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TESOL International Association China Assembly

  • Date: 24 July 2019
  • Location: Hangzhou, China
  • Address: Hangzhou International Expo Centre

2019 TESOL China Assembly Banner_Resized2

English Education in China: A New Era, A Shared Vision
25-28 July 2019, Hangzhou, China

Organized by China Daily in partnership with TESOL International Association, Shanghai International Studies University and Hangzhou Municipal Government, TESOL International Association China Assembly is a high-level international English Language Teaching event in China. It aims to promote scholarship and cross-cultural understanding among English educators in China, and to enhance dialogue between China's ELT professionals with their peers worldwide.​

This year, the TESOL International Association China Assembly will be held in Hangzhou, China ​from 25-28 July 2019. The Assembly will have twelve themes of presentation and include of keynote speeches, featured presentations, panels, workshops and demonstrations​ and much more. Through interaction with leading experts in the field and opportunities for peer-to-peer network and knowledge sharing, the assembly provides ​attendees with practical, research-based ideas, strategies, and tools to facilitate on-going professional development among ELT professionals. 

Keynote Presentations

Opening Keynote Presentation

The Case for Introducing Task-Based Language Teaching in Asian Primary Schools

Rod Ellis, Curtin University, Perth, Australia

The global importance of English has led a number of Asian countries to introduce English in the primary school despite the fact that there is no clear evidence that an early start results in higher levels of English proficiency. At the same time educational authorities in these countries have mandated the use of communicative language teaching - and, in particular, task-based language teaching (TBLT) - as the means for developing children’s communicative skills. I will begin by reviewing language policy in Asian primary schools. Then, after reviewing research on the relationship between age and second language acquisition, I will argue that if English is to be introduced at the elementary level, it is essential that a strong communicative approach, such as found in TBLT, is adopted as this is the approach most likely to develop the capacity to communicate confidently in English. I will also consider a number of misconceptions about TBLT that underlie the criticisms that have been directed at it. Finally, I will address a number of practical and structural problems that prevent the effective implementation of TBLT in primary schools in counties such as Japan.
Rod Ellis  Rod Ellis is currently a research professor in the School of Education at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He is also a visiting professor at Shanghai International Studies University and an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of the University of Auckland.  He has recently been elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and has written extensively on second language acquisition and task-based language teaching. His most recent book is Reflections on Task-Based Language Teaching (2018) published by Multilingual Matters. 

Keynote Presentations

Imported Ideas, Professional Confidence and Using What You Know to Teach in English

Donald Freeman, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

This presentation examines three ideas that profoundly shape the work teachers do in their ELT classrooms: language proficiency, methodology, and classroom management. The presenter argues that these ideas are less than helpful to teachers than we have been led to think because they do not really belong to the classroom work of language teaching. Instead they are imported to define, and often to judge, what teachers ought to know and should do.  In their place, he will suggest a different perspective--the notion of professional confidence-- that is based on researching what language teachers do as they teach. I will define this particular type of confidence and examine the elements that make it up. I will make the argument that professional confidence is key to ‘effective’ classroom teaching and discuss what teachers can do to develop and sustain it in their teaching. 
Donald Freeman is professor of education, University of Michigan, where his work focuses on researching and designing ELT teacher learning at scale. He is a past TESOL president, past chair of TIRF, and senior advisor on the ELTeach Project (National Geographic Learning), which provides on-line professional development to ELT public-sector teachers worldwide. 

Providing Metacognitive Scaffolding to Students for Effective Learning of English as a Foreign Language

Lawrence Jun Zhang, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

In many foreign language classrooms, learners are faced with a deluge of information and many of them feel lost as they are unclear of the goals, processes, and strategies for optimizing their learning outcomes. Despite existing research on the role of metacognition in language learning, taking stock of this powerful concept in language teachers’ daily work with second/foreign language learners and providing learners with metacognitive scaffolding become an important pedagogical agenda. In this plenary keynote, I present an overview of the importance of metacognition, illustrating how a metacognitive perspective can contribute to our understanding of learners, learning tasks, and learning strategies for bringing to the fore the crucial role of metacognitive scaffolding in language classrooms. I describe several metacognitive scaffolding strategies that teachers might find useful in planning and execution of their lesson plans in order to help their students to enhance learning effectiveness and achieve higher levels of English proficiency. 

