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Lesson Ideas

In this issue:

Educational Technology

Feature Articles Examining Learner Motivation during New Teaching Practices: An Action-Based Research Study

Reviews

Jeff Mehring

TESOL Arabia News

Bringing the World into Our Classrooms: A Trend Towards Promoting Language Education

Fatma Abdullah Alsaidi Humor as an Instructional Tool in Qatari Foundation English Classes

Bryan Corbin

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Guidelines

Contributors for

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 TESOL Arabia Perspectives invites previously unpublished manuscripts that address the diverse topics that make up our profession, including, but not limited to, methodology, pedagogy, curriculum and materials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.

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: 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.

Reviews Reviews should evaluate any recent textbook, resource book, CD/DVD audio or video title, or website. 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 Perspectives. Please contact Paul Dessoir the Reviews Editor, at pdessoir@uaeu.ac.ae.

Educational Technology This section will document short articles of about 5002000 words that provide overviews of educational technologies, their uses and incorporation into practice. This could include software, hardware, and web-based resources.

Networking This section will feature conference and country reports. Reports will be about 500 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. Photos with captions must accompany the submission.

Reader’s Response Reader’s Response gives the readers a forum to respond to articles published in previous issues or respond to a critical issue in the region. Responses should focus on the content of an article and provide reasoned feedback. Responses should be between 500-2000 words.

Lesson Ideas Do you have a great lesson idea or an activity that others should know about? Lesson Ideas offer teachers the opportunity to share their activities in context. Submissions should be between 500-2000 words and detail the activity as well as provide a context for usage. Lesson ideas can be a one-off lesson or a series of lessons.

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.

Send your submissions to: Julie Riddlebarger and Suhair Al Alami, perspectives@tesolarabia.org

TESOL Arabia Perspectives is published three times a year: October, February, and June Deadline for submissions: August 15, December 15, and April 15 Volume 23

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C o n t e n t s

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Pers p e c t ives Volume 23 No. 2 June 2015

From the Editors

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Message from the President

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Message from the Conference Chair

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Feature Articles Examining Learner Motivation during New Teaching Practices: An Action-Based Research Study Bringing the World into Our Classrooms: A Trend Towards Promoting Language Education Humor as an Instructional Tool in Qatari Foundation English Classes

Jeff Mehring

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Fatma Abdullah Alsaidi 12 Bryan Corbin

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Molly McHarg

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Huda Jamal

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Lesson Ideas Collaborative Classroom Writing in a University Summer Intensive Course

Educational Technology Mobile Technology in a Blended Learning Environment: A Learning by Doing Approach

Upcoming Events Calendar of Upcoming Events

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Reviews Open Mind Elementary – Student’s Book Pack What English Language Teachers Need To Know: Designing Curriculum

Rory O’Kane 32 Kay Gallagher 34

Networking Mohamed A. EL Zamil

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Julie Riddlebarger

Crossing Borders, Building Bridges – TESOL International 2015 Convention Sheri Henderson

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TESOL Arabia Featured at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

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IATEFL 2015 Associate Report TESOL International 2015

Melanie Gobert

TESOL Arabia News Chapter/SIG Reports SIGs Chapter Representatives Executive Council

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Dear Readers,

Editors

We were very happy to see so many of you in March at the 21st Annual TESOL Arabia International Conference & Exhibition. Believe it or not, work is already well underway for the next conference (see the back cover for dates and details). First, though, we hope that you will have a relaxing summer break and take some time to read through this new issue of Perspectives, which marks the end of our first year as co-editors.

