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In this issue: Feature Articles The Case for Bilingual Support: Crutch or Scaffold? – Christopher Morrow Mispronunciation and Phonetic Textbooks: Evidence from Teacher Preparation Programs – Nora A. Binghadeer

Reader Response Lesson Plans Reviews Emerging Technology Networking Chapter & SIG Reports


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Photography by Hani Al-Mezaini & Abdolgader Al-Muzaini©

Taibah University ELC Conference Inside the Saudi University Preparatory Year English Programme: The Future and Beyond 12th ʹ 13th April, 2011 Organized by The English Language Centre Taibah University - Madinah ʹ Saudi Arabia

CALL FOR PAPERS (Deadline for submissions: January 19th, 2011) Submit a full length paper at: http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=tuelc11 For more details visit our website: http://www.tuelc.edu.sa Conference email address: tuelcconference@gmail.com


C o n t e n t s Perspec tives Volume 18 No. 1 January 2011

From the Co-Editors

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Message from the President

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TESOL Arabia Conference Report

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Feature Articles The Case for Bilingual Support: Crutch or Scaffold?

Christopher Morrow

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Mispronunciation and Phonetic Textbooks: Evidence from Teacher Preparation Programs

Nora A. Bindghadeer

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Guy Stieglitz

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Laura Lau, Richard Lau & David Thomson

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Lesson Plans Student-Generated Academic Vocabulary Lesson Reading Textbooks: Changing Students’ Attitudes from Aversion to Conversion

Reader Response Cynical, Cowardly, Ignorant, Libelous and Unprofessional

Neil McBeath

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T. Leo Schmitt John Price

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Rachel Magdalen Lange

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Molly McHarg

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Peter B. McLaren

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David Prescott

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Colin Toms

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Emerging Technologies ICALL and WERTi Online Assessment Made Easy

Reviews A Sampling of Macmillan Graded Readers Access EAP: Foundations EAP Essentials: A teacher's guide to principles and practice English for the Energy Industry Global Elementary Calendar of Upcoming Events

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Networking EgypTESOL Convention 2010 From Paper to Proposal: Presenting Through the Three Ps

Ahmed Saadawi

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Mick King

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TESOL Arabia News TESOL Arabia News

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Special Interest Group Reports

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Chapter Reports

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Perspectives Contributor Guidelines

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TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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From the Co-Editors

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Dear Colleagues Welcome to the first issue of Volume 18 of Perspectives! We hope you had a pleasant New Year and happy holidays. We trust that this issue of Perspectives will offer you as many thought-provoking articles as our last issue. The first of our two features, “The Case for Bilingual Support: Crutch or Scaffold?” by Christopher Morrow, addresses the question of whether L1 should be used in Gulf Arab state classrooms, especially those of K-12. Considering the educational reform and emphasis on Communicative Language Teaching that the region is currently undergoing, discouraging the use of L1 in the classroom could perhaps be the worst thing that teachers could do. We encourage you to read the article to see whether or not you agree.

Co-Editors

Our second feature is an academic study by Nora A. Binghadeer entitled, “Mispronunciation and Phonetic Textbooks: Evidence from Teacher Preparation Programs.” It should be of interest to all teacher trainers and those who propose that native English speaking teachers are better than nonnative speaking teachers because they don’t have an accent. There are far more non-native English speaking teachers worldwide nowadays than native English speakers and the results of the study show that four major pronunciation and phonetic textbooks do not currently offer enough practice in discrete item pronunciation to allow Gulf Arab English teachers-in-training to master the vowel sounds of English.

Cindy Gunn American University of Sharjah Sharjah, UAE

Melanie Gobert / Rebecca Woll Abu Dhabi Men’s College

Reviews Editor

Advisory Panel Christine Coombe Cindy Gunn Daniel Mangrum Fatma Alwan Janet Olearski Kourosh Lachini Lynne Ronesi Mashael Al-Hamly Muhammad Abdel Latif Nicolas Moore Paul James Dessoir Peter McLaren Saleh S. Al-Busaidi Jane Hoelker Patrick Dougherty Neil McBeath Rachel Lange Abdelhamid Ahmed Dina El Dakhs Joanna Buckle Lamya Ramadan

We also have two lesson plans that are sure to delight practically inclined practitioners. “StudentGenerated Academic Vocabulary,” by Guy Stieglitz, and “Reading Textbooks: Changing Students’ Attitudes from Aversion to Conversion” by Laura Lau, Richard Lau, and David Thomson. We eagerly look forward to trying them out and hearing from others who do the same! This issue also contains a Reader’s Response by Neil McBeath. McBeath allows his sharp tongue free rein in “Cynical, Cowardly, Ignorant, Libelous and Unprofessional” in order to condemn English as a Second Language discussion forum posters who hide behind the cloak of anonymity and thus get away with comments in that domain which could never be uttered face-to-face due to their social unacceptability. We also have two Emerging Technology articles: “Online Assessment Made Easy!” by John Price, and “ICALL and WERTi” by T. Leo Schmitt, both of which are sure to please our technically inclined readers. Finally, our staple and popular book and software review section contains five reviews that will most definitely get you thinking about next year’s book order. TESOL Arabia’s Perspectives would be nothing without you, our readers and writers. Please continue to submit articles and let us know how we can improve in order to serve you better.

CREDITS Layout / Artwork Sudeep Kumar

Rebecca Woll

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Printing

Melanie Gobert

International Printing Press Dubai, UAE

Co-Editors, Perspectives

January Cover Photo

The co-editors would like to remind the readers that the views expressed in this periodical are those of the individual authors. These views are not necessarily shared by the other authors in this issue or by TESOL Arabia. Responsibility for the content and opinion of articles and advertisements rests with the authors. TESOL Arabia is a non-profit organisation based in the United Arab Emirates with membership from the Arabian Gulf and beyond. TESOL Arabia does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, gender, national origin, disability, religion, age, or native language. For more information, please visit our website: http://www.tesolarabia.org

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TESOL Arabia Perspectives

Kevin Dunleavy Dubai Supply Authority

www.tesolarabia.org


Message from the President

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Dear TESOL Arabia Members, From 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. on December 14, 2010, I attended a TESOL Arabia function in Al Ain. People were standing in line to pay for their conference registration and to listen to the presenter. Although it was a work night, people stayed later, even after the presenter, Dr Ali Shehadeh, had completed his presentation. One would think being scheduled at such a late time and on a school night would not draw 68 professionals to any presentation, but not with TESOL Arabia’s professionals. I believe that “If you build it, they will come.” TESOL Arabia has done that. It has catered to the professional development needs of its members. TESOL Arabia has been very active in supporting teachers who use English as a medium of instruction at different levels. Seeing people like this just makes you thrilled by how involved people get. As outlined in our strategic plan for 2010-2011, our Area Chapter Representatives and the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) have been tirelessly working behind the scenes to bring experts in the field of TESOL to your doorsteps. Many of the speakers come from different backgrounds and bring with them a wealth of knowledge. Any TESOL Arabia member can attend these professional development events for free. Our TESOL Arabia professionals are even going outside the borders of the UAE to support communities of professionals in other parts of the world. During the first week of December 2010, Dr Christine Coombe and a number of TESOL Arabia’s professionals participated in a weekend of workshops in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The event proved to be successful and carried many meanings to TESOL Arabia, its members and the global community. One of the meanings is that TESOL Arabia is there to support its members in any way they can. Furthermore, our members take their expertise and their knowledge and share it with those who need such support. Another successful event that TESOL Arabia is involved in is the Franklin Global Spell Event. This event will take place on April 23, 2011.This event, which is a collaboration between Franklin Educational Electronic Product manufacturer, Global TESOL and TESOL Arabia, will choose two winners to fly to New York, USA with all expenses paid to compete with winners from different parts of the world. We hope that you can join us for the event and help cheer for those young student competitors. I would also like to let you know that preparations for the 17th Annual TESOL Arabia International Conference and Exhibition, which will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Dubai, UAE, are underway. The organizers of the conference have lined up a number of local, regional and international plenary, featured and invited speakers with considerable expertise to help provide delegates with a great variety of topics. Working with the theme of "Rethinking English Language Teaching: Attitudes, Approaches and Perspectives," the speakers will “wow” delegates with their insights on the topic. Another issue to which I would like to draw attention is the election taking place. Different positions are open on the Executive Council including Vice-President 2011-12, President for 2012-13 (Nominees for this position must have previously held an Executive Council post), Executive Treasurer, Executive Secretary, Member-at-Large, Publications Coordinator, Al Ain Chapter Representative, Dubai Chapter Representative, Eastern Region Chapter Representative, and Western Region Representative. We hope that you can be an element of change and vote to choose the right person for the right position. Voting will run from January 1 to February 28, 2011. Finally, I would like to salute our unsung heroes who volunteer their time, effort, energy and expertise to keep our organization going. Without their efforts, our organization would be lacking. Hooray to all of TESOL Arabia’s volunteers!

Sufian Abu-Rmaileh, PhD TESOL Arabia President

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17th Annual TESOL Arabia International Conference and Exhibition aaa March 10 - 12, 2011 Pre-conference Courses: March 9, 2011 JW Marriott, Dubai, UAE Pre-register by February 15, 2011 On-site Registration opens at 8 a.m. on March 10, 2011 Conference Website: www.tesolarabia.org/conference Rethinking English Language Teaching: Attitudes, Approaches and Perspectives On behalf of the organizing committee of the TESOL Arabia Conference and Exhibition 2011, we would like to let you know that preparations are underway for TESOL Arabia to hold its 17th international conference on March 10-12, 2011 at the JW Marriott, Dubai, UAE. As always, we have endeavored to come up with something new and innovative while at the same time retaining all those successful tried and trusted ingredients from previous conferences.

TESOL ARABIA CONFERENCE ONLINE 2011 This year, we are bringing the TESOL Arabia Conference to the world for the second time. We encourage you to be an active participant by joining TACON Online 2011. Get involved and share your conference participation experience with the crowds through cloud computing solutions. This year's featured applications include participation in discussion forums before and during the conference, professional profile sharing, access to presentation handouts, participants’ blog posts, shared photos, live news and updates, conference-related tweets, video archives, social polls and more. Subscribe now and be a part of the cloud! http://TAconference.org/

PLENARY ADDRESSES The theme of this year’s conference is “Rethinking English Language Teaching: Attitudes, Approaches and Perspectives.” Our plenary and featured speakers will tackle different subjects related to recent issues in English language teaching from a variety of perspectives. Topics covered range from language focused tasks, theories on English language teaching and rethinking language teacher education.

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Morning

Afternoon

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Language Focused Tasks: Their Multiple Roles and Contributions to Classroom SLA, Teresa Pica

Rethinking Genre Theory for English Language Teaching, John Flowerdew

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Rethinking Language Awareness: A (Meta) Pragmatic Perspective, Peter Grundy

The Quest for Equilibrium: Teaching English, Global Forces and Cultural and Linguistic Identities, Salah Troudi

Saturday

Rethinking English Language Teaching: Focusing on Learner Output, Ali Shehadeh

Rethinking Language Teacher Education: Recent Developments, Current Trends and Future Perspectives, Ann Burns

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GUEST SPEAKER PRESENTATIONS & WORKSHOPS We are proud to let you know that a variety of well-designed presentations and workshops are going to be offered to help you get the most out of the conference. Please visit our website for the speaker lineup and their abstracts. Some of those presentations are: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Researching Critical Issues in Language Education, Salah Troudi Current and Historical Perspectives on Language Testing, Barry O’Sullivan From Entertainment to Education: The Role of Computer Games in Language Teaching, Hayo Reinders Language Focused Tasks: A Workshop on their Development and Implementation for Communicative and Content-Based Second/Foreign Language Classrooms, Teresa Pica Best Practices for TEYL, Joan Shin Genre and Pedagogy, John Flowerdew I’m a Writer and Proud of it, Peter Grundy ESL Literacy Development for Young Learners: What Should the Teacher Know, Helen Emery

CONCURRENT SESSIONS & THE IT VILLAGE We have chosen for you over 100 concurrent sessions that will prove fruitful for you and your quest for professional development. In addition to the concurrent sessions, our proposals team and the IT Village Chair have chosen for you some of the most current trends in technology in TESOL to help you in your line of work.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES In line with previous years, TESOL Arabia is committed to providing educators with a wide variety of professional development events. In addition to the large number of concurrent sessions making up the main conference, we are once again pleased to announce a number of development courses. The purpose of these courses is to offer you smaller, more focused sessions led by experts in the field.

Pre-Conference Courses (March 9, 2011) The Pre-conference courses are intensive one-day workshops aimed at a highly focused and charged topic. A maximum of 40 participants are accepted in each course, and they are held one day before the main activities of the conference begin. Participants must pre-register for these courses.

Action Research in TESOL Presented by our Plenary Speakers, Anne Burns and Ali Shehadeh This course focuses on the concept of teacher research, especially teachers undertaking classroom action research.

Using Technology in the Classroom Presented by our Invited Speakers, Cindy Gunn, Abdelbasset Jeddi and Neil Anderson This professional development course introduces participants to the use of technology inside the language classroom.

Certificate Courses (March 10-12, 2011) These certificate courses are made up of a variety of workshops, which will run throughout the conference, both during the main schedule and outside the regular hours. Though we recommend preregistration, we will accept on-site registrations until courses are full.

Teacher Effectiveness and Leadership Presented by a variety of plenary, featured and invited, local, regional and international speakers. In this course, the attributes and qualities essential for success in the classroom and its leadership will be discussed and shared.

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Increasing Professionalism Through Personal and Professional Development Presented by a variety of plenary, featured and invited, local, regional and international speakers. The workshops for this course will deal with such things as professional development, selfawareness, personality inventories, surviving burnout, getting organized, time management, stress management, etc.

DUBAI DEBATES & DISCUSSIONS This year the TESOL Arabia Conference will include two debates and three discussion forums which reflect the conference theme: “Rethinking English Language Teaching: Attitudes, Approaches and Perspectives.” The topics were voted on by the TESOL Arabia membership, and include: ◆ ◆

English as a medium of instruction is the best way forward for the Arabian World. International exams like IELTS and TOEFL are the most objective way to test students' English level. ◆ Higher degree studies in TESOL are a more effective measure of professional development than years of experience. ◆ Good English is more important than world knowledge in preparing students for higher education with English as a medium of instruction. ◆ Efforts to integrate content and language in the classroom are not working.

INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION Adding to the rich environment of productivity found throughout the Conference, an International Exhibition once again will open its doors to all avid book collectors and material writers wishing to help themselves to the latest teaching aids for use in their classrooms. Major publishers and book distributors, many tertiary institutions and other educational organizations from around the world will also take part in the exhibition.

INNOVATIVE MATERIAL SHOWCASE Due to its success during last year’s conference, a number of Innovative Materials Showcase (IMS) proposals have been submitted and the organizing committee is in the process of reviewing and selecting successful ones. These sessions will highlight English Language Teaching products and teaching materials that would assist educators in their respective fields.

JOB FAIR The 2011 Conference will offer a comprehensive Job Fair which will once again bring together job seekers and major recruiting organizations in the region. Looking for qualified candidates to fill many posts being offered onsite, the TESOL Arabia Job Fair retains its position as the premier employment opportunity for both recruiters and job seekers in the teaching profession. Please note that job seekers must register for the Conference in order to attend the Job Fair.

MORE INFORMATION Visit our website for more details about the conference: www.tesolarabia.org/conference On behalf of TESOL Arabia and the 2011 Conference Committee we look forward to welcoming you all to the 2011 Conference!

Sufian Abu-Rmaileh Volume 18

Mashael Al-Hamly No. 1

January 2011

TESOL Arabia Perspectives

Ali Shehadeh ◆

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The Case for Bilingual Support: Crutch or Scaffold? The mother tongue of our students is increasingly unwelcome in the language classrooms of the Middle East. On one hand, this trend is indicative of improvements in teaching methodologies and teachers’ English proficiency. On the other hand, it suggests an unquestioning faith in immersion-style methods and possible misunderstandings of the nature of language learning. This article reviews a growing body of theoretical and empirical studies that demonstrate that the students’ first language is a useful bridge to their second language development. Efforts to ban its use in the English classroom are depriving teachers of a valuable tool for enhancing comprehension and scaffolding students’ performance of challenging tasks. While the research on this topic is quite extensive, my focus in this article will mainly be on teachers’ deliberate inclusion of L1 in primary and secondary English language instruction. Of course, this option is most relevant for teachers who speak Arabic, but there are many indirect ways that non-Arabic-speaking teachers can also take advantage of students’ L1.

A Bias Against the First Language The spread of monolingual (viz., English-only) teaching practices in the Middle East is probably due to the convergence of several factors such as the rising number of native English-speaking teachers and the popularity of communicative methods. Educators need to critically examine this trend and untangle the social, linguistic, educational, and administrative assumptions that may be influencing their opinions on this issue. For some older teachers, English-only or monolingual teaching may represent their complete rejection of the academic, de-

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Christopher Morrow United Arab Emirates University Al Ain, UAE

contextualized forms of language instruction that they experienced in the past. Younger teachers, on the other hand, are more likely to see monolingual teaching as a hallmark of instructional practices that are truly interactive and communicative. Both groups may overlook the fact that current research supports a view of instructed language learning that develops through meaningful input, purposeful output, and interpersonal interaction (Ellis, 2005). Suppressing the use of L1 in the classroom may seem like an effective way to push input, output, and interaction, but this restriction sometimes leads to confusion and frustration. Many teachers in the region speak the language of their students, but monolingual policies are forcing them to communicate much less effectively and efficiently to everyone’s detriment. The Arabian Gulf region seems to be importing instructional practices without fully understanding their original contexts, and monolingual teaching is one of these imports in my opinion. In North American second language classrooms, for example, monolingual teaching is often unavoidable since classes usually consist of students who speak many first languages. In the Gulf region, however, the impetus to learn and practice English is often quite different. Prevailing metaphors from Western contexts (e.g., English as a vehicle for interpersonal communication) need to be revised in settings where the English language is still mainly a school subject like math and science (Cameron, 2003). From an academic standpoint, it is more appropriate to conceive of English as a body of knowledge and a set of skills. As such, teachers are responsible for

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using the best means available to develop students’ knowledge and skills, and the L1 is certainly one of those means.