Lawrence Zhang
Lawrence Jun Zhang is Professor of Linguistics-in-Education and Associate Dean, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland. As the sole “TESOL Award for Distinguished Research 2010” recipient, he has a particular interest in learner metacognition and has published over 100 articles/reviews/chapters on language learning and teaching. 

CBI/CLIL: Approaches and Activities for Integrating Language and Content Instruction

JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall, University of Maryland - Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland USA

Content-based Instruction (CBI)--also referred to as Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)--has become a major approach for teaching and learning languages for students from primary through secondary and tertiary (university) levels. Each decade since the 1980s has seen dramatic growth in CBI/CLIL globally, with a diversity of program models for different contexts, purposes, and students of different ages and language proficiency levels. In this talk, I will discuss the rationale for using CBI/CLIL, describe a variety of program models, identify characteristics of effective content-based language instruction, and offer some guidelines for choosing content-centered texts and materials. Finally, I will provide examples of activities used by English teachers for learners of all ages and proficiency levels in a variety of contexts around the world. 

Jodi JoAnn (Jodi) Crandall has directed MA TESOL and PhD programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. A former president of TESOL International Association, WATESOL, and the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Dr. Crandall is the author of more than 130 publications, many related to CBI, and is a frequently invited speaker at national and international conferences. 

Nudging Tasks to Foster Language Development

Peter Skehan, Birkbeck College, University of London, London, the United Kingdom

There are many different views about the best ways to use a task-based approach to language teaching. The central goal, communicative effectiveness, is clear, but how can this achieved? Some people advocate a ‘hard’ version of task-based instruction, perhaps based on claims about task complexity, but this can encounter problems and limitations, particularly in some educational contexts.  In this presentation I will argue that an important issue is not tasks themselves, but rather the way tasks are implemented. I will discuss options such as giving learners time to plan, either before or during a task; encouraging task repetition; and using post-task activities such as transcription. The intention with each of these teaching options is that learners complete a task but at the same time do not forget about language form. In addition, with each of these options, the foundation for the presentation will be the research that has been conducted over the last twenty years or so, which is generally supportive of the pedagogic interventions which are proposed. In addition, I will look at the post-task phase more generally, (beyond techniques such as transcription), and explore the potential of work that can be done after a main task to consolidate and extend the language which emerged while the task was being done. Tasks can make language salient – then, after the task, more needs to be done to nurture the language which has come into prominence in this way.

PeterS2 Peter Skehan is an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has previously taught at universities in the UK, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. He is interested in task-based approaches to second language performance, and also language aptitude. 

Closing Keynote Presentation

The 6 Principles®: The Foundation for English Language Teaching in China

Deborah J. Short, TESOL International Association, Arlington, Virginia, USA
This keynote presents an overview of TESOL’s The 6 Principles for Exemplary Teaching of English Learners® and the application of these 6 core principles to settings where English is taught as a foreign language. It describes the vision for English education, explains optimal conditions for second language learning, showcases effective instructional and assessment practices,  and discusses how to use 6 Principles for teacher development and program improvement. By implementing the 6 Principles in strategic ways, EFL teachers can create lessons that promote learner success.

Deborah Short
Deborah J. Short directs Academic Language Research & Training and provides professional development on academic literacy, content-based English, and sheltered instruction worldwide. She has directed research projects related to English learner education, co-developed the SIOP Model, and was lead writer for The 6 Principles book. She’s TESOL President-Elect (2019-20). 

Registration Information

Registration Fees

including materials, certificate, light snacks/beverages and lunches on 26-28 July

  • Early Registration Fee (before 15 May 2019) -  2​50 USD
  • Regular Registration Fee - ​300 USD 
Please note that the program is sold out as of 10 July 2019.   

If you have questions, e-mail