Going to Conferences, Connecting with Fellow Teachers – #TESOL France


My online life has become a source of continuous Professional Development and constant contact with my Personal Learning Network (PLN), which includes inspired and inspiring educators from all over the world.

I talk to them on Twitter and Facebook every day. We hold organised discussions on Twitter every Wednesday.

But meeting with them in person is a different kind of contact and going to a Conference has this extra value added to it. Making contact on a personal level, forming personal relatioships and networking with teachers from places as far and wide as Brazil, Italy, France, China, Japan, South Africa, the UK & US and so many more, is a fantastic experience!

How many conferences have you atttended in the last couple of years?

I know it’s expensive and sometimes difficult to find free days to attend, but if you can attend at least one conference every year, you will come back inspired and more motivated to continue with the hard task of teaching.

TESOL France

I attended this Conference only a week ago and my head is still buzzing with new ideas and new inspiration. I am also ver happy to have reconnected with many great teachers and to have met some who I only new from our online communications.

I don't know who took this photo of this great PLN but I just love it!

Here are some blog posts inspired by presentations at this recent conference.

The next set of posts has been written by Vicky Loras, a Greek Canadian teacher who lives in Switzerland- have you ever written a blog post after a conference? How do you consolidate and reflect on what you have seen in sessions and presentations?


The next two posts were written by Dale Coulter who presented a paper at TESOL France – Read this post and his previous one on Reflective Teaching Journals which is what he talked about. Do you ever worry about your own teaching but are not sure about what and how to do it? Dale’s posts include some great ideas.


Mike Harrison presented a workshop on how to use sounds and images and here is his blog post about it


And finally, last but not least, Brad Patterson wrote about his experience of attending such a great conference and connecting with his PLN in these two posts


Over the next two days, no doubt, more blog posts will appear. I am still working on mine which should also include the slides of my presentation


Meanwhile, please read this one too and watch all the videos at the end



I wrote this blog post myself for our #ELTchat Blog and I would like you to read it because it reinforces what I have been trying to say in this post.


Connect with us! 

We are here and willing to share!

Another great snapshot of my PLN at IATEFL Harrogate - from left, Esra Girkin, Amanda Wilson, Shelly Terrell, me, Petra Pointner, Ozge Karaoglu Ergen , Vicky Saumel - Turkey, UK, US, Greece, Germany, Turkey, Argentina.



Categories: Article

12 replies

  1. Dear Marisa,

    I absolutely love this post and the introduction just touches my heart – how wonderfully we have all bonded, become friends and learn from each other on a daily basis.

    It is great to know you and be able to attend your talks – I always get so much from them. I am also happy to know the wonderful personality you have : )

    Thank you so much for mentioning my posts.

    Sending you a big big hug!


  2. Lovely post! This will take a bit to read all the posts, but I’m looking forward to them all! I’m in the process of writing my blog post from the TESL Ontario Conference. I understand what you mean about your head ‘buzzing’! Great post!

  3. Great post, Marisa – and interesting links to other people’s blogs!

    I go to just one conference a year at my own expense. I am now retired, so I have no longer any opportunities for reclaiming expenses from an employer. However, I have also been fortunate in being invited to speak at numerous conferences, where my expenses have been paid in full and where (occasionally) I have received a speaker’s fee too. I love the buzz of a conference. I take part on online conferences at least once a month, but there is nothing like the atmosphere of a “proper” conference, where you can renew old acquaintances, meet new friends, chat over lunch and dinner, and rub shoulders in the bar.

    I am online every day. I use Twitter, Facebook and Second Life to keep in touch with friends and colleagues, but it’s not the same as “being there”.

    I have managed to attend every annual EUROCALL conference, except one (2006) since this association was founded in 1986:
    EUROCALL conferences always take place in a European country, around the end of August or the beginning of September. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one. We have had some excellent keynote speakers over the years, and a high standard has been set in the parallel sessions too. And the social events are impressive too. Have a look at this one, which was organised for EUROCALL 2009 in Gandia, Spain. The ballet was fantastic!
    At this year’s conference in Nottingham we were entertained by Robin Hood and Merry Men, ably assisted by Maid Marian.

    I missed the 2006 conference because I was recovering from major surgery at the time, but I was still able to take part at a distance in the so-called Virtual Strand, which was introduced in that year. This meant that I could watch the streaming videos of the keynotes and make comments through the blog and wiki – but I really missed the buzz! We have since dropped the wiki, but the blog is still active and now includes CoveritLive windows that pick up the conference’s Twitter hashtag. The CoveritLive windows can be replayed:

    Thanks again for a really interesting post, Marisa!

    Graham Davies

    • Hi Graham and thanks for stopping by, commenting and sharing your links (fixed blog link for you)

      I always enjoy this buzz and I am already looking forward to the next one, although I can’t afford to be going to each and every conference (though I would love to)


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