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Interviewing Lou McLaughlin at the EAQUALS Training for Excellence in Malta

Published on Wednesday, November 22, 2017

In this interview we spoke with Dr. Lou McLaughlin, Executive Director at EAQUALs, who has told us about the experience of organising this event in Malta, the participants, the programme of events as well as the main focus of conference from an academic and business perspective. 


Is it the first time that EAQUALS has organised this event in Malta? 

Eaquals runs an event every November which is for Eaquals members only. This is held in a different location each year with this year being the first time we were in Malta.


Why was Malta chosen? 

Eaquals was extremely proud to hold our event in Malta which is home to six of our Accredited Members: ACE English, EF International Language Centre, European School of English, International House Malta=Gozo, Maltalingua School of English and NSTS English Language Institute.

Malta is obviously a popular destination itself and is relatively easy for our other members to get to as they are based in a variety of locations worldwide.


How has your experience here been?

The experience and response to date has been overwhelmingly positive from all those who are here. 


How many participants did you have at this event and where did they come from?

We had 115 participants from all over. Eaquals members are based in over 40 different countries and so the event participants reflected this. The November Eaquals Training for Excellence event is for members only and limited to a small number in order to ensure maximum benefit during all of the training sessions. We were delighted to have all of the places filled this year in Malta. 


What can you tell us about the programme of events? 

The Eaquals Training for Excellence event is focusing on two strands: business/marketing and academic issues. The business and marketing strands deals with areas of interest and relevance to language institution owners, directors and managers. The academic strands deals with areas applicable to the daily work of language managers, DoSes, teacher trainers and teachers. Eaquals is delighted to be able to offer specialised training for everyone that will have a positive impact on their own development and that of their language institution. We had the honour of having Kevin Valenzia from PricewaterhouseCooper opening the conference and speaking on "Adjusting to global changes - effects at local level" and Daniel Xerri, Chair of the ELT Council closed the conference with his plenary on "Promoting a Culture of Professional Learning in Schools". We were very grateful and appreciate of the support provided by ELT Council, Ministry of Education and Employment for the event.


Did participants have the chance to explore the island too?

Participants had an organised tour before the event started which many joined and made the most of. The tour group travelled to Birgu and enjoyed the beautiful views from the Blue Grotto as well as visiting the Hagar Qim Temple. We also were able to include a short walking tour on Friday evening ahead of our conference gala dinner which took place in Mdina. Eaquals members also had the chance to do some active sightseeing on some early morning runs on the island with #TeamEaquals.

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