English Language Fellows Adam Aultowski and Kitty Johnson organized Cambodia’s first ever EdCamp for English teaching professionals. With a participant-driven agenda and sessions more like discussions than formal presentations, EdCamps are more unconference than conference. EdCamp Cambodia included two plenary sessions delivered by English Language Specialist Donna M. Brinton, who is an internationally renowned pronunciation and methodology expert, and twenty-four breakout sessions divided into three concurrent sets. Because EdCamp is built on principles of connected and participatory learning, local teachers were encouraged to facilitate the sessions themselves and, in turn, encourage other local teachers to share not only their questions but also their experiences.
The only professional development conference for English language teachers in Cambodia is CamTESOL, which is held annually in the capital city, Phnom Penh, and most teachers in the provinces do not have the time or resources to attend. In Cambodia, EdCamps give English teaching professionals in the rural provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap the opportunity to participate in their own large-scale professional development event. Many participants also gained experience and confidence in leading and facilitating their own sessions.