Plenary speakers

The organisers of the Sixth International Conference on Task-Based Language Teaching are proud to announce the following three plenary speakers:
Alison Mackey, Geoff Petty, and Kris Van den Branden.

Alison Mackey

Alison Mackey Alison Mackey is Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University. She investigates second language learning across the lifespan, looking at both younger and older children, as well as college age, prime-of-life, and elderly adults. Her primary research interests include research methodology, corrective feedback and individual differences in SLA. She has authored more than 100 articles, chapters, and reports and published twelve books. Her most recent professional successes include winning the 2013 Modern Language Association's Mildenburger prize (with Susan M. Gass), and being appointed in 2014 as the Editor-in-Chief of Cambridge University Press's Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, official journal of the American Association for Applied Linguistics.

Alison's plenary speech is titled: Tasks, interaction and L2 learning: Do we really know what we think we know?

Geoff Petty

Geoff Petty Geoff Petty is author of 'Teaching Today ' (5th edition) a best selling teacher training text in the UK, and 'Evidence Based Teaching' which summarises the extensive research on the best teaching methods strategies and techniques. He has a reputation for explaining issues concerning learning and teaching in a down to earth, but lively and inspiring way. His books have been translated into eight languages including Chinese and Russian, and his ideas are used at a national level in Britain, Romania and Lithuania.
He has led more than 500 training sessions in colleges and schools, usually on the most effective teaching methods, and on learning to learn.
His website,, has lots of free downloads on it, and is very popular all over the world.

Geoff's plenary speech is titled: Task Based language education from an evidence-based teaching perspective.

Kris Van den Branden

Kris Van den Branden Kris Van den Branden is a Professor of Linguistics at the Faculty of Arts of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). One of his greatest ambitions in life is to support practising teachers and student teachers to become excellent at what they do in the classroom, and so he is very pleased to be the current Head of the Teacher Education Department of the Faculty of Arts, and to teach courses in language education to student teachers of Dutch and English at master level. To gain further insight in the impact of education on (language) learning, he carries out research, and is the promoter of several Ph.D. studies, into diverse aspects of language education and the use of language(s) in education. His main research interests include the role of the teacher in education, task-based language teaching and learning, the impact of interaction on (language) learning, and innovation in education. Throughout his career, he has been crucially concerned with the social achievement gap in education. He was the head of the Flemish Centre for Equity in Education for 8 years, and has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and books on equitable and excellent education in the 21th century.
He is the current academic promoter of the Centre for Language and Education at KU Leuven, the editor of the journal ITL International Journal of Applied Linguistics together with Elke Peters, and one of the volume series editors of Task-based language teaching: Issues, Research and Practice (together with Martin Bygate and John Norris). He has authored a wide range of articles and book chapters in Dutch and English.

Kris' plenary speech is titled: Tasks for real! Hold on, how real is 'real'?