This website uses cookies. A cookie is a small piece of code that gives your computer a unique identity, but it does not contain any information that allows us to identify you personally. For more information on how TESOL International Association uses cookies, please read our privacy policy. Most browsers automatically accept cookies, but if you prefer, you can opt out by changing your browser settings.

Interested in supporting this event?
Contact Lisa Dyson 


K–12 Teacher Development and Training: A TESOL Symposium in Yaoundé, Cameroon

This one-day symposium provides a unique opportunity for K–12 English language teachers, teacher trainers, and administrators in Cameroon, Africa, and EFL contexts worldwide to explore effective policies and practices in K–12 teacher development.


12 August 2013


Note: This TESOL symposium takes place before the 2013 CAMELTA Conference, 13-15 August. The theme of the 2013 CAMELTA conference is “Achieving excellence in ELT: Setting the pace in tune with changing times.”


Universite Catholique d'Afrique Centrale UCCAS—Ekounou Yaounde
Yaoundé, Cameroon

Program Overview

Through interaction with leading international, regional, and national experts, and opportunities for peer-to-peer networking and knowledge sharing, this symposium provides participants with practical, research-based ideas, strategies, and tools to help them improve their ELT work.


The symposium will address the following questions:

  • How can teacher trainers most effectively prepare the next generation of teachers?
  • How can working teachers at all levels improve their the English language proficiency?
  • How can K–12 teachers improve their practice through enhanced professionalism, peer-to-peer learning and networking, and ongoing professional development?

Who Should Attend?

K–12 English language teachers, teacher trainers, and administrators from throughout Cameroon, from other countries in the region, and worldwide

The Charles W. Seifert Fund

This TESOL symposium was organized by TESOL International Association (TESOL) and Cameroon English Language and Literature Teachers Association (CAMELTA) and generously supported by the Charles W. Seifert Fund.

For more information  on the Charles W. Seifert Fund, please see TESOL's Planned Giving page under "TESOL International Association Benefactors."

Presentation Abstracts

The Shifting Sands of Classroom Language Assessment
Deena Boraie, The American University in Cairo, Egypt

Classroom language assessment reflects the shifting sands of teaching and learning theory and practices. The traditional model of testing has changed, and the terms formative and summative assessment have been redefined. In this interactive workshop, participants reflect on their own assessment concepts and practices in light of the current landscape of language assessment. Participants also engage in activities to acquire strategies to produce high-quality classroom assessments.

Best Practice in ELT:  10 Traits of a Highly Effective Teacher
Christine Coombe, Dubai Men’s College, Dubai, UAE

As ELT practitioners face the pressures of an increased workload, institutional accountability, and continual change in curricula and assessment, the need for effective teachers has never been more important.  In this session, the presenter explores the 10 characteristics that she finds essential for success in the classroom and in educational institutions.

Teaching English in Difficult Circumstances, Revisited
Richard Smith, University of Warwick, UK

Too often in the past, Western ideas about language teaching have been assumed to be relevant universally, with little attention being paid to local conditions in developing country contexts. In place of an uncritical acceptance of ”outsider” ideas, the presenter argues for an approach to teacher education that takes full account of the difficult circumstances (large class sizes, lack of material resources, heat, etc.) that characterize most primary and secondary classrooms in the world. These conditions have been neglected in previous research, but recent reports of success in difficult circumstances from the Teaching English in Large Classes network can help inform a new, contextually appropriate teacher development approach that builds on teachers’ strengths rather than highlighting constraints and deficiencies.

About the Presenters

Deena Boraie

Deena Boraie is the Associate Dean for Instructional Affairs at the School of Continuing Education at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and currently serves as President of TESOL International Association. She is also a language testing expert and an assessment and evaluation consultant and trainer.

Christine Coombe

Christine Coombe is currently on the English faculty of Dubai Men's College, UAE. She is the former testing and measurements supervisor at UAE University and assessment coordinator of Zayed University. She co-edited several publications on assessment and has several forthcoming books on the subjects of task-based learning; and reigniting, retooling, and retiring in English language teaching. While living in the Gulf region for over 19 years, she has served as president of TESOL Arabia and as the founder and co-chair of the TESOL Arabia Testing Special Interest Group. She has won numerous awards, including 2002 Spaan Fellowship for Research in Second/Foreign Language Assessment; 2002–2003 TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award; and TOEFL Board Grant for 2003–2004, 2005–2006, 2007–2008, and 2009–2010 for her work in delivering assessment training in developing countries. She was TESOL International Association Executive Committee member  2010–2013 and served as TESOL president 2011–2012.

Richard Smith

Richard Smith is an associate professor at the University of Warwick, UK. He is best known for his work in the fields of history of language teaching, and learner and teacher autonomy. As coordinator of IATEFL's Research Special Interest Group and chief compiler of the British Council's Directory of UK ELT Research, he has also developed particular interests in the area of practitioner research, with a major focus on teaching in difficult circumstances. He is the joint founder and coordinator of the Teaching English in Large Classes network, deputy chairman of the A. S. Hornby Educational Trust, and the Key Concepts editor for ELT Journal. Further information is available at  his webpage.