David – UK
I’m on my way to Liverpool for IATEFL 2013, preparing for a couple of days filled with new experiences. It’s the first time I’ve been to the city of Liverpool and it’s also the first time I’ve given a speech at an international conference. After submitting a speaker proposal long ago last year and being accepted, we’re now more than ready to stand up and present our ideas.
The topic that my colleague and I have chosen to talk about is ‘task-based trips’. This means finding ways to get our students out of the classroom, learning English from the locality and community. As teachers in London we feel that our students have amazing opportunities for language learning all around them. We want to help them to access those possibilities by designing tasks that get them learning from their surroundings.
Study a TEFL course with TEFL Zorritos in Peru, South America and travel the world, live abroad and enrich people’s lives by teaching them English. A TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate is an internationally accredited and accepted qualification to teach English to people from non-English speaking countries. More questions? Head to our What is TEFL? page
One exciting aspect of giving the presentation is that I’m working with my colleague Ann-Marie. She is both a fellow teacher at British Study Centres and a postgraduate student. Working with another person is a great way to open yourself up to new ideas and perspectives on your own teaching practice. The process of collaboration certainly makes you interrogate what you want to put across and see it from a different perspective. Our preparations continue throughout the train journey and we end up discussing and preparing the talk until about midnight!
So how does the talk go? Well, after all those preparations it rushes by very quickly. Luckily we’re able to get in the room early and iron out those IT gremlins and have a warm-up. As an intro we ask ‘do your students use enough English outside the classroom?’ Feedback suggests the room is unanimous in its feeling that students could be using more language outside class. So we have all arrived at the same starting point. How can we get our students using their language more?
Our TEFL Certificate course is held at the gorgeous Sunset Club in Zorritos. Sunset Club is a private club and hotel where you will study surrounded by palm trees and overlooking their stunning private beach. Our training site is located within metres of the ocean which provides a lovely breeze and a breathtaking view. The club has various swimming pools, bars, a restaurant, tennis courts, a soccer pitch and a playground.
Included in your TEFL course fee is lunch daily at Sunset Club for the duration of the course, as well as a private taxi twice daily from your accommodation to the club, as it is located approximately 15 minutes from the centre of Zorritos. You can also choose to stay at the club for the duration of course, which we offer in our Course Packages.
We give some of the projects we have done with students such as surveys with members of the public or interviewing professionals as ways of engaging students with the local community. Take a look at my last diary for more about how to run one of these projects. Another conference speaker, Sandy Millin has written a summary of our talk here http://bit.ly/12dLXs9. The ideas seem to be well received and leave us with a positive sense that we have contributed our ideas to an exciting and dynamic community.
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- Round-trip airfare
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- Graduates must be at least 18 years old with no upper age limit
- Bachelor Degree NOT required
So, take a deep breath and relax because finishing the talk is just the start of our conference. What IATEFL truly offers is a chance to meet people, hear ideas and make connections that would be impossible anywhere else. With so many global participants IATEFL is a great way to see how your ideas connect you to other practitioners around the world. The networking and conversation continues throughout the day and late into the night! At the end of the conference I’m sure all the delegates return to their schools or educational environments full of ideas and with renewed interests in language teaching. It’s a nourishing experience for everyone involved.
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