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March 2006 - Issue No. #59


asia tefl logo

The 3rd annual convention of the organization Asia TEFL (Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) was held from November 4 – 6, 2005 in Beijing, China on the theme “TEFL for Asia: Unity within Diversity.” The conference featured 500 presentations attended by 1,500 educators from 30 countries in the Asian region. A number of sessions on global themes were given. Listed here is a small sampling. The 4th Asia TEFL conference will be held in Japan this August.

asia tefl logo

Asia TEFL, founded in 2002, is a new organization in the field of English language education. It hosts an annual conference and publishes The Asia TEFL Journal. At its 2005 Beijing conference, Asia TEFL President Hyo Woong Lee of South Korea outlined the two broad goals of the organization as:

  • to contribute to English language teaching and learning in the Asian context through scholarship, dissemination of information and exchange of information among EFL scholars
  • to contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia through cross-cultural understanding.


Conference Presentations

Is It Really THAT Important? Asian EFL Policies

This critiqued the current “English craze” in Japan, Korea and China, and offered ideas to reduce but improve EFL in Asia.
- Ronald Gray, Beijing Lg. & Culture Univ.

ELT in the Madrasas

This talk discussed the current status English has as a compulsory subject for students in Islamic schools (madrasas) in Bangladesh.
- Harunur Khan, East West Univ (Bangladesh)

ILT’s Place in a CLT World

This talk stressed the need for Intercultural Language Teaching (ILT) to balance China’s Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) boom.
- Bobby Tam, Tsinghua Univ. (China)

Students' Cross-Cultural Awareness and EFL

This discussed Korea UNESCO’s “Cross-Cultural Awareness Program” which arranges EFL school visits by foreign students.
- Jong-Ki Ahn, Daebul University (Korea)

Don't Lose Chinese Culture in ELT

This talk urged teachers of English in China to enable students to talk about Chinese culture, not just foreign cultures, in their teaching.
- Han Hui Xinjiang Ed. Inst. (China)

Teaching English to the Poor of Bangladesh

This talk discussed the problem of child poverty in Bangladesh and introduced a night school EFL program which aims to give kids a brighter future.
- Md. Asad Miah (Bangladesh). Website:

The Asian Youth Forum

This described the AYF series of international youth exchange seminars which bring together Asian EFL learners for international understanding.
- Kip Cates, Tottori Univ. (Japan)

EFL Texts and Human Values: A Case Study

This discussed the design of a high school English text in Bangladesh which includes units on peace, human rights and other global issues.
- Arifa Rahman (BELTA Bangladesh)

Comparison of Korean and Japanese EFL Texts

This study of high school EFL texts in Japan and Korea found similar topics (eg cloning, English as a global lg.) and differences (a greater Korean focus on meaning).
- Emi Fukasawa, Sophia University (Japan)

Current Issues as Resource for Holistic Learning

This talk introduced ways in which the presenter has worked with social issues in content-based English teaching in Hong Kong.
- Yee Lin Ruffell, Chinese Univ of HK (Hong Kong)

Global Coursebooks: Helping or Hindering?

This talk discussed how textbooks created for the world ESL/EFL market fail to promote inter- cultural competence.
- Robb Ross, Hankuk Univ. of Foreign Studies (Korea)

English Teacher Training in Pyongyang

This session described the history, challenges and progress of the British Council’s program for training EFL teachers in North Korea.
- Jean Parsons, British Council (N Korea)

Cultural Diversity: Threat or Opportunity?

This discussed the importance for business English of teaching English for intercultural understanding and communication.
- Leonardi Kurniawan, Univ. of Surabaya (Indonesia)

Multicultural Communication: Jews and Arabs

This discussed an Arab-Jewish sister school exchange aimed at breaking mutual stereotypes through English.
- Maureen Rajuan, Achva College (Israel)

Critical Thinking and Creative Writing

This session described a computer-based critical thinking and creative writing course for Chinese EFL students.
- Yonglin Yang, Tsinghua University (China)

Critical Thinking with Low Level Learners

This session discussed the presenter’s approach on how to introduce critical thinking skills to low English proficiency Japanese college EFL learners.
- Reiko Okada, Tokai University (Japan)

Readability of EFL Texts: China, Japan, Korea

This talk described a comparative study of the readability level of English texts used in China, Japan and Korea.
- Toshiaki Ozasa, Fukuyama Heisei University (Japan)

Intercultural Perceptions of Korean Learners

This described a survey of knowledge and attitudes of Korean EFL students to people from foreign countries.
- Melanie van den Hoven, Sookmyung U. (Korea)

Singapore: Language in a Globalized World

This talk discussed English, ethnic identity and the SGEM (Speak Good English Movement) in Singapore.
- Phyllis Chew, Nanyang Technical University (Singapore)

How To Become a Global Teacher

This discussed a unique course on global education taught on the MA-in-TESOL of Teachers College Columbia University (Tokyo).
- Kip Cates, Tottori University (Japan)

Misunderstanding Intercultural Communication

This talk discussed a comparative study of cross- cultural embarrassment which contrasted Japanese and Americans.
- Megumi Kawate-Mierzejewska, Temple University (Japan)

A Creative Content-Based EFL Media Course

This talk introduced a college EFL media course in Japan which builds language skills while exploring topics such as media and war.
- Leslie Crawford, Ritsumeikan Univ. (Japan)

Fostering Critical Literacy in EAP

This discussed the importance of teaching critical literacy in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.
- Blanche Chu, Hong Kong Institute of Education (Hong Kong)

Taking Ownership of Asian English

This session discussed the question “Who owns English?” and argued for better ways to teach English as a lingua franca for Asia.
- Dale Garratt, Sun Moon U. (Korea)

Analysis of UN Workers' English Acquisition

This talk reported on a study of English language attitudes and proficiency carried out among 120 United Nations officers in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Youngsoon Hwang, Pyeongtaek Univ. (Korea)

Creativity for Asian Learners of English

This talk introduced teaching ideas to foster Asian student creativity based on the work of “lateral thinking” expert Edward de Bono.
- Paul Macleod, Petroleum Institute (UAE)

Cultural Awareness in EFL Classrooms

This talk discussed the presenter’s experiments in trying to promote intercultural awareness among EFL students in China.
- Xu Yunian, Central South University (China)

We Can't Direct the Wind, So Adjust the Sails

This described the role of English for international understanding in a Peace Corps cross-cultural training program in Russia.
- Galina Dimova, Russian Acad. of Sciences

Russian English: Status, Attitudes, Problems

This talk described the current status, situation and key problems linked to English language teaching in Russia today.
- Zoya Proshina, Far Eastern Na- tional University (Russia)

Challenges Facing College English In China

This session outlined the major problems facing college English education in China and suggested ways of dealing with these.
- Luo Lisheng, Tsinghua University (China)

Trained in the West: How We See Ourselves

This discussed problems of identity, culture shock and communication that arise when Asians study in “the West”.
- Phan Le Ha, Hanoi Open Univ. (Vietnam)

Asia TEFL 2006 Conference

Seinan Gakuin University,
Fukuoka, Japan
August 18 – 20, 2006

  • The 4th Asia TEFL international conference will be from August 18-20, 2006 in Japan. The Call for Papers is on the Asia TEFL website.
  • Deadline for proposals: March 15, 2006


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Kip A. Cates, Tottori University, Koyama, Tottori City, JAPAN 680-8551
E-mail: Work Tel/Fax: 0857-31-5650