IATEFL 2014 – “Chain Reaction” interview with Mura Nava

“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 did my first chain reaction interview with Sandy Millin. This second one is with Mura Nava, who I discovered via my interest in and series of blog posts on wordandphrase.info (which is an interface for analysing a corpus – the COCA in this case) : Mura has a keen interest in corpus linguistics too. (For a list of the talks at IATEFL which are related to this area, see Mura’s first IATEFL 2014-related post .)

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Nearly time for IATEFL, wherever you are in the world! Click this image to find out how to follow online.

Here are Mura’s answers to the questions I got from Adam and adapted for use with Mura, who isn’t attending live but will be following avidly online:

Please introduce yourself

My name in Mura, I work as an English teacher in France. I have a soon to be 2 year old son who is at that age which is really interesting if you are into language learning. His current favourite word now (after ballon) is pantalon.

Which sessions are you looking forward to watching live or online this year? 

Well only the plenaries have been revealed as being filmed so for sure has to be Michael Hoey’s session. I have also heard that Russ Mayne’s (@ebefl) talk will be taped so will watch that.

I am hoping that Simon Smith’s session on Using lecture notes to create domain corpora will be taped, if not maybe one of your Harrogate-2014-going readers will cover it 🙂

Why are you interested in the areas represented by the talks/workshops you want to see?

I have seen Michael Hoey talk before and he is both informative and entertaining, I know Russ Mayne from twitter so be great to see him chat in real life and I am very interested in corpora and language learning/teaching so the session by Simon Smith suits me great.

What do you hope to learn from the sessions you plan to watch?

From Simon Smith’s session how to get students to build their own corpora as I am part of a project that will deal with similar issues.

Do you blog? Could you tell us about your blogs (s)?

Yes I do at eflnotes.wordpress.com though I am more active on the Google+ community for corpus linguistics – https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/101266284417587206243

What other aspects of the conference are you looking forward to?

The online forum discussions sometimes throws up good stuff.

Why did you sign up as an IATEFL registered blogger?

I have been doing it last 2 years and in fact in 2012 coincided with me launching my blog (properly, as I had written first post sometime before then) so I remember how it helped me with an instant audience.

Thanks, Mura! I hope you enjoy following IATEFL online and that lots of the talks you’ve ear-marked are covered via filming or blogging! 

 

IATEFL 2014 – “Chain Reaction” interview with Sandy Millin

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.

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Follow all the conference goings on at IATEFL online!

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.

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Visit Sandy’s blog!

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! 🙂 

See you at IATEFL?

It’s that time of year again, nearly time for the 2014 IATEFL annual conference,this year to be held in Harrogate. Are you going?

I am – thanks to the kindness and support of my employers who are allowing me to attend! Also thanks to the generosity of Leeds Metropolitan University who are fully funding my attendance via a scholarship. And, this year, I shall be presenting for the very first time. (!!)

The title of my talk is:

“Bridging the gap between learning materials and an English-speaking environment”

Here is the abstract:

Private language schools often send their learners out to interview people in the streets, but could these learners get more out of this activity? This talk explores how task-based learning and an intercultural approach can be combined to develop materials that enable learners to benefit more fully from a potentially rich learning opportunity and develop their intercultural communication skills. 

My talk will take place on Thursday the 3rd April at 1745 and will last until 1815: 20 minutes of me talking (but don’t worry that includes you talking too!) and 10 minutes for questions/discussion. The room I’m in apparently holds 180 people – the more the merrier?! This talk is based on the approaches I used in my materials that I made for my dissertation project (which were recently shortlisted for one of the British Council ELTons). If you are at IATEFL and haven’t already tootled off to the pub by that point, it would be great to see you in the audience! (Am *really* hoping not to find myself presenting to an enormous room with about five people in it…)

Of course, if you aren’t able to make it to Liverpool, there will be lots of talks and interviews recorded, and some sessions streamed live. You can find all this and more on the British Council IATEFL Harrogate online website. (Click on the image below)

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Bring IATEFL Harrogate 2014 to your sofa! 🙂

I’ve also registered as an IATEFL Harrogate 2014 blogger and aim to upload a few posts based on the presentations I watch, as well as my conference experiences. I will also post a write-up of my talk and my references in due course. So, watch this space! 🙂

I’d love to meet any of you who read my blog, so do come and say hi if you happen to see me!