22 Jan 2011, 1:19am
conference EFL Thai TESOL


Thai TESOL 2011

Well, this was my first time attending (and presenting!) at Thai TESOL. This year’s conference was in Chiang Mai, a beautiful historic city in the north of Thailand, and one that is often featured in top-10 lists of places to visit or live. It’s winter here, so the temperature is a freezing (for Thailand) 15-25 degrees Celcius.

I had a great slot for my presentation, first thing on the first day, but unfortunately my room was in a separate building, hidden away behind the hotel pool! I guess they had checked out my reputation as a presenter 😉

As I only had 30 minutes, I started on time with five people in the audience, and finished on time with about 30. Sadly most of them arrived after the half-way mark, so I am not sure how much they will have gotten out of the presentation.

My criticisms so far:

1. the venue is not appropriate, because we have two sites that require at least five minutes to walk between
2. there are only five minutes between presentations but presenters need at least ten to wrap up, pack their stuff away, and allow the next presenter to set up (I would recommend fifteen to allow for audience questions)
3. the plenaries have been vague, common-sensical, and dull

These three things aside, the location is fantastic, many of the attendees are friendly and interesting, and Thailand is a great place to spend a few days.

In terms of the value of the conference itself, I am going to withhold judgement for now.


My life is pretty busy, and to make it worse I tend to get interested in new things and lose interest in things pretty frequently. Focus, or lack of focus, is a big problem for me.

As I mentioned in my report card post I got a lot done last year. While I am pretty happy about that, I also get the feeling a lot of it was quite shallow. Some of it was okay, but not exactly legacy work.

This year will be different. I am going to consciously do less work, but make it count for more. To do more meaningful work, and to say no to more things. I am going to focus.

Wish me luck!

20 Jan 2011, 12:05am

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Upcoming Conferences

There are a bunch of interesting conferences coming up, both in Japan and overseas. Here are just some of them that I will be attending and presenting at:

Thai TESOL in Chiang Mai (Jan 21-22)
Oxford Kids Tour in Sendai (Feb 6th)
Extensive Reading Seminar in Okayama (Feb 13th)
Oxford Kids Tour in Niigata (Mar 12th)
JALT Pan-Sig Conference in Matsumoto (May 21-22)

Hope to see some old friends and meet some new ones! If all goes to plan I will also be recording and uploading videos of all my presentations.

I’ll keep you posted.


for Chiang Mai tonight, to attend Thai TESOL. It will be my first conference outside of Japan, and I am looking forward to presenting to a completely new crowd.

I’ll be talking about “General English Education in North-East Asia”, based on observations from my visits to universities in Hong Kong and Seoul.

I saw an interesting Youtube mashup of people apologising for not updating their video blogs. The fascinating thing was that everyone, men and women, seven-year-olds and seventy-year-olds,  pretty much said exactly the same thing: “I’m sorry I haven’t posted for a while, things have been really busy…”.

I hope to have more for you as we move into 2011.

10 Jan 2011, 1:21pm

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Happy New Year (get the feeling this is a bit too late, but never mind)

How is your 2011 going so far?

I’m pretty happy, but then again I have only spent a couple of days at work so far, so we’ll see if that continues 🙂

I am hoping to make 2011 the year of balance and focus, to spend less time working but make it count for more.

What are your goals for the next twelve months?

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