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REW celebrates 50 years supporting English language learning at CamTESOL

REW Melbourne Director, Lynda Beagle (right) presenting research grants to Hien Le Do and Quyen Tran from Vietnam

In February, the 14th annual CamTESOL (Cambodian Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) conference was held in Phnom Penh with over 1700 participants from more than 30 countries. 

CamTESOL aims to increase links between the English Language Teaching (ELT) communities in South-East Asia and the international ELT community, as well as showcase research in language and language education.

RMIT English Worldwide (REW) Melbourne has supported the annual event since 2011 as a Gold Sponsor and recognises its importance in contributing to the improvement of education standards within the ASEAN region. 

Over its 50 years of operation, REW has been committed to unlocking the value of English for learners around the globe, and professional development events like this help achieve this vision. 

Sponsorship allows 10 provincial teachers to attend the conference and funds two regional ELT research grants and one ASEAN collaborative research grant. These grants are given to assist teachers in outlying areas who are not working in international organisations to undertake action research in the classroom. The research results are presented at the following year’s conference.

REW Melbourne Director, Lynda Beagle, attended the two-day conference alongside language educators Rowena Mathew, Theseus McLean and Peter Higgins, who ran workshops and attended as part of their own professional development. 

“This year, the focus was on teaching in the digital era,” Mr Higgins said. 

“A few of the local presenters delivered material on innovative ways to deploy technology in the classroom, often in the absence of reliable internet connectivity and where students don’t have smartphones.

“We heard about the issue of plagiarism and exploring strategies for alerting students to this issue, which is unfamiliar to many new arrivals at university. This has great relevance to our REW students completing the upper levels of our curriculum—English Academic Passport.”

CamTESOL provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and dissemination of information on good practices within ELT, and REW’s language educators are always keen to share their expertise with attendees and network with other professionals abroad.

Ms Mathew’s workshop, Developing students’ speaking fluency, accuracy and complexity had a very positive response from a full room of participants. 

Drawing on her own teaching experience, she explained how the elements of complexity, accuracy and fluency interact when learners develop the ability to speak in a foreign language. 

She took participants through different class speaking activities focused on fluency and complexity, and then revisited these to focus on accuracy. Participants reflected on how the activities could be adapted to their own teaching in Cambodia.

For more information, visit https://rmitenglishworldwide.com/ and https://camtesol.org/

REW Language Educator, Rowena Mathew, presenting her workshop—Developing students’ speaking fluency, accuracy and complexity