The Kotesol International Conference 2015 is in the books and overall, it seemed to go quite well from my perspective-just an average attender/presenter. I’ll talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Location– Coex is fantastic and makes an excellent venue, far better than Sookmyeong University where you sometimes have to wander ’round and ’round trying to find some obscure little classroom way out there. At Coex, everything is right by each other and it’s far easier to just run into people and have a chat because you’re not spread out so much. The hotels and food options around there are also fabulous (can you say On the Border?).
Student Volunteers– As always, the student volunteers did a great job. Thank you for your hard work!
Job Center- Although it was pretty small, I think the idea of having a job center is an excellent one. I hope someone takes this and runs with it because it really has the potential to draw a lot of people in, if they had say 5 or 10 universities recruiting there.
Gil Coombe– I attended a presentation by Gil about why he doesn’t give participation points in his university classes. It was one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen at a Kotesol conference and I totally appreciated what he had to say.
Old Friends– Whenever I go to one of these, I feel like I run into 30 or 40 old friends. It’s a great way to spend a weekend, catching up and having a coffee and a chat.
The Presenter Lounge– A nice, relaxing place to catch my breath amidst all the busy.
Astoundingly Bad Presentations- I’m only going to name and shame, kind of. But like a couple of the presentations I went to were just so, so bad that it was painful.
For example. A speaking fluency workshop. We had to talk with our partner for 15 minutes or so and try to think of an open-ended question that we could get our students to talk about. Isn’t that what Google is for? (Topic) + conversation questions. Then, you pick up a couple and away you go. It only went downhill from there.
Or, the one about how not to teach at a university where they were saying that students don’t like teachers who have poor presenting skills. Then, they ran out of time at the end in a huge way, plus had a ridiculously bad PPT with like 12 point font. The irony made me die, a lot, on the inside.
Seriously, I’m no star presenter so like maybe I shouldn’t talk. But, let’s get real. It was painful.
9am Presentations- The 9am presentations on Saturday and Sunday are killer. I only attended this year because I had my own presentation at 9am on Sunday.
Presenter No-Shows– I didn’t have a personal experience with this, but it sounds like there were at least a few presenter no-shows and then a lot of confusion surrounding this.
***This section has been edited. I removed inaccurate information stating that the out-of-town conference committee members were staying in 150,000 Won a night hotel rooms. They actually get 75,000 Won per night. Rumors: not always true! Thanks to those who gave me the real information***
But, I still think it’s pretty ugly that presenters are required to pay more than the regular attendees. I’ve mentioned this in years gone by, and was never quite satisfied with the responses I’ve gotten. Shouldn’t our fees be less? It’s genuinely confusing to me.
Anyway, Kotesol international conference 2015-it was a pretty good one.