VietTESOL Concept Paper

Concept Paper

 

I. The international VietTESOL Conference

1.1. Background

Under the sponsorship of the National Foreign Language Project 2020, the U.S. Embassy, the Australian Embassy and the British Council, the first and second international VietTESOL Conferences were jointly organized by Hanoi National University of Education and the National Foreign Language Project 2020 in Hanoi in 2014 and 2015.

This year 2017, after a one-year gap, marks the fabulous return of the third international VietTESOL conference with collaborative building and mutual support in academic and organisational terms from numerous independent ELT professionals around Vietnam, the Regional English Language Office (RELO) – US Embassy, and other interested organisations, Along with the 3rd VietTESOL conference, a strategic planning scheme has been developed to maintain the annual international VietTESOL Conference in Vietnam and to lay a solid foundation for the establishment of Vietnamese English Language Teacher Association.

 

1.2. Aims and Objectives

The international VietTESOL conference aims to bring together diverse stakeholders of English language teaching, learning, research, and usage in an engaging platform to fulfill such honourable missions as fostering the English language teaching profession, enhancing English proficiency and lifelong learning among professionals and learners, and advancing English language teaching, learning, research and usage in Vietnam and beyond.

The specific objectives of the annual VietTESOL conference include:

  • exchanging and disseminating initiatives and good practices associated with English language teaching and learning;
  • strengthening and broadening a professional network among practitioners (teachers/ lecturers), educators, administrators, researchers and entrepreneurs associated with English language teaching and learning across educational levels in Vietnam, the ASEAN community and beyond;
  • updating the latest research trends and innovations of practice in English language teaching and learning;
  • devising pathways to accommodate English language teaching, learning, research and usage in Vietnamese contexts;
  • promoting the application of ICT and innovative research in English language teaching, learning, and usage;
  • encouraging the participation of English practitioners, researchers, and teacher students at primary and secondary education levels,  particularly those working with vulnerable groups and in disadvantaged/ marginalised areas;
  • nurturing the ethos of openness, respect, diversity, equity, inclusion and sustainability among the communities of English teaching, learning, research and usage in Vietnam and beyond.

 

1.3. Target Audience 

Practitioners, teacher students, educators, administrators, researchers, and entrepreneurs associated with English language teaching and learning

  • at primary, secondary and post-secondary education levels across Vietnam;
  • at public, private and freelance education sectors across Vietnam;
  • in related fields such as English Linguistics, English Literature, English cultures and civilisation, and English-speaking countries Studies;
  • in Southeast Asia and beyond;

 

II. The 3rd VietTESOL Conference

1.1. The Theme

The organizing committee of the 3rd VietTESOL Conference in collaboration with Thai Nguyen University, the host institution, warmly welcomes all delegates to the 3rd  international VietTESOL Conference with its theme “English Language for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”, to be held at Thai Nguyen University, Tan Thinh Ward, Thai Nguyen Province, Vietnam on December 7-8, 2017.

Under the immense impacts of globalisation, internationalisation, regionalisation and localisation, we have been living in the flux of both “the ties that bind” and “North-South divides” in a fluid, interconnected and swiftly evolving world. As regards related English language fields, we have witnessed constant transformations of policies and practices across the globe along with the rise of such buzzwords as English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) or English as an International Language (EIL). Despite the optimization of ICT coupled with the launching of year-long efforts of multi-level initiatives in various nations around the world, there have been existing gaps in the opportunity and the level of participation, engagement, contribution and capacity development among English language related communities such as practitioners, learners, researchers, and users across contexts.

Against the backdrop, the organizing committee is dedicating the 3rd international VietTESOL Conference to the above theme with a view to garnering the target audience’s attention to three thought-provoking issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the domains of English language teaching, learning, research and usage. Whilst the three concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion are still contested, they are purposefully used as a “triad” within this year’s conference since they altogether reflect the multiple and complex realities of such English language domains and showcase the link of English language with education, society and humanities. Diversity is coined as the multitude of differences in backgrounds, styles, beliefs, levels and abilities among such diverse stakeholders as teachers, learners, researchers, and users. Equity is viewed as the fairness of granting opportunities to them across levels and across contexts and the offering of further support to the marginalised groups or the hard-to-reach for same achievements and social justice assurance. Inclusion is interpreted in the way diversity is welcomed and equity is promoted to create an all- encompassing environment for all types of individuals to join and flourish together. The triad of these concepts is expected to put forward a pathway towards the realisation of educational sustainability and social justice. English language in the setting of this conference represents an overarching term covering the interrelated aspects of teaching, learning, research and usage functioned by diverse stakeholders in the society.

