GUST hosts Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Kuwait Conference
Improve the teaching and learning of English
Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) hosted the Third Annual Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Conference at its campus in Mishref, carrying the theme “Reshaping English Teaching in an Age of Innovation.” 500 local and regional educators who teach English attended the event.
The event was attended by a number of leading academics including Professor Mohamad Terro, President of the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK), Dr Fahad Al-Khulaifi, PUC representative, Dr Najat Al-Mutawa, Dean of the College of Education at Kuwait University, Dr Salwa Darwish, HOD College of Basic Education at PAAET, as well as GUST students and faculty.
Mohamed Etedali, TESOL Kuwait’s President, said, “The conference pulled together various strands of the language teaching profession, and wove them together to create a rich professional development program unprecedented in Kuwait. Leading experts, experienced researchers, and classroom teachers anchored the program; everyone has something to offer and something to learn.”
Conference attendees learned new methods on how to teach English to native Arabic speakers, in addition to learning about the latest innovations and research in the field of English language teaching. Attendees were also able to network with educators throughout Kuwait and the region benefiting from this conference as English is their medium of instruction.
Professor Donald Bates, GUST President, said, “I would like to thank Dr Ilene Winokur, Director of the Foundation Program Unit at GUST, and Conference Chair, for her dedication to this unique conference through which TESOL Kuwait has been able to engage hundreds of professionals to collaborate locally and create a world of opportunity for people of all ages who want to learn English.”
TESOL Kuwait is a non-profit organization of teachers to speakers of other languages affiliated with the U.S. based TESOL International, housing 46,000 members worldwide. TESOL seeks to improve the teaching and learning of English and content subjects to non-native speakers of English. It is a professional community committed to advancing excellence in English language teaching. The community fosters the exchange of ideas, research and peer-to-peer knowledge, and provides expertise, resources, and a voice on issues affecting the profession.
Dr Dudley Reynolds, Keynote Speaker and 2015-2016 TESOL International Association President-elect said: “We live in a swim or sink world. Staying abreast of trends, forces, and innovations is key. I believe that helping us do this is one of the most important functions of a professional association like TESOL Kuwait and TESOL International.” Dr Reynolds currently teaches first year English writing at Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar. His research focuses on the development, assessment, and teaching of second language reading and writing.
There were three other featured speakers during the conference, Heidi Faust, Adjunct Faculty in the Lehigh University TESOL Certificate program and TESOL International Association’s Intercultural Communication Interest Section Chair, who spoke about building cross-cultural communities and different classroom activities to create a culture of respect; Dr Patricia Ann Brock, faculty member at the School of Education, Pace University in New York City, who discussed how to overcome the challenges of TESOL in order to maximize the rewards; and Dr Mashael Al-Hamly, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature at the Faculty of Arts at Kuwait University, who presented reports on a study investigating Gulf Arab EFL students’ preferences when being assessed in their universitylevel English courses. The conference also included over 20 workshops, 30 presentations and 5 panel discussions for the attendees to choose from based on their specialties and interests.
GUST takes a special interest in solidifying the teaching of the English language, which is reflected in the international standards implemented in its Foundation Program, which was accredited by the CEA in 2013. The university continuously implements the best methods to develop its curricula and ensure a premier educational experience for its students.
Mishari Deyain, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qurtoba Cooperative Society, is seen here honoring the ‘Kuwaiti Positivity Volunteer Team’ in recognition of their efforts to improve their local neighborhoods.