Conference Archives


2017 Technology Conference

Conference Highlights

Highlights from 2017 Technology Conference

ACAMIS expresses sincere thanks to The International School of Macao for hosting the conference, as well as Damien Hehir from YCIS Shanghai and Frances Lond-Caulk from ISB for their contributions as the Chair and Member of the Tech Conference Planning Committee.

(Click on the photos to view their actual size)

Highlights of the conference throughout the two days:


Planning Committee

Mel Varga
The International School of Macao

Alex Ching
Victoria Shanghai Academy

Matt Kelsey
Nansha College Preparatory Academy

Amita Patel
Yew Chung International School of Shanghai

Karl Suits
Hangzhou International School

Host School

The International School of Macao (TIS Macao) was established in 2002 to provide a Canadian curriculum and accreditation to local and expatriate students. It is presently a vibrant and rapidly growing school of 1,141 students representing 40 different countries. TIS offers a well-rounded and developmentally appropriate curriculum for students in Pre Kindergarten to Grade 12, culminating in the Alberta High School Diploma and the International Baccalaureate(IB) Diploma recognized by universities worldwide.

The International School of Macao
MUST Campus, Block K, Taipa, Macau
+853 2853 3700

Thank You to Sponsors!

Sincere thank you to the support of our Sponsors:

2018 ECE Conference

Promoting Multilingualism: Engaging Families and Communities

Conference Highlights

Planning Committee

Julie Terry

Julie Terry, Committee Chair - Hangzhou International School

Julie Terry is the Lower School Vice Principal at Hangzhou International School. She has been working in education for the past 14 years, 11 of which have been on the International circuit. She started out her teaching career in Scotland but then moved abroad to Taiwan in 2007. She spent two years in Egypt, five years in Vietnam and has now settled in Hangzhou, China. Julie has taught in Early Childhood and Grades 3 to 5, and has spent many years learning how to support EAL learners. Julie is passionate about many things in education, including curriculum design, professional development and finding creative ways to inspire young learners.

Katie Knight

Katie Knight, Western Academy Beijing

Katie is the Learning Collaborator at the Western Academy of Beijing and has been teaching in China for 7 years. She has also taught in the UK and Malawi. She has been working in Early Years for 18 years and is passionate about our youngest learners. Katie was part of the organising committee for the last ACAMIS Early Childhood Conference.

Frances Lond-Caulk

Frances Lond-Caulk, International School of Beijing
Frances have worked in international schools for 24 years, the last 4 of them in China. She has been a member of the planning committee for the ACAMIS Spring Conference and Technology Conference and recently joined the ECE planning group. This is her third ECE conference, having attended them in Beijing and Shanghai.

Inspiring young children to learn has been Frances's focus for most of her teaching career. Planning for inquiry, developing independence and supporting language learning are key to her. Recently she has worked with a team at her current school to plan for and implement a dual language programme. This has provided her with great professional learning opportunities.

It’s exciting to spend time with other early years teachers. She hopes we all make some great connections during the conference.

Rebecca Maxwell

Rebecca Maxwell, Yew Chung Education Foundation

Rebecca has significant experience in schools in a wide variety of education systems within Australia, the Middle East, Hong Kong and China. She has worked as a classroom teacher, school Principal, systemic curriculum consultant and is currently the Senior Fellow at the Chor Hang Educational Research Institute. Rebecca’s educational passion lies in enabling teachers to be the best that they can be as they strive to empower children to meet the challenges of the future.

Leda Cedo

Leda Cedo, Shekou International School

Leda is the PYP Coordinator at SIS, her fourth IB World School. She has been in education for the past 23 years, working in the Philippines, Japan, South Korea and China. She has been in the international school circuit since 2005 and has devoted a significant portion towards working in the early childhood classroom and curriculum development. Together with the SIS and ACAMIS planning teams, Leda is looking forward to meeting more early years educators in the next ECE conference at Shekou International School!


