We’re counting down to IATEFL 50 in Birmingham next month. You may be doing the same – with the full details of the presentations now available on the IATEFL website. With something in the region of 500 sessions – that’s five hundred talks, workshops, plenaries, debates, panels, … the list goes on – well, it can be a challenge deciding what you’re going to try and see during the conference.

To help with this, each IATEFL Special Interest Group has a SIG Day, during which a series of talks and workshops from the main conference are selected and take place throughout the day in the same Birmingham ICC room.

TDSIG’s day is on Wednesday 13 April and takes place in Hall 8a at the ICC. Here are the speakers and sessions that have been chosen for the line up together with their respective abstracts.

Keep your eyes on the TDSIG blog – we’ll be sharing posts from our SIG Day speakers to introduce them and their sessions for the 50th IATEFL conference.

Who are you looking forward to seeing?

Session 1.1
Harness gesture: from tool to technique for improved classroom
Sally Janssen (British Council Jeddah)

Gestures are a powerful yet under-utilised tool that teachers seldom focus on consciously developing beyond initial training. This workshop demonstrates how gesture use can become an indispensable technique for everything from classroom management to dynamics, particularly in lowering L1 and with low-level learners. Participants will identify, clarify and extend their current range of gestural language to suit their teaching style.
Session 1.2
Spreading the jam: teacher workshops across time zones
Tom Heaven (Freelance)

A model for workshops in which teachers based in different locations work together is the main topic of this presentation. The model developed out of lesson planning events (called lesson jams) in which teachers collaboratively plan lessons. The simple use of technology to provide a platform for exchange between teachers around the world will be the specific focus.
Session 1.2
“That’s so gay?” – towards a queer-sensitive teacher education
Thorsten Merse (University of Munster, Germany, TEFL department)

In my talk, I will explore how the current call within ELT to acknowledge sexual and gender diversity poses new challenges for teacher education. By referring to a four-month teacher training course I taught at Munster University, Germany, I will conceptualize key aspects of a queer-sensitive teacher education that provides teachers with strategies and competences for ‘queering’ their classrooms.
Session 1.4
Exploring the insider perspective – teachers’ evolving views of teacher
Marina Bendtsen (Abo Akademi University, Finland)

How do (prospective) teachers view the process of becoming a teacher and what learning opportunities do they find significant – in teacher education and at the work place, respectively? In this talk, the findings from a qualitative longitudinal study, conducted in a Finland-Swedish setting, will be focused on and implications for how teachers’ professional development can be supported will be discussed.
Session 1.5
Tutor-trainee team-teaching: a hands-on tool for teacher training
Emma Meade-Flynn (Oxford Tefl, Barcelona)

What’s the best way to use unassessed teaching practice? This talk suggests team-teaching between tutors and trainees could be one answer and looks at how more trainer involvement could better benefit trainees’ development. Using case studies, including trainee and learner reactions, this talk proposes practical suggestions and guidelines for successfully incorporating this tool into teacher training programmes.
Session 1.6
Five, ten, fifteen minutes? Exactly how long does development take?
Sinead Laffan (Freelance)

Time; there’s never enough. And finding some for your own development can seem impossible. However, short and simple activities can be incredibly revealing and extremely rewarding. This workshop will look at a number of practical tasks, hear from teachers who have tried them out and give you time to discuss how they might be applied to your context.
Session 1.7
IATEFL Teacher Development Special Interest Group Open Forum
The TDSIG Open Forum provides an opportunity for members and prospective members to meet the TDSIG committee and to get a full account of the SIG’s activities, events and future plans. The open forum is also a chance to meet other TD professionals and to take part in shaping the future of the SIG.
Session 1.7
Exploratory action research – a practical introduction
Paula Rebolledo & Thomas Connelly (British Council Chile) & Richard Smith
(University of Warwick)

This practical workshop will suit teachers interested in researching their practice and/or teacher educators wishing to facilitate teacher-research. We guide participants through the first stages of exploratory action research, with reference to real examples and tasks from the ‘Champion Teachers’ Project’ in Chile and to issues in participants’ own contexts.

We look forward to seeing you on 13 April!