Starting a Blog or What I got from a conference

This blog is inspired by going to the International Language Symposium in Brno at the beginning of June, and particularly by Huw Jarvis’ sessions on using technology and social media for continuing professional development. It’s a bit delayed by having a busy week at work and then flu but better late than never!

I plan to write this for my own use as a place to put a record of useful ELT-related bits & bobs I pick up for myself, I may well use it for answers to FAQ about teaching or teacher training so I can simply refer people to a page where I’ve got an answer ready, and if anyone else is interested to read and add their ideas, so much the better.

I’ll start by using it to sort out and write up my notes on different topics that were covered at the ILS in Brno: Continuing Professional Development, Dictation ideas, helping learners with learning difficulties, non-native speaker teachers, reflective vs reflexive practice, and how learners learn.

Here I would just say: I’ve been reminded that going to a teaching conference can be immensely beneficial in re-injecting some enthusiasm and ideas into you. However, it has to be the right conference for you. When I started teaching I really enjoyed local teaching days with sessions mainly focused on practical teaching ideas and I would recommend them to teachers. I started to give sessions too and that’s good experience. But they weren’t filling me with ideas any more, and I was getting a bit blasé about them. The ILSB was aimed at a higher level and had a bit more to chew on mentally and it left me buzzing for some days. So clearly I needed to make the effort to go to a conference at my level as an experience teacher and teacher educator.