Duncan Foord is the Director of OxfordTEFL, Barcelona. He has 30 years experience in language teaching, teacher training and school leadership and management. He is the author of “From English Teacher to Learner Coach” (with Dan Barber, The Round 2014) The Developing Teacher (Delta Publishing, 2009) and The Language Teachers Survival Handbook with Lindsay Clandfield (Its Magazines, 2008). He is lead trainer on the OxfordTEFL Leadership in ELT course (on line and face to face)
Haven’t we got more important things to think about in these “difficult times” than attending conferences? My job, my future? My covid test? Yes, it’s true you could spend your weekend worrying about these things or distracting yourself from these concerns with housework, Netflix or a night on the town. On the other hand, if you choose to attend the conference we can promise something even better! The conference is a chance to learn from fellow professionals, support each other and consider the options we have going forward, both at the micro level of teachers jobs, school closures and the macro level of technology , the climate crisis and the impact of the current pandemic on the sustainability of different aspects of our industry. In short, two days of getting inspired and inspiring others. Oh… and we finish at 6pm so you still have time for a cup of tea and your favourite series before bed time.
InnovateELT is an opportunity to attend stimulating workshops which will address big picture themes as well as give you practical ideas for teaching your classes next week. We have a fantastic and diverse group of speakers and workshops, a live lesson for you to observe, a panel discussion and “drop in” sessions. You can expect small groups of 10 to 30 people in workshops and talks, allowing plenty of opportunity for participation and engagement with the speakers in typical InnovateELT fashion.
Be part of the solution
“What happens next is up to all of us”. That was David Attenborough the British naturalist speaking in a recent documentary on the environmental crisis. You will have a chance to listen and contribute on important issues, not just for your class on Monday morning but our work over the coming years and decades. InnovateELT welcomes debate and disagreement and encourages participation from all ELT stakeholders including teachers, trainers, publishers, writers, administrators, managers and ELT entrepreneurs.
Contribute to a good cause and minimize your carbon footprint.
The conference fee is only 20 euros this year and half of that will go to our chosen charity, Plan International, which focuses on the education of girls around the world. Having the conference on line has helped us to achieve and exceed one of our environmental goals this year, a paper free conference, and of course there will be no travelling to get to the conference! We are delighted that ELT Footprint will be making a major contribution to the conference, foregrounding environment and sustainability issues and encouraging us to consider how we can be part of the solution.
Participate, Network and have some Fun
A stand out feature of the InnovateELT conference for many of our delegates over the last five years has been the dynamic and friendly atmosphere. It’s been a challenge thinking about how to create this online, but InnovateELT has always been about practicing innovation, not just talking about it! In the last six months our team of facilitators and volunteers at OxfordTEFL have faced the challenge of taking their teaching online and they are excited about transferring that experience of creating dynamic and successful English classes to creating a dynamic and successful online conference. One idea we are particularly looking forward to trying out is our zoom garden coffee breaks, where you will be able to make new contacts and renew old acquaintances with the help of our facilitators and the use of zoom break out rooms. We also have a team quiz on Friday evening for some more informal fun and our panel discussion on the future of ELT is bound to be lively. We can’t provide the beer or the coffee this year (you’ll have to do that), but you can expect the usual injection of InnovateELT adrenalin and a touch of sparkle! See you there!