Dear Colleagues, Members and Supporters of TESOL Arabia,
Welcome to the 21st International TESOL Arabia Conference and Exhibition – the biggest conference and exhibition of its type in the region – and welcome back to all those who are regular attendees. Over the years the TESOL Arabia International Conference and Exhibition has become the “must-attend” event in the ELT field for delegates and exhibitors alike.
The 2015 theme, “Theory • Practice • Innovation • Teaching and Learning in the Digital World,” seeks to explore the myriad ways in which we pursue the goals of our profession. To this end the conference will present once again a wide range of international speakers, all outstanding in their fields. These presenters will provide excellent sessions both in the main conference itself and also on the Certificate Courses taking place on Wednesday 11th March as well as Saturday 14th March. Details of the courses will be available in September. On offer will be a Young Learners course, a teacher preparation IELTS course, and a hands-on iPad training course.
We are returning to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for the third year running because we anticipate that our annual conference will be priced out of hotels the closer we get to Expo 2020 and may have to be held in educational institutions for two or three years in a row. We again look forward to benefiting from the friendliness and efficiency of the hotel staff and have taken some strategic initiatives to ensure an enhanced food and parking experience for conference attendees.
|2015 Program Co-Chairs|
The 2014 Conference received a record number of break-out session proposals resulting in a quality program of speakers from within the region and further afield. We fully expect Conference 2015 to live up to and even surpass the high standard set last year. In line with that, we are accepting proposals for 5 different types of break-out sessions, regular paper presentations, short interactive workshops, shorter moderated sessions on research, teaching ideas, or app sharing themes, and 2 poster break-out sessions, one for regular presenters and one especially for student teacher projects and teachers in training. We also hope to offer several 90-minute practical workshops led by educational professionals in our field such as: Classroom Management and Behavioral Issues in the Classroom, Designing and Distributing Digital Badges, MOOCs, and Writing Successful Thesis.
There will be free Wifi Internet access for all participants, more and larger break-out rooms (some with improved soundproofing), as well as improved facilities for the Job Fair. We are also going to introduce for the first time, a complete one-stop downloadable conference app. Another exciting initiative is the introduction of TESOL Arabia digital “badges” for presenters, attendees, and organizers.
The conference will of course include all of the usual features for which TESOL Arabia is known: the Job Fair, Exhibition, PechaKucha (20×20), Discussion Forums and the Showcase Strand, as well as our very popular conference bags which we hope to outsource to a community trade project in Nepal.
Finally, we would like to extend a very warm vote of thanks to all our Sponsors, Exhibitors, Recruiters, Advertisers, Speakers and Presenters, as well as all other participants and supporters for making the TESOL Arabia Conference the major event it is today.
President, TESOL Arabia
2015 Conference Co-Chair,
Past President, TESOL Arabia
2015 Conference Co-Chair,
American University in Cairo, Egypt
Educational Consultant, USA
Freelance Author and Consultant, Spain
Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE
University of Hong Kong, China
Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Tarbiat Modares University, Iran
Freelance Author and Consultant, Spain
Professor Emeritus, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Open University, UK
Kyoto Sangyo University, Japan
Freelance Author and Consultant, France
Zayed University, UAE
Zayed University, UAE
University of Nizwa, Oman
Zayed University, UAE
(1) Digital Learning: Microsoft Technology Enriched Instruction (TEI)
This pre-conference course is for teachers who want to integrate various technologies effectively into their lessons to support digital learning.
(2) Motivational Techniques for Learners
This pre-conference course offers the best in motivational techniques for all age learners that particularly work in the Arab world.
(3) IELTS and the Language Teacher
This pre-conference course is for teachers who want to familiarize themselves with the 4 modules of the IELTS exam, Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking.
(4) Transforming Teaching and Learning with iPads (Advanced)
This pre-conference course is for teachers who are used to teaching with the iPad and want to take teaching with the iPad to the next level.
(7) Propell® Workshop for the TOEFL iBT® Test
The Propell® workshop is a professional development program designed to help English-language teachers successfully teach students English as a Second language.
(5) Curriculum Design and Assessment
This in-conference course offers teachers the opportunity to enhance their skills in both curriculum design and assessment.
(6) Exploring Teaching and Learning with iPads (Beginners)
This in-conference course introduces teachers to iPad basics and ways to design creative lessons for learning with the iPad.
Chetana Women’s Empowerment Group offers a maximum 2-year training/work program, helping women become self- sufficient providers for their families. So far, Chetana has trained over 80 women. After the training, the women take their skills that they have gained to be hired in local shops or to return to their village homes and continue producing and selling back to Chetana their finished loomed fabrics.