Vocabulary Learning Without L1 The most obvious failing of monolingual teaching probably occurs in the area of vocabulary instruction. Instead of offering an Arabic equivalent, some Arabic-speaking teachers spend valuable class time struggling to give the sense of abstract English words by using pictures, gestures, drama, examples or English synonyms. Other teachers go further and discourage students from using bilingual dictionaries even though research consistently shows that first language translations are a preferred way to learn foreign language vocabulary (Folse, 2004). Many teachers are overly reliant on indirect methods of vocabulary learning (e.g., inferring meaning from context) when simple translation would achieve far more. In his argument for using L1 in vocabulary lessons, Nation (2003) writes, “It is foolish to arbitrarily exclude this proven and efficient means of communicating meaning.” Just as pictures, objects, and demonstrations are powerful tools in the language teacher’s repertoire, the L1 is well suited for certain purposes. Teachers and schools that suppress the use of L1 may be overestimating the effectiveness of indirect learning strategies and underestimating the huge challenge that vocabulary learning presents our students (Folse, 2004).

Forms of Bilingual Support The term “bilingual support” can refer to any inclusion of, or reference to, the first language by teachers or students that assists learners in achieving the goals of the language learning lesson (Lucas & Katz, 1994). At one extreme, it may consist of a teacher who relies mainly on L1 when giving explanations and instructions. In its milder forms, however, bilingual support can include methods and materials Christopher Morrow has been an that can be used by Assistant Professor of English Language Education at UAE teachers even if they do University since 2008. Prior to that, not know a single word he taught English for 9 years in the of L1. Examples of these university’s Foundations program. He has a PhD from the University are bilingual dictionaries of Buffalo, and he can be contacted and letting students use at gomorrow@gmail.com. L1 when working

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together. After conducting systematic observations at nine K-12 schools in the U.S.A. Lucas and Katz (1994) catalogued a diverse array of 16 types of bilingual support that they encountered. They found that, on average, teachers and students used “only English” methods 87% of the time in elementary and middle school programs, but the average rose to 97% in high schools. These data are remarkably close to the figure of 95% that Atkinson (1987) proposed as being an optimal ratio of L2 to L1.

Theoretical Reasons for Including L1 Finding a suitable role for L1 in language classes is an issue that relates to many fundamental concepts about the nature of language learning processes. For several decades, a small group of theorists and researchers has emphasized the value of L1, but their viewpoints have not been properly assessed (cf. Auerbach, 1993; Cook, 2001; Cummins, 2007; Phillipson, 2000). Some of the most compelling arguments on the topic come from Cummins (2005), who confronted the claims of monolingual teaching when he described three widely accepted principles that are lacking in empirical support. They are: 1. Instruction should be carried out exclusively in the target language without recourse to students’ L1. 2. Translation between L1 and L2 has no place in the teaching of language or literacy. 3. Within immersion and bilingual programs, the two languages should be kept rigidly separate. He critiqued these assumptions beginning with an analysis of current language methodologies. He observed that the widespread acceptance of modern approaches like Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) appears to be partly responsible for teachers’ tendencies to severely limit L1 in the classroom. In CLT, the use of English to convey information is viewed as a primary means of learning and practice, and students are sometimes challenged to attempt activities which are beyond their linguistic resources just so that they can develop compensatory strategies. While such practice conditions imply that learners will not resort to using L1, Cook (2001) has pointed out that it is wrong to assume that the prohibition of L1 is a central tenet of CLT. Instead, he maintains that its leading proponents are either TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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silent or ambivalent about L1’s role in the classroom.

Connecting the New with the Old Cummins (2009) has also critiqued monolingual teaching practices because of the way they interfere with teachers’ ability to apply other educational principles which are widely accepted in modern education. He cited, for example, the work of Bransford et al. (2000), who posited that, “new understandings are constructed on a foundation of existing understandings and experiences.” According to this principle, activating students’ prior knowledge and building relevant background knowledge are key marks of good instruction. In the view of Cummins, monolingual instruction tends to treat L1 as an impediment to the learning of L2 rather than as a resource (2005, p. 232). From this perspective, teachers who forsake the use of L1 are burning a readily available bridge to students’ previous knowledge. This principle seems especially relevant for elementary students, for whom concepts and language seem tightly connected since their capacity for abstract reasoning is limited (Eke & Lee, 2008).

Starting from Scratch in L2 Learning vocabulary, in L1 or L2, sometimes entails complex cognitive restructuring which our lessons inadequately support. It is easy to underestimate the conceptual and linguistic processes that a child gradually goes through to learn a common word like company (both as a concept and an L1 word). More cognitive restructuring is required before they can appreciate how company differs from, but is also related to, building, shop, business, office, and organization. Once a child has developed the reasoning and background knowledge necessary for this, the word itself becomes the vital link for accessing the information (Jiang, 2004). In most cases, second language learners do not have to repeat this complex restructuring; they merely have to change the labels, not the underlying organization. Cummins’ (2005) model of this, which he called the Interdependence Hypothesis, suggests that we should actively encourage children to compare L1 and L2 and transfer knowledge from one to the other. Practitioners of monolingual instruction, however, undermine this natural

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learning process by not supporting links between L2 and L1. In Cummins' view, translation and contrastive analysis of languages involves intensive language processing, and research shows that these processes are much more helpful for learning than other incidental methods (Laufer & Girsai, 2008).

Empirical Evidence Favoring Bilingual Support Although bilingual support has long been an attractive technique for teachers in diverse contexts, the research done on the topic has been largely limited to descriptive studies about current practices. By far the most common type of research in this area has been observational studies and surveys about the behaviors and opinions of students and teachers. One of the first large-scale studies of this type in the region was conducted by Kharma and Hajjaj (1989) in Kuwait among secondary and primary learners (n=223) and teachers (n=200). They found that 93% of teachers and 95% of students reported using L1 in the classroom, and similar proportions had favorable views about including L1 in the lesson. Teachers indicated that they used it for explaining difficult vocabulary items (71%), grammar points (66%), and addressing difficult questions (66%). Their main conclusion was that teachers and students used their L1 in a systematic way, either in response to problems or to enhance learning. From their perspectives, L1 was an indispensable instrument for leading a class and maintaining relationships with students. More recently, Al-Alawi (2008) conducted a survey of 150 primary secondary teachers in Oman and obtained results that showed a wider range of viewpoints. He found that teachers’ use of L1 in the classroom was fairly common, with 51% reporting that they used it “Sometimes” and 10% claiming they used it “Often” or “Very Often.” Opinions diverged, however, concerning the efficacy of L1 and monolingual policies. While 55% agreed that “Using Arabic is necessary with younger learners of English,” only 40% endorsed the statement, “The teacher should be allowed to use Arabic.” His results help elucidate the dilemma faced by those trying to follow communicative practices; fully 81% of teachers believed that “In a communicative

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approach to English teaching, teachers should not use Arabic.” Apparently, a conflict existed between teachers’ beliefs about how language teaching should occur and their awareness of how it actually occurs in real classrooms. Unfortunately, the researcher did not break down the data for primary and secondary teachers separately, so it is impossible to tell how much these groups diverge regarding their attitude toward L1 in the classroom. Most surveys of students and teachers on bilingual support show a fairly strong preference for the judicious use of L1 in the English classroom, even in contexts where it is officially forbidden (Mouhanna, 2009). Not surprisingly, many studies indicate that the preference for using L1 in the classroom declines as students’ level of English increases. Survey results indicating disapproval of L1 are quite rare, but there are a few such as Prodromou (2002). In the Gulf region, Nazary (2008) obtained conflicting results from universitylevel EFL students in Iran. Only about 20% of his subjects responded positively to the question “Should the teacher use the L1?” However, when asked more probing questions about the teachers’ use of L1 for explanations (e.g., contrasting L1 and L2), more than half agreed that the L1 should be used.

Experimental Research on Bilingual Support Experimental research in more controlled conditions is essential to determine if a causal relationship exists between bilingual support and language learning. Recently, a few small-scale studies have been conducted which compare the results of classes taught using monolingual and bilingual techniques. For example, Miles (2004) taught one group of adult Japanese students of English using monolingual methods and another using bilingual methods. He found that the bilingual group performed better on posttests, but his study was hampered by a small sample size and other confounding variables. A more rigorous experimental study about the effects of bilingual support was conducted by Sallam Sayed (2006) in Egypt with beginning-level, fourthgrade ESL students. He created two experimental groups, one English-only class (N=33) and another

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that incorporated what he referred to as the “planned use” of Arabic (N=33). After three months of instruction, both groups outperformed a control group consisting of students taught using the commonplace translation techniques. On that exam, which had a maximum score of 20, the mean test scores were as follows: English Only (13.08), Planned Arabic (14.68), and Control group (11.08). The overall scores and sub-scores of the Planned Arabic group were consistently higher than those of the other groups, but not all of these differences were found to be significant at the level p<.05. The impact of the Planned Arabic technique was most striking on the Grammar and Writing sections of the test, but it was fairly small on the Reading and Listening sections. This finding indicates that bilingual support is useful in comprehension tasks but it appears especially helpful for primary children who are learning the formal aspects of English. One other noteworthy experimental study on this topic compared the effectiveness of monolingual and bilingual approaches in the teaching of modal auxiliary verbs to students entering a Turkish university. The researcher (Şimşek, 2010) devised a technique for including L1 in his grammar activities that included consciousness-raising tasks and cross-linguistic comparisons. He assessed both groups with a posttest and a delayed posttest and found that the type of instruction had a modest but significant positive effect at the level of p<.05. Interestingly, this effect became much more pronounced 20 days after the instruction, suggesting that bilingual teaching may have led to a deeper level of learning than monolingual instruction.

Practitioners’ Viewpoints Although the role of bilingual support in popular methodologies is marginal at best, some current language teaching textbooks contain lists of suggestions for ways that teachers can use L1 productively in the classroom (e.g., Scrivener, 2005, p. 308-311). Some of the most practical perspectives on the issue of bilingual support come from European contexts, where many students are required to know three languages before they finish high school. For example, Butzkamm (2003) maintains that L1 is critical for clarifying meaning and creating explicit links between the new and the

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unfamiliar. He advocates a “sandwich technique” which involves the teacher using the target language before and after every utterance given in L1. Deller and Rinvolucri (2002) have written a book describing 100 activities for using L1 strategically in the language classroom, and they classify their activities based on the amount of L1 knowledge required by the teacher (from none to native-like). The authors describe the pivotal role of mother tongue (MT) knowledge as follows: “It is from this womb that the new languages are born in the student’s mind, so to exclude MT from the English classroom is like trying to wean a baby on day one of their life” (Deller & Rinvolucri, 2002, p. 10). Most of the 100 activities require some mastery of the L1 on the teachers’ part, but 36 of them required very little. Their book has received many positive reviews in spite of the fact that translation (to and from L1) is embedded in many of the activities.

L1: When and How? The issue of incorporating L1 into language teaching is a very complex one that will not be easily settled. For developing teachers, a helpful approach to understanding the function of bilingual support may be found in the work of Pennington (1999). She employed Goffman’s (1981) model of communication frames in an analysis of the classroom discourse of secondary English classes in Hong Kong. The model helped her classify classroom interaction into four frames or layers as follows: 1. Lesson Frame: explicit focus on content 2. Lesson Support Frame: clarification, explanation, and negotiation 3. Institutional Support Frame: (e.g., school announcements) 4. Commentary Frame: miscellaneous talk unrelated to the lesson Pennington observed that the need to stay in the target language was strongest in Frame 1, but communication in Frames 3 and 4 occurred mainly in the students’ first language, Chinese. Even though Pennington’s data came from fairly teacher-centered classes, her use of this analytical model is a step in the right direction for helping teachers identify the circumstances when bilingual support can be appropriate.

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More thorough advice on this topic comes from Littlewood and Yu (2011), who synthesize guidelines and techniques from several sources which are appropriate for the presentation, practice, and production stages of a conventional lesson. They also summarize findings which indicate that L1 has a useful “reassuring” role for many learners, and they claim it can be a source for security and support in many situations. Furthermore, they acknowledge that in some contexts, L1 is the most expedient way to manage student behavior and to give instructions. Other educators are continuing to explore the multifaceted ways that bilingual support can facilitate instruction in vocabulary (Celik, 2003; Hummel, 2010; Liu, 2009), grammar (Scott & Fuente, 2008), and in skills such as writing (Martin–Beltran, 2010).

Reconsidering Monolingual Policies Some teachers avoid using L1 either because they do not know it or they have never explored useful ways of including it in classroom discourse. Due to monolingual school policies, many teachers no longer have the option of using L1 when it meets the needs of their students. Administrators who impose English-only teaching policies seem mainly interested in maximizing students’ exposure to English, yet the effects of the policy can interfere with both content learning and language learning. The negative consequences of monolingual teaching are particularly noticeable when subjects such as math and science are taught using only English. Teachers in the Gulf region are just beginning to understand how language and content can be developed together, and immersion-style teaching can be a crude way of achieving this, especially at lower levels of proficiency. Of course, some dedicated teachers enjoy the challenge of using pictures or other means to convey difficult ideas, but others lower their expectations to a fraction of what could be expected if L1 were allowed. In the 1980s, teachers in Hong Kong’s government schools resisted administrative efforts to purge L1 from the classroom, and years later their wisdom was finally recognized (Boyle, 1997). The sophisticated bilingualism evident in Hong Kong today is a phenomenon that developed naturally because teachers and students focused on educational outcomes, not rigid linguistic separatism.

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Reversing Monolingualism Bilingual support is a powerful technique that teachers at all levels of instruction need to be able to use at their discretion, and it seems especially effective for young learners and low-level learners. Cummins (2009) is so alarmed by the spread of unsound monolingual teaching methods that he has called on TESOL, Inc. to issue a policy statement against them. From my perspective, more experimental research is needed on the issue, but current theoretical developments and research findings clearly indicate that L1 and bilingual support can play a positive role in many classrooms. Teachers must be encouraged to experiment with a variety of bilingual methods and techniques that suit diverse learners, classroom contexts, and course objectives. More work such as that of Littlewood and Yu (2011) is needed to help teachers find nuanced and strategic roles for bilingual support, and Arabic-speaking teachers should lead the way in this. Bilingual support need not undermine the widely accepted principles of communicative and task-based teaching, but integrating it into instruction will require creativity and skill. As administrators see how L1 can be used effectively in the classroom, their preference for monolingual policies will weaken, and more teachers will regain the right to include L1 as a scaffold for increased comprehension and heightened task fulfillment.

References Al-Alawi, T. M. (2008). Teachers' beliefs and practices about the use of the L1. In S. Borg (Ed.), Investigating English language teaching and learning in Oman. Sultanate of Oman: Ministry of Education. Retrieved from http://www.moe.gov.om/Portal/sitebuilder/sites /EPS/English/MOE/baproject/version2/1.pdf Atkinson, D. (1987). The mother tongue in the classroom: A neglected resource? ELT Journal, 41(4), 241–249. Auerbach, E. R. (1993). Reexamining English only in the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 27(1), 9–32. Boyle, J. (1997). The use of mixed-code in Hong Kong English language teaching. System, 25(1), 83–89. Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., Cocking, R. R.,

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Donovan, M. S., & Pellegrino, J. W. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school. Washington DC: National Research Council. Butzkamm, W. (2003). We only learn language once. The role of the mother tongue in FL classrooms: Death of a dogma. Language Learning Journal, 28(1), 29–39. Cameron, L. (2003). Challenges for ELT from the expansion in teaching children. ELT Journal, 57(2), 105–112. Celik, M. (2003). Teaching vocabulary through code-mixing. ELT Journal, 57(4), 361–369. Cook, V. (2001). Using the first language in the classroom. Canadian Modern Language Review, 57(3), 402–423. Cummins, J. (2005). Teaching for cross-language transfer in dual language education: Possibilities and pitfalls. In TESOL Symposium on Dual Language Education: Teaching and Learning Two Languages in the EFL Setting, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. Cummins, J. (2007). Rethinking monolingual instructional strategies in multilingual classrooms. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 10(2), 221–240. Cummins, J. (2009). Multilingualism in the Englishlanguage classroom: Pedagogical considerations. TESOL Quarterly, 43(2), 5–8. Deller, S., & Rinvolucri, M. (2002). Using the mother tongue: Making the most of the learner's language. English Teaching Professional. Eke, R., & Lee, J. (2008). Using talk effectively in the primary classroom. London: Routledge. Ellis, R. (2005). Principles of instructed language learning. System, 33(2), 209-224. Folse, K. S. (2004). Vocabulary myths: Applying second language research to classroom teaching. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Goffman, E. (1981). Forms of talk. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Hummel, K. (2010). Translation and short-term L2 vocabulary retention: Hindrance or help? Language Teaching Research, 14(1), 61-74. Jiang, N. (2004). Semantic transfer and its implications for vocabulary teaching in a second language. The Modern Language Journal, 88(3), 416–432. Kharma, N. N., & Hajjaj, A. H. (1989). Use of the mother tongue in the ESL classroom. International

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Review of Applied Linguistics, 27(3), 223-235. Laufer, B., & Girsai, N. (2008). Form-focused instruction in second language vocabulary learning: A case for contrastive analysis and translation. Applied Linguistics, 29(4), 694-716. Littlewood, W., & Yu, B. (2011). First language and target language in the foreign language classroom. Language Teaching, 44(1), 66-77. Liu, J. (2009). L1 use in L2 vocabulary learning: Facilitator or barrier. International Education Studies, 1(2), 65-69. Lucas, T., & Katz, A. (1994). Reframing the debate: The roles of native languages in English-only programs for language minority students. TESOL Quarterly, 28(3), 537–561. Martin–Beltran, M. (2010). The two-way language bridge: Co-constructing bilingual language learning opportunities. Modern Language Journal, 94(2), 254-277. Miles, R. (2004). Evaluating the use of L1 in the English language classroom. (Master’s Thesis, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK). Retrieved from http://www.cels.bham.ac.uk/resources/essays/Mi lesdiss.pdf Mouhanna, M. (2009). Re-examining the role of L1 in the EFL classroom. UGRU Journal, 8, 1-19. Nation, P. (2003). The role of the first language in foreign language learning. Asian EFL Journal, 5(2), 1–8. Retrieved from http://www.asian-efljournal.com/june_2003_PN.php ❉

Nazary, M. (2008). The role of L1 in L2 acquisition: Attitudes of Iranian university students. Novitas Royal, 2(2). Pennington, M. C. (1999). Framing bilingual classroom discourse: Lessons from Hong Kong secondary school English classes. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2(1), 53–73. Phillipson, R. (2000). Linguistic imperialism. London: Oxford University Press. Prodromou, L. (2002). From mother tongue to other tongue. Retrieved from http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/article s/mother-tongue-other-tongue Sallam Sayed, A. (2006). The effects of a planned use of Arabic vs. an exclusive use of English on the achievement in English as a foreign language for the fourth graders in primary school. (Unpublished Master's thesis, Minia University, Egypt). Scott, V. M., & Fuente, M. J. (2008). What's the problem? L2 learners' use of the L1 during consciousness-raising, form-focused tasks. The Modern Language Journal, 92(1), 100–113. Scrivener, J. (2005). Learning teaching. New York: Macmillan. Şimşek, 2010, M. R. (2010). The effects of L1 use in the teaching of L2 grammar concepts on the students’ achievement. Journal of Theory and Practice in Education, 6(2), 142–169.

