The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Monday, April 07, 2014

IATEFL Highlights 2014

As ever, this year’s IATEFL conference was varied, inspiring, fun, thought-provoking and yes, completely exhausting! Below I’ve picked out just a few of my highlights:

Meeting up with people who I’ve worked with but hadn’t met in person before – especially The Round authors who I’ve worked with this year on editing their ebooks; Jennie Wright & Christina Rebuffet-Broadus, who wrote Experimental Practice in ELT and Dan Barber, who wrote From English Teacher to Learner Coach along with Duncan Foord (who I sadly didn’t manage to cross paths with).

Going along to Jennie and Christina’s session which I would never have chosen if I hadn’t known them – just because it’s not within my usual areas of interest – but which was great fun and I think by far the most enjoyable session I went to this year!

The MaWSIG PCE, the first time I’d been to a pre-conference event. There were some interesting sessions and lots of great chat, but mainly it was just nice to be with lots of people like me!  Especially as a freelance writer, rather than a full-time teacher, it’s really nice to feel properly part of a group.

In the same vein, there was a great freelancer’s lunch on Thursday where I got to chat with freelance colleagues old and new, to share some of the joys and frustrations of freelancing. Big thanks to Karen White for organising that one and an ELT T2W gathering on Friday night too – lots of fun!

I had fun doing a bit of blatant self-promotion in my How to Write EAP Materials t-shirt. A lot of people didn’t quite ‘get’ the slogan on the front, which some seemed to mistake for something in Spanish! It still started a few conversations though, which after all, was the idea …

I did lots of useful networking, a mix of pre-planned meetings, publisher’s events and just general schmoozing. I gave out lots of cards and I’ve got fingers crossed for some potential new work down the line.

An unexpected highlight this year came from mentoring a new speaker. I’d ticked a box on my proposal form way back in September and completely forgotten about it. Then a couple of weeks ago I was contacted by my ‘mentee’.  We did quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing via email ahead of the conference while he worked on preparing his session. And although we didn’t finally manage to meet in person, he sent me a lovely message after his session saying how helpful my input had been, which was a really great note to end the week on!

Oh and did I mention the Turkish Baths … ?!

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