When I read the tweet about last year’s conference and learned most of the presenters and educators whom I admired were coming, I was thrilled. The conference sounded very promising and it was a great opportunity for the teachers who can’t go to conferences very often as it would also be live broadcasted. ELT VIPs, enthusiastic teachers, book exhibitions, workshops… An action-pack entertainment for the ones who wanted to update themselves and for me beacuse of everything I mentioned above, the whole event was like a box of chocolate coated Turkish delights with pistachio nuts. And in the end of the 2nd day I was very satisfied with what I found from the event. All the positive things I experienced from the 1st event raised my expectations from the conferences and soon we were informed by amazing Burcu Akyol that the 2nd Istek Elt wouldn’t be more different than the first one.
In my opinion, people make conferences sucessful. The speakers, the delegates, the organising team. Istek team was very helpful, cheerful and they were everywhere. They were also very considerate. Although they were very busy when they heard the bad news one of my friends recieved they did their best to send her home safe and sound. I must thank them for being very kind and and helpful.
The programme looked very promising and the opening signalled that the event would be a success. To start the day with magnificent Jan Blake was a mere pleasure. Another thank you will go to Burcu Akyol and the team who made it possible for us to enjoy the stories of Jan Blake. ‘How I wish I could tell stories like her’ I said to myself continously during these 2 days. I don’t need any other words to describe her. She was amazing and her energy was infectious.
During the breaks we sometimes discussed that we hoped to find more practical ideas from plenary talks. However, they were very thought provoking. Professor Jack Richards reminded us something very important, something that we already know, ‘Every child is a winner. No student in the class should be left behind.’
We had a great choice for the keynotes and I felt a bit lucky as I had the chance to attend some speakers’ TESOL France sessions. I chose the ones whom I had never listened to, bearing in mind that I’ll have another chance to catch the ones I’ve missed at IATEFL 2011 where I’ll be present thanks to British Council, Turkey.
I’d like to share some notes from Jamie Keddie’s session. He suggested us using L1 translations. The activity was a bit different from traditional translation exercises and the focus was on practice.
- Give students sentences with target language
- Tell them to write the L1 translations in their notebooks.
- Remove the L2 originals
- Ask them to translate the translated sentences back into L2.
I used the activity with my year 10 students on Tuesday. They loved and found it very challenging.
My decision was to attend the reflection sessions and learn a bit Croation from my most helpful friend Arjana Blazic. But I gave my workshop in the wrong room to a small audience, thinking that the room was the right one and as a result I repeated my session on Sunday and missed my dera friend’s lesson.
I realised I hadn’t mentioned the fun events. Well, the Pecha Kucha night with Karaoke session was great. It was also a great pooprtunity for us to chat and have fun together.
To sum up, Istek International Elt conference is a great event for the local teachers as it gives the opportunity to listen and meet all the great educators. I hope it will become a tradition, inspiring the enthusiastic teachers and student teachers of Elt for many years.
You must visit 2nd ISTEK Schools International ELT Conference Blog
And read Merve’s beautiful post : Seven Wonders of İSTEK ELT