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Mispronunciation and Phonetic Textbooks: Evidence from Teacher Preparation Programs Introduction In this research, the mispronunciation of vowel and diphthong sounds produced by 30 Saudi first year university students in a teaching training program were evaluated against their phonetic textbooks. The students read word lists at three different times of the year (pre-, in- and post-use of a coursebook). 1177 incorrect substitutions of six vowels, /i:/, /I/, /e/, /c:/, /Ʊ/, and /u:/and two diphthongs,/ei/, and /әƱ/were analyzed. Native speakers of English identified the quality of all sounds. The students' coursebooks were also evaluated. Coursebook evaluation was in-depth and each sound was traced in the coursebooks and compared to the learners' mispronunciations. The results proved that there were systematic errors in the students' pronunciation that appeared each time of the year. Measuring the textbooks against the students' errors in vowel and diphthong sounds confirmed that the textbooks did not provide adequate practice material. It was concluded that new textbooks should be designed to target such problematic sounds and provide training specifically tailored to answer for learners’ phonological needs especially those errors that are based on their native language background.

Background Pronunciation has received little attention from some researchers and teachers as they believe that pronunciation is fossilized at a certain stage and it is not worth teaching (Morely, 1994; Pennington, 1998; Wong, 1993). On the other hand, some

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Nora A. Binghadeer College of Languages and Translation Princess Nora University Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

researchers believe that when the non-native speakers’ pronunciation falls below a certain threshold level, they are unable to communicate effectively (Tench, 2003; Wong, 1987). The language classroom should be considered an “integral and important part of the entire research agenda” because it is where learners are actually learning a second language (Gass, 1993, p.109). In this way, we can scrutinize the outcome of certain practice textbooks and match instructional content to students' needs to make the features that cause problems for intelligibility the focus of instruction (Derwing & Munro, 2005, p. 387). Derwing and Munro (2005) believe that “more research on the effects of pronunciation instruction is needed, especially longitudinal studies…” (p. 387). They also recommend greater collaboration between researchers and practitioners to provide classroomrelevant research because there is a need for “empirical, replicable studies to inform pronunciation instruction” (pp. 379-380). In addition, Low (1987) reminds us that even teachers “need to screen materials, in order to predict their suitability for particular classes” (p. 21). One way to amend and improve a curriculum is to improve the textbooks and the materials employed in a program to realize good coursebooks that teach language aspects in a balanced and systematic way (Nemati, 2009; Williams, 1983). In this study, the vowels produced by future teachers were evaluated against their textbooks. The

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evaluation was pre-use, in-use and post-use and the chosen approach was in-depth where each sound under study was traced in the textbooks against the mispronunciation results. The procedures followed were selecting the textbooks, deciding on the most problematic sounds and matching the practice data with the learners' inaccurate sounds.

Previous Studies In a study carried out by Rubin and Smith (1993), college students rated their international teacher assistants as having poor teaching skills because of their accented speech. Molholt (1988) stated that international teacher assistants had poor communication abilities due to their pronunciation. Likewise, the American students in Anderson-Hsieh and Koehler’s study (1988) complained that their foreign instructors’ command of English was not adequate to facilitate comprehensibility due to their poor pronunciation. Moreover, Burgess and Spencer (2000) called for more pronunciation training for teachers after investigating the phonological component of teacher-training programs and finding a strong link between the fields of pronunciation teaching and language-teacher education. In his study of vowel qualities produced by Arab learners of English, El-Hassan (1994) concluded that the pronunciation problems were due to interference from the mother tongue. He also added that the six Arabic vowels were a poor match for the eleven English vowels, not including the diphthongs and triphthongs, making the task of the Arab learner extremely difficult (p. 215). Furthermore, he stated that when faced by unfamiliar words, they distort their pronunciation by imposing their own vowel qualities on the target vowels. He suggested that in order to give meaning to drilling, the rules should be pedagogically oriented and clearly stated. Nora A. Binghadeer is an assistant professor in Applied Linguistics (Acoustic Phonetics and Language Learning) at the English Department, College of Languages and Translation, Princess Nora University, Riyadh. She has been teaching English courses to EFL students for the past 23 years. Her current research interests include using Acoustic Phonetics in the analysis of learners' intonational range, kinetic tones, fossilized vowels, and accent attainment after the critical period of learning.

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Tench (2003) measured coursebooks against the results of his contrastive analysis of university

January 2011

students' English vowels and consonants. He concluded that the books lacked a complete coverage of the actual pronunciation problems of adult Koreans that were related to the differences between the sound inventories of the two languages. He believed that the most difficult English vowels for his subjects were /c:/followed by /ʌ/, then /Ʊ/ and /e/. Cunningsworth (1995) defines coursebook evaluation as matching a coursebook against a specific requirement such as the learner’s objective and background. He also states that coursebook evaluation can be pre-use, in-use and post-use. The first type is the most difficult since there is no actual use of the coursebook. On the other hand, in-use evaluation matches the coursebook against a specific requirement such as the learners’ objectives, their background, or the resources available. Post-use evaluation refers to an assessment of a textbook’s fitness over a period of continual use which helps teachers to decide whether the same textbook is suitable for future use. In addition, Cunningsworth (1995) differentiates between the impressionistic evaluation approach and the in-depth approach. The former is an overview of the material that does not present a detailed match between the content of the textbooks and the requirements of the learning situation, and the latter is an in-depth evaluation of specific items and different aspects of language. Moreover, ReaDickens and Germaine (1992) propose three major evaluation procedures: (a) selecting a unit from one volume of the textbooks, (b) defining the criteria for the evaluation and (c) examining the effectiveness of the textbooks by matching their claims against learners’ needs.

Material and Subjects The data under analysis is based on the author's earlier study (under review). While that study examined the correct production of vowels, the present investigation deals with the incorrect substitutions used by students to replace six vowel sounds in English (/i:/, /I/, /e/, /c:/, /Ʊ/, /u:/) and two diphthongs /ei/and /әƱ/. The symbols used here are devised to match the system of this journal. Each vowel and diphthong is represented by four words making a total of 32 words as in Table 1.

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Table 1 List of Words Used in the Study

Research Hypothesis

reach

rich

food

foot

breathe

breath

books

box

lift

left

full

fault

built

belt

took

talk

did

dead

shoe

show

greet

great

soup

soap

eat

eight

rule

role

late

date

bought

boat

The first hypothesis was that the majority of the students' problematic sounds would systematically appear at each time of the year. The second hypothesis was that when the students’ mispronunciation results were compared to the practice material presented in their textbooks, it would be found that the students' difficult vowel and diphthong sounds were either completely ignored or inadequately addressed in their textbooks.

These are common words that usually appear in phonetic coursebooks. Thirty students were randomly chosen from eighty-one students enrolled in the teacher preparation program. The subjects' average age was 19, and all had gone through six years of ESL in the national curriculum before college. They all recorded the words in their English Department language lab at the beginning, the middle, and end of the year. Repeating the same process at three different times of the year helped to increase the reliability of the study. The books under analysis were Lujan (2004), O'Connor (1980), Roach (1991), and Yates (1995). The books included in the official course plan were O'Connor (1980) and Roach (1991), but the author replaced the latter with Yates (1995) for two reasons: firstly, to make up for the lack of sentences in both books, and secondly, to get the students used to the American accent. One year later, Lujan (2004) was chosen to substitute Yates (1995) on the basis of Lujan having sentences as well as passages to practice sounds. Therefore, the students in this study were exposed mainly to Yates (1995) and O'Connor (1980).

Data Analysis The 1177 mispronounced vowels were classified in this present paper according to the frequency of being substituted by an alternative vowel or diphthong sound as a percentage. They were calculated at the beginning (pre-use), middle (inuse), and end of the year (post-use). Native speakers of English listened and identified the quality of the vowels. The students' mispronunciations were measured against the practice data on vowels in the textbooks under investigation.

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Results The averages of the students' problematic sounds were calculated at three times of the year and compared with the data presented in the textbooks. The results discussed here included percentages of the inaccurate sound substitutes that were above 4% at the pre-use phase and that were above 4% as an average at both the in-use and post-use phases. The first set of sounds represented the front vowels under analysis (see Table 2). The vowel /i:/ was an easy sound for learners as it recorded 78% correct counterparts as an average at both the in-use and post-use stages. Its substitutes were /eI/, /e/, and /I/. On the other hand, /I/ was a difficult sound for the learners with 47% correct instances and with one main replacement, /e/. As for /e/, it had two major substitutes: /i:/ and /I/, and it obtained only 57% acceptable utterances. In Table 2, the top row represents the target sounds and the first column lists all correct (in Bold) and incorrect productions.

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The top row represents the target sounds and the first column lists all correct (in Bold) and incorrect productions.

Table 2 The Front Vowels Produced at the Pre-use, In-use, and Post-use Stages /i:/

/i:/ /I/ /e/ /æ/ /ʌ/ /a:/ / c:/ /ʊ/ /u:/ /ei/ /ai/ /aʊ/ / ci/ /әʊ/ /e:/*

/I/

Table 4 maps out the sounds replacing the diphthongs under study. The first one, /eI/, was relatively easy for the students with 75% accurate occurrences. Its inaccurate instances were /e:/ and /i:/. The other diphthong, /әʊ/, was somewhat difficult reaching 56% correct utterances. It was mostly substituted by /u:/, /c:/, and /ʌ/.

/e/

Preuse

Inuse

Postuse

Preuse

Inuse

Postuse

Preuse

Inuse

77% 7% 5% 8% 3%

78% 3% 8% 1% 9% 3%

78% 7% 5% 9% 2%

3% 43% 44% 1% 1% 2% 1% 1% 3% 2% 1%

1% 45% 48% 1% 3% 3% -

19% 49% 48% 2% 1% 1% -

23% 23% 52% 4% 2% 1%

19% 24% 12% 48% 66% 5% 2% 1% 1%

Postuse

Table 4 The Diphthongs Produced at the Pre-use, In-use, and Post-use Stages

* The Saudi Arabic phoneme as in “be:t” (house)

Table 3 represents the second set of sounds, the back vowels. The vowel /c :/ had one major substitute, /әʊ/, and one minor replacement, /ʊ/. The students were able to produce it precisely in 62% of their vowels as an average at both the in-use and post-use stages. On the other hand, /ʊ/was a difficult sound with its two major replacements, /c :/and /u:/. It also had another alternating sound, /Ʌ/, leaving only 45% to its correct utterances. The last back vowel, /u:/, was replaced by two sounds: /әʊ/ and /c:/. It was the easiest back vowel as its correct occurrences reached 70%. Table 3 The Back Vowels Produced at the Pre-use, In-use, and Post-use Stages / c:/

/i:/ /I/ /e/ /æ / /ʌ/ /a:/ /c:/ /ʊ/ /u:/ /ei/ /ai/ /aʊ/ /c i/ /әʊ/ /e:/*

/ʊ/

Inuse

Postuse

Preuse

Inuse

Postuse

Preuse

1% 4% 4% 1% 46% 10% 3% 1% 5% 1% 23% 2%

1% 3% 1% 4% 4% 57% 67% 6% 7% 2% 1% 3% 3% 25% 19% -

1% 1% 7% 22% 40% 27% 3% -

1% 6% 34% 40% 16% 2% -

2% 6% 19% 50% 23% 1% -

5% 10% 3% 52% 1% 29% 2%

Inuse

Inuse

/i:/ /I/ /e/ /æ / /ʌ/ /a:/ / c:/ /ʊ/ /u:/ /ei/ /ai/ /aʊ/ / c i/ /әʊ/

15% 3% 2% 59% 3% -

11% 3% 76% 1% -

/e:/

18%

10%

Postuse

Preuse

Inuse

3% 2% 89% -

5% 16% 1% 20% 5% 53%

5% 1% 13% 24% 3% 54%

3% 1% 9% 24% 3% 60%

7%

-

-

-

No. 1

Postuse

3% 3% 1% 1% 10% 3% 2% 63% 77% 1% 21% 17% -

January 2011

-

* The Saudi Arabic phoneme as in “be:t” (house)

The top row represents the target sounds and the first column lists all correct (in Bold) and incorrect productions.

* The Saudi Arabic phoneme as in “be:t” (house)

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Tables 2, 3, and 4 register all types of vowels and diphthongs produced for each target sound at the three different times. We observed that no substituting sound appeared only or suddenly at the post-use phase. That indicates that substitutions were specific sounds that systematically appeared at the three different times of year. The tables also reveal that each vowel sound had at least one substitute ranging from 9% to 47% of vowel occurrences. All utterances recorded improvement at the post-use stage. Twenty five percent of the cases had a U-shaped progress as the learners encountered some set back during the intermediate stage. Yet, 11% of the cases stayed the same at that stage (Figure 1).

/u:/

Preuse

/әʊ/

/ei/ Preuse

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Figure 1. The accurate production of sounds at the stages. Evidence relevant to the question of training data in relation to all these sounds is provided in Table 5. When we compare the mispronunciation results to the practice material on the vowels and diphthongs presented in the phonetic textbooks (marked +), we note that most of the books lacked the contrasts the students needed. Table 5 The Vowel and Diphthong Contrasts Presented in the Selected Textbooks Lujan (2004)

O'Connor (1980)

Roach (1991)

+

+

i:/I

+

+

i:/ei +

+

c :/Ʊ

i/e

+

+

+

c:/u:

+

c:/әƱ

+

Ʊ/u:

+

+

+ +

Ʊ/Ʌ

+ +

u:/әƱ әƱ/Ʌ

+

ei/e:

Even the coursebook that had 58% of the necessary contrasts covered, (O'Connor, 1980), had few examples and no practice within context. Yates (1995) had the same percentage, but the constrasts were more appropriate because they included sentences. However, one of the drawbacks of Yates’ book was that its symbols did not conform to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). On the other hand, Roach's (1991) book, which was

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Discussion and Conclusions The results support the first hypothesis that there are systematic errors in Saudi students' pronunciation of vowels and diphthongs. The minimal pairs that they usually confuse are i:/I, i:/e, i:/ei, i/e, c:/Ʊ, c:/u:, c:/әƱ, Ʊ/u:, u:/Ʌ, u:/әƱ, әƱ/Ʌ, and ei/e: Measuring the textbooks against the Saudi

students' errors in vowel and diphthong sounds confirmed the second hypothesis that these sounds did not receive adequate coverage in these books.

Yates (1995)

i:/I

described by El-Hassan (1994) as having valuable tips for language teachers and learners, had only 23% of the required contrasts with very few examples and no word practice within context. While Lujan’s (2004) book had the largest sections of sentence practice, it only gave one sound contrast. In addition, it had another major drawback as it presented mixed up vowels and symbols. It is worth mentioning that all four books incorporated full sections targeting easy sounds that did not pose much difficulty to the students. Moreover, the L1 sounds that were used to substitute some vowels were not listed as minimal pairs in all textbooks although they require special attention.

In conclusion, new textbooks should be designed to target these problematic sounds with specific sets of practice contrasts based on empirical findings. Textbooks should also be geared to provide training specifically tailored to answer for learners’ phonological needs especially those errors that are based on their native language background. They should exclude time-consuming drills that target students' unproblematic sounds. Teacher preparation programs therefore should offer courses in pronunciation pedagogy that must be countryspecific focusing on the “specific” rather than the “general” (Derwing & Munro, 2005; Robertson, 2003). Such courses should also provide practice within context as teaching the pronunciation of isolated sounds or citation forms of words does not ensure effective production and comprehension of natural speech (Gabrielatos, 1994). Finally, it is important to point out that the results of this research are limited to Saudi learners' mispronunciation of vowels and diphthongs. They are also limited to the read production of university students enrolled in teacher preparation programs.

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Issues related to learner’s age, learning strategies, and the nature of their mispronunciations are outside the scope of this investigation.

References Anderson-Hsieh, J., & Koehler, K. (1988). The effect of foreign accent and speaking rate on native speaker comprehension. Language Learning, 38, 561-613. Burgess, J., & Spencer, S. (2000). Phonology and pronunciation in integrated language teaching and teacher education. System, 28, 191-215. Cunningsworth, A. (1995). Choosing your coursebook. London: Macmillan. Derwing, T., & Munro, M. (2005). Second language accent and pronunciation teaching: A researchbased approach. TESOL Quarterly, 39, 379-397. El-Hassan, S. (1994). English accentuation and vowel quality as pronounced by Arabs: A pedagogic statement. Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics, 29, 205-216. Gabrielatos, C. (1994). Materials evaluation and adaptation: A case study of pronunciation teaching.The treatment of pronunciation in The New Cambridge English Course, Vol. 1. Unpublished manuscript, Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge. Retrieved from http://www.gabrielatos.com/Pronunciation.pdf Gass, S. (1993). Second language acquisition: Past, present, and future. Second Language Research 9(2), 99-117. Low, G. (1987). The need for a multi-perspective approach to the evaluation of foreign language teaching materials. Evaluation and Research in Education, 1(1), 19-29. Lujan, B. (2004). The American accent guide. Salt Lake City, UT: Lingual Arts. Molholt, G. (1988). Computer-assisted instruction in pronunciation for Chinese speakers of American English, TESOL Quarterly, 22(1), 91 - 111. Morley, J. (1994). A multidimensional curriculum design for speech-pronunciation instruction. In J. Morley (Ed.), Pronunciation Pedagogy and Theory: New Views, New Directions (pp. 66-91). Alexandria, VA: TESOL. Nemati, A. (2009). Evaluation of an ESL English course book: A step towards systematic vocabulary evaluation. Journal of Social Sciences, 20(2), 91-99.

