17 comments on “Not another post-IATEFL blog! Well yes, as it happens……

  1. Thanks for the link, Jeremy! Don’t know why but I can’t help being so very long-winded…I think part of me feels guilty if I don’t blog my full experience…especially when I had the fortune of being able to be there all week.
    It was truly one of the best conferences I had ever attended, and the main reason was because of the amazing PLN and the wonderful people I met and spent time with.
    You are certainly one of those wonderful people, Jeremy.
    Thanks for making it a memorable conference!

    • Hi Chia,

      thanks for commenting here.

      As I said on twitter; not long-winded. Extensive maybe! But what the hell is wrong with that?!

      And yes, the PLN was great, and I think it/you/we etc looked after each other fgine – and in particular, in my case, by all that amazing tweeting all of you did. Fantastic.


  2. Hi Jeremy,

    Glad you did write another IATEFL post Jeremy! It’s good to see what you took away, especially knowing that I helped your conference experience somewhat with my manic tweeting! Welcome to the tweet-side! 🙂
    By the way, I’ve written my suggestions for sorting out room allocation on my feedback. I have experience in event management and think I could potentially help them avoid that mess again. Hope it works!

    I just want to say that I don’t think you were at all stereotyping Germans/Swiss in your talk. Having lived there for 4 years, I am pretty sensitive to things which will annoy them and I didn’t pick up on anything.

    I am really looking forward to the next conference/event when we can all hang out again. It was such fun!

    Until then, take care.

    PS. My conference reflections can be found on my blog here – http://unpluggedreflections.wordpress.com/

    • Hi Jemjem,

      thanks so much for commenting on my blog. And for putting a link to your excellent post-IATEFL musings.

      It was great, wasn’t it! And yes, your tweets were amazing. In one particular talk which was sort of OK I was able to feel as if I was part of another one that I actually wanted to be in!

      ¡Hasra la proxima!


  3. Hi Jeremy, you’ve made some good points. I especially like your question “How do we know they hear what we say and not something else entirely?” We have so many daily misunderstandings with people we work and live with every day. It’s no wonder that people from other cultures hear entirely different things from what we say and what we intended or actually meant to say. It happens to me all the time!!! We could all do with more courses in ‘intercultural communication’. Took one course with Richard Fay and found it fascinating.

    • Hello Susan,

      thanks so much for ‘coming along’! Great to hear from you.

      All those miscommunications! And yes, inter-cultural understanding is a fine topic for discussion. I saw a very nice plenary about it by Joe McVeigh in Dubai 3 weeks ago or so – and his book ‘Culture’ (with Alice C Wintergerst) , published by Pearson, is full of stuff O want to play with.

      But as I said in the blog, what interests me a bit is how we can ever know if our students have heard what we want them to hear…!


  4. Hi Jeremy,
    As Jem says, thanks for writing another post-conference blog. I really like the way everyone’s take on it is a little different. Thanks very much for the mention – I discovered from the tweet aggregator that I sent out over 1000 tweets during the conference! Now I just have to organise them a little…
    I sometimes wondered whether what I was tweeting was what the presenter actually intended, but I thik it comes back to James E. Zull’s ‘Ginger’ cartoon: we only hear/focus on what we think is relevant to us. Maybe those two men were heard the word ‘German’ and assumed that what was around it must be a stereotype – we’ll probably never know.
    It was liberating to watch/listen to a talk without visual aids – sometimes I think we feel that it’s not a real presentation without them, but you proved that that’s not true. Your ideas were involving and well expressed enough that just your voice was enough to make us concentrate.
    I really hope I can be there next year, and it was a pleasure meeting you for the first time.

    • Hi Sandy,

      1000 tweets! Wow, that’s some finger/thumb work!! Congratulations.

      I am so pleased you had a great conference. Your talk was so well received by everyone who was there that you must have felt really great.

      As for presenting without any IT…well it WAS fun, but I wonder if it depends very much on the kind of talk you are giving. 45 minutes, and a few issues for people to think about? Yes. 60 minutes with some more involved activity-based stuff? Not so sure. I absolutely love all the fun you can have with keynote etc, so I am still trying to work out why it was such good fun not to use any of it.

      I am sure IATEFL won’t be the last one you go to. I look forward to seeing you soon, somewhere, in a similar event.