Julie Riddlebarger Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi

This issue includes something for everyone. Our feature articles cover current research that has practical applications in a variety of locations and contexts. From Japan, Jeff Mehring provides a glimpse into an exciting action research project incorporating technology and student reflection. Fatma Alsaidi, from Oman, discusses the importance of incorporating global issues and perspectives into our classrooms. Next, Bryan Corbin reports on his research into the use of humor in Qatari foundation English classes. Also from Qatar, Molly McHarg presents an innovative lesson idea which, rather than giving a specific lesson plan, explains a method for teaching writing in an intensive summer course. In educational technology, Huda Jamal in Abu Dhabi writes about using mobile technology in a blended learning context. We are sure you will find something to inform your own practice from one or all of these articles! In addition, we have two review articles and our calendar of upcoming conferences of interest to our members, as well as several networking reports from the international IATEFL and TESOL conferences. TESOL Arabia is an affiliate of both of these organizations, and we are always keen to learn from their events. We also include an article about TESOL Arabia’s participation in this year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, along with the usual chapter and SIG reports. We thank those who contribute these reports that keep everyone informed about TESOL Arabia’s activities. Thanks are also due to all of our reviewers who so generously give their time and expertise to Perspectives. Finally, we would like to thank Kate Nolan for her help with copyediting for the last few issues. We encourage you to submit articles for upcoming issues of Perspectives. We are particularly interested in shorter pieces such as lesson ideas, educational technology articles, reader responses, and book reviews. Submission guidelines are inside the front cover and on the website. If you have any questions about writing or submitting an article, please feel free to contact Julie and Suhair at perspectives@tesolarabia.org. For reviews, email Paul Dessoir, PDessoir@uaeu.ac.ae. We wish you all the best for a safe, relaxing summer holiday!

Suhair Al Alami Al Ghurair University, Dubai

Reviews Editor Paul Dessoir United Arab Emirates University

Advisory Panel Daniel Mangrum Dennis Balint Hala Nur Indrani Ibrahim James Buckingham Jane Hoelker Janet Olearski Kay Gallagher Kourosh Lachini Mick King Neil McBeath Paul James Dessoir Peter McLaren Rania Jabr Sahbi Hidri Sally Ali Susan Toth Suzanne Littlewood Tamas Lorinz Taoufik Ferjani Yasser Salem

CREDITS Layout / Artwork Sudeep Kumar

Printing

Julie Riddlebarger

Suhair Al Alami

International Printing Press Dubai, UAE

Editors, Perspectives The 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

June Cover Photo Cityscape Reflection Abu Dhabi, UAE

the content and opinion of articles and advertisements rests with the authors. TESOL Arabia is a non-profit organization 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

Rob Wilson, Khalifa University

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Feature Article Message from the President

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Dear TESOL Arabia Colleagues, As my affiliation with the TESOL Arabia family enters its 16th year and as TESOL Arabia nears its 24th year, I look around with pride to see how the organization has geographically blossomed into areas beyond the United Arab Emirates. In my journey from being a new teacher and new member seeking professional development to becoming the Ajman Chapter Representative, then Dubai Chapter Representative, to Member-at-Large, followed by the Vice President and now the President of TESOL Arabia, I have been fortunate to experience and be part of the organisation’s growth at every stage. While a decade ago we were still building relationships with other organisations, today TESOL Arabia is the preferred professional development provider in multiple contexts around the region. An incredible recent development is our increased transcending of geographical boundaries on similar lines as TESOL International. With nine international affiliates already forming part of our growing network (in Cambodia, India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Uzbekistan and UAE), we are in the process of signing up with a tenth in Turkey. Another significant movement across borders is the initiative of our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) especially the Testing, Assessment & Evaluation SIG and the Leadership & Management SIG, both of which have traversed around the Middle East, India, and Pakistan organizing outreach events in areas where teachers are aware of TESOL Arabia yet lack the resources for professional development. In encouraging and supporting TESOL Arabia to achieve its mission of developing as many teachers as possible, my role will be to facilitate this drive among all of our SIGs so that their presence and contribution is visible outside the UAE. One of our proud moments occurred when the strength of all TESOL Arabia SIGs was showcased at the recent TPLUS and TESOL Arabia SIGs conference in May, 2015. Another crucial and significant focus this year is the development of our Native Speaker/Non-Native Speaker policy document to truly accentuate our role as a non-biased multicultural organization that thrives on the variety of geography, religion, and cultures. My being the first Pakistani national to be elected as the President of TESOL Arabia is significantly representative of our professional stance in the field. Lastly, I’m extremely proud to be the President of this organization and the TESOL Arabia Annual Conference 2016 Co-Chair at this incredibly dynamic time in the history of TESOL Arabia when we are becoming increasingly visible around the globe. We are a true representation of multiple cultures thriving within a diverse and tolerant context where leaders emerge and develop from every region. The theme of our annual conference in 2016, “Language, Culture, Communication: Transformations in Intercultural Contexts,” is a celebration of this diversity. Here’s wishing you a successful 2015-2016 in which TESOL Arabia will be your professional development associate. Best wishes,

