IATEFL Glasgow 2012

IATEFL Conference is extremely diverse and the programme organizers try to cater for a broad range of interests that will appeal to a large number of delegates. However, my interests are in literature and language and consequently they shape my selection of selection and of what to report here.

Creative writing was the topic of Alan Maley’s talk which was part of the Literature SIG Day Programme last Monday. In this interview he talks about how anyone can become a story and poem writer and also about extensive reading and the Language Learner Literature Award.

My colleague at the SIG Committee, Amos Paran talks  about his passion for the use of literature in language teaching and the relevance of the classics in modern times.

And here is David A. Hill, our SIG Coordinator, talking about the Literature, Media & Cultural Studies SIG and how we used literature and film based in Glasgow to focus on identities in multi-racial cultures. I would also like to say that David has been doing a tremendous job in our SIG and has been personally responsible for a lot of the nice things happening in our events. Thanks!

Most teachers are familiar with the concept of Graded Readers, which are ‘little’ books written in a language level that students can easily understand  because the number of headwords and the grammar structures used in the texts are tuned to learners’ language proficiency level. The stories may be either new versions of classics or original fiction or non-fiction. Graded Readers or – how we now prefer to call them – Language Learner Literature comes hand-in-hand with the concept of Extensive Reading (ER), which is reading for pleasure outside the classroom. As I understand it, ER is not only about language development but mainly about promoting literacy and the habit of reading.

To promote ER the Extensive Reading Foundation created the Language Learner Literature Awards. Every year judges choose the best publications in a number of categories and since last year the Awards have been given in a ceremony at the IATEFL Annual Conference. This year, we had the support of the British Council, IATEFL and the publishers to organise a very nice reception and ceremony, which was hosted by Jeremy Harmer. Just a word of thanks to Philip Prowse, who for months worked very hard to make the event happen and happen so beautifully!

This is the video recording of the LLL Awards Ceremony

Below is a video interview with Robert Hill, the editor of Just So Stories, published by Black Cat. Here Rob also talks about the session he presented on pre and post reading activities. That was one of the best presentations I attended this year and certainly the most entertaining because Rob is a fantastically gifted speaker.