Event description

ELLSA proudly welcomes keynote speaker Dr. Virginia Rojas to the 2nd annual ELLSA conference to be held at The Professional Learning HUB @ NIST in Bangkok, Thailand on 7 – 8 February 2015. Through the theme Proactive Support: Moving your model forward the ELLSA 2015 conference will explore ways in which whole school communities can best support EAL learners. During the conference, participants will have opportunities to connect, collaborate, and share best practices.

Session Schedule & Information Doc Here

Signups for sessions will open soon. Stay tuned.

Or, Click Here For the Doc & More Information

Host ELLSA 2016

An opportunity for whole community professional learning.

Click Here to Find Out More


KEYNOTE PRESENTATION – Fossilization: What does it look like & how to move students forward.

Presenter: Dr Virginia Rojas

If you have been teaching EAL students for any length of time, you have probably come across students that stay in EAL for a long time, yet do not seem to be able to access the curriculum let alone reach grade level expectations. Is it weak mother tongue? An undetected learning need? It can be a real puzzle to diagnose let alone address. Dr Rojas will examine the characteristics of fossilization as well as give a pedagogical approach for moving these students forward. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, Admin)

EAL and Classroom Teachers Unite: A Co-Teaching Case Study… 

Presenters: Ron Rosenow & Karen Serritslev, Copenhagen International School (Denmark)

As co-teachers in a Grade 5 classroom, we decided to keep track of everything about our ELL support model. What does it really look like to collaborate and co-teach? We have gathered quite interesting statistics of our practice. How did we plan? What best-practice ELL strategies did we use the most? What type of lesson did we facilitate? In this interactive workshop we will provide real-life examples and share our teaching, learning and assessment experiences. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, Admin)

How whole school communities can best support EAL learners.

Presenter: Luke James Olley, Australian International School (Singapore)

The workshop would revolve around sharing the practices AIS have in place to support EAL students across both the curriculum and in the wider school community. Exploring aspects of inclusion, from extra curricular activities, parent groups, home-stay coordinators, whole school initiatives such as International Day and Mother Tongue Day, and Mother Tongue programmes which also celebrate and  support our students inclusion. (Appropriate For: Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School)

Inclusive Learning Environments and the Value of Code Switching

Presenter: Peter Cassidy, The Canadian International School in Tokyo (Japan)

This workshop will inform participants about a small-scale action research project highlighting the benefits of code-switching for two very different language-learning contexts. Collaborative discussions will strive to highlight best practices in a Writer’s Workshop context with creativity, skill development and inclusion as particular goals for empowering aspiring writers. Evidence surrounding the benefits of code-switching between the L1 and the target language of English, and the analysis of a year-end survey, will help inform discussions about the L1 being a tool that can be useful in the productive stage of the writing process and the challenges of learning a new language. (Appropriate For: EY, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, Admin, Language Support)

Reading and Writing Intervention through Google Apps

Presenter: James Waugh, Harrow International School (Thailand)

To demonstrate and use Google Forms, Spreadsheets, and Add-ons to create digital Reading Records, and if time permits to create Journal Writing with One Specific Focus (e.g., Grammatical, Sentence Structure, Spelling, etc.). Google Forms are workable on iPads. (Appropriate For: Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School)

Using graphic novels to teach reading comprehension and visual interpretation.

Presenter: Alan Kennedy, NIST International school (Thailand)

The workshop focuses on the use of graphic novels and their application in teaching reading skills and visual interpretation. Participants will be introduced to the conventions of graphic novels and discuss some strategies and online tools with which to utilise them in the EAL classroom. (Appropriate For: Middle School, High School)

Constructing Meaning, Thinking Visibly: ELLs in the Inclusive Constructivist Classroom

Presenters: Rebekah Lopata & Gregg Phillips, American International School of Chennai (India)

