Great city, great conference: TESOL France 2011

Last weekend was the 30th Annual Tesol France Colloquium in Paris, and as that is just a short hop over the border for me, I had to be there. And with so many of my PLN in attendance, I really didn’t have a choice!

There are so many things you get out of attending a conference like this that it’s hard to summarise. Here are some of my observations…

Luke Meddings takes us on a dogme tour of Paris

  • Luke Medding’s fascinating plenary compared the city planning of Paris with the planning of a lesson. I loved his analogy of how we explore cities and language. And in case you are wondering why we dogme fans keep banging the drum for this particular approach to teaching and learning, there are still many misunderstandings about dogme teaching that won’t go away, and I heard them repeated at the conference. It’s the usual stuff (dogme = anti-technology, it’s only for experienced teachers and so on) and it’s the reason why we have to keep making people aware of what dogme teaching really is, or indeed, isn’t.
Cecilia Lemos during her excellent presentation on writing
During Weronika Salandyk’s extremely useful presentation on vocabulary revision. (Thanks to TESOL France for the photo)
  • Willy Cardoso is one clever chap. His talk, which questioned the whole idea of how we organise our classrooms, both literally and figuratively, incorporated both practical ideas, and theories from outside ELT, even outside wider education. I’m still digesting it now, to be honest. He used a term, ‘enabling constraints’ which continues to fascinate me. I’m going to come back to this many times, I think.
Dale Coulter having a well deserved breather during his great session on reflective practice.
  • Bethany Cagnol and her team were magnificent. It was a great conference, extremely well organised with a fantastic line up of speakers. Congratulations to everyone involved.
Me with Bethany Cagnol, president of TESOL France and all round legend. (Thanks to Ania Musielak for the photo)
  • As amazing as all the presentations were, the main reason to go to a conference like this is the people. Brad Patterson has written a lovely post on this subject, as has Matt Ledding, and I couldn’t agree with them more. Something special happens when the PLN comes together and it leaves all of us changed for the better. Until next time my friends…
Le PLN on Le Metro (l-r Dale, Ania, Me, Mike, Hieke, Shelly, Dave, Matt, Brad & Mike). (Thanks to Cecilia Lemos for the photo)
  • And finally… English teachers in Belgium need to be given an opportunity like this.
Some other Paris posts:

8 thoughts on “Great city, great conference: TESOL France 2011

  1. Great share! thanks for giving us a chance to have an idea of all the atmosphere there,to have a view of your experiences.

  2. Thanks Brad for your part in an amazing weekend. It was great to spend time with you in your adopted homeland. As you said, until the next round!

    Thanks Zümrüt, I'm glad I could help you enjoy the conference, even from a distance.

  3. Hi James, great review of the conference. It's going to take a lot to beat that one. Stole the picture too as a fb profile pic. Thanks

  4. Hi James!

    What a super post and I absolutely love the pics! It was so super to see you again so soon : )

    Thank you so much for the mention as well : )

    Hope to see you again soon (been awfully spoiled by ETAS Zug and TESOL France)!

    Big hugs,

  5. James, great summary, and so happy to be in it (thought you won't mention my workshops because of all the “volunteering”;)) Love the photos. Missing Paris even more now:( Ania

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