IATEFL Exeter 2007

After just over an year I was back in England.  This time as a speaker at the 42nd IATEFL Conference in Exeter. I was generously invited by the Conference committee to be one of the Distinguished New Voices this year and as so I was able to present my talk on the Critical Literacy in ELT Project. It is quite an experience to present at an international conference such IATEFL, especially when you have so many experienced and well-known people attending your talk, but at least I can say that I was quite calm and could deliver my message in a sort of coherent way.

Thanks also to the kind invitation of Amos Paran, I could present about the ELT e-Reading Group at the Literature, Media and Cultural Studies SIG pre-conference event. It is my first year in the SIG committee and I thought that I would feel a bit uneasy but all other committee members were so kind and friendly that I really felt at home. Thanks a lot to all of you for the support and special thanks to Stella Smith for the beer and the brainstorming.

As usual in this kind of event, the most interesting thing are the people you meet, the contacts you make and the conversations you have over a pint or a cup of tea. I meet really great people there and it wouldn’t be fair to mention names and forget someone; however I want to say that everybody from the British Council and the IATEFL committee were just fantastic. It was great also to meet the Hornby Scholars and if I have to mention one person it certainly must be Penny Trigg, who was so kind all the time and who worked a lot to make everything work smoothly.

I was also the Exeter Online LMCS forum moderator and it was quite a challenge to experience the conference on both fronts, but I reckon that to do this we really need more time and better internet access at the venue. I trust the conference committee will address this issue next year.

Now I’m back to base but the involvement with the conference hasn’t finished yet; on the contrary, there are articles and reports to write, ideas to put into practice and things to do to prepare the way for Cardiff 2009.