I wrote most of these articles and conference reports while I was doing my M.Ed.(CI). Originally put up on the website TeachAsiaOnline.com (defunct since 2009), I have decided to archive them here as I think most of the information is still relevant and useful for others. (2012) I'm now picking up where I left off to write about more recent seminars I attended.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Five Ideas for Engaging Low-level Business English Students

Speaker: Mr. Allen Davenport
Organised by: CUP, Bangkok
Date: 27 January 2015
Location: Windsor Suites, Bangkok
Promoting: Business Plus course book series

In his second lecture of the day Mr. Davenport explores some ideas for teaching learners with little or no experience in the workplace ("pre-intermediate", "pre-work").

He started with a brief explanation of the so-called "Three Circles of English"

Three Keys to Success with your Learners in EAP (English for Academic Purposes)

Speaker: Mr. Allen Davenport
Organised by: CUP, Bangkok
Date: 27 January 2015
Location: Windsor Suites, Bangkok
Promoting: Unlock course book series

In his first lecture of the day Mr. Davenport explored three areas to help learners of EAP.

1. Critical Thinking
Mr. Davenport assumed that most of the audience was already familiar Bloom's Taxonomy, but

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bringing Real Conversation Skills to the Classroom

Speaker: Em. Prof. Michael McCarthy
Organised by: CUP, Bangkok
Date: 27 January 2015
Location: Windsor Suites, Bangkok
Promoting: Touchstone / Viewpoint course book series, From Corpus to Classroom

In his second lecture of the day Prof. McCarthy explained how to apply the corpus of English in the classroom. 

Based on analysis of corpus sample conversations, key features of a real conversation are

Teaching the Vocabulary of Conversation

Speaker: Em. Prof. Michael McCarthy
Organised by: CUP, Bangkok
Date: 27 January 2015
Location: Windsor Suites, Bangkok
Promoting: Touchstone / Viewpoint course book series

In his first lecture of the day Prof. McCarthy introduced the corpus of English and its importance for teaching English.

The global corpus is a collection of 2 billion words and phrases (“chunks”) of English, of which 4.7 million are used in conversation.

Prof. McCarthy assumed that Thailand is interested in American English, so he used the American English corpus in his lectures. High frequency words and phrases in this corpus are for example

Friday, October 26, 2012

Developing Successful Reading Strategies

(thaitesol.org)
Speaker: Mr. Stuart Vinnie 
Organised by: CUP, Bangkok 
Date: 26 October 2012 
Location: Windsor Suites, Bangkok

Mr. Vinnie stated that good readers are better writers, listeners and speakers as reading familiarises the readers with grammar, vocabulary and features of discourse. 

Through a reading text in Esperanto he showed us that by using clues like photos, numbers, familiar word roots and structure of an article

Teaching Speaking: Issues and Options


Speaker: Prof. Jack C. Richards
Organised by: CUP, Bangkok
Date: 26 October 2012
Location: Windsor Suites, Bangkok

Prof. Richards identified the goals of teaching spoken English as being able to communicate clearly in English as an International Language (EIL). This means there has to be a certain level of accuracy, complexity, fluency, appropriacy and capacity.

To be competent in spoken English one should have knowledge of

Making Materials Learner-friendly: 5 Principles

(thaitesol.org)
Speaker: Mr. Stuart Vinnie 
Organised by: CUP, Bangkok 
Date: 26 October 2012
Location: Windsor Suites, Bangkok

There are many issues using standard course books and/or in-house course materials effectively in the classroom, like unsuitable contents, too easy or too difficult contents, class size, layout and timing not matching the materials, and repetitive patterns.

To solve these problems teachers should:

Creativity in Language Teaching


Speaker: Prof. Jack C. Richards
Organised by: CUP, Bangkok
Date: 26 October 2012
Location: Windsor Suites, Bangkok

Prof. Richards started by explaining the whole range of qualities a creative teacher should possess, (S)he should be knowledgeable, confident, committed, non-conformist, learner-centred, possess wide range of strategies and techniques, be a risk-taker and perform reflective analysis.

