Anyone who reads this blog probably knows my attitude towards the Association for Language Learning. Living in a fairly rural area, when I first started teaching I felt a bit... isolated and in need of fresh inspiration and input after the constant drip drip of my PGCE year. ALL gave me that input. I still remember one of the most eye-opening days I’ve ever been to as being an ALL Spanish day at Canning House in London, probably in 2007, maybe even 2006. The keynote was given by Paul Keogh, the then teacher of the year. And wow did he blow my mind, showing so much relaxed enjoyment in what he did, and I have no doubt whatsoever that his learners loved it too.
Living down here in Devon means that sadly I don’t get to many of the superb ALL London days. This year I was honoured to take part in the brilliant ALL West of England conference alongside such luminaries as Chris Harte and Greg Horton. And in the near future I’m really excited to be giving my first Language World presentation.
Last year was the first time I’ve managed to make it for the whole weekend of a Language World, partially thanks to the very kind accommodation provided by the lovely Suzi Bewell. And I loved it. With sessions by the mighty Rachel Hawkes, Juliet Park, Wendy Adeniji and my former PGCE tutor, Anna Lise Gordon I came away refreshed and reinvigorated.
But Language World’s more than that. It’s also about the people. It’s about meeting likeminded individuals and sharing experiences. It’s about demystifying some of “the greats”- actually getting to talk to some of our language-learning heroes like Helen Myers, Linda Parker, Joe Dale, Lisa Stevens etc. And it’s about having fun. The conference dinner last year was one of the most amusing evenings I’ve had in a long time. Many a cup of coffee was accompanied by many a biscuit and many a laugh was shared. So thanks again to everyone who was there- and thanks in advance for those on Friday 7th July and Saturday 8th at Imperial College, London. With the likes of Vincent Everett and Isabelle Jones adding to some of the names I’ve already mentioned above it should be a great couple of days. I'll be running a session about creative technologies for creative contexts, about how ICT can enhance our efforts to move away from the "traditional" topics- but if I were you I'd actually skip my session (I know, what an admission!) and go to Vincent's. I'm gutted I can't go as it's on at the same time as mine. Hey ho.
If you haven’t already signed up, click here for lots of details, and if you’re still not sure, have a look at the programme below. And please, please come and say hi.