With little more than three weeks to go until the eighth annual InnovateELT conference, we are hard at work putting the finishing touches on what is certainly our most ambitious event yet. Since its inception, InnovateELT has focused on innovation in language education and celebrated some of the most exciting things happening in our industry.
With the pandemic in 2020, the conference was forced to hotfoot it online. Building on the best of that event, we stayed online in 2021 and received even better feedback than ever. As 2022 rolled around, we wanted to keep the flexibility and dynamism of the Zoom event but also sensed a desire for the return to in-person connection. The solution? A flexible format with the first day online and the second at our hub in Barcelona.
We chose the conference theme accordingly. ‘All Together Now: Focusing on our shared goals in the increasingly diverse and varied world of ELT’. This year we are focusing on what we have in common. In-person or online; native or non-native; teaching, training, or leading: we all want to improve student outcomes and increase the accessibility of ELT worldwide.
So, whether you’re a seasoned InnovateELT attendee, or are hearing about the conference for the first time, we hope we’ve piqued your interest. But is InnovateELT 2022 worth your precious time and money? We certainly think so – read on to find out why!
1: InnovateELT speakers
We would be remiss not to start by showing off our stellar line-up of speakers! InnovateELT 2022 will bring together a wider variety of presenters than ever before. No matter your background and objectives, there’s sure to be a plethora of sessions competing for your attention. For example, you can look forward to:
Sessions which address a range of topics
Some of our speakers will present practical classroom ideas that you can put into practice the following Monday. These range from engaging ideas for Young Learners and Teens, to use of songs, or motivating ways to teach phonology (to name but a few!) Other speakers will explore the theme of community, or give tips for developing your career, or share ideas about mentoring others. One thing is for sure – whatever your niche, InnovateELT 2022 will have something to get you thinking.
Speakers from many backgrounds
This applies to the personal and the professional. Firstly, let’s think geographical – we have presenters joining us from Europe, Africa, South America, and beyond. Our InnovateELT speakers are also drawn from a wide range of spheres within TEFL. You’ll find teachers, trainers, leaders, publishers, authors and many more. Not only that, but there is a range of experience levels too. Seasoned masters of the craft like Scott Thornbury and Duncan Foord will share their thoughts, while newer teachers will give attendees the benefit of lessons learnt during those first tricky first years.
A range of session types
Even within the workshop format, you can expect a great deal of variety. InnovateELT has always prided itself on the dynamic and interactive nature of its talks. This means there’ll be videos, games, discussion tasks, quizzes, challenges and much more. And there aren’t only workshops on offer! 2022 sees the return of the popular drop-in session which – as the name suggests – delegates can check out at whichever moment suits throughout the day. We also have something a little different this year, as Lindsay Clanfield leads the Starpower simulation game on Saturday afternoon. Places for this are strictly limited, so be there promptly if you want to learn about the nature of power and systems (and about yourself!)
2: Networking at InnovateELT
It’s not only our speakers who are a diverse bunch! In-person and online, InnovateELT provides attendees with the opportunity to get together with fellow professionals from all corners of the TEFL universe. Over the years, we think that the opportunity to get together with fellow teachers, trainers, and leaders has become a real highlight of InnovateELT. Indeed, this is a feature of the conference that consistently receives excellent feedback, regardless of the format.
How do we facilitate this interaction, I hear you ask? Well, one look at our schedule will show you that there are a number of chances to chew the fat during the conference:
As well as the compulsory cup of coffee, these breaks give you a chance to exchange ideas with other delegates and speakers. Share your thoughts about the sessions you’ve seen, talk about your latest project, exchange social media details – there’s lots to look forward to! Our sponsored coffee breaks will also give you a chance to hear from the people and organisations which make InnovateELT possible. Sponsors may suggest some discussion topics to provide food for thought, or they could lead a game or challenge. Get involved!
On Friday evening, we will host a social event in our lovely Oxford House garden. This is the ideal chance for Saturday attendees to get to know each other before the in-person session on 1st. Naturally we will provide a cerveza or two, and you will also be able to finalise your workshop choices for the following day, meet the organisers and begin expanding your circle of contacts. Can’t make it on Friday? Never fear! As proceedings draw to a close at the in-person events on day two, we’ll move the action to a local bar, where you’ll be able to keep up the conversation while sampling some of Barcelona’s local food and drink. Who could resist?!