In the classroom the creative teacher applies a wide variety of teaching methods,

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Reinforcing Desirable Behaviour in the Classroom

(bfskinner.org)
Theory
According to the Operant Conditioning Theory of Behaviourist B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) the right type of reinforcement at the right moment will result in the desired behaviour. Students learn that their response has certain consequences and change their behaviour accordingly.

The Theory distinguishes four types of reinforcement:
1. Positive reinforcement is when the teacher gives the student a reward
after (s)he has performed the desired behaviour; this could for example be a high grade.
2. Negative reinforcement is when the teacher removes a negative

Montessori In Practice

(digital.library.upenn.edu)
[This article was written after a visit to Modern Montessori International (Thailand) Pre-school in Bangkok in 2006.]

Overview * Practice * Challenges in Asia * Final observation

A Brief Overview of Montessori
Maria Montessori
Born in 1870, Maria Montessori was the first female doctor in Italy. During her work in a mental institution, she decided to help the mentally defective children that were usually just kept in a crowded room without any stimulating activities. She designed her own materials and helped them

Brain-Based Learning in Thailand

(okmd.or.th)
Introduction *  Literature Review * Learning Theories * Thailand * The Gift Bag * Conclusion

Introduction
Brain-based Learning has received a lot of attention in Thailand recently. Prime Minister Thaksin himself is involved in all kinds of new initiatives to create a new generation of more intelligent Thai children. “To improve the country’s competitive ability, we need more quality people”, Thaksin said. (Khwankhom)

The first time I heard the term brain-based Learning, I

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Exhibition "Classroom of the Future"

Digital Video Recorder
Organised by: British Council, Bangkok
Date: 2 February – 31 March 2007
Location: British Council, Bangkok

In the "Classroom of the Future" at the British Council in Bangkok I talked to Mr. David Mathias, the man in charge of ICT and organiser of the exhibition. The target group of this exhibition are Thai language teachers that don't use ICT in their classroom.

The exhibition wants to show what is technically possible at the moment, and that ICT does not have to be expensive; one computer with some simple additional equipment

Rules for Successful Inter-Cultural Communication

Speaker: Dr. Martin Hyde, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK (mh1@canterbury.ac.uk)
Organised by: British Council, Bangkok
Date: 24 October 2006
Location: British Council, Bangkok

Dr. Hyde is Deputy Director of the International Office of Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. He has taught modern languages and English in secondary schools in Britain, Spain, Morocco and the Dominican Republic. He has also worked on ELT Projects in Poland, Hungary, Morocco, Cyprus, Mexico and Saudi Arabia and has recently completed his PhD on language and culture in ELT. He is co-author of the book "Inter-Cultural Communication: An Advanced Resource Book."


Portfolios in Education: Tools or Threats?

Speaker: Asst. Prof. Dr. Linchong Chorrojprasert, Bangkok
Organised by: ABAC Faculty of Education, Bangkok
Date: 9 September 2006
Location: Hall of Fame (Ramkhamhaeng Campus), Bangkok

Dr. Linchong is the Dean of the ABAC Faculty of Arts. She has just finished her research on teacher portfolios in Thailand at the University of Wollongong, Australia.

Lecture
Portfolios generally contain typical samples of performance. In education, students, teachers, administrators and other educational personnel can keep portfolios.

Student Centred Leadership in Asia: Overcoming Textbooks

Speaker: Prof. Gerald Williams, Canada
Organised by: ABAC Graduate School of English, Bangkok
Date: 1 September 2006
Location: A-51 (Ramkhamhaeng Campus), Bangkok

Prof. Williams has lived in Japan for 15 years. He currently works at Kansei University in Osaka and has some recent working experience in Vietnam. He wrote a "student-centred" grammar book.