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O'Connor, J. (1980). Better English pronunciation (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pennington, M. (1998). The teachability of phonology in adulthood: A re-examination. IRAL, 36(4), 321-341. Rea-Dickens, P., & Germaine, K. (1992). Evaluation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Roach, P. (1991). English phonetics and phonology: A practical course. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Robertson, P. (2003). Teaching English pronunciation skills to the Asian learner. A cultural complexity or subsumed piece of cake? The Asian EFL Journal, 5(2). Retrieved from http://www.asian-efljournal.com/june2003_pr.pdf Rubin, D., & Smith, K. (1990). Effects of accent, ethnicity, and lecture topic on undergraduates' perceptions of nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 14, 337-353. Tench, P. (2003). Non-native speakers' misperceptions of English vowels and consonants: Evidence from Korean adults in UK. IRAL, 41, 145-173. Williams, D. (1983). Developing criteria for textbook evaluation. ELT Journal, 37(2), 251255. Wong, R. (1987). Teaching pronunciation: Focus on English rhythm and intonation. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Wong, R. (1993). Pronunciation myths and facts. English Teaching Forum, 31(4), 45-46. Yates, J. (1995). Pronounce it perfectly in English. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series.

Have opinions? Get heard! Join the Dubai Debates at TACON 2011!

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Student-Generated Academic Vocabulary Lesson Introduction When studying in an academic English program, students require a solid academic vocabulary to bolster their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. This is especially true for Bachelor of Education students at the Higher Colleges of Technology, who need to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in all skills. To achieve this goal, the students need activities that engage them in the fours skills whenever possible. This academic vocabulary lesson, based on a student-centered approach, offers a good way for teachers to turn academic vocabulary practice into a full language experience. As a starting point, students must be able to comprehend articles available on the BBC, Time Magazine and National Geographic among many others. I think that this type of activity works best when implemented as a weekly routine that starts on the first day of the week and ends on the last day of the week, continuing for the duration of the semester.

Guy Stieglitz Fujairah Women’s College Higher Colleges of Technology Fujairah, UAE

important to note that what is considered appropriate will depend on the ability and reading level of each student. Testing the articles for academic words is a simple process. The Compleat Lexical Tutor Website designed by Tom Cobb of the Université du Québec à Montréal has an excellent vocabulary profiler. First, type “Web VP (v 1.0)” into Google, or type the following web address into the address box at the top of the browser: http://www.er.uqam.ca/nobel/r21270/cgibin/webfreqs/web_vp.html. To use the Web VP (1.0), erase all the text in the white box in the middle of the print screen shown below. After that, cut and paste the text of the article into the white box and press the SUBMIT button.

Laying the Ground Work Prior to working on their own, the teacher needs to prepare the students by explicitly showing the different types of articles they are expected to read. The students need to be aware of the differences between magazine articles and general websites like Wikipedia, e-how and personal blogs. Classroom teachers can also play a vital role by simply compiling a list of quality online magazines to ensure good choices. Having a reading menu to choose from and giving students clear guidelines steers them towards challenging texts, which generally have 20-30 academic words. It is also

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A screenshot of the Web VP website.

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Afterwards, the screen will look like this:

Sharing

This New York Times article about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has 30 academic words to choose from. The students learn 6-8 words and share with a partner.

This vocabulary profiler will identify the words, from the top 2000, academic, technical and off-list words. In addition to having ample academic vocabulary for the students to learn, it is very important to exemplify what makes an article academically relevant. In the beginning, articles should be negotiated with the teacher beforehand to ensure that they are subjects that create opportunities for learning and discussion.

Reading Once prepared, the students choose articles, read them and identify the academic vocabulary with the online vocabulary profiler. After identifying the words, the students choose approximately 6-8 academic words that they do not know. Then, they learn them well enough to explain them to a classmate. Learning the words can be done during the week for homework, or, if the teacher prefers, the students can be given time in class to prepare. This way the students have a bit more time to look up the words in the dictionary, seek clarifying images on the internet and, if necessary, ask the instructor for assistance.

On “sharing day,” students pair up and discuss the articles. They should summarize the articles, express their opinions, discuss the relevant or controversial issues and share the vocabulary. To explain the words, the students should first show the target words in the context of the article and discuss the meaning. The student learning the new words should seek clarification as necessary and show understanding by creating original example sentences, which can be done orally or in writing. The total process of sharing the article and the vocabulary should take approximately 20-30 minutes per pair. While pairs discuss, the teacher should move around the room and observe. If a pair needs assistance starting or sustaining a conversation, the teacher can join them briefly to get them on track. When joining the conversation, it is best to act more as a participant in the conversation rather than as the instructor. After the discussions, students share the academic vocabulary they have learned from reading their articles with the whole class.

Displaying At this point, the teacher distributes strips of paper big enough so that all students in class can see them from their desk. An easel and attached flipchart located in front of the room works well as it showcases the words and makes them highly visible for the students and teacher. Each student chooses one interesting academic word learned from a partner and places the card on the easel. Once displayed, the stage is set for students to notice if the words, synonyms, antonyms or other derivational forms are seen in reading and listening activities the following week. The teacher will also have the opportunity to use the words impromptu during routine discussions and writings. These opportunities are an excellent way to reinforce the vocabulary. These words can also be used for warm up activities. For instance, it can be helpful to begin the class with a quick discussion of the words by asking students to define them or use them in sentences. In addition, to incorporate writing into the process, the

Guy Stieglitz teaches in the BEd program at Fujairah Women’s College, holding an MA in TESOL and a BA in English Education. He has taught in South Korea, the Philippines, Mexico and the US. Research interests include technology, reading and writing.

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students can write an email or letter that uses as many of the words as possible.

Conclusion My freshman BEd students at Fujairah Women’s College responded very well to this activity. After a few weeks of adjusting to the process and learning to enjoy the conversations with their partner, they looked forward to Thursdays when we shared the articles. The following week before each class, we reviewed the words and the students were keen to use vocabulary in subsequent writing and speaking activities. As a final thought, I think it is important to adapt this process to the local context and student needs. At the heart of this activity is the idea that the students read, talk, listen, write and practice the new words. ❉

The students’ words displayed in the front of the classroom for the week.

Recommended Weekly Schedule: Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

o

Choose articles in class and identify AW's with vocabulary profiler.

o

Read article and prepare vocabulary for homework

o

Read article and prepare vocabulary for homework

o

Read article and prepare vocabulary for homework

o

Share articles and vocabulary in class.

Need Funding? Apply now for a TESOL Arabia PD Course, Travel or Research Grant!

CONTACT LI SIG AT: Independent Learning Forum: http://groups.google.com/group/ilearn2 Distance Learning Support: http://groups.google.com/group/distancelearningissues Distance Learning Wiki: http://tailearn.pbworks.com/ Study Skills Wiki: http://ilearnstudyskills.pbworks.com/ E-newsletter: http://ilearn.20m.com/newsletter/index.htm Moodle: http: //learnerindependence.info Facebook Group: Learner Autonomy and iLearn

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Lesson Plan

Laura Lau The Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Richard Lau The Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi, UAE

David Thomson The Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi, UAE

Reading Textbooks: Changing Students’ Attitudes from Aversion to Conversion Introduction In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where oral learning traditions are more culturally embedded than reading ones, technical and engineering students must, nevertheless, learn to acquire knowledge through reading textbooks. To help them, the English Faculty in the Foundation Program at the Petroleum Institute (PI) in Abu Dhabi, teaches students the fundamentals of how to effectively read academic textbooks. Understanding that they must first get the students to understand the importance of reading these books, the faculty works on changing the attitudes of these students by showing them ways to read their textbooks that make them more comprehensible. Of course, encouraging students to read and interact with textbooks requires that they be taught how to do this, be given ample practice time, and then encouraged to continue using these skills independently as life-long learners. Students in the PI’s Foundation Program are expected to supplement their knowledge of what they learn in lectures and labs with the information they read in textbooks that are distributed to them to help

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support these lessons. In this article, the authors describe the process and materials used to introduce the task, the assignments given, and the frequent assessments scheduled throughout the two or three semesters that the students study in the program.

Lesson 1: Noticing In the first or second week of a semester, the teacher peruses an assigned textbook with the students asking them what literary devices they think the authors use to help students more easily read complicated material. Using an overhead projector, s/he encourages the students to study the text and describe what they notice. A student might blurt out, “Oh, some words are in bold.” After a brief discussion, the students conclude that the bolded words are the important words – that they are the technical vocabulary. Eager to search the text looking for more examples, the students quickly realize that textbook writers use simple techniques like bolding words to impart information. They now have their first guideline in reading textbooks. ◆

Science textbooks have technical words in bold.

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In physics, a machine is a device that transmits or changes the application of a force in order to do work. Next, students are asked to look for a definition in their textbook from the chapter they are reading and then write it on a piece of paper. Two or three examples are then projected on the overhead. Shown the first two columns of the chart below, students are then asked to complete the pattern. After eliciting their responses, the teacher concludes by offering the following pattern – if the students haven’t already figured it out. ◆

Another technique in effectively reading textbooks is to be aware of the author’s use of graphics. In this step, students are asked to find one or two illustrations in the textbook and explain how the graphics advance their comprehension of the discourse (Figure 1). They are also asked to find a spot of discourse that needs a picture. After drawing a picture that would help them and future students understand the material in more depth, they add this guideline to their list.

A good definition follows this pattern (Table 1.)

Table 1 An The appropriate term article [a, an, the]

Mechanical advantage

Is/ An The An adjective clause are appropriate general which describes how article class the term is different [a, an, the] from the other members of the class. is

the

Figure 1. Images, charts, formulas and symbols visually illustrate important concepts and information (Berndt, 1991).

factor by which a machine increases force.

Lesson 2: Annotation

After that, using the same or a different text, students are asked to find expressions like such as, or, ( ), or i.e. and explain how the textbook writer uses these words. By noticing or being shown that these words or symbols are used to denote examples or definitions, students gain another guideline in effectively reading textbooks. ◆

Signals are used to alert the reader to examples or definitions in the text. such as Science magazines such as New Scientist and Scientific American cater to the needs of students. or The car’s velocity at any particular time, or instant, is called instantaneous velocity. ( ) A plane which is horizontal (lying flat on the ground) or which is vertical (forming a 90° angle with a horizontal plane) doesn’t help to overcome the force of gravity. i.e. Local engineers seek employment opportunities in national oil companies, i.e. the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Volume 18

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The teacher introduces annotation. S/he defines what the word means and then gives handouts showing an example (Figure 2). In this exercise, students were given 20 minutes to annotate a section and then individual students were asked to project their own examples. Next students were divided into small groups of four or five and each group was asked to annotate a different paragraph on two pages of the text. Copies of their annotations were made and distributed. Explaining why they marked what they did and describing what they were thinking when they made those marks, the groups were able to share and expand on ways to better interact with the text.

Figure 2. Sample of student’s annotated text in Chemistry. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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As a result of this activity, the following chart using student suggestions was drawn up (Table 2). Table 2 #

Student Annotations

Text from Chang (2010)

1

writing key words showing paragraph topic/ main idea in the margin

2

noting key details * noting examples of and support given for key details

3

noting new ideas and information

4

writing brief comments on the information

5

asking questions about the information

6

writing notes in outlined form in the margins

7

making drawings in the margin

8

translating words to Arabic

9

writing English synonyms

10

drawing lines showing connection from a graphic (chart, table, picture, etc.) to where it’s referenced in the text

11

paraphrasing

12

‘noticing’ of grammar / lexis (i.e. passives, verb tenses, nouns, collocations, signal words, etc.)

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The teacher next assigned annotation tasks to be done in a textbook of the student’s choice. Guided practice was done at that time and a scoring guide was distributed (Table 3). Table 3 Annotation Scoring Guide 1-5.9 = F

6-6.9 = D

Minimal annotation done only to a small portion of the text

Very limited variety of annotation; student misidentifies many main ideas /key points

0=F No annotation done

Attempts have been made to annotate; some variety has been shown, though not consistently applied throughout the text; some mistakes in identifying main ideas and key points

It being crucial to verify that students were practicing these skills, the teacher periodically spotchecked actual annotations in a textbook and arranged for fellow students to check those of a partner using the scoring guide. Because students tend to complete assigned tasks that are assessed, daily scores from both teacher and partner were given for these periodic checks. Students were also encouraged to experiment with using personal symbols and markings.

In the Petroleum Institute’s Foundation Program, English faculty emphasize reading textbooks. Although essential, textbooks tend to have such dense discourse that it must be broken down in ways that students studying in a second language can more easily comprehend. The process and materials that are used to introduce reading textbooks, the assignments that are given to facilitate reading textbooks, and the frequent assessments that are scheduled throughout each semester to evaluate annotating textbooks at the Petroleum Institute have been described. In the UAE, where acquiring knowledge from textbooks is still only a couple of generations old, students need to be trained in how to effectively read textbooks. This is one method.

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Considerable annotation has been attempted; most main ideas and some key details are correctly identified.

Readings show they have been thoroughly interacted with; student has used a variety of ways to annotate; main ideas and key details are all correctly identified

Berndt, H. (1991). Acidity: A review of fundamentals. The Book and Paper Group Annual: The American Institute of Conservation, 10. Retrieved from http://cool.conservationus.org/coolaic/sg/bpg/annual/v10/bp10-01.html Chang, R. (2010). Chemistry (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Conclusion

9-10 = A

References

In lessons 3 and 4, spread out over several weeks, the students were assessed. For each of these two assessments, the teacher selected a 3 or 4 page text to be annotated within the classroom in a test environment. These annotating exams accounted for 5% of the students’ total grades.

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8-8.9 = B

7-7.9 = C

Laura Lau is an English lecturer at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, UAE. A mediaologist, she specializes in helping students learn the oral skills. Currently, she teaches presentation skills to her students and encourages the use of video and Windows Movie Maker to keep e-portfolios of their progress. email: llau@pi.ac.ae

v v v v Richard Lau is a lecturer in the Petroleum Engineering Department at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. With nine years as an Engineer with Schlumberger Well Logging Services and an MS in Physics, he teaches freshmen some of the skills needed to work as an engineer in the oil industry. e-mail: rlau@pi.ac.ae

v v v v David Thomson is an English Lecturer at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi. He has taught English internationally for the past twenty years. His main area of interest is English for Specific Purposes, particularly English for science and engineering. email: dthomson@pi.ac.ae

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Cynical, Cowardly, Ignorant, Libelous and Unprofessional In March 2010, Dave’s ESL Café ran a thread regarding the Preparatory Year Program at the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University in Saudi Arabia. Posting in that thread, I referred to Ahmed Abdel Raouf ’s article in Perspectives (2010) saying that it “was absolutely first class work. Well written, comprehensive coverage of a difficult topic, that raised important questions about how languages can be taught, are being taught, and the purpose behind teaching them. It would be a privilege to work with a colleague like that.”

Poster A: It would be even more of a privilige (sic) to work with their ghost writer! Call me cynical (please do!) Poster B: Ha, ha, I second that cynicism…but then, ghost writers generally expect to get paid something worthwhile.

So why do teachers post attacks like these on what purports to be a professional website? Partly, I would suggest, it is because the website allows them the freedom to be vicious. Hidden behind “avatars,” they can behave in socially unacceptable ways without fear of repercussions. They disable “the instincts for self-censorship that enable most people to navigate the world without

January 2011

In this case, moreover, cowardice is compounded by ignorance. The suggestion that Raouf ’s (2010) paper was ghost-written must be based on one of two assumptions. Either, no one called Ahmed Abdel Raouf could write such a paper, or that no teacher at the Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University could have done so.

The expansion of Saudi higher education, however, has run parallel with a concern for quality assurance, that was made manifest by the Saudi government’s establishment of a National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA) in 2004 (Darandar, Al Qahtani, Allen, Al Yafi, Al Sudairi & Catapang, 2009). Since then, the NCAAA has developed a quality assurance and assessment system which has, in turn, resulted in Saudi universities forming their own quality centers and committees.

Cowardice

No. 1

Ignorance

This highlights an interesting, and largely unreported, phenomenon. From 1958 to 2000, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia established eight universities. Since 2000, a further 16 have been created, and the process continues.

I doubt whether either poster has ever published outside Dave’s, but yes, Poster A, I happily call you cynical. I also call you cowardly, ignorant, libelous and unprofessional. And the same goes for Poster B.

getting into constant fistfights” (Obama, 2006, p. 210), because there is no possibility of retaliation. And that is cowardly.

So let us take this in reverse order. The Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University is one of the older universities in Saudi Arabia. It was established in the twentieth century, 1974 to be exact.

I had forgotten that Dave’s ESL Café is deeply hostile territory.

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Neil McBeath Sultan Qaboos University Sultanate of Oman

The posters on Dave’s ESL Café, therefore, reveal their ignorance of Saudi education by implying that

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Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University must be inferior to Western institutions of higher learning. The university conforms to the requirements of the NCAAA, and competes with other Saudi universities that are subject to identical quality assurance criteria.

Libel Libel is a very serious matter. In Britain, in particular, the laws against libel are especially strong and are frequently invoked to frustrate investigative journalism. Ghost-writing, however, is acceptable. Only the truly naïve believe that reality TV “stars,” supermodels or professional footballers really author their “memoirs.” Academic articles belong to a different genre. Academic articles are the foundations on which careers are built, or lost. In academia, obtaining a position through published research which is not original is fraud. The posters, therefore, directly libel Raouf and indirectly libel the co-editors of TESOL Arabia Perspectives, and their peer-reviewers, in suggesting that they are unable to detect whether articles are genuine or not. The posters work from an orientalist paradigm coupled with Islamaphobic prejudices that operate at the level that Chomsky describes as “unseriousness” (Ingram, 1992, p.132). Had the article been written by someone called Tom Smith or Ann Jones, they would never have been so quick to jeer. Dave’s EFL Café, of course, has a bizarre tolerance of openly expressed racism (McBeath, 2009). Officially, the site discourages denigration, but when it occurs, little is done. Hence posters are permitted comments that would be regarded as highly unprofessional, if they occurred in a staffroom, and not on an online forum.

