Last year, I attended the IATEFL conference in sunny Brighton and was delighted to hear that 2019 would be on home turf. In the first week of April, Liverpool hosted one of the largest and globally representative EFL conferences in the world. Around 3000 delegates from over 100 countries flocked to Liverpool to meet other professionals across 4 days of talks, workshops and events.

This year was just as exciting and inspiring as last year, but this time there was the different kind of excitement that comes from presenting. As a first-time presenter at IATEFL, I decided to talk about the changes I have made in my own teaching as a result of some small-scale research I conducted last year. This research involved the creation of an observation instrument to document what teachers do when new language emerges as part of task, speaking or otherwise. The aim was to help new teachers record, and more experienced teachers reflect on, how to make the most of these teaching moments. It was what I learned during these observations that formed the basis of my talk.

My whole experience as a presenter was personally motivating, from the preparation stage to the point of delivery and most importantly, going forward. If you are thinking about speaking next year, I strongly recommend that you do!

I received an overwhelming amount of support from Liverpool School of English as well as from peers at other institutions in the area. The community of teachers here in Liverpool came out in strength to back the fringe event sponsored by NOWDOSA. This was an amazing opportunity for local teachers to put questions to the guest speakers (including Rachael Roberts, Hugh Dellar and Adrian Underhill), share ideas and experiences, and get some free food and drink! A success in Brighton and a success in Liverpool, this is something to keep an eye out for next year.

Can’t wait for Manchester 2020!


Caitlyn Gifford

Off book, not off piste: Responding to emergent language

Teachers often worry that sticking to the book can be demotivating and stifle creativity. Working with emergent language can bring the material off the page and engage students through meaningful and personalised communication when following a scheme of work. Drawing on my own practical research, this session will discuss what teachers can do to confidently respond to emergent language.