Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2008 KOTESOL October 25, 26 COMING SOON . . . THIS WEEKEND!

This weekend is the . . .

Responding to a Changing World

October 25-26, 2008

Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul

This will be my fourth conference in a row in Korea, and I love going every year. It is a great time to network with other teachers (foreign and Korean) and meet people who care about teaching, and want to improve their teaching skills and resources.


The specifics of Onsite Registration will be announced - not surprisingly - at the conference venue!

Registration Fees are as follows:

Current Members (memberships expiration date of Oct 30, 2008 or beyond)
40,000 won

65,000 won

Undergraduate Students (with a current student ID card)
10,000 won

All fees are based on two-day attendance.
There are NO "Saturday-only" registration options.

It's an online process, even at the conference venue.

You may wince at the entry fee--BUT IT'S WORTH IT!!! There are competitions and draws for tons of free stuff: books, games, and certificates, etc. You also get a bag with stuff in it at the door when you sign in.

General Timetable for October 25th, 2008 (Saturday)

8:00 ~ 5:00 Registration
9:00 ~ 9:45 Concurrent Sessions
10:00~10:45 Concurrent Sessions
11:00~11:25 Opening Ceremonies
11:25 ~ 12:10 Plenary: David Graddol


12:35 ~ 1:20 Featured Sessions
1:30 ~ 1:50 (Papers)
2:00 ~ 2:45 Concurrent Sessions
3:00 ~ 3:45 Concurrent Sessions
4:00 ~ 4:45 Concurrent Sessions
5:00~ 5:45 Concurrent Sessions
6:00 ~ 6:45 Featured Sessions
7:00 ~ 8:30 BANQUET: Featuring - Marti Anderson

General Timetable for October 26th, 2008 (Sunday)

7:30 ~ 8:15 Meet-the-Presenters & Special Sessions
8:00 ~ 2:00 Registration
8:30 ~ 9:15 Concurrent Sessions
9:30 ~ 10:15 Concurrent Sessions
10:30 ~ 11:15 Featured Sessions
11:30 ~ 12:15 Concurrent Sessions
12:30 ~ 1:15 PLENARY: Scott Thornbury
1:30 ~ 2:15 Concurrent Sessions
2:30 ~ 3:15 Concurrent Sessions
3:30 ~ 4:15 Featured Sessions
4:30 ~ 7:00 Annual Business Meeting

Go to the website for more information . . .

Directions From:
FYI» Seoul Subway Map

Sookmyung Women's University Subway Station Line 4

If you arrive at Sookmyung Women's University station (Line 4), take Exit 10 (Sookmyung Women's University exit). When you come out of the exit, turn right at the corner behind you and walk up the street. You will see a bridge for railway traffic. Walk under this bridge and continue going straight, up the hill. The university is about 600 meters from the subway. Sookmyung Women's University will be on either side of the road. Go to campus on the left, up the stairs to the Renaissance Plaza (# 23). Go there for pre-registration and onsite registration procedures, and enjoy the Conference!

Namyeong Subway Station Line 1
If you arrive at Namyeong Subway Station (Line 1), exit to the main street. When you come out of the exit, turn right and immediate left across the street. Then go left under the rail-overpass. Turn right at the corner, and walk along until you come to a pedestrian overpass on the left. Walk over the pedestrian overpass. Follow the road up to Sookmyung Women's University. The university is about 700 meters from the subway. Sookmyung Women's University will be on either side of the road. Go to campus on the left, up the stairs to the Renaissance Plaza (# 23). Go there for pre-registration and onsite registration procedures, and enjoy the Conference!

Hyochang Park Subway Station line 6
If you arrive at Hyochang Park Subway Station (Line 6), take either Exit 1 or 2. Continue up the road, keeping to your right, as shown in the map below. The university is about 800 meters from the subway. Sookmyung Women's University will be on either side of the road. Go to campus on the right, up the stairs to the Renaissance Plaza (# 23). Go there for pre-registration and onsite registration procedures, and enjoy the Conference!

On the first day there will be a plenary speaker--last year was the ESL/EFL guru Jeremy Harmer. Most of us in Korea know him because his book is the first book everybody buys when they get off the plane,

The morning of the first day the 'star' of the conference presents in the university's main auditorium--for Harmer it was standing room only.

I liked some of what Jeremy talked about though I'm a little iffy on the neo-Crusade-English-mission rhetoric that seemed to be embedded within his discourse.

The man is an amazingly polished presenter, and this was probably in the top 3 presentations I've seen in my life so far . . .

Another Jeremy that I know presenting on a very cool ESL/EFL theoretical issue . . . if you're starved for fairly 'hard core' academic and intellectual discussion about anything and everything then KOTESOL is one place in Korea where the possibility exists of meeting similarly starved people . . .

This woman's presentation (sorry, don't have time to look up her name from the booklet last year) presented on different ways to tell stories in the classroom based on traditional Indian storytelling methods.

Here she began with an A4 sheet of paper, and it changed form 10 times during the story. She would fold, rip, and twist it into different props and visual aids for telling her story--very very COOL!!!

Be very careful what presentations you go to. A good technique is to sit near the door if you are not sure about what you are going to have to sit through for 50 minutes or more . . .

This presenter's topic had to do with HARD CORE linguistics analysis with a TON OF MATH info about his research . . . think about it, and you'll understand why I say be careful where you sit in case you suddenly, ahem, have to go to the bathroom . . .