Unprofessionalism It is axiomatic that working abroad involves respecting the host culture. This may be difficult, but expatriate teachers should never forget that they chose to move.

If teachers pre-judge people or institutions on the basis of names and preconceived prejudices, then it is almost impossible for them to engage in anything more than classroom survival. True professionalism demands a certain empathy. Teachers must be able to monitor both their own classroom behavior and the impact that it has on their classes. They must, to some extent, put themselves in the learners’ shoes and be aware of their expectations. TESOL Arabia members recognize that our learners have different learning styles, so the real question is: are you a teacher who has learnt from studentteacher interaction? Have you worked with your colleagues to construct a collegial education community? Or are you like the posters, sniggering on the sidelines – beyond the pale and beyond cultural redemption?

References Darandari, E., Al Qahtani, S., Allen, I., Al Yafi, W., Al Sudairi, A., & Catapang, J. (2009). A quality assurance system for post-secondary education in Saudi Arabia: A comprehensive, developmental and unified approach. Quality in Higher Education, 15(1), 39-50. Dave’s ESL Café. (2010). Re: Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islaamic University PYP [Online Forum Comment] Retrieved from http:forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=7 4866 Ingram, J. (1992). Talk, talk, talk: An investigation into the mystery of speech. Toronto: Penguin. McBeath, N. (2009). The TEFL teacher, the cyber bully, the closet racist. Humanizing Language Teaching, 11(6). Retrieved from http://www.hltmag.co.uk/dec09/sart05.htm Obama, B. (2006). The audacity of hope. Edinburgh: Canongate Books. Raouf, A. (2010). Grammar-translation method: Still alive in Arab TEFL classrooms. TESOL Arabia Perspectives, 17(1), 13-18. ❉

Neil McBeath has taught in the Arab Gulf for 30 years, first serving as a uniformed Education Officer in the Royal Air Force of Oman (1981-2005), then with BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia, and from 2007 at Sultan Qaboos University. In 2006 he received the TESOL ARABIA Professional Services Award.

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ICALL and WERTi T. Leo Schmitt Pennsylvania State University Pennsylvania, USA With the development of better artificial intelligence, computerized language teaching has become more “intelligent.” A new range of products fittingly titled Intelligent Computer Assisted Language Learning (ICALL) has started to become available. This article will describe one practical application, Working with Real English Texts (WERTi), that is available. WERTi uses natural language processing (NLP) technology so that it can identify “targeted lexical and phrasal material through a combination of tokenization, lemmatization, morphological analysis, part-ofspeech tagging, and shallow parsing” (WERTi, 2011). It delivers this to learners utilizing add-ons for the open-source browser Firefox. Programmers around the world can think of add-ons that can be plugged into the browser for all sorts of different uses. Toolbars can be added to give different themes, allow users to bookmark pages (e.g. Diigo, a Firefox add-on for keeping bookmarks on the “cloud,” 2011), or enhance ease of use (e.g. Readability, a Firefox add-on for improving the readability of web pages, 2011). The advantage of these add-ons is that they can be applied to most websites, allowing for users to individualize their online experience.

learners to identify the items by clicking on them, and finally asks them to select the correct one in appropriate contexts. There is minimal support on the website for prepositions and determiners. Support for other areas will hopefully be forthcoming. While the application offers some useful functionality, it can run into difficulties. There are plans to enhance the servers, but there are times when it may take two or three attempts to run the application before the promised results appear. The interface is simple and straightforward, appearing on the Firefox toolbar. The learner selects the target and exercise and then clicks run. The color coding is a very nice touch. Learners who put in the wrong answer see the answer turn red, while those that are correct appear in green. There is, as of yet, no way to record student progress or to analyze answers submitted. Figure 1. Highlighting determiners. Note the determiners appear in blue to focus student attention.

WERTi, developed by a team of language researchers at Ohio State University, aims to move from presenting and highlighting the targeted information to having learners identify the forms and then produce them. It chooses five aspects of English grammar that often challenge learners: determiners, wh- words, phrasal verbs, gerunds and infinitives, and prepositions. There are three settings. The first, color, highlights the target on any plain text page such as a news article. The next stage asks

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The learner selects a web-based text page and then looks at the target structure. The first stage is to highlight the target. This raises the learner’s awareness of how the target is used and focuses attention on the form. The next stage asks students to then identify the target. Here students must analyze the grammar to find appropriate examples of the target. Thus for “prepositions,” learners must identify which words are operating as prepositions in the text. Finally, the students need to know the appropriate type of target to put into a given context. Thus for “determiners,” learners are challenged to decide whether “the” or “a” is more appropriate. This entire exercise is very individually based, as instructors have little role to play. They cannot receive scores or otherwise assist or evaluate the learner other than by standing over their shoulder as they use the program. At present, WERTi focuses on the five targets mentioned above. Hopefully more targets will be added in the near future.

own websites. They can select sites that they have read and understood and then analyze them grammatically according to the targets they choose. They can also choose sites that provide simpler, graded language or sites that they are internally motivated to read. So while the targets are quite restricted, the actual material analyzed is not. This is one of the benefits of ICALL. It allows for learners to choose level, age, gender, culture, and interest appropriate material.

As these targets can prove vexing to students, every opportunity to improve student understanding should be welcomed. WERTi currently is very much an ancillary product that seems best suited to students’ individual practice. While it can be a great extra-curricular practice for a lesson on “whquestion words,” for example, it is less clear how easily it could be integrated into a class other than as a whole class exercise projected onto a screen. A strong advantage of WERTi is of course that it can be applied to any online text. Therefore, a reading text can be further analyzed according to any of the five target structures. This allows for deeper analysis of texts with which the learners are already familiar. As this is a learner-practice opportunity, there is considerable leeway in terms of level. Some phrasal verbs, for example, are quite rare, whereas others are far more common. Learners have the opportunity to be exposed to all of them. Whether this is a good thing or not, depends on your approach to second language acquisition. Of Leo Schmitt is a doctoral student at course, a major Pennsylvania State University. He is also the Assistant Director of the Intensive English advantage of Communication Program there. He previously WERTi is that worked at the American University of Sharjah. learners can Contact information: baltit1@gmail.com choose their

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At the practice level, some instructors may feel that there is too much room for guesswork. Thus a learner looking at gerunds and infinitives must fill in the verb form of, for example punish, after avoid. The student should know that to punish and punishing are the only options. Thus the answer can quickly be deduced with no knowledge of the rule. It is either one or the other. There is little that the instructor can do to mitigate this or any other aspect of the program to customize it for his students. This addon is perhaps based on the theory that students learn when exposed to specific areas of language, the so-called “focus on form.” It certainly goes a long way toward doing this by highlighting the target area in any text with which the students may interact. It is hoped that this focus on form will challenge students to move from their latent knowledge of a grammatical structure, rule, or pattern to a greater level of familiarity. Figure 2. Practicing gerunds. The student must enter the correct form of the verb in the boxes.

Overall, WERTi has many possibilities in the future if it can continue to include more targeted structures and more possibilities. Its strength at present lies in its applicability to any text and thus

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its ability to improve student motivation or classroom relevance. While there are still many bells and whistles that could conceivably be added to this program, the developers note that it is a work in progress and have done a fine job with what it sets out to do. This product has considerable potential and hopefully will continue to grow.

http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/ WERTi. (2011). About WERTi. Retrieved from http://sifnos.sfs.unituebingen.de/WERTi/index.jsp?content=about Developer/distributor: Detmar Meurers Ohio State University 222 Oxley Hall, 1712 Neil Avenue Columbus, OH, 43210-1298 Phone: 614-292-4052 Fax: 614-292-8833 Email: dm@sfs.uni-tuebingen.de Website: http://prospero.ling.ohiostate.edu/WERTi/index.py/main

References Diigo. (2011). Collect and Highlight, Then Remember. Retrieved from http://www.diigo.com/index Readability. (2011). Readability-an arc90 lab experiment. Retrieved from

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Online Assessment Made Easy! Even though e-learning is rapidly gaining ground in the area of higher education, and beginning to enter the K-12 arena, there is still much discussion, dare we say argument, concerning online assessment. Many people are under the impression that online assessments are not valid, or that some types of courses cannot be assessed online. However, with elearning here to stay, software companies have been working at full speed to create a variety of applications to support all aspects of education, including online assessment. Along with the software, hardware and technical support is now readily available and easy to obtain. Even though there are some challenges to conducting assessments online, there are many benefits that should be taken into consideration before making the decision to conduct online assessments. Volume 18

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John Price Aviation Faculty Abu Dhabi Men’s College Abu Dhabi, UAE

Benefits There are many benefits in using online assessments. The good news is that many of these benefits are geared towards the teacher. For example, most online assessment software has instant grading for multiple choice, multiple response, true/false, matching, calculated, and short answer questions. This means that the grading time is greatly reduced. In addition, if a mistake is found on the assessment, it can be corrected, in most cases, while the assessment is taking place. Most of the online assessment software companies have developed user friendly, web-based assessment development interfaces which make creating assessments very easy. This software will usually also allow mix and match of assessment components for quick reutilization and modification of previous assessments. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Most online assessment software accepts different types of multimedia, such as JPG, GIF, Flash, video, PDF, and sound files. As a result, even listening exercises can be done online. Online assessments can take the form of simulations, which can mimic complex or expensive equipment and processes. Some of the advanced assessment software will even allow “adaptive testing,” in which the software gauges the student’s performance during the assessment and adapts to deliver harder or easier questions. Once the assessment is finished, statistical reports can be generated for performance tracking and assessment validation. In some cases, the teacher can even release assessment statistics so students can see for themselves how they are performing, compared to their peers. Having digital data also means that each student’s entire assessment can be easily stored along with all the statistical data, to be used as needed, such as for quality assurance. Accrediting bodies will appreciate the full transparency of the assessment process. Most online assessment software has built-in security measures to prevent or reduce the potential for cheating. For example, access to the assessment can be limited by selecting which students can take the assessment, setting up log-in times, assigning passwords, and even using IP masking to limit which computers can be used to take the exams. Some online software providers even have their own browsers which will prevent students from minimizing the window or using any other software during the assessment. Test banks can be used to ensure that students get the same question stems, but with different correct answers. These test banks will randomize the questions and even the distracters, which makes it very difficult for students to cheat from the others students around them. Since joining the HCT in 2001, John has been heavily involved in elearning. He has developed and delivered one fully online course, co-developed the Aviation Department on-line assessment procedures, and created various multimedia training aids. He currently serves as one of the Aviation Department Blackboard Vista Administrators and has delivered Professional Development training to over 150 faculty members in Macromedia Fireworks, Flash and Dreamweaver as well as WebCT, Blackboard, Respondus, Course Genie, and Voicethread.

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Misconceptions Many might think, “With all these benefits, why isn’t everyone doing it?” One reason is that there are a great many misconceptions out there at the present about online assessment, making many people reluctant to use it. Some of these misconceptions include: 1. It is too costly - This may have been true a few years ago, but now there are many offthe-shelf applications that are cost effective as well as many newly developing freeware/open source applications. Most educational institutes and businesses already have the infrastructure and internet/intranet services needed to carry out online testing. Collaboration/partnerships between institutions can also reduce costs. More elaborate assessment applications will, of course, cost more. 2. Certain types of courses cannot be assessed via computer - Software companies are now realizing the potential of e-learning and are developing all manner of assessment tools. Simulations, audio/video display and capture, and tablet PCs offer all sorts of potential for online assessment. 3. Online assessment allows cheating and/or has security issues - Randomized questions drawn from test banks, along with randomized distracters, reduce cheating. Furthermore, encryption, passwords, IP masking and access time limits help keep assessments secure. 4. Online assessment is only for Higher Education - The value of online assessment has been realized across all levels of education and is being applied to K-12 as well as by companies as a great way to evaluate employee skill levels.

Software Applications There are many different types of software available on the market for creating and delivering online assessments. Some software just lets you create assessments to be printed or delivered on your own computer networks, while others provide full

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creation, delivery and hosting services. For organizations with smaller budgets, there are even a few “freeware” applications available. For large organizations with larger budgets, there is always the option of hiring a software design firm to design custom assessment tools.

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system is up again. 2. Training required for participants - All participants will have to be trained to use the software/hardware. Most of the software designers provide training at a minimal cost and/or provide free training materials for their products. 3. Computer anxiety - This new form of testing may make some people uncomfortable in the beginning, which could have an impact on the success of the assessment. This anxiety could be eased with proper training in the testing software. Additionally, some people may have physical impairments that preclude them from taking computerized assessments. However, there are many different software companies that make special interfacing for people with disabilities.

Screenshot of a test item in an online listening assessment carried out at Abu Dhabi Men’s College.

With a little planning and proper training, all these challenges can be properly managed and should have little negative effect on the overall assessment process.

Hardware Requirements/Support With technology becoming cheaper and more prevalent in education, most educational institutes and businesses already have internet and/or intranet services that can be used to support online testing. All that is really required is to have enough computers to service the number of students taking the assessment at the same time, internet or intranet connection, and a server and network for intranet applications. If your organization cannot support online assessments “in house,” there are many software companies that rent server space for very reasonable prices.

The Aviation Department at Abu Dhabi Men’s College has been conducting proctored, online assessments for the past seven years. During that time, the testing program has been refined to a point that has proven successful for the students as well as the faculty. The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the accrediting body for aviation maintenance training in the UAE, has approved this program. The GCAA has even made the HCT an approved testing center for Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers in the UAE. ❉

Some may argue that computers cost more than paper, but most organizations already have suitable computers, and over the course of several years, computers may actually be cheaper than printing costs.

As with all technology, there will be a learning curve and some challenges that will have to be faced. 1. Hardware failures - From time to time every network will have problems. However, assessments can be postponed until the

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Have you come across a new software application or website that thoroughly engaged your students?

Challenges

Volume 18

Consider submitting an Emerging Technology article to Perspectives!

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A Sampling of Macmillan Graded Readers

The Legends of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle

Daisy Miller

The Grapes of Wrath

Henry James (Retold by Rachel Bladon) Macmillan Readers, 2006 ISBN: 978-1-4050-8407-9 80 pp

Washington Irving (Retold by Anne Collins) Macmillan Readers, 2005 ISBN: 978-1-4050-7654-8 72 pp

John Steinbeck (Retold by Margaret Tarner) Macmillan Readers, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-2300-3105-0 144 pp

The majority of graded readers, including the samples reviewed here, are adaptations of Classics. Publishers often choose this route due to copyright issues and the cost of original material. This presents a number of challenges. The original version of The Grapes of Wrath is 619 pages, which Margaret Tarner reduces to 115 small pages in the Macmillan version. The adapter must carefully select which material to remove, while maintaining a coherent narrative. It is often difficult for native speakers to understand the context of a book written over a century ago, so it is unsurprising that readers from another culture would face more difficulty picking up nuance and implication from the same. The problem is exacerbated when the book has been reduced and simplified. It is easy to see how this can happen, as authors and publishers, so familiar with the original text, cannot truly appreciate how (in)comprehensible the adapted text becomes. Before this review, I had read The Grapes of Wrath (Upper-Intermediate) and Hamlet (Intermediate) in the original and was familiar with The Legends of Sleepy Hollow and Rip

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Hamlet

William Shakespeare (Retold by Margaret Tarner) Macmillan Readers, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-2307-1663-6 104 pp

Van Winkle (Elementary). Daisy Miller (PreIntermediate) was new to me however. The events of the story were easy enough to follow, but their significance was unclear. The eponymous character, an American traveling in Europe, acted “inappropriately,” but it is difficult to understand her motivations, and those of the people around her, as well as what exactly was wrong about her behavior. Was it cultural, or simply a matter of personality? Reading this story was frustrating. I passed it on to a former student, who agreed. She suspected that the character and the story had a complexity that was not possible to relate in just 69 pages. Rip Van Winkle was similar. Rip witnesses old men bowling before his famous long sleep. This feels like it must be a reference to something, but the humor does not translate. Another problem with adapting classic texts is the sacrifice of the original language. In the case of Hamlet, Shakespeare’s original words contribute a lot to the beauty of the work, but the language is, for the most part, not the target language of an TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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exercises in which the student can review the text, practice the vocabulary or focus on a grammar point. Macmillan offers a CD for each of these readers, so that learners can listen and follow along, improving their decoding skills and solidifying the relationship between the written and spoken word. The intrepid student or teacher can then easily access a wealth of additional resources on the website (www.macmillanenglish.com/readers), including links to more information about the authors of the original texts, as well as extra worksheets and answer keys to the “Points for Understanding” sections.

intermediate English learner. Here, Macmillan succeeds beautifully, giving users tiny tastes of Shakespeare’s language, without diminishing comprehensibility. The book maintains the format of a play, and, in each act, there is a gray box including a few lines of the original, with a glossary of terms and usages unfamiliar to our millennium. Each of the samples in this review had an attractive artistic photo or painting on the cover. The readers are the perfect size and shape for overloaded university students to carry around and read in their spare time. Should a student prefer a Kindle or other electronic reader, the books are all available for download as eBooks at the same price as the physical books (€5.20 or around 26AED).

Overall, the Macmillan Readers are attractive, interesting, and appropriate for a variety of levels and teaching contexts in the Middle East. This promising series has six levels, ranging from Starter to UpperIntermediate, and references the Common European Framework to help users find the right level. Only levels 3-6 are included in this review.

