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April 2014

telc English! on centre stage

Great interest in telc certificates and the brand new Online Placement Test at the IATEFL conference in Harrogate

telc means English! This is what the more than 2500 participants at this year's IATEFL conference in Harrogate (April 2 to 5) confirmed to us. Never before has the interest in telc certificates been as great as this year.

It was a grand appearance in every aspect: With six workshops and presentations, telc GmbH took the stage as the expert for language competence testing. telc English! with its innovative dual-level examinations, as well as with the brand new telc Online Placement Test, received great attention from international attendees. Over 45 years ago, the history oftelc – language tests began with an English certificate. Now, the telc English programme has made its third annual appearance on a grand international stage.

With over 4000 members, the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) is one of the largest international associations of English teachers worldwide. This year's annual conference took place in Harrogate, a charming Yorkshire town with a rich history as a spa resort.

In her opening speech, Carol Read, President of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL), welcomed the delegates in the impressive auditorium of the International Conference Centre. Many thousands of online participants were able to follow the ceremony via Harrogate Online. The keynote speech was delivered by the influential linguist and author of “English Next”, David Graddol, covering the topic of “English and Economic Development”. He discussed why the wealth of a country seems to closely correlate with the relative level of English proficiency of its inhabitants. He also explored the role that the English language plays in different sectors of the economy, especially in the growing services sector.

With more than 500 workshops, presentations, and symposia offered during the course of the 4-day event, attendees had the opportunity of continuing their education and finding out more about the latest trends in English teaching and learning. The telc speakers focused on the topics of language competence testing and the CEFR. Suzanne Vetter M’Caw led a workshop dealing with the question of “How can CEFR-level C2 (native speaker proficiency) be tested?” Diana Metzner's attendees received valuable suggestions for administering oral examinations. The workshop „So you want to become a perfect Oral Examiner?” and the presentation “EQF and CEFR: the alignment of two European reference systems” by Dr. Sibylle Plassmann were videotaped and can be viewed on the IATEFL website.

At telc's booth, the brand new telc Online Placement Test garnered particular interest. As in the prior year, the practice tests for the dual-level examinations were in great demand. Language schools and universities from all around the world value the possibility of testing the language skills of their participants across two CEFR levels with one examination. Friday's Bavarian breakfast at the telc booth was met with great enthusiasm – conference attendees enjoyed Weißwurst (veal sausage), soft pretzels, and beer, thus fortifying themselves for the remaining sessions. The professional conference was accompanied by numerous evening venues, among them the by now legendary Pecha Kucha Event, where telc speaker Thom Jones entertained the audience brilliantly with his presentation “Sooner Barbarity Than Boredom”: the 41st minute onwards)

The positive feedback gives proof that: After the conference is before the conference! IATEFL Manchester 2015 – here we come!

For an overview of all telc presentations at IATEFL Harrogate 2014, please visit the conference schedule.