Cactus Reveals The Winner Of The 2013 Cactus to Conference IATEFL Scholarship

October 2012

Cactus is very pleased to announce that Louise Cranston is the lucky winner of the 2013 Cactus-to-Conference IATEFL Scholarship .  Louise’s scholarship entry was chosen as the winner out of the many entries submitted and she will be attending the conference in Liverpool next year, where she will receive free IATEFL membership and benefit her teaching career. Louise explains her future plans for development:

“Once I have gained 2 years experience of teaching I would like to do a DELTA or Trinity diploma followed by MEd Tesol with a view to progressing onto PHD level so I can contribute to the research field of TEFL. I am also interested in working at University level or in materials development.” Good luck, Louise!

The Cactus-to-Conference Scholarship was created in 2009 to enable one new EFL teacher the opportunity to become a member of IATEFL (the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language), and to attend the annual conference.  While all EFL teachers are eligible for IATEFL membership, in reality it’s not something that a newly qualified teacher can afford, so Cactus’ scholarship offers a unique opportunity to network and gain greater knowledge about the ELT profession.

Scholarship entrants this year were asked to draft a short article about their experiences of their best lesson.  Louise’s winning description of a particularly good class in a language school in the UK caught the judges’ attention and showed the hugely rewarding aspects of the job.

My Best Lesson

Cactus to Conference winning entry for 2013 conference

My most effective lesson was a skills lesson I delivered on speaking and skim and scan reading on the topic of travel and tours in the UK. The learning objective was for students to have practised skim and scan reading and have presented a pitch to advertise a 3-5 day tour in a country of their choice, incorporating recycled adjectives.

I believe the lesson was successful as it was both interesting and useful to for the students. I began by engaging the students by showing them pictures of landmarks in the UK and asked them to stand next to the picture of the place they would most like to visit. This provoked interesting discussion on a topic that was directly relevant as a number of the students were considering where they might wish to travel whilst in England. I then introduced a jigsaw skim and scan reading activity on the topic of tours in England, namely two similar flower shows. I produced question sheets for each text which encouraged the students to effectively scan read the article and analyse it accordingly to find the information they required. I then introduced a ‘comparisons’ question sheet and the students worked with a partner who had read an alternative article to compare, contrast and evaluate the tours to decide which was the best. This encouraged oral fluency with peer support and ensured the students used the texts fully. This worked well because a number of students were considering using organised tours to visit London so it gave them the opportunity to practise with an authentic text that was directly applicable to situations they would encounter outside of the classroom. The students then used the articles to find 5 adjectives and then came up with 3 of their own that they would use to sell a holiday or tour.

The students progressed onto using brochures to prepare a pitch for a tour of their own and used the adjectives they had found and listed. The students relished this opportunity because I provided an aim for the oral fluency activity by stating there would be a vote at the end for the best tour. This awakened their competitive nature and they enjoyed using the brochures to find good hotels and apply as many of the positive adjectives as they could. This led to very lively presentations which really demonstrated their ability and led to them asking questions about the tours’ content.

If you are interested in being considered for future Cactus-to-Conference Scholarships, please find more information here:

IATEFL  recently launched a trial of a new membership tier – Early Career Teacher Membership.  This new membership is a full individual membership, which includes a Special Interest Group and the opportunity to pay extra for discounted periodicals, but runs for two years.  It is open to teachers who are in the first two years of their ELT teaching career, who have never been a member of IATEFL before. As an Early Career Teacher member you will also be subscribed to an online Forum where you can seek advice from experienced members of the IATEFL community.  IATEFL hope that this will enable new teachers to grow and develop with other like-minded professionals, keep up to date with the latest developments and share their own new and exciting ideas.

Tags: scholarship, iatefl, efl, course, cactus, learning, tefl, english

Please read about previous Cactus to Conference scholarship winners

Winner of the 2012 Cactus to Conference IATEFL Scholarship, Lizzie Pinard

Winner of the 2011 Cactus to Conference IATEFL Scholarship, Camila Heath

Winner of the 2010 Cactus to Conference IATEFL Scholarship, Fiona James

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