An opinion on Burcu’s article on her blog.
I have my own opinion on these conferences. I do believe that these conferences / seminars are important for professional development and are a lovely platform for like-minded teachers to interact and exchange ideas. Yet something is amiss at these platforms. I have taught EFL in a university in Turkey for 4 years. One thing, of course, is that the heads themselves are found lacking in interest in sending their teachers to these mostly educative conferences. They don’t have funds kept aside for ELT. ELT is not given a fair treatment in terms of development of teachers or even the development of students.
Having said that, many conferences are just a promotion of publishers’ own interests.Also, the kind of teaching ideas floated around by the specialists are mostly not viable for the smaller colleges or state universities because of lack of funds. Other issues why these ideas are not viable are the number of students in each class, low interest levels and lack of or absence of equipment to carry on what is discussed in these conferences. It seems that these conferences, not all of them, cater to the rich classrooms only.