IATEFL Aberdeen


The 41st IATEFL conference was held in Aberdeen ‘The granite city’

Almost a view from our hotel window!

A large part of the MEC team attended this conference, the group photo on yesterday’s posting was in fact taken in Aberdeen. Steph Earnshaw, our MEC Training Assistant, writes:

“I really enjoyed visiting Aberdeen itself as there is some pretty impressive (and pretty grey) architecture there. As a first timer at IATEFL I was impressed by the scale of the event. I learned loads just by visiting all the stands and it was great to meet people and put some names to faces. I was very interested in the sessions related to Learning Technologies and really enjoyed Pete Sharma’s talk on using technology in the classroom. He also mentioned using free downloadable programs like Audacity to record and edit your own audio. So now I can create my own podcasts!”

Of course, MEC had its own prominent stand and many thanks to everyone who came up to talk to us. It was great to catch up with those of you we know and to get acquainted with those of you we don’t. For more information on MEC at IATEFL have a look at our Newsletter. We also managed to attend lots of plenary sessions and talks, to help us keep at the forefront of ELT knowledge!

So what did we learn at IATEFL?

2007 is all about blended learning and using technology in teaching!

With a total of 48 related talks, it’s clear that technology in teaching, and blended learning in particular, is really becoming a key topic for discussion in ELT circles.

Sessions of particular interest included:

–      Richard Cain’s presentation on Podcasting for beginners (British Council)

–      An interview with Nicky Hockly (Consultants-E)

–      Felicity Odell talks about Blogs and Wikis

–      Martin Peacock and Karen Waterston on Teacher Training tribulations – face to face to  virtual space (British Council)

–      For those of you who are regular visitors to onestopenglish, you can also see Rachel Hunt, the winner of their Methodology Challenge which was judged by an IATEFL panel. She speaks here about teaching collocations. (Freelance)


For the first time this year you can view the talks online by logging on to the British Council website. You’ll find video and audio recordings of some of the most prominent events, including those listed above. You can also post questions for the IATEFL speakers taking part in the forum, so all in all it’s a fantastic resource, especially if you were unable to attend the conference in person!


The MEC stand

The Macmillan sponsored Ceilidh



For a video clip of Aberdeen dancers in action, go here.

This Macmillan sponsored event offered many of us our first ever taste of Haggis and experience of traditional Scottish dancing. There was also the launch of the New Macmillan English dictionary which was welcomed with a formal address in true Robbie Burns style.

A great time was had by all – next year the conference will be in Exeter so if you get the chance to go, we highly recommend it!

Are you surprised by the strong emphasis on blended learning at this year’s IATEFL or did you expect it? As a MEC user you must feel relatively knowledgeable in this area, but would you consider yourself a digital native or a digital immigrant? Do you even recognize the terms? Send us your comments!


  • The British Council website is a great resource for anyone who wasn’t able to attend, or anyone who wants to refresh their memory! I think it’s especially useful that alongside many of the talks, the speaker’s PowerPoint slides are also available. Hopefully next year a greater number of talks will be recorded – it’s a really fantastic idea.

    Posted by Stephanie on May 04th 2007
  • Now wondering where I can acquire a similar kilt and matching socks – perfect for every occasion…

    Posted by Jane on May 04th 2007

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