Andy McNeish, Academic Director for Young Learners at IH Madrid, spoke for International House at the recent Eaquals Conference in Madrid, Spain. Below, he tells us more about his presentation 'Our Little Monsters' and how the interaction with a varied audience who worked in different contexts made it an enriching experience for him on both a personal and professional level.
“Ever since my first EAQUALS conference in 2014 in Budapest, I knew I wanted to go again and speak at an EAQUALS event. The EAQUALS conference has such a variety of people and speakers many from non- ELT backgrounds (other languages, assessment, marketing, management) and I love this diversity of the event. Being sponsored to present at this year's conference here in Madrid by International House World Organisation and representing them at the conference was a massive honour. IH schools and IHWO are fantastic collection of organisations with so much talent and expertise so I really wanted to do a good job and this inspired me.
While I was nervous, I had done the talk at the IH Young Learners conference and I was confident in it. It was great to pitch it at a different audience, tweaking bits to refer to other speakers and talks that I'd heard at the conference, tying it in with trending themes like giving feedback, managing people and data-driven research findings. The talk, I think, went down pretty well and provoked a nice little debate at the end involving people working in different organisations and contexts. It was a very fulfilling experience.
And, of course, I got to enjoy the rest of the conference! I met colleagues from different IH schools and met people from different organisations as well as, of course being able to see some fantastic presentations and furthering my own professional development. The whole experience was about making connections, connecting what you know to what others know and moving forwards with it. Thanks IHWO for the opportunity to go and to speak!"
Andy McNeish, Academic Director - Young Learners, International House Madrid