IEC@DVC teacher, Josh, recently took a trip to the UK to attend the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) conference. Read all about his trip!
By IEC@DVC Teacher, Josh
This year I was very fortunate to be able to attend the IATEFL conference, which was held in Brighton in the UK. IATEFL is an international organization based in the UK and stands for International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language. It was founded in 1967 and holds an annual conference in the UK. Like TESOL, IATEFL attracts an international crowd of teachers and teacher educators, but the IATEFL conference is quite a bit smaller with 3000 people attending versus the 9000 people that attended TESOL.
One of the reasons that I was happy to attend IATEFL is that it offers many workshops and talks geared for teacher trainers and faculty coordinators. Continued professional development is one of my main roles at IEC, so it was exciting to meet and hear from so many people in similar positions. In addition, IATEFL has sessions by leaders in the field who report on current methods, theories, and research. It was amazing to attend sessions by luminaries such as Scott Thornbury (methodology), Jane Willis (task-based learning), John Field (listening skills), Adrian Underhill (pronunciation), Adrian Doff (listening), Jim Scrivener (methodology/effective practice), Zolan Dornei (motivation and speaking), Hugh Dellar (grammar and science of learning), and Dorothy Zemach (publishing/writing).
For me, there were a number of highlights during my week in Brighton. Seeing Adrian Underhill demonstrate how to teach pronunciation was amazing as was hearing Jim Scrivener talk about how to help students get the most out of practice exercises. I was also lucky enough to be able to chat with Scott Thornbury, Jane Willis, and Elka Todeva about English language teaching over a wonderful Indian meal.
Finally, it was validating and inspiring to see how the curriculum at IEC is keeping up to date with current thought in the field with its focus on communicative tasks, assessment/materials using the Common European Framework (CEFR), the science of learning, and its approach to teaching listening and reading skills.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to work and develop at IEC and engage professionally with the global community of English language teachers.