In the lead up to the IATEFL 2014 Harrogate conference, Adam Simpson has started a ‘chain reaction‘ blog challenge:
“I choose two or three of this year’s registered bloggers and introduce them on my blog. These bloggers then in turn choose other registered bloggers and interview them… and so it goes on until you all have a good idea of who will be blogging about this years event.”
I have firstly decided to interview Sandy Millin, with whom I attended my first IATEFL and who got me into things like blogging, using Edmodo and not using ten words where three will do when it comes to writing instructions! She’s an inspiration to teachers and students alike. For this interview, I used the same set of questions that Adam gave me.
Here are the questions and Sandy’s answers:
- Please introduce yourself
My name’s Sandy Millin. I’ve been the Director of Studies at International House Sevastopol since September 2013. As I’m sure you’ve probably seen in the news, it’s in Crimea, which is probably now in Russia, although some people may argue with that! I’ve been teaching EFL for seven years, and have previously taught in Borneo, Paraguay, the Czech Republic and the UK.
- Could you give us brief details about your session at IATEFL 2014?
My session is called ‘Stepping into the real world: transitioning listening’. It’s on Friday 4th April, 14:35-15:20 in Room R. It’ll also be available on my blog afterwards if you can’t make it: http://sandymillin.wordpress.com/iatefl2014
- What should your audience expect to learn?
It’s a workshop, so there’ll be practical activities showing how to help your students prepare for real-world listening, which can often be quite different from coursebook listening.
- Why are you interested in the area you’ll be presenting on?
I got interested in this area while working in Newcastle in the UK. My students came from all over the world, and no matter how high their level was, they almost all had trouble with listening, both to other students in the class and people in the outside world.
During my Delta, I did one of my observed lessons on listening, and read John Field’s Listening in the Language Classroom at Lizzie Pinard’s recommendation. It was really useful, and completely changed the way I approach listening. I’d like to share some of that at IATEFL.
- Do you blog? Could you tell us about your blog(s)?
I have three blogs, although two of them having been ‘sleeping’ for a year or so.
My main one is at http://sandymillin.wordpress.com. I normally write about teaching and share materials, although recently I’ve been writing a lot about the situation in Sevastopol and Crimea. That’s where I’ll be doing my IATEFL blogging too.
Independent English is designed for students. On it there are ideas for how to become a more autonomous learner.
Infinite ELT Ideas is a set of prompts. The idea is that people look at the prompts and leave comments suggesting how they would use them in class. This worked better when I first started the blog!
- What other aspects of the conference are you looking forward to?
My favourite thing about IATEFL is the social side. I can honestly say that IATEFL Glasgow and IATEFL Liverpool were two of the best weeks of my life. It’s great to be surrounded by passionate educators, and people who really want to improve themselves, and I always go away on a huge high. I’ll particularly enjoy IATEFL Harrogate as it will probably be my last one for a while – it’s not so easy to get there now I live in Crimea!
This year I’ll also be adding two whole new experiences to my repertoire: I’ll be presenting at the Pecha Kucha evening on Friday 4th April. If you’ve never seen one, a Pecha Kucha is a presentation made up of 20 slides, each lasting 20 seconds. The presenter has no control over the slides, and just has to keep up with them for the 6 minutes and 40 seconds they run for. If the test runs I’ve done are anything to go by, I’ll be very out of breath by the end, but I’m really looking forward to it! The other new experience is the fact that it’ll be livestreamed, so you can watch it at IATEFL Harrogate Online 🙂
- Why did you sign up as an IATEFL registered blogger?
I’ll be blogging a lot while I’m at IATEFL, so it makes sense to be a registered blogger! It also means you’re part of the patchwork of the IATEFL experience, and you can get a fuller picture of the whole event. Only a few days to go now…
Thank you Sandy! I hope you have a great IATEFL 2014 and am looking forward to seeing you there! 🙂