Eudaimonia

Howdy!

First of all, I want to say that I chose Eudaimoia for the title, as I think it best describes our week in Glasgow. Its origin is Greek and it significates the contented happy state we feel when we travel. Every day after visiting the conference, we used every single minute to discover as much as we could of the city.

On Tuesday, we started our journey of exploration on the west end of the city. Strolling through the streets, Glasgow’s breathtaking architecture caught our eyes. It’s characterized by a combination of modern glass buildings and old red and yellow sandstone buildings, which give the city a warm atmosphere, even though you might think this cannot be possible in rainy Glasgow 😉 Additionally, the extremely light green grass and the yellowish sunlight give the city a special appearance.

woodlands rowhouses

After an exhausting walk, all we wished for was a traditional Scottish dish, so we ended up in a traditional Scottish pub, eating vegetarian Yorkshire Pudding, which was absolutely delicious.

yorkshire pudding.jpeg

On Wednesday midday, we started our tour at the hostel. After listening to some extremely talented street musicians in the bustling Buchanan Street, we arrived at Geoge Square. There we took this gorgeous selfie below, in front of the town hall. townhallThen, we passed by Strathclyde University and finally arrived at the colossal medieval church, Glasgow’s St. Mungo Cathedral, representing Scotland’s Gothic architecture.Glasgow Cathedral

Walking home, even though we had not planned to see more sights this day, we incidentally passed by the Tolbooth Steeple Clock Tower, St. Andrews in the Square and the McLennan’s Arch (from left to right), which astonished us greatly.

On Thursday we visited the University of Glasgow, which, for me, was one of the most exciting sights of Glasgow. It was founded in 1451 and reminded all of us of Hogwarts, due to its arches and many towers.

In the main building of the university, the Hunterian Museum was opened in 1807. It represents a variety of medical exhibition pieces of William Hunter’s work. Should you ever visit Glasgow, remember: You can visit all museums there for free!! 😉

On Friday, we booked a Hop On  – Hop Off bus tour. First of all, we reeeeally loved the Gaelic channel 😉 Our first stop was the Riverside Museum, where we had a look at very old cars, trams, ships, bicycles and any other means of transportation. Inside the museum they even rebuilt one street with many shops from the 19th and 20th century.street riverside museum.jpeg

In the tailor shop we didn’t hesitate to try on whatever we could find in a box of old dresses. Didn’t we look stunning?

verkleidet

Going home we passed many more sights, including People’s Palace, which is located on the East end of Glasgow, close to the river Clyde. One more time we were flashed by the green color of the grass of the park surrounding it. People's Palace.jpeg

All in all, I’m really thankful for that great opportunity that we were given. We could discover the city of Glasgow and were able to gain an insight into international conferences for English teachers. I enjoyed the week to the fullest and I will never forget it. Additionally, being with a group of people, who were randomly mixed together from all semesters was especially interesting. This atmosphere of field trips, as we had it back then in school, was nice as well, as it is not very common at university.

See you,

Lexi 😉

Good start

Today was a rather exhausting but amazing day, filled with a lot of academic input and numerous impressions of the city. Already walking along the river Clyde towards the congress center was a new experience, as it was the first time for us to see Glasgow by day.

us.jpeg

In the plenary session by Gabriel Diaz Maggioli “Empowering teachers through continued professional development (CPD): frameworks, practices and promises” we learned how important it is for teachers to continuously develop their professional skills. An important factor in order to achive CPD would be implying time for teachers to talk to each others. Mirror coaching, which means inviting a colleague to watch your lessons to take notes of what you do, and co-teaching were mentioned. I consider them as extremely useful strategies, as these require constant modeling and constant cognitive alignment between teachers.

In Jeremy Harmer’s and Jane Revel’s session “Telling and retelling: the magic of stories in ELT” we were given tips of how to approach story telling tasks. What they advised us was to not always give the students the answers, but to let them find out.

Anna Young shared her experience in “Writing: is little and often the best approach?” with us, saying that students often overcome their reluctance to writing with the help of 10 minute writing tasks at the beginning of every lesson. She added that the improvements of her students, using this method, were outstanding.

In “Motivational Marking and Magic Eggs” Michael Mooney’s advice was to let students select structures from the Magic Eggs (pictures below) for all of their writing tasks.

I really enjoyed Filip Dedeurwaerder-Haas’ interactive workshop “Activating games – in-betweens or teaching essentials?” He showed us how to use games in an appropriate context and not as gap fillers. We did a bingo, a memory and a sentence structure game. WhatsApp Image 2017-04-04 at 20.52.47

Last but not least, I had the pleasure of taking part in Penny Ur’s workshop “Homework: some practical issues”. As I already have her book “Penny Ur’s 100 Teaching Tips” at home, I was already familiar with a lot of what she pointed out to us. Therefore, it was extremely nice to also listen to the other delegates’ experiences concerning homework.

All in all we were encouraged to become acquainted with new teaching methods and ideas and to take new practical material with us. In addition, all the sessions that I attended were held in an extremely lively way.  I’m really looking forward to the following conference sessions and to further sightseeing tours in the city.

Selcouth

Probably you are wondering what this mysterious word in the title means. Well, selcouth is an adjective that comes from Middle English and stands for the strange, uncommon or foreign, but yet marvelous, thus, the way we perceive things when we are traveling. I personally love this feeling. It significates that one has the opportunity to discover something new, be it a foreign land, culture or unknown people. In our case it is one city with additional 2,500 ELT professionals from over 100 different countries during the week of the IATEFL conference.

From the IATEFL conference I expect that we get a variety of new ideas about the exciting new developments in the field of teaching, including methods, techniques and materials. I’m really happy to be given the opportunity to be part of the international group of visitors and I hope to get to know many new interesting people from different cultural backgrounds. As I have never been to the north of Europe, I’m really looking forward to Glasgow. During the following week I will keep you posted. Enjoy! 😉