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Keynote Speakers

Tan Huynh

Tan Huynh, Vientiane International School

Tan Huynh (@TanELLclassroom) is a secondary English teacher specializing in English language acquisition. Tan is currently at Vientiane International School, an IB World School, in Vientiane, Laos. In August 2018, he will be moving to Ho Chi Minh City where he will be joining the elementary school at Saigon South International School. He blogs at in order to share research-based strategies that help all educators become teachers of language. His work has been featured on Larry Ferlazzo’s Education Week blog and in Globally Informed. Tan has also provided professional development training at such places as the American School of Milan and Teach for America-Atlanta Office. He has also presented workshops at conferences specifically for international schools, such as ECIS MLIE, EARCOS, and ELLSA. Additionally, Tan is the co-founder of #ellchat_bkclub, which offers EAL teachers a community to read and talk about EAL-related books. Tan also co-founded #VirtuEL, a virtual conference for EAL teachers to learn from leading experts in the field. Tan is currently developing online courses related to EAL instruction so that more teachers can learn remotely.

Tan loves meeting new colleagues. Please find the time to introduce yourself and have a chat with him while at ACAMIS, or send him a tweet to start the conversation.

Keynote#1: Shifts Happen: Embracing Changes that Empower English Learners

The ESL classes that I was placed in when I first arrived in the U.S in the 1980s look quite different than those many ELs have now. This keynote address will discuss the different shifts in EAL instruction in past 30 years, from pull-out to sheltered instruction, from self-contained to co-teaching, from low-challenge work to high-support learning, and, most importantly, from the “can’t do” to “can do” mindset. Participants will learn how to design instruction that honors the shift towards more inclusive instruction.

Breakout Session: Soups vs Salads: Using Talk-Read-Talk-Write to Develop the 4 Language Domains

Learning language can occur while learning content. Learn how to use Nancy Motley's Talk-Read-Talk-Write approach to teach speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in every lesson. In this interactive workshop, you will leave with a clear framework to share with content teachers to help them be teachers of language.

Nicky Bourgeois

Nicky Bourgeois has over 15 years of elementary teaching experience in New Zealand, Vietnam and currently at NIST International School in Thailand. Nicky holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Sociology and has recently completed the IB Leadership Series. She collaborates globally in a variety of ways, such as being a member of the Advisory Board for The Wonderment and as guest speaker for a Teaching as a Profession class at the University of Washington. Additionally, she has shared her thoughts on global education at the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference, in Denver, and after presenting her Conceptual Co-teaching model at both the IB Annual conference and EARCOS in 2016; she has now developed this into a two-day workshop. Conceptual Co-teaching brings a unique spotlight on multi-teacher collaboration, de-privatization of practice, and equity within the international classroom. Nicky is known as a creative, conceptual thinker yet her extensive classroom experience brings a practicality to her educational consulting. She tweets as @bourgeois1 and endeavors to only share what is truly evident in her classroom and teaching practice.

Keynote: The Kaleidoscope of Collaboration: Harmonies, Contrasts and Combinations

Like a kaleidoscope, collaboration can seem so simple, and yet, like the patterns that kaleidoscopes create, successful collaborative relationships are complex and multifaceted. Raising our awareness of seemingly simple components can enable us to be more intentional in maximizing our collaboration, resulting in a positive impact for our students.

Breakout Session: Start the Conversation!

Building effective collaborative relationships is enhanced when we become more aware of our beliefs about practice. Why do we do what we do? What are our values? What are our intentions? What do we think is important to pay attention to? By articulating the beliefs driving our practice, and working to share and align them with those we are collaborating with it is our students who benefit. This workshop will be a guided, interactive session that leaves you ready to start the conversation!

Peer Presenters

John Astbury

John Astbury, Dulwich College Beijing

John comes from the UK, has lived in Northeast Asia since 1999, with a couple of periods spent back in the UK for study. John has spent all of his teaching career with children from 2-7 and recently completed his second MA with a focus on working with families and on cultural differences. This is his 10th year in Dulwich Beijing.

