Dear All,

This year, Eaquals International Conference was held at Venice. Nergis Uyan, Sultan Zeydan, Özlem Baykan and Serkan Aras attended this conference and kindly shared their reflections with us. We would like to thank our colleagues for their attendance and for sharing their reflections. You can find them below:

2022 Eaquals International Conference was held at NH Laguna Palace, Venice from 28-30 April, 2022 with around 200 delegates representing language schools, publishers, exam boards, national quality associations and other organisations expected to attend. Conference sessions were organised around five main themes: language teaching & learning; course design, CEFR & assessment; staff development; leadership & management; and business & marketing.

Serkan, Sultan and Özlem attended the ‘Management Training’ as a Pre-Conference event and Nergis joined the Board Meeting and the ‘Inspector Training’ on the same day. Throughout the conference,  we all attended different sessions on a variety of areas, Sultan and Özlem delivered their sessions and Serkan supported the Eaquals social media presence. Our reflections and highlights from the conference are as follows. 

The Management Training Workshop on the first day of the Conference.

The Management Training day focused on the range of potential uses of the Eaquals Academic Management Competency Framework in different organisations and at different levels of organisational structure. Drawing on the participants’ individual contexts and experience, the training explored the ways in which the AMCF can provide practical and relevant support in areas as diverse as e.g. clarifying possible manager roles, assessing the quality of management, or planning professional development opportunities and career paths in academic management. As we will start using this framework in our school to evaluate the performance of the management team in ScOLa, it was a good opportunity to have the answers for the questions in our minds.

The session given by Sultan Zeydan: In the session entitled “The Magic of Remote Observations in New Normal” I aimed to share the details of how the remote observation cycle was planned and carried out for developmental purposes at ScOLa and present the results of the study conducted with the teachers in my team. The main purpose of the study was to identify how teachers felt about remote observations and to investigate the implications of this observation practice for school managers, teacher trainers and teachers seeking ways to ensure an effective teaching and learning environment.

It was a great pleasure to give a presentation at the Eaquals International Conference this year, which was my first in-person conference since the (Covid-19) pandemic. It was delightful to have some catch-up conversations with a few old colleagues and see some familiar faces in ELT. During the three days, we reflected over the past two years and shared the lessons that we have learnt in language teaching & learning, leadership and management in difficult situations. 

The session given by Özlem Baykan: 

“Quality Talks: Considering Quality from Multiple Foci” was a session given by Özlem Baykan and Dr. Semih İrfaner from Macmillan Education. The aim of the session was to focus on  a broader understanding of quality in learning and teaching by giving the audience an insight into the implications of the “Quality Talks” series which started to be held in 2021. Highlighting the key issues raised in each session of “Quality Talks”, important factors affecting quality were discussed with specific reference to the post-pandemic era. 

Attending the Eaquals conference and giving a presentation once again face-to-face after a long period of time was a great experience. Being involved in such a well-organized event with a professional and welcoming atmosphere, listening to the experiences of other institutions, catching-up with a lot of people from the ELT world, and socializing in the social events with the great atmosphere in Venice made me feel alive again personally and professionally after the challenging pandemic period. 

As for a couple of highlights from the conference, the management training gave me an insight into various ways of applying the AMCF at an institution as well as helping me reflect on my own skills and practices as a team leader. The sessions I attended about management/leadership helped me reflect on our own practices to manage the remote working process effectively, and a few sessions focusing on development made me think further about the competencies that would be necessary in the post-pandemic era. With the new dimension that language provision has gained, there are definitely a lot of new skills, strategies and practices  we need to consider for the  future.  

The resources from the sessions in the conference can be found in the following link: