I’m spending this week preparing to head off to the IATEFL conference in Brighton – it will be the first time I’ll have been. For whatever reason it hadn’t been on my radar until last year – maybe it’s seen as too EFL for ESOL teachers? Anyway, I don’t think I want to re-open THAT can of worms (for those of you who do – read here and here). Having watched plenty of clips from last year’s Harrogate conference, I saw loads of inspiring and relevant content and I’m sure it’ll be the same in Brighton. Just to make sure that the ESOL angle is covered, there is a Pre-Conference Event run by the ES(O)L Special Interest Group, where myself, Mike Harrison, Callie Wilkinson and Amanda Wilson are giving a presentation on differentiated learning supported by technology. Details of the Pre-Conference Event can be found here: http://esolsig.wordpress.com/pre-conference-event-2011/
After that, I’ll be around at the main conference, I’ve not been to IATEFL before, so I’m hoping that it can be the source of plenty of ideas. I’ve seen a few posts by others who will be there: Karin Tirasin and Higor Cavalcante have spoken about planning what to see (and how it can be difficult to choose…) I’m not organised enough to have done that yet – but the point is that there is plenty to see. Vladimira Michalkova and Eva Büyüksimkeşyan write about their expectations. There does seem to be an air of anticipation around. The process of preparing a presentation is hinted at by Janet Abruzzo and Dom Pates. There’s also a wiki for people to add information and thoughts about the event: http://iatefl2011.pbworks.com/w/page/33260751/FrontPage
I mentioned that the Harrogate conference was streamed online: for anyone who is not able to get to Brighton, the good news is that again there will be loads of sessions and presentations streamed on the Brighton Online website – Think of it as a great big language teaching iPlayer and you’ll have an idea of the scale of it – it’s a fantastic CPD resource.
As in previous years, the conference has free WiFi – which probably means that there will be lots of tweets about the event flying around – I’ve put together a list of twiteros attending the event: http://twitter.com/#!/pysproblem81/iatefl11 There has been some debate around Twitter at conferences, to see it take a look at this post from Jeremy Harmer and the debate that followed.
I’ll be taking my trusty iPad so I can
livetweet Scott Thornbury’s session add some posts about the highlights I manage to see. Apart from anything else it should help me see how I can implement what I gain from the sessions in my own practice. I suppose that’s the key of any event like this – you measure by how it affects your day-to-day working life.