The 47th IATEFL Conference 2013 at Liverpool: A reminiscence

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 in the corridors of the conference venue. 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 has been turning younger day by day.Like the 47th IATEFL conference at Liverpool, the 48th IATEFL conference at Harrogate also sparkled in youthful vigour. Hope the 49th IATEFL conference at Manchester commencing today will also follow the tradition. A lot of hope, aspiration and expectation is already in the air of Manchester and ELT professionals from around the world are making a pilgrimage to this historical city to discuss, reflect and develop their ideas. A vibrant group inspired by a common cause!

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