2013 was a good year. It was really hard in terms of workload and extremely demanding both physically and intellectually. There were times I thought I wouldn’t make it because simply there was too much on my plate, but some of these things are now done and dusted and others are well on the way. I think the biggest challenges I had were to finishing writing my PhD thesis in exactly 3 years and getting a permanent job at the University of Leicester. Besides that, however, there were a number of other challenging and gratifying things.
I would like to thank everybody I worked with (you know who you are) and who helped make this a great professional year for me. There are my highlights for 2013:
- IATEFL Liverpool: we had a nice PCE and a very interesting SIG Day at the Literature, Media and Cultural Studies SIG. The ERF event was also a huge success and it was great to meet the ‘family’ once again.
- The British Council Jane Austen project: it was a delight to work with my colleagues on this and I think we ended up with a very nice collection of materials indeed.
- The launch of the International Student Experience Journal: we had two issues published, are now looking ahead to the third and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
- The new ELT Online Reading Group: the Group has now a new website, a new look and a lot more resources for teachers read literature and share it with their students. There is still a lot to develop and there are new ideas in the pipeline for 2014.
- Materials design and teaching: The new syllabus and materials I developed for the Shakespeare and the Literary Studies modules I teach at the ELTU. My students were simply great and coming to class was something I really looked forward to every single week of this last term. Thanks everyone!
- Distance Learning: the Distance Learning Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching English for Academic Purposes (TEAP) was approved by the University academic panel in January. We finished developing the content units in the VLE (Blackboard) and we started with our first cohort in October. It is going really well and we are looking forward to getting our students into the second module next January with a new cohort starting soon after.
- Research: besides my own PhD research we had a very productive year in the COLA project. Most of the materials and videos are now ready and hopefully we will be able to have them available for piloting before mid-2014.
- Publications: thanks to one of my supervisors, Prof Marie-Noelle Lamy, I published my first book chapter based on my research. Some other papers were published and there is more coming early in 2014.
Apart from more of everything mentioned above, these are some of the new things to look forward to in 2014:
- The launch of the C Group: you will soon find out what it is…
- The countdown to BALEAP 2015 Conference to be hosted in Leicester: call for papers coming soon.
- Touring TEAP: we intend to present our work in a couple of conferences in the UK and overseas. If your institution is interested, please do get in touch.
- The British Council Dylan Thomas project: to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dylan Thomas, the BC will once again gather a team of experts to develop resources for teachers and bring his prose and poetry into the classroom.
Thanks once again to everyone who helped so much with the work and projects this year. A Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014 to all!