  5. Jeremy,

    I really thought your talk with no slides was brilliant. In the age of social media, many of our talks get recorded, livestreamed, published, blogged and so much more. It makes it difficult for presenters who present often because the same talk could have been viewed already. I don’t know if any of this was with you before you decided to make your choice on how to present. I know in the past I have seen your beautiful presentation style and design. Your slides have always been amazing and fully supported your talks. I have enjoyed many of them. This one was different. It was a way to rather backlash at this new stage of social media. No slides and honest talking with audience participation is maybe a new way to go? It takes true commitment to a topic and true presence and belief in the topic and a way with words to do this. Not anyone can do this. I used to think David Crystal was one of the few. I now include you in this. Your talk did get recorded. I saw teachers with video cameras. They’ll probably will post it on Youtube. It doesn’t matter. It was brilliant and anyone out there will watch it and want to be part of what will only be a different conversation because the essence of the whole thing was a bit organic, growing from the audience and the presenter. It was a presentation birthed from both the audience and speaker and therefore won’t be duplicated and that is just mind blowing to me.

    • Hi Shelly,

      thanks so much for coming along to the blog and leaving such lovely comments 🙂

      But something you said has really caught my attention: the idea that a ‘naked’ presentation with audience participation is (and always will be) a one-off. And unless someone recorded the whole thing (and how could your record the whole audience and what they were saying/feeling etc), then the talks vanishes into mist and memory. It’s like live music, isn’t it. The music evaporates the moment the instruments stop speaking – and that’s part of its beauty and its tragedy.

      See you got me really thinking there!


  6. Dr. Harmer,
    At last I manage to get ur blog. I’ve attended ur talk in TESOL Arabia, it was just amazing. I’m preparing 4 a short talk next week on the same ideas I hope it will be as inspiring as yours.
    Wish 2 see u in SQU ELT conference in Oman
    Teacher Trainer from Oman

    • Hi Fatma,

      thanks for your comments. I am glad you enjoyed TESOL Arabia. I am sure your talk will be great.

      I look forward to seeing you at SQU in Oman in a couple of weeks.


  7. Dear Jeremy,
    It is with some fondness that I recall our TT sessions at Bell, Cambridge in the early 1980’s, all huddled together in the staffroom, when Krashen was news, we had to learn how to use the video recorder, the computer was a novelty, and all we had was our body language, the odd photo copy, our open minds, fertile imaginations and great excitement about developments in language learning. Those times, with you, Mario, Rob Bolitho and others remain some of the most cherised and productive moments in my professional development.Imagine that! I left England for Trinidad in 1989 to meet a truly pre 1980’s situation, and found myself endlessly inputting a different way of thinking and different approaches, but still without any serious technological innovations.
    The immense and amazing developments since then have also reached Trinidad, and some are used in teaching..but more so in the personal domain. Yes, in business and the university all the technology is available, but most of the small schools do not have the resources to update, and often rely on students to bring their knowledge and experience into the classroom. And Why not?
    Much as I wish I had all the new stuff at my fingertips (and i really do!) if I believed that teaching and learning and depended on them, I would hang my hat up tomorrow and call it a day. However exciting, motivating, and ‘ ín the loop’ new technology is, it remains an aid…just as visual aids and the like were in the old days. The essence is in the presenter/teacher, his/her charisma, his/her ability to captivate an audience and communicate the ‘message’.
    The main problem is not the delivery without the aids, It’s the storage of all our information. We have become so reliant on this, so when the computer crashes, even tho we may have backup…we are left to rely on our memory. Hello! What happened to memory?!
    Your experience without the techi backup shows that when push comes to shove, you can still do it. Go brave, and remember those of us whose lives are less hectic, and who have to rely on ‘old time’ charisma, experience and knowledge to get our point across.
    Thanks to you, and other of our generation, for all you have done to make language learning meaningful.

    Kate Wong (nee Innes)
    Angels Academy of English
    4, North Road,
    West Indies

  8. Dear Jeremy,

    your talk was certainly the most thought-provoking, mind-boggling one I attended during the whole conference! It gave me loads to think about and I even spoke to you at the end concerning the research on the effectiveness of error correction in the classroom. I’m starting my research this week and will be more than pleased to share the findings!

    BTW, can’t remember you saying anything offensive to any culture at all!

    Looking forward to attending another talk of yours in July here in Brazil!



  9. Dear Jeremy,

    your talk was certainly the most thought-provoking, mind-boggling one I attended during the conference. You surely gave me loads to think about and certainly made me look more closely at my practice. I even spoke to you at the end of the talk concerning the effectiveness of error correction in the English classroom and decided to start research on this issue (I have just emailed my Ss a questionnaire and am willing to share the findings!!). Thanks for that!

    BTW, can’t remember you offending any cultures or referring to stereotypes at all… Maybe this confirms the idea that what we say is many times not what people hear…

    Looking forward to attending another talk of yours here in Brazil this July!!



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