As our first conference day in Glasgow is coming to a close, all of us have now taken a proper first whiff of IATEFL air and we are now equipped to give our first estimations, reviews, feedback and outlook. Was it worth getting up at 6:30? Read on and find out.
Despite a continuously mounting sleep deficit, I tried to soak up the atmosphere as well as possible and attended as many courses as my attention span permitted. After some initial trouble with receiving our badges, we were seated amongst hundreds and hundreds of other eager faces waiting to plunge head first into English Language Teaching right off the bat. “Gabo” Maggioli introduced us to core issues of the field that he has been researching for more than a decade now and hooked us up with a swathe of new ideas to process.
From there us students from Graz spread out and took over the conference. I myself drew a great deal of inspiration from classes that were focused on de-automating pronunciation and employing regular writing tasks in lessons. Just before I met professor Mercer who seemed exceedingly calm in view of her imminent plenary speech, I had unfortunately been shown the limits of my understanding very clearly in a symposium on ELT strategies.
The day then finally ended on a high note: losing has rarely felt as good as it did coming fourth in the International Quiz. Several brilliant minds from various nations were kind enough to welcome me on their team and we had a whale of a time – no sleep deficit in the world could have taken that from me. Also, if you hear someone frantically shouting “Violin, violin” – that’s probably one of our illustrious quizzing team. If only I could have taken some more pictures, though! My battery quit on me several hours too early.
How good that I will keep the memory safe in my mind.