From 26-28 February 2010, several English Language Educators from RMIT Vietnam travelled to Phnom Penh to attend the 6th CamTESOL Conference on English Language Teaching.
The conference, entitled "One World: World Englishes", attracted 1250 participants.
Although the vast majority of participants were from Cambodia, 325 participants and presenters came from 30 countries, so it was a truly international event. Over 250 workshops, presentations and papers were given over the three-day event in a variety of discipline-related areas, including language skill areas (reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and pronunciation), applied linguistics, professional development, methodology, quality assurance, and program management.
Three teachers from the Centre of Language and Learning, David DeBrot, Carl Frie, and Sheila Chick were presenters at the conference. David and Carl presented a workshop entitled "Hear It/ Say It", which explored the connection between listening and speaking, particularly as it relates to difficulties producing phonemes not existing in the learners' first language. Sheila's workshop was called "Your Teaching Philosophy: At the Heart of the Matter". Her premise is that the development and articulation of a teaching or educational philosophy is essential in creating a teaching portfolio. Both workshops were fully-attended and well-received.
In addition to the workshops, all presenters were able to attend site visits to various local venues, in order to see what colleagues are doing in Cambodia. Having the opportunity to visit locations such as self-access centres or language service providers and networking with international colleagues are undoubtedly two of the major benefits of English Language teachers attending and presenting at conferences. CamTESOL was a very worthwhile and productive experience and it is hoped that even more teachers from RMIT Vietnam will participate in this important regional conference next year. More information can be found on the event's website http://www.camtesol.org/index.html.