Today I’ll write about my reflections on TESOL France’s 29th Annual Colloquium which was one of the most successful conferences I’ve ever attended. It was successful not only it gave us the chance to listen to David Crystal and watch their amazing family show, it also enabled us to attend many sessions of wonderful educators. I also believe it was a huge success because of the incredible team behind it. Bethany Cagnol and her team did their best to make this conference a truly successful ELT event. They were everywhere helping everybody, the student helpers, the crew from the committee all worked hard with the warm smile on their faces.
Meeting my online PLN was another reason why this conference was important for me. While reading their tweets I had an image of them and it was suprising to find out how they were similar to the image I had. I really enjoyed very much attending sessions with my friends, watching the plenaries and shows clustered at one corner of the conference hall.
I’ll start with the second day as the first one passed meeting PLN and hugging and chatting mostly and because of that my concentration was not on the plenary but on the event itself.
Day 2 started at 9:30, my friends and I attended Dede Wilson’s talk on pronunciation and left the session with wonderful ideas and games for teaching pronunciation.
The second session I attended was of called Drama: It is never too much of a good thing. Anna Musielak is a very energetic and enthusiastic teacher from Poland and we tried some activities which can be used as warmers and fillers and the best part of this workshop was the pair works and guess who I worked with in this session- The amazing Ken Wilson.
After the lunch break which was a great opportunity for me to chat with my PLN, I attended Russell Stannard’s talk on ‘Gems on the web’. This was a very useful one although I’m an avid user of web 2.0 tools, I left the session with ideas of tools which can be used with my etwinning project.
And finally it was the time to watch and listen to David Crystal. You should have been there. I’m so glad that I had the chance to attend his session and I knew most of my friends came to the conference to listen to him.
The next session I attended was of Ken Wilson’s ‘Ten things I know About Teaching’. If he is at a conference, I always attend his sessions because I know that I’ll always find something there which can be used in my class. Even in paranthesis, you will find great ideas for your next lesson or you will adapt something for your class.
The last session I attended that day was ‘Global Class Project’. Shelly Terrell is the right person to explain everybody how to collaborate with classes around the world and I felt really thrilled to see that the project I’m doing with Alexandra Francisco was shown as an example. During the session Shelly skyped with Emma Herrod and the participants had a clear idea how skype could be used in their own classes.
I don’t know whether the words will be enough to describe the ‘Open Mic Night’ hosted by David Hill or as somebody called it ‘ELT Got Talent’. We all found ourselves watching our colleagues with mere admiration. It was a great show and we all enjoyed it.
Sunday started very early. It was then I found myself thinking about the faces. My session was at nine and actually ı wasn’t expecting many people to turn up but they came and they made my day.
I must admit when the session was over I felt great relief and I felt the need of a cup of coffee and a petit dejeuner so I left the venue and missed one session but it was great to be in Paris after all and the cafes around the corner were very welcoming. However, I was there for the next session and it was Karenne Sylvester’s ‘Blogging, Chatting and Discussing; Critical Thinking in Business English’. The session was great Karenne as I imagined was a wonderful speaker and everything in her talk was very useful for teachers who are in search of platforms to blog with their students. I really got great ideas for blogging, chatting and correcting student errors.
The conference ended with Ben Crystal’s talk called ‘Shakespeare on Toast’.
When the time came to say goodbye I was thinking about the next conference to attend and this time I know I will meet more teachers from my PLN. I believe the impact of twitter on conferences is huge. While reading tweets of a conference, we-the teachers on twitter- all wish to be there so I’m sure the next conferences will be great opportunities to meet people you know from twitter in person.
You can read Mike Harrison’s reflections on his blog.