Planning 4 IATEFL

I started preparing for Brighton today. I hope I’m not jinxing it by starting early – but I’m just so excited to get there! Anyway, I decided I should create my own day-to-day schedule and so the first logical step for me was going over the conference program with a fine tooth comb and then (trying to) choose between sessions. What a difficult (but enjoyable) job that turned out to be! Now I really can’t wait to go!
very soon ...

very soon ...

Friday and Saturday – a Perfect Plan?

The first two days were (relatively) easy to plan. I’m a member of the Learning Technologies Special Interest Group so I’ll get to join the “Interactive Whiteboards: from methods to madness pre-conference” on Friday. It’s an all day thing. On Saturday after the morning session of  “Web 2.0 tools for IELTS speaking and writing success” by Amanda Wilson & Susan Dempsey I’ll get to experience Shelly Sanchez Terrell’s “Sharing stories: motivating young learners through mobile digital storytelling” and then “Blogs in action: Reflections from a collaborative blogging experience” by Burcu Akyol. Guess I’ll be pretty star struck by the end of that, or what? Well, it gets “worse” :-). The rest of the day will be led by Karenne Sylvester and the theme is just up my alley: “Blogging as Teachers’ Professional Development. The ELT Blogosphere”.  Sounds absolutely divine, doesn’t it?

 Sunday  – Help Needed!

After the plenary session by Sue Palmer on Tuesday morning (which I guess nobody will want to miss) I have to choose between “Meaningful English through multimedia projects” by Mary Henderson and “Expand the horizon of learning: digital games by digital learners” by Ozge Karaoglu & Esra Girgin Akiskali. I’ll have to flip a coin when the time comes I guess. Then I’ll go see “Using Moodle for testing” by Josefina Santana & Rosa Elena Santana and then I’m torn again - between “10 years of onestopenglish: essential tips, tricks and lesson ideas” by Tim Bowen & Lucy Williams, “Tweeting is for the birds, not for language learning” by Alan and Nicky Hockly and “Ten things (I think) I know about teaching (and learning)” by Ken Wilson! Flipping a coin is not going to cut it here. Perhaps drawing paper bits out of a hat will? Anyway, the rest of the day I’ll spend on “Teenagers and grammar – How to rescue an ailing relationship” by Mark Lloyd and finally enjoy “Teaching idioms effectively with Web 2.0 tools” by Janet Bianchini. No matter how the coin flipping or hat tricks go I’m sure I’ll be pretty dead by the end of that day…

Monday will start on a poetic note with “Twas brillig… Interpreting poetry through film and drama” by Eleanor Watts but then I have to choose between Gavin Dudeney’s “Location, location, location: mLearning in practice”, “A Language Garden Community” by David Warr and “An animated classroom” by Bryony. Impossible! Coin flipping again I suppose. After lunch I’ll learn about “How drama/film techniques improve my teaching English to students” by Marina Simovic, “Usage and implementation of videos in ELT – Practical insights” by Philip Gienandt  and “Is a good f2f trainer automatically a good online one?” by Shaun Wilden . Then there’ll be “Ideas for improving students’ writing skills – my experience” by Cecilia Lemos Coelho which is something I’m really looking forward to. Finally I’ll join “The Learning Technologies Studies Special Interest Group Open Forum” to finish off the no doubt wonderful day.

Tuesday – the end :-(

How can I make the most of the last day? I’ve decided that I’ll have to get into the “ Drama methodology and language learning” workshop by Ian David Holmes and then either attend “Making shadow reading visual, challenging yet fun!” by Jo Timerick about easy-to-use freeware such as Audacity, “Creative Commons in the classroom: use, share, remix” by Dominic Pates or “Teaching with technology: plan B” by Sue Lyon-Jones. More coin flipping!?! Truth be told I think I’ll probably go with the third option here as I am really in need of activities for backup when my technology based lessons don’t turn out as planned. (which seems to happen rather too often to me) After that there’s the last plenary session by Brian Patten, which I think will be really fun and entertaining and then finally there’s the closing address by Eric Baber, the President of IATEFL.

Brighton Nights

One of these days I’ll start planning for the evenings… ;-) I’ve heard about a karaoke party on one night and something about beer and sand and no shoes on another… Then there’s a Pecha Kucha evening and several comedy night talks  and storytelling – choices and more choices… Oh, this is going to be so much fun! Can’t wait to start flipping those coins!

beer & sand, an unbeatable combination ;-)

beer & sand, an unbeatable combination ;-)