The Macmillan Readers include abundant additional resources. Each begins with a note about the original author, the story, and helpful information about the characters. Daisy Miller, for example, includes labeled illustrations of the principle characters, while The Grapes of Wrath features a Joad family tree. The illustrations throughout are well done and appealing, particularly those of Hamlet. At the end of each book are “Points for Understanding,” which guide the reader through the story, but do not interfere with the reading of the text. There follows a short glossary of slang or terms specific to the context of each story (not included in The Legends of Sleepy Hollow). Finally, there are ❉

Reviewed by Rachel Magdalen Lange United Arab Emirates University, UGRU Al Ain, UAE

Is there a new book or a piece of software you really enjoy using with students or one that has helped you in your teaching? Consider writing a review for Perspectives. Contact our Reviews Editor, Cindy Gunn, for more information.

cgunn@aus.edu Volume 18

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January 2011

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Access EAP: Foundations Sue Argent & Olwyn Alexander Garnet Education, 2010 ISBN: 978-1- 85964-524-6 230 pp (+ 2 CDs)

Access EAP: Foundations Course Book is geared for students who aim to enter an English-medium higher education program. The text is divided into ten units, each of which focuses on academic achievement at the university: Preparing for University Studies, Freshers’ Week, First Steps and New Routines, Finding Information, New Ideas and New Concepts, Borrowing and Using Ideas, Something to Say, Linking Ideas, Supporting Ideas, and Exams. Each unit is divided into five lessons, becoming progressively more difficult. The textbook and associated materials have been developed based on three individuals, Guy, Chen, and Maysoun, who lead learners through their own experiences at this fictional UK University. Students are guided through various listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities all the while engaging with and learning from these three characters. Two CDs integrate listening opportunities for the learner. Listening activities are incorporated into all units of the textbook. While these listening activities aim to enhance the learning experience, they appear to be somewhat manufactured and strained dialogues. Nonetheless, they offer an additional mode of learning for students. It is also notable that some of the vocabulary is rather unique to the British lexicon, such as “Freshers” and “resits.” The course book encourages the integration of technology by providing examples of internet sites,

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emails, and appropriate vocabulary. Learners are also encouraged to seek out other internet sources and critically evaluate them. It may be useful for instructors teaching students with weaker academic skills to provide more guidance for these tasks. More advanced learners will likely find and develop their own supplementary materials successfully. The textbook may appeal to students with different learning styles because of the wide variety of learning tasks. For example, the authors have included different exercises to highlight grammar patterns and language features. Learners with different styles may prefer the more open-ended reflection and self-study options. Additionally, a number of tasks involve small group work to encourage collaborative learning. The course book is filled with graphics, pictures, tables, and charts to support learning. Although the textbook covers a wide array of topics, there is a heavy focus on science and an unusual emphasis on the vocabulary of cycles and processes. One of the most useful features of the textbook is the initial Book Map on the opening pages. This table clearly outlines the textbook’s goals in each unit by illustrating the unit themes, functions, texts, academic language, writing and speaking, academic competence, and critical thinking. This framework can be used for practically all levels, and instructors could adapt their work accordingly.

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While Access EAP: Foundations provides a useful introduction to university life, it remains a rather simplified textbook. Appropriate supplementary readings may accommodate more advanced learners. The authors may also consider developing additional levels in this series. This book provides an excellent general background for students with little knowledge of a typical Western academic setting and should be considered for such learners. ❉

Reviewed by Molly McHarg Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar Doha, Qatar

EAP Essentials: A teacher's guide to principles and practice Olwyn Alexander, Sue Argent & Jenifer Spencer Garnet, 2008 ISBN: 978-1-85964-419-5 379 pp

EAP Essentials achieves exactly what it sets out to do by providing a comprehensive overview and significant teacher resource for anyone delving into the murky waters of English for Academic Purposes (EAP). Beginning with an overview of the field, in order to set the context, the authors have produced ten chapters ranging from that very context, through sections dealing with course design, to several skills-based chapters that look at the very special requirements of reading, vocabulary, writing, speaking and listening for specifically academic purposes. It is a thick volume reflecting not only the breadth and depth of the EAP field, but also the authors’ meticulous and painstaking approach to their work. By no means a light read, it serves more as a reference work for those either beginning, or

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seeking to improve, their teaching of this branch of English language teaching. It is certainly a tome for the shelf of every self-respecting EAP teacher. EAP Essentials begins by defining and describing just what exactly English for Academic Purposes is. This is done by taking into account the expectations of all those involved in the process, whether they be directly involved (e.g. students, teachers or academic authorities), or those in the wider society who will be affected by the outcomes of just such courses. The first chapter, the one which sets the context, also introduces the authors’ modus operandi. In order to make the experience of using this book as active and engaging as they can, the authors incorporate practical and reflective tasks and case studies taken from their own experiences in every

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chapter. This is an approach which bears greater fruit later in the book when dealing with the more hands-on aspects concerned with exploiting and understanding written materials, improving academic reading comprehension and other practical, skills-based applications. Prior to looking at these highly valued and transferable skills, there are sections aimed at helping teachers to effectively analyze and exploit academic texts and also covering the important issue of course design. The main thrust being that the students themselves need not understand all the vocabulary and other textual cues in order to arrive at an understanding of the passage or article as a whole regardless of the genre. Chapter 2 is another example of the authors’ highly effective approach where the reader becomes engaged in a form of written tutorial involving them in many different and interesting tasks, all of which aim to improve the reader’s ability to analyze academic texts. The section on course design puts a great deal of emphasis on analyzing the needs of the various stakeholders. In this instance, the reader is asked to consider the finely balanced nature of any form of EAP course, given that the students inevitably have another pressing demand upon their time, that is, their major course of study. The EAP course designer (and possibly teacher) must remain aware of the constraints placed upon themselves and the students by the very nature of any EAP course: the students are not there to study English alone but to study English in order that they might succeed in their chosen course of study. The more practical skills-based chapters are also supplemented by a free CD featuring classroom activities. This, no doubt, will be a very welcome addition to the hard-pressed EAP teachers’ “bag of tricks.” However, the authors are not content with simply producing either a reference book for EAP or a practical resource (although they do both very well), but they also spend some time discussing and exemplifying the ways in which teachers can encourage the students to think critically and to develop autonomous learning behaviors. They quite correctly view these two ways of thinking

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and learning as being of vital importance not just to EAP teaching but to any educational endeavor whatsoever. It is in keeping with the authors’ stated desire to marry educational theory to the practicalities of the EAP context. Of course no book dealing with the pros and cons of teaching English, in whichever context or situation, would be complete without looking carefully at the issue of assessment. Once again, a discussion of assessment theory in all its multifaceted glory leads smoothly into practical exercises which ask the reader to evaluate testing instruments and assess genuine student work. EAP Essentials is a thoroughly researched, wellwritten and comprehensive volume suitable for anyone teaching, or planning to teach, English for Academic Purposes. At one and the same time it serves as a handy reference guide to dip into at will, and as a practical handbook full of useful ideas and materials for teaching such courses. The great advantage of this book is the seamless way educational theories and their practical outcomes have been merged. At 339 pages it might not be something that everyone will sit down and read from cover to cover. However, thanks to a simple, logical and linear layout, it is certainly a useful guide that allows teachers, course designers and other interested parties to easily find what they are looking for, whether that is practical advice on teaching writing for academic purposes or a discussion of how to inculcate critical thinking into your EAP course design. One of the privileges of reviewing such books is that the reviewer gets to keep the volume. This is certainly one that will end up as a well-thumbed resident on my bookshelf.

Peter B. McLaren Al Ain Women's College Al Ain, UAE

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English for the Energy Industry Simon Campbell Oxford University Press, 2009 ISBN: 978-0-19-457921-6 80 pp

English for the Energy Industry is part of the Oxford University Press Express Series. Books in this series offer short, specialist English courses for different professions, work skills, and industries. The books are intended for students already in employment who wish to communicate more effectively and who need to be able to understand and talk about key business and economic concepts. Books in this series are intended to support a short course in English communication for the energy industry sector, to supplement a course book, to act as a resource for an intensive specialist course or to support self-study. The book could operate as the sole source of material in a short course that was tightly focussed. English for the Energy Industry covers issues such as the energy business, markets and customers, protection of the environment, nuclear energy, investment plans and the future of energy. The book is supported by a MultiROM CD which contains all the listening material used in exercises in the book. These can be played on a CD player, through the audio player on a computer or downloaded to a MP3-player for self-study. This material simulates authentic daily situations in the work environment and more complex issues in the global energy market such as research and development and sustainable energies. The book is divided into six units, each of which explores five or six topics pertinent to the theme

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of the unit and offers language and skill development work. For instance, the unit “The Future of Energy” has five topics and concentrates on report writing as the language and skills development work. These units are independent of each other so that a teacher or student would be able to choose those most relevant to his/her needs. Each unit begins with a Starter and then develops vocabulary and ideas relevant to the topics of the unit through a mixture of matching exercises, response to stimulus, listening and note taking activities, completion activities, true/false, prediction exercises, reading comprehension and guided writing exercises. The material which carries these exercises is a mixture of dialogues, reading texts, diagrams and “authentic” documents. The aim of this material is to enable the learner to practice vocabulary and phrases in context. This practice can be reinforced by use of the Partner Files at the back of the book. Here role plays offer opportunities for consolidation of the vocabulary and language of the matching unit in realistic situations. Each unit concludes with an Output activity for extension work on the unit topic. The book contains an A-Z Word List, Useful Phrases organised under various communicative functions (expressing opinions, describing trends, dealing with complaints and so forth), a Glossary, a

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can be followed by cognitively demanding tasks (research, document, report). It is these uneven aspects of the book that require experience on the part of the teacher in order to use the material to its best advantage.

list of Abbreviations, Acronyms and Numbers and a list of Useful Verbs used in typical contexts. As a teaching resource, English for the Energy Industry offers a range of material that could be used in the ways outlined in the first paragraph. However, the book would challenge inexperienced teachers as it requires knowledge, skill and resourcefulness on the part of the teacher to get the best results from the material and activities that it presents.

One final observation is relevant to potential users in the Middle East. Given that the energy market is global (the foreword in the book attests to this) and that significant aspects of the industry are centered on this region, representative personnel from the GCC countries are curiously absent from the pages of the book. The book charts a largely Euro-centric orientation which compromises its usefulness and applicability to the Middle East.

There are some deficiencies that detract from the book’s overall appeal. The recorded material is not exactly authentic as it carries a heavy degree of accommodation (in phrasing, intonation and delivery) diminishing the opportunities for genuine language engagement. The same criticism may be applied to the “authentic” documents in each of the units. These are brief and appear to be more suitable to a text for less proficient learners than this book is supposedly written for. Interesting discrepancies are also apparent between contiguous material in that straightforward, directed exercises (dialogue prediction/completion) ❉

David Prescott American University of Sharjah Sharjah, UAE

TESOL ARABIA 2011 CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS The Editor of the Proceedings of the 17th Annual TESOL Arabia Conference would like to invite you to submit a paper based on your presentation at the conference to be considered for publication in the next volume of the Proceedings. Only those who presented at the most recent TESOL Arabia Conference may submit articles for the Proceedings. Please send your article to Peter Davidson at Peter.davidson@zu.ac.ae Please follow the specifications outlined below: Articles should be between 3000-4000 words. Articles should be typed using Times New Roman, font size 12, with 1½ line spacing. If you include Tables and/or Figures, make sure they are no wider than 12 cms. Do not use color in Tables or Figures. Do not use footnotes. Only use "portrait" orientation (i.e. don't insert any pages in "landscape" orientation). Remove all hyperlinks. Include a complete list of references using APA style as outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition (2009). Send articles electronically as a Word attachment. We will acknowledge receipt of articles within two weeks, except during the summer vacation in July and August.

Deadline for Submission: October 1, 2011 Volume 18

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Global Elementary Lindsay Clandfield, Kate Pickering & Amanda Jeffries Macmillan Education, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-230-03291-0 158 pp

The back cover of my (Elementary) review copy describes Global as a “ground-breaking 6-level adult course for today’s learners.” Elementary, the second level in the Global series, corresponds to Waystage, the second level of the Common European Framework. So far, so good: Global comes with a credible pedigree. What, then, does the package comprise? Needless to say, we get audio CDs to go along with the course book and, at the Elementary level, Global is listening heavy. There’s a Teacher’s Guide, of course, though this one comes with a bonus: a resource disc which augments and develops the course material. And, bang up-to-date, www.macmillanglobal.com will take you to the dedicated website. A slim, dossier-style folder opens up to reveal the installation software for an e-Workbook. And this, truly, is state of the art: a veritable/virtual cornucopia which comes that close to being a course unto itself, rather than merely the ancillary component of another. In terms of its subject matter, the course book is predictable. Units such as “Family and Friends” and “Work and Travel” exemplify grammar exponents such as there is/there are, countable nouns and third person –s. No criticism intended: a low-level course must do justice to the low-level basics, and this is something Global achieves with admirable thoroughness. A further claim to validity comes via a "big name" guest star. Turn to the contents and, beneath its asymmetrical listing, you will find the bearded, benign and avuncular features of David Crystal beaming out at you. His contributions, however, are little more than perfunctory pieces of linguistic trivia, however: “There’s a place called Hot Coffee in Mississippi and one called Difficult in Tennessee” (p. 99). Now, as the average ESL learner is almost certainly unfamiliar with the man and his reputation, Crystal’s presence reveals itself for what it really is: a marketing ploy

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aimed squarely at the teacher. The scope and sequence chart, printed in colors which melt into the page, is actually rather difficult to work with, and defies the hasty, at-a-glance reference. Likewise, unit material is densely packed on the page and printed in a font size that instantly discriminates against those over forty. Indeed, the overall impression is of pages that are crowded and busy, with exercises which are frequently dwarfed by their attendant graphics. What, finally, of Global’s relevance to this region? In his second highlight, “Delicious English,” David Crystal makes reference to pork, sherry and Chardonnay. Locally, these are as absent from the classroom as they are from the dining room, so their inclusion must inevitably diminish Global’s appeal in these parts. Further, it is notable that few Arabs inhabit these pages, (though there is a brief profile of women in Abu Dhabi -unfortunately, however, it appears directly opposite the photo of a pub), implying reduced cultural “buy-in” for the Middle-Eastern learner. Editorial oversights these may be, they nonetheless suggest that, while Global may break ground elsewhere, it might struggle to do so in this neck of the desert.

Colin Toms Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Calendar of Upcoming Events March 6-7, 2011

The 3rd Conference on “Linguistics in the Gulf ” by the Department of English Literature and Linguistics in the College of Arts and Sciences at Qatar University. Website: http://www.qu.edu.qa/artssciences/english/lingconference/third/submission.php

March 10-12, 2011

The 17th Annual TESOL Arabia Conference, “Rethinking English Language Teaching: Attitudes, Approaches and Perspectives," JW Marriott, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Email: sufian12000@yahoo.com Website: www.tesolarabia.org/conference

March 19-20, 2011

The 18th Annual International Convention of TESOL Macedonia-Thrace, “Education: Light my Fire,” Thessaloniki, Greece. Website: www.tesolmacthrace.org Email: tesolmth@gmail.com

April 2, 2011

Ed Tech SIG and the Al Ain Chapter PD Event, Al Ain, UAE. Email: edtechsig@gmail.com

April 15-19, 2011

The 45th Annual IATEFL Conference and Exhibition, Brighton Centre, Brighton, UK. Website: https://secure.iatefl.org/registration/conf_reg_login.php

April 16, 2011

RAK Chapter and Ed Tech SIG Joint Event, Ras al Khaimah Men’s College, UAE. Email: edtechsig@gmail.com

April 20-21, 2011

The 11th Annual International ELT Conference, “Empowering Teachers and Learners,” Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. Website: http://www.squ.edu.om/lanconference. Email: eltconf@squ.edu.om (or) najat@squ.edu.om

April 28-30, 2011

International Conference by the Moroccan Inter-university Network of English (MINE), “Language, Culture and Identity,” Faculty of Letters and Humanities Ben Msik, Casablanca, Morocco. Website: http://www.mine.ac.ma/

May 5, 2011

The 4th Annual Conference Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Association of Language Teachers (KSAALT), “Students’ Identities and Language Learning in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi Arabia. Website: http://www.ksaalt.org/conference.html

May 5-7, 2011

The 1st International Conference on Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Website: http://fltal.ibu.edu.ba/ Email: ftalproceedings@gmail.com

May 11, 2011

RAK Chapter and Ed Tech SIG Joint Event, Ras al Khaimah Men’s College, UAE. Email: edtechsig@gmail.com

May 27, 2011

The 1st International Conference of Yasar University School of Foreign Languages, “Combining Theory and Practice: The Search for New Perspectives,” Izmir, Turkey. Website: http://elt2011.yasar.edu.tr/

June 2-4, 2011

The 2nd International Conference on Language Education, Sabanci University, School of Languages, Turkey. Website: http://eclipsing-expectations.sabanciuniv.edu

June 23-25, 2011

The 33rd Language Testing Research Colloquium, “Half a Century of Language Testing,” University of Michigan, English Language Institute, U.S.A. Website: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/eli/LTRC2011

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‘‘

‘‘

I feel the breadth of the modules, the enthusiasm of the tutors in their subject areas and the discussion between participants makes this programme top-notch. EdD TESOL student, Dubai

TESOL Programmes The Graduate School of Education is recognised as a leading School of Education with a diverse and highly successful track record, including:

• Ranked 5th in the UK for world leading and internationally excellent research (RAE 2008) and influencer of national Education policy • ESRC-recognised outlet for part-time, full-time, distance learning and CASE research training • ESRC quota for research studentships • International community with postgraduates from over 70 countries studying in the School over the last five years

Doctor of Education (EdD) – available in Dubai Dubai Knowledge Village. Programme Coordinator: Dr Salah Troudi, email: s.troudi@exeter.ac.uk This is a professionally-oriented taught doctorate degree suitable for EFL/ESL professionals, including primary and secondary teachers, college lecturers, and programme coordinators. The degree is taught part-time over four years and local tutors are available for your support. The programme consists of two compulsory research methodology modules, plus the following three content modules: • Critical Issues in Teaching English • TESOL Classrooms and Pedagogy: Theory and Practice • The Meaning and Practice of Professionalism You will then complete a research-based thesis of up to 50,000 words.

MPhil and PhD – available in Dubai The School has an outstanding reputation for research training and offers MPhil and PhD degrees involving independent study under two supervisors, culminating in the presentation of a written thesis. Full- and part-time study is available. This programme can be done via distance learning.

Masters programme – intensive summer study option The Masters in TESOL is aimed at professionals working at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The programme is flexible, allowing you to choose from the wide range of modules available. Prior to starting the programme, a member of our academic staff will help you plan out the best programme to meet your needs. The programme is available full-time (1 year) and through an intensive summer programme that takes place in July over two consecutive summers. This programme is available in Exeter.

