The issues related to English Language Learning within our member schools is at the top of the list of concerns about how to integrate increasingly diverse numbers of language speakers into a curriculum based largely on English as the main language of instruction.

Be sure to take this opportunity to connect with colleagues from other schools which is an enriching benefit from these gatherings and most of all, enjoy the stimulation!

This year’s ACAMIS English Language Learners conference is going to focus on Translanguaging Pedagogy, a new approach in English instruction that involves building on students’ bilingualism by using their mother-tongue strategically during instruction to support their language learning.

ACAMIS ELL Conference programme is now available on Guidebook app!

If you are unable to download Guidebook, you can view the web version of the conference program via this link:

Hotel Reservation


Due to increased interest, the ELL Conference is now full for this year. Please check before March next year when the 2020 ELL Conference will be held at Western International School of Shanghai.

New! Discussion Forum

This year, in lieu of organizing a job-a-like, we would like to organize open discussion forums in order to give participants a voice on specific topics.

Professional Development conferences are a great way for teachers to come together and share ideas and learn from each other. Participants choose the topic they would either like to learn more about, or a topic they feel they could share good information from their school.

Topics of discussion will include:
  • Learning support vs Language Support
  • Parent Education and pressures
  • Supporting low and high proficiency learners
  • Bilingual vs. English only
  • EAL Program Structure
  • Language Policies
  • Mixed Proficiency classes

Host School Info and Location

The International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS) is a premier Canadian international school with students ranging from Pre-K through Grade 12. Celebrating 15 years, ISNS is home to over 800 students from 32 different countries. The School provides students with the tools to achieve excellence in academics, personal growth and success beyond the classroom.

ISNS understands every student is different, and is committed to personalize each child’s path to ensure they are passionate about learning. ISNS is a place of opportunity, offering students both the Canadian New Brunswick diploma and the full International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum; PYP, MYP and DP.

David Swanson, Head of School

International School Nanshan Shenzhen
11 Longyuan Road, Taoyuan Sub-District, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, P.R.China, 518055

ISNS Campus Location

Conference Planning Committee Members

Carrie Di - International School of Nanshan Shenzhen

Carrie Di
International School of Nanshan Shenzhen

Full Bio

Twelve years ago, Carrie returned to China and taught EAL at the International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS). She gained experience teaching in both primary and secondary. EAL teaching is not just about covering content, she believes that it must be about the student, it must be student-centered in order for it to be effective. She always keeps in mind that her goal as an EAL teacher is to teach with consideration to the needs and learning styles of her students. She believes that people learn differently and that the best learning takes place when a student feels secure to take risks and is actively involved in the process of learning.

Carrie Di is the EAL Director and the Head of Language Acquisition. She likes to share experiences with all teachers and encourages them to build a strong team and effectively support students. She feels so lucky to work with so many excellent educators at ISNS.

Lisa Ellery - Western International School of Shanghai

Lisa Ellery
Western International School of Shanghai

Full Bio

Lisa has been at WISS since 2012 and currently enjoys a dual role as Deputy Principal Primary and Head of PYP EAL. She has been an educator for more than 20 years and has previously taught in her homeland UK where she worked as a school improvement advisor for EAL prior to taking up positions in Japan, Philippines and now Shanghai. Lisa is passionate about teaching English language learners within the PYP curriculum framework; encouraging, nurturing and supporting the language acquisition of those children new to English within the WISS community.

Kristy Goodman - Concordia International School Shanghai

Kristy Goodman
Concordia International School Shanghai

Full Bio

Kristy Goodman is the ELL coach in the middle school at Concordia International School Shanghai. This is her second year at Concordia and eleventh year teaching in Asia. She has previously taught at an international school in Thailand and local schools in Hong Kong and Beijing. She studied for her bachelors degree at the University of Wisconsin, surprisingly, in Spanish and zoology. Her masters is in TESOL K-12 from Teachers College, Columbia University. Kristy’s passions include functional grammar, language assessments, scuba diving and cats. This is her first year on the committee.

Andrea Griego - Yew Chung International School of Shanghai in Pudong

Andrea Griego
Yew Chung International School of Shanghai in Pudong

Full Bio

Andrea Griego is the Student Support & Wellbeing Coordinator at YCIS Shanghai, Pudong- Regency Park Campus where she leads the Student Support Team which includes the English as an Additional Language, Learning Resource and Counseling 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 five 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 ACAMIS ELL Conference Committee in 2017 when the conference was held at YCIS Shanghai. She has been delighted to be part of the committee for three years and will pass the torch on this July.

Maureen McCoy - Keystone Academy

Maureen McCoy
Keystone Academy

Full Bio

Maureen is the head of middle school at Keystone Academy in Beijing, where she also teaches MYP grade eight 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.

Lori Zhai - International School of Tianjin

Lori Zhai
International School of Tianjin

Full Bio

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.

2018 Conference Highlights

The following are some of the highlights of the 2018 ELL Conference that took place at International School of Tianjin on April 20-21, 2018: