Pre-Conference Events (PCEs), organised by the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) of IATEFL, are held on the day before the main conference every year. Each PCE runs for the full day and all PCE delegates will receive a certificate of attendance. These events allow you to explore a particular subject area in more depth, network with colleagues from around the world and continue your professional development.

IATEFL 2024 PCE: Teacher Change:

What is effective teaching and learning? In short, your answer may depend entirely on what stage you may be in your professional development. From building disciplinary knowledge to applying that to pedagogical knowledge, we develop as teachers over time. We hone teacher competencies. The craft of teaching becomes intuitive year after year. We develop professional identities. But this doesn’t happen without change—a change in skillset, attitude, confidence, core beliefs, and our identity.

In this PCE, the TDSIG invites teachers to examine their own PD pathways. This event could serve as a means of autobiographical reflection for increased agency. Or it could provide a cornerstone of a mentor/mentee dialogue. Regardless of where you are in your professional development, teacher change is a crucial element of critical reflection and growth.

Registration: Log in to the main IATEFL website (or create a free account if you don’t have one) and then find the TDSIG PCE in the table of PCEs (third from the bottom) on the IATEFL events page. Click the in-person booking link to register.


TALK 1: The 3 dimensions of development by Jeremy Harmer

What makes us think and change (aka develop) as teachers? Is it the methodological currents that wash over us in a (long) career? Is it the experiences we have both inside and outside the classroom? Or are the students and their responses which have the greatest impact? In this session we will try to come out with a 3-pronged approach to development because in the end all rivers flow into the sea.

Having worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and director of the Instituto Anglo Mexicano de Cultura, Jeremy Harmer wrote a number of methodology books (The Practice of English Language Teaching, How to Teach English and Essential Teacher knowledge – published by Pearson – and the recent Jeremy Harmer’s 50 Communicative Activities published by Cambridge). He has offered training and talks all over the world. He is also a performer and a musician.


TALK 2: DOGME development: Impactful change through dialogues and shared experiences by Danny Norrington-Davies

Many teachers and schools have PD pathways and opportunities set out, but sometimes impactful development can come from unexpected places. In this session I will share how a staff announcement led to an ad hoc school project and how the project triggered change. I will describe how the project started, share teacher stories from their classes, and show how the teachers involved came to new understandings of effective learning and the role they might play in it.  We will finish by discussing what changed for the teachers in terms of skills, attitudes, or beliefs, and how reflecting upon it determined what steps we might take next.

Danny Norrington-Davies is a teacher and teacher-trainer working at International House London. His interests in ELT are emergent language, grammar, materials design, and creativity. He enjoys speaking at conferences, and his first book, ‘Teaching grammar: from rules to reasons’ was published by Pavilion in 2016. He is also the co-author of the book ‘Working with Emergent Language: Ideas and activities for developing your reactive skills in class’. At International House he works on CELTA and DELTA courses, as well as Teacher development courses such as Materials Development, Current Trends and Practical Teacher. He is also a marker for the Trinity CertPT.


TALK 3: Including the unseen: Uncovering influences on the individual to better support professional needs by Ben Beaumont

The reality of planning our professional development is rarely as easy as we think it will be. When we started our teaching careers, our development goals may have seemed straight forward, e.g. develop an ability in ‘X’. As we progress in our careers, these decisions often become more complex and even problematic, simply as a result of forces, seen and unseen, that we may just call ‘life’. However, if we desire agency over our professional activity, it is necessary to learn more about such forces so that we can take advantage of the positive and mitigate against the negative. This session will take a sociological approach to this issue, showing how Bourdieu’s thinking tools of habitus, capital and field can help us identify the varied, and often unrecognised, influences on this professional activity. By using teacher case studies to illustrate Bourdieu’s theory, we will be able to move abstract theory into the realm of teacher practice and relevant to questions around our own professional practice. This will allow us to explore how specific influences can exert different forces on different individuals, leading to considerations about the benefits of taking a contextualised and individualised approach to our continuing professional development. With opportunities in the session to interact with peers and explore our professional choices, we aim to uncover the implicit and unknown, making them explicit and known. And by building this knowledge, we should be better able to increase our agency and choose development activities that are a better fit for our varied, individual needs.

Optional pre-session reading: If desired, Grace Ramsey’s page on the SimplyPsychology site is a good place to build a foundational understanding of the Bourdieusian concepts used in the session:

Ben Beaumont is an educator and researcher who specialises in teacher development in ELT and English-medium instruction contexts. Having worked in teaching, assessment and training roles in a variety of sectors, Ben is keen to share emergent good practice with peers, helping support a balanced, localised and contextual approach to teacher development. As Head of Teacher Strategy and Publishing at Trinity College London, Ben’s work allows him to critically engage with teachers’ professional development practices, with the ultimate goal of maximising opportunities for effective learning.


TALK 4: Of Hats and Years (or Keeping the ELT Passion Alive) by Fiona Mauchline

ELT is a curious world; in some countries, pay and conditions are good, but – let’s face it – those countries are few. So why do so many folk stick around for 20 years or more and still enjoy the job? In Fiona’s case, keeping the passion and curiosity alive, getting involved, and changing roles from time to time have all been key. In this session led by Fiona, as she steps back after some years on the TDSIG committee, we’ll consider contributions from ELTers of twenty years’ experience or more, share our own thoughts and experiences, and hopefully start the IATEFL week off with a strong dose of networking and inspiration.

Fiona Mauchline has been working in EFL for 30 years, and has been involved in TD as both a face-to-face and online trainer for 20. She used to be a DoS and teacher, but is now an author, materials writer, teacher trainer, conference speaker, and blogger. She’s based in Oxford in the UK.

PCE Schedule:

 9:00  Registration Period
 9:15  Social time with coffee/tea and biscuits
 10:00  Welcome from Coordinators
   PART 1
 10:15  Keynote 1 – Jeremy Harmer “The 3 dimensions of development”
 11:15  Keynote 2 – Danny Norrington-Davies “DOGME development: Impactful change through dialogues and shared experiences”
 13:00  Open Space with the speakers
   PART 2
 14:00  Keynote 3 – Ben Beaumont Including the unseen: Uncovering influences on the individual to better support professional needs”
 15:00  Keynote 4 – Fiona Mauchline “Of Hats and Years (or Keeping the ELT Passion Alive)”
 16:00  Afternoon Break (15mins)
 16:15  Open Space with the speakers
 16:45  Closing TDSIG comments


Visit memory lane to see our past PCE pages:

2023 – Feel the fear and teach it anyway! (with PronSIG)
2021 – Alternative forms of TD
2019 – Are you a social justice warrior? (with GISIG)
2018 – Personalised teacher development (with LAMSIG)
2017 – Unlimited PD with technology (with LTSIG)
2016 – The teacher’s voice
2015 – Exploratory practice
2014 – Opening space for critical pedagogy