KOTESOL in Town this Weekend: Interview with Chapter President Angus MacCaull
If the teachers are teaching the students, then who is teaching the teachers? KOTESOL, a non-profit association that is affiliated with TESOL International, is one of the leaders of professional development for English teachers in Korea. In advance of their meeting in Busan this weekend, Busan Haps interviews chapter president, Angus MacCaull. By Pete DeMarco
Pete: First off, what is KOTESOL?
Angus: KOTESOL (Korea Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a professional non-profit organization, with the goals of supporting members in self-development and improving ELT in Korea. It puts on a major international conference each year in Seoul, in addition to putting out various publications and holding presentations, and workshops and conferences in regional chapters around the country.
Pete: What type of things can I learn about at the summer conference
Angus: There will be three categories of workshops or lectures: young learners, computer and multimedia learning, and teacher training. For more information, go to www.kotesol.org and click on “Busan Summer Conference” in the left-hand column under “Upcoming Events”.
Pete: I’ve been to other conferences where the lectures are full of theory. Will I be able to learn anything I can use in my classes?
Angus: It is true that some lectures are more theoretical, but we also put an emphasis on getting speakers that will teach us practical skills and activities we can use in our classrooms (from elementary to university students and adults).
Pete: Sounds great! When and where will it be held?
Angus: The 26th of June, from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pusan University of Foreign Studies (PUFS). It’s very close to the Daeyeon subway station (#213) and the UN Memorial Park. There will be free shuttles from Exit 5 of Daeyeon subway station at 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.
Pete: How much will it cost?
Angus: It's free for members and 5,000 won for non-members. You can also register as a member on the day of the conference and get in free! If you want to become a KOTESOL member, it is 40,000 won per year and includes various benefits like "The English Connection" magazine and discounts on conferences throughout Korea. For conference pre-registration, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pete: How has being a member of KOTESOL helped you personally and professionally?
Angus: KOTESOL has helped me tremendously. I've met a lot of wonderful people, picked up lots of practical teaching tips and come to understand ELT theory from people doing the work a lot better than myself. It's also been great for getting connected with teachers in other parts of the country.
Pete: If someone can’t make the conference, is there another way they can get involved?
Angus: Absolutely! We usually meet on the third Saturday of the month at 2:30 p.m. at the ESS Language School in Nampo-dong. We usually have a presentation on some aspect of ELT, followed by a discussion and some time to socialize or grab a bite to eat afterwards.
Pete: Do you have anything you would like to say to anyone thinking of going to the summer conference or to a monthly chapter meeting?
Angus: Come on over and sign up as a member. Seriously, as a teacher in Korea it's the best investment you can make in your career in this country, whether you're here for one year or ten!
John Angus MacCaull is from Nova Scotia and has taught in Korea for 4 years. He currently works at Dongguk University in Gyeongju.
Peter DeMarco is an English teacher, writer, and photographer living in Busan. He has been a member of KOTESOL for 3 years. Email: Sebucan2@gmail.com
For More Info: www.kotesol.org/?q=Busan2010Summer
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