Staff from RMIT English Worldwide (REW) have attended the 10th CamTESOL conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
CamTESOL is a major international conference for English-language teaching (ELT) professionals attended by more than 1,700 delegates, including teachers, trainers, researchers and administrators from about 30 countries.
RMIT Training was a Gold Sponsor for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Access Program, which enabled 10 Cambodian provincial teachers to attend, as well as nine presenters from the ASEAN region including Myanmar and Indonesia.
The camTESOL conference provided a forum for exchanging ideas on quality English-language teaching, to strengthen and broaden the network of English teachers in Cambodia, to increase links between English-language teaching communities, and to showcase research in the fields of language education.
REW Melbourne Centre’s Director, Ann Wright, said that a highlight at the conference was a thought-provoking plenary address from Dr Yilin Sun, President-Elect from the TESOL International Association, titled A quest for excellence in teaching English for regional and international integration.
The focus of her address was on the place of English as a lingua franca – a term used to describe languages that enable two people who do not share a mother tongue, to communicate – for globally responsible 21st century citizens.
"Dr Sun emphasised the need for contextualising English language teaching, maximising learner opportunities inside and outside the classroom and embracing inter-cultural competence," Ms Wright said.
"The majority of English teachers are now non-native speakers and their experience and professional needs should be recognised.
"The conference presentations exemplified non-native English speaking teachers’ commitment to research, innovation, quality of teaching, as well as providing a forum for cross-cultural interaction."
REW staff including Deputy Director, Lynda Beagle, alongside Language Educators David Threadgold, Ross Currie and Denise Flipo, used their knowledge and cultural understanding of the education system, English language and Australia’s diverse populace to contribute to the conference’s ever-expanding ideas and dialogues.
They delivered informative training sessions, such as how to give constructive feedback to students on their writing, and using mobile technology to facilitate classroom learning – all of which were well-attended and positively received.
At the closing conference dinner, Ms Wright presented two Regional ELT Research Grants to teachers from Cambodia and Vietnam, which will help fund their research activities in 2014.
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