Us and Them? How we can begin to understand cultural differences

An overview of various approaches offering perspectives through which to view school relationships where there are two main cultures, e.g. Chinese families attending with all teacher being foreign trained. How can we explain and understand some of the things that make us feel uncomfortable?

This will be a chance for practitioners to reflect on their own learning since being here and how they can view the relationships and interactions between the Chinese families and themselves. This matches your theme of culture into the classroom, by means of teachers being encouraged to be reflective on what they see and feel.

Target Audiences: Teachers, leaders, anyone who is in a setting with the majority of children being from East Asia.

Marcella Cooper

Marcella Cooper, Keystone Academy

Marcella taught in Canada, her home country, for many years before moving abroad to teach in Thailand, Japan, and now China. Although she has taught English Literature for most of her career, Marcella has developed a love of teaching English Language Acquisition after doing her Master's Degree with this focus.

Command Terms in Assessments

The overall goal of this workshop is to create clear assessment instruction to be used across the curriculum. Teachers will review IB Command Terms and have a greater confidence in using them in both formative and summative assessments.

These command terms are universal to the IB. If students are regularly exposed to these command terms across their curriculum, their understanding of the assessment will increase and so will their achievement level.

Target Audiences: Any teacher who wishes to improve on the clarity of their assessments will benefit from this presentation. As well, any teacher who wants to share assessment ideas or be exposed to how other teachers are assessing at the secondary level will benefit.

Dr. Maureen McCoy

Dr. Maureen McCoy, Keystone Academy

Maureen is the head of middle school at Keystone Academy in Beijing, where she also teaches MYP grade nine Language and Literature. Before her work as an administrator, Maureen taught ELL, French, and History in the United States for more than twenty years. She says that she can't help teaching language, since we use language in all our teaching. Her doctoral dissertation was on Mainstream Teachers' Experiences with English Language Learners' Acquisition of Academic Language.

Help me! I want to give feedback, but all I can see are the English errors

This workshop will talk about and provide hands-on experience with ways that you can give meaningful feedback without feeling obliged to correct all of your students' English language errors.

It connects with the theme because it recognizes that language and language goals are part of our teaching, but don't have to overwhelm our other content-area or skills-related goals.

Target Audiences: Subject area teachers and English teachers will all benefit from the presentation.

Who will benefit from the presentation:
Students of intermediate or higher level of language proficiency are the subject group.

Addie Loy

Addie Loy, International School of Nanshan Shenzhen

Addie is from Detroit, Michigan and received her undergraduate degree in teaching with an emphasis in social sciences from Eastern Kentucky University. She developed a passion for teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL). Addie holds a Master's degree in Teaching, with a focus English as a Second Language (TESOL) from Western Governor's University in Utah. She has taught English Language courses, was a Director of an ESL/EAL program and she is now the IB Director that oversees teaching and learning at the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen.

Exploring Collaboration Models that Support Co-Teaching

Diversity is the face our international community of schools. Our schools face the challenge of ensuring that each teacher has sufficient breadth and depth of knowledge, to include a range of skills to meet the ELL learner's needs. Experienced teachers are feeling the heat of differentiation at the hottest degrees and new teachers are often getting through teaching programs with little or no readiness for international teaching and multicultural education.

In this workshop, we will examine collaborative culture to understand how collaborative models can support positive co-teaching experiences between subject specific or grade level mainstream teachers and English language support teachers.

1. The 8 Forces That Shape Group Culture
2. Collaborative Norms
3. Conceptual Co-teaching
4. Planning for a Collaborative Session
5. Tools to start the conversation – Working with the Occurrence Scale

Target Audiences: Teachers, Administrators

Emma McBride

Emma McBride, Nanjing International School

Emma McBride is an ELL Support teacher at Nanjing International School. She has previously worked at international schools in Bangkok and the UAE. After 13 years teaching internationally, Emma will be returning to the UK in June 2018, where she will be using all her knowledge of working with different cultures to try and fit back in to UK life. You will be able to read about this as she writes her new blog: “Making It Work in Tunbridge Wells"

The Culture Map: Here’s what, Now what?

