Chuck Sandy

Archive copy.

Opening Plenary Session - International Conference 2015

Seeing Beyond the Dichotomies That Divide Us 

Unplugged or plugged in, tech or no tech, data-driven or descriptive, humanistic or evidence-based, teacher-centered or student-centered, motivated or unmotivated, success or failure? Because we know it’s almost never either/or, but almost always some combination of both and then some, false dichotomies like these are blinders that divide us. Rather than draw lines or take sides, I’ll build a circle by sharing ideas and activities that might help us see beyond the divisions and work together in ways that encourage and support everyone who’s doing their best to increase the possibility of learning.  (see note near bottom of this page)

Invited Second Session 1

This Is Just to Tell You … (About Poetry, Projects, and Passion)

In this session, we’ll explore the power of collaborative learning using a few simple poems as our starting point. We’ll do some activities together, develop some additional possibilities, and then I’ll invite you and your students to participate in a collaborative online project in which we’ll build a database of recorded poetry. To prepare for this session you might want to read Invitation Standing: Bringing Poetry to the Classroom

Invited Second Session 2

The ELT Writer’s Retreat: A Workshop Approach 

Since experience tells us that even professional writers working in their first language benefit from a workshop approach, wouldn’t this approach also benefit writers working in a second language? This is the idea behind The ELT Writer’s Retreat – a series of practice-driven lessons led either in the classroom or online – which mirror professional writers’ workshops by helping participants see themselves as authors honing their craft rather than as language students focused on mechanics and form. The teacher serves as a writing coach who delivers mini-lessons on craft, provides prompts, directs projects, assists with editing, meets in conference, organizes sharing, helps with portfolio creation, and suggests methods of publication. Teachers write and share, too. In this interactive session, the presenter discusses approach, outlines the framework, leads a typical lesson, and shares activities. Come expecting to do some writing and sharing. 

Invited Session  (with Josette LeBlanc)

Listen to the Teacher Within (and Unleash Your Superpowers)

In a world full of experts, we’re tempted to think “oh, I’m just a teacher; what do I know?” even though by doing so we devalue our own experiences and silence the truths that emerge from our work. This serves no one. In this workshop, we’ll lead you through some activities to help you recognize and better listen to the authentic teacher within you. By the end of the workshop, you'll have at least three practical ways to take the truths you’re telling yourself further and maybe even unleash your superpowers.

Speaker Bio-Sketches

Chuck Sandy is an author, motivational speaker & educational activist whose many publications include the recently published Passages 3rd Edition and Connect 2nd Edition from Cambridge University Press. He is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops around the world, and is a cofounder and director of the International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi). Chuck believes that positive change in education happens one student, one classroom, and one school at a time, and that it arises most readily out of dialogue and in collaboration with other educators. Chuck blogs regularly on education, motivation, leadership, spirituality, and compassion at

Josette LeBlanc wants to help teachers become the type of teachers they want to be, and has been teaching from this perspective in Daegu since 2010. Valuing community teacher development, she co-facilitates the Daegu KOTESOL Reflective Practice SIG, writes for the International Teacher Development Institute (iTDi) blog, and maintains her blog Throwing Back Tokens.

Introductory Audio Clip by Chuck Sandy

An Audio Love Letter for KOTESOL 2015:

Speaker Online Materials

Chuck Sandy

The two items listed first best represent what Chuck Sandy will be talking about at the KOTESOL Conference:

1)  Be a Conduit of Possibility
This ties in with the thinking behind my plenary. 

2)  Invitation Standing: Bring Poetry to Your Classroom.

Additional Publications

3) Passages

4) Connect

5)  English For Scammers

6) Or everything in one place: Chuck Sandy’s Amazon Page

7) Interview 2003:

8) Interview 2013:

9) Chuck Sandy's most recent essays


Josette Leblanc

Blog: Throwing Back Tokens



Chuck Sandy’s participation is the 2015 Korea TESOL International Conference and English Expo is sponsored in part by Cambridge University Press Korea.

Cambridge Univ Press Logo


Special Note from Chuck Sandy:

Dear KOTESOL – Alan Maley has very kindly agreed to make his unpublished paper "‘More Research is Needed’ – A Mantra Too Far?" available to the KOTESOL Community for the duration of the conference (only). His wish and mine is that you would read it, think about the ideas put forth, and then discuss those issues either in conversation amongst yourselves, or at greater length in a blog post or reflection of your own. Alan has given us permission to download the paper so that it may be read at leisure, but please do not share on social media or republish elsewhere. Feel free, though, to share with colleagues the old-fashioned way: individually via email or after printing, stapling together and passing on, one hand to another, in person. Alan would also be very pleased to hear from you if anything in his paper resonates or strikes a chord. You can email Alan at If you do write Alan, please cc me in at Please click to learn more about Alan Maley, and then, please read the paper itself. – Best, Chuck Sandy

(As the conference is now completed, the paper is no longer available.)



See the full list of Major Speakers at the KOTESOL International Conference and English Expo at