To celebrate and commemorate the 30th P.A.R.K. Conference, we have asked several presenters to share their experience. You can read their contributions below.
Presenting at the P.A.R.K. Conference - Face-to-Face and Online
In 2016, apart from teaching and writing, I gave talks in 13 countries. With so many events, it can sometimes be hard to remember them all. But the P.A.R.K. Conference is one of those that has always stood out for me. I think that’s because of the warm, friendly atmosphere, transmitted not only by the teachers attending but also the organisers. Of course, it could also be because I remember everybody laughed in all the right places during my plenary ? Fast-forward to 2020, when I was honoured to be invited to speak at P.A.R.K.’s first online conference during the pandemic. In those days the need for teacher support was greater than ever, and P.A.R.K. did a great job of making that transition from face-2-face to online. It goes without saying that I’m very excited to be speaking at this special 30th P.A.R.K. Conference!
Dave Spencer - Macmillan Education
Always learning something
The P.A.R.K. Conference was the first ELT conference I ever attended. It was November 2008 (I think!) just a couple of months after I started teaching professionally. I remember being quite starstruck that Christina Latham-Koenig was doing a plenary, one of the 'names' from the front of the English File books I was teaching from. I still remember the whole room finishing the sentence 'I was in the shower when...' and being amazed that we all said the same thing!
P.A.R.K. was also where I started presenting, probably in 2009 or 2010 - I took part in a swap shop with two other presenters, sharing one single activity. That gave me the confidence to do full workshops later, and to go on to become a teacher trainer. I always learn something at P.A.R.K. conferences, and I'm excited to be able to present at the 30th conference. Congratulations!
Warm and friendly spirit
The first time I attended the P.A.R.K. conference must have been about 20 years ago. I’d just taken the CELTA course and was excited to learn more about ELT, chat with other English teachers and share ideas. At that time, the venue was at Gymnasium Křenová and the conference used to be much smaller. Over the subsequent years it has grown in popularity and stature whilst keeping the original warm and friendly spirit. It is this spirit along with the teacher support that the conference provides, in addition to creative and fun approaches to teaching and learning English, which for me make the event worth going to.
Food for Thought
10 years after my first workshop with Ventures Books, going to P.A.R.K. feels almost like coming home from college now. You know for a fact that there will be friends to talk to, amazing books to keep up with your reading and teaching, and inspiring food for thought to go away with (not to mention the great coffee and cake!).
Radka Malá – Ventures Books
P.A.R.K. Conferences have always felt like community hubs as they are fabulous events to engage with others, make new connections and explore new possibilities. With their diverse speakers and colourful, dynamic presentations there is always something to help teachers grow and develop. This, paired with an excellent atmosphere, bubbling social events and slick organisation, P.A.R.K. Conferences are wonderful events to develop holistic and confident educators. Partnering with P.A.R.K. Conference has given SOL opportunities to connect with teachers from across the Czech Republic, fostering new links and enabling greater methodological and language development for both teachers and students. Growing an awareness of Cambridge partners has also consolidated our relationships with other Cambridge schools and our Czech co—Ordinator is also able to liaise with fellow colleagues and to offer in-person support and information from our exhibition space for international opportunities with SOL.
Kirsty Bowie – Sharing One Language
Quality, Breadth and Cakes
I’ve been attending P.A.R.K. Conferences since 2022 and have to say they’re one of my favourite ELT events. I think one of the key things that stands the P.A.R.K. Conference apart from other events is the obvious military-esque behind-the-scenes organisation that goes on. The organisers can barely take a breath between one conference and the next. The organisation is clear in the quality and breadth of talks offered. No matter what your teaching context or professional development goals, there will be talks that will fit the bill. It’s also great to see teachers travelling far and wide to attend P.A.R.K – another clear indicator that it’s highly thought of within the industry. I’ve had the pleasure to meet and talk to teachers from Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, and more. One final point to make, and this may swing it for anyone on the fence: the cakes on offer are out of this world!
Flo Feast – National Geographic Learning
Ideal Setting for Networking and Learning
Having participated in the P.A.R.K. ELT conference for the last five years, I've consistently found it to be exceptionally well-organized and attended. As a partner, the warm welcome and appreciation we receive each year truly stand out. The conference offers a friendly yet professional atmosphere, making it an ideal setting for networking and learning in the ELT community. It's a testament to the dedication of its organizers and the quality it brings to the field.
Michaela Tilton - SciLearn.cz