This next guy (below) was awesome. At first, I was like "Oh shit! He's been smoking Disney-Crack! I gotta get outa here!"

He opened with an 'enthusiasm exercise' (my words) by asking us "What time is it?" I immediately felt my 'spidey sense' begin tingling that danger was nearby (it went into total insanity mode during the "Science of Happiness" presentation--that complete and utter CRAP! How you can use psychological research on happiness without considering that it is a socio-cultural concept that differs from region to region I donno, and then take said research based on American results and apply it to Korea? Please . . . really, come on!)

Anyways . . . it turned out to be very cool. The answer to 'What time is it?' was NITBTTBH ("Now is the best time to be happy.")

This guy actually was "Energizing, Challenging & Motivating Interaction" personified.

I am not usually the kind of guy who likes to be assimilated and join the Disney-mindset of 'everything is great' . . . but this guy was SO GOOD I was HAPPILY ASSIMILATED . . . lol, yikes.

Last year I was an instructor at a provincial education training center where I taught a homeroom of middle school and high school Korean English teachers. There were many, ahem, 'issues and challenges' that we had to overcome during the 6 month course . . . When a fellow instructor and I saw that a PhD Korean professor was going to present on a similar type of course put on by the British Council in Seoul we nearly jumped for joy.

We were overwhelmed prepping the curriculum and materials and schedule for the 6 month course (we essentially were given 2 weeks notice--yeah . . .) and had to do a lot of it on the fly while teaching insane numbers of classes each week . . . seeing how the whole thing SHOULD have been done, and was actually being done, was both thrilling and heartbreaking because many of our ideas and plans were on the screen before our eyes. It was kind of like learning that the things you said to Korean supervisors that got ignored and/or rejected were not completely worthless--that other professionals also think the same way, and do the same things that you WANT to do, and NEED to do, but are not ALLOWED to do for whatever reasons given by someone with more power than you . . . 'nuff said.

Expect to see booths for every major publishing company you know that is in the English language teaching field, and then a few more . . .

It's very cool to browse through all the books because they will be the 2009 books NOT YET IN THE STORES. A lot of the time they also are sold for a small discount.

Another presentation I went to . . . LARGE CLASSROOM TECHNIQUES!

I was in the room with a whole bunch of teachers from Incheon that I know--some of them volunteered to participate as captains in the exercise we did during the presentation. Most presentation write-ups give a warning that you will be expected to participate if you go.

I'm trying for the life of me to remember what the title of this woman's presentation was. It was very very cool. Something about teaching students confict resolution techniques and methods . . . it was on the margins of everything that KOTESOL usually focuses on which I LOVED!!!

Be prepared to be overwhelmed if it's your first time by the number of foreign teachers and professors in the same place!!!

Also, it seems like the KOTESOL organizers finally listened to our feedback about the need for catering and food and snacks to be available ON CAMPUS.

This year the conference features "brown bag/doshirak" lunch presentations on Saturday. Meals will be distributed immediately after the plenary session to the first 1,000 guests to pick up meals.

Lunch options:
(1) western style sandwich (something like Subway, specific provider still in negotiations)
(2) Korean style box lunch (doshirak)
(3) vegetarian option

Well, if you've made it this far into the blog posting about KOTESOL I imagine I'll see you there.

48 hours and counting . . .



Responding to a Changing World

The students, the classroom, the technology supporting learning, and the world beyond the classroom have changed dramatically in the past few decades. Even the language itself is evolving.

It’s time for a teachers’ conference to look at how all these changes affect our teaching.

On behalf of the many volunteer staff working to present the finest in ELT professional development programs, we have the pleasure to welcome you to the 16th Annual Korea TESOL International Conference.

October 25th – 26th (Sat-Sun), Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul.

As you’ll see in the website, it’s a full-packed weekend. New aspects, events, and services will continue to develop all the way up to the weekend itself, and the website itself is developing, so we hope you’ll check back often to see what’s new. Things like session timetables and topical indices will be added as we approach conference weekend.

Our profession is not just methodology

It wouldn’t be a conference without renown speakers, of course, and we have some great ones:

· David Graddol, author of The Future of English?

· Scott Thornbury, one of the rising stars in teacher training and education materials

· Rose Senior, columnist for English Teaching Professional and recipient of the 2005 Ben Warren prize for the outstanding text in language education

· John Cashman, professional Futurist

See the Invited Speakers page for more info on our 13 amazing Invited Speakers! Click HERE.

Teachers have other needs as well. The social networking aspects of conferencing get more attention this year, with longer breaks between sessions, more furnishings for “chat corners” around the venue, and Saturday evening and Sunday morning add-on functions. Spend time with the stars in more intimate settings, join Special Interest Group meetings, or lift a glass (or a few) with your friends!

Of course we have publishers' displays (more than 20 publishers/distributors, more than 80 tables of displays) and display from professional training schools. You can also display your OWN publications, see

Join 1,000+ teachers of English in re-discovering the excitement that brought you in to the English Language Teaching profession, re-assessing your teaching practice, and re-invigorating your passion for the ever-increasing possibilities in your chosen career.

Looking forward to seeing you …

Robert J. Dickey Louisa Lau-Kim

Conference Committee Chair Conference Committee Co-chair


Joe in Korea said...

What a small world. That is the back of my head in the second-to-the-last photo.

You were obviously the guy sitting behind me. I remember chatting with you and another woman during that presentation.

wevegotseoul said...

Thanks for all of the info!