Attending the IATEFL conference is one of the most inspiring experiences I’ve made on my way to become an English Teacher!!! The choice of talks and courses throughout the day overwhelmed me! To start the day with a plenary session is a great idea because everyone gets together and the plenary sessions were so inspiring that I got hungry for more exciting talks! 😉
Over 2500 English teachers attended this conference and some of them were not just visitors, but also lecturers. It is an awesome idea to give teachers from all over the world, with different backgrounds and different teaching environments, the opportunity to present their strengths in front of others and to exchange ideas and teaching methods. This conference provides a great chance to expand everyone’s personal horizon! The atmosphere at the conference was so encouraging and exciting! I always got the feeling that I want to learn more about English language teaching and about all the different perspectives to consider!
The conference was very good organized! The IATELF app was a great way to get a good overview of the planed sessions and talks. Furthermore the program was really diversified and it was almost a challenge to decide on which talks to attend. During our breaks we got the opportunity to walk through the materials exhibition and that was really interesting too because there was a wide range of books for learners of every language level. It was also very nice that there were staff members at every corner who could help us to find the way to the next talks.
I can’t believe that today was already our last day at the IATEFL conference! But I am sure that I’ll come back because I’m infected with the IATEFL-power!
Today we had the opportunity to listen to a stunning plenary session held by JJ Wilson. His rhetorical skills were just amazing and apart from that he had a very important message to tell. In his presentation he talked about social justice issues and how essential it is, to include these issues in class. In order to achieve this, he presented a “guideline”. First of all, we could use images to raise awareness that there are oppressed people all over the world and how this effects our society. Furthermore we could use literature, roleplays as well as community project methods in order to support the importance of social justice. As a last point he focused on storytelling and how important it is, to continue storytelling because a story is the only thing which could last for more than 10 000 years. In the conclusion JJ Wilson claimed that English Teaching is not just about the language, it is also about bringing global issues into the classroom.
After the impressing plenary session I attended a talk by Kieran Donaghy which really inspired me! He talked about empathy in language teaching and how we can step into our students’ shoes. To be empathetic is a very important skill in communicative language teaching. He showed us many practical examples how teachers as well as learners can be more empathetic. As a teacher it is essential to reveal things about ourselves and our life. In addition to that, trivial matters such as smiling and showing humor about ourselves can create an encouraging atmosphere. He also stressed the importance to get to know our students and to remember personal things. In order to support our learners to improve their empathetic skills, we should give them the opportunity to slip into other characters while a roleplay or to ask them empathetic questions. We should give students time to slip into a new character because they can develop their character much better than.
The IATEFL conference really expands my horizon and I gained a completely new view of the complexity of English language teaching!
I’m Christina and I study English and Geography! I’m very excited about the trip to Glasgow! I’ve never been to Scotland before so that’s going to be a new experience! I’m so much looking forward to discovering the city of Glasgow and the Scottish culture! I hope to get a picture of man who is wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes 😉
I also have great expectations of the IATEFL conference! I’m very excited to meet English teachers from all over the word and to learn about new teaching methods! I’m sure we’re going to have an unforgettable time there!
See you tomorrow!