Often the richest learning moments in a lesson are those in which students are given the opportunity to construct meaning by sharing and analyzing their own thinking.  In this workshop, presenters will facilitate conversations and share ideas about how we can best support these kinds of higher level cognitive tasks for English Language Learners. Attendees can expect a hands-on workshop in which they will discuss, practice, and critique approaches to supporting thinking for all students in an inclusive classroom. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School)

Engaging activities in the classroom

Presenters: Alis Gorcea & Maria Richardson, Ruamrudee International School (Thailand)

Brief presentation on the benefits of using vocabulary games in the classroom and how they increase student engagement and cognitive retention 5 Hands-on activities which include various vocabulary and reading comprehension activities including technology integration. Presentation chosen for EARCOS by the teachers at Ruamrudee (Appropriate For: Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, grade 3- grade 9)

Challenges, Choices and Change

Presenter: Melinda Mawson-Ryan, ACG International School (Jakarta, Indonesia)

What are the challenges in moving English language learning models forward in the context of international schools? This workshop initially considers the challenges, choices and change in one case study. Participants then share their challenges and we collaborate to consider choices that lead to positive changes in their own context.  This workshop aims to examine ways to deliver quality practice that enhances learning outcomes and meets the needs of the various stakeholders. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School)

Content Based Vocabulary Games and Songs for Language Learners

Presenter: Katie Hobbs, Korea International School (Seoul Campus, South Korea)

This workshop is aimed to be an engaging time to share language games and learning structures to creatively enhance language acquisition in the ESL classroom.  The shared activities will be useful from beginner to advanced English Language Learners and across many age groups.  Through examples and shared materials we will implement many of the different activities as well as share best practices that you are currently using in your classrooms across the world. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary)

Utlilising Apps to Extend EAL Learning

Presenter: Kristin Simmers, NIST International School (Thailand)

We will explore the use of apps through the lens of Enabling/Disabling learning, as well as share specific strategies to maximize the effectiveness of apps in your classroom. This is appropriate for all educators, but will mostly target the Elementary years. (Appropriate For: EY, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary)

Supporting EAL students in subject specific inquiry classrooms

Presenter:Helen Shead, Independent Schools Foundation (Hong Kong)

Inquiry-based learning engages students through curiosity. The inquiry process most often begins with a question. For EAL students to engage with the question, they need to have an understanding of the concept and the vocabulary surround this idea. It has been demonstrated that EAL students in an inquiry based classroom often feel lost with limited vocabulary to express their ideas. This workshop will focus upon how to give language structure to EAL students without subtracting from the inquiry process. (Appropriate For: Middle School, High School)

Deconstruction of Genre (text types) in the Mainstream classroom

Presenters: Glenn Davies & Dianne Gamage, NIST International School (Thailand)

This is a collaborative approach between the EAL support teacher and the homeroom teacher where genre writing is taught through a process of deconstruction, then reconstruction. By giving strong models to deconstruct and by using a team teaching approach we have discovered that understanding has been strengthened for both EAL and Mainstream students. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary)

WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework: Tools and Resources for Teachers

Presenter: Ruslana Westerlund, WIDA Consortium (USA)

WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework provides tools to address academic language development of your English Language Learners.  The session will provide an opportunity for participants new to WIDA to examine various WIDA tools within the standards framework to use in their instruction of ELLs and identify ways how to empower all teachers to be language teachers. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, Admin)

Academic Language: More Than Just Vocabulary!

Presenter: Ruslana Westerlund, WIDA Consortium (USA)

Academic language is often reduced to vocabulary words and yet, we know that academic language is much more complex than that.  In this workshop, participants will examine their current practices of teaching academic language through the lens of WIDA’s dimensions of academic language.  Participants should bring their own texts (or select from a few provided to them) to analyze academic language through discourse, sentences, and word dimensions. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, Admin)

Teaching Thai Students: understanding the challenges, adapting the practice

Presenter: Rick Kirtland, Shrewsbury International School (Thailand)

