Interview with Paul Braddock



Teacher, trainer and British Council Teaching English web manager, Paul Braddock answers The Image Conferencce Questionnaire.


Your favourite film:

My memory is awful so my favourite film is always the last good film I saw – in this case a British film called Sightseers, which is a bit like Mike Leigh’s Nuts in May but with a serial killer twist! I’d recommend it! The film that stick in my memory most is Lost in Translation


Your favourite video to use in class:

Any music video that tells a story, basically. I take screenshots of the video at various points and ask students to order them (either printed out or on an IWB). When they’re happy with the order, I give each student one of the stills and ask them to write part of the story. When they’re, they all read out what they wrote in sequence to form a weird story of the video. It’s a fun activity that always produces a lot of incidental or emergent language. Good ones I’ve used include Lily Allen’s ‘The Fear’ and ‘Sabotage’ by the Beastie Boys!


Useful film-related teaching tool: I like to use a short film called Mr Cool from a DVD called Tube Tales. The DVD has 9 short films and I’ve variously used all of them over the last 8 years or so. You can see Mr Cool and the other videos on YouTube now, but I remember using the DVD for the first time and trying out various techniques I’d been learning about for the classroom. I still have the DVD and I still use it and it always works well.


Tell us a bit about your session:

The session is essentially about continuing professional development (CPD) and how I have applied the concepts of gamification to try and make it a more motivating experience for teachers at the centre where I worked until recently. Using a website I developed, teachers worked in teams to complete CPD challenges and compete against their colleagues.


Why are you interested in using games in your classes?

There’s a quote about games that I like ‘games are hard work we choose for ourselves’ – I think if you can combine game-based concepts, video and images in classroom practice to get students learning and wanting to work hard to learn (especially teenagers) then that’s a good thing.


What should your audience expect to learn?

Hopefully ideas and a template to use with their own and their peers’ professional development to add more enjoyment to being an interested teacher


What are three words that sum up your session?

Innovative, informative, interesting


Which other presenter(s) are you looking forward to seeing?

I’ve seen Paul Driver talk a couple of times and really enjoyed his ideas so I’m looking forward to seeing him speak. I really like Ian James’s site and his presentation style so he’s another person I’m looking forward to seeing.


You can find out more about Paul and his session here.




Professional development and gamification

Paul Braddock British Council

15.00 – 16.00 Room 13

My workshop looks at how applying the principles and elements of gamification can promote and encourage greater engagement with teacher development. Using a website called ‘The School’ that I have been developing, I will demonstrate how encouraging teachers to complete a variety of real-world and online challenges, as well as competing or collaborating with their colleagues can lead to greater enjoyment and motivation to be better, more reflective teachers.

Paul Braddock is the web manager of Teaching English, the British Council’s website for teachers. He lives and works in Barcelona, where he was previously a senior teacher at the British Council YL centre, responsible for the training & development programme. He has lived and worked as a teacher and teacher trainer in Lisbon, Budapest, Tokyo and Hastings.

He blogs at and tweets as bcnpaul1 



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