Be a speaker at #toscon16!

Speaking at conferences can be intimidating for the first few times, but your peers are just like you. They come to be inspired, hear about interesting ideas, and network with like-minded professionals. Alongside our favourite speakers, TESL Toronto encourages first time presenters to submit a proposal.

For an accepted proposal, we offer presenters the following in gratitude:

  • Free conference registration for Saturday (20-, 60- or 90- minute sessions); this includes the food.
  • $101 honorarium for 60- or 90- minute sessions.
  • An interview with TESL Toronto about your session (optional)
  • A blog post for our website about your session (by you) to promote it (optional)
  • Fame and glory (*no guarantees on amount)

The deadline to submit your proposal is April 1, 2016 at 11:59PM EST. Everyone will be notified by April 16 of their session status.

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Who are our attendees?

Every year, around 400 practitioners, students and administrative staff attend the two days of our conference. Our audience ranges in sector, program and experience, but our sessions are only aimed at learners aged 16+. In 2014, a fairly even split between LINC/Settlement and College/university sectors were represented.

What type of sessions are there?

While we hope to increase the diversity of elected session types, these are ranked in terms of occurrence at TOSCON13 & TOSCON14.

  1. Presentation – primarily hands-off, with information largely given to attendees on classroom topics
  2. Workshop – practical and hands-on; participants are expected to be actively involved
  3. Show’n’tell20min quick & to-the-point presentation
  4. Promotion – promoting the virtues of a particular material, product or publication with the intention of its sales
  5. Debate – presents two sides of an argument (usually) expecting the audience to vote; two presenter minimum.
  6. Panel – includes a series of representatives discussing a focal issue from various perspectives. Audience Q&A often included.

Sessions are available as 20 minutes, 60 minutes, or 90 minutes in length.

What topics do attendees want?

Of course, each year practical ideas around teaching skills never fails, particularly those with real-time examples. This year, to continually diversify our topics, we put out a poll asking what areas interest you. See the results here. As of February 1, the top 5 included:

  • Curriculum planning issues
  • Social media in language teaching
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Project based learning
  • Practical application of research

 How can I increase chances of proposal acceptance?

This year, our vetting committee will be aiming to include the following distribution of content types:

  • 10% research-based (sessions primarily focused on recent research)
  • 40% discussion (sessions focused on a teaching topic)
  • 50% practical applications (sessions that give or explain a classroom tool for immediate use)

In addition, it’s important to ensure your proposal is clear. Try these guidelines:

  • Make an interesting, concise title that gives the reader insight into the content of the session. Many attendees make judgments about the relevance of a session by its title.
  • In your abstract, give a brief background about your topics/your connection to the topic. Explain what you expect to address during your session and what attendees will do, talk about, and/or learn about the topic. Clear abstracts produce the least surprise or dissatisfaction by attendees.
  • Choose the most appropriate primary audience. If it clearly fits a particular sector or level, don’t say it appeals to all to try and get the biggest audience. Suitable target audience bring in the people who will like your session the most.
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