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2020 Global English Education China Assembly

  • Date: 16 August 2020
  • Location: Hangzhou, China
  • Address: Hangzhou International Expo Centre


Cooperation and Learning for a Shared Future
16-19 August 2020, Hangzhou, China

Organized by China Daily in partnership with TESOL International Association, Shanghai International Studies University and Hangzhou Municipal Government, 2020 Global English Education China Assembly is a high-level international English Language Teaching event in China. This is a high-level international English Language Teaching (ELT) event in China that is designed to promote cross-cultural understanding among English educators in both China and other countries.

This year, the Global English Education China Assembly will be held in Hangzhou, China from 16-19 August 2020. 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.

For more details regarding the Assembly and to register for the event, please visit

Keynote Presentations

Learning to Speak a Foreign Language: Eight Immortals Cross the Sea

It is not easy for Chinese students to develop advanced speaking skills in English, especially in an education system where speaking often receives relatively little attention because it is generally not included in high-stakes tests, such as the College Entrance Examination (Gao Kao). However, some students in China do succeed in building strong speaking skills, and often they do so by engaging in various kinds of independent language learning outside class, devising and deploying strategies to help them get the practice needed for high levels of fluency and communicative competence.

This presentation is based primarily on a qualitative study of university students who passed an oral proficiency interview and were admitted to an English-medium university program in China. The presentation shares the stories of these successful learners and describes the strategies they used. Snow argues that a wide range of strategies can be effective, and that the particular strategy used is less important than the fact that learners make the choice to engage in independent language study and are able to find sustainable ways of doing so.


Don Snow DKUDon Snow has an MA in English/TESOL (Michigan State University, 1983) and a PhD in East Asian language and culture (Indiana University, 1991). He was executive director of the English Language Center at Shantou University from 2011 to 2014 and since 2014 has been director of the Language and Culture Center at Duke Kunshan University. His works on language teaching include More Than a Native Speaker (TESOL Press, 3rd edition 2017; with Maxi Campbell), From Language Learner to Language Teacher (TESOL Press, 2007), and Encounters with Westerners: Improving Skills in English and Intercultural Communication (Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, revised edition 2014). In the field of sociolinguistics, he has published a number of journal articles as well as the monograph Cantonese as Written Language: The Growth of a Written Chinese Vernacular (Hong Kong University Press, 2004).

Teacher Knowledge and Learning for a Shared Future

Over recent decades, English language teaching has become more complex and challenging. Perceptions about what counts as effective curriculum content and language teaching pedagogy are changing and are being influenced by new technologies. However, whatever the challenges now and in the future, it is what teachers know, do, and care about that provide the opportunities for students’ learning.

For Burns, a good language teacher must also be prepared to be a good knower and learner. Teacher knowledge and learning do not just happen at the start of becoming a teacher. They go on for the whole of a teacher’s career.

In this talk, the presenter reflects on these questions:

  • What must a language teacher know in order to teach effectively?
  • What different kinds of knowledge help a teacher to learn about their work over time?

Burns uses a framework that considers three different types of knowledge (following Cochrane-Smith and Lytle): knowledge for practice, knowledge in practice, and knowledge of practice. For each of these different types of knowledge, Burns illustrates the professional roles and identities that may emerge for us as language teacher learners who can meet new challenges and opportunities.

Burns_photoAnne Burns was professor of TESOL and now holds an honorary professorship at the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is also a professor emerita at Aston University, United Kingdom, and honorary professor at the University of Sydney and The Education University, Hong Kong. She has had visiting professorships at the University of Stockholm, Sweden, Thammasat University, Thailand, the Hong Kong Institute of Language Education, UNITEC New Zealand, Soka University, and Kanda University of International Studies, Japan.

She has published extensively on language teacher education and the teaching of speaking, and she is particularly well known for her work on action research. Her books Collaborative Action Research for English Language Teachers (Cambridge University Press, 1999) and Doing Action Research for English Language Teaching: A Guide for Practitioners (Routledge, 2010) have been widely used in language teaching education programs internationally. She is also an academic adviser to the flagship Applied Linguistics Series, published by Oxford University Press, and is a series editor for the Research and Resources Series published by Routledge. In 2017, she was recognised by TESOL International Association as one of the “50 at 50” who have made an outstanding contribution to ELT. In 2019, she was listed on Wikipedia.

Reading and Writing in a Digital World

As language teachers, we are concerned with literacy: the ability to understand, critically analyze, and create and share information in a way that others can understand it. These days, literacy starts with text-based reading and writing and continues into digital literacy. The American Library Association’s Digital Literacy Task Force defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”

Though many people believe that learners today are experts with technology, this is not quite true. Learners today still need critical thinking skills and awareness of tools outside of social media. This session demonstrates some approaches to finding, judging, saving, and sharing digital information. Healey discusses using open-access journals, digital curation, collaborative writing, authentic audience, and other apps and sites as aids for writing and reading in a digital world.

DL-HealeyDr. Deborah Healey is the 2020–2021 past president (2019–2020 president) of TESOL International Association. She has taught online and face-to-face teacher training courses, primarily focusing on technology in education. She has also taught both ESL and EFL at community colleges and language institutes. She is a contributor to two TESOL Technology Standards publications, as well as the TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching, the Routledge Handbook of Language Learning and Technology, CALL Environments, and A Handbook for Language Program Administrators. She has written and presented extensively in the United States and internationally, including in Turkey, Nigeria, Malaysia, Korea, Uruguay, Tunisia, England, Indonesia, Georgia, Croatia, Serbia, the West Bank, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, and Thailand. Her recent areas of research include the psychology of motivation, alternative assessment, gamification, and online teaching approaches. Her doctorate is in computers in education.

Visual Literacy for Young Learners Living in a Multimodal World

Visual literacy is a necessary skill for young learners in the 21st century, which is increasingly image and media driven. English language teachers frequently use visuals to make language input comprehensible, but how often do teachers focus on teaching students to interpret images critically and build visual literacy? Simply put, visual literacy is the ability to construct meaning from images. The relationship between text and image is an important aspect of learning to read in a language. With increased use of authentic, multimodal texts with photos, illustrations, information graphics, and videos in instruction, visual literacy should be an integral part of English language teaching and learning. Grounded in Yenawine’s (2013) work in visual thinking strategies (VTS), this presentation shows how to teach visual literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills when teaching English to young learners. It provides English teachers around the world with practical activities that will enhance English literacy instruction and prepare our young learners for communication in a multimodal world.

Joan Kang ShinJoan Kang Shin, PhD, is an associate professor of education at George Mason University and the academic coordinator of the Teaching Culturally & Linguistically Diverse & Exceptional Learners (TCLDEL) program. Dr. Shin specializes in teaching ESL/EFL to young learners and teenagers and has provided professional development programs and workshops both in-person and online to English language teachers in more than 100 countries around the world. She is also an expert in online TESOL education and conducts research on building international virtual communities of practice for English teachers. In 2016, Dr. Shin was named one of the 30 Up and Coming Leaders of TESOL by TESOL International Association. She is an award-winning author and series editor for National Geographic Learning. Her titles include Teaching Young Learners English: From Theory to Practice, Our World, Welcome to Our World, and Impact.