September 8, 2014
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NEWS FROM THE AFFILIATES
FROM THE PARTICULAR TO THE GENERAL
Aline Grasser, Strasbourg, France; TESOL France




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I always like to attend conferences and talks, not only because of what they have to offer me as an educator but also as a person. This year, I was lucky to be even more involved in such an event as part of the organizing team for the TESOL France Spring Day: “Spotlighting, Encouraging, Inspiring English Learning and Teaching among Young Learners and Teens.” This event was a first in two respects: It was the first time that TESOL France decided to focus on this age group, and it was the first time for me to be part of an event of that scale with the association in such depth. It was an occasion for me to see and help build this conference step by step, seeing all that it entails. It left me in awe of how many details you have to decide, pay attention to, and take care of, as well how much pressure conference planning can generate before and on the day itself. But the day of the conference was all the more rewarding.

Even if I don’t teach the age group targeted by Spring Day, it brought me a lot. I had the chance to talk to many new people who discovered TESOL France, thanks to that focus on young learners and teens, and to share with them our enthusiasm for teaching and always learning new and challenging ways to do it. The many coffee breaks, especially, offered invaluable networking opportunities. This day wouldn’t have been as amazing without all the highly dynamic and eager speakers willing share their expertise on young learners.

I had the chance to go to a few sessions myself, such as the one by Nicky Francis, who showed how to use authentic storybooks in class in combination with art, yoga, or sport; or the one by Marie-Hélène Fasquel, who presented ways to use Internet tools to foster creativity and collaboration in the classroom, giving students a real goal in their studies; or the one by Nayr Ibrahim and Sophie Handy on how to put into practice a formative assessment during learning. I cannot conclude without talking about the amazing plenary speakers we had the chance to listen to: Annamaria Pinter and her 10 lessons to be more inspirational in the classroom, or the wonderful and energetic presentation of Stéven Huitorel and his “cup-song” success. He even got a whole amphitheater of teachers to do it!

This day made me see the bigger picture and helped me to better understand the TESOL France organization as a whole, and it helped me to be grateful for being surrounded by such a remarkable bunch of dedicated people. In the future, I hope to be instrumental in the organization’s growth and in keeping it active; it definitely feels good to be a part of it!


Aline Grasser is French and received her master’s degree in English at the University of Strasbourg. She has been teaching English in France since 2010. She teaches general and medical English group classes and also provides one-to-one training. She joined TESOL France in 2012.
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