My name is David Dodgson and I currently work as a language school coordinator and EAL teacher at an international school in Libreville, Gabon. I took my Trinity Cert TESOL course in Spain in early 2000 before moving to Turkey where I would spend the next 14 years teaching English to adults, children, and teens.

During my time in Turkey, I ran teacher training sessions for the British Council, INGED, and SELT Academy and also had the opportunity to present at several local conferences and international web events. In 2012, I also completed an MA in EdTech and TESOL with the University of Manchester so I am very happy to have the chance to visit the city as a member of the university’s alumni for this year’s IATEFL event.

I moved to Gabon in the summer of 2014 looking for a new challenge and new opportunities. As well as teaching EAL in an international school, I have set up a new language school to serve the needs of the local adult community. This means a return to teaching adults and business English after many years of working with YLs.

As a teacher and trainer, I value reflection very highly and I find that writing, whether in a journal or on a blog, is the best way to externalize that critical process. For that reason, I am very much looking forward to reporting from the 2015 IATEFL Conference.

Session Reports

IATEFL International Quiz Night (Hosted by Gavin Dudeney and Victoria Boobyer)

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Submitted by David Dodgson on Thu 16 Apr, 08:24

The IATEFL Conference is a massive event with a multitude of sessions running from 8am until 6pm. Even the coffee breaks are moments for further discussion and exploration of ideas. But it doesn’t stop there! A full programme of evening social events is also laid on for delegates and one of these –which I had the pleasure of attending– was Monday’s International Quiz Night.

Video in the Hands of Learners (Jamie Keddie)

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Submitted by David Dodgson on Wed 15 Apr, 08:21

So, on the last day of the conference it all comes first circle. I wrote my first report of the Conference on Mike Harrison’s short form video session and now my last one focuses on video too, this time with Jamie Keddie at the helm.

Open Space 2015 – Facilitated by Adrian Underhill, Susan Barduhn, and Ros Wright

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Submitted by David Dodgson on Tue 14 Apr, 12:02

The first ‘Open Space’ session at the IATEFL conference was held in Harrogate in 2014 and has returned to the programme this year, ably facilitated by Susan Barduhn, Adrian Underhill and Ros Wright. Having heard about Open Space events at other conferences, I was intrigued by the concept and was keen to join for the first time.

How Does Just Chatting Become a Purposeful Conversation? (Candy van Olst)

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Submitted by David Dodgson on Mon 13 Apr, 09:47

“That’s just chatting!” is a common and dismissive response to the idea of teaching unplugged, and one that prompted Candy van Olst to investigate the value of conversations as a way to learn.

Sounds good, looks good: Using short video clips in ELT (Mike Harrison)

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Submitted by David Dodgson on Sat 11 Apr, 17:25

Sounds good, looks good: Using short video clips in ELT (Mike Harrison)

Following the opening plenary I attended this talk on the use of short form video in ELT, given by Mike Harrison: part of the LTSIG Day and the first session of the Conference. I had seen Mike give a talk four years ago at ISTEK in Istanbul –on the use of sounds and images in the classroom– and I was intrigued to see the direction he had taken since then.