IATEFL 2017 - Day One

posted in: Uncategorized | 1

After a 4am wake up call with the road to myself on my dash to the airport and on the other side, a taxi with a lovely Glaswegian man to the SECC, I managed to make it just in time to grab my badge and head straight for the opening plenary.  I can safely say i’ve had a very full day one and won’t get through nearly as much as I want to right now.

I’ve been tweeting like a maniac all day.  Having attended some REALLY great presentations and workshops, i’ve now got so many fresh thoughts and ideas roaming around my mind to bring to the folk back home that i’m afraid if I don’t offload, my short term memory loss will soon kick in and all will be lost forever.  Luckily I’ve got a zillion photos as my hand gave up writing in session two…

First stop  – watch Gabriel Diaz Maggioli’s plenary session below.  ‘Continuous Professional Development’ seems to be one of the stand out ‘buzz terms’ this IATEFL and for good reason.

How do we get more teachers to take part in CPD – Is it the type of CPD we’re offering or do we need fresh alternatives which are more collaborative and peer oriented as opposed to ‘top-down’?

In this plenary, Gabriel gives a variety of options for CPD in schools so that our teachers move from the traditional ‘technicians’ who come and implement to ‘transformative intellectuals, constantly questioning their practice, based on evidence.’ He says these ideas for CPD will propel development for ‘learning communities’ where teachers support/help each other and it becomes a shared experience as opposed to focused on individuals.  But why do so few teachers take part?  Is the reason a financial one that schools need to consider more seriously?

Session Two

After that fantastic opening, came this…..another highlight of my day!!

Jane Revell introduced her P.L.O.T approach to storytelling – Predict the story, listen or read, operate on/retell the story and tell your own story.  Jane told a lovely story how she uses the childrens’ book ‘Room on the Broom’ with her grandson but before reading it, she questions him to raise interest, i.e. Where is the witch going?  What can you see in the picture but then personalizes the story for him, asking him if he would like to ride the broom or if he would like to be the witch?










Followed by Jeremy Harmer’s captivating part of the session on getting your students ‘into the story’ and ensuring they remain engaged throughout.   He explains that ‘the most important thing students bring into a room is themselves’ and we should use this resource for all its worth.  He shows us the following picture and asks us to discuss with a partner what we think it’s about, capturing our imaginations just as it would our students… he’s got everyone hooked at this stage!!

It turns out to be quite an intriguing true story which will no doubt keep your students engaged.  Check out one of the texts from the jigsaw below.   Students are given a small piece of the story and must report back what they have read in order to complete the full story in their groups.

Harmer goes on to say that ‘The best thing that could possibly happen is for students to Google it‘… get them to explore online, encourage it in English, get them to ‘switch their brains on’.


Nope, not even nearly half way through my notes from all the great sessions I have been to today but my brain is fried and I need to switch off for a bit.

Can’t wait for day two when I can stroll across to this all bright-eyed after what i’m sure is going to be a very deep sleep….dreaming of Twitter no doubt…










One Response

  1. Colette Diamond

    Great summary Aoife. Looking forward to more thrills, spills, tweets & treats tomorrow.

Leave a Reply