The lovely Fiona Mauchline, teacher, trainer, materials writer and ELT Pics curator, talks about her experience as a speaker and delegate at The Image Conference.
1. What did you enjoy about The Image Conference?
The people, the place, the buzz, not too much overload in terms of choice of session, the focus on a more limited area so less chance of ‘getting it wrong’ choice-wise, the friendliness, the food… can’t think of anything I DIDN’T enjoy!
2. How was The Image Conference different from other conferences you’ve been to?
More focus, and focus on quite specific areas rather than a jumble of skills, grammar, vocab, high-tech, low tech, flashcards, product promos…. that which is the stuff of ‘normal’ conferences. Also the fact that, by virtue of that focus being there, all those present were even more ´like-minded souls’ than usual, rather than just ‘anyone in ELT’.
Plus it was the first time I’ve been to a conference where the plenaries are delivered from a pulpit and the heavens have the final word in the Opening Plenary.
3. What were the main discussion points to arise in The Image Conference?
Going beyond the obvious. Challenging students not just linguistically but their critical thinking skills, their imagination and creativity, engaging students – and teachers – in what they do beyond the normal parameters of their ‘role’.
4. Are there any practical activities you saw in The Image Conference which you’re going to use in your classes?
Yes, but I chose to go to more ‘thought-provoking’ sessions than ‘activities’ sessions. At this stage in my career, I prefer to be prompted to think beyond, to enter new jungles ;)and then experiment and come up with my own ideas, than to pick up an activity for Monday.
5. Would you like to see a second edition of The Image Conference?
Indeed I would. Yes. ’Sound and vision’, perhaps. Cue Bowie…..