IATEFL Conference Speaker Guidelines

Please make sure you have read these guidelines carefully and in full before submitting your proposal. If you do not meet the requirements listed below, your proposal will be rejected.

Download a PDF of these guidelines here: 

The IATEFL Conference is one of the key events in the global ELT calendar. The international nature of the conference provides a unique opportunity for all IATEFL members to submit proposals for inclusion in a programme, reflecting the diversity and variety of the profession.

Speaker proposals must be submitted online via your Dashboard - www.iatefl.org/dashboard

You must have a current IATEFL membership and a full, four-day conference booking on either a paid or pay later basis at the time of submitting your proposal. For assistance with your IATEFL membership, please contact [email protected] and for assistance with your conference booking, please contact [email protected] leaving 48 hours (IATEFL working hours) for renewal or for your enquiry to be dealt with. Less time than this will not guarantee that your membership renewal/application or your conference query is dealt with in time to submit a speaker proposal.

The deadline for submitting a speaker proposal is 16.00 (UK time) Wednesday 21 September 2022. You will be emailed the result of your proposal in early December 2022, you may need to check your junk folder for this information. The deadline for accepted speakers to pay the full four-day conference fee is 16.00 (UK time) Wednesday 21 December 2022. You do not need to pay the conference fee at the time of proposal submission.

The conference programme

The quality and number of proposals submitted for selection to the conference programme increases every year. Feedback from delegates informs the current guidelines and the criteria for selecting proposals. The selection of proposals is made by the Proposals Committee. This follows a policy of inclusivity and aims to ensure that the conference programme includes a balanced representation of:

  • first-time and established presenters
  • ELT topics and professional concerns
  • geographical regions and countries
  • different professional associations and organisations
  • different teaching contexts, including the private and public sectors, business, ESP, ESOL, publishers, exam boards and other non-teaching organisations
  • mainstream and alternative systems of education and development
  • Research and research in progress.

Conference delegates will be asked for feedback on all sessions at the IATEFL Conference in order to continue to monitor the range, quality and content of presentations.

General information

  • You will be programmed on any of the conference days and we will let you know on which day your session takes place in your acceptance email. If you are not staying for the full conference, please do not book your travel until we tell you which day you are presenting on.
  • Please note that any presenter failing to deliver their presentation without informing the Conference Programme Coordinator (Sarah Ward, [email protected]) in writing prior to the start of the presentation will not be entitled to submit a proposal for conference the following year.
  • You must ensure that you have permission to use any materials that you plan to show in your presentation and that there is nothing in your presentation that may contravene copyright law.
  • All presenters must be at the conference to present; remote presenting for a conference session is not permitted.
  • Members may submit only ONE proposal. Due to the large number of proposals we receive, no one may be involved in more than one presentation.

Sharing your information

By submitting a speaker proposal, you will be agreeing that IATEFL shares your name, affiliation and email address with the following persons:

  • Your name and affiliation will be passed to our Conference Programmer and, if selected to present at the conference, these details will be in the Conference Programme and on our website.
  • Unless you say otherwise on your speaker proposal, your name and affiliation will be passed to our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for consideration to be part of a SIG Showcase. If selected as part of a SIG Showcase, your email address will be passed to the relevant SIG Coordinator to enable them to contact you.
  • If you indicate that you would be happy for your presentation to be filmed, and if we do indeed include your presentation on the filming schedule, your name, affiliation and email address will be passed to the Conference Online Team to enable them to contact you.
  • The Proposals Committee reserves the right to programme you in a Forum with two other presentations instead of an individual session. If this is the case, the names, affiliations and email addresses of all presenters in the forum will be shared with each other in the speaker acceptance letter in November to enable you to liaise with each other. You and they must treat each other’s details with confidentiality in accordance with IATEFL’s Privacy Policy.

Watch Madeleine du Vivier’s session on How to write an effective IATEFL conference: https://youtu.be/5Gexv0fQ0dI

Guidance for completing your proposal

In order to be considered for inclusion in the conference programme, your proposal must fulfil the following set of technical and content criteria.

1. Joint presenters
If two or more people work together to submit and present one proposal, they are ‘joint presenters’. They must each be a member of IATEFL with a full conference booking and be added to your main proposal record by the proposal deadline. One of the joint presenters must submit the proposal online using the guidelines below and this first joint presenter then becomes the ‘main presenter’, the key contact for everything related to the proposal and presentation. Any subsequent joint presenters for this proposal must be added by following these steps:

  1. When completing your proposal, please ensure you write your joint presenter(s’) name(s) where requested.
  2. Once you have submitted your proposal, this will be stored within your Dashboard. From this, you may add your joint presenters.
  3. Click on the relevant section to Add a New Presenter (or Manage Presenters).
  4. Please enter your joint presenter place of work for the programme and their Personal ID which can be found in their Membership Info on their Dashboard, click verify to ensure this data is correct and then submit once confirmed. Please note that only members with a full, four-day conference booking on at least a pending, pay later basis will be able to be added to your proposal.
  5. It will be too late to include a joint presenter after the proposal submission deadline.

