IATEFL Diary part 1
Last week the annual IATEFL conference took place in Liverpool. Several trainers from the London School of English participated in the event and over the coming days and weeks we’ll each be giving our impressions of the conference and the city.
IATEFL (or the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) is based in Britain and was founded in 1967 with the intention of linking, developing and supporting English Language Teaching professionals worldwide. Their annual conference is held every spring with key speakers and individual papers, workshops and symposia. This year’s conference was my first, and I was impressed at the sheer scale of the event, with over 550 sessions over four days along with an exhibition and a full evening programme. Choosing which session to attend was quite overwhelming, with approximately 20 sessions being held at any one time.
I spoke on the first full day of the event as part of the BESIG (Business English Special Interest Group) day. There are a number of special interest groups, or SIGs in IATEFL, and to be included in their programme was a real honour. The SIGs provide teachers and other professionals with particular interests to exchange ideas and network. My presentation was based on a similar talk I gave in Paris last year on materials development for young business learners. It was well attended and well-received, though I was rather nervous and pleased to get it out of the way on the first day so that I could enjoy the rest of my week!
Overall it was a great week - I really learnt a lot and met a lot of interesting people from around the world. Liverpool is a fantastic city and I would encourage anyone who is thinking of attending or speaking at next year’s IATEFL conference to go for it.
founded - (v.) to be created or started
symposia - (n.) the plural of symposium, a meeting where several speakers discuss a topic
sheer - (adj.) used to qualify the noun, in this case meaning a large amount
overwhelming - (adj.) overpowering
network - (v) to meet people who can be helpful to you professionally
go for it - (idiom) to pursue a goal with determination
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