CWF susses out CamTESOL 2014

Last weekend CWF attended the 10th Annual CamTESOL conference on English Language Teaching. This year’s theme was ‘English for Regional and International Integration’ which is particularly significant in light of the ASEAN’s decision to choose English as the common language of the workplace. It was a fantastic weekend with a packed and varied programme. Below, David Picart, our Education Services Manager outlines some of the workshops that were particularly crucial to CWF and the development of our new curriculum.

English Education in the Lower Mekong: a Regional Comparison.

This paper presented a comparison of English education in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Particularly interesting for us was the situation in Cambodia. The speakers gave a brief overview of the situation and presented the many challenges and initiatives currently taking place within the country. It proved critical in understanding EFL in the region and the role of English within the framework of regional and inter-regional integration.

New Teacher Fears and Needs: Improving New Teacher Mentoring

This presentation was particularly important to us as it provided great insights into effective mentoring techniques that can directly be applied at CWF for new and returning volunteers. We also had the opportunity to talk about CWF’s initiatives and challenges with the two speakers from CESL Teacher Training of the University of Arizona. This insightful exchange of ideas will without a doubt prove to be extremely valuable for CWF in the future.

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Task-based Learning in Southeast Asia, its Challenges and Initiatives

Crucial to the development of the new curriculum at CWF, this paper reinforced our beliefs that a task-based approach, centered on the students’ life and realities and as such content-localized, is the methodological path that should be privileged within the context of regional and inter-regional integration in Southeast Asia.

Developing Critical Cultural Awareness in English Language Teaching

This paper illustrated the importance of developing cultural awareness through critical tasks and interactions in EFL. CWF does just that by fostering a fair and unbiased cultural exchange between our students and volunteers around topics that reflect our students’ realities.

Students’ Attitude and Motivation towards the Inclusion of ESP courses at Institute of Technology of Cambodia

This paper presented the results of a research about ESP at ITC. Particularly important for us was the conclusion that students at ITC showed a strong desire to have ESP classes. This will prove extremely important for us in the future regarding the possibilities of enlarging our class offerings at CWF.

Teaching about Cambodia in EFL classes

This paper presented what is currently taking place in Japan where regional topics are steadily introduced into the EFL curricula. The speaker talked about how Cambodia is represented and discussed in EFL classes in Japan. This presentation reinforced our beliefs that regional, localized content is to be privileged at CWF.

Using Directive and Facilitative Feedback to Improve Writing: A Case Study of a Higher Education Setting in Cambodia

This talk reported and evaluated results from research that focused on two feedback strategies, directive and facilitative. The directive strategies use classmates’ and teachers’ suggestions on linguistic errors whereas facilitative strategies focus on classmates’ and teachers’ comments on the development of ideas and content.  We found the students’ reaction to the different types of feedback very interesting and hope to implement it when designing staff training policy.

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The 2014 CamTESOL was one of the largest ELT conferences in Asia, hosting 300 conference sessions and 1,500 delegates who came from across the world. As such it was a great place for us to share ideas and build personal and professional networks. We’re looking forward to next year already!

By David Picart

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