The process begins with the initial dying of the cotton thread in a multitude of colors and then it is left to air dry for several days. The next step is the winding of the thread so as to make a variety of patterns in the finished fabric. These threads are then woven on low-to-the-ground handlooms where the women sit for hours on floor cushions as they create the wonderful patterns that you see. After that, the newly created fabrics are cut for various designs and then sewn together to make the final product.
Tara Timilshina is a dynamic, hardworking manager, teacher and role model for these women. Because of our existing friendship, Tara immediately accepted the challenge of not only creating a conference bag for TESOL Arabia 2015 but also figuring out a way to produce 2000 of them in 5 months. She was extremely excited about the opportunity and told me that ‘this is what we work for… to create new products that people will enjoy!’
Not only did she and her husband take the 12-hour, round trip journey to Kathmandu to order the cotton but she also found someone who could recreate the TESOL Arabia embroidered logo on each of the bags. While I was there, she started designing the fabrics that we would use for the bags and experimenting with different designs. As you can see from the photos, the bags are unique in every way. During this 5 to 6-month process, 22 women of Nepal will have been employed and have received salary to support their families and provide for their children!
I want to thank Melanie Gobert and Rehab Rajab, conference co-chairs, for being ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers. Because of their vision to offer a conference bag that would support women in a developing country, many children and families have been helped in Nepal by this sustained employment for almost 1/2 year!
This year, we are offering a special session to TESOL Arabia members to attend our official book launch of the two TESOL Arabia publications coming out this year, the TACON 2014 Conference Proceedings and the joint TESOL Arabia Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation SIG/Bangladesh Association of English Language Teachers (BELTA) first e-book publication, Best Practice in ELT: Voices from the Classroom. Join us where refreshments will be served and the TESOL Arabia Publications Coordinator, Perspectives Editor, and other members of the TESOL Arabia Executive Council will be on hand to meet you and answer any questions you may have about TESOL Arabia.
AILA (originally founded in 1964 in France), or the International Association of Applied Linguists, is an international federation of national and regional associations of Applied Linguistics. At this year’s conference, we are inviting teachers of other languages such as Arabic, French, German, Spanish, and Chinese, as well as English, to attend a special session after our regularly scheduled concurrent sessions, which will be an organizational meeting for a branch of the Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée. AILA has a membership of more than 8.000 individuals worldwide who as researchers, policy makers or practitioners are active in the field of Applied Linguistics. For a long time, teachers of other languages, especially Arabic, have approached TESOL Arabia to help them organize an association of teachers similar to TESOL Arabia, and this year we have invited a special speaker to help us get this initiative off the ground. AILA is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) having FCR (Formal Consultative Relations) with UNESCO. We welcome all teachers of any languages to attend.
Many of our members are recent graduates or teachers in training. This special poster session has been introduced to give teachers in training and student teachers the opportunity to present their work to the wider TESOL Arabia community at the conference. Scholarships Announced for MENA Region Conference Delegates TESOL Arabia is proud to announce the creation of a special scholarship fund for five MENA region applicants to attend the 21st TESOL Arabia International Conference and Exhibition in Dubai from March 12-14, 2015. These scholarships are offered to our colleagues from countries in the MENA region whose economies are currently struggling. Interested applicants can apply for the scholarships on the TESOL Arabia grants page. The Open Digital Badges project aims to recognize self directed PD and volunteer efforts made by TESOL Arabia members through the awarding of open digital badges. A total of 13 badges have been created, 4 have been awarded to TESOL Arabia members already; presenter, organizer, volunteer and attendee. You can learn more about them at Credly – or via our blog. If you haven’t heard of badges till now, check out this document to learn more from this Google doc. Making all of this possible is a volunteer team consisting of 6 TA members. This committed TESOL Arabia EDTECH SIG team is working on further refining these badges to make them more meaningful and useful to you.
Many of our members are recent graduates or teachers in training. This special poster session has been introduced to give teachers in training and student teachers the opportunity to present their work to the wider TESOL Arabia community at the conference.
Scholarships Announced for MENA Region Conference Delegates
TESOL Arabia is proud to announce the creation of a special scholarship fund for five MENA region applicants to attend the 21st TESOL Arabia International Conference and Exhibition in Dubai from March 12-14, 2015. These scholarships are offered to our colleagues from countries in the MENA region whose economies are currently struggling. Interested applicants can apply for the scholarships on the TESOL Arabia grants page.
The Open Digital Badges project aims to recognize self directed PD and volunteer efforts made by TESOL Arabia members through the awarding of open digital badges. A total of 13 badges have been created, 4 have been awarded to TESOL Arabia members already; presenter, organizer, volunteer and attendee. You can learn more about them at Credly – or via our blog. If you haven’t heard of badges till now, check out this document to learn more from this Google doc. Making all of this possible is a volunteer team consisting of 6 TA members. This committed TESOL Arabia EDTECH SIG team is working on further refining these badges to make them more meaningful and useful to you.