939th IAWAFL Conference

Weston-super-Mare 5–9 April 2005

Jeremy Hamster, Michael Duck, Jim Screensaver, Adrian Underwear and Catherine Warthog

plus many more interesting presentations including
Mario Rinvoludicrous, Scott Pricklebury, Martin Arse, Chaz Pugnose, Adrian Tennis-Elbow and Penny Burp

IAWAFL has been holding its Annual Conference at a British seaside town since 1066. (The 1349 event was cancelled, because of the Black Death.) It is usually attended by well over a dozen leading ELT Bores. It includes talks, workshops, seminars, symposiums, colloquiums, forums, wine-and-cheese evenings and bring-and-buy sales.

You will find full details in the current IAWAFL Voices, assuming we remembered to post your copy.

Noted previous conferences

  • Hastings 1066: Inaugural conference disrupted when Norman arrows kill most of the keynote speakers.
  • Rochester 1381: Peasants led by Wat Tyler seize conference venue (the castle).
  • Plymouth 1588: Workshop on teaching English to Spanish learners cancelled when facilitator Sir Francis Drake has to leave suddenly.
  • Inverness 1746: Destruction of conference venue by Jacobites leads to unfortunate decision to relocate to neighbouring Culloden.
  • Portsmouth 1941: Entire ELT leadership wiped out in German bombing. Profession takes years to recover.
  • Isle of Wight 1970: Delegates abandon conference halfway through for adjacent pop festival featuring The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, etc.

Report on Felixstowe 2004

The 938th IAWAFL Annual Conference was held in Felixstowe’s premier guest house, La Vue Roll-on Roll-off. Among its illustrious former guests (according to the proprietor, Mrs “Flossie” O’Brien, in her welcoming speech in the TV Lounge) was the celebrated newsreader Kenneth Kendall, who stayed there for a night in 1974.

This year the quality of papers and discussion was unmatched. Delegates will always remember the witty debate in which Jeremy Hamster wittily defended his wheel of English against the witty scepticism of Michael Duck, not to mention the moving ten-minute silence (led by Mario) in memory of grammatical structures that had become extinct since last year’s conference. And of course nobody could possibly forget the end-of-conference party, with its traditional punch-up, ill-advised shags and prolonged vomiting.