A look back at our 2024 ESOL Conferences

As a newcomer to Ascentis and the world of ESOL, attending the annual Ascentis ESOL conferences was the highlight of my year. This year, Ascentis hosted not one, but two dynamic events: one in Manchester and another in London. These conferences proved to be an incredible opportunity for me to dive deep into the field, gain insights from industry experts, and connect with passionate professionals.

From the moment I stepped into both venues, the atmosphere was electric with enthusiasm. The conferences were meticulously organised, offering an array of sessions that catered to various aspects of ESOL education. These ranged from qualification-specific updates to innovative strategies for supporting tutors in the classroom. I particularly loved the discussions on immersive learning technology with our partners, Metaverse Learning, which highlighted our newly released cutting-edge tool that is revolutionising language education.

One standout session for me was a standardisation workshop led by one of Ascentis’ Lead EQAs. Initially, Ruth, our presenter, demonstrated with remarkable clarity and depth, that it is possible for even myself to gain substantial knowledge on a complex subject in a short time. (In half an hour no less!) Her expertise and engaging teaching style left a lasting impression on me and many others.

Another session that resonated with many attendees and became a frequent topic of conversation was Sue Pattison’s excellent presentation on learner support. Sue, an ESOL Manager at Brooklands College, introduced a variety of resources linked to different senses, offering a truly refreshing take on how to support learners effectively. Her innovative approach was much welcomed by the group, sparking numerous discussions and leaving a lasting impression on all who attended.

The conferences featured an impressive line-up of speakers, including representatives from the Learning & Work Institute, Metaverse Learning, and English for Action. We also had the privilege of hearing from renowned experts like Dr Phillida Schellekens and Beej Kaczmarczyk. Their presentations were not only informative but also deeply inspiring, offering valuable CPD opportunities for everyone in attendance.

What struck me most throughout both events was the unwavering support and dedication within the ESOL sector. The commitment of ESOL staff to their students was evident in every discussion and interaction. The passion and enthusiasm of my colleagues created a motivating buzz that permeated both conferences. I left each day feeling a profound sense of pride in being part of an industry that is so dedicated to making a difference.

Working for Ascentis, a company that recognises and strives to address the multifaceted challenges faced by delivery and management staff, is truly rewarding. The conferences reinforced my belief in our mission and our commitment to supporting educators and students alike. It was a genuine pleasure to be surrounded by so many dedicated professionals who share a common goal of fostering learning and growth.

In conclusion, the ESOL conferences were more than just a series of events; they were a testament to the collective dedication and passion that drives our sector forward. I am grateful for the experience and excited for the future, knowing that I am part of such a vibrant and supportive community.

Clarissa Wheeler – Strategic Partnership Manager
A look back at our 2024 ESOL Conferences
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