Over one hundred ministry of education officials, university English department heads, researchers, and lecturers from the five Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam), Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, participated in a two-day symposium, an activity under the Education Pillar in Bangkok, Thailand.

The culminating event of the 2013-2014 LMI English Support Project Phase Two, Symposium on English for Specific Purposes: Collaboration and Innovation, addressed building synergy among countries and developing stronger professional ELT networks.

Plenary speakers from the United States, Dr. Leslie Opp-Beckman and Dr. Michael Kelley, spoke to advancing ESP and leveraging the strengths of ESP and Information Technology. Academics from eight nations presented samples of ESP programs and all participants shared components of their ESP programs via an exchange forum.

The dialogue generated at the symposium examined why ESP is a strategic education issue for addressing issues in regional/international fora where an ability to communicate in English is essential.  Furthermore, the symposium encouraged attendees to voice and overcome constraints in designing and delivering high-level professional skills development programs that integrate Information and Communications Technology in multiple learning modalities.

Shown are participants speed-networking at the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel on June 3, 2014. 

Source: The Regional English Language Office (RELO), U.S. Embassy Bangkok, Thailand