IATEFL is the biggest TEFL event of the year and presenting there is very prestigious, but also challenging. Imagine you are speaking in front of an international audience who don't know you and who expect a high quality presentation because they know the IATEFL standards.
It was my third IATEFL, and the second as a presenter. This time I was proud to represent IH via the Speak for IH programme. I won't try to persuade you I wasn't nervous! However, it wasn't that scary after all, because the audience were so supportive and friendly that I managed to relax and even enjoy myself. Besides, I knew my content and wanted to share it with my like-minded colleagues - other CELTA trainers.
Speaking was only part of the experience. During the conference week I met new people, and was reunited with former colleagues who used to work for or are currently working at IH. This reinforced to me how widespread IH is, which is fantastic. I attended a lot of talks, and none of them disappointed. I tried to choose the ones that focus on what I do, but it was also useful to go to presentations from an absolutely different area, because it's fascinating to hear what is happening in other contexts. And of course, I bought loads of books which I could hardly fit my suitcase. You can't help it when you wander around the exhibition, can you?
In fact, a week at IATEFL felt like a busy exciting weekend, because time flew so fast. I'd recommend this event to teachers regardless of experience, background or teaching context, because it's so diverse that everyone can find inspiration there. I'm definitely going to Liverpool next year. It's a fantastic city and a fantastic conference. See you there!
Olga Connolly - IH Moscow