Conference Summary 2024, Budapest

As hosts and organizers of the 2024 International Language Coaching Conference in Budapest, we’re excited to share our experiences and reflections from this remarkable event.

We would like to say how grateful we are for the venue at ELTE University and the technical staff, all speakers and ILCA supporting members.

This year, we were thrilled to see our attendee numbers more than double compared to last year’s conference in Paris. We knew we were in for something special, but what we experienced exceeded all expectations. The atmosphere was not only spectacular but profoundly human. The interactions were plentiful and meaningful: speakers connecting with each other, engaging with attendees, and creating a supportive, learning-focused environment.

From the very first session, the compassion, support, and eagerness to grow and learn were palpable. Despite the summer heat, the dedication and passion of everyone involved shone through, covering a wide range of topics that enriched our understanding of language coaching and its interdisciplinary applications.

A new feature this year was the TED-style talks, where speakers had the opportunity to deliver maximum value for the audience by presenting their BIG IDEA to everyone at the conference. This addition made it easier for attendees to choose the workshops that interested them most, while still receiving inspiration and learning from the workshops that they were unable to attend.

Our aim was to deliver a professional conference that also felt personal and intimate. Judging by the feedback we’ve received and the vibrant conversations we witnessed, we believe we struck that balance perfectly.

Carrie and Gabriella kicked off the conference with an opening plenary on the five things they’ve learned about language coaching from training over 20 cohorts of language coaches. This set the stage for inspiring plenaries on growth mindset by Ruth Hughes and language teacher agency for wellbeing by Sarah Mercer. The workshops offered practical insights and plenty of food for thought, with extended Q&A sessions that deepened the discussions.

Coffee and lunch breaks were buzzing with excited chatter and networking. Attendees exchanged contact details, continued conversations from sessions, and eagerly dashed to the next workshop. The energy was infectious, filled with laughter and a shared enthusiasm for learning. 

The 3rd day of the conference was again, a new and ambitious addition to the conference program. We took to the outdoors and spent a glorious morning together on Margaret Island, reflecting on our professional development journeys and connecting with nature (more on that later).

Of course, there were lessons learned, and we’re currently analyzing feedback to refine our approach for next year.

Our reflections continued during the week we spent together post-conference, joined by our newly appointed Chair of the ILCA board, Julie Yoder. This face-to-face time is a luxury we cherish, allowing us to reflect, work, and plan for the future.

We’re already looking forward to the 4th International Language Coaching Conference in Spain in 2025. Stay tuned for details, and we hope to see you there!

Warm regards,

Gabriella Kovács & Carrie McKinnon

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