NEWS IATEFL 2022: over 2000 international educators in Belfast!
Read our reflections on the IATEFL 2022 Conference by PhD student Cristina Martínez López and Dr Mel Engman, Director of the MSc TESOL and Applied Linguistics.
“From the 17th to the 20th of May 2022, I had the opportunity to attend the 55th IATEFL international conference for English language teaching practitioners. It was my first time ever in a conference and I have to say it was very rewarding! As a first-year PhD student researching in the ESOL context and as a bilingual English language teacher, being able to attend the conference has been a very significant experience as it made me realise the big English language community that is formed with members from all around the world. While being there, I was given the chance to help at the Queen’s University Belfast stand and it allowed me to have conversations with teachers from different cultures, nationalities, and languages. I also attended some sessions carried out by other professionals in the field and even other PhD students like me, from which I learnt a lot. Each of these sessions gave me new insights into the field and made me feel as part of it. For all this, I am very thankful for this opportunity at this stage of my studies and I definitely recommend it as must to anyone in my same position!” Cristina Martínez López, doctoral student.
“After two years of zoom calls, webinars, and online conferences, the thought of mingling with brilliant language education colleagues in person seemed too good to be true. IATEFL's May arrival in Belfast was a gift for QUB staff and students. Attendees were treated to world class presentations that revealed the creativity and skill driving language teaching today, and the scope was truly international. Over the course of a few days, I got to spend time with scholars and educators from Nigeria, Wales, Poland, Uzbekistan, Palestine, the United States, South Korea, and the Netherlands. Each conversation opened a different window from which to view the relevance of language education to our plurilingual world, reminding me of the various social, political, and economic tethers that connect us with language. What language educators do is incredibly complex. Their practices must navigate individual learning objectives, top-down standards, material and environmental limitations, rapidly changing technology, and all of this in social ecologies that vary widely and unevenly. This work is not easy, and it is not neutral. Conversations at IATEFL brought this teaching truth into focus, and, as I reflected on previous conferences with colleagues, it was heartening to be reminded of how far the field has come.” Dr Mel Engman, Director of the MSc TESOL and Applied Linguistics.