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Asia TEFL 2006: Spreading Its Wings

 By Joo-Kyung Park  

  
The 4th Asia TEFL International Conference was held at Seinan Gakuin University, Fukuoka, Japan, on August 18-20, 2006 with the theme "Spreading Our Wings: Meeting TEFL Challenges." Asia TEFL, founded in 2003, has grown to have over 7,000 members and has held conferences in Korea (Busan, 2003; Seoul, 2004) and China (Beijing, 2005). Holding this year's conference in Japan was a logical choice, considering the country's status in the Asian region.
 
The Conference started with drenched bodies and dampened spirits due to the typhoon which crossed the island, but President Hyo Woong Lee's welcoming address and the guests' congratulatory remarks given at the opening ceremony ignited excitement, reassuring the significance of the truly Asian organization. The first plenary presentation delivered by Dr. Kenichi Uemura, a multilingual neurosurgeon on a personal journey as a successful language learner and teacher, challenged the participants with his insightful, non-ELT perspectives, and the typhoon was completely forgotten.
 
The Conference hosted five plenary speakers in addition to Dr. Uemura: Dr. John Sinclair (Univ. of Birmingham), Dr. William Grabe (Northern Arizona Univ.), Dr. Alastair Pennycook (Univ. of Technology, Sydney), Dr. Annie Hughes (Univ. of York), and Dr. Lee Won Key (Seoul National Univ. of Education). Because of a sudden illness, Dr. Hughes' paper was read by Ms. Chantal Hemmi (British Council, Tokyo) who presented so brilliantly as to make the author's absence almost unnoticed. These plenary speakers discussed, respectively, the impact of corpora on examining what English is really like, exploring research on reading instruction, ELT as translingual activism, the implications of what we know about children's foreign language learning for teaching English to young learners, and an Asian standard of English proficiency. They all showed what world-class scholarship was like, but Dr. Lee's presentation seemed to be the highlight of the conference.
 
In order to promote world-class professionalism among Asian TEFLers, Asia TEFL invites Asian scholar as plenary speaker at its annual conferences. Following Dr. Oryang Kwon (Korea, 2003), Dr. Amy B.M. Tsui (Hong Kong, 2004), and Dr. Huizhong Yang (China, 2005) who displayed a high standard of Asian TEFL scholarship, Dr. Lee Won Key, Korean testing expert and prolific ELT author, captured the audience with his deliciously witty and superbly professional presentation, emphasizing the ownership of Asian Englishes and the necessity of developing an Asian standard of English proficiency.
 
Seven featured speakers were also on the bill: Prof. Ikuo Koike (Japan), Prof. Yeon Hee Choi (Korea), Prof. Wen Qiufang (China), Prof. Ravinder Gargesh (India), Prof. Malachi Edwin Vethamani (Malaysia), Prof. Phyllis Ghim Lian Chew (Singapore), and Prof. Arifa Rahman (Bangladesh). They discussed the history and policies related to English education in their own culture and context, which reaffirmed for us how diverse but similar the Asian issues can be and opened up the possibility of finding solutions by working together.
 
The three-day conference was an intellectual feast with four hundred and fifty concurrent presentations, including 30 travel grant awardees, who provided such a diversity of topics and issues to choose from, and more importantly, a variety of Asian Englishes. The Conference reception was another feast of Japanese music, food, and costume. Seventeen foreign women including myself were asked to dress in yukata and getta, traditional Japanese dress and sandals, and wear them at the reception, which was a very memorable and amusing intercultural experience for all the participants. The closing ceremony was such a happy ending, full of the spirit of sharing and celebrating. A small Korean drum was passed as a symbol of continuity from the Japanese Conference Committee to the Malaysian Conference Committee, the host of the 2007 Asia TEFL Conference.
 
The 4th Asia TEFL Conference wrote another page of TEFL history with the strong support and enthusiasm shared by the Conference's nearly 1,000 participants. Asia TEFL's mission is to make a contribution to TEFL professionalism in the Asian context, world peace, and human prosperity. This Conference has been a place for Asian TEFLers to further grow personally and professionally and fulfill the mission together. I plan to be at the next Asia TEFL Conference and hope to see you in Malaysia in 2007!
 
