We've just returned from an action-packed few days in Southern Italy, where this year's IH Young Learners Conference was held, hosted by the team at IH Reggio Calabria. The IH YL Conference is held every year for the YL Coordinators and DOSs in our network, and the programme focuses on trends, management issues and approaches relating to the teaching of Young Learner students.
This year's programme included a range of fascinating discussions, along with interactive input sessions which will really allow delegates to put theory into practice. Special guest speakers included Claire Medwell from Macmillan Education who delivered an engaging session on teaching 'Very Young Learners', as well as Keith Kelly from Anglia School who shared his CLIL wisdom with the audience.
On Friday afternoon, IH delegates were joined for the sessions by local state school language teachers - a great way to involve the local community in the conference and open up the discussions to different types of language teachers, allowing for greater sharing of ideas and practices. The local press - Stretto Web & City Now - even joined us too, and were keen to find out more about the conference and the IH network as a whole. See their articles and interviews on their websites.
Patrizia Quattrone, co-director of IH Reggio Calabria said: "When Marco and myself found out that our application to host the conference had been successful, we felt a mixture of excitement, happiness and, if I'm completely honest, fear! But I would honestly like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the directors of fellow IH schools who voted for us and gave us this wonderful opportunity. Seeing our team of teaching and admin staff work so well together towards to common aim of making the conference great for all delegates was incredibly rewarding and introducing our school and our hometown to those delegates was a real pleasure. The programme of sessions out together by IHWO was extremely varied and interesting and our local state school teachers also really benefited from being allowed to attend some of the sessions. An all-round excellent and unforgettable experience!"
A big thanks must be given to the conference sponsors this year: Cambridge Assessment English; Cambridge University Press; WebSchool; CEMS; CamilloSirianni; Guard.Me International Insurance; Macmillan Education and Oxford University Press.
IH delegates joined the conference from across the globe, and were blown away by the local hospitality and culture - the highlight being the traditional Calabrian banquet, music and dancing which closed the conference on Saturday night.
Lucie Cotterill, Educational Projects Director of IH Reggio Calabria said: "Hosting the IH YL Conference was definitely one of the highlights of our school's history. Our whole team thoroughly enjoyed the experience from start to finish and it brought us closer, not only to each other, but also to our fellow members of the global IH community. IHWO is an organisation whose members have so much talent and expertise and are more than willing to share their knowledge with each other. It was such a rewarding and educational experience which will have a visibly positive and long-lasting effect on our school. Thank you IHWO for giving us the chance to host it!"
Check out the official conference video here! A huge congratulations to the team at IH Reggio Calabria for hosting such a great YL Conference!