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Eaquals Celebrates Innovative Award Schemes at Annual International Conference

Published Bernice on Thursday, April 25, 2019

Eaquals Celebrates Innovative Award Schemes at Annual International Conference

Eaquals are celebrating the success of the 28th International Conference, after welcoming a record number of participants to the event, which this year was held in Madrid from 11 – 13 April.

The conference was officially opened by Eaquals Chair, Justin Quinn, who welcomed new members to the organisation and reflected on a year of growth, followed by an opening address by Professor Fernando Galván OBE, of the University of Alcalá who focused on internationalisation both within the sector and further afield.

It was announced during the conference AGM that Eaquals is currently developing their HEI (Higher Education Institution) Scheme which will sit alongside the current Eaquals Accreditation Scheme. This scheme will be piloted in Q4 of 2019 and launched in 2020. This development reflects the growing number of language education centres seeking recognition and accreditation with Eaquals at HE level.

Eaquals was delighted to announce the winners of the first Eaquals Scholarship Scheme which was launched at the AGM in 2018. The scheme aims to enable Eaquals-accredited institutions disadvantaged by challenging business environments, unfavourable exchange rates and local political issues, to benefit

from funding to attend Eaquals conference. The winners were Damla Şahin (Girne American University), Mehtap Özer-Isović (Anglia V), Ozlem Baykan (Özyeğin Üniversitesi), Serkan Aras (Özyeğin Üniversitesi) and Verica Amidžić (Anglia V).

In addition, there was a lot of excitement around the announcement of this year’s winner of the Eaquals Teacher Award Scheme 2019. Selçuk Bilgin, teacher at Özyeğin Üniversitesi, formally accepted his award at the conference.

Three days of innovative presentations, workshops and discussions included a full day Management Training Workshop, delivered by Maureen McGarvey. The ‘Managing Performance Management’ sessions were highly interactive, with McGarvey encouraging participants to reflect on their own experiences throughout the day. Their appreciation was shown with a rapturous round of applause at the end of an engaging and informative day.

During the opening plenary, Herbert Puchta presented ‘Developing 21st century skills in English language teaching: Thinking skills, values and self-esteem’. The subject was well-received by attendees, with many taking to twitter to express their thoughts using the official conference hashtag #eaquals19madrid. Martin Fellenz opened the second day with his plenary ‘Unpacking Management and Leadership’, reflecting on organisational behaviour and inviting participants to reflect on their vision of leadership. Closing the three-day event was Gordon Stobart with his plenary ‘Developing effective Assessment for Learning’. The session provided valuable information and useful assessment structures to the audience of language teaching professionals.

The conference gala dinner took place at La Posta Real, an ideal location for an evening of delicious Basque-Castilian cuisine and dancing and, of course, networking.

Reflecting on the event, Lou McLaughlin, Executive Director of Eaquals said:

“The feedback on this conference has been extremely positive and we continue to provide members with high quality training throughout the conference through all sessions, presentations and discussion groups. We were delighted to announce the forthcoming Eaquals HEI Accreditation scheme at our AGM this year and look forward to the official launch in 2020”.

The next Eaquals annual international conference will be held in Belfast, 2 – 4 April 2020.

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