The Author
Dr. Joo-Kyung Park received her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University, USA. Her recent research interests include teacher education, critical pedagogy, and English immersion programs. She served as president of KOTESOL and general secretary of Asia TEFL. Currently, she is an associate professor of the Dept. of English Language and Literature at Honam University and Conference Executive Director of Asia TEFL. English58@hanmail.net
 
* This article originally appeared in The English Connection, 10(3), newsmagazine of Korea TESOL.
 
REPORT

The 4th Asia TEFL
International Conference

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

Conference Organizing Committee
Japan
The 4th AsiaTEFL (August 16-18)



  
 
President's opening address   Letter of Appreciation to Conference Chair
     
 
A Letter of Appreciation to
Pres. of Seinan Gakuin Univ.
  Plenary speech by Dr. Kenichi Uemura
     
 
Invited guests (Opening Ceremony)   Opening Ceremony
     
 
Registration Desk   Break at the Lounge
     
 
Plenary speech by Prof. John Sinclair   Audience at Sinclair plenary speech
     
 
Concurrent session   Plenary speech by Prof. Alastair Pennycook
     
 
Concurrent session   Bulletin board
     
 
Sake Barrel Opening at the Banquet   Banquet
     
 
Kimono-clad ladies at the Banquet   Let's start eating!
     
 
Takeover Ceremony from Japan to Malaysia   See you in Kuala Lumpur!
(Conference Officers)



March 31, 2007

Dear Asia TEFL colleagues,

   This is a brief report electronically compiled by the 4th Asia TEFL Conference Organizing Committee in Japan in the hope that it will be of some help as a reference to the organizers of the 5th and succeeding Asia TEFL conferences as well as participants.

I'd like to express my appreciation to President Hyo Woong Lee, Conference Executive Director Joo-Kyung Park, the hard-working Japanese group of the 4th Asia TEFL Conference Organizing Committee members, and supporting organizations and individuals.

Yasukata Yano
Secretary Geeneral
The 4th Asia TEFL Conference
Organizing Committee




CONTENTS
Overview
  Joo-Kyung Park, Conference Executive Director Go
 
Report
  Conference Organizing Committee
    Ikuo Koike, Chair Go
    Yasukata Yano, Secretary General Go
    Masayoshi Kinoshita, Chair, Steering Committee Go
    Soo im Lee, Associate Chair Go
    Hitoshi Muranoi, Chair, Program Committee Go
    Kensaku Yoshida, Chair, Program & Abstracts Publication Committee Toshihiko Suzuki, Associate Chair Go
    Masaki Oda, Chair, Proposal Reading Committee Go
    Masaki Oda, Chair, Visa-related Issues Committee Go
    Shin'ichiro Ishikawa, Chair, Public Relations Committee Go
    Hirofumi Hosokawa, Associate Chair Go
    Hiroshi Shimatani, Chair, Rooms & Equipment Committee Go
    Masakazu Someya, Chair, Exhibition Committee Go
 
Financial Report Go
 
Message from an EC member Go


Message from an EC member Go


Asia TEFL 2006: Spreading Its Wings*

Joo-Kyung Park, Conference Executive Director


  The 4th Asia TEFL International Conference was held at Seinan Gakuin University, Fukuoka, Japan, on August 18-20, 2006 with the theme "Spreading Our Wings: Meeting TEFL Challenges." Asia TEFL, founded in 2003, has grown to have over 7,000 members and has held conferences in Korea (Busan, 2003; Seoul, 2004) and China (Beijing, 2005). Holding this year's conference in Japan was a logical choice, considering the country's status in the Asian region.
  The Conference started with drenched bodies and dampened spirits due to the typhoon which crossed the island, but President Hyo Woong Lee's welcoming address and the guests' congratulatory remarks given at the opening ceremony ignited excitement, reassuring the significance of the truly Asian organization. The first plenary presentation delivered by Dr. Kenichi Uemura, a multilingual neurosurgeon on a personal journey as a successful language learner and teacher, challenged the participants with his insightful, non-ELT perspectives, and the typhoon was completely forgotten.
  The Conference hosted five plenary speakers in addition to Dr. Uemura: Dr. John Sinclair (Univ. of Birmingham), Dr. William Grabe (Northern Arizona Univ.), Dr. Alastair Pennycook (Univ. of Technology, Sydney), Dr. Annie Hughes (Univ. of York), and Dr. Lee Won Key (Seoul National Univ. of Education). Because of a sudden illness, Dr. Hughes' paper was read by Ms. Chantal Hemmi (British Council, Tokyo) who presented so brilliantly as to make the author's absence almost unnoticed. These plenary speakers discussed, respectively, the impact of corpora on examining what English is really like, exploring research on reading instruction, ELT as translingual activism, the implications of what we know about children's foreign language learning for teaching English to young learners, and an Asian standard of English proficiency. They all showed what world-class scholarship was like, but Dr. Lee's presentation seemed to be the highlight of the conference.
  In order to promote world-class professionalism among Asian TEFLers, Asia TEFL invites Asian scholar as plenary speaker at its annual conferences. Following Dr. Oryang Kwon (Korea, 2003), Dr. Amy B.M. Tsui (Hong Kong, 2004), and Dr. Huizhong Yang (China, 2005) who displayed a high standard of Asian TEFL scholarship, Dr. Lee Won Key, Korean testing expert and prolific ELT author, captured the audience with his deliciously witty and superbly professional presentation, emphasizing the ownership of Asian Englishes and the necessity of developing an Asian standard of English proficiency.
  Seven featured speakers were also on the bill: Prof. Ikuo Koike (Japan), Prof. Yeon Hee Choi (Korea), Prof. Wen Qiufang (China), Prof. Ravinder Gargesh (India), Prof. Malachi Edwin Vethamani (Malaysia), Prof. Phyllis Ghim Lian Chew (Singapore), and Prof. Arifa Rahman (Bangladesh). They discussed the history and policies related to English education in their own culture and context, which reaffirmed for us how diverse but similar the Asian issues can be and opened up the possibility of finding solutions by working together.
  The three-day conference was an intellectual feast with four hundred and fifty concurrent presentations, including 30 travel grant awardees, who provided such a diversity of topics and issues to choose from, and more importantly, a variety of Asian Englishes. The Conference reception was another feast of Japanese music, food, and costume. Seventeen foreign women including myself were asked to dress in yukata and getta, traditional Japanese dress and sandals, and wear them at the reception, which was a very memorable and amusing intercultural experience for all the participants. The closing ceremony was such a happy ending, full of the spirit of sharing and celebrating. A small Korean drum was passed as a symbol of continuity from the Japanese Conference Committee to the Malaysian Conference Committee, the host of the 2007 Asia TEFL Conference.
  The 4th Asia TEFL Conference wrote another page of TEFL history with the strong support and enthusiasm shared by the Conference's nearly 1,000 participants. Asia TEFL's mission is to make a contribution to TEFL professionalism in the Asian context, world peace, and human prosperity. This Conference has been a place for Asian TEFLers to further grow personally and professionally and fulfill the mission together. I plan to be at the next Asia TEFL Conference and hope to see you in Malaysia in 2007!

The Author
Dr. Joo-Kyung Park received her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University, USA. Her recent research interests include teacher education, critical pedagogy, and English immersion programs. She served as president of KOTESOL and general secretary of Asia TEFL. Currently, she is an associate professor of the Dept. of English Language and Literature at Honam University and Conference Executive Director of Asia TEFL.
English58@hanmail.net

* This article originally appeared in The English Connection, 10(3), newsmagazine of Korea TESOL.

Conference Organizing Committee

Ikuo Koike, Chair

  I am pleased to report that the 4th Asia TEFL International Conference held at Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka City, Japan in August 2006 was a complete success thanks to the dedication of the organizers, participants and others. My gratitude extends to our President, the executive Board, Seinan Gakuin University for allowing us the venue. My personal indebtedness is proffered to members of the Conference Organizing Committee, national and local governments, TEFL institutes, company and individual donators, students, and participants.
  The success of the Conference may be viewed as a significant benchmark in our endeavor to promote Asian internationalism in TEFL. Preceded by the 1st Asia TEFL International Conference in Busan in 2003, the 2nd in Seoul, 2004 and the 3rd in Beijing, 2005, the 4th Conference was even more impressive considering the difficulties that had to be overcome in a short time. There was no administrative infrastructure in place and no sponsors had pledged. Japan was the most expensive and geographically isolated country. Overcoming these hurdles required considerable flexibility.
  We reduced costs by using a university site during the summer vacation. We selected Fukuoka as the site, as it was close to the Asian continent, had an international airport, and was less expensive than Tokyo. President Murakami's offer was the deciding factor. Also, the staff and student body of the university with the volunteers from Kyushu Chapters of JACET and LET provided the needed infrastructure.
  Financially, we received funds from the related companies, and allowed the Conference to be held with an entrance fee of ¥3,000 (out-of-country) and ¥4,000 (domestic). Revenue from donations and fees coupled with the unselfishness of volunteers allowed the Conference to emerge in the black.
  Thus, we had 17 public lectures, about 400 paper presentations, 25 posters, nearly 1,000 attendants from 50 countries and areas and 350 participants in the reception and many local events under the conference theme "Spreading Our Wings: Meeting TEFL Challenges." We expect that Asia TEFL become an influential and beneficial force by and for Asian educators, and with the great help of so many. I am very proud to have contributed. Thank you all.

Yasukata Yano, Secretary General
  Thanks to Seinan Gakuin University which offered conference site, 40 supporting organizations, 50 advisory board members, and 60 hard-working conference committee members, the 4th Asia TEFL International Conference was a big success with 17 invited lectures, 400 presentations, and 900 participants from 50 countries and territories.
  Asia TEFL, a young but fast-growing ELT professional organization, aims at bringing together ELT professionals in Asia to further develop ELT in the region through conferences, research projects, journals, and by its activities, contributing to peace and prosperity across Asia through cross-cultural understanding.
  The Conference invited six plenary speakers. Dr. Kenichi Uemura of Yokohama Stroke and Brain Center, Japan talked about the brain mechanism and English learning from the brain specialist's perspective. Prof. John Sinclair of the University of Birmingham argued that we can learn from giant collections of the language in use. Prof. Annie Hughes of York University (substitute reader) referred to the implications for teaching English to young learners. Prof. William Grabe of Northern Arizona University gave his expertise on L2 reading research. Prof. Alastair Pennycook of the University of Technology Sydney argued that ELT must be seen in relation to global practice of English use and learning from socio-cultural perspective. And Prof. Won Key Lee of Seoul National University of Education presented his idea for Common Asian Framework. All plenary speeches were inspiring and received well by the audience.
  As featured speakers, we had seven well-known ELT professionals from Asian countries and they talked about the assigned topic-history of ELT in their respective countries. The speakers were Prof. Yeon Hee Choi of Ewha Womans University, Korea, Prof. Ravinder Gargesh of the University of Delhi, India, Prof. Ikuo Koike of Meikai University, Japan, Prof. Malachi E. Vethamani of the University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia, Prof. Phyllis G. Chew of Nanyang Technology University, Singapore, Prof. Arifa Rahman of Presidency University, Bangladesh, and Prof. Qiufang Wen of Beijing Foreign Studies University, China.
  We also had four special lectures. Prof. Kimie Oshima of Bunkyo Gakuin University, Japan gave a talk on English Rakugo as a form of Japanese English. Prof. Rob Waring of Okayama Notre Dame Seishin University, Japan gave a lecture on the relationship between vocabulary and reading. Prof. Seamus Fagan of the University of Newcastle, Australia argued that Asian Englishes should be more valued in the classrooms of Asia. And Prof. Mamoru Morizumi of Obirin University, Japan lectured on English Classology at the tertiary level of education.
  We live in the age of globalization, when people, capital, commodity, service, and information move across national boundaries, deepening our interdependency, compelling us to have a closer and massive communication, and demanding a common language, which is English. Asia TEFL is the biggest ELT organization in Asia, from Russia to Indonesia and from Israel to Japan. It soon will vie with TESOL in the US and IATEFL in Europe in the academic level and scope of activities. We need to promote ELT in Asia and globally for the coming generations.
Masayoshi Kinoshita, Chair, Steering Committee

  As an old proverb says "Time and tide waits for no one", the conference days came flying as an arrow, although we began the preparation of the 4th AsiaTEFL International Conference as early as November 2004. The first day of the conference arrived with Typhoon #10, and the opening ceremony greeted us with heavy rain and winds. However, the next two days were fine and the conference ended with the beautiful sunset of Fukuoka Bay.
  I'd like to express my sincere appreciation to the Conference Organizing Committee members, especially those in Donation Committee and Steering Committee. The success of the conference would not have been brought without them, who showed their full abilities at their own assigned sections.

I'd like to report the following as the chair of the host organization.

1. Our early set up of the conference organization committee provided enough time for preparation.
2. The preparation fund of ¥300,000 from the Asia TEFL headquarters in Korea, and donations offered from the cooperating companies supported the international conference in Fukuoka, Japan.
3. About 800 participated, which greatly exceeded our expectation.
4. Dr. Kinichi Uemura's plenary speech drew many participants on the first day in spite of the bad weather.
5. There were many foreign participants who wanted to purchase conference staff uniforms as a souvenir.
6. The Proceedings of the Conference should have been printed 800 copies.
7. The 224 participants joined the conference party, and the attractions received a good reputation from foreign attendants.
8. There was no confusion for foreign participants in getting to the conference site from Fukuoka International Airport.
9. About 19% of paper presentations (83 out of 450) were cancelled. There were 39 rooms with less than five audiences.
10. Prof. Masaki Oda and Mr. TakaneYamaguchi worked extra hard to take care of the visa issues. This taught us that it would be better to employ professionals to deal with visa problems.
11. Thanks to Prof. Hirofumi Hosokawa, the Asia TEFL FAQ worked wonderful for inquiries from the participants.
12. Welcome remarks by councilors of the foreign councils in Fukuoka added the relics to the international conference.
13. Prof. Hiroyuki Obari kindly sacrificed most of his time for photo-taking. We should have assigned more people to do the job.
14. Questionnaires to the participants could have be done for some suggestions useful for organizing conferences in the future.
Soo im Lee, Associate Chair, Steering Committee

  After observing high quality performance and great success in the first (Busan), second (Seoul) and third (Beijing) Asia TEFL international conferences, it cannot be denied that the members of the Japanese organizing committee were placed under great pressure preparing for this unprecedented event. The Japanese committee faced numerous new tasks, especially in regards to fundraising, which turned out to be the biggest challenge. The financial support from about 40 companies and 60 individuals helped us launch the conference and we would like to thank them for their generous support. Without their support, it would have been impossible to carry out the conference successfully. There were some excellent coverage of the conference and the hospitality of the Kyushu JACET members for the 1,000 participants was beyond description. We all learned more than we knew before the conference started.
  There were things that we should improve for further development of the Asia TEFL. I would like to state these issues.

(1) The financial management of the Asia TEFL should be reexamined. The committee members are willing to spend energy and time preparing for the international conference, but all the possibilities that might cause personal financial pressure to the organizing members should be avoided.
(2) The international conference is the only chance that the Asia TEFL Council committee members can exchange their opinions. Separate breakout meetings for publication, newsletter, online newsletter, and the other issues should be held to provide face-to-face discussions. The minutes of these breakouts should be disclosed.
(3) Even though we are all categorized as "Asia," each country has a different set of cultural values and customs. However, the dialogue in Asia has just started and the intercultural understanding is one of the most important issues to promote the harmony in the region. A better understanding and an effort to identify and analyze these sensitive zones of intercultural encounters can be a great resource for the organizing members. Therefore, we should discuss these issues openly not hurting each other's feelings. It is vital that we pay attention to the diversity that exists within the Asian region. Diversity will have to be realized by the individual members to coexist with the others, but it would be necessary to decide the Asia TEFL practice rules that all members have to follow. That will be a requisite for a possible Asian common framework that we might be exploring in the future.
Hitoshi Muranoi, Chair, Program Committee

  The Program Committee worked to formulate the presentation schedule taking into account the following: (1) type of the presentation (colloquium, workshop, paper presentation, action research, and demonstration), (2) topic similarity, (3) audiovisual equipment-presentations requiring AV equip- ment such as OHP and VCR were assigned to versatile multimedia rooms. As of August 16th, 387 paper presentations, 7 colloquia, 19 workshops, 6 commercial presentations and 17 plenary and featured speeches were incorporated into the program. To compile a three-day conference program with 436 lectures and presentations, we decided to run 24 sessions concurrently. Seventy cancellations were reported to the chair of the program committee by August 6th, most of which were accommodated for by using 36 alternates and by modifying the schedule. During the conference 83 presentations were cancelled without notice.
  A tentative schedule was made public on the Asia TEFL 2006 website on June 17th, following which the program committee received a number of requests for time change from presenters. The committee made every effort to accommodate these requests. A policy which we feel was appropriate. However, we also recognize that the schedule should have been finalized earlier to allow sufficient time to check the program. As adjustments were made up to the last minute before printing, not all changes were accurately reflected in the "schedule by time" (Conference Book, pp. 31-65) though all were correctly displayed in the "schedule by room" (pp. 67-147). We sincerely regret any confusion that this discrepancy caused especially on the first day of the conference.
Kensaku Yoshida, Chair and Toshihiko Suzuki, Associate Chair
Program & Abstracts Publication Committee

  First of all, we would like to begin with a few positive comments. (1) The templates we applied to the concurrent sessions proved to be very effective in assigning slots to the over 400 presentations. (2) The index at the end of the program was useful in searching presenters' time and room of presentation. (3) It was unfortunate that Dr Kawashima had to cancel his lecture just before the conference due to health reasons, but, we were able to replace his lecture abstract and biodata with those of Dr Uemura.
  Secondly, we would like to point out the following problems for future improvement. (i) We had problems in identifying the first and last names of quite a few presenters. Because of this, it was difficult to make an accurate index according to last names. This problem could have been avoided if the application form had specified spaces for first and last names. (ii) There were problems in some abstracts and biodata, especially those sent by the Korean side. Some people ignored the limitation in the number of words in writing their abstracts. There were also presenters who did not write their biodata in accordance with academic conventions. (iii) We tried to comply as much as possible with the presenters' requests for time changes. This, however, caused considerable delay in editing and printing. As a result there were some discrepancies between the lists of presentations by time and by rooms. We would like to apologize for the inconvenience this caused on the first day of the conference. Future editors should decide on a definite deadline for changes and deal with any later changes in the form of errata. (iv) Our first plan was to produce 800 copies of the conference program, but the number was reduced to 600 due to a fear of lack of revenue prior to the conference. However, the number of participants surpassed 800, and as a result we encountered the problem of shortage of programs. We apologize to those participants who could not receive the conference program. However, it was fortunate that we had decided to produce program CDs for just such emergency situations.
  Last but not least, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to Mr. Nitta and his colleagues at Print-boy. Without their cooperation we would not have been able to come out with the program on time. They understood our difficult situation and met our demands swiftly and willingly. Furthermore, they offered to produce the program CDs that we were making ourselves.
Masaki Oda, Chair, Proposal Reading Committee

  Since the 1st conference, the proposals have been accepted in two categories, "Host Country" and "Other Countries". While we could give some priority to the host country, the proposal should be evaluated according to the same standard. We have two instances in which a proposal has been accepted by one evaluation team but rejected by another. In addition, there were several duplicate submissions. While there was a clear interaction, some people have intentionally submitted their proposals in two committees using various reasons.
  The Japanese proposal reading team had 20+ evaluators all of whom are ASIA TEFL members with different specialties. The team includes both native and non-native speakers of English, teaching at different levels, females and males and different length of teaching experience. As they were scattered from Hokkaido to Kyushu, we communicated through e-mail. The proposal was read anonymously, and the score for each proposal was given to the chair. In this way, we were able to maintain a high quality of the proposal.
  From this experience, we would like to propose that the proposals should be read anonymously. Even though a presenter wants to present a local case, it is his/her responsibility to write proposals which is persuasive to any readers. The readers should be selected from as many regions in Asia as possible. We believe it is possible as far as one has an access to internet.
Masaki Oda, Chair, Visa related issues Committee

  This committee was not in our original plan, but because of the heavy demand by participants we had to assemble this committee. Because proposal reading committee chair was the main contact person for many of overseas presenters, I had to involve in the committee.
  The visa issue was one of the biggest challenges for the Japanese committee. ASIA TEFL members are language teaching professionals and there are very few, if any, specialists in immigration law. For the citizens of some countries, it is almost a nightmare in order to get a visa to enter Japan. I would like to thank Takane Yamaguchi for his dedicated work, However, there were some presenters whose visa were not issued mainly because they acted too late.
  We also had a problem for identifying ‘real' participants. We had many people, particularly from western Africa, who requested letter of invitation as they wanted to participate in the conference. At the same time, if we issued an invitation but they did not participate in the conference, technically, I would have to take a responsibility even though I had originally assigned as the proposal reading committee chair.
  I would strongly suggest that Internal Affairs committee (even though I am stepping down as a member) should establish a regular channel of communication (e.g. ML) and gather information. The Malaysian committee should contact with the authority in the early stage about the requirements for visa application, disseminate them to the Internal Affairs Committee and regional representatives and exchange information as it was often the case that there was some discrepancy in interpretation of the rules between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Diplomatic Missions overseas.
Shin'ichiro Ishikawa, Chair, Public Relations Committee


The Public Relations Committee (PRC) had two missions. One was to give appropriate information to the sponsor companies. We offered several special treatments (free ads in the program book, free commercial presentation, free book display and so on) to the sponsors. The other was to maintain the website of Japan Conference Organizing Committee (See below). On the website, we offered detailed updated information about the conference, VISA, hotels, presentations, and the venue. Also, we uploaded the whole conference program (PDF version), which was freely downloadable by anyone in the world.

Japan Organizing Committe Website


  There were two roles the Information Section took in this conference. One was to make FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), and the other was to run the Information Centre during the conference.
  The first version of FAQ was made in June, by the time of which a lot of enquiries had been made from abroad. At first we were trying to respond to them individually, but we needed to deal with them in other ways. This was how the FAQ was made. By the opening of conference, FAQ had been revised eight times. The contents included a variety of topics such as (1) general information, (2) registration, (3) offices, (4) program, (5) equipment, (6) facilities, (7) meals, (8) transportations, (9) accommodation, and (10) Fukuoka city information. We hope that it helped participants in many ways.
  Our second role was to manage the Information Centre, which was located near the conference headquarter, and an information booth near the registration desks. There were questions regarding Internet, email, and programs. We worked with other committee members and students. It was fortunate that no serious problems took place. Our special thanks go to the members who made the conference programs.They stayed in the Centre office during the conference and patiently dealt with the enquiries of the program. The only problem we should consider in the future is the information booth. It did not work as efficiently as we expected. We should have thought about the flow of participants more carefully.
022
Hiroshi Shimatani, Chair, Rooms and Equipment Committee

  Our job was to support the presentations proceeding as the Program Committee had scheduled. During the three-day conference, 436 presentations (387 paper presentations, 7 colloquia, 19 workshops, 6 commercial presentations and 17 plenary and featured speeches) were to be delivered in 74 rooms (25 rooms on the 1st day, 25 rooms on the 2nd day, and 24 rooms on the final day). We worked very hard so that all presentations could be made smoothly. In order to help with the equipment such as computers and projectors, give support to participants, deal with complaints, and watch rented equipment, we assigned a part-time assistant to each room. Few mechanical problems were reported thanks to good condition of the facilities and the professional support. As reported by the Program Committee, there was some confusion on the 1st day because of the discrepancies in the Conference Book. In spite of this initial confusion, all of the presentations except for the cancelled ones were delivered successfully. I believe that our teamwork contributed much to this success. Finally, many sincere thanks to all team members.
Masakazu Someya, Chair, Exhibition Committee

  Our role was to supervise the exhibition by sales representatives at the conference. The exhibition site was in the student hall on the first floor of Building 2 at Seinan University. Our first job was to divide the spacious hall into four sections and to confirm the places and divisions of various booths for publishers, software companies, hardware companies, embassies and consulates. A total of 39 exhibitors came and there was only one cancellation.
  Since the exhibition site was next to the reception desk, we were obliged to help the receptionists and to usher the participants to the rooms where presentations were taking place. The conference was plagued by inclement weather, and we volunteered to find taxis for some of the participants.
  Owing to the large amount of electricity consumed by the commercial exhititors, vending machines ceased to function. In addition, some of the exhibitors were not able to carry out their planned demonstrations because their booths were outside the range of electromagnetic waves. In the former case, we scrambled to find an electrician and in the latter, we could not help but change locations.
  Another unexpected problem was the tons of corrugated boxes brought in by the exhibitors. Since they were to be used again after the conference, we had to find a place to store them in the meantime.
  Once we got through our initial problems, , we took advantage of the opportunity and enjoyed talking with presenters and visitors browsing around the booths from many parts of the world.
  We were often stopped by participants who wanted to know how to get to presentations. Students at Seinangakuin University did a commendable job of taking care of them. Their dedication made a great contribution to the success of this international conference.
  Since one corner of the exhibition site served as a lounge area, I was impressed by the sight of many people from different countries conversing in a variety of English in a friendly and harmonious manner.
  We also sold some goods connected with the conference. I wish I had been able to sell more goods and contribute to the sales achievement, but I could not do that because of my lack of experience as a salesman. However, the conference bag was so popular that some people bought a couple for their friends. It was a great pleasure to have been able to communicate with people with various backgrounds through this international conference.
Asia TEFL 2006 Financial Report
(Asia TEFL 2006 held at Seinan Gakuin Univ., Fukuoka, Japan from Aug.18-20, 2006)
 
INCOME (US$) EXPENSES (US$) BALANCE (US$)
Headquarters' Grant 3,000 Conference 68,400  
Participation Fees 18,210 Office 5,095
Display Rates 5,880 Official trips 5,800
Advertising Rates 1,820 Publicity 6,350
Fukuoka City Grant 2,260 Invited Speakers 17,875
Donations 123,800 VIPs (President etc.) 34,235
    Meetings 5,300
Conferece Proceedings 7,500
Homepage 4,200
Incidentals 215
       
Total Income 154,970 Total Expenses 154,970 0
Another Successful Conference in Fukuoka

Marina Rassokha (Russia), Asia TEFL Executive Committee member


Dear Prof. Lee, EC members, and Japan conference organizing committee,

  Congratulations and many thanks to those who have been involved in putting this wonderful conference together. For Asia TEFLers it has undoubtedly become one of the most memorable meetings with its own distinct character.
  I especially enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the conference and the way intellectual and cultural dimensions of the event have been fruitfully combined. I 'd like to express my appreciation for that.

Looking forward to the success of the Kuala Lumpur conference!

With many best wishes,

Marina Rassokha