In Retrospect: IATEFL Conference 2013 at Liverpool

In Retrospect: IATEFL Conference 2013, Liverpool
7 April 2013.
It was a bright sunny morning at Liverpool in UK. I was ready for the IATEFL 2013 Conference. As the venue of the Conference was not very far from my hotel, there was no point in hiring a taxi. Breathing the fragrance of the early morning of a country which had always welcomed me with her scenic beauty and serenity, I walked leisurely to the venue. Based on my previous experiences of attending international conferences in other countries, I was a bit anxious of the registration process and was apprehensive of a huge crowd at the registration desk. To my utter surprise, I got my registration kit in five minutes. What a friendly and relaxed atmosphere! Was it an academic meet or a family reunion, I wondered. “Great, you’re a Ray Tongue Scholarship winner!”, exclaimed one of the volunteers at the registration desk. Greetings and warm handshakes mark the beginning of your homecoming. You feel proud to be a member of the IATEFL family.
As a new IATEFL conference participant, I made it a point to attend the talks of the ‘How to series’ on all the days. Susan told us how to jigsaw our conference experience, Alison outlined how to write for IATEFL Voices and Tania provided the much needed guidance on how to prepare our reports. The precision of the talks made a permanent impression on our minds and their talks showed us the day. Really great!
My interaction with the delegates gave me the impression that young delegates outnumbered the old. Presenters who were in their twenties or thirties spoke so passionately and professionally! Their passion for teaching English as a global language and their commitment to professional development reverberated through their papers presented in the parallel sessions I attended. David Crystal’s plenary session on the language of the Beatles, Deniz Kurtoglu Eken’s plenary session on ELT weather and Jun Liu’s plenary session on ELT tomorrow also brought out the youthful spirit of the conference.
IATEF is becoming younger day by day. Hope IATEFL 2014 at Harrogate will follow the tradition.

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