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Lifelong Learning - PD Fest Sydney
24 March 2012

First UECA PD Fest at the University of Sydney a major success

On Saturday 24 March, the first University English Centres Australia (UECA) PD Fest was held at the Centre for English Teaching at the University of Sydney. Over 140 participants travelled from as far as Perth and Auckland to attend the day of professional development for ESL & TESOL teachers. This provided an opportunity for teachers to share ideas, explore issues affecting the industry and discuss opportunities for career development.

The keynote address entitled 'Lifelong Learning' was given by Associate Professor Ken Cruikshank from the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. The speech focused on the need for teachers to continuously challenge themselves and find new ways to help students reach their learning goals.

The principal focus of the festival was to investigate a blueprint for the language centre of the future and the best way for teachers to adapt to the rapidly-changing world. The day comprised of a series of workshops in three streams, aimed at teachers in different stages of their careers:

  • Early careers teachers
  • Experienced teachers
  • Master teachers

Within these streams a mixture of practical and theoretical sessions were delivered with titles as diverse as 'Advanced Drama Techniques in Language Learning', 'Creating an Inclusive Curriculum for our Students', 'Teaching Outside the Box' and 'Using Technology'.

As well as the workshops there were panel sessions aimed at investigating how teachers can move forward in their careers and what the TESOL environment will look like as we move into the future. The feedback from the panels helped inform the final keynote, profiling tomorrow's students and discussing how teachers would meet their perceived needs. It was pointed out that this was not going to be easy because as Richard Riley, Secretary of Education under Bill Clinton said 'We are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist.' It was however agreed that new technology would be one of the main challenges of the future. Not only in understanding the technology itself but understanding how our students use it and how it can best be adapted to meet their learning needs.

Overall, the PD Fest was a great success and was a suitable beginning for an event that will become a major feature in the TESOL calendar. Not only did it allow teachers of all levels of experience to discuss current issues of concern but it also gave an opportunity for participants to network in a relaxed atmosphere.

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Program & Handouts

Time Event Early Career
9.30 Coffee and Registration
10.00 Welcome - David Larbalestier, UECA Director
10.10 - 11.00 Opening Keynote Associate Professor Ken Cruikshank
University of Sydney
Lifelong Learning in TESOL
11.10 - 12.00 Session 1 Workshop:
Using Technology
Lauren Brumfield (Kaplan)
Assessment Rubric as Teaching Tool
Christine Vella (UNSW)
Advanced Drama Techniques in Language Learning
Patrick Pheasant (USYD)
12.10 - 13.00 Session 2 Workshop:
Essential Ingredients of a Language Lesson
Dan Bruce (USYD)
Strategies for Reading Success
Sue Hodgson & Helen Askie (Newcastle)
Creating an Inclusive Curriculum for our Students
Pranit Anand (Wollongong)
12:30 - 13.30 UECA Directors Planning Session for UECA 2012 Mission
Teleconference with all Directors from UECA Colleges
13.00 - 14.00 Provided Lunch & Exhibition for ALL
14.00 - 14.50 Session 3 Panel:
Career Pathways for Early Career Teachers
Facilitated by Barbara Craig (Macquarie)
Next Steps for Experienced Teachers
Facilitated by Patrick Pheasant (USYD)
Industry Exemplars for Master Teachers
Facilitated by Margaret Miller (UWS)
15.00 - 15.50 Session 4 Workshop:
Teaching Outside the Box
Lydia Dutcher & Marcella Robertson (USYD)
Team Building for Teachers' Strategies
Nicholas Deamer & Maria Laudenbach (USYD)
Publish or Perish
Jannette Greenwood & Jeremy Lindeck (USYD)
16.00 - 16.50 Closing Keynote - Barbara Craig, Margaret Miller, Patrick Pheasant
UECA Committee
Future Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers at University Centres of English
17.00 onwards Networking Event - Drinks at Hermann's Bar, the University of Sydney
Drink Voucher provided


Lifelong Learning – PD Fest Sydney 2012 proudly sponsored by:

ueca sydney