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Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Lorena Mancilla, Ph.D., WIDA Director of Early Years

Dr. Lorena Mancilla is an advocate for language learners and their families. In her career as an educator, she has worked in bilingual and ESL programs. Dr. Mancilla currently serves as Director of Early Years at WIDA. In her role, she oversees the development of resources that support young dual language learners in early care and education settings. At WIDA, she also served as the lead researcher and developer for family engagement initiatives, a professional development facilitator, and core member of the team that developed the WIDA Spanish Language Development Standards. Dr. Mancilla completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focused on Latino parent engagement in K-12 language education.

Keynote: Changing the Rules of Engagement: Considerations for Strengthening Family Engagement.

This session highlights the need to critically examine the “rules of engagement” that drive beliefs, conceptualizations, and school-based practices for engaging families in the education of their children. In particular, the focus will be on engaging with families that are racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse. The presenter will introduce participants to six key considerations for strengthening family engagement practices that are grounded in research and essential for building relationships with families. In addition, this session highlights the voice of families of K-12 English learners and presents examples of lessons learned from engaging with diverse families.

ACAMIS ECE 2018 Tim Boals

Tim Boals, Ph.D., WIDA Executive Director

Dr. Tim Boals is the Executive Director of the WIDA Consortium. He holds a Ph.D. in curriculum from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an emphasis in the education of English language learners. His background includes language education, educational policy for ELLs, and Spanish language and literature.

As the WIDA Executive Director, Tim oversees operations and long-range planning efforts. He serves on the WIDA Research Subcommittee and his research interests involve the interplay between content and language learning for English language learners across the language acquisition continuum and the effects of standards on classroom practice for these learners. He has recently collaborated on articles about re-conceptualization of academic language and the evolving construct of English language testing, the books "Multilingual Learners and Academic Literacies" and "Formative Language Assessment for ELLs," and a book chapter on supporting ELLs with special needs. Tim frequently presents at national and regional conferences on the challenges facing ELLs and how schools and educators can better meet their needs.

Keynote: Promoting Multilingual Student Engagement and Success.

This session will begin with a look at the latest recommendations for creating and sustaining culturally and linguistically engaging spaces for young multilingual learners within which to interact. A video exemplar will illustrate the teacher’s role in facilitating these interactions. These spaces should ensure that language use is promoted in authentic and engaging ways, building on students’ L1 and C1 even as children become more adept at beginning to learn English. The session will then introduce participants the latest WIDA and WIDA Early Years resources designed to assist teachers in creating similarly engaging spaces both in English and the children’s primary languages throughout the school day.

Exploring Promises Practices, Parts I and II - facilitated by Tim Boals and Lorena Mancilla
This two-part interactive session introduces participants to the WIDA Early Years Essential Actions and Promising Practices. The Essential Actions support the learning and language development of young dual language learners (DLLs) ages 2.5 – 5.5 years. In addition, they promote collaboration among all stakeholders invested in the care and education of DLLs.

Part One of this session introduces participants to WIDA Early Years and components of the WIDA Standards Framework that are foundational to the Essential Actions and Promising Practices. Participants will begin to explore Essential Actions #1 – #7.

Part Two of the session continues to explore the Essential Actions (#8 – #14) and provides participants opportunities to discuss action steps for implementing Promising Practices in their local setting.

Teacher Presenters

(photo not available)
Sheryl Fisher, Yew Chung International School of Qingdao
Sheryl has a Bachelor of Education degree and many years of teaching experience as an Early Childhood teacher. Currently, she is the Early Childhood Leader at Yew Chung International School in Qingdao, China (3 years) and the Western co-teacher for children aged 2- 5 years old (7 years). Prior to that Sheryl was the owner of a bilingual kindergarten (4 years) and a swim school for beginner swimmers (5 years) in South Africa.

Having learnt an incredible amount about international schooling, the importance of play based learning and of developing close relationships with parents whose children are immersed in bilingual learning, she would like to share the skills and experiences she has acquired with others.

