Welcome to the first blog of ISALT. We are very excited to be launching the International Schools Association of Language Teachers (ISALT). We believe that there is a real need for an association that supports language learning for international students and teachers.
Although there are some excellent organizations that support language learning, none of them are set up to meet the specific needs of international schools. International schools, for example, often offer native and non-native programs, provide programs for a much wider range of languages and levels, and include an array of various curricula and examination bodies from around the world such as IB, A Level, AP and even national systems.
Distance is also an issue as it is both expensive and time consuming to travel to conferences in the US and the UK and other countries.
The number of international schools has also been growing exponentially and a number of new organisations have been formed to support this growth. That said, while there are a number of general education conferences available (and some subject specific ones), none focus solely on language teaching and learning. As language teachers, there are times when we yearn for more professional development opportunities in our field and for a collaborative organisation to support our professional growth.
The purpose of ISALT is to provide a forum for international school teachers to collaborate with colleagues, to undertake professional development, to form professional networks, and to celebrate and promote language learning among our international student bodies and to help strengthen language programs for international schools.
Our first conference will be held at ISB in April 2020 and we aim to bring together language teachers from the region. For subsequent years, we hope to have other schools taking turns to host the ISALT conference and perhaps grow from a one day event to a more traditional three-day conference. We are sure all language teachers would appreciate a high quality, regionally local and collaborative conference where we can come together to explore how to improve language teaching and learning.
Our dream is to grow ISALT from humble beginnings into a forum that provides exemplary support for language teachers. We hope that you will join us on this journey and make many new friends and colleagues along the way.