Thursday, 11th May (Richmond)

1. Another just in time job, alas, this one! This year’s NATESOL Annual Conference – From theory to classroom practice and back again: What are we doing and why? – is this Saturday, 13th May, from 10:00 to 15:00 UK time. It’s online via Zoom, with Graham Hall and Jane Spiro as plenary speakers, plus other speakers from the USA, Nigeria, Greece, Japan, Turkey, China, Luxembourg and the UK. More info and registration here

I’m breaking my ‘must be free’ rule, as NATESOL have, for the second year running, offered twenty free places to teachers around the world who can’t easily afford the £10 ticket – and there are one or two of those left if you send me an e-mail with ‘NATESOL’ in the subject line before 13:00 UK time tomorrow, Friday!

Does anyone else read ‘What are we doing and why?’ with the stress on the ‘are’?

2. Here’s one from the IHWO 70th anniversary conference I attended earlier this week. Alistair Campbell was at Tony Blair’s side throughout the (New) Labour government here in the UK from 1997 to 2007, and he’s a big fan of foreign languages. Here’s his talk, Love Life, Love Languages; Love Languages, Love Life! We Need to Up Our Game in Oracy and Foreign Language Learning

Alistair was sure he and I had met before, but I don’t remember doing so – and I think I would. We were at the same university at much the same time and both played football for our respective college teams: is it possible he’s remembered me for nearly half a century because I fouled him on the football pitch, I wonder?

3. How to use ChatGPT to support teachers: The good, the bad, and the ugly is the title of a recent World Bank blog post by Tracy Wilichowski & Cristóbal Cobo. Early on in their piece they ask what they describe as an ‘uncomfortable question’: “With a shortage of 69 million primary and secondary teachers around the world, could ChatGPT supplement teachers, or even replace them?”

Archive here, covering a wide range of topics

4. The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) in Graz is launching its new three-year programme, Language Education at the Heart of Democracy at 15:00 UK time next Monday, 15th May. More info and registration here

5. And, finally, ‘where there’s muck, there’s brass’ – as my grandfather used to say! Here’s Jonny Crickmore from Fen Farm Dairy, the makers of the splendid Baron Bigod cheese, explaining how they make heat from muck to generate free energy

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