Collaboration between teachers and between students is key to getting the job done! I will be presenting research from “The Culture Map" a book by Erin Feyer, so that you can find out why collaboration may be trickier than you first thought. With these new and fascinating insights in to different cultures, we will consider how this knowledge can empower us to strengthen our collaborative relationships with colleagues and students.

Target Audiences: Anyone who is working in a team or partnership in an international school setting.

Who will benefit from the presentation: Teachers, and students

Chris McCarthy

Chris McCarthy, Qingdao Amerasia International School

Chris is a veteran international school teacher-leader, having worked with ELLs in mainstream classes for over 25 years. Chris has taught in private and public schools in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as an ELL teacher, mainstream Language and Literature teacher, as well as a grade level coordinator, team lead and writing coordinator.

Power of Independent Reading as a Collaborative Tool

An often-overlooked component for ELL instruction is developing a robust independent reading program. This workshop will make the case for independent reading as a center-piece of English language development, sharing current research that illustrates the power of independent reading while offering resources to ELL teachers and mainstream teachers who want to work together to bring a focus on independent reading to their schools.

Target Audiences: ELL, Mainstream teachers, school leaders

Who will benefit from the presentation: Primary, Secondary

Target age level/Language proficiency level: Grades 1-10, all proficiencies

Melanie Sanchez

Melanie Sanchez, International School of Tianjin

A teacher by day and creator by night, Melanie Sanchez has devoted her life to language learning and the vast possibilities these skills brings to an international audience.

  • 2 Continents She Calls Home
  • 2 Subjects - ELL and English
  • 2 Languages
  • 7 Countries
  • 5 International School
  • 18 Years Teaching and Learning
  • And a Creative Drive for Curriculum that Never Ends

She teaches her students the way she wants to be taught using humor and a variety of ways for students to engage not only in language, but in content as well. She enjoys collaborating and believes that the best way to reignite teaching and that passion for learning is by sharing it with others.

Vocabulary and Content – One in the Same

This workshop focuses on vocabulary enhancement using lessons already developed by content teachers. Embedding language into lessons supports the idea that content and the vocabulary that goes with it are equally important to the teacher and the student. Having the language lesson seamlessly flow into the content supports ELL and MT students by giving them a different perspective on the same topic. They then use these activities to develop their academic word banks and understanding of key concepts in the subject area and MYP/DP.

Target Audience: · Grade 6– 12, All language levels

Julie Anne Vielma-Clegg

Julie Anne Vielma-Clegg, Yew Chung International School of Qingdao

Julie Vielma-Clegg has taught across the UK and Asia, and is currently an English teacher and Lower Secondary Leader at Yew Chung International School, Qingdao. She has conducted national oral examinations for Cambridge, marked literature papers for Edexcel and helped develop qualifications for yet another UK awarding organization.

Julie considers her most important professional accomplishment to be the installation of a Shakespeare Day celebration wherever she has worked.

When she isn't teaching or reading about teaching, she'll be on the dance floor trying out her new moves.

Equal Access for Learners with Limited English

A group of secondary teachers at YCIS Qingdao collaborated on a differentiation learning communities project. We agreed that a major cause of the lack of progress in their science, humanities, maths and arts classes was the students' poor vocabulary. They couldn't access class content because they didn't have the words. How can we ensure equality of access for learners with limited English?

The presentation looks out how 'pre-loading' vocabulary and key words can help. It reports on how YCIS implemented this across lower secondary and how this changed our classroom approach. It also examines the resulting student achievement. The workshop shares tried and tested strategies for busy non-language teachers to use with their students – practical vocabulary worksheet takeaways.

