Code of Conduct

This policy was adopted June 16th, 2019 and revised Sept. 22nd, 2019.

You may download a PDF of the Code of Conduct policy from our main website.

Please be warned that during sessions, taking screenshots without permission or capturing images of attendees is a privacy violation, and is strictly forbidden.

Korea TESOL Code of Conduct

Korea TESOL (KOTESOL) conferences, chapter meetings, digital forums, and other events are intended to be supportive, welcoming spaces convened for the purposes of professional development and scholarly, professional, and educational interchange. Consequently, all forms of incivility and harassment are considered by KOTESOL to be serious forms of professional misconduct.

The following Code of Conduct outlines expectations for all those who attend or participate in KOTESOL events, both face-to-face and digital. It serves to remind KOTESOL participants that all professional academic ethics and norms apply as standards of behavior and interaction at these events.

1. Purpose 

KOTESOL is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment, protecting our community’s rich diversity of age, ethnicity, race, gender, ability, nationality or national origin, professional status, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, and socioeconomic status.

2. Definitions

“Participant” in this policy refers to anyone present at a KOTESOL event, including KOTESOL members and staff, general attendees, venue staff, volunteers, exhibitors, vendors, contractors, and all other attendees. 

“Event” in this policy refers to any gathering organized by KOTESOL or a subordinate group therein, including both in-person and online gatherings such as conferences, meetings, socials, and forums, including ancillary events and official and unofficial social gatherings.

3. Expected Behavior

All participants at KOTESOL events are expected to abide by this Code of Conduct and to abide by the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for productive professional and academic interchange.

Participants who witness potential harm to another event participant are encouraged to be proactive in helping to mitigate or avoid that harm.  

4. Unacceptable Behavior 

Unacceptable behaviors include: 

  • Coercive, intimidating, harassing, abusive, vulgar, offensive, derogatory, or demeaning actions or speech. Note that this is distinct from vigorous, reasoned disagreement compatible with norms of professional conduct and civil behavior.
  • Prejudicial actions or comments related to a person’s identity or group membership that coerce others, display overt and unprofessional hostility, or otherwise undermine professional equity or the principles of productive academic exchange. Relevant identities include (but are not limited to) those defined by age, ethnicity, gender, ability, nationality or national origin, professional status, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
  • Inappropriate or unwelcome attention, including but not limited to physical contact or communication, verbal or non-verbal, such as solicitation of emotional, sexual, or other physical intimacy.

Any participant exhibiting unacceptable behavior as defined by this Code of Conduct may be required to leave the event for its duration. Any participant violating this Code of Conduct a second time may be barred from any or all future KOTESOL events.

Code of Conduct Complaint Procedures


Please be warned that during sessions, taking screenshots without permission or capturing images of attendees is a privacy violation, and is strictly forbidden.

Potential Code of Conduct violations in KOTESOL online spaces and communications (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) should be brought to the attention of the respective moderators (in Facebook) and coordinators (the Publicity team for other online spaces). Moderators/coordinators will review any potentially problematic post and, if it is deemed to be in violation of the Code of Conduct, the moderators/coordinators will delete the post and notify the poster of why the post was removed. The poster will be invited to share their ideas in a more professional, appropriate manner. 

If the poster responds in a manner that continues to violate this Code of Conduct, either in the public space or privately, to the moderators/coordinators, the moderators/coordinators may choose to mute that person for a week or, in the case of nonmembers, may immediately ban them from the forum entirely. 

Muted or banned KOTESOL members may appeal this decision to the National Council by emailing the KOTESOL president (, who will invite the moderators/coordinators to provide screenshots of the exchange and their rationale for muting/banning the person. The KOTESOL president will then email this information to the National Council, who will then discuss the situation via email and express their support or opposition to continuing the muting/ban.


If a Code of Conduct violation occurs at an in-person event, it is suggested that an individual first try to settle the matter informally by making it clear to the other individual(s) concerned that the behavior is unacceptable. This may be face-to-face or in writing. Individuals may also report this behavior to event personnel, local chapter and/or SIG officers, the KOTESOL Diversity Committee chair (, or the KOTESOL president (

If the person(s) affected by the situation wishes to pursue the matter, a formal complaint should be made to the KOTESOL president and/or the Diversity Committee chair. All complaints will be treated seriously. Complainants always have the option of going directly to law enforcement. The complaint must be put in writing in a signed letter or via email ( and/or stating the name of the accused, the nature of the complaint, dates and times, names of any witnesses, and action already taken. 

All complaints will be considered promptly by a committee consisting of the KOTESOL president, first vice-president, second vice-president, and immediate past president, and the Diversity Committee chair should be informed of the process. Both the complainant and the respondent may each nominate a National Council member to participate in the deliberation committee as well, if they desire. The group will investigate the complaint as thoroughly as possible to allow opportunities for statements from both the complainant and the respondent. Any person against whom a complaint is made should also be interviewed. Anyone interviewed will be assured of confidentiality, except in the case of alleged illegal activity, which must be reported to law enforcement. The committee will make any necessary recommendations to the National Council.

Anyone involved has the right to be accompanied during all steps in the procedure by a support person.

Prompt action, including but not limited to warnings, expulsions, revocation of membership, or notification of law enforcement, will be taken if a complaint is determined to be well-founded.
The National Council may bar the perpetrator from events, revoke their membership, or terminate official duties if the individual is a KOTESOL volunteer or member of staff. In addition, the National Council may take legal action, including, if necessary, contacting and cooperating with local law enforcement agencies.

Adopted by the Korea TESOL National Council, June 16, 2019. 
Revised by the Korea TESOL National Council, Sept. 22, 2019.