Sunday, 27 May 2012

Professional Development in Tokyo

When I was asked to present at today's ECAP Conference in Tokyo, back in March, I agreed but was in two minds. On the one hand, I've always known what I would like to do with an opportunity like this (not drone on about Cambridge ESOL's storied history for starters) but on the other, I really don't like standing up in front of an expectant crowd of my peers. I get nervous (very) and have lost sleep this last week in particular.

May 27th has been hovering on my mental horizon for weeks. Presentation! Why did I wake up the other night at 3am? Brain said "rip it up & start again". I made notes until sunrise then had a most unproductive morning!

I must thank my friend & fellow school owner Peter Schinkle in Sapporo for the videos of his young learners talking about their experiences taking Cambridge YLE. As regular readers will know, Starters/Movers/Flyers cannot be beaten, in my opinion, when it comes to assessment of children using English.

I also owe my mate & trusted Upper Main Suite examiner Luke a pint or three. His video submission was too long for me to eventually use (my timings slipped badly 'on stage'). I was really annoyed about my lapse because I was very keen indeed to share with my audience perspectives from the chalkface. I am hoping Luke will let me share his opinions here.

All the talking in the world cannot show how good the Cambridge ESOL exams are. With luck, my little turn will have shown an interested audience something they did not know before; my intention was to let them peep through the curtains and see a hint of what could be used at their own schools/colleges & in their own classrooms/professional development.

Thanks Tomomi at Cambridge University Press for your generous invitation, & John for sorting me out. I know I was C.ESOL Japan's "last pick" but thanks all the same. And thanks to my audience for agreeing to "need to know".

[And thank you Yukari. It is her birthday today and I am AWOL.]