What a fantastic day! Six presentations and a plenary, but probably the best part, as always has been meeting such wonderful people from all over the world, in all kinds of teaching contexts. A great bonus this year has been all the ETAS people that I’ve bumped into, it’s a great conference anyway, but surrounded by people I know makes it even more special.
I got there early to see Jeremy Day give a presentation on “How to give a presentation at an Internal conference”, I won’t go into too much detail because it merits a post of its own but I will say it was packed with useful and practical advice, and Jeremy cleverly added a practical example of what to do when the powerpoint plays up!
Carol Read welcomed us to the first plenary with a wonderful story,
“One day a mother mouse was out with her mouselets when hungry tom cat appeared in front of them, looking for trouble – or more precisely, lunch. The mouselets were obviously terrified, the end was obviously nigh. When suddenly mother mouse kept between her children and the baddie, and roared “WOOF WOOF!” The cat fled, and mummy turned to her children and said,
“Let that be a lesson to you my darlings, never underestimate the importance of learning another foreign language.”
Donald Freeman‘s plenary entitled “Frozen in thought” presented some interesting insights into TEFL myths, if my notes aren’t any use then don’t panic, it’ll be online pretty soon.
Next was Ken Wilson‘s very entertaining “Only connect – 7 strategies for ensuring teacher-student communication.” Ken introduced ideas such as “sound of the day” – everyone make the sound “erh”, now make it sound happy/sad/wtf/etc.
He also suggested an interesting way of using the map of the book that pointless (as he pointed out) in dew at the front of the students book that they never read. Look at it with the class and ask them all to write a fact about one of the topics on a post-it, they then stick the post-it on the relevant page/unit and you can refer to them during the year as you reach these units.
After a well-deserved cuppa I dashed along to a YL panel facilitated by Vicky Loras, Juup Stelma, Sophia Magdalena de Stefani, Maria Muniz and Achilleas Kostoulas which dealt with interesting themes including the best age to start learning and how to develop ELT through project-based learning.
In the afternoon I saw Lisa Peter from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust present their future sources website that will be opening on 23rd April ( the Bard’s birthday in case you didn’t know) at http://www.shakespeareresources.com. I’ll definitely be popping along to check that out as I’m about to start “Midsummer’s Night Dream” with one of my classes.
Next was fellow ETAS member Dina Blanco-loannou‘s talk on “Bloomifying tasks – how to develop thinking skills in task-based learning.” Dina not only gave us a lot of theoretical food for thought but also provided a detailed practical lesson plan, the proof of the pudding so to speak.
I could write loads more, but I’m off to prepare my talk for tomorrow, let me know what you saw and enjoyed.