This space will be very busy just in a couple of weeks! Well, a small team from the British Council South East Europe is about to go to IATEFL 2011 in Brighton, UK and they will report / send their updates right here, on our tumblr page.
Pretty soon we will present this team and tell you what our ideas are. Hey, if there is something you are particularly interested in, let us know and we will try to cover that as well.
Obviously, we are still playing around this space so please be patient and make sure you follow us as of this April!
Blog entry by Suzanne Mordue
After a whirl wind of activity in the last few weeks I am really looking forward to IATEFL as it will be a great opportunity to concentrate on updating my knowledge and meeting up with other people in the ELT world.
I haven’t blogged much either. I also haven’t been in Brighton since 1987 - which really puts things into perspective. It will be nice to do some ‘live reminiscencing’.
I am very happy to be able to attend this conference- I am overwhelmed by feelings similar to the ones my teenage students show towards the football tournament happening in the schoolyard. The picture is of the moment when I gave up and let these guys quit doing the assignment to watch the tournament through the window because they couldn’t focus at all.
Blog post by:
Marina Simovic, Montenegro
On this slightly cold, cloudy morning I have successfully reached the airport. Belgrade is slowly waking up so the traffic was easy on me this morning.
I was about to go to the check-in area when I bumped into a teacher I know from my work - Nataša is also going to the IATEFL so we will definitely discuss in details the upcoming conference. I have just checked Facebook as well (does this count as an addiction?) and saw that the Israeli team is about to board. Not sure if they will see this now but I owe them a big hello and thank you as well.
Well, this is it. The whole team is on its way and I know that all of us cannot wait to start blogging and send our updates to you guys.
Stay tuned, more things are coming your way shortly. See you online!
Post by: Zeljko Jovanovic
As of this morning, our team is complete and ready to roll. This is the photo of us on our way to the venue discussing who is going to follow which session. Now, everyone is at her / his place and we will meet up later to collect our posts and publish them online.
After this first day and initial technical setbacks (getting wi-fi work on different phones is tougher than it seems!) we are eager to keep on posting. If you are on Twitter, make sure you follow #iatefl hash-tag and definitely visit Brighton Online and their live video channel - great work guys!
More updates coming soon!
It’s a grey Thursday afternoon in Brighton… and yet many people are sitting on the pebbly beach that is immediately across from the Brighton centre, where the conference is taking place. The sea looks cold though, no paddling today!
I’m going through the online programme over coffee - trying to pick my sessions for Saturday. Tomorrow is easy - the Pre-conference day as you have to choose your topic in advance. I’m going with the Young Learners special interest group.
IATEFL is such a big conference that it can be difficult to choose which sessions to go to - you can pick out ‘big names’, or colleagues, or people from a country you are interested in… one really good approach, I’ve found, is to pick a theme and stick with it… maybe learning technologies, maybe English for Special purposes…
If there are any specific sessions you would like me (or someone from our group) to attend and report back on - let me know! Here’s the link to the conference programme http://www.iatefl.org/brighton-2011/45th-annual-conference-and-exhibition-2011 - there are handy day by day timetables at the back, which is a good place to start! This will help you work out when you need to be logging on to iatefl online as well :-)
Not long to go now!
Associates Day - poster presentation (photo by Marina Simovic)
The title above was the theme of the conference for me today. The sessions I attended seemed to follow this line of thought; in other words we should questions assumptions about language and learning.
The plenary session by Peter Grundy was based around his book, The Pragmatics Reader. He questioned the true meaning of words as opposed to the language used. For example, saying ‘I’m tired’ at 11pm would naturally make the listener assume that you wanted to go to bed but the same utterance in the morning might lead the listener to assume that you wanted an espresso.
Later in the day Jamie Keddie was questioning our attitudes towards using authentic materials and gave tips about how to use them successfully and efficiently.
Finally, I went to Nicola Crowley’s session on using Youtube, where she explored how to exploit video through a ‘blind’ watching, where you only hear the video rather then see it. This worked well as we all guessed the context only to be surprised when we saw what had really happened. A great way to motivate learners.
So to round up the day, people might say something simple but it often has a deeper meaning that changes due to context, being ‘authentic’ can mean experimenting and supporting learners. The final lesson for the day was that showing less can reveal more.
Blog post by: