Turkish ELT Professionals’ Conference Attendance Motives: Why Do They Attend and What Do They Take Back Home?

Oya Büyükyavuz

Abstract


Around the world many professionals attend conferences. The professionals working in the field of English language teaching (ELT) are not exceptions. Along with two major international conferences organized for ELT professionals, TESOL and IATEFL, there are a great number of other conferences organized by affiliated professional associations in many countries around the world. Given the time and money invested in conferences by attendees and organizers, research into this professional endeavor is almost absent in literature in this field. The present study endeavors to discover the conference attendance motives of Turkish ELT professionals, why they attend, what they are engaged in doing during conferences and what they take back home. The data for the study were collected through a questionnaire designed in four parts. A total of 83 Turkish ELT professionals who attended the 16th International INGED Conference participated in the study. The findings of the study revealed that Turkish ELT professionals attend conferences essentially to obtain new information. However, keynote speakers seem to be another major motive behind their final decision to attend a conference. Although the majority of participants stated that they spend most of their time at sessions the number of sessions that they generally attend was found to be only between 4-6. As for post-conference results, the participants were found to feel more confident, more motivated to attend conferences, and were inclined to integrate the information they obtained into their classroom practices. The study also revealed that the participants have budget-related concerns and this constitutes a major challenge with regard to conference attendance.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11114/jets.v4i9.1704

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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