The InnovateELT Quiz
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about our online attendees! As well as the return of the very successful Zoom garden for coffee breaks, Friday will finish with a quiz. Working in teams, delegates will compete to answer questions on TEFL, general knowledge and a lot more. This will let you liaise with other delegates while showing off your trivia skills and being in with a chance of winning some excellent prizes (more on these later!)
3: The flexibility of InnovateELT
As you may have gathered, InnovateELT is now more flexible than ever before. Friday 30th September sees the 100% online event, while the following day will be in-person at Oxford House in Barcelona. There’s no overlap of sessions or activities, so you can attend one, the other or both – whatever suits best! Here’s what to expect:
Over the past two years, we have learnt how to capture that InnovateELT magic with the convenience and versatility of an online event. Taking place entirely over Zoom, our virtual conference still provides the quality content, opportunity for socialising and… va va voom of our face-to-face conference. Don’t take our word for it though – here are some thoughts from previous attendees:
“Overall, it was SO well organised and I loved that it felt so intimate even though it was online.“Pranjali Mardhekar Davidson
“Great vibe, great ‘different’ talks, and a buzz beamed into my living-room!“Fiona Mauchline
It’s been more than three years now since InnovateELT 2019, and the word from our community is that teachers are craving the chance to connect again in-person. Oxford House, with its modern glass-walled rooms and shaded city terrace, is the perfect spot to host a face-to-face conference. We’ll make the most of our up-to-date facilities to ensure attendees have an unforgettable experience. Never been to Barcelona? This is your chance! Located in the heart of the city, we’re very close to some Gaudi masterpieces, Las Ramblas, and so many other Catalan gems!
4: Competitions and prizes at InnovateELT
InnovateELT wouldn’t be InnovateELT without the chance to win big! Ok, we don’t have a holiday in the Caribbean on offer, but we do have a range of professional development opportunities up for grabs. There will be four opportunities to win – the Friday quiz we mentioned earlier plus extra draws after opening and closing plenary talks. The prizes are still being finalised, but previous goodies have included these:
- Free Teacher Development Courses (ten to choose from)
- A coaching session with Duncan Foord
- Membership of the Oxford TEFL Connect online community
- Discounts to be used on any Oxford TEFL training courses
- Teaching materials and resources
- Local products
The prizes are transferable, so winners can pass them along to friends, colleagues or staff members (if they’re feeling generous!)
5: Make a difference with InnovateELT
Lastly, we feel that attending InnovateELT is your chance to make a difference. We mean this in every sense of the term. That is to say that you can make a difference to yourself, by building your professional skills; to others, by sharing your ideas; and to our industry, by exploring and shaping its future growth and development.
That’s not all though. As in previous years, InnovateELT is proud to support CAMFED. Standing for Campaign for Female Education, CAMFED specialises in providing girls and women in sub-Saharan Africa with a secondary-level education. We feel that their mission is aligned with ours, as we both share a passion for increasing the accessibility of quality education. Last year, we were blown away by the generosity of our speakers and attendees, and raised enough funds throughout the event to send over four girls to school for 12 months. Our charity partner feels especially appropriate this year; in-keeping with our theme of All Together Now.
So, there you have it – hopefully by now you have understood what InnovateELT is about, and why we think it’s well worth attending this year’s event.
Just one more piece of good news – we have a range of discounts available!
1: Save 50% – for a limited time only!
We are offering a 50% discount on both the online and face-to-face conference fees.
- €10 for online (regular fee €20)
- €50 for in-person (regular fee €95)
Offer ends September 14th at midnight Spain time.
2. €20 (regular fee €95) for day 2 – local delegates only
Catalunya-based delegates can use discount code LOCAL20 to attend the Saturday event in Barcelona for just €20 (while stocks last). A great opportunity if you are located in our region!
3. FREE attendance for sponsors
Sponsoring InnovateELT is a great way to reach superusers from across the world of TEFL. We provide free entrance to all sponsors and we offer different sponsorship packages for most budgets. So, whether you’re a small start up or a well-established big player, feel free to contact [email protected] for more information.
So, what are you waiting for? We look forward to seeing you at InnovateELT 2022!
To see the schedule for InnovateELT 2022 and buy tickets, click here.
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