Fall 2013 Conference Report

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More than 100 ESL professional from across the province braved a grey and blustery Saturday morning for some professional development at Dalhousie University on November 2.

In the conference plenary session, invited speaker Dr Ken Beatty illustrated, by way of a short skit, several aspects of listening comprehension that challenge learners and teachers in turn. The presentation turned to a discussion of teaching and assessment practices that best help us as address the “Cinderella Skill” in the classroom.

The coffee break saw networking in all shapes and forms: handshakes, business cards, hugs between former colleagues and casual catch-ups on news and gossip. Dr Beatty then whisked us back into the auditorium for a very interactive workshop on assessment, which included a primer on best practices in creating multiple-choice tests.

A networking lunch followed, and a full house for the TESL Nova Scotia AGM. A slate of candidates was presented and voted on for the 2013-2014 executive committee. The concurrent afternoon session provided an intimate counterpoint to the larger sessions in the morning. TESL Nova Scotia members from a variety of settings shared their expertise on topics ranging from EAP to educational technology, to classroom management, ethnocentrism in TESL and learner autonomy. The smaller-format session meant lots of interaction and exchange of ideas and best practices.

The day was capped off with a book draw, with prizes donated by Cambridge University Press, Grassroots Press, and Longman. Teachers scurried from table to table, examining the range of titles when their names were called; I didn’t see anyone leave without at least two books under their arm.

Thanks to everyone who attended and see you at the Spring Conference!

(photos courtesy of Olga Sarycheva)

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