Target Audiences: Lower secondary non-language specialists.

Target age groups/language proficiency level: Teachers of Lower secondary students of all language proficiency levels.

Irish Farley

Irish Farley, International School of Tianjin

Irish has a master's degree in ESL and a master's degree in Special Education. She taught for 10 years in public schools in Denver, Colorado, USA then 4 years at Korea International School in Seoul. For the past 2 years Irish has been in Tianjin, China teaching at the International School of Tianjin.

Using Music Technology to Develop Vocabulary

Music is a very effective way to help students remember vocabulary words, but the songs available on the internet for basic English vocabulary are aimed at young children.

My older students rolled their eyes and wouldn't participate in singing these songs and I couldn't blame them. This year my students and I have taken matters into our own hands and started making our own songs and music videos to help remember vocabulary words using imovie and garageband. I am a terrible singer, but have figured out a way to make this work for us and I'm happy to share this fun and creative way to teach vocabulary.

This topic is related to the theme of the conference in a couple of ways. These songs could be written to help students with content area vocabulary words, which would help all learners.

Target Audiences: Upper elementary and middle school ELA and classroom/content area teachers


Friday - April 20

Please refer to the Guidebook app as the final version.

8:00 - 8:45Registration and Coffee
8:45 - 9:15Welcome
9:15 - 10:30Keynote Speaker - Tan Huynh

Shifts Happen: Embracing Changes that Empower English Learners

10:30 - 10:45Coffee Break
10:45 - 12:00Breakout Session #1
1. Soups vs Salads: Using Talk-Read-Talk-Write to Develop the 4 Language Domains - by Tan Huynh
2. The Culture Map: Here’s what, now what? - by Emma McBride
3. Command Terms in Assessments - by Marcella Cooper

12:00 - 1:00Lunch
1:00 - 1:30IST Literacy Lab Presentation
1:30 - 2:45Breakout Session #2
1. Soups vs Salads: Using Talk-Read-Talk-Write to Develop the 4 Language Domains - by Tan Huynh

2. Power of Independent Reading as a Collaborative Tool - by Chris McCarthy
3. Using Music Technology to Develop Vocabulary - by Irish Farley

2:45 - 3:00Coffee Break
3:00 - 4:00Breakout Session #3
1. Equal Access for Learners with Limited English - by Julie Anne Vielma-Clegg
2. Exploring Collaboration Models that Support Co-Teaching - by Addie Loy
3. Help me! I want to give feedback, but all I can see are the English errors - by Dr. Maureen McCoy

4:00 - 5:30



Buses Return to Hotels

Saturday - April 21

Please refer to the Guidebook app as the final version.

8:00 - 8:15Announcements/Housekeeping
8:15 - 9:15Keynote Speaker - Nicky Bourgeois

The Kaleidoscope of Collaboration: Harmonies, Contrasts and Combinations

9:15 - 9:30Coffee Break
9:30 - 10:45Breakout Session #4
1. Start the Conversation! - by Nicky Bourgeois
2. Exploring Collaboration Models that Support Co-Teaching - by Addie Loy
3. Power of Independent Reading as a Collaborative Tool - by Chris McCarthy

10:45 - 11:30Job A-Like
11:30 - 12:30Lunch
12:30 - 1:00School Tour
1:00 - 2:15 Breakout Session #5
1. Start the Conversation! - by Nicky Bourgeois
2. Us and Them? How we can begin to understand cultural differences - by John Astbury
3. Vocabulary and Content – One in the Same - by Melanie Sanchez

2:15 - 2:30Coffee Break
2:30 - 3:00Conference Conclusion & Closing Comments
3:15Buses Return to Hotel
IST Staff can arrange taxis to Airport

Subject to further updates

Hosting School

The International School of Tianjin (IST) is a non-profit, parent-governed school for N-G12 students of the international community in Tianjin, China. Accredited by both the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and in the USA and the Council of International Schools (CIS) in Europe, IST is an IB World School authorized to offer all 3 IB Programs: the PYP, MYP, and the Diploma. Complementing IST’S dynamic curriculum is its world class, purpose-built school campus that consists of 7.2 hectares of park-like grounds in a residential zone, and has 30,000m2 of outstanding facilities to support its academic, cultural and sporting programs.

