Updated: May 3
Does that seem like a fitting start to this post? Yes! When you hear: Liverpool, you think: The Beatles 😍🎧"
But that's just an added perk. The reason I went to Liverpool was this:
It was my third IATEFL conference. Last year I blogged about it everyday and you can read about here. Blogging about the conference and the sessions I attended made me remember so much more of what I've learnt that I could not NOT do it again this year! So now it's time to share and reflect. This year I am going to write only about the session I liked best. So here goes!
The first session I attended was the the first plenary session of the whole event. It was delivered by Paula Rebolledo and dealt with teacher empowerment ... or rather, as it turned out, lack thereof. Rebolledo talked about how in our profession there exists a certain obsession with gurus. We wait for them to give us answers to all our questions and problems. She claims that because of that, we are disregarding and silencing the voices of the real experts - ourselves, the teachers teaching in the actual classrooms around the world. So what really happens is the empowerment of the gurus not the teachers. She said, and I quote, "teachers are used and abused but rarely empowered" in the true meaning of the word. She suggested that one possible way forward is teacher led professional development. But why am writing about all that when you can see it for yourselves here 😀
After the first session a theme started emerging for me. Learner autonomy is a very important and interesting subject for me so naturally I'm drawn to anything with "autonomy" in the title. This year, however, another word seems to be a trigger for me - coaching. I didn't plan it but somehow I've ended up attending five different sessions on language coaching throughout the conference 😅