The Image Conference is the only conference in the world exclusively on the use of film, video, images and gaming in English Language Teaching. The first conference was organised jointly by the IATEFL Learning Technologies SIG and UAB Idiomes, and took place in Barcelona in June 2013. Speakers included renowned experts in video, film, images and gaming Ben Goldstein, Jamie Keddie, Lindsay Clandfield, Graham Stanley, Kyle Mawer, Ceri Jones, and John Hughes. The Image Conference will become an annual event held in a different city every year.
Today, our society and our world are saturated with visual stimulation. The visual image has taken over, in a sense, for better or for worse. In the twenty-first century, the ability to interpret and analyse images is an integral part of literacy. We should therefore see images in all their different forms as a legitimate means to enhance 21st century literacy. For young people to participate fully in our society and its culture means to be as confident in the use and understanding of images as of the printed word. Both print literacy and visual literacy are essential aspects of literacy in the twenty-first century. We accept that society has a responsibility to help children to read and write; we should also accept we have a responsibility to help children and young people to enjoy, analyse, understand and learn from images. The Image Conference aims to put images at the centre of the language learning agenda.