Poster, bloody poster!

Foreign Language Teacher Education: What does Sociocultural theory offer?

Here I am, about to fly to Melbourne for the AARE conference. Seven months ago when I submitted my abstract for a poster presentation, I had no idea what it meant to create a poster. Actually at that time I thought it would be an easy task. Ignorance is bliss!!

In October I was part of a three week writing cycle program with the goal of finishing the draft of a paper as the base of the poster. Though I struggled I managed to  write the draft in the three weeks´time period and  give it to my supervisors for feedback. It  was a rewarding experience. I disciplined myself and I wrote almost everyday for a couple of hours. I proved myself that I can write a logical, sound and academic paper. It is still a working paper, but it is looking good!

I had the draft of the poster,feedback, and comments , so everything I would need to make up my poster. I started with the task, and immediately I realised that some diagrams were needed and I didn´t know how I was going to make them. Then, I had to select the text I was going to showcase. How much text to select? The paper I had written was 5,000 words and on the poster, I probably didn´t need not more than 500 words. What to do? I asked for help and support. I felt I couldn´t do it on my own and I cried for help to staff, academics, peers and friends.

Criticism, feedback and collaboration contributed to make the poster and today I can present the poster at AARE conference. My learnings out of all this experience are: don´t underestimate any academic task; work in collaboration with others; be humble and disciplined and do your best.

About Malba Barahona

Educational researcher, language educator. PhD from Australian National University. Passionate bushwalker and mountain lover. I procrastinate reading fiction, hiking, doing yoga, riding, having a beer and more recently decolonizing my existence. I write in English and Spanish in different blogs especially with the purpose of encouraging my students to write.


  1. Berta Guzman

    Dear Malba:

    Thank you very much for all your entries in this posting. It helps me to “focus” which is very difficult these days due to family events, buying Christmas gifts, and so forth. Your entries/thoughts, feelings, emotions, keep me motivated, and it makes me feel that I AM NOT ALONE!!! That you-Malba Barahona-are too extremely busy accomplishing your tasks. Thank you!

    I am challenging myself with my POST CONFERENCE ACADEMIC REPORT!!!!It seems to me that I am making “cheap excuses” for not finding the time to write it; I was wrong to think that once the Conference was over I was going to “relax”!! Not quite at all!! Collection of data must be collected and analysed, and reports must be provided back to a board.

    I guess I wanted to write that

    “don´t underestimate any academic task”

    I will write my report…I will write my report…I will write my report………:)

  2. Malba Barahona

    Thanks Berta!
    And keep focused, and if you work on your report for one hour everyday, you’ll have it ready bedore Christmas.

    Good luck!

  3. Berta Guzman

    Standing next to your picture-your poster that it- you look so beautiful!and beautifully proud of your work. :)Congratulations on the results of it and the learning which you brought forth! Way to go Malba.

    The cold (minus eighteen,)my city’s Christmas spirit, my family, babysitting my gorgeus grandchild, are important people and events which I don’t want to miss of experiencing on daily basis. This “package” makes things more challenging for me; and it seems that times flies without thouroghly, producing any “good writing” on my paper. 😦

    Thank you for your support. I really hope you will come to visit me in the summer, once you are finish with Australia. God, knows you and I need a GREAT VACATION!! Who knows we might meet in Chile. 🙂

    Happy Holidays and have a wonderful New Year!

  4. Pingback: Articulo Indexado en la Blogosfera de Sysmaya

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