Organising a UK ELT event?


If you are organising an ELT teachers’ conference in the UK soon, you may find the following article useful:

‘A checklist for organising conferences’

by Marjorie Rosenberg
from The Teacher Trainer Journal Vol. 19 No.1 2005.


If you are organising an ELT teacher training workshop in the UK soon, you may find the following article useful:

‘A checklist for organising and running a teachers’ workshop’

by The January Trainers
from The Teacher Trainer Journal Vol. 22 No.2 2008.


These two articles will help you get organised and remember just about everything you need to make your event successful!
However, what if you are concerned to provide a good gender balance of speakers/presenters/workshop leaders at your event? In particular, in the context of this web site, how do you find enough women presenters to get near parity?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Look at your list of speakers. Have you got parity or near parity of women to men?
  • If not, ask colleagues if they have been to any events over the last year at which there were women speakers.
  • Look through recent conference programmes of ELT events to see which women are listed.
    ‘For example, if you go on the site, the complete conference programme for the annual IATEFL international conference is available online from about two weeks before the event and for some time after. For example, go to:
    Conferences/Past conferences/Liverpool 2013 and scroll down near the bottom of the page. The full programme of speaker names and summaries of presentations, talks and workshops for Liverpool 2013 is available there for download or view for free! It is a wonderful resource.
    If you want to actually see some presenters at work, try Liverpool online and Glasgow online.
    Also available some months after the latest conference is the publication, ‘Conference Selections’, which is on sale in the IATEFL site shop. It contains summaries of many of the talks so allowing you to judge the relevance of a presentation to your own event topic.
  • Look through recent EFL publications such as Modern English Teacher, English Teaching professional, The Teacher Trainer, ELT Journal, The EL Gazette, to see which women are publishing in what areas.
  • Go onto Amazon or ELT publisher web sites to see which women are publishing books on the topics that you need a speaker for.
  • Consider asking publishers, exam boards and other institutions what women they could sponsor.
  • Go onto university web sites and look at department staff lists.
  • If the women you invite are a bit shy or unsure, offer mentoring. See the Mentoring Pages on this web site.
  • Consider having two demi-plenaries running at the same time to encourage and grow shy talent. (Thanks to Burcu Akyol of ISTEK for this idea.)
  • Make sure you have women included in other conference activities: making announcements from the podium, introducing speakers, chairing debates and panels, posing questions to speakers, opening and closing the event.