Dr Naziha Ali (EDD TESOL) TESOL Arabia President, 2015-2016

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Message from Feature the Conference Chair Article

Dear TESOL Arabia Members and Conference Attendees, For the first time, over 2,000 conference delegates attended the TESOL Arabia International Conference and Exhibition, our biggest event of the year. We had 28 recruiters at the Job Fair and over 300 candidates applying, as well as 40 exhibitors showing the latest products and innovations in ELT. Twelve internationally renowned plenary and invited speakers came to Dubai from USA, UK, Australia, Germany, Iran, and Egypt. A conference this big doesn’t happen all by itself. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the conference organizing committee: Marion Smith, Julie Riddlebarger, Peter McLaren, Mick King, Racquel Warner, Trace Manuel, Paul Sirban, Sufian Abu Rmaileh, Christina Gitsaki, Dima Yousef, Sally McQuinn, Sheri Henderson, Christine Coombe, Naziha Ali, and Konrad Cedro. I would also like to thank some unsung heroes of this conference, our graphic designers Nazeer Abubakker and Sudeep Kumar; the venue team, led by Frida Jeonminn Lee; and our conference management company, International Conferences and Exhibitions, LLC. Thirty of Dubai Men’s College facilities staff worked six hours putting TESOL Arabia and sponsorship promotional items in the conference bags, boxing them up, and shipping them to the site venue. The IT staff for the conference was also provided by Dubai Men’s College: Mohamed and Khawla Abu Hannad, Pol Vasquez, Khalid Al Falasi, and Muhamed Imran. TESOL Arabia member Vicky Allen was responsible for sourcing our bags from the Chetana Women’s Empowerment Group in Nepal. By doing this, we helped 22 Nepali women feed their families for five months. This year, for the first time, we had almost 100 volunteers, both students and members of TESOL Arabia, working at the conference to help with traffic flow, volunteer at the TESOL Arabia stand, and generally assist with the many onsite needs of the conference. Thank you for your support! Also for the first time in the history of our organization, TESOL Arabia awarded four full scholarships to attend the conference to recipients from the greater MENA region: Hamed Khalil and Mayssa Hashad from Egypt, Lamia Ben Amor from Tunisia, and Muhammad Tahar Assess from Algeria. Our Platinum Sponsors were AMIDEAST TOEFL/TOEIC, IDP IELTS, and TATWEER for Educational Services; TATWEER sponsored over 100 supervisors from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education attending this year’s conference. The US Embassy was our Gold Sponsor, and provided our Plenary Speaker Donna Brinton and our Featured Speaker Tom Robb. Arab Gulf Education and the American University of the Middle East were Silver Sponsors. Our Bronze Sponsor, Cambridge University Press, provided our Featured Speaker Ben Goldstein. Thank you to all of you for making this year’s conference a success!

Melanie Gobert Conference Chair, 2015

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Feature Article

Jeff Mehring Ohkagakuen University, Nagoya, Japan

Examining Learner Motivation during New Teaching Practices: An Action-Based Research Study

Much research has been done on learning styles and strategies, but less has been done on learners’ assumptions and beliefs about language learning. Learners’ assumptions and beliefs can affect the learning process, including motivation and attention. In order to design activities to build attention and motivation, this action research discusses how technology and knowledge surveys can be incorporated into a first-year communicative English course for Japanese university students.

