Is it in my purse? Hmmm...
Oh and of course, my ultra handy netbook is resting precariously on top of my filing tray - the mini computer looks like a cute toy even though it's actually more powerful than my laptop - he's (his full name is The Little Blue Guy and we're in love) just FULL of draft versions on the different sessions I attended at BESIG.
Ya, my work's cut out for me!
I'll be posting reports of these sessions up bit by bit, in between other lesson tips, ideas and reflections on teaching business and ESP English but in the meantime thought I'd quickly share some of the videos and photos I shot during the conference: made a little compilation which I hope you'll enjoy:
The BESIG organizers organized a very, very efficient event.
As soon as one entered the door, it was clear what to do, where to go and how. Coffee abounded, there was lots of space and most of the presenters were highly professional, prepared and interesting with much knowledge to pass on.
My feedback would include:
To the BESIG coordinators:
Timing - 40 minute sessions are too short.
Most of the presenters could not stay within the time frame, understandably. My personal recommendation would be to provide one hour sessions instead, asking trainers to present for 45 and leave 15mins room for questions and discussion.
While the great majority of the sessions I attended were fantastic and I'll report on those, some weren't. Some were an utter waste of time.
The main problem seemed to lie in the fact that the trainer didn't know who he/she was presenting to.
Sometimes I felt like I was in someone's very tiny personal institute rather than at an important BE conference - sort of like being with a bunch of unqualified trainers who were being taught the first round of basics or being given information best saved for an in-company group meeting.
However, the reality is that in most sessions I was surrounded by at least one or two
- Directors of Studies or Assistant Directors of Studies
- Entrepreneurs and freelancers
and in all the sessions:
seriously committed BE teachers.It costs time, money and energy to make it to a conference - we're not on holiday, so
1) be prepared
2) involve your audience
3) finish your research before presenting it - we're not interested in what if
4) spend a little time with powerpoint* and get to know it, it can be your friend
*obviously it's not always necessary to use new media, when it's not used the presentation should still be commanding.
5) practice your presentation
There was only time for 2, max 3 questions(?). The room was jam-packed: we had stuff to hear and stuff to discuss, we are your community: your purchasers, your reviewers, your critics - there wasn't enough time to do this in.
That said, great stuff the rest of you:
Allison, aside from your fantastic materials, you're a clear and dynamic presenter and I am actually going to cave in and buy yet another Business English coursebook, if you're involved in The Business, I'll check it out. Emery, I may never ever fly again but I will pass on your details if I meet teachers who want to specialize in aviation English. Schofield, my students are currently reading/listening to your readers, enjoying them so far and I've asked them to write up the reviews themselves! We'll post the results up soon. Prof. Azennoud I really enjoyed learning about Morocco - it snows in Morocco!!!- and your developments there, thanks for coming to Germany to share.
Useful links related to the video:
New Business English teaching certificate
Training in Aviation English for teachers and learners
Aviation English Student's Book and DVD Pack
Business Upper-intermediate: Student's Book DVD ROM Pack
Langescheidt readers by James Schofield
Room Service (Summertown Readers)
Peril in Venice (Summertown Readers)
Summertown Readers: Ekaterina
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge English for...series
Cambridge English for Job-Hunting Student's Book with Audio CDs (2) with CD (Audio) (Cambridge English for)