the international language association

ICC Conference, Graz, Austria - 21/23 April

Conferences are often about three things: meeting friends and colleagues you haven’t seen for a while (frequently because they live a long way a way); meeting new people who share similar interests and passions and learning things that you can take away and use in professional life. To judge by the reaction of delegates to the ICC conference in Graz, the event succeeded on all three counts. Under the theme The use of ‘New Media’ in Language Education, speakers shared experiences from the UK, Spain, Mexico, Austria and beyond. Wide ranging uses of technology as an enabler for broadening access and enhancing learning were featured – without ever losing sight of new media in support of good pedagogy.

The tone was set by Rob O’Dowd, speaking on how to achieve genuine intercultural communication using the Internet. Ursula Stickler showed us how the Open University in the UK organizes its programmes and supports its learners. Eva Groestenberger showed how e-learning can be made interactive and motivating through e-books. Elsewhere there were highly engaging presentations on automated speech recognition and the use of video games as a learning tool. There were wider perspectives from the worlds of testing and publishing and discussions on language as a soft power tool. Throughout, the underlying theme of what ‘New Media’ might mean for teachers and teacher education was what drove the two days. It is this coherence of purpose that makes ICC conferences successful and thanks is due to once again Tony Fitzpatrick, the founder of the organization, for being the driving force behind the event.


Ian McMaster Editor-in-chief of Business Spotlight,
wrote about the conference in his blog:

This past weekend, I travelled by train from Munich to Graz to join language experts from all over Europe at the 24th gathering of the ICC: The International Language Association, a network for promoting standards in language learning. The title of the conference was "Language Teaching and Technology in 2020", with an emphasis on the use of "new media".

Among the many fascinating talks was one on the use of video games in language teaching by Thomas Kelly and one by Michael Carrier on automated speech recognition (ASR) and its impact on learners and teachers.

Read the whole blog post here


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