Innovate ELT – an innovative conference

Claire Venables, Dani Jones and Teresa Bestwick in the garden

This weekend, Dani (Director of Teacher Training) and Teresa (course tutor and administrator) went up to Barcelona for the Innovate ELT conference. Now in its fourth year, Innovate really does have the perfect name as it looks not only at innovation in ELT, but also at ways of innovating the conference experience.

Sarah Priestly’s plenary on the FUN in ELT

Rather than simply being a series of hour-long talks, workshops and plenaries, Innovate provides variety in the form of 10-minute plenaries, 30-minute talks and, new this year, drop-in sessions with the chance to see a wide range of resources and materials available on the market. The two-day event is also punctuated with short breaks for coffee, juice and something sweet to keep your energy levels up – although with such a punchy format, it’s hard to get bored!

One other thing which struck us was the enthusiasm of all the participants and there was a definite sense that everyone who was there was thoroughly engaged, motivated and genuinely happy to be a part of their professional development.

There’s also a definite social atmosphere around the event – the welcome party in the garden on Friday evening and the closing party on Saturday night are both wonderful opportunities to chat with like-minded professionals from around the world, making new friends and contacts as well as catching up with familiar faces.

Huge thanks to eltjam and OxfordTEFL for organising and hosting the event and to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly over the weekend to make sure things ran smoothly.


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