Sunday, October 04, 2009

TESL Canada Conference 2009

TESL Canada 2009

I can’t believe the Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESL) Canada 2009 Conference that was just held in Banff from October 1 – 3 is over. We’ve been planning it for a year and a half, and now we can sit back and reflect on a conference well done. There were a few glitches at the start, but by the end, everything seemed to smooth itself out.

This year, I was on the planning committee working to help organize the Exhibition Hall with the publishers’ displays. This year there were 44 tables in the Exhibition Hall, with all the major ESL publishers doing business in Canada being represented. I was quite proud of us to be able to pull this off and put it together. I’d just like to say thanks to all of the publishers and people I worked with to make this happen. You are an amazing group of people!

On the academic side, I was involved in three events. The first event was a symposium on “Supporting Transitions: Assessment, Literacy and Academic Achievement”. I had the honour of sharing the stage with Drs. Janna Fox, Liying Cheng, and Hetty Roessingh as well as another PhD student like me, Christine Doe. I felt bad because I had to run in and out of the symposium (I was helping to simultaneously set up the publishers’ displays), so I missed the discussion part of the symposium. However, I’m posting a copy of my presentation to my webpage for people to have a look at.

The next event that I was involved in was the first ever poster presentations at a TESL Canada conference. I was very proud to be part of this inaugural event. My poster topic was on university level writing competence, vocabulary, and academic success, and it mirrored much of what I talked about in the symposium. You can have a look at my poster below.

Finally, I was involved in the first ever panel to bring together coordinators, managers and directors of EAP programs at the Universities of Calgary, Alberta, Athabasca and Lethbridge. It was very exciting to see what is going on at our various programs, and I’m hoping to do this again at the next ATESL conference in Edmonton, but this time also inviting the two new universities in Alberta: Mount Royal University and Grant MacEwan University.