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Last Saturday I was at the English UK Teachers’ Conference with Amanda Wilson, Callie Wilkinson, Phil Bird, Philida Schellekens and Melissa Cudmore on behalf of the British Council. We were at Prospero House near Borough Tube station talking about a few things: the general context of ESOL and some interesting research that questions the ‘sub-skills’ approach to teaching reading to English language learners (Philida – the smart stuff); a bit of context working in EFL and ESOL departments at the same institution (Amanda and Callie – the interesting stuff) and in fact just across the desk from each other; and ideas for going about professional development online (Phil and myself – the good stuff that needs signposting). Both of these sessions were recorded and look set to join this one, which we did back in June at the British Council’s Spring Gardens building (and which forms the third of our 3 sessions at English UK): I’m reliably informed by Melissa that the three recorded sessions are going to be put on DVD – so we are to be immortalised on disc (oooh err), so watch this space! Probably should have tucked my shirt in…

This is all part of a big project that the Council is running to assess how it can provide support to teachers of ESOL in the UK, through the resources for teaching in learning that are already housed on its websites, developing new resources (working with Tim Phillips and colleagues at Bolton College), and promoting these among teachers and people involved in ELT in the UK. Hence the fact of us going all over the place to present this stuff. In fact, Callie, Amanda and Philida are headed to Manchester for a British Council workshop tomorrow, so good luck to them!

The four of us will next be in London on Saturday 20th November for one of Trinity’s annual UK ESOL seminars. So if you are headed that way, we’ll look forward to seeing you there. If not, as I said above, all the content will be available in some form or other. Once videos are up, I’ll certainly link to them from here.

Oh, and apparently George Pickering was doing his talk in a gorilla suit! More on that too, when the British Council’s video of the opening and closing plenaries from English UK are put on the site

Image credit: a conference of street creatures – the hippie version by Bright Tal on Flickr