Published 24th May 2019
Being an English as a Foreign Language teacher is not like other jobs. We have staff meetings and resource libraries in the staff room but often everyone in our schools is too busy teaching to focus on development. Though your employer may offer in-house development workshops or EFL-related lectures, it is often up to the teacher to upskill themselves and keep up-to-date with the theories of teaching and learning. This blog gives reasons why teachers should attend EFL conferences.
EFL teachers must read books, subscribe to magazines, follow blogs and do everything they can for their own Continuous Professional Development. This might sound like a lot of work and can take up quite a bit of time so why not attend an ELT conference instead?
If you haven’t been to an EFL conference before, you might think it will be a few days of sitting in a sweaty lecture hall with hundreds of other people listening to some random teacher talk about strategies for teaching listening or 250 reasons why homework is important. Not exactly the most exciting affair.
But if that’s what you think, you’re sorely mistaken. EFL conferences are engaging, interactive, interesting and enlightening. They are so much more than stuffy lectures and boring ideas.
Five reasons you should go to EFL conferences
It’ll up your motivation levels
At these conferences you are likely to meet like-minded people – EFL teachers who are also interested in maintaining their knowledge and allowing current theories of learning to inform their teaching. Connecting with other teachers and conversing with other teaching professionals will do wonders for any fading motivation you have for the classroom.
You’ll make friends
Attending a conference can be lonely if you are on your own, so many people find themselves hanging out with the teachers they connected to in lectures or workshops. These may be teachers teaching in countries miles apart, yet spending a few days together at a conference and you’ll probably be friends for life.
You’ll pick up some great ideas
Conferences are not only sources of academic information, they are very practical as well. There’ll be at least a few practical sessions which will give you ideas for games and activities for the classroom.
You’ll network with people who matter
ELT conferences are important events. The who’s who of the EFL world attend conferences both to speak but also to catch up with their peers. As a teacher attending conferences gives you a chance to meet important people in the EFL field as well as agents, publishers and recruiters.
You could pick up some freebies
Besides all the talks, lectures and workshops you can attend, there is sure to be an exhibition hall. Here you’ll be introduced to the latest resources from publishing houses and you may even get some freebies!