Introduction
Prof. Williams started by pointing out that student-centred learning has more to do with the culture of an education system than with the culture of a country. 40 years ago it didn't exist in for example the USA

The Future of Learning: Hands-on Practice in Integrating ICT’s with Pedagogy

Speaker: Prof. Dr. John Denny, UNESCO, Bangkok
Organised by: ABAC Faculty of Education, Bangkok
Date: 8 July 2006
Location: A-42 (Ramkhamhaeng Campus), Bangkok

UNESCO
UNESCO defines ICT as follows, "The term, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), refers to forms of technology that are used to transmit, store, create, share or exchange information. Examples of ICT include: radio, television, video, DVD, telephone, satellite systems, computer and network hardware and software, as well as the services associated with them, such as video conferencing and electronic mail."


Peer to Peer Networking

Speaker: David Mathias
Organised by: British Council, Bangkok (Thai-UK Education Festival 2006)
Date: 4 February 2006
Location: Novotel Hotel Siam Square, Monet Pissarro Room, Bangkok

Peer to Peer Networking was the theme of the next speaker, David Mathias. The Global Gateway is a “free-at-the-point of use international website” developed by the British Council and was launched in February 2004. The site is free to use and is designed for all stakeholders in education; it has separate zones for teachers, young people, school leaders, parents, school governors and local authorities. Teachers have been involved in the development of the Global Gateway right from the very start with the aim to provide a “comprehensive one-stop shop for international education resources and services”. The site is available on

Using Games Technology in Education

Speakers: Richard Shotten
Organised by: British Council, Bangkok (Thai-UK Education Festival 2006)
Date: 4 February 2006
Location: Novotel Hotel Siam Square, Monet Pissarro Room, Bangkok

Richard Shotten presented on the issue of using games as part of pedagogy. Students, especially those who at school spend a lot of time playing computer games, either on their PCs, on their play station, or some other device. Students have the preconception that playing computer games is fun and they are therefore motivated to use them. As teachers and educational leaders it is possible to get the students of any age to “Learn through play”. Games companies however need to wake up to their social responsibility and develop games that have true educational value and for which parents and educators can see.

Information Technology in Education Master Class: The UK Experience

Speaker: Paul Hynes
Organised by: British Council, Bangkok (Thai-UK Education Festival 2006)
Date: 4 February 2006
Location: Novotel Hotel Siam Square, Monet Pissarro Room, Bangkok

The first speaker was Paul Hynes who talked about how in the past information has been kept very segmented in forms of “Information Islands” and now the technology exists to bring these islands together. One example of this is a “Parents portal” which enables the bringing together of relevant electronic systems where merits, achievement logs, attendance, reporting/assessments, library books, and websites visited by students can all be monitored by parents whenever needed and therefore parents can take a more active role in the child’s education.

(Overview) Effective Management of the School Responsible for ICT Development

Speakers: Paul Hynes, Richard Shotten, David Mathias
Organised by: British Council, Bangkok (Thai-UK Education Festival 2006)
Date: 4 February 2006
Location: Novotel Hotel Siam Square, Monet Pissarro Room, Bangkok

Getting Your Students to Do Projects


Speaker: Ms. Sheila Taylor
Organised by: Oxford University Press, ELT Division, Bangkok
Date: 24 January 2006
Location: Orchid 2, Ambassador Hotel, Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok

Summary
Ms. Taylor started of with an example of project work relating to culture.

She defines project work as, “A more extensive piece of work integrating a variety of language skills, knowledge of other subjects and creative skills. Projects

Task-Based Learning and Teaching

Speaker: Mr. Dave Willis
Organised by: Oxford University Press, ELT Division, Bangkok
Date: 24 January 2006
Location: Orchid 2, Ambassador Hotel, Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok

Summary
The main idea of task-based teaching is that students use language to COMMUNICATE with others.

Mr. Willis defined the starting-points for teaching and learning as follows:
  1. What you teach is not what they learn
  2. Instruction makes learning more efficient

Current Issues in Education (2006)

Speakers: Ms. Jane Willis, Mr. Dave Willis
Organised by: Oxford University Press, ELT Division, Bangkok
Date: 24 January 2006
Location: Orchid 2, Ambassador Hotel, Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok

Summary
In the first session the couple gave an overview of the current issues in education as they had come up during a Thai TESOL conference in Chiangmai recently. The main themes and trends in education at the moment
are as follows.

