the international language association

Conference Review

25th Annual ICC Conference
4-6th May

This year’s annual conference was held in the glorious surroundings of Santorini. Glorious for many reasons. Not only is the island stunning, but the actual conference setting was spectacular and was the perfect backdrop to two days of thought provoking presentation and debate. The conference brought out the best in the ICC – blending the political, academic and practical to give us all a more complete picture of the challenges for language education when faced with teaching refugees and migrants.

Challenges and solutions?

We were honoured by the presence of Dr Asaf Hajiev, whose intervention about the problems in the Black Sea region, showed how geographical position and wider political and economic considerations impact on the movement of people. Bessie Dendrinos argued passionately for a change in the way we teach. Tuncer Can and Irfan Simsek told us about the difficulties of inclusion beyond refugee camps. But for every challenge we were shown possible solutions. Michael Carrier showed a range of low cost technical innovations that are being used across the world to great success. Elizabeth Mickiewciz presented a range of support initiatives currently used in the UK that could give some ideas elsewhere. Kostas Korozis and Michaelis Karakontantis showed us how at classroom level they were engaging with the students. Myriam Fischer showed us how EUROLTA teacher training could be adapted to suit the needs of volunteer teachers.

Tears, Music and Laughter

One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation by Luke Prodromou and Vicky Sarantidou, whose enactment of their teaching journey with a group of refugee learners and in particular their presentation of the learners’ own voices, moved a number of the audience to tears. But on the up side we had songs in English and Greek, music and dancing and much joy and laughter over dinners, round the hotel pool and on the bus transits from place to place. Perhaps it was this mix of emotions that helped make the conference special.

Farewell Mr Fitz

This was also the occasion where our founder, Tony Fitzpatrick, decided to take a back seat from the ICC. As was only normal for the person who founded the ICC and spent a large part of his working life running it, this was a moment of mixed emotions. Rob Williams led the tributes to him, including messages from those who were not able to attend, and Tony gained a standing ovation.

First impression feedback from the delegates echoed the sense that we had almost turned into a community within three days - we had time to get to know each other. This and the fact that every presentation and intervention linked together and built on what came before contributed greatly to the success of the event.

We now look forward to next year’s conference and to continuing the spirit of the association that Tony Fitzpatrick created.



Conference Feedback

"The ICC- conference 2018 in Santorini was brilliant! Was it because of the volcano? First, thanks to Ozlem Yuges and Ifigenia Georgiadou for organising the logistics. The location (Butari) and excursions could not have been better chosen. Thanks to Myriam Fischer and Ellinor Haase and to all the members from the board, especially to Tony Fitzpatrick. The exchange of experiences and knowledge during the conference was amazing. Every plenary speaker, every presentation showed new aspects and highlighted different challenges for language teaching.

The discussion was always lively and creative, huge problems were handled carefully. Sharing not only knowledge but friendship. The variety of the participants made the conference a success. We had many interesting conversations, from the first moments at the airport in Athens till the end of the conference. Even during lunchtime, the discussion did not stop. The conference was very inspiring. I had the impression that everybody was highly interested and engaged and we will spread this knowledge. These contacts were more than business exchanges, we felt close to each other. Special thanks to the Greek colleges working in the camps: Michael, Kostas, Ifigenia, Vicky and Luke. I will not forget your essential work, and I will not forget the song we sang together." - Elke Bissinger, Teacher Trainer, Basel (CH)



Conference Presentations

We are happy to have the permission to publish to the presentations been hold at the conference.
Please find the respective PDFs for download in alphabetic order below.


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