Conference Topics

  • TESL Conferences
  • 3 Popular questions
  • Survey Results for Interested Topics

We are in the middle of attending two provincial TESL conferences. Next week we will be in Calgary for the ATESL Conference at SAIT. I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends and meeting some contacts face-to-face. The program looks great and it’ll be interesting to compare the 2-day event with last week’s 3-day event in Toronto.

Last week’s Ontario TESL conference at the Exhibition grounds was fantastic. We met many people who were interested in the conference, who asked many questions and were very supportive. Based on no scientific method at all, I’d say that the top three questions we fielded at our booth were:

  • Who is the conference for?
  • How much is it to register?
  • What topics will be included?

To answer the first question simply, the conference is for everyone and anyone involved in ESL in Canada. We decided not to limit ourselves in many ways this inaugural year because we want to see what emerges, we want to see the people who naturally step-up and take advantage of this opportunity for community.

To answer the second question, the conference is free to attend and present. (Register Here) Needless to say, this answer drew a lot of people into asking a few more questions.

And, the third answer is similar to the first – we want to see what topics emerge from the community, from what the participant think is important to their own needs. We’ve already found a few ways to measure this, as well, with our pre-conference survey and our registration information.

pre Topic_Interests

Interested Topic Results from Registrations (click to enlarge)


Interested Topic Results from Pre-Conference Survey

Interested Topic Results from Pre-Conference Survey (click to enlarge)


You can see that from both graphs, respondents are most interested in Technology & eLearning, Assessment & Evaluation, Teacher Training & Professional Development, and Curriculum. However, what else stands out, at least to me, is that after these four topics everything else is fairly evenly represented. It’s great to see what people are interested in and what topics will help their professional practice. It’s even better to realize that there are not all that many limits in this format – an online conference is not limited by geography and size. For the most part, accommodating everyone’s needs is not a problem as long as the community is willing to provide content. The rest is a matter of coordination – which is what we are here for.