TED ELT Conference 2011 - ‘English Beyond Walls’

My employers, TED (Türk Egitim Dernegi or Turkish Education Foundation in English) today announced to us confirmed details of what will be our 4th ELT conference. It will be held at the TED College in Samsun on the Black Sea Coast on April 16th, 2011 and the theme is ‘English Beyond Walls’.


TED usually invites international expert speakers for the plenaries but also likes to have its own teachers involved in the workshops sessions. Cynics may say that’s a cheap option (!) but I think it’s really great that we get to see teachers from other branches of the school present their ideas. Well, I say ‘we’ – I don’t get to see them as I’m usually presenting myself!

Anyway, next week is a holiday here in Turkey so I’ll take the time to mull over my ideas. Perhaps you, the good people of my PLN, might help me frame my proposal…. I was considering doing something on using Twitter and blogs and one title that popped into my head immediately was Professional Development Beyond Conference Walls in which I would explore the ways Twitter is used by educators across the world, how blogging can expand your teaching outlook and how something like my fledgling professional development wiki could be set up and used.

Showing how technology can take English beyond the classroom walls would be an obvious choice (working title: If you can’t take your class out into the real world, bring the real world in). Student blogging as done by the lovely Greta Sandler, video projects like Michelle Worgan’s Young Learner Video Challenge and pretty much anything Shelly Terrell and Özge Karagoglu have come up with would be perfect examples for this. The only hesitation I have about this is that, as of yet, I haven’t had much chance to try anything like this myself. I’m currently awaiting permission to make videos in reply to Michelle’s challenge but nothing is certain at the moment.

Or, my final idea, building on a recent theme in the blogosphere, would be a session on dogme/teaching unplugged and how it can promote more authentic and personalised language development. Doing it dogme style would probably be inappropriate for a session aimed at primary school teachers so instead I’d go for something like Scrap the book (kids scrapbooks, you see?) or Pulling the plug: personalising the learning experience.

Any other suggestions? I’d be happy to hear them!

If you fancy joining me for a weekend on the Black Sea Coast next spring, you can find details about the conference, including proposal and enrolment forms at http://elt.ted.org.tr/. We also have a Twitter page this year (@TedElt4) as well as a Facebook one. Hope to see you there!