  Then proceed in explaining where and how I implemented this lesson including expectations (rubric).   
As a hands-on activity, I will break the audience in small groups and allow them to create their own enviro-bag.  Once finished, each group will spend a few minutes to present their product.

About Helena: BA(Honors), MEd, ESL specialist, Teacher, Thessaloniki, Greece

Speaker: Asimenia Featham
Title: Mind against Mind - Debates: The Ultimate Challenge for FL Learners (A guide for school debates)
Debates are without doubt an important educational tool and an effective teaching strategy with multiple benefits for language learners. This presentation will explore the potential benefits of the art of debating and will provide a step-by-step guide to demonstrate to teachers how to conduct their own debates in the FL classroom.

About Asimenia: MIL, Dip. Trans., MSc in TE Aston University UK. School owner, DoS, teacher trainer, QLS Chair.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Meet Our Speakers - Maria Gourmou & Olga Christodoulou

Speaker: Maria Gourmou
Title: Teaching English to young learners in Greece: Obstacles and Practical Solutions
How can English language teachers overcome the obstacles of teaching young learners? To answer this question, the attributes of young learners and the obstacles teachers face will be presented. In addition, practical solutions such as activities and techniques will be suggested in hope that more English language teachers will take on the challenge of teaching young learners in the future.

About Maria: BA English Language and Linguistics, ESL Teacher, Thessaloniki, Greece

Speaker: Olga Christodoulou
Title: Is the Shoe perhaps on the wrong foot? Dyslexia and Reading problems: Signs and Inclusive teaching practices
Reading is the most important skill that a child must acquire at school because someone must learn to read in order to read to learn. In this workshop we will try to identify the key issues in overcoming reading comprehension difficulties through the implementation of inclusive teaching practices.

About Olga: BA English Language and Literature/MA Inclusive Education specialised in Dyslexia and Specific Learning Difficulties/Lecturer in New York College/ EAP Teacher/ Thessaloniki/Greece

Pre-Conference ELTeaser

With only a few hours away from our 25th Jubilee International Conference, don't miss the chance to read our pre-Conference ELTeaser featuring the interviews with our 5 inspiring plenary speakers, Ron Morrain, Dr Deniz Kurtoğlu Eken, Dr Luke Prodromou, Michael Robbs and Agapi Dendaki. Make sure you also check out the Conference Programme so that you can plan your time in advance! Last but definitely not least, find the report of our TESOL MTH Pie Cutting Event and Dimitris Tzouris's column! Looking forward to seeing you all over the next 3 days!
Read here