Anastasiia Kryzhanivska Presents at English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) Conference in Hong Kong

Anastasiia Kryzhanivska holding an ELTU program

Department of English Instructor Anastasiia Kryzhanivska recently presented at the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) Conference in Hong Kong, which was hosted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, May 27-28, 2019. The conference attracted approximately 130 professionals in the Language Teaching field from more than 16 countries. The conference theme was “Alternative Approaches to English Language Learning and Teaching (ELLT).”

Keynote speakers included Professor Richard Andrews (University of East Anglia, UK), who presented “A Review of e-Learning and Social Media Approaches to English Language Learning and Teaching;" Professor Pamela Flash (University of Minnesota, US), who presented “Writing-Enriched Curricula: Changing Faculty Approaches to Writing Instruction;” and Professor David Little (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), who presented “Plurilingualism and Language Learner Autonomy."

Anastasiia was kind enough to share reflections on both her presentation and her time visiting Hong Kong:

My presentation, entitled “Arts-Based Pedagogy: Linguistics Reimagined,” demonstrated how arts (visual arts, creative nonfiction, and drama) can be used in teacher training. Specifically, I discussed four major arts-based assignments designed for Linguistics for English Teachers class during 2017-2018 academic year, described their benefits and limitations, shared student samples and reflections, and in the end allowed the audience to brainstorm on the ways these assignments could be adapted for other classes in effective teacher training sequence

ELTU 2019 allowed me to see not only successful Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), but also English Language Teaching practitioners who work at a crossroads of different disciplines, curricula, and methods. At the conference, I attended presentations from colleagues from other countries, as well as got inspiration for my own classroom planning and future research projects conducted at the intersection of different disciplines. The conference theme as well as sub-themes were closely related to my current position at BGSU as an ESOL Instructor and ESOL Specialist at the Learning Commons; and the ELTU Conference was of great help to me as I am balancing different projects, roles, and teaching methods.

Next academic year (2019-2020) I might start teaching at the BGSU University Writing Program (former – GSW). This specific role is inextricably linked to Writing Across Curriculum and a sequence of ESOL writing classes for undergraduate students I am currently teaching. At the ELTU Conference, I mostly attended writing-related sessions to help me prepare for my new role. Specifically, I intend to use assignments and writing prompts discussed in Flash’s workshop, as well as I intend to replicate the course sequences presented in Hafner & Ho’s and Liu’s presentations. Information presented at other sessions will serve as a theoretical framework of my work.

(Anastasiia's reflections continue below)

Anastasiia Kryzhanivska presenting at the ELTU conference

Reflections on Hong Kong

Right from the start, one can notice that the transportation system here is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! The buses are clean and convenient. The bus stops are clearly designated for all bus routes. Fares are quite affordable too. You can get from the airport to downtown in an hour for less than $5 and from one island to another - for $3 round trip. The roads are great too!

It is really humid in Hong Kong. Rain showers are sudden and are usually followed by a period of hot blinding sunshine. Umbrella here is an integral part of the everyday life. However, by the end of the trip, I got so used to the constant drizzle that I stopped bothering to even use it. I also stopped bothering to wipe my glasses from the rain drops. The “weather” inside the buildings is very strange too. A/C is fierce here! After this experience, A/C in the US will never feel so strong to me. And A/C is always dripping on the street. If it’s not a slight drizzle, it’s drops from the A/C.

As far as shopping goes, there are bargains. Everywhere. The prices at the market are never written so you don’t really know the price of an item. It can easily go down from HK$230 to HK$70. Did I find a great deal or was it still too expensive? I don’t know, but I’m now a happy owner of a pretty straw hat. If nothing else, I got my souvenir to bring back home.

In some very popular restaurants, you are seated with other random people at one tiny table. It’s a little awkward but could be helpful if you want to find friends. Despite the raving reviews of curry fish balls and the turnip cake, I could hardly finish the first bite. I’m not a fan. However, I am a fan of all the hundreds of bubble teas, egg waffles, egg tarts, and shrimp dumplings.

To me, the Tian Tan Buddha (“Big Buddha”) statue might very well be one of the grandest things I've ever seen in my life so far. It is one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world and it symbolizes the stability of Hong Kong, prosperity of China, and peace on earth. And we all need some more peace...

Anastasiia Kryzhanivska seated on the ground, with the "Big Buddha" in the background