Five tips for first-time presenters

I gave my first ever ELT presentation this weekend at the Business English Special Interest Group conference, commonly known as BESIG. I was asked to fill in for someone who dropped out just when the programme was about to be printed so it all happened very quickly, but I would never have applied myself so I tried to make the most of the opportunity. The slot I inherited was (thankfully!) a 30-minute at the end of the day on Saturday. The girl who dropped out was due to talk about something to do with writing in the digital age, so I decided to keep a similar theme and talk about the transition from print to digital in ELT publishing. My title was almost exactly that: ‘Print to digital: the publisher’s perspective.’ I was incredibly nervous beforehand, but was very grateful that lots of friends from my time in Berlin came along to support me, as well as the lovely MaWSIG Committee members, as that made it considerably less overwhelming. The room was almost full and I got a nice round of applause at the end, so I’d like to think it was a success.

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Arabic for beginners

It’s funny how life works sometimes. A few weeks ago, I agonised over the decision about which language course to take at Oxford University’s Language Centre. As an employee of Oxford University Press, we are considered ‘staff’ of the university and are therefore eligible to attend these courses and get a heavy discount on them. I toyed between Advanced Spanish, because I have really neglected my Spanish since graduation; intermediate Italian, because I learnt a lot very quickly at university and have since forgotten even more, and Beginners’ Arabic, because I’ve always been curious to give a completely different language a go.

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