The second annual “Leadership through Innovation” ELT mini conference

“I enjoyed meeting teachers from different countries. Surprisingly, we share many common challenges even though we teach in different contexts. The discovery that I am not alone, gives me so much confidence in creating change”

The quote above is one of the many positive comments shared by participants who attended the second annual Leadership through Innovation mini-conference hosted by The University of Queensland’s Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education (ICTE) on Thursday 1 August 2019.

Over 175 in-service primary and secondary school English Language Teachers (ELTs) were invited to participate in this special networking event, offered as part of their English & Methodology for TESOL Purposes (EMTP) program delivered by ICTE.

Teachers from China, Taiwan, Macau, Chile, Japan, Portugal, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and the Republic of Korea, joined their ICTE teacher trainers from Australia and the United Kingdom in an afternoon of professional learning that included guest speakers who have demonstrated innovation in education.

Guest speaker Adele Rice AM presented at the mini-conference. Adele has been appointed as a member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to secondary education, and to the migrant and refugee community, particularly through the provision of specialist learning programs and settlement services. After retiring as the Founding Principal of Milpera SHS, Adele is serving as the Chair of FHEAL (Friends of HEAL), a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to providing healing for traumatised refugee young people through the expressive arts using Music and Art Therapies. Adele’s experience highlighted how teachers can support students through the struggle to success.

Marcela Alegría Soto, an ICTE Alumnus and primary school teacher from Chile, also presented at the conference. Marcela completed a course in ESP TESOL at ICTE in 2014. At the conference, Marcela shared stories of successfully implementing what she learned at ICTE into her classroom in Chile, including the use of ‘Vocabulary Bags’ – an activity her students now enjoy too. The audience were delighted to see Marcela’s videos of her students learning English through music and song.

The afternoon activities at the mini-conference also encouraged teachers to reflect on their sphere of influence as leaders. Participants were asked to ‘think outside the box’ and ‘unblock innovation’ to affect positive change in their classrooms, departments, schools, and even their communities.

Ms Philippa Coleman, ICTE Academic Manager for Teacher Training, remarked that the mini-conference offered our EMTP participants “a relaxed forum in which they could network and share their teaching experiences from a variety of teaching contexts.”

 “It was wonderful to see so many international teachers come together in one room to share challenges and solutions for their classrooms. For many participants, the event was their first experience of a TESOL-focused conference” says Fiona Wiebusch, Senior Teacher for Teacher Training. “Many of our participants walked away confident and well-equipped to host their own professional development event for their colleagues back home.”

The ICTE mini-conference event was hosted by the ICTE Teacher Training team, led by committee members Philippa Coleman, Fiona Wiebusch, Renee Winton, Sophie Walker, Melika Stannard, John Moran, Ceara McManus, Tanja Hafenstein, and Vicki Bos.

See more photos on the Facebook album below:

Last updated:
16 June 2021