Angelos Bollas, Teacher Trainer at International House Dublin, recently participated at the 7th ELT Malta Conference. He was invited to deliver a plenary workshop on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion practices in English Language Teaching, focusing on LGBTQI+ identities as part of the Pre-Conference Event and a talk addressed to Academic Managers and Directors of Studies as part of the main conference programme. Here’s what he said about his experience:
"This was not my first conference. Since 2014, I have been delivering talks and workshops in national and international conferences in Europe and Asia. Speaking at a conference has been a great opportunity for me to meet colleagues from all over the world and learn from them. It is one of the many activities I do to cater for my own CPD.
This particular conference, though, is one that I will never forget for a number of reasons. Firstly, it included a Pre-Conference Event, sponsored by the ministry of education, focusing on LGBTQI+ issues in ELT, a topic very dear to my heart. Local and international colleagues spent a day together sharing concerns and best practices. Secondly, every talk on this conference was top quality, not just the plenary sessions but also the concurrent talks and workshops. Thirdly, never have I ever found myself in a conference where organisers took such a great care of all speakers and attendees. We felt really pampered!
If there is anyone reading this short article thinking about presenting at a conference, think no more and start drafting your presentation proposal. Attending a conference is one of the best things one can do to develop professionally.
Even if speaking at a conference is a very stressful thought for you, I suggest you give it a try. It is a worthwhile activity. It involves attending other colleagues’ talks, preparing and delivering your own session, networking with people from other contexts, exchanging ideas, finding out about job opportunities abroad, and, of course, in some cases, it involves travelling to other cities and/or countries.
If you are interested in presenting at a conference for a first time, ask the conference organisers if there is a mentoring scheme in place. If not, I would be happy to help you prepare your abstract and session plan. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org"