Given the above justifications, the organizing committee wish to stimulate the target participants’ engagement in seeking answers to the below questions through localised and contextualised practice and research innovations:

  • How can we position ourselves as professionals (academics, researchers and practitioners) of English language education and navigate ourselves towards the rhetoric of diversity, equity and inclusion?
  • How can we position ourselves as users of English language and navigate ourselves towards the rhetoric of diversity, equity and inclusion?
  • How can we embrace diversity, promote equity and assure inclusion in professional development, formal teaching and leaching contexts, and non - schooling communities?
  • How can we welcome and cherish multiple differences in backgrounds, styles, beliefs, levels and abilities among English language related communities such as professionals, learners and users?
  • How can we commit to creating equal English language learning opportunities for all learners, equitable English language professional development activities for all professionals, and sufficient English language functional occasions for all users in our society?
  • How can we assure an all-embracing atmosphere and an inclusive setting in which each type of individual feels a sense of belonging and mutual benefits from English language teaching, learning, research and usage?
  • How can we expand the concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion beyond the formal education system so that non-schooling groups from different corners of the society can gain benefits from English language through an informal or non-formal learning modes?
  • How can we gather the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in English language related fields to contribute to promoting social justice and maintaining social sustainability?

 

1.2. Categories and Thematic Areas

At the heart of the conference and as the ends of the discourse, the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion will be explored in the following categories and preferred thematic areas of English language.

1.2.1.     Categories/ Sectors

English language teaching, learning, research and usage:

  • among the minorities and vulnerable groups
  • at early childhood level
  • at primary level
  • at secondary level
  • at post-secondary level  (higher education and vocational education)
  • for living and working

1.2.2. Thematic Areas

 

  1. 1.           Teacher Professional Development
  • Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL)
  • Pedagogies and Instructions (conventional and emerging)
  • Testing, Assessment and Quality Assurance
  • Curriculum and Materials Development
  • Teachers of valuable and marginalised groups
  • Teachers of Young Learners
  • English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI)
  • English for Academic Purposes (EAP)
  • English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
  • Nonnative English Speakers Teachers
 

  1. 2.           Learner/ User Development
  • Language knowledge and skills
  • Core Values, Study and Life Skills
  • Learners with Special Needs
  • Learning Styles and Strategies
  • Learner Motivation and Autonomy
  • Social Responsibility
  • Community English
 
  1. 3.           Others
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Bilingual Education
  • English-speaking countries Studies
 

1.2.3. Types of Session


Keynote speeches, plenary sessions, oral parallel sessions, workshops, poster presentations and technology exhibitions will be types of sessions within the conference. Besides, an English Language Expo will be a fabulous side event. Below are further details.

  • Keynote Speech (60 minutes): 02 keynote speeches (opening and closing) delivered by international prestigious scholars are expected to delineate the theme and the theme-related issues in ELT research and practices.
  • Plenary Session (Featured Talk) (45 minutes): 04 plenary sessions delivered by prestigious Vietnamese scholars are expected to deal with particular critical aspects of ELT field.
  • Oral Presentation (30 minutes): Research-oriented papers about thematic areas will be presented. The expected takeaways for the audience will be theoretical frameworks, theoretical perspectives, and methodological paradigms to address research issues, as well as practical implications from research.
  • Workshop (60 minutes): Research or teaching techniques/ initiatives will be demonstrated by the facilitators and the audience will actively engage in follow-up hands-on activities.
  • Poster Presentation (45 minutes): Poster presenters will stand by their posters and answer questions from the audience wandering around the poster area and dropping in.
  • Technology Fair (45 minutes per PC): The audience will be exposed to open computer-based resources for direct and virtual educational modes. The facilitators will be stationed around the computer lab space and the audience will ask questions and get hands-on experiences. This session will offer concurrent presentations and cater to diverse needs such as classroom-based learning, mobile learning, or self-access learning.
  • Electronic Mini-workshop (15 minutes per presentation):  The session, like the technology fair, will demonstrate the use of current non-print media resources for English language education. In a small group, the audience will gain hands-on practice with the guidance of an instructor who specializes in using a particular technology application, device or Internet-based resource. This session will offer sequential presentations and cater to diverse needs such as classroom-based learning, mobile learning, or self-access learning.
  • English Language Expo (2 days): This side event will be an exhibition and a forum for schools, organizations, employers, publishers and manufacturers of English language education to showcase their business and products. It will also provide an opportunity for further collaboration among the participating bodies. 

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