I've just been accepted as a speaker at the South East Regional Conference for TESOL in New Orleans in late October!
I will be presenting a 45 minute workshop called Grammar = LIFE to a group of TESOL teachers from Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Florida and Virginia.
More info soon.
I'm rather overwhelmed. I've just finished my workshop, and the room was jammed with 64 people, sitting on the floor and standing in doorways. I was rather amazed to look up from organising my computer to see so many! I asked them if they knew they were actually there to see a presentation on grammar. Anyway, they were enthusiastic, engaged and receptive, so I think the Shoebox message was well received. One lady came up afterwards and said she and others wanted to bring me back to run a weekend Shoebox PD, which would be wonderful.
After the workshop, as I was waiting in the rain for my taxi, Cassandra (one of the teachers who came) pulled up and offered me a lift into the city to save on taxi fare, so I enjoyed a great chat with her about methdology, teacher training and different teaching styles. Thanks Cassandra!
I'm at the airport, waiting for my plane and thinking I could handle this conference gig.
I'm here in Brisbane! It's ridiculously humid, and the locals agree, so after my 1.6km walk from my motel to the University of Queensland, my shirt was seriously wet. (Air-conditioning is a wonderful invention.) The skies were grey, the air hot and still and the storms approaching. I envy the locals for the beautiful locale of UQ, right on the river and with some lovely scenery.
At the PD, I met some great teachers, mainly from Brisbane but others from further north and some from Sydney as well. At the introduction, I was surprised and pleased to learn that international education is the fourth largest export industry in Australia! (after iron ore, coal and natural gas.) What's even better is that our industry is eternally renewable, non-polluting and much more fun!
Flights are booked, hotel is confirmed and I'm off to Brisbane on Friday evening for rather a whirlwind tour. Depart Friday evening, arrive midnight, up at 8, conference starts at 9, give my presentation at 2, finish at 3.30, and fly out at 5.30. Back in Perth at 9pm. And then to sleep. The handout that will go to delegates is below for your download.
Some time ago, Nicki Blake, my Director of Studies at Kaplan Perth, invited me to speak at the first joint PD conference for WA ESL teachers. While these events have been going on for some years in Brisbane and other eastern seaboard capitals, this was the first such event for Perth schools, and quite a few schools gathered to learn and share their experiences: Lexis, Curtin, Kaplan, ACAE, Navitas, PICE, CELT and others.
I only had 20 minutes, which was far too short to go into detail, but it was a tremendous opportunity to share my passion for the language and some basic Shoebox principles.
After it finished, I got into conversation with a teacher who said that the market in South Korea for ESL is enormous, particularly for apps, so perhaps I should start work on the Shoebox app I have been dreaming of for some time. I also had the chance to catch up with some dear friends, including Luisa Maestri from ACAE, where I spent many happy years.