It’s been a couple of months since this year’s IATEFL conference, and I am already looking forward to the next one, which will take place in Birmingham on 13th-16th April 2016. If you are not sure about attending, I would like to draw your attention to some good professional reasons to do so; or you may want to take my word when I say that mingling with creative, insightful professionals can help immeasurably to affirm one’s identity as a valued member of a global profession. Alternatively, if creative and insightful people make you apprehensive, you can just hang out with the likes of yours truly.
The unfortunate downside is that there is a substantial cost associated with registration, travel and accommodation, which can deter many potential delegates, probably including those who would benefit the most from the event. This is why I was very pleased to read that Oxford University Press (OUP) are sponsoring a generous scholarship for next year’s conference, to celebrate the 70 years since the first publication of ELT Journal in 1946.
The award will cover registration for the main conference and one of the Pre-Conference Events, a year’s IATEFL membership, an annual subscription to ELT Journal, a 1,500 GBP bursary towards travel, accommodation and other conference-related expenses, and an Oxford Teachers’ Academy online course of the winner’s choice. In return, the winner of the award will be expected to submit a blog post about their conference experience for the OUP blog, and agree to take part in a video interview, which will be published in the OUP ELT YouTube channel.
To be considered for the scholarship, one must submit, by 23 July 2015, a 500-word statement describing the applicant’s professional context, identifying affordances and limitations for professional development in this context, and describing how the learning gained during the conference might be shared with the applicant’s teaching community. One will also be required to send a passport-size photo for the conference programme. You can read a formal listing of the criteria for the scholarship in the list of current IATEFL scholarships, and there are some more instructions for applying if you click here.
Personally, I think that this is a great opportunity for anyone who might otherwise not be able to attend the event, and I would very strongly recommend applying. And if you happen to win the scholarship, do come and say hi at the conference!