2. Length and type of presentation
All presenters must adhere strictly to the time they are allocated. IATEFL will end any sessions that continue over the allowed time.

You must indicate what type of session you wish to present. The proposals committee will look at your preference but may programme your presentation differently including amending from Talk to Workshop and vice versa, placing you within a Forum, an ILF or as a Poster Presentation, if they feel it’s appropriate. Successful speakers will be informed of their session type in their acceptance letter.

Forum 75 minutes for 3 presentations (20 minutes per presentation plus Q&A)
Panel discussion 75 minutes (for a panel of 4-5 speakers)
Poster 10 minutes
Talk 30 minutes (including Q&A)
Workshop 45 minutes (including audience participation and Q&A)
Interactive Language Fair 40 minutes (during which time the audience will move between presenters)

A 75-minute session that gives three speakers the opportunity to present together on a given topic, led by one of the speakers also acting as facilitator. Speakers can either present for 20 minutes followed by a 5-minute individual Q&A session, or speakers can present for 20 minutes each followed by a 15-minute group Q&A session.

If submitting as a planned forum, please say so on your proposals and suggest a title and which of you is to be the facilitator. Each speaker proposal must be submitted separately as three proposals make a forum. They will be evaluated on an individual basis (not as a group).

Panel discussion
A 75-minute session allowing four or five people to present their views on a topic, after which the discussion is opened up to the audience. There should be at least 20 minutes for audience discussion.

All poster presenters are guaranteed acceptance, subject only to the normal criteria, relevance to ELT, etc. You will be timetabled to present for 10 minutes at your poster during the conference. There are no facilities in the Poster Forum for electronic equipment, internet, etc. The minimum size of a poster is A1 portrait (594mm wide x 841mm high) and maximum size is B1 portrait (707mm wide x 1000mm high). An electronic version of each poster may be posted on the IATEFL website for 12 months following the conference.

A 30-minute session that describes what you are doing, or have done, in relation to theory and practice or that focusses on commercial materials or products. We strongly recommend that you focus on the most salient points (3-4 points max) of your subject matter, use visual aids during the session and include some interaction with the audience. We also request you allow adequate time for a Q&A session. If you would like to restrict the size of your audience, there is a place on the speaker proposal to indicate your preferred size.

A 45-minute session which must maximise active audience participation through experiencing and discussing tasks provided by the presenter. You must make clear when and how you plan to do this in your proposal summary, for example, by giving a brief outline of activities that will involve the audience. If you would like to restrict the size of your audience, there is a place on the speaker proposal to indicate your preferred size. All session rooms will be set out in theatre style for the duration of the conference and it will not be possible to rearrange the furniture for workshops.

Interactive Language Fair (ILF)
A 40-minute session that begins with the facilitators outlining each presentation, followed by time for the audience to move freely between each of the ILF stands. The presenters interact with the audience through a combination of handouts and other realia. Each presenter is allocated a table where you may display any material you like and bring your own laptop with interactive activities. You’ll need to operate your laptop in battery mode as there are no facilities for power, projection or wired internet. Please bear in mind that members of the audience will want to visit several tables in 40 minutes so traditional presentations will not be possible. You should enable interaction with your display and set things up in a way that permits your audience to drop in and move on as and when they wish.

3. Details of presenters
Your name will be replicated within the Programme as shown on your IATEFL contact records. If you wish to amend this, please advise within the comment section. Please type your place of work carefully as this information will be printed in the Programme. If you would like your workplace listed on your delegate badge, this information will need to be separately entered on your delegate record and does not need to match the affiliation in the Programme.

As we send all communication regarding your proposal and conference registration to the email address you supply on your membership record, please make sure it is entered carefully.

If the named person is unable to attend the conference, IATEFL will not normally allow another person to present the session.

Joint presenters must be added to your proposal before the deadline. See above for clear instructions on how to submit as a joint presentation.

4. Materials focus and speaker affiliation
Please tell us if you are focussing on/promoting published or commercial products, and who you are talking on behalf of. As a result of continuous feedback, the speaker proposal asks you to indicate if you intend to promote or focus on a book or product in your presentation and you must mention the title of any book or product in your abstract. This helps delegates know before they attend a session whether there will be a particular focus on a specific product or publication, or even the promotion of one. Delegates can therefore make an informed decision on whether to attend, based on their interest in the subject or specifically on that product or publication and we will note as such within the conference programme.

