GUST hosts Teach­ing English to Speak­ers of Other Lan­guages Kuwait Con­fer­ence

Im­prove the teach­ing and learn­ing of English

Kuwait Times - - WHAT’S ON -

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.

Unique con­fer­ence

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.

Fea­tured speak­ers

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.

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