NZALT Biennial Conference, Queenstown 2010

July 15th 2010

Just spent 5 days at the NZALT Biennial Conference in Queenstown.  We had the opportunity to spend the weekend before “immersed” in the French language which was brilliant!  I haven’t spoken so much French for ages and it was so inspiring that even when we weren’t with the French native speakers we carried on speaking French.  Then, even back at the Youth Hostel, we carried on talking French when there wasn’t any need to!  We listened to some inspiring speakers as well as some who were not quite so inspiring and definitely had a lot to learn in the way of presenting skills – they would have been eaten alive in a classroom!  Here are some of my notes and thoughts on John de Mado and Tony Liddicoat’s ideas that I can really relate to.  I was also quite taken with Norhamin Abdul Samat’s session on learning language through Process Drama and found that lots of ideas ran through my head as she spoke as to how I could incorporate some of those techniques into the classroom.  More on that later.  The main problem I can see as I was listening to these inspiring people was how we can adopt these techniques for language teaching within the confines of an examination system that is traditional an narrow, and a results driven education system which has little space for experimentation if it means that in the short term result might suffer.