5. Audience focus
You must indicate the audience focus (experienced, less-experienced, primary teaching, adult teaching, etc.)

6. Content focus categories
You must choose one or two content categories. If you are choosing General, then please note any further categories will be removed as this encompasses all possibilities. If you select more than two categories we will automatically amend your content focus to General.

AL = Applied Linguistics
BE = Business English
EAP = English for Academic Purposes
ESOL=English for Speakers of Other Languages
ESP = English for Specific Purposes
GEN = General
GI = Global Issues

IPSEN = Inclusive Practices & SEN
LA = Learner Autonomy
LAM = Leadership & Management
Lit = Literature
LT = Learning Technologies
MaW = Materials Writing
MD = Materials Development
PRON = Pronunciation
RES = Research
TD = Teacher Development
TEA = Testing, Evaluation & Assessment
TTEd = Teacher Training & Education
YLT = Young Learners & Teenagers

Some proposals are selected to feature in a Special Interest Group (SIG) Showcase based on the category. Please indicate whether you wish your presentation to be included in a SIG Showcase. The Proposals Committee or SIGs may change the content focus category that you tick if they feel it is not really relevant to that coding.

7. Filming sessions for the online conference
Where possible, IATEFL will enable ELT professionals worldwide to participate via the IATEFL Online Conference by offering video presentations of selected sessions. Please tick the box on the speaker proposal if you agree to your presentation being filmed. If you agree, and if your session is selected for filming, we will film your whole session and it will be uploaded onto IATEFL’s YouTube page and any other website as chosen by IATEFL. You must ensure that there is nothing in your presentation that may contravene copyright law. You will retain copyright of the presentation itself and you can request that the video is removed at any point in the future. Early next year, we will email the presenters whose sessions are shortlisted for consideration to be included on the filming list. Please note that NO session can be filmed without prior written agreement from IATEFL. If we do include your presentation on the filming schedule, your Name, Affiliation and Email address will be passed to the Conference Online Team to enable them to contact you.

8. Mentoring
Mentoring offers an opportunity for speakers at the conference to benefit from the advice and support of an experienced speaker. Mentoring includes contact before the conference, e.g., by email or video call and/or meeting up at the conference to talk things through before the session takes place. If you would like the opportunity to ask an experienced speaker for advice, please tick the ‘mentee’ box on your proposal. If you’re an experienced speaker and are willing to act as a mentor to a speaker, please tick the ‘mentor’ box.

9. Session Title, Abstract and Summary
Please ensure you check for spelling and grammar within your proposal and ensure that no biodata is included. Your session title, summary and abstract must clearly reflect each other.

You must not have given this session, or a version of this session, at a previous IATEFL Annual Conference.

10 words maximum.

  • This should be submitted in Sentence case, not Title Case.
  • It should communicate effectively what you are going to be talking about to your potential audience without being gimmicky or using technical jargon.

Between 50 and 60 words.

  • This will appear in the online Conference Programme but not in the printed version. It is on the basis of this abstract that delegates will choose whether they wish to attend your presentation or poster. Your abstract must therefore accurately and clearly reflect the content of your presentation.
  • No abstract may contain an offer of free books or other materials, although titles of any publications or products that will be mentioned during your presentation must appear in the abstract ‘in inverted commas’.
  • It should be clear that you have something new to say or that you plan to shed some new light on a topic.
  • It must be clear how your audience can apply what you say to their own context. This is especially important if you are planning to describe a course, project or product, or if your presentation relies heavily on a description of a local situation.
  • If your session is based on research, it must be clear in your abstract and summary that you are going to report on a completed study or on a significant phase that has been completed and that what you report is applicable or relevant to the wider ELT sector.
  • It must be clear from your abstract and summary that you have catered for the level of knowledge of your target audience indicated in your choice of audience focus.
  • You must clearly indicate whether the focus of your session is mainly theoretical or practical, or a combination of both.

Between 200 and 250 words.

  • The summary is used by the Proposals Committee as a basis of selection. It will not be included in the Conference Programme or shared with delegates in any other way.
  • Poster proposals must indicate the topic area and structure of the poster.
  • All other proposals must outline exactly what you are going to talk about in the presentation and how the presentation will be structured and organised.
  • Do not repeat your title or abstract or include biodata in your summary. If you have to make a reference, please make it very short.
  • For a talk or panel discussion, it must be clear in your summary that there is sufficient time for the audience to ask questions. For a workshop, it must be clear in your summary that there will be a substantial amount of time allocated for audience participation. If your session is reallocated a different session type from what you originally submitted, you will be expected to adapt the content of your session to the length of time allocated.