Head of School: Steve Moody

International School of Tianjin
No. 22 Weishan Nan Lu, Shuanggang, Jinnan District, Tianjin 300350
+86 22 2859 2001

Hotel Reservation

The host school will provide transportation from the following hotel:

Shangri-La Hotel Tianjin
Address: 328 East Haihe East Road, Hedong District, Tianjin 300019, China
Contact Person: Cynthia Wei, Sales Manager
Telephone: +86 22 8418 8307


Reservation Link (in Chinese):

Room Rates (until April 13, 2018)
Deluxe River View King - Single: CNY650; Double: CNY750
Deluxe River View Twin - Double: CNY750

The above rates are inclusive of ten percent (10%) service charge, 6% value-added tax, and Breakfast.

Notes with hotel reservation:
  1. You need to make your own hotel reservation (or for your colleagues who are going to attend the conference/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.

Planning Committee

Lori Zhai

Lori Zhai, International School of Tianjin

Lori Zhai is a MYP teacher at the International School of Tianjin (IST), teaching both Language Acquisition and Humanities for EAL (HEAL). She has been at IST for 5 years and previously worked as an elementary ELL teacher in the US. Lori is a Grade 6 Homeroom teacher and helps young students acclimate smoothly into secondary school. She also leads the transition from elementary to secondary prior to students entering in Grade 6, having knowledge in both areas. She has a holistic approach to teaching that includes explicit instruction on different reading and writing strategies. She believes in creating meaningful lessons that engage the interests of her students and help build their confidence. Lori’s organizational skills have served her well throughout the process of bringing so many educators together. Leading the 2018 ACAMIS ELL Conference has been a rewarding experience.

Andrea Griego

Andrea Griego, Yew Chung International School of Shanghai

Andrea Griego is the Student Support Coordinator at YCIS Shanghai, Regency Park Campus where she leads the Student Support Team which includes the English as an Additional Language and Learning Resource departments. She provides in-house professional development for teachers focusing on strategies for ESL students in the mainstream classroom, differentiation, and data collection and analysis. Aside from leading her team, Andrea teaches one EAL class and conducts admission’s interviews. She has been at YCIS for four years and is part of the campus leadership team. As a seasoned educator, Andrea has worked in the United States, Untied Arab Emirates and Colombia. Andrea led the ELL Conference Committee last year and was the MC, as YCIS Shanghai RP was last year’s conference host. She has been delighted to be part of this year’s committee and is excited to see the fruit of this year’s planning.

Emma McBride

Emma McBride, Nanjing International School

Emma McBride is an ELL Support teacher at Nanjing International School. She has previously worked at international schools in Bangkok and the UAE. After 13 years teaching internationally, Emma will be returning to the UK in June 2018, where she will be using all her knowledge of working with different cultures to try and fit back in to UK life. You will be able to read about this as she writes her new blog: “Making It Work in Tunbridge Wells”

Carrie Di

Carrie Di, International School of Nanshan Shenzhen

Profile description available soon

Register Here!

If notification of cancellation from a registered participant is received:
30 days or more prior to a conference or workshop - 80% of registration fee is refunded
Between 15-29 days prior to a conference or workshop - 40% of registration fee is refunded
Less than 15 days prior to a conference or workshop - no refund
In the unlikely event of cancellation of the conferences and workshops due to circumstances beyond our control, we will give full refund of the registration fees. However, we will unable to refund any travel, visa or accommodation expenses incurred from registering the conferences and/or workshops.