Introduction

Today, students enter classes with notions that they can succeed quickly, with ideas on how they should learn, and with a variety of tools that will support their learning (Geer & Sweeney, 2012). Unfortunately, at times instructors may not take student voices into consideration when creating activities or planning lessons. In the researcher’s experience teaching English to Japanese university students, students often express desires to be able to speak English in a short period of time. After a semester or year, when students do not see the results they have hoped for, they tend to lose their initial motivation for learning English. With few opportunities to use the target language outside of the classroom, instructors need to help students witness their own learning processes, to visually see their increased abilities in order to be continually motivated. Students who see the learning situation as a process approach challenging tasks with more motivation, downplaying feelings of failure when making mistakes (Ames & Archer, 1988). This study aimed to take the students’ concerns into consideration, incorporating knowledge surveys Volume 23

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and technology in order to help students maintain a higher level of motivation and attention when learning English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The use of students’ voice to enact educational change could be established in the theoretical frameworks of constructivism, critical constructivism, and critical pedagogy (Stefi-Mabry, Radlick, & Doane, 2010). By exploring the experiences of students who have taken part in this type of class, this study determined if these teaching activities increased EFL students’ attention and motivation to pursue their learning goals. Examination of these issues also provides guidance for instructors who are interested in adapting innovative approaches to second language acquisition. By facilitating a communicative learning environment where students are able to visually review and reflect upon their learning, this model may enhance the second language learning experience. The researcher explored methods to change students’ negative language learning beliefs in order to arouse and maintain motivation and attention. Through the integration of technology and knowledge surveys into the communicative language classroom, the researcher hoped to alter the students’ learning outcomes by allowing them to visually witness and reflect upon their language improvement.

Communicative Language Teaching in Japan

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) developed from the realization that simply understanding the grammatical forms and structures of a language does not properly prepare one for using the language in real-life situations. The CLT approach acknowledges that language cannot be TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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separated from a learner’s character nor his demeanor (Savignon, 2005). The core tenets of CLT are that language teaching is based on language used for communication, language is a social tool learners use to create meaning, diversity is perceived and welcomed as an integral part of language development, and learners engage with language where language has multiple affordances (Berns, 1990; Savignon, 2005). In the CLT classroom, the focus is on the communicative needs of the students with plenty of time allotted for heightened levels of interaction. Howatt (1984) acknowledged two versions of CLT: a weak and a strong version. The significance of the weak version rests upon students being given opportunities to utilize English in communicative settings that integrate activities within a larger language-learning program. The significance of the strong version is the understanding that through authentic, real-life communicative situations, language can be acquired, and that acquisition is simply not an activation of one’s background knowledge nor the stimulation of the language itself (Howatt, 1984; Richards & Rodgers, 1986). The researcher focused on the strong version of CLT because using the target language in real-life situations is also supported by Matsuura, Chiba, and Hilderbrandt (2001) who found that most Japanese students believed that learning to respond to each other and to interact with their teachers was necessary. Enabling students to visually witness themselves communicating authentically with classmates should encourage students to pay attention and sustain motivated levels of self-improvement.

Attention

Simply stated, learning cannot exist without memory or attention (Tokuhama-Espinosa, 2010). If students are not paying attention in class, they will be unable to remember what happened and apply it later during the semester or in their daily lives. Today, the brain is constantly bombarded with incoming stimuli with the increased use of technology (e.g., phone calls, text messages, social media updates), causing the reticular activating system (RAS), the brain’s first filter, to work faster and expect more information (Sprenger, 2010). With all of these stimuli, it is more challenging for instructors to keep a student’s attention. Designing lessons that incorporate an understanding of how the brain learns might help to capture and increase student attention. Volume 23

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Humans have the strongest recollection for information that came first and the second strongest for information that took place last, with the middle part always being the weakest (Sousa, 2006; Tokuhama-Espinosa, 2010). This can be a problem because students will not remember most of the lesson, such as instances where they were successfully communicating with classmates, if the end of the lesson is a discussion of homework or what will be covered in the next class. Adding a reflective piece to each lesson could help students recall what took place during class and enable them to remember the successes they had experienced but forgot about. One way to do this is by incorporating technology. Students could first watch themselves communicating and then reflect upon it, leading to stronger learning outcomes. A benefit of using technology and allowing students to watch themselves is the role mirror neurons may play in learning outcomes. Mirror neurons, which are found in the frontal lobe, activate when a person witnesses others doing actions they themselves can do, or simply put, sees the world from another’s point of view (McNeil, 2009). When students use technology to watch themselves communicate, it could activate their mirror neurons. This could lead to higher levels of attention in class as well as more motivation for students to pursue their learning goals.

Motivation

One of the biggest challenges instructors face in the classroom