IATEFL 2020 – Global Get-Together, Day 1

sustainable goals

What a great idea – have a series of online talks on the dates when the conference didn’t happen. I was chopping nuts and mixing veggies for the Easter lunch – and listening to David Crystal speaking about changes in English. It’s impossible to predict the future, he said, but at least we need to keep track of the changes: keep an eye on the corpora and social media, and reach out to the young generation. Kuhl. In fact, it felt like a real plenary – and the Adobe room was packed. (Another great idea, to have a Facebook live feed.)

I’ve attended as many talks as I could, and here are some highlights.

Tammy Gregersen inspired us to savour what we have (and when we say ‘I wish I could…’, write it down and put in a big jar for later). Also, “If you don’t want to focus on yourself for yourself, do it for your learners‘. A well-rested happy teacher is a good teacher!

I really liked the panel on Inclusive ELT materials, especially Alex Popovski’s presentation on ‘tokenism’ (do your research, avoid showcasing, reflect learners’ realities, create connections and have a sidekick – had to put down my kitchen knife and write all of this down!).

Carol Read did an amazing workshop on the UN’s sustainable development goals, with a very good balance of information and interactivity. (The picture for this post covers two of the 17 goals.) From concepts to activities, from graphic organisers to student work, the session was really well-planned, varied and real enough to satisfy any practising teacher. If there’s any webinar that could be made available to the public, this should be the one.  

The panel about thinking outside the box was interesting because I could find out what the other SIGs are doing! That’s one advantage of the online event: you don’t have to choose between several exciting sessions because there’s only one at any given time 🙂

Looking forward to the next day.

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