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What I loved about the IATEFL Annual Conference and why you should attend

The short answer is everything! If you want the long answer keep reading....

2019 was the first year I attended an in-person IATEFL (International Association of Teachs of English as a Foreign Language) event. I had attended a few of their excellent webinars over the years, but previous employers hadn't seen attending as a priority. Taking the time off and self-funding the trip made it a tad out of reach. 

In 2019 I had the time and the money, so I went. I'm not a big fan of meeting new people on mass and the thought of networking makes me cringe, but I had heard so many great things about IATEFL that I braved it. I traveled to Liverpool a day before the PCEs (Pre-Conference Events) started, as part of the Annual Conference. 

The PCE I attended was the Learning Technologies day. We played with AI, learnt about feedback and assessment in increasingly digital classrooms and indulged our geeky ed tech selves. I got so much out of talking to people with...

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BETT 2020: An EFL Perspective

For those of you who don't know the BETT Show at ExCel London is the world's leading education technology show. This was the 36th edition and in my opinion it gets better every year!

This year there were 850 companies, including over 100 start-ups exhibiting over 4 days. It is a great opportunity to see (and play with) the latest technology. There is also an excellent series of workshops, events, seminars and talks throughout the show. There is so much going on in fact that I have never managed to get to see everything I would like to fit in! 

I always enjoy the show and get a lot out of it, but how much of that relates to my work in English as a Foreign Language and not my Digital Education studies (and general nerdiness)?

Well, there is an argument to be made for the value of spending time with other educators and seeing what they are up to in general, but these were more tangibly EFL-related things I saw this year:

  • uTalk - this language learning app is great for beginners...
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Webinar review: Spontaneity: the elephant in the classroom

This is a review of an IATEFL Webinar called "Spontaneity: the elephant in the classroom", which was conducted by Adrian Underhill. It originally took places on Saturday 4th January 2020 and, as with other IATEFL webinars, the recording will be available to IATEFL members on their website


Let me begin, as Adrian Underhill did with praise for IATEFL. I only joined IATEFL in 2018 but can honestly say that I wish I had joined earlier in my teaching career. It is an incredibly professional organisation, a great way to meet other people in the industry. If you have not come across them before they provide a varied series of webinars throughout the year and have some excellent resources for members on their website. I also highly recommend their conferences. Adrian Underhill also mentioned that he was speaking on behalf of the creativity group which focus on creativity in teaching and learning: www.thecreativitygroup.weebly.com/


Having been...

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Course Review: How to Plan a Great Lesson by the British Council

This is a review of the online course; "Teaching English: How to Plan a Great Lesson" by the British Council on FutureLearn.

Like most courses on FutureLearn this is a free course, but if you would like a certificate you can pay to upgrade your course. Upgrading usually gives you access to the content for a longer time as well.

 Let me start by saying that I love FutureLearn! It, like many other MOOCs (massively open online courses), have made access to content from some world leading institutions so easy! I have dipped in and out of many courses, on lots of different topics, since FutureLearn first launched. I highly recommend that you hop over to their homepage and sign up for a few courses.


Now back to today's review....


Course Title: 

Teaching English: How to Plan a Great Lesson

Course Platform/Organisation/Developer:

FutureLearn and the British Council

Course Length:

4 weeks, 2 hours/week

Course Dates:

Currently advertised as available, start date 4th...

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