Plenary 1 – Keynote
Dr. Christine Sabieh
“We Want Magic”
The trials and tribulations of our world today have caused havoc within the education realm. All levels within the system have been confronted with challenges that the education leaders, Ministries of Education and Government sectors involved in the education settings have being making decisions to patchwork the classroom and save what they can to ensure a “practice” of education happens. The solution – it is assumed—is aspiration and innovation. However, I ask: Are aspiration and innovation the answer? So, if we aspire and we innovate, do we have teaching and learning happening? Sabieh argues this is not the key to initiate the “practice” of education. During the keynote presentation, Sabieh will address the challenges, and call on the educators to share aspirations and innovations to explore what makes the magic in the teaching/learning space happen.
Prof. Michael McCarthy
“Listening and speaking: two sides of the same coin?”
Listening and speaking are often only loosely connected in language syllabuses, with listening practice targeting comprehension and reception, while speaking practice emphasizes performance. However, in social conversation, listeners speak, and show their ‘listenership’. Using corpus evidence, I explore what listeners do and argue for greater integration of listening and speaking.
“ADHD Coaching-The “DECISION” Integrative Coaching Model”
Many students with ADHD struggle to be successful in school and college due to lack in the main executive functions skills that might help them regulate their emotions and consequently their behaviors and pursuit of important goals.
The “DECISION” Integrative Coaching Model for individuals with ADHD developed by Dr. Huda Shaaban focuses on developing and enhancing important self-regulation skills and other important executive skills. The Model is research-based and has won the best paper award from the Applied Research International Conference on Education Literature, King’s College, and London in July 2019. As well it was submitted to the ICF to be an accredited ICF -ACSTH program that allows teachers, counselors, and parents to get their credentials as ICF -ADHD coaches. The “DECISION” Coaching Model help individuals with ADHD understand the nature of ADHD and how it affects their daily lives, identify important goals and develop plans and strategies for achieving them while supporting them monitoring their progress towards these goals. Thus, aids the development of their abilities for effective self-regulated behavior, and provides an important external source of regulation, as those abilities are developing.
Fajer Bin Rashed (Presentation)
Reconsidering the Role of L1 in Teaching and Assessing L2
Teaching and assessing a second language are naturally achieved through conducting activities and ongoing assessments in the classroom; therefore, it has become vital to consider the systematic use and assessment of the first language when teaching and/or assessing the acquisition of L2 language skill(s). The learner`s first language should be used as a part of their collaborative learning and assessment experiences in the L2 classroom. In addition to refuting some of the justifications behind banning the L1 in ESL classroom, the paper presentation will attempt to theoretically examine the effectiveness of using the L1 within the learner`s zone of proximal development as a method to improve L2 acquisition and to study the usefulness of assessing L1 language skills in providing a more accurate analysis of the learner`s acquirement of language skills in both the L1 and L2.
Abebe Tilahun Mogesse (Presentation)
The Academic English Language Needs of MSc students
This study reports on the findings of the academic English language needs of MSc students. Results revealed that speaking followed by listening, reading and writing, respectively were frequently needed skills for the students’ academic study. Based on the findings, a revised syllabus that meet learners’ needs has been recommended. English for Specific Purpose is one of the key approaches that emerged in the 1960s as a response to traditional English language teaching methods. Students of various levels, especially university level, where English is used as a medium instruction must master the basic English skills that help them acquire content subjects in their discipline. In order to help these students become successful in their academic study, an English course that is purpose-oriented need to be designed so that students study this course and might get the appropriate skills and knowledge. Therefore, so as to design such a course book or syllabus, the students’ needs need to be conducted. This is because needs analysis is a backbone in the context of ESP course design Woodrow (2018). This paper presents a study conducted to assess the academic English language needs of Media Science students in India. The study employed both open and close-ended survey questionnaires. The findings of the study revealed that majority of the participants favored the importance of English for their academic studies. The results of the study also revealed that all English skills are frequently needed for the participants’ academic study with the order of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Plenary 3 –Keynote
Mr. Peter Lucantoni
“Helping Students Become Great Collaborators”
Getting students to collaborate is not always easy, and in these days of remote learning, the challenges are even greater. In this webinar we will discuss what collaboration skills are and explore why our students need them. We will also look at ways in which we can develop learners’ collaboration skills and how this in turn will develop their language skills. Finally we will focus on collaboration online and consider not only the additional challenges but also look at solution strategies.
Muhammad Akram (Presentation)
Exploring EFL Teachers' Ken of Professional Identity and Their Self-Efficacy
Teaching English has always been a challenging task for EFL teachers. This paper aims to explore the relationship between EFL teachers’ professional identity and their self-efficacy. This paper suggests positive perception of teachers’ professional identity predicts their self-efficacy and it adds to their performance in the language classroom.EFL teachers’ acuity of professional identity plays a pivotal role in their performance in the language classroom. Teachers’ professional identity along with their attitudes is supposed to be one of the main factors in enhancing their performance to increase students’ learning particularly in language classroom. English (being lingua-franca) has become the necessity worldwide. With the increased necessity of ELF (English as lingua franca), the need of professional EFL teachers has also increased around the globe and particularly in Gulf and Asian countries to cater the language needs of EFL learners. This paper aims to explore the relationship between EFL teachers’ professional identity and their self-efficacy in language classroom. To achieve this particular objective of this study, 94 EFL teachers from different universities of Pakistan participated in this research. These subjects were randomly selected from English departments of universities of the Punjab (Pakistan). Two research instruments were used in this research. Data were collected by TEBS-Self questionnaire (adopted from Moslemi and Habibi 2019) and professional identity scale used by Akram (2020). The data were analyzed with R studio. The study revealed interesting finding that there was a positive correlation between teachers’ ken of professional identity and their self-efficacy in language classroom. The results of analysis indicated that EFL teachers’ professional discerning predicted their performance in language classroom. Through this study the researcher has investigated the relationship of EFL teachers’ acuity of their professional discerning and their self-efficacy with particular reference to language classroom. The findings of the study are quite in line and supported with studies in this field. The paper concludes with recommendations for further research in the field of teachers’ identity and their self-efficacy.
Ibrahim Karim (Presentation)
Using Digital Games in Foreign Language Classrooms: Pedagogical Applications and Potentials
This presentation offers research-informed pedagogical guidance for integrating digital games in English classrooms. The presentation offers a review and synthesis of the literature on FL learning potentials of digital games and discusses a pedagogical framework for selecting, adapting, and integrating commercial digital games in FL classrooms. Various studies have demonstrated the great potentials of digital games as engaging and immersive environments and resources for foreign language (FL) practice and learning (e.g. Tang & Taguchi, 2020; Sundqvist, 2019; Author, 2019; Vosburg, 2017; Newgarden & Zheng, 2016; Reinders & Wattana, 2015; Allen, Crossley, Snow, & McNamara, 2014; Sundqvist & Wikström, 2015; Scholz & Schulze, 2017; Ryu, 2013; Chik, 2014) ); however, to date pedagogical applications of digital game-based FL learning remain rather challenging (Goodwin-Jones, 2016; Alyaz & Genc, 2016; Author, 2019). A potential cause of this challenge is a limited awareness of FL learning affordances and potentials of digital gaming (Author, 2019). Understanding the specific dynamics of game-based FL use that could motivate, scaffold, and/or facilitate FL practice and/or learning could help FL educators harness the engagement of digital gaming in FL classrooms and promote FL learners’ participation and engagement in their classes. To address this problem, the present theoretical study explores digital game-based pedagogical interventions that could be implemented in FL classrooms. Informed by the literature, the study overs a critical review of the FL learning affordances and potentials of digital gaming followed by a discussion of their implications for classroom practice. Then, a pedagogical framework of digital game-based FL learning will be discussed and illustrated with practical examples. The framework emphasizes the (a) selection of commercial digital games that are appropriate for FL learning; (b) adaptation of commercial digital games and/or gaming materials for L2 learning; and (c) integration of game-based FL learning in formal and informal FL learning and teaching contexts. Finally, the paper concludes with resources and suggestions for promoting extracurricular digital game-based FL practice.
Huda Abuaisha (Presentation)
Teaching Grammar in Context
When teaching grammar in context, learners will be able to apply it more effectively in communication rather than learning it only by following the form and then practicing. Teaching grammar in context allows learners to elicit the meaning from various contexts, and as a result, this will make them have a better understanding of the target language and will enable them to use it successfully in writing and speaking. Although various methods can be used in the ESL classroom to teach grammar, not all of them can effectively allow learners to understand the meaning of the grammar and apply it in both speaking and writing. A very common method of teaching grammar that is used among ESL teachers is by following the three Ps, “Across the various languages and subsystems of grammar, perhaps the most widely practiced traditional approach to grammatical instruction has been portrayed as the three Ps- present, practice, produce.” (Larsen-Freeman, 2009, p.523). However, by following this method, learners may be aware of the grammatical rules but they are unable to apply their knowledge of grammar when they are communicating. Therefore, teaching grammar in context is regarded as an effective approach, because it enables learners to see how the rules work in sentences and understand the meaning of the target language in contexts, such as stories, articles, etc..rather than through rules and forms. "Students need to get an idea of how the new language is used by native speakers and the best way of doing this is to present language in context" (Harmer, 1991, p.57). As a result, students will be able to have a clear understanding of the grammar and apply it successfully in writing and speaking. During the presentation, I will discuss why it is important to teach grammar in context and how it can be taught. The final part of the presentation will enable participants to think of different contexts which they can use while teaching various tenses.
Ruba Najia (Presentation)
Strategies for teaching English language learners in the online classroom
The year 2020 has been marked with a pandemic that has not only impacted people and countries medically but also socially, economically and most importantly educationally. This workshop presents helpful and practical strategies for teaching English language learners in the online classroom that will enable both teachers and learners to enjoy a more positive experience virtually. Distance learning is not a novel concept and it has been around for decades now. Some students opt for an online education for a variety of reasons, whether it is to save money, or to be able to have a flexible schedule, or their inability to access the campus, or for social reasons. This type of learning has always been a choice available to interested candidates. However, Covid-19 has made online learning a necessity and, in most countries, the only choice available to continue learning. All of a sudden, teachers and students were expected to switch to an online classroom with all its challenges and implications. As language is all about communication both verbal and non-verbal, one of the most difficult aspects to achieve faced by educators while teaching English online is reaching the same levels of engagement you reach while teaching live in the classroom. The key here is to maximize online student motivation. This workshop will equip educators with the necessary tools and best practices to use in the online classroom in order to support their students and help them manage the challenges posed by learning online in a non- native language. This will in turn make the learning process as smooth and enriching as possible. Some of the strategies that will be presented will include the importance of frequent feedback to students as well as multiple forms of assessment in different forms beyond the traditional graded assessments. Moreover, using strategies such as scaffolding will increase students’ involvement and motivation to learning. Also, moving to an online classroom means utilizing all the tools available to keep the communication interesting and varied. The ultimate goal is to support students in the smooth transition to an online classroom.
“Introducing Critical Thinking into a Language Programme”
Everything that students are engaged in at university or college involves critical thinking. However, critical thinking is rarely taught explicitly. This talk demonstrates how critical thinking can be included in existing language programmes using a number of different approaches.
The first step is to get students to ‘think about their own thinking’ (metacognition): to be objective about, for example, their own decision making processes or study habits. Secondly, a critical thinking syllabus can be introduced which focusses on sub-skills such as supporting an opinion (with examples, evidence, reasons and sources), identifying and solving problems, analyzing data correctly, classifying items and defining terms. A third approach is to include practical thinking activities. These have the advantage of being flexible and are fitted easily around an existing programme. They include activities such as structured discussions and class debates, the analysis of scam emails and misleading advertisements, and the use of linguistic puzzles and quizzes.
Eman Al Bloushi (Presentation)
Synchronous ESL Programs to Support Young Learners During Covid-19
This presentation reports on a case study of synchronous sessions to support students who are in pre- school. Due to the current pandemic and the closure of almost all kindergartens, some students started showing signs of learning difficulties. Students attended four online sessions for two hours weekly. The results indicate that synchronous sessions are effective in helping the students improve in their acquisition of English as a second language. The successful implementation of such sessions depends on three main factors; the suitable duration of the online session, using multiple engaging activities, and the engagement of the parent in the learning journey. Universities and educational institutions invested in shifting their classroom-based offered courses to synchronous, online, and video-based classes in support of the UNESCO recommendations of the continuation of education in response to institutions closure due to the recent pandemic of Covid-19. This was the case for most students as well as students enrolled in higher educational institutions, but not for students with students in pre-school. This presentation reports on a case study of synchronous, online and video-based sessions with students who are in pre-school. Due to the current pandemic and closure of almost all kindergartens, some students started showing signs of learning difficulties. Students attended four online sessions for two hours every week. The results indicate that synchronous, online and video- based sessions are effective in helping the students improve in their acquisition of English as a second language. The successful implementation of such sessions depends on three main factors; the suitable duration of the online session, using multiple and various engaging activities, and the engagement of the parent in the learning journey.
“As teachers we are facilitators and thus we should create an engaged and positive classroom culture with the 3 C’s: Compliments, competitions and Celebrations.”
In this period of teaching virtual classes, learning and teaching any subject is difficult. The students, as well as the teachers, were not prepared for this kind of imparting and receiving knowledge. When children who are now in schools or colleges will think back of old times when they are adults it will only bring back memories of lockdown, pandemic and other terrible things. Classroom culture is the method by which students interrelate with one another; it's the mood that dominates the room and the sense of confidence or failure students feel when they log into your class. As a teacher, creating an engaged and positive culture is one of the most important aspects of our job.