Presentation Topic: Parent communication; the vital link in bilingual Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Asyriawati Hamzah, Unihearts International Education Group
Asyriawati binte Mohd Hamzah(Ash) is an energetic, nurturing and highly driven professional who has more
than 15 years of early childhood experiences in teaching and leadership. Her positive personality and desire to share new innovative ways to teach teachers to make curriculum come alive have been inspiring and meaningful. She graduates from University of South Australia with a MEd and BEd. Her passion continues as she furthers her studies in the areas of special needs and IB education. She has presented papers in early childhood conferences in Paris, Melbourne, Bali and Singapore. Her specialized areas of training topics include child development, curriculum, technology and innovation. She is a firm believer for continuous professional development to raise early childhood teacher's competencies to problem solve and innovate with children and familiesI am currently the Director of English Curriculum & Trainer who actively train, guide and mentor foreign teachers namely expatriate who are working in Qingdao, China to teach English to young children in an international kindergarten. I am also an associate lecturer with a local Singapore early childhood institute.
Presentation Topic: Embracing change in early childhood schools in China through raising quality in teaching and learning practices

Rebecca Maxwell, Yew Chung Education Foundation
Rebecca has significant experience in schools in a wide variety of education systems within Australia, the Middle East, Hong Kong and China. She has worked as a classroom teacher, school Principal, systemic curriculum consultant and is currently the Senior Fellow at the Chor Hang Educational Research Institute. Rebecca’s educational passion lies in enabling teachers to be the best that they can be as they strive to empower children to meet the challenges of the future.
Presentation Topic: Learning in an Emergent Play Based Early-Years Multi-Lingual Classroom

Ben Milburn, Hangzhou International School
Ben Milburn is from Devon, England. Since graduating, his adventures have taken him to South Korea, Japan, and Uganda. For the past four years Ben has been living in Hangzhou. Ben joined HIS in August as a Kindergarten teacher, where he has been able to share his passion for inquiry-based learning with his colleagues.
Presentation Topic: Models of Inquiry in practice

Audra Miller, Bromsgrove School at Mission Hills
Audra has 11 years of teaching experience and holds a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters Degree in Elementary Reading. For 6 years she taught at high risk schools in America, and then she decided to take her expertise abroad. The past 4 years she has been teaching in Abu Dhabi, UAE where she has led many Professional Development courses on the importance of play and Play Based Curriculum. This is her first year working in China at Bromsgrove School Mission Hills, where she is a leader in Inquiry and Play Based Learning.
Presentation Topic: The importance of play in a dual language classroom

Diana Rehfeldt, Hangzhou International School
Diana was raised in California, studied in Illinois, and made her way to the East Coast. As a former learning specialist at Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC, Diana supported students with a wide range of learning profiles. Prior to her Independent School experience, she taught grades K-5 as a special education teacher for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). In 2010-12, she facilitated professional development workshops for teachers seeking to enhance differentiated instruction in the general education classroom. In August 2017, Diana took the longest journey of her career so far to take up the role of Lower School Learning Specialist at Hangzhou International School. Diana is deeply committed to educating young people, supporting families, and building connections with colleagues.
Presentation Topic: Early Identification and Best Practices to Support Children with Developmental Delays

Kimberly Romyn, Canadian International School of Guangzhou
Kim Romyn is from Alberta, Canada. She graduated with both her Bachelors and Masters of Education (BEd, MEd) from Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta. Ms. Romyn is fully fluent in both French and English and has taught in a French Immersion setting for 8 years in Alberta. In addition, Ms. Romyn worked for Alberta Education for three years improving curriculum and resources for the Mathematics Program of Studies. She has completed her first year as a Grade 3 teacher at the Canadian International School of Guangzhou and has returned this year to her new role of Learning Support Teacher.

