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The 20th Annual CamTESOL Conference opened in Phnom Penh on February 23, 2024 and was presided over by HE Dr Hang Chuon Naron, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, H.E. Justin Whyatt, the Australian Ambassador to Cambodia, Ms. Bridgette L. Walker, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, Mr. Marc Thayre, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Phnom Penh, Mr Sreng Mao, IDP Country Director and CamTESOL Convenor and Mr Ashley Irving, Principal of the Australian Centre for Education.

Over the past 20 years, the CamTESOL Conference has hosted over 25,000 delegates, representing 80 nationalities, from 6 continents. More than 8,000 sessions have taken place, ranging from edtech and publishing to curriculum development and Quality Assurance. CamTESOL continues to provide a dynamic platform that fosters advancing professional development, capacity-building, and upskilling in English Language Teaching (ELT).

This year, CamTESOL welcomed 1,700 delegates from 40 countries, including 600 from overseas who delivered and participated in 500 plenary, featured and main conference sessions, panel discussions, and talks, maximizing the sharing and exchange of best practices across 21 streams, under the conference theme of ‘Preparing Successful Learners: Bringing Real Language into the ELT Classroom’.

CamTESOL is supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, the US, Australian and British Embassies, and a broad range of education institutions and individuals involved in ELT in Cambodia, Southeast Asia, and internationally. CamTESOL is acknowledged for its role and contribution to the growth and popularity as well as the improving standard of English language teaching and learning.

HE Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, and Sport, extended his congratulations to IDP Education on the occasion of its 20th anniversary hosting one of the foremost TESOL conferences in Asia. Recognizing the invaluable contributions of speakers and delegates, he emphasized their pivotal role in advancing human capital within the ELT and education sectors, as well as the potential of the conference to further strengthen networks on a global scale.

HE Justin Whyatt, Australian Ambassador to Cambodia, commented “The conference provides a significant forum to envision the future of education and embrace the impact of technology. Additionally, this year's theme reflects the need for a forward-thinking and innovative approach to delivering meaningful English language learning environments in classrooms.”

“Over the past two decades, CamTESOL has grown to be one of the leading ELT conferences in Asia and has established Cambodia as a key international focal point for English Language Teaching, learning and research. It is a world-class forum for the sharing of best practices, and the latest updates, innovations and trends in the ELT industry,” said Mr Mao Sreng, IDP Country Director and CamTESOL Convenor.

He thanked stakeholders, delegates, the CamTESOL team and the more than 300 volunteers who pulled together a successful conference adding that, “The presence of every delegate is helping to further develop this meaningful and sustainable forum that contributes to the growth and quality of English language education in Cambodia and Southeast Asia.”

The full details of Plenary Speakers at the 20th Annual CamTESOL Conference include:


Professor Jack C. Richards
Honorary professor
University of Sydney
“The Future of the Past in Language Teaching”

Classroom-based teaching has traditionally played a central role in how learners develop their abilities in a second language. However, the learning environment of today’s learners has changed due to advent of the World Wide Web and as a consequence of the advent of mobile technology and Artificial Intelligence or AI. In this presentation I want to look back to the past, to review how language teaching was carried out prior to the digital age, and then to consider how the new affordances provided by technology and the internet and AI are influencing both present and future practices in language teaching.


Professor Jack C. Richards has had an active career in the Asia Pacific region and is currently an honorary professor in the faculty of education at the University of Sydney. He has written over 150 books and articles on language teaching as well as many widely used classroom texts. His recent publications include articles on language teacher identity and English Medium Instruction.

Professor Jack C. Richards has been awarded an honorary doctorate of literature by Victoria University, Wellington, for his services to education and the arts and also received the Award for Patronage from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. The International TESOL organization honored Professor Jack C. Richards as one of the 50 TESOL specialists worldwide to have made a significant impact on language teaching in the last 50 years.


Professor David Nunan
Professor Emeritus
University of Hong Kong
“Preparing successful learners: Bringing real language into the classroom”

When you look at the title of my talk Preparing successful learners: Bringing real language into the classroom, did you think, Hmm, I wonder where I’ve heard that before? Of course you didn’t. You’re more likely to be wondering why I chose the theme of the conference as my title and whether I’m going to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about how to prepare successful learners and how you can bring real language into your classroom. If I could give you answers you could all go home at the end of my talk. The other speakers on the program can relax: What I want to focus on is not the how, but the what. What counts as a successful learner? What is real language? What constitutes a classroom? Only after we’ve dealt with the what, can we address the how and the why.


David Nunan is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hong Kong, and President Emeritus and Distinguished Research Professor at Anaheim University in California. He is also a Trustee at The International Research Foundation (TIRF) and a Director of the Foundation Board, at the University of NSW, Sydney He has held substantive positions at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, the South Australian College of Advanced Education (now the University of South Australia), the Regional Language Centre, Singapore, and Macquarie University in Sydney. He has published over 100 scholarly books and articles on teacher education, curriculum development, classroom-based research, and the teaching of grammar in the communicative classroom. Recent book publications include Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: An Introduction; (with J. Richards) Language Learning Beyond the Classroom; and (with J. Choi) Clarity and Coherence in Academic Writing: Using Language as a Resource.


Professor Jo Anne Kleifgen
Professor Emerita of Linguistics and Education
Teachers College, Columbia University in New York
“Supporting EFL Learners with Multimodal and Technology Resources”

EFL students can benefit from gaining access to the learning resources available in this new media age. I present examples of learners making strategic use of their home languages along with other meaning-making modes (e.g., gestures, graphs, images, sounds, videos) during their English lessons. Video data from U.S. classroom settings will demonstrate that these resources are not "crutches" but rather scaffolds for learning. Examples include a group of students who speak different home languages brought together from their regular classrooms for specialized EFL lessons, and Spanish-speaking students studying American history in a public school with access to computers and the Internet. The classroom interactions demonstrate ways in which participants draw on their full semiotic repertoires and multiple modes within their reach as they complete task activities. I conclude with a call for more in-service professional development and technical support for teachers to cultivate learning in an enriched multimodal world.


Jo Anne Kleifgen is Professor Emerita of Linguistics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. She has been a member of the International Linguistic Association's Executive Committee since 1991 and has served twice as president. Her research focuses on communicative practices in schools and the workplace. She has authored and edited several books, and her articles are widely published in journals and book chapters. She has directed U.S. government-funded research, working with teachers to incorporate new media to support English Learners' language and literacy development. She has also supervised an international program bringing classrooms in the U.S. and Middle-East/North Africa together for online collaborative learning. Jo Anne has been a visiting scholar and guest lecturer at universities in the U.S. and abroad, and has conducted workshops and consultations in Argentina, China, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam.

The upcoming 21st CamTESOL Conference will take place in February 2025 with the theme “Shaping the Future of ELT: Innovation, Collaboration, and Transformation”.

For more information, please stay connected to the CamTESOL website, Facebook page and app.

The CamTESOL Secretariat gratefully acknowledges the support of the following sponsors and exhibitors to the 20th Annual CamTESOL Conference:

For sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities at the 21st Annual CamTESOL Conference in 2025, please contact or visit the 'Partnership Options' section of the CamTESOL website.

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