MFL Alive Conference 2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 13:15

On Saturday September 29th, Maynooth University Department of Education, in co-operation with the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), was delighted to welcome 240 Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Teachers to Maynooth for the MFL Alive 2018 Conference. This was a very dynamic day with post-primary language teachers from all over Ireland gathering to share and learn from one another. The day opened with a warm welcome extended by Dr Céline Healy, on behalf of Maynooth University, and by Ms Anne Grills, on behalf of the Professional Development Service for Teachers. It continued with an engaging presentation on teaching styles by Steve Smith, Blogger and writer of creative ideas for MFL teachers. Then, Adolfo Carbón from the Spanish Embassy, and Nathalie-Zoé Fabert from the French Embassy dynamically presented on the Foreign Language assistant Scheme, while teacher Susan Leahy advised on team teaching with the language assistant. Details at This was followed by a well-received presentation by Dr Kènia Puig i Planella from the Post-Primary Languages Initiative who advised teachers on the new teacher exchange fund, communities of practice for MFL teachers and the new scheme for enabling teachers to update their skills in teaching a language that they are not currently teaching. Details are available from  Junior Cycle for Teachers Elisabeth Butler and Dr Eileen Bowman gave an interactive presentation on Classroom Based Assessments. Details at A contemporaneous commentary the day’s events can be accessed via the Twitter stream using #MFLALIVE2018

In the afternoon delegates had a choice of collaborative, interactive workshops:

  • Breaking the sound Barrier—Teaching Listening Skills in the classroom—Steve Smith (Author and Blogger)
  • Recording students in the target language classroom—Bernie O’ Shea & Ruth O’ Callaghan (PDST)
  • Puppetry - Making and using sock puppets to foster oral language skills—Ellen Barrett & Niamh Mc Guirk (PDST)
  • Towards an understanding of using the CEFR Companion Volume in our MFL classroom— Dr Céline Healy (Maynooth University)
  • Exploring the use of Digital Technologies to improve the student experience in an MFL classroom - Damien Lonergan (PDST)
  • Numeracy in action in the MFL classroom—Trisha McNeill & Anne Marie Maddock (PDST)

Notes and resources from these workshops will be available at

A wonderfully collaborative day highlighted the professionalism and commitment of MFL teachers in Ireland to meet the needs of their learners. Maynooth University Department of Education is proud to support this.