What is the ideal title for a talk/poster at IATEFL and TESOL 2015?

Although a lot of criticism can be made of mainstream teaching conferences they are not going away (yet?). As a way to get ready for the IATEFL 2015 conference I thought it interesting to see what kind of titles were most common.

Professional development in the classroom – this is the ideal title if you want to present at IATEFL and TESOL 2015.

Of the 680 titles (including talks, posters, forums) at IATEFL 2015 and of the 1092 titles at TESOL 2015, the top 2 word bundles are:
professional development (16, 15)
in the (26, 42)
the classroom (11, 15)

Furthermore in + elt/tesol, in a are also common bundles.

If you want to aim for only IATEFL then use how to  bundle in your title as this tops IATEFL 2015 with 28 instances.

By contrast if you want to target TESOL then use strategies for bundle which has 16 instances.

In addition TESOL titles prefers to use language learners (14) while IATEFL prefers language learning (10). Do also make sure you give added value for TESOL since teaching and, and the are common bundles.

If you want you can download IATEFL 2015 and TESOL 2105 titles yourself to explore (there may be some errors in terms of duplicates and/or missing titles). I used AntConc to count the 2-gram bundles. All the bundles were taken from the top 20.

One could explore the top 20 keywords to add another perspective.  Or a count of titles over the years. A look at other major ELT conferences would also be interesting. Someone may also be interested in making a count of the gender of the presenters.

Thanks for reading.

11 thoughts on “What is the ideal title for a talk/poster at IATEFL and TESOL 2015?

  1. Love this post 🙂 so presumably a talk entitled “Professional development in the classroom” would get the most hits of all, wonder how big the audience would be, though? Maybe Profesionsal in the..development classroom” would be interesting.

    1. hi Sharon

      thanks for popping round

      that ideal title would get you into the conference though not sure how many would actually turn up!

      yes I’d go that talk you suggest 🙂 and all the best for your talk


      1. nope i won’t be going but i hope to go to engcorpora conf here in Paris that starts tomorrow the 8th, keep an eye out for possible live streaming should there be decent wifi

  2. I was looking through the official IATEFL program book today and I think that, unfortunately, a lot of posters were not named carefully enough. The schedule version that lots of people will quickly look at allows about 25-30 characters. Many poster titles are not clear in that space, and I think a lot of attendees could overlook the presentations. So… Just a thought: Make really short, meaningful titles! They could be the only thing that people notice.

    1. hi Jaime

      good point about short snappy titles.

      i assume there is some difference between getting accepted by the selection committee and getting conference attendees interested?


  3. Fascinating. My TESOL 2015 talk didn’t have any of these bundles in the title. I must’ve been original then? 🙂
    Did you run a concordancer on the abstracts too by any chance?

    1. hi Leo

      thanks, no doubt you are always original 🙂

      no trouble is cleaning up the abstracts takes longer, may do if i find time


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