Graduate School of Education For more information please visit www.exeter.ac.uk/education telephone + 44 (0) 1392 724837 or email edu-admissions@exeter.ac.uk


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EgypTESOL Convention 2010 Cairo, Egypt requested suggestions on IELTS practice materials and book titles, and even emailed me for IELTS websites and with more queries.

Ahmed Ahmed Saadawi Saadawi Khalifa University of Zayed University Science, Technology Abu Dhabi, UAE & Research, Abu Dhabi

For effective scanning and skimming for the test, certain reading skills and test taking strategies were discussed and emphasized. Those included previewing and reordering passages according to the question types, summarizing questions by circling and underlining, reading the instructions, using signal words like acronyms and contextual clues, predicting answers in line with meaning and structure, staying alert for switchbacks, and when to start transferring answers to the answer sheet.

I presented on IELTS reading at a number of local PD events before I led a similar one at the EgypTESOL Convention 2010 that was held in Cairo between December 2-4. The attendance of the conference was huge and the Radisson Blu Hotel was a great venue located in Heliopolis, one of the most beautiful districts of the Egyptian capital city. The weather, however, was too foggy. My flight from Abu Dhabi was postponed for 14 hours until the main Egyptian airports were reopened, so it was an exhausting trip, but sharing my knowledge of IELTS training with fellow English teachers from my homeland was by all means worth it. My presentation entitled “IELTS Academic Reading Made Easy” was a 90-minute workshop that included a short introduction, a presentation of test taking strategies and time management tips, and a follow-up discussion. The practical part, however, had two hands-on tasks. The presentation was not to tell participants about IELTS, but to discuss how candidates can familiarize themselves with the IELTS reading module, correct their wrong ideas about it, practice smarter for the test, manage their test time, deal with different question types and transfer answers to the IELTS Answer Sheet. The participants were highly interested in knowing about IELTS- the reading module in particular, but only a few had fair knowledge or experience taking or training for it. Most of them participated effectively in the activities, discussed the tips the presentation offered, asked questions, took notes,

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The workshop included presenting constructive time management tips to implement during test taking, such as starting with the less challenging passages, skipping unknown words and specialist terminology, focusing on easy questions first and passing over difficult questions until later, and prioritizing the timefriendly question types in which answers come in order or with signal words in the text such as multiple choice, matching headings with paragraphs, sentence completion, labeling a diagram with numbered parts, identifying the writer’s views (Yes/No/NG), and identifying information (True/False/NG). Ahmed Saadawi is the recipient of a TESOL Arabia Travel Grant, 2009-2010.

TESOL Arabia needs YOU! Become a volunteer in 2011 Contact your Area Representative today

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From Paper to Proposal: Presenting Through the Three Ps

Mick King Sharjah Men’s College Sharjah, UAE

A New Year brings with it New Year’s resolutions, and for English teaching professionals, this could include finally sharing your research and beliefs at a conference. I can remember my own decision 5 years ago to start on this journey and the doubts that crossed my mind at that time. This personal reflection of presenting at TESOL Arabia aims to guide the new conference presenter along the road trip from paper to proposal to presenting.

Preparation I presented my dissertation on managing Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) at the 2009 conference, “English in Learning: Learning in English,” so my research was relevant to the theme. My target audience consisted of TESOL and content managers and any attendees who had a general interest in management and/or CLIL. Preparation began at the end of 2008 with the proposal submission. My strategy to stick to the proposal guidelines, which had led to mixed results previously, proved to be a wise one this time round. The 250-word summary focused on the relevance of the study and what delegates could gain from attending. However, in many ways conceiving a 7word title and 30-word abstract was more challenging. This is the information that goes into the conference book and convinces delegates to attend your session. I kept the title short, “Ownership Issues in CLIL” and tried to make my abstract focus as clear as possible.

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The next challenge concerned squeezing a 15,000word research paper into 45 minutes, which resulted in more than 20 slides. An additional worry was whether the audience would be au fait with the management terminology used, so I decided to gloss it before highlighting findings. This decision to gloss, along with an avoidance of information overload on slides, meant I was able to move quickly through the information and keep the focus on the presenter. I “test-drove” the presentation with work colleagues and adjusted elements based on their feedback. I then developed a handout that focused on pertinent findings, recommendations and resources used. It was designed as something to take away rather than refer to while listening. In order to learn from the experience, I also designed a simple questionnaire on aspects of presentation delivery, to which attendees could show levels of agreement. The questionnaire also sought permission to follow up by email to get richer feedback. The simple design meant delegates could complete it quickly before moving on to another session. The final preparation stage involved visiting the assigned room prior to presenting and partaking in some subliminal marketing by wearing my presenter’s badge around the conference venue to provoke discussion on what my topic would be and when.

The Presentation I started late as the previous presenter overran. However, as I wanted a collaborative atmosphere, I chose not to launch into the research straightaway, but first presented a list of statements based on personal experiences of managing CLIL, to provoke debate and clarify issues. Though this took some time, I felt it engaged the participants and was a worthwhile addition. Subsequently, I presented my research step by step before returning briefly to the initial statements to reflect on opinions in the light of findings. In general, the session flowed smoothly

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handouts, other comments on the slides suggested areas for improvement rather than commendations on a job well done. One attendee proffered, “Some slides [contained] too much or I needed to read but was torn by wanting to listen to you.” This feedback reflected my own dilemma at the preparation stage about how much to keep in from the original report.

although time for discussion at the end was limited. It is easy to blame the previous tardy presenter, but my own inability to time-manage effectively was also a factor. The low turnout (10 delegates) was disappointing but across the hall I was up against a conference “heavyweight,” Mario Rinvolucri, and my session took place on the final day of the conference. On submitting a proposal, I chose this “graveyard slot” to improve my chances of being accepted and was rewarded accordingly. What I will take away is that it is better to be heard by a few than by none at all.

Personal Reflection In general terms, the feedback received was rewarding and allowed me to recognise my strengths and areas for improvement. Evaluating myself as a planner and presenter made me aware of how rarely we actually do reflect on our work. Our daily lives are replete with other tasks that make it difficult for us to find quality time to contemplate our research deeply. Given the time we invest in conducting it, this is a great shame.

Data Collection and Findings All attendees completed the questionnaire, and six of them later elaborated on their answers. Overall, the presentation appeared to be well-received. Respondents found the abstract clear, the presentation relevant and the content easy to follow. The decision to gloss management theory was, in retrospect, justified. As for my own performance, one respondent suggested I consider “time management” as she noticed that I was hurrying at the end, but for voice clarity, clear explanation, involving the audience, maintaining eye contact, enjoying presenting and holding the interest of the audience, reactions were very positive. Comments included that it was “clearly presented” and “easy to ask questions.”

This personal reflection can never cover all the ups and downs of submitting a proposal and presenting, but I hope it gives an inkling of what to expect. If you have never presented before but have thought about it, I hope this account proves useful, but most importantly, I hope it does not put you off! Presenting is fun, personally fulfilling and allows you to share your beliefs with others. A proposals committee somewhere is waiting for your submission. Delegates are waiting to hear your voice. Make it your New Year’s resolution and I hope to see you at a conference soon!

Although respondents showed general satisfaction with the clarity, relevance and legibility of slides and

Have you been to a professional development event or conference lately that you think TESOL Arabia members might benefit from? Consider writing a review of the event. Contact the editors for more information. Volume 18

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TESOL Arabia Book Drive Report Paul de Jong and Ruth Glasgow

Many hands make light work, so they say – and for the Book Drive, our work has been helped a lot by the hands of many, not only those of you who collect and ship books to us, but also the volunteers from TESOL Arabia, the helpers on our campuses who do the manual labor, and those volunteers on the receiving end who do the sorting and distribution. Still, we could use some more hands, hopefully a few volunteers on each campus to ensure good books do not get “pulped,” but are steered our way. Below are some highlights of what we have been up to lately. After several years of one-time donations to various institutions, the Book Drive now may have found a partner institution to donate to regularly. This institution is a global NGO called Education Development Center (EDC) out of Massachusetts in the U.S.A. It has two educational projects in the relatively calm and stable Somaliland. A former Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi Women’s College professor, Dr Khadar Bashir is now working with the EDC in Somaliland and has worked with us to arrange the shipping. EDC paid for the shipment and customs fees and a large crew of volunteers there helped distribute over 2,300 TA Book Drive books to 13 deserving tertiary and secondary schools in Somaliland and neighboring territories. The books were gratefully received by representatives of each institution. Much of the tertiary and secondary education in Somaliland is done in the English medium, and the range of subjects offered is broad, with many technical degrees offered. Thus, not only EFL texts, but also science, maths, and IT course books are all in demand. “Please convey our gratitude to TESOL Arabia. The books were truly needed and have unveiled the need and hunger for print materials in this country,” Dr Khadar Bashir (email correspondence, November 29, 2010).

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Children at the orphanage in Sri Lanka enjoying the books donated by TESOL Arabia members.

The books that we donated in conjunction with Dubai English Speaking College (DESC), to establish a library in an orphanage in Sri Lanka arrived safely at their destination over the summer. The orphanage is run by the Kathleen Keegel Fund. A teacher from DESC went to Sri Lanka to help at the orphanage during the summer months. She was on hand to receive the consignment of library books, and to help establish the library for the children. The books that were donated from the TESOL Arabia Book Drive covered everything from pre-reading picture books, right up to reading books for late teens, and many factual books. This covers the ages of the children living at the orphanage, and we hope that our donation of books will encourage a strong interest in reading at the orphanage. In addition to shipping books overseas when possible, the TESOL Arabia Book Drive is looking into ways to donate locally to communities within the UAE from developing countries. These will hopefully include English medium charity schools supported by the Pakistan Embassy, as well as an English training program for laborers in work camps in Dubai. The labor camp EFL instruction will start

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volunteers from Dubai English Speaking College who will be working with us for the next six months to complete the volunteer work requirement of their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. We have established a good working arrangement with DESC who place an emphasis on their students gaining work experience through volunteer work. We, of course, are always grateful to have many hands to help us with the heavy work of sorting and packing books, and shifting boxes around. Please remember that we will have a TESOL Arabia Book Drive stand at the TESOL Arabia Conference on March 10-12, 2011 at the JW Mariott Hotel. We would like to receive all your book donations, however small, during this time so please bring them to the conference. If you have any queries about the TESOL Arabia Book Drive, please email us at:

Books being unpacked at the Kathleen Keegel Orphanage, Sri Lanka.

up in January, and we hope to donate recently acquired course books and unused dictionaries to this project. The project is run by Adopt-a-Camp (check out their Facebook page), and is staffed with volunteer EFL teachers from the American University of Dubai.

tesolbookdrive@yahoo.com Ruth.Glasgow@zu.ac.ae Paul.DeJong@zu.ac.ae Minoo.Asjodi@zu.ac.ae

We are very happy to welcome three new ❉

BOOK NOW FOR TESOL ARABIA’S 2011: Pre-Conference Professional Development Courses Action Research in TESOL - Presented by Ann Burns & Ali Shehadeh Technology in the Field of TESOL - Presented by Chris Stryker, Dimitri Hadji & John Jennette Certificate Courses Teacher Effectiveness and Leadership Increasing Professionalism Through Personal and Professional Development

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Teacher Leadership Academy in Dhaka, Bangladesh Christine Coombe

University of Sharjah) and Jane Hoelker (Qatar University). Further leadership academies are planned for 2011 in Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

Attendees at the TLA in Bangladesh (from left to right): Sonia Sharmin, Zakia Sultana, Tazin Mehnaz and Taslima Irene Ivy.

Nine local and Gulf-based language educators traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh, from December 2-3, 2010, to deliver two days of teacher training in leadership skills. This event was organized by the TESOL Arabia Leadership and Management (LM) SIG in collaboration with the Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association (BELTA). Sixty-five Bangladeshi English language teachers were trained in topics such as leadership styles, time management, professional development and a variety of different leadership topics. According to the event organizer and co-chair of the LM SIG, Dr Christine Coombe, “giving back to the profession is a major LM SIG mandate.” Thanks go to the following educators who self-funded their participation during the National Day holiday to participate in this valuable professional development event: Dr Christine Coombe, Konrad Cedro, Emma Durham, Belinda Southby, Maria Brown (Dubai Men’s College), Beth Wiens (Zayed University), Dr Melanie Gobert (Abu Dhabi Men’s College), Deborah Wilson (American

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Organizers and Presenters included: (back row) Fife MacDuff, Emma Durham, and Deborah Wilson; (front row) Belinda Southby, Melanie Gobert, Beth Weins, Rubina Khan, Christine Coombe, Arifa Rahman and Konrad Cedro. ❉

Have you attended an interesting conference lately? Submit a review!

Contact perspectives@tesolarabia.org

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Special Interest Group Reports

Information Technology SIG: Reborn and Revamped James Buckingham

With new leadership and a new name, TESOL Arabia’s Educational Technology SIG (Ed Tech SIG) aims to invite broader levels of participation from all TESOL Arabia members in the Gulf region. It aims to facilitate this via networking, face-to-face and virtual professional development presentations and online discussions. To realize the online arm of activities, the SIG team has established a “Ning” at http://taedtech.ning.com. A Ning is a social networking tool designed to facilitate online networking, the sharing of ideas and resources, and discussion on current issues and topics. By participating in any of these activities, you help realize an online community that may be able to ultimately identify and share best practices in the use of IT in language instruction in the Gulf region. Please, follow the link above or use our QR code illustrated below to view our events calendar, join our community and collaborate in our activities.

◆ ◆

Vance Stevens (Online Coordinator) Donald Glass & Randy VanArsdale (Technical Expertise)

In Dubai: ◆ Clair Hattle (Online Editor) In Sharjah: ◆ Cindy Gunn (Administrator) In RAK: ◆ Will Jones (Treasurer) Each of them represents key areas of the UAE. All of them undertake roles on a mix-match and needs basis. Note that it is considered a key goal of the team to solicit year round active participation and involvement from all TESOL Arabia members living in the Gulf region. The bulk of these online events typically take place on Sundays. You are encouraged to share your expertise or simply attend. You can also replay a growing archive of recordings on these professional development events at a time convenient for you. For more information, look for the “Sunday SpeedGeek Archived Presentation Recordings” link on the Ning homepage. ❉

For those amongst you who are new to online sessions, Vance Stevens, the Online Coordinator, is usually on hand to offer help and guidance. If you would like to present at an online or local Chapter event, please get in touch via the Ning, connect face-to-face at the TESOL Arabia Conference, or contact us at edtechsig@gmail.com.

Getting Students Motivated to ReadShare your ideas with the

This year’s Ed Tech SIG leadership team consists of the following members.

Contact

READ SIG! Tom Le Seeleur at

In Abu Dhabi: ◆ James Buckingham (Events Organizer, Spokesperson and Online Facilitator) Volume 18

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readingchampionsuae@yahoo.co.uk

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TESOL Arabia Special Interest Groups ESP SIG Phone: 02 644 0339 Email: esptesolarabia@gmail.com

Saad Rabia Chair

Fathi Bin Mohamed Co-Chair

Dr Christine Coombe Co-Chair

Phil Quirke Co-Chair

Virginia Robson

Amr El Zarka

Najaat Saadi Hezber Co-Chair

Sandra Zaher Co-Chair

Darcy Harris

Patricia Valiant

Leadership & Management SIG Phone: 050 619 4796 Email: christine.coombe@hct.ac.ae Phone: 050 813 3148 Email: pquirke@hct.ac.ae

Learner Independence SIG Email: tailearn@yahoo.com Website: http://ilearn.20m.com

Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation SIG

Young Learners SIG

Phone: 050 619 4796 Email: christine.coombe@hct.ac.ae

Phone: 050 322 0697 Email: tarabiayl@gmail.com Website: www.yl-sig.com

Phone: 050 843 8782 Email: peter.davidson@zu.ac.ae Dr Christine Coombe Co-Chair

Peter Davidson Co-Chair

Dr Fiodhna Gardiner-Hyland Chair

Ed Tech SIG Email: edtechsig@gmail.com Website: http://taedtech.ning.com edtecharabia.twitter.com #taedtech James Buckingham

Cindy Gunn

Clair Hattle

Literature, Literacy, and Language Arts SIG

READ SIG

Phone: 050 527 7685 Email: tarabialit@gmail.com

Phone: 050 681 9936 Email: readingchampionsuae@yahoo.co.uk

Hala El Muniawai Teamleader

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Vance Stephens

Tom Le Seeleur Chair ◆

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Abu Dhabi Chapter Report Ahmed Saadawi

and Tom Le Seelleur shared practical ideas on getting K-6 students to read. There was also a poster session on various aspects of teaching reading led by Fatima Al Hosani while Oxford University Press and MacMillan Education had stalls exhibiting their YL books and graded readers. Both exhibitors offered participants free books, dictionaries and stories for children.

This year, TESOL Arabia’s Abu Dhabi Chapter made plans for two Chapter events along with four joint ones with six different SIGs to ensure a variety of PD opportunities that meet our members’ various needs and fields of interests. So far, the first three events have been held. On October 16, the Testing, Assessment and Evaluation SIG presented four workshops led by Dr Christine Coombe, Peter Davidson and Beth Wiens on assessing young learners, writing and reading. Amy Subaey gave a presentation on the use and abuse of rubrics. This successful event was organized by Peter Davidson and hosted by Zayed University’s North Campus.

We still have more events to come and would like to invite both members and first-timers to come along. Events will generally offer you a choice of 46 presentations, and run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Prior to events, we will e-mail presentation descriptions, so if you are not on our mailing list and would like to be added, please contact Dr Ahmed Saadawi at 0507717255 or at a_saadawi@yahoo.com. You can also contact Ahmed if you would like to present an idea, lead a workshop, or facilitate a discussion at one of our events. All Abu Dhabi Chapter events are free for members and non-members need only pay 40 dirhams per event.

The first event with the READ SIG and the new team of the YL SIG was also the first afternoon Abu Dhabi Chapter event of the past two years. Hosted by Khalifa University on November 24, the event’s theme was “Creating a Reading Culture in the UAE Young Learner Classroom" and offered three workshops on topics germane to reading and teaching young learners. The new YL SIG Chair, Dr Fíodhna Gardiner-Hyland, presented on shared reading for ESL/EFL learners, Dr Melanie Gobert discussed transformational readership in the UAE, ❉

We promise you more successful and rewarding TESOL Arabia events organized by the Abu Dhabi Chapter. ❉

Interested in doing research? Need funding? Apply now for a TESOL Arabia Research Grant. Details available at: http://www.tesolarabia.org/grants/Research_Grant_Guidelines_2009.pdf

Contact Mashael Al-Hamly at mashael2@hotmail.com.

