TESOL France 30th Colloquium – Day One (#TESOLFr)

Last year was the first time I attended TESOL France – it was a huge success from many aspects. First of all, the plenaries, workshops and talks were all fantastic and I learned so much. I met a lot of people I had only been interacting with online on Twitter and learned what the face-to-face meetings are really like: a lot of squealing, hugging and “Oh wow! It´s really you!!!!” among ourselves.

Beth Cagnol, TESOL France President (aka Wonderwoman!)

This year, I decided to do the same (well, actually, I had already decided after last year´s colloquium was finished!). I arrived in Paris last Thursday, on a rainy day…but I was so happy to be in Paris! I was positive that Beth Cagnol, the President of TESOL France and a wonderful person and educator, and her great team would prepare three great days for all of us who decided to attend. Which was exactly how things went! Beth opened the conference with a very emotional speech – I think we all had a lump in our throat just listening to her speak. Everyone at TESOL France made us feel so good there and enjoy a fantastic conference! This year I felt like I was returning to a very familiar place where I feel very welcome. Mille merci to everyone at TESOL France!


Stephen Brewer, Plenary Speaker

On Friday we had the chance to listen to Stephen Brewer´s plenary on  It was the first time I was attending Stephen´s talk – Beth told us a lot of great things that Stephen has done in his career before he started his talk.

I especially liked what Stephen said about language being like music (as he is an amazing pianist himself) – for instance, that in language, as in music, we always have doubts as to how skilled we are, even if we are good at it.

What I also liked were the notions of human agency that Stephen mentioned – the great ability to exercise intentional influence and make choices. Then the inner game came into play – checking http://www.theinnergame.com, I found this definition:

What is The Inner Game?
“There is always an inner game being played in your mind no matter what outer game you are playing. How aware you are of this game can make the difference between success and failure.” -Tim Gallwey
Dale Coulter

After Stephen’s plenary, I decided to attend Dale Coulter‘s session and was I ever happy to attend that one! Dale’s talk was Reflective Teacher Practice for Newly Qualified Teachers  – he told us so many things he does daily in his teaching and my aha! moment was when he said he keeps a journal, a normal pencil-and-paper journal. As I told hm after his talk (and I was very fortunate to discuss quite extensively with him), this is my 12th year teaching and I have never ever kept a journal! Dale reassured me it is never too late and I am going to use this idea, for the reason that I am always rather critical of myself when something goes wrong in lessons and I immediately dismiss my ideas. Dale said something amazing in his session: focus on the positive points and what went well and also on what you can improve. The best kind of reflection in my opinion! Read his blog here: http://languagemoments.wordpress.com for more ideas. Thanks so much for a great session, Dale!


25 thoughts on “TESOL France 30th Colloquium – Day One (#TESOLFr)

    1. Hi Ceri!

      I am happy you liked it! I am also very happy we met and I absolutely loved your talk : ) Hope to see you in Yverdon in January!

      Kindest regards,

  1. Vicky I’m so happy you came to the colloquium again this year. I’m utterly addicted to you’re passion and enthusiasm. It’s hard not to get emotional reading your post. It’s starting to feel like a REALLY good dream. But I do know that dreams come true and I plan to dish you all up another amazing conference in 2012. Vive la TESOL France! Big kisses, my dear.


    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful words, Beth!

      I truly felt like I came somewhere familiar and to a very big family! It was super thanks to you and everyone who worked so hard for it – thank you is not enough. I am looking forward to next year’s…and also to the event you are planning for January, I will try to come to that one too! A million thanks, Beth! You’re a wonderful person.


  2. Hey Vicky!

    Such a warm feeling I have reading the first day moments! Btw I love the idea of keeping a pen-paper journal! I would definitely consider that! I didn’t attend Dale’s workshop, hope he’ll write about it in his blog soon!

    Looking forward to the second day from your perspective=)

    Hugs from here,

    1. Hi Anna!

      It was so super to meet you! You’re such a lovely person, always smiling! You are very welcome to come to our event in September here in Zug, it will be great! I will be very happy to see you soon : )))) (I hope Dale will blog about it, too!)

      Big big hugs,

  3. Great write up of the first day, Vicky! I agree, Dale’s session was brilliant. I’d started journaling since earlier this academic year but wasn’t sure I was making the most of it. He gave us some great ideas for reflective practice =)

    1. Hi Mike!

      Thanks so much for reading and for your comment – it was super to see you and attend your talk, which was super!!! i got so many ideas from it. Would like to know more about your journal writing : )

      Hope to see you soon,

    1. Hi Jem!

      I am very happy you liked them – hope to see you there next year! It is a fantastic experience from many aspects. Great talks, sessions, amazing people!

      Kind regards,

  4. Salut Vicki!… of course we’re holding our breath for days 2 and 3 😉 lol
    You did really brilliantly with your tweets – thanks again.
    Yes, there’s definitely an ELTchat waiting to happen there, though I must say already, in reply to Naomi, that I couldn’t imagine not keeping a journal…. I wouldn’t know which class I was walking into without it.
    à la prochaine

  5. Hi Vicky. Late comment but I’ve spent the whole weekend writing up all my talk. Thanks for all your nice words, and thanks as well to the inspirational Bethany Cagnol for her flawless organisational skills that meant the conference went off without a hitch. I’m happy to announce that I’ve also included a lot of different ideas for reflecting, thanks to all the great input of the audience. Such a great weekend. Needed a whole week to get over it.


    1. Hi Dale!

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting – Beth and her team did a great job and I will definitely be attending next year’s as well! Your talk was great, I took so many things from it and I have told you about the aha moment that I had with journaling : )

      It was a really great pleasure to meet you and talk with you – hope you can come to Zug next year and present!

      Ciao for now,

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