Anka Zapart, Senior ADOS for VYL and YL at IH BKC Moscow, spoke for IH at the IATEFL Conference 2019 in Liverpool. During her talk, 'ESL on the carpet: teaching English to very young learners', she presented the results of her research, focusing on the communication strategies that students as young as 5 and 6 years old used to communicate with themselves and the teacher.
"IATEFL for a long time was only an acronym that everyone talked about, the main meeting, the Oscar of the ESL/EFL, the cherry on the cake, the dream come true. And the synonym of the impossible and the inaccessible.
But after presenting at some other, smaller scale conferences and after preparing sessions for our teachers at IH BKC Moscow, I realized that, finally, I want to make one step forward and challenge myself further.
I had never been to the IATEFL but I became a member and when the time came, I sent my proposal and got accepted.
The dream became true(r).
If I were to give you a one-liner to describe my experience, I’d probably say that I simply loved it.
First of all, it is a truly unique experience to be able to participate in an event on such a grand scale. There are probably a hundred sessions everyday so you have to choose wisely but there is plenty to choose from and it’s just a lot of fun to be broadening your own horizons.
Some of these are the talks and workshops given by your gurus (role models, superheroes of ESL or however you choose to call them) and the conference is a great opportunity to attend them and, sometimes, to meet them, too!
Now, about presenting…It was everything I imagined it to be: exciting (because it is the IATEFL!), nerve-wrecking (because it is the IATEFL!), a big step forward in my training/presenting career, a chance to meet people from all over the world who have similar professional interests (I am not the only one choosing the pre-primary as my main area of interest) and to make new professional friends, a big challenge and a big pat on the shoulder, at the same time. The fact that Sandie Mourao and Gail Ellis as well as my DOS, Olga Connolly and my colleagues from IH BKC Moscow were in the audience was an honour.
So, if you, dear reader out there, are browsing through these articles on the IH website, wondering whether ‘to be or not to be’, I’d say, go for it! Join IATEFL, send your proposal and speak for IH!"
If you are interested in speaking for IH at IATEFL 2020 the deadline for submitting your proposal is the 12th September >> submit your proposal here.