It was one of my dreams to go to Ireland and luckily I had the opportunity to fulfill this dream combining a conference attendance and a short city break.
Being a fan of Irish writers, on Friday I spent seeing the city which was an extraordinary experience for me. I started the day visiting James Joyce Centre, then the Writers Museum. Being fuelled with literature and culture, I walked down the O’Connell Street, crossed the River Liffey and I arrived at the Trinity College in the heart of the city. Then I tried to follow the footsteps of Stephen Dedalus to Grafton Street, St Stephens Green, Belvedere College and I went back to my hotel, tired but happy.
ELT Ireland was on February 16th and 17th. It was a well-organized and friendly event. I had the chance to attend talks, which really gave me food for thought. It was really interesting to listen to Conor O’Reilly on Brexit and Impacts on English Language Learning in Ireland. This talk was also very interesting for an English teacher like myself outside the EU and gave me a very clear idea how the industry could develop in the coming years.
Attending a few ‘Train the Trainer’ courses at home in the recent years, I decided to listen to Chris Farrell on Mentoring in Teacher Development. The workshop focused on how mentoring is important as a bottom up teacher development tool and how it can help novice teachers when implemented effectively.
Another inspiring talk was ‘Experiencing Language: English Drama Technique and Methodology where Anna Kadzik-Bartoszewska briefly explained how drama techniques can be used in class and how it will be useful to promote self-esteem and self-confidence. The second part of the talk was delivered by Charlie Hughes who made us realize how our presence can effect others, how it can make a difference when we change our mentality and say what I’m going to bring when I enter somewhere instead of just participating and saying what I’m going to take from here.
My workshop ‘Making Connections: Using Film in Language Classroom’ was on Sunday morning. I briefly talked about why and how we can use film in language classroom. I mainly focused on short films as they actually give us more opportunities to make our students produce the target language.
I also attended another interesting talk delivered by Ian Brangan titled ‘CELTA uncovered: The Subtle Art of Unlearning’ For me, the conference was really fruitful and it gave me a chance to meet new people, listen to their perspectives and add new things in my luggage.
The most difficult part was leaving Dublin, as there were many paths to walk and many gems to be discovered. I hope I will be able to visit this beautiful city again.