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Al Ain Chapter and Testing SIG Joint Event Report Mouhammad Mouhanna

TESOL Arabia's Al Ain Chapter and the Testing, Evaluation, and Assessment SIG met for the first major and captivating event for the academic year and held a workshop entitled "Assessing Writing," led by Dr Christine Coombe and Peter Davidson on Wednesday, October 13, at the UAE University Social Club, Multaqa. There was an excellent turnout of 60 people who attended this amazing workshop including teachers from various schools, universities as well as TESOL students and graduates from the UAE University. Many noted its great success! Dr Christine Coombe was invited to give the first part of the workshop on “Designing Writing Assessments” and “Issues in Assessing Writing” which consisted of an investigation into the idea of designing writing assessment rubrics, the production of writing prompts and samples of the most common kinds: base prompts, framed prompts and text-based prompts. Dr Coombe also invited the audience to take part in the discussion as she referred to the criteria of good writing prompts. She referred to signpost verbs like “describe, explain, discuss, compare, contrast,” and so on. Yet there were also various issues in writing that she referred to and the first was “time allocation,” that is, how much time should students be allowed to complete the writing tasks. She said that it depended on whether it is process or product oriented and recommended that teachers use a combination of the two. She also referred to research on that topic. She then discussed the idea of “multiple measure assessment” and that no single time assessment can give a true idea of students’ abilities. She also emphasized the fact that technology can have an impact on writing assessment too, since it may cause various issues and that “skill contamination must be considered,”

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meaning that students should be encouraged to use technology as they write their drafts at a computer, but in an assessment, if a computer is used, students may be restricted from using online dictionaries and spell checkers. Topic restriction was also discussed, that is, should all students be asked to write about the same topic to avoid wasting time and how research has shown mixed opinions. Another interesting issue that was discussed was whether the classroom teachers should also be raters and mark their students’ writing and that “double blind marking was the recommended ideal.”

Peter Davidson talking about important issues in Assessing Writing.

The second part of the workshop was given by Peter Davidson on marking procedures, benchmark scripts and conducting calibrations which might be “time consuming but are an essential component to standardizing writing scores.” He also referred to rating scales, Holistic versus Analytical with their advantages and disadvantages and the “inability of holistic marking to provide washback.” Then he discussed important things to remember and the need of having a systematic approach when dealing

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having more than one prompt and marking them in parallel and the difficulty of having a parallel question. He stated that he gave his students a chance to underline errors as a learning task, too. The audience also discussed the idea of mixing rhetorical patterns within essays. He also referred to process essays and the problem of having four paragraphs when referring to problem and solution or cause and effect essays and the number of words. The workshop was a great opportunity to also exchange ideas and look at research done on the topic of assessing writing, which made it a successful event indeed. Students were amazed at the fact that the workshop was not only important and comprehensive, but also that the discussions were so powerful and appealing.

Attendees at the Assessing Writing workshop in the Multaqa Auditorium in Al Ain.

with marking discrepancies. Getting students involved and providing them with diagnostic feedback is necessary. Peter discussed the idea of ❉

Sharjah Chapter Report Mona El Samaty

This is the first Sharjah Chapter report of the new academic year 2010-2011. First, our team would like to thank Ed Carlstedt for all his help as treasurer for the past years. Ed took care of all the money matters related to our Chapter and secured tasty refreshments at all our events. Ed also helped in creating a smooth transition by discussing all the issues related to being a treasurer with our new treasurer Hadi Banat. We thank Ed again for all his help and wish him good luck. We also welcome Hadi as our new treasurer and wish him all the luck in his endeavors. We are having six events this year, three of which are joint events with different TESOL Arabia Special Interest Groups (SIGs), namely the Literature, Literacy, and Language Arts (LLLA), READ and Testing, Evaluation, and Assessment (TEA) SIGs. We had two events already this semester, the first on November 6 with the LLLA SIG and the second on December 4. We hope these events and those to come meet all your expectations.

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Our first event entitled “Bringing the Written Word to Life,” a joint event with the LLLA SIG, was very successful. We would like to thank the SIG Chair Hala El Miniawi for her help and support before, during, and after the event. We had six presenters, and about 45 attendees. In the first session, in his presentation “The Poet's Tools,” Dr Ghanim Samarrai, from the University of Sharjah, talked about the different tools poets use to deliver their messages to their audiences, showing various poetry models. Concurrently, Tom Le Seelleur from Khalifa University, also the READ SIG Chair, conducted an interesting hands-on workshop entitled “EFL Literature Circles,” where he had small groups discussing graded readers and real literature. In the following session, Dr Lawrence Burke, from Al Ain Men's College, discussed the “What's in a Word” theories of F. R. Leavis on the postmodernist approaches to understanding and interpreting great pieces of writing. These theories were then applied to pieces of poetry and prose by

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Thomas Hardy, Sylvia Plath, and Alaa-Al-Aswany. In the next door lab, Dr Suhair Al-Alami from Al Ghurair University explained, using James Joyce's “Eveline” as an example, how a stylistic approach to teaching literature promotes not only students’ communicative competence but also their critical thinking.

it also helped others. We had members coming from all over the UAE to attend our event and use the Membership Secretary's assistance. We had over 40 enthusiastic participants that day attending five excellent presentations. In the first session, Dr Art Schneider from Sharjah Women's College talked about inspiring students towards more critical reading in the classroom. His presentation gave EFL instructors insights into enabling students to better understand subtle meanings of words by reducing affective barriers and improving keenness toward academic reading. Krystie Wills, from the American University of Sharjah, showed her audience the importance of note-taking and how to train students to take notes in class.

Hadi Banat with his audience at his “Showing vs Telling in the Writing Classroom” session.

In the last session, Anthony Solloway from the Higher College of Technology, Muscat, Oman, showed how passages from a modern classic novel can assist ESL students in the Arabian Gulf in improving different language-related skills such as vocabulary, story-telling, and the planning, writing, and editing of compositions. Thank you Anthony for driving all the way from Muscat to give your presentation! We really appreciate it. In the adjacent lab, Negmeldin Alsheikh, from the UAE University, who is a believer in the fact that narratives in general reach and touch learners in unique ways, showed how storytelling awakens the inner eye to different possibilities. Our second event on November 6, entitled “The World Inside an EFL Class,” was very successful as well. The Membership Secretary paid us a visit in order to register new and renew current TESOL Arabia memberships, and help members register for the annual TA conference before the Early Registration deadline. We would like to thank Les Kirkham and Sandra Oddy for coming to Sharjah. Not only did that help the Sharjah community, but

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In the following session, Hala El Miniawi's “Potentials and Expectations” dealt with ways of assessing learner's achievements, and highlighting both the teacher’s role and student's scores in recognized exams. On the other hand, Azzeddine Bencherab, from ADNOC Technical Institute, talked about classroom diversity. He recommended a few strategies to help language teachers and material designers understand learners' differences.

Dr Art Schneider presenting on critical reading.

Last but not least, Hadi Banat, from the University of Sharjah and also our Sharjah Chapter Treasurer, gave a very well-received presentation entitled “Showing vs Telling in the Writing Classroom,” where he “showed” his audience strategies for giving effective feedback in the writing classroom,

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that are guaranteed to enhance the learning environment and make it more encouraging. Our next event was on January 8, 2011, and was a joint event with the READ SIG. It goes without saying that we truly appreciate the fruitful cooperation with the different SIGs, which always provides an opportunity for all our members to attend presentations pertaining to their favorite field of interest.

enthusiasm he has shown in participating in our events, both as a treasurer and presenter, and for the delicious and varied types of refreshments we get at our events. As a team, we would also like to thank all our presenters who make those events possible and well-attended by giving us a lot of their time on a weekend, including waking up early and driving from all over the UAE or even Oman to share their ideas with us and give those top quality presentations. Last but not least, we would also like to thank our volunteers Omnya Attaelmanan and Mariam Ahmed El-Hawary, both students in the English department at the University of Sharjah, and Reem Ayman, a Grade 8 student at Victoria English School for their great help with registration, book sales, and nonmember fee collection during the events.

Finally, I would like to thank our Sharjah Chapter Secretary Halina Stolar for her great “publishing” skills which are evident in the exquisite program flyers she designs for us and which are always talked about and praised by our audience. Her enormous and prompt help in communicating with attendees is also highly appreciated. Thanks also go to Hadi, our new treasurer, for the

CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS “Contextualizing EFL for Young Learners: International Perspectives on Policy and Practice” TESOL Arabia publications in the UAE would like to announce the call for contributions in the area of Teaching EFL to Young Learners from a global perspective. The editors welcome articles on a wide range of topics – but they must focus on the English language education of learners aged 5 – 15. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2011. However, early submission of articles is preferred. Please email articles to Helen Emery at hemery@essex.ac.uk or Fiodhna Gardiner-Hyland at fiodhnagardiner@gmail.com.

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Chapter Reports

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A Joint PD Event: Eastern Region Chapter and Learner Independence SIG Yuri Vedrashko

How can we teach our students to use dictionaries more efficiently, turn repetitive course book exercises into communicative tasks, develop extensive reading skills, share and manage information through a OneNote file? These and other related issues were discussed at our last joint PD event with the Learner Independence (LI) SIG on October 23.

great job organizing and managing this PD event. Participants’ feedback on presentations was positive; many of them said that they would like to try some of the shared ideas in their classrooms.

The group of presenters, Darcy Harris of UAEU/HCT (United Arab Emirates University/Higher Colleges of Technology) Fujairah Men’s College, David Ritson of Fujairah Men’s College, Gail Ramirez of UAEU/HCT Fujairah Men’s College, Jane Al Hashemi of Madinat Zayad and Ruwais Colleges, Leslie Butler of UAEU/HCT Fujairah Men’s College, and Raymond Sheehan of Ras Al Khamiah Men’s College, shared their practical tips with language teaching professionals from Fujairah and Sharjah.

The Eastern Region Chapter (ERC) and LI SIG teams thank the administration and help-desk team of HCT Fujairah Women’s College for hosting this event and making it a success. The college’s comfortable classrooms and cutting-edge classroom equipment made the presentations enjoyable for both presenters and participants.

Raymond Sheehan turning course book exercises into language tasks.

For our next PD event, ERC calls for presentation proposals on accountability in teaching, which may include quality assurance controls in standards oriented programs, data gathering tools and methods, assessment, evaluation and measurement. The date and venue will be announced upon the receipt of at least two presentation proposals. Please email your abstract (no more than 400 words) to yvedrashko@hct.ac.ae.

Leslie Butler on how to stimulate interest in reading.

LI SIG has got a new representative, Darcy Harris, who made her debut on October 23. She and her team, Patricia Valiant and Virginia Robson, did a

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Chapter Represenatives

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TESOL Arabia Chapter Representatives Abu Dhabi Representative Ahmed Saadawi Institute for Community Engagement (ICE) Zayed University P.O. Box 4783, Abu Dhabi, UAE 050 771-7255 (mobile) a_saadawi@yahoo.com

Al Ain Representative Mouhamad Mouhanna UGRU United Arab Emirates University P. O. Box 17172, Al Ain United Arab Emirates 055 959-2547 (mobile) mmouhanna@gmail.com

Sharjah Representative Mona El Samaty University of Sharjah College of Arts English Department P. O. Box 27272, Sharjah, UAE 06 505 3349 (office) monaelsamaty@gmail.com

Dubai Representative Rehab Rejab Institute of Applied Technology P. O. Box 124354 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 050 637 5957 (mobile) rehabrajab@yahoo.com

RAK Representative Anna Bailey Ras Al Khaimah Women’s College Higher Colleges of Technology P. O. Box 4792, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE 07 202 5230 (office) anna.bailey@hct.ac.ae, rakrep@yahoo.co.uk

Eastern Region Representative Yurii Vedrashko Fujairah Women's College Higher Colleges of Technology P. O. Box 1626, Fujairah,UAE 050 193 9805 (mobile) yvedrashko@hct.ac.ae

Western Region Representative Mohammad Azaza Zayed Al-Khair Model School P. O. Box 57657, Zayed Town, UAE 02 884 4453 (office), 02 884 4478 (fax ), 050 780 3988 (mobile) amelki22@yahoo.com

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Guidelines for Contributors

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Guidelines for Contributors Perspectives. Please contact Dr Cindy Gunn, the Reviews Editor, at cgunn@aus.edu.

General Editorial Policies TESOL Arabia Perspectives is the official publication of TESOL Arabia, designed to meet the organization’s professional objectives by publishing articles that discuss the teaching and learning of English as an additional language at all levels and with a particular focus on the region (the Gulf, Middle East, North Africa and South Asia). TESOL Arabia Perspectives invites previously unpublished manuscripts that address the diverse topics that make up our profession, including, but not limited to, methodology, pedagogy, curriculum and materials development, assessment, classroom inquiry and research, teacher education and language and culture.

Emerging Technologies This section will document short articles of about 5001000 words that provide overviews of educational technologies, their utilities and incorporation into practice. This could include software, hardware, and web-based resources.

Networking This section will feature conference and country reports. Reports will range between 250-1000 words. Conference reports should provide the readers with a good overview of the conference in question as well as some personal insights of how it impacted the author. Country reports can provide a glimpse of professional activities, concerns and projects in the country. Photos with captions must accompany the submission.

Submission Categories & Guidelines Feature Articles Features should generally be between 2000-4000 words in length, and address educational issues (theory leading to practice) relevant to the membership. The articles can document a critical survey of a particular aspect of the field, detail and analyze pedagogical issues, describe and discuss research findings, or highlight contextual factors and their implications for educational practice. All submissions should be thought through, organized, and clearly written. APA style format will be strictly adhered to regarding referencing. Submissions must be in Times New Roman, font size 12, double spaced. Submissions not meeting APA standards will not be reviewed. Every feature article will go through a review process where the reviewers consider how well it: ■ ■

Reader’s Response Reader’s Response gives the readers a forum to respond to articles published in previous issues. Responses should focus on the content of an article and provide reasoned feedback. Responses should be between 500 – 1000 words.

Lesson Ideas Do you have a great lesson idea or an activity that others should know about? Lesson Ideas offers teachers the opportunity to share their activities in context. Submissions should be between 500-1000 words and detail the activity as well as provide a context for usage.

discusses issues that seek to inform practice; contributes to the knowledge base for teaching and teacher education in general, and in the region in particular; addresses educational issues and needs of ELT in the region; identifies an educational research agenda.

Photographs and other images In order to avoid poor quality images, please submit the largest size and best resolution images you have. This should be at least 300 dpi and saved as a tiff, eps, or jpeg (in order of preference). Headshots and brief bios including the author's current professional affiliation must accompany all submissions.

Reviews

Send your submissions to:

Reviews should evaluate any recent textbook, resource book, CD/DVD and audio or video title. Reviews should be 500–1000 words in length and evaluate materials for their approach, content, appropriateness, adaptability, and relevancy. A list of materials received for review will be made available periodically in

Melanie Gobert & Rebecca Woll TESOL Arabia Perspectives Co-editors Melanie.gobert@hct.ac.ae Rebecca.woll@hct.ac.ae

TESOL Arabia Perspectives is published three times a year: November, January and June

Deadline for next issues: March 30, 2011 and November 15, 2011 Volume 18

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Executive Council

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TESOL Arabia Executive Council President

Past President

Sufian Abu Rmaileh UAE University - UGRU P. O. Box 17172 Al Ain, UAE 03 706 4562 (res) 050 713 1803 (mobile) sabu-rmaileh@uaeu.ac.ae

Josephine “Jo” Kennedy Abu Dhabi Men's College (HCT) P. O. Box 25035 Abu Dhabi, UAE 02 404 8312 (office), 02 681 0026 (res) 050 317 7062 (mobile) josephine.kennedy@hct.ac.ae

Executive Secretary

Executive Treasurer

James McDonald Academic Bridge Program Zayed University Dubai, UAE 04 402 1371 (office) james.mcdonald@zu.ac.ae

Deborah Wilson American University of Sharjah P. O. Box 26666 Sharjah, UAE 06 515 2644 (office) deborahewilson@gmail.com

Membership Secretary / Vice President

Conference Treasurer

Les Kirkham c/o Al Ain Women’s College Higher College of Technology P. O. Box 17258, Al Ain, UAE leskirkham@gmail.com

Beth Wiens Zayed University P. O. Box 19282, Dubai, UAE 04 402 1350 (office) 04 402 1003 (fax) 050 4620566 (mobile) beth.wiens@zu.ac.ae

Conference Co-Chair

Member at Large

Sufian Abu Rmaileh UAE University - UGRU P. O. Box 17172 Al Ain, UAE 03 706 4562 (res) 050 713 1803 (mobile) sabu-rmaileh@uaeu.ac.ae

Sandra Oddy Al Ain Women's College Higher Colleges of Technology P. O. Box 17258 Al Ain, UAE 03 709 5319 (office) Sandra.Oddy@hct.ac.ae

Co-Editors - Perspectives Rebecca Woll Abu Dhabi Men's College Higher Colleges of Technology P. O. Box 25035 Abu Dhabi, UAE rwoll@hct.ac.ae

Melanie Gobert Abu Dhabi Men's College-CERT Higher Colleges of Technology P. O. Box 25035 Abu Dhabi, UAE mgobert@hct.ac.ae

SIG Coordinator

Conference Proceedings Editor / Conference Co-Chair

Heather Maria Baba Abu Dhabi Men's College Higher Colleges of Technology P. O. Box 25035 Abu Dhabi, UAE tasigscoord@yahoo.co.uk

Mashael Al-Hamly Dept. of English Language and Literature Faculty of Arts Kuwait University Kuwait mashael2@hotmail.com

Publications Coordinator

Web Master

Mashael Al-Hamly Dept. of English Language and Literature Faculty of Arts Kuwait University Kuwait mashael2@hotmail.com

Ismail Fayed Foundation Program Department of English Qatar University P.O. Box 2713 Doha, Qatar admin@tesolarabia.org

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