Leaving issues of culture and behaviour largely aside, this session explores some of the linguistic challenges that Thai learners of English face, identifies some of the major contributing factors and then looks generally at some of the ways in which teaching might be adapted, how approaches to assessment of and for learning might need to be re-examined and, in light of what has been discussed, what some of the implications might be if this work is not undertaken. Although the main focus of the session is on Thai learners and the Thai language system (in contrast to the English language system), much of what is covered will most likely be relevant to those who teach students from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School)

When the Cat’s Away: Painfree Strategies Co-teachers Can Implement Independently

Presenters: Rita McDermott & Stacy Crowell, Saigon South International School (Vietnam)

Learn effective, low-prep strategies focused on language development that content area teachers can easily use in any class – even without the direct support of the EAL teacher. These useful tips will help EAL teachers support but not overwhelm co-teachers in their content area classes and ensure EAL learners’ needs are met, even beyond pull-out and co-taught classes. (Appropriate For:EAL and content-area teachers are welcome)

The Grammar Quickfix

Presenter: Vici Egan, South Island School (Hong Kong)

Do you find that EAL students make the same grammatical errors? I have devised The Grammar Quickfix, an extremely useful resource that allows students to correct their own errors and practise exercises in areas where they are weak. I have seen remarkable improvement in the writing of students who have used this resource and will bring the evidence to share. This workshop will give you practical strategies you can use to refine your EAL students’ writing. (Appropriate For: Middle School, High School)

Bridging the gap -Supporting EAL learners in the mainstream

Presenters: Clare Owens & Ondine Ullman, Bangkok Patana School (Thailand)

During this session, we will share our experiences in taking EAL support and extending it across the learning areas. How do we support ELLs effectively  in the mainstream learning environment, especially when EAL staff may not be present?  We’ll look at what has worked for us, how co-teaching has been used to support this process, has been extremely valuable. (Appropriate For: EY, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, Admin)

Plugging Technology into Language Learning

Presenter: Samantha Pryse, Australian International School Jakarta (Indonesia)

This session is a hands on approach to using technology in the English Language Classroom. It will focus on storytelling, presentations, vocabulary development and many more fun internet based applications and tools. (Appropriate For: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School)

EAL & LS: An Essential Partnership

Presenter: Jon Nordmeyer, International School Bangkok (Thailand)

How can we move from ‘Should this student be in EAL or Learning Support?’ to ‘What are this student’s strengths/needs and how can we best support this student’s learning?’ This interactive workshop will consider the challenging intersection of learning support and EAL, and examine how teachers can work together to support student learning. (Appropriate For: Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School)


After each registration form is submitted, please make payment according to the “payment instructions” below. If an invoice is required to process a payment, please contact Nandini at [email protected]

Registration is not confirmed until payment has been received and confirmation of payment has been been sent.


– Participation in a selection of conference sessions over the two conference days

– Participation in a choice of two ELLSA Focus Groups (one per day)

– Daily lunch breaks

– Daily morning/afternoon snack & refreshment breaks

– Saturday evening drinks & networking


After you have completed the online registration, please make a payment of 9,000 Baht before the 23rd of January 2015. All transfer fees (home and host) associated with payment are the sole responsibility of the attendee.


– Amount: 9,000 Thai Baht

– Bank Name: Siam Commercial Bank PLC.

– Branch: Soi Chaiyot Address: 5 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Klongtoey Nua, Bangkok 10110

– A/C Name: NIST International School

– Bank A/C #: 040-2-52210-3 (Savings Account)


After the payment is made, please scan the receipt and send it to: [email protected]

Include in your email subject line “ELLSA 2015”

After the scanned copy of the receipt has been received, you will receive confirmation of your registration for the ELLSA 2015 conference.


ELLSA welcomes participants & presenters from countries across the Asia region and beyond. Please contact us at [email protected] if you require an official letter of invitation. The letter of invitation does not financially obligate ELLSA or NIST International School in any way. All expenses incurred in relation to the conference are the sole responsibility of the attendee(s).


All registration questions should be directed to [email protected]



Our mission is to promote and support best practice in English language teaching and learning for students in international schools in Asia.



ELLSA 2015 Registration has been closed!