I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the IATEFL conference is the best week of my year. It’s an opportunity to catch up with a lot of old friends, and to make new ones. It was also a great chance to meet some of the readers of this blog, so if you came up and said hi, thank you very much. I always enjoy meeting people and making the communication a bit more two-way, and finding out more about you 🙂 If you didn’t, please do next time you see me!
I was particularly happy about how many first-timers I came across at the conference this year. About half of the people in the LAMSIG/TDSIG pre-conference event hadn’t been to a PCE before, and I guess a quarter of the people at the opening plenary were first timers at the conference. I didn’t meet Anna Neil, but I enjoyed this post she wrote about 10 things she wished she’d known before her first IATEFL. I also spoke to a few people who had never been to the UK before, and enjoyed the opportunity that the conference gave them to experience British culture.
Mike Harrison and I had our first opportunity to present a How To session, introducing attendees to How to use social media at IATEFL and beyond. I was pleased to see that we had around 40-50 people joining us so early in the morning – thank you if you came! You can find the slides and a few extra links here.
These are my summaries of talks I saw (and didn’t see!) at this year’s conference:
- Management, teacher training and development
- In the classroom
- Our developing profession
- The talks I missed
I also made a few discoveries via Twitter during and after the conference. One of them is the account What is ELT? which explains a lot of the basics of our profession. Another was the Pearson daily summaries, which may have picked out some things which I’ve missed in my own posts:
Here is the round-up of day 2! Keep up to date with everything we’ve been up to – from workshops and presentations to Teacher Award winners on the beach: https://t.co/eoebB33TKT #PearsonLive #iatefl2018
— Pearson English (@PearsonEnglish) April 11, 2018
— Pearson English (@PearsonEnglish) April 13, 2018
One question which came up on Twitter during the conference, but which I wasn’t able to answer, was what we can do about the fact that a lot of online professional development has now migrated to facebook, excluding those who don’t have accounts from the conversation. If you have any thoughts on this, I’m sure @nutrich would appreciate them! Here’s a quote from his article which you might like to respond to (on his blog please!):
For many of the groups and communities I’m thinking of, all or most of their information, activities or discussions take place on Facebook and there is very little thought (it seems to me) about the fact that some people would prefer not to use Facebook, or simply don’t have an account.
During big conference like IATEFL there is a flurry of Twitter activity, but I hadn’t really considered this before. These are my Twitter analytics for the last 28 days, a new feature I’ve just discovered. The grey bars show the number of tweets, and the blue ones the number of ‘impressions’ (times somebody saw one of my tweets). Can you spot IATEFL? 🙂
Various recordings of talks made during the conference and other people’s summaries are available, where you can explore beyond the things that I’ve been able to share with you. I’ve listed as many as I can here for ease of reference:
- Teaching English British Council: videos of 22 talks, including all 4 morning plenaries
- IATEFLtalks: 42 videos, most under 10 minutes, mostly interviews with people recorded at the conference
- IATEFL also have an online coverage page including links to other bloggers.
- Cambridge English: videos of 10 talks
- Lizzie Pinard wrote posts from each of the talks she went to, summarised here.
- Katherine Martinkevich wrote 6 posts summarising talks. This is the final one.
- Sharon Hartle wrote a few posts from the conference. This is the first one.
- The Modern Languages School at the University of Barcelona has various summaries. This one is about teacher development.
- Phil Longwell summarised his week in this post.
- There will be a series of posts from scholarship winners on the IATEFL blog.
Please add any more in the comments, and I hope to see you in Liverpool next year!