In the area of teaching grammar and vocabulary:

(Overview) Looking for Practical Ways to Help Develop Students’ Language Proficiency

Ms. Sheila Taylor
Speakers: Ms. Jane Willis, Mr. Dave Willis, Ms. Sheila Taylor
Organised by: Oxford University Press, ELT Division, Bangkok
Date: 24 January 2006
Location: Orchid 2, Ambassador Hotel, Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok

Presenting New Language

Speaker: Clive Oxenden
Organised by: Oxford University Press, ELT Division, Bangkok
Date: 18 January 2006
Location: Kattareeya 2, Ambassador Hotel, Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok

Summary
Mr. Oxenden’s first lecture was about “Presenting New Language”, which focused on grammar teaching. His lecture addressed the main difficulty of learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), which is that the language they learn is not spoken around them. The best way to overcome this, is to present the language in context, which is how the teacher can make it memorable and easy to remember.


Getting the Students to Speak - the Magic Ingredients

Speaker: Clive Oxenden
Organised by: Oxford University Press, ELT Division, Bangkok
Date: 18 January 2006
Location: Kattareeya 2, Ambassador Hotel, Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok

Summary
Mr. Oxenden’s second lecture was about “Getting Students to Talk”. He presented the results of a research in which 40 conversations were analysed to determine why communication breaks down. The research revealed (as expected) that most communications break down because of pronunciation problems (27 out of 40), followed by a lack of vocabulary (8). Only 1 (!) problem was caused by grammar.


Leadership from Behind: The Role of the International Consultant in Educational Development

Speaker: Prof. Dr. John Dewar Wilson, International Education Programs, Burapha University, Chonburi
Organised by: ABAC Faculty of Education, Bangkok
Date: 3 December 2005
Location: Salle d’Expo at ABAC (Ramkhamhaeng Campus), Bangkok

Summary
Dr. Wilson was involved as teacher education consultant in the Secondary Education Sector Improvement Project (SESIP) in Bangladesh from 2001. The project goal of SESIP was “…to increase relevance of secondary education to the workforce”.

Teacher education was one component of SESIP. Its two main targets were:

Building Leadership through Effective Communication

Speakers: Dr. Maria Bamforth, Dr. Pushpanadham Karanam
Organised by: Faculty of Education, ABAC, Bangkok
Date: 25-26 November 2005
Location: ABAC Bangna Campus, Bangkok

(1) Dr. Maria Bamforth, University of Huddersfield, England

Dr. Bamforth’s distinguished external and internal leadership skills. Components like vision, flexibility, humility, charisma, integrity, motivation, accessibility and communications skills are important assets for a leader.

Leadership for Student-Centered Learning in a Culture of Educational Change

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Deanne Magnusson, University of Minnesota, USA
Organised by: Faculty of Education, ABAC, Bangkok
Date: 25-26 November 2005
Location: ABAC Bangna Campus, Bangkok

Dr. Magnusson’s started of by stating that school managers should become leaders to guide transition into the future, instead of just maintain their schools the way they are.

Her experience in the USA is that the nature of teaching and learning are changing; students are actively participating in the learning process, construct their own knowledge and are working on challenging and authentic learning tasks. The role of teacher has become facilitator.

(Overview) International Conference on Educational Leadership

Speakers: Prof. Dr. Deanne Magnusson, Dr. Maria Bamforth, Dr. Pushpanadham Karanam
Organised by: Faculty of Education, ABAC, Bangkok
Date: 25-26 November 2005
Location: ABAC Bangna Campus, Bangkok

Intervention Strategies for LD Students

Speaker: Mack L. Bowen, Ph.D., Illinois State University
Organised by: Srinakarin Wiroj University, Bangkok
Date: 7 October 2005
Location: Srinakarin Wiroj University, Bangkok

Summary
Dr. Bowen started his lecture with an overview and definition of LD (learning disability). In the US LD refers to children “…who have a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in the understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations.”