TESOL France sessions

At TESOL France my greatest wish was to be omnipresent and to attend different sessions at the same time! Because  with 68 attractive talks and workshops given by amazing educators from 27 countries we were literally spoilt for choice. But in the end, a choice had to be made, regardless of how difficult it was to decide which session to go to.

Fortunately, the post-conference buzz is still going on all over the blogosphere and twitterverse with blog posts, tweets, videos and photos of the speakers we didn't get a chance to see, so that they've all come alive in Vicky's posts on Day 1,  Day 2 and Day 3, in Ceri's Echoes of Paris,  in Brad's #TESOLfr made me think thrice and Shelly's Sharing Stories. Here are some of the most interesting thoughts, ideas, activities and links that I learned from the speakers whose sessions I attended.

I consider myself to be a true lifelong learner but Stephen  Brewer added two new dimensions to learning: lifewide learning and lifedeep learning. Definitely something worth exploring.

David Hill's talk about culture and cultural backgrounds as well as doing the activities with Julie Raikou and Paul Maglione made me think about the importance of living in different countries, of being more flexible and yes, more courageous.

Vladimira Michalkova was a real gem in the early Saturday morning. My students loathe homework (and so do I, to be honest) and Vladka gave some interesting ideas how to make homework fun, for which Vocaroo and Today's Meet have proven to be useful. Ania Kozicka, Chuck Sandy and I had a lot of fun with our chain story (no, you don't want to hear it!) which was based on an Old Spice commercial - except that we didn't know that!

Anna Musielak's workshop was as energetic and lively as Anna is herself. A workshop packed with verbal and non verbal activities that made us laugh and behave like little kiddies.

Cecilia Lemos shared fanatstic ideas on how to improve students' writing skills, such as forming a reading club at your school or making students do some mini writings in every class. She showed us her own worksheets that she used to check if students have actually read the book -  a far cry from the ordinary, boring ones  that we are so familiar with. Interacting with the writer per e-mail is something that can definitely boost students' motivation to read more. Rakesh Bhanot recommended a jigsaw reading activity which students will find inspiring as well.

Luke Meddings! Dogme and the city! Absolutely brilliant! Especially when he impersonated Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas (Thank God for tech malfunction).

Fiona Mauchline showed us different ideas on how to motivate students to write. I especially liked the activity with two totally different songs which students listen to and write about the images they can see in their mind's eye.

Ceri Jones' session You've got mail  on using e-mail in the classroom is an excellent example of how to achieve big results with little tech. Also, Ceri's students wrote the summaries of every lesson, which was a great way of learning. Important: The summary writer was always chosen at the end of the lesson.  

Weronika Salandyk showed us different ways of learning new vocabulary. We listened to music, wrote on the wall, played tug of war and had a lot of fun.

I didn't get to see Geoff Tranter's That's a Fun(ny) Way to Teach and Learn English, because I was way too overwhelmed after my own presentation. Luckily, Geoff's pleanary is online and I'm looking forward to grabbing an hour of free time and listening to this fantastic talk.

Cecilia Lemos 

Stephen Brewer

With Vladimira Michalkova

Anna Musielak with Vicky Loras and Dale Coulter


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