Wednesday, March 28, 2012

IATEFL Glasgow

Last week saw the end of the 46th IATEFL conference in Glasgow, with 500 presentations, 2300 delegates attending and more than 50,000 people attending online through Glasgow Online, organised by the British Council to allow people not at the conference to watch the plenaries live and view recordings of other sessions and interviews with some of the presenters. It's a fabulous way of giving people who are unable to come a flavour of what IATEFL is all about, and I think it goes from strength to strength. This year, one of the new initiatives is encouraging bloggers who are writing about the conference to register. This means that there's an official list of all of the people who are writing about Glasgow Online, and it makes it easier to find what the blogosphere is saying about the conference.

Anyone can apply to do this, even now that the conference is over - it's worthwhile doing as there's still so much content from sessions that were recorded that can be blogged about. I'm certainly going to revisit some of the sessions I attended, and catch up on some of those I wasn't able to be at too.



I'll start here though, with the final plenary and interview with Derek Dick, otherwise known as Fish (ex-Marillion), which was an unusual choice for IATEFL but a fabulous way of finishing the event. The final plenary of a conference such as this is typically under-attended because people head off at the end of a long week of sessions, catching trains and planes back home. That's why it's become typical to end on a light note, with someone who can entertain. In the past, there have been performances by poets, or storytellers. But I don't recall any like this. And it was well attended too.

Fish had quite a few fans in the audience is, and I know at least one person who changed his flight so he could stay on to the end to see it. Fish talked about song-writing, shared anecdotes, and was accompanied by his guitarist and keyboard player, performing a number of his songs. There's also a hilarious moment of heckling by Hugh Dellar, who was bet 50 pounds by a friend of his from home to shout for one of Fish's early songs (Grendel, a 17-minute-long song). Unfortunately for Hugh, he must have told too many people about this, so word got back to Fish, who turned the tables on him in a hilarious moment for anyone in the know - watch out for it in the session (below).