Three wonderful people and educators I am happy to have met and be friends with - Ania Musielak, James Taylor and Mike Harrison

September 17, 2011, ETAS SIG (Special Interest Groups) Day: for the first time in the city I live in, Zug!

Super event: lots of speakers and visitors – especially my favourite Twitter people, people I had met last year in Paris at TESOL France, but more that I had not met. Two of them, Mike Harrison and Anna Musielak I had met before and was so happy to see again – and one, James Taylor, I would meet for the first time! It was great to meet him. With these three lovely people, we decided to write a collective blog post in the form of an interview, to reflect on this great event!

James: Apart from giving your own presentations, why did you want to go to the conference?

I wanted to attend the SIG Day because ETAS always does great events, very well-organised, very often and so helpful to our professional development as educators. Another very important reason was to see all my favourite Twitter people – attend their talks and Ken Wilson’s plenary!

Mike: Did anything surprise you about the conference? What and why/why not?

To tell you the truth Mike, I was surprised at the number of people attending from other countries, not only from Switzerland. There were people from all over Europe for this one-day event! It was great.

Ania: Which idea taken from the conference have you already used with your students (or are planning to use)?
I am definitely using Anthony Gaughan‘s student-centered activities which focus on recycling language and Mike Hogan’s on teaching Business English to beginners. Super stuff!
James: Apart from your own presentations, who were you most looking forward to seeing present?
Ken Wilson in action! We all loved his plenary.

I was looking forward to attending Ken’s plenary, which was awesome. Presentations I was looking forward to seeing were Mike Harrison’s, Anna Musielak’s and Vladka Michalkova‘s (but unfortunately, we were all presenting at the same time – terrible!). I was also looking forward to seeing Mike Hogan‘s, which was awesome on teaching Business English to beginners, a truly interesting and original talk. Anthony Gaughan‘s was super – it was the first time I was attending one of his workshops and it was great!

Mike Hogan in his workshop on teaching Business English to beginners

Mike: Tell us one interesting thing you learnt about teaching.

I absolutely loved Anthony Gaughan’s workshop packed with ideas for student-centered teaching (I love learning more about Dogme this period of my teaching life!). It was great, he had us moving around and doing great activities which I have started using with my students as well. I also liked Mike Hogan‘s workshop on teaching Business English to beginners – there are so many ideas to implement with them, and whoever says you cannot teach Business English to beginners, should attend one of Mike’s future presentations on the subject : )
The gang ready to hit the Old Town for the evening!
Ania: Did you have enough time for networking and meeting friends?
Fortunately, yes. The night before the event, it was great to see you, James and Mike and go out to dinner and listen to some music! After the event it was awesome to hang out (at various places, ha ha!) with you, James, Ken, the two Mikes, Andreas Grundtvig, Chuck Sandy, and Vladka. It was great to talk and laugh and smile a lot, a whole lot!I loved everything about ETAS SIG Day: the plenary, the workshops, the interesting discussions and all the fun we had with wonderful people. Ania, Mike and James, thanks so much for this great collaborative post – see you soon!

Mike, James and Ania walking along Lake Zug - hope you all come again!

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