Presentation Topic: Vocabulary Building Activities

Mariann Tasber and YaChen Wu, Bromsgrove School Mission Hills
Mariann Tasber has a Masters in Early Childhood. She has worked in schools in America, Germany, South Korea and China, many of which were bi-lingual.
YaChen has a Masters in Teaching Chinese as an International Language. She has worked in schools in Thailand, UK and China.

We are partner teachers in a bilingual school. Half of our students are new to learning English this year. Working together with our school’s literacy coach, we have developed a range of strategies which helped our students to greatly enhance their speaking and listening skills in English and Mandarin, as evidenced by our assessment.
Presentation Topic: How can we best support young children to develop speaking and listening skills in two languages?

Kate Xu, Yew Chung International School of Qingdao
Kate is a Chinese co-teacher at Yew Chung International School of Qingdao. She is a certified positive discipline parenting educator and has effectively practiced positive discipline in her own classroom.
Presentation Topic: Positive Discipline in the Classroom

Subject to further updates


Friday, February 2, 2018

8:00 - 9:00Registration and Coffee
9:00 - 10:15Welcome
Cultural Performance
Opening Remarks
Keynote #1 - Changing the Rules of Engagement: Considerations for Strengthening Family Engagement by Lorena Mancilla

Performance Space
10:15 - 10:30Coffee Break & NetworkingCafeteria
10:30 - 11:30Breakout Session #1 (Check Guidebook for detailed description)
  1. Early Identification and Best Practices to Support Children with Developmental Delays by Diana Rehfeldt (HIS)
  2. Positive Discipline in the Classroom by Kate Xu (YCIS Qingdao)
  3. Vocabulary Building Activities by Kimberly Romyn (CISG)

1. Auditorium
2. B102
3. B101
11:30 - 12:30LunchCafeteria
12:30 - 2:00Exploring Promising Practices, Part 1
(Facilitated by Tim Boals & Lorena Mancilla)
Performance Space
2:00 - 2:40Coffee Break & NetworkingCafeteria
2:40 - 3:10School TourMeet outside the Cafeteria
3:15 - 4:15Breakout Session #2 (See Guidebook for detailed description)
  1. Finding the Right Balance by Mariann Tasber and YaChen Wu (Bromsgrove School Mission Hills Shenzhen)
  2. Learning in an Emergent Play Based Early-Years Multi-Lingual Classroom by Rebecca Maxwell (YCIS Hong Kong)
  3. Parent communication; the vital link in bilingual Early Childhood Education (ECE) by Sheryl Fisher (YCIS Qingdao)

1. B101

2. Auditorium

3. B102
4:30 - 6:30Reception/SocialPerformance Space

Saturday, February 3, 2018

8:00 - 8:30Coffee and NetworkingCafeteria
8:30 - 9:45Announcements

Keynote #2 - Promoting Student Engagement and Success with Support from WIDA by Tim Boals

Performance Space

9:45 - 10:15

Coffee Break & NetworkingCafeteria
10:15 - 11:45Exploring Promising Practices, Part 2

(Facilitated by Tim, Lorena)

Performance Space
12:00 - 1:00Lunch

1:00 - 2:00Breakout Session #3 (See Guidebook for detailed description)

  1. Embracing change in early childhood schools in China through raising quality in teaching and learning practices - Asyriawati Hamzah (Unihearts International Education Group)
  2. Models of Inquiry in Practice by Ben Milburn (HIS)
  3. The importance of play in a dual language classroom - Audra Miller (Bromsgrove School Mission Hills Shenzhen)

1. B101

2. Auditorium

3. B102
2:00 - 2:45Coffee Break & Designated Focus Issues (one issue/poster per table)Performance Space
3:00 - 4:00Parent Panel & Reflections (Facilitated by Tim & Lorena)Performance
4:00 - 4:30ClosingPerformance Space

Subject to further updates and changes

Check Guidebook for updated Bus times departing to/from hotel and host school

Host School

Hangzhou International School
Address: 78 Dongxin Street, Bin Jiang District, Hangzhou 310053
Phone: 86-571-8669-0045
Website URL:

Director of School: Jeffry Stubbs

Hotel Reservation

The host school will provide transportation from the following hotels:
1. Sheraton Four Points
Address: 868 Dongxin Avenue, Binjiang District, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
Contact Person: Tracy Zhou
Telephone: 152 5887 1630
Website URL:
Room Rate: ¥650 (per night)

2. Zhicheng Hotel
Address: 688, Dongxin Avenue, Binjiang District HZ, Zhejiang, China
Contact Person: Mr. Qiu
Telephone: 189 5713 1191 or 152 6712 0582
*Please email or call the hotel to make reservations
Room Rate (Standard/Deluxe Room): ¥320/350 (per night)

Notes with hotel reservation:
  1. You need to make your own hotel reservation (or for your colleagues who are going to attend the workshop).
  2. Transportation will be provided only between the above hotel(s) and the host school during the workshop or conference days.
  3. You can book other hotels but you (and/or your colleagues) will need to make your own way to the host school.

2018 Spring Conference

2018 Spring Conference

March 2-3, 2018 at The International School of Macao

Follow #ACAMIS18 on Twitter

2018 ELL Conference

2018 Chinese Conference


ECE Conference

Technology Conference

Spring Conference


Click below video for the highlights from last year's conference

Conference Info

Strands & Topics

ELL Conference

Chinese Conference

Presenters' Profile

Yamin Ma
Ms. Yamin Ma is Head of Chinese at Island School. She received her M.Ed. in Curriculum Design and Instruction from Queen’s University, Canada. Since 1995, she has taught Chinese at I/GCSE, A/AS and IB B levels to students from near-native to non-background. Ms. Yamin Ma has extensive experience of teaching Chinese to both primary and secondary level students and has run many workshops for teachers in the same field. Ms. Yamin Ma is the author of “Chinese Made Easy” and “Easy Steps to Chinese” series.

Xiaochuan Lin
Lin Xiaochuan currently teaching MYP and DP Chinese, while serving as the head of language acquisition department at the Chadwick International school in South Korea. Her international school teaching experience has spanned for the past 20 years, when she taught in Tanglin Trust School, Overseas Family School in Singapore and the British School of Manila before the Chadwick International. Her teaching committed to cultivating her students’ creative and critical minds through relevant, meaningful and challenging learning experience.
She has become an IBDP workshop leader in 2010, and has successfully facilitated both Chinese Ab Initio and Chinese B workshops since. Implementing MYP the new chapter in the last three years, she has been devoting her time and energy to explore the concept driven and inquiry based approach to the Chinese language acquisition.
Lin Xiao chuan graduated from Fujian Teachers’ university with major in Chinese language and literature and she taught Chinese at a teachers’ college in Fujian for 9 years. After obtaining her Master of Applied linguistic from Macquarie University in Australia in 1996, she started teaching Chinese as a second/foreign language to international students.

牛毅 Peter Niu Yi
牛毅, 在北美、香港和中国大陆地区多所学校有逾十年教授儿童和成人的语言教学经验。他常年活跃在各地区性教学研讨会并担任主讲人。作为教育科技产品的极客,他喜于钻研并亲自投身尝试最新产品的研发,同时他在教学中极力推广哈佛大学教育学院的可视化思维模式。
Niu Yi has had more than ten years experience in teaching languages to kids and adults around the world, including North America, Hong Kong and Mainland China. He has actively contributed to academic workshops as a leader and a speaker. As a passionate geek of educational technology, he has delved into and fully devoted himself to the development of new technological products that can be used in the classroom; meanwhile, he experiments with and promotes the Visible Thinking program pioneered by the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Mr. Niu graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a Master Degree in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language followed by a PGDE degree from Hong Kong University. After having completed the degrees, Mr. Niu begun to work at the Chinese International School of Hong Kong, teaching the MYP and DP courses at a variety of levels. For many years, he has coordinated the China Experience Program in Kunming, China.
Mr. Niu is the co-author of the first MYP Chinese course book entitled MYP Language and Literature, which will be published late this year. In addition to this, Mr. Niu writes articles for publications such as Orange News and E-Campus Today. In 2014, he organized and led students to participate in the World Scholar Cup and won the Team Championship in the final round in Yale University. As the Treasurer and board member in Junior Chamber International Queensway Hong Kong, he has been the guest speaker at various events organized by Hong Kong University, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, The United Front Work Department (UFWD) etc.

Marphy Cai
Ph.d of Drama and Theatre in Education, The University of Warwick
Marphy Cai is the founder of Marphy’s Play House. She had Master degree of Drama and Theatre in Education at The University of Warwick, and then continue her Ph.d study in Warwick University. Her research focus on drama and language development in Chinese context. She did TiE workshop in IDEA, France. This project is called the Coldest War and explored history through drama. She also had presentation in IDIERI, Singapore, addressed how to combine drama and story to benefit children’s language development.

鄒蕙蘭 Lanny Tsou, BA MED
Deputy Head of Chinese Faculty & NCS Chinese Coordinator
Ms. Tsou is originally a Chinese teacher from Taiwan, and now works as the Deputy Head of Chinese Faculty & NCS Chinese Coordinator at Creative Secondary School. She is an experienced educator and has previously teaching experience in Taiwan. She obtained a diploma from the Department of News Editing and Reporting from The World College of Journalism (Shih Hsin University). She received a certificate from the Taipei Language Institute Center for Teacher Chinese as a Second Language in 2006. She also holds a Bachelor degree of Chinese Language and Literature, and has a Master degree of Teaching Chinese as a Second language from the University of Hong Kong. Her research area focuses on the teaching strategy and curriculum designing for the Second Language. She held many workshops for teachers and students from local secondary schools and the University of Hong Kong in recent years. Meanwhile she maintains her appointed position as an IB Chinese examiner.

MPhil., M.A., B.A.
董宁对 IBDP文学课程的研究深入, 2012年根据新版大纲编写的教材 《国际文凭大学预科项目中文A文学课程指导》(繁简体上下册)出版。董宁的文学研究从不间断,2013年出版了中英文双语版研究清代弹词小说的学术专着 《诚为才女红顔写心》。2014 年《文学课程专题研究论文写作指导》(繁简体各一册) 一书出版。2016年,《IBDP文学术语手册》(繁简体各一册) 一书出版。以上几本专着构成系列的IBDP中文教材,填补了全球IBDP中文教学的空白,满足了IB教学的需要。2017年,《国际文凭大学预科项目中文A文学课程指导》(繁简体上下册)再版发行。


Snapshots & Highlights

2017 Chinese Conference
Utahloy International School of Guangzhou
June 30 - July 2, 2017

Keynote Speeches

Challenges facing Chinese teaching in international contexts
by Yamin Ma



以概念主导的探究性的教学途径 - 汉语习得教学的一个挑战:一个教师的视角和反思
by Xiao Chuan Lin

以概念主导的探究性的教学途径,在许多教育机构比如 IB 的推动下,正形成一股革新潮流,挑战着我们已有的教学思路。这种途径是否适用于语言习得的教学,特别是汉语的教学?聚焦于概念的学习过程是否与扎实的语言学习和交流技能的培养构成冲突?针对这些疑虑,林小川将分享她的理解以及她在尝试这种教学途径的过程中的经验和体会。其要点有:

1. 以概念为主导的探究性教学需要激活学生已有的知识与能力,帮助他们建立目标语言与母语或其它已掌握的语言之间的联系;

2. 以概念为主导的课程意在建构有深意的教学框架,让学生在学习语言掌握交流技能的同时,对相关的重要概念和议题有深入的理解, 并形成思路;

3. 以概念主导的探究性的教学框架能够容纳,也需要采纳各种有效的语言学习及技能训练的方法和策略来落实语言的学习和技能的培养;