Back from the APLIUT conference

librairie

Not exactly my namesakes – but close enough… And they sell books! Small wonder I liked the place 😉

I will probably continue to dream in three languages for a few days to come, until all the echoes from the language conference in France have subsided and my brain finishes processing all the new impressions… The slightly babel-istic/babel-ish (is that a word?) state of my brain notwithstanding, I think attending the APLIUT conference in Montpellier was a really good idea. On the one hand because I think that my (at least listening) skills in French have improved – yes, I understood much more than last year in Nantes! Small talk and following some of the workshops was still difficult, though. Yes, interestingly enough, I found the plenary lectures easier to follow than the coffee break conversations. Which has probably a lot to do with the fact that a lecture is delivered at slightly slower pace and normally doesn’t use a lot of colloquial speech… But of course my main reason to go there was not for improving my French (which was a nice side effect) but to talk about drama in language teaching, especially in teaching business English and to my great surprise more people wanted to hear my talk than would fit in the room. Therefore, I was asked if I could give the talk again – they said they were sorry that they’d had to turn away a number of people the first time and there was no other presenter in the room afterwards, so… of course I was happy to oblige. Also, I have never had so many people come to me after a talk and say that they enjoyed it… Maybe it is just conference ettiquette in France to do this? Or maybe I could really give them something that was useful for them. Some questions I have taken with me, which I will think about, such as: Can you do drama activities also with large groups, say 30 or 40 students? Can you do such activities and projects even if you don’t have any experience with theatre? Can you assess your students’ language competence in a drama project/activity? Are there cooperations possible between learner groups/projects in different countries? I’d say yes to all questions and hopefully some future activities/research/projects will result from them. For now, however, I probably need to let everything settle for a bit and see if I can draw some inspiration from this definitely positive experience.