I have just returned from Malta where I gave my first overseas presentation at the 7th ELT Malta Conference: Multiple Perspectives in ELT. It was my second time in Malta, having attended the previous event, organised by the ELT Council, in Floriana. The plenary speakers were Katherine Bilsbrough, Fiona Copland, David Valente and Gail Ellis. Other speakers included Mark Hancock, Laura McWilliams, Angelos Bollas, Cathy Salonikidis, Helen Chapman, Amanda Davies, Alan Marsh, Agnieszka Dudik, Agnieszka Dzieciol-Pedich, Pamela Borg, Jen Dobson, Dragana Andric, Kevin Spiteri, Chris Walklett, Alex Warren, Elena Grodzievskaya, Annie McDonald and inspiring ELT Professional Award winner, Marielou Mifsud.
There was an excellent pre-conference event which had the theme of LGBTIQ+ issues, with presentations by Thorsten Merse, David, Angelos and one token ‘straight’ person, Katherine, although she did arrive with her self-described ‘lesbian art critic’ hairstyle.
The IATEFL Young Learners and Teenagers Special Interest Group had a prominent strand at the conference, as did the Learning Technologies SIG last year. I wholeheartedly recommend their upcoming 24 Hours around the world event.
It was World Mental Health day on 10 October and one of the resource sites I mentioned in my workshop – Mental Health First Aid England – published some new material for dealing with young people, with the #HandsUp4HealthyMinds hashtag. I posted my Q&A to my IATEFL webinar on the same day. When I took this photo I had just found that I had been referenced in a Masters Dissertation for the first time ever, as far as I know. The response I got to this ‘news’ on social media was great, especially coming from much more widely-published folk than me.
Something I didn’t refer to in my workshop in Malta was the links between homophobic behaviour and mental health. I had to ditch references to LGBTIQ+ issues as the PCE had covered it. But had I had more time I would have shared this post by @LizziePinard
An edited video recording of my workshop, which shows some of the slides, is below. I played ‘Venus and Mars’ by Wings, then ‘Venus’ by Bananarama, before I started. This is because I spoke in the ‘Venus’ room at the InterContinental hotel, while ‘Mars’ was the networking room next door. Please watch it full screen or go to YouTube to see the slides more clearly. Scan the QR codes at the end of the video for more information on resources and about my research into this area.
Thanks to one of the fellow speakers and my conference best friend, Helen, for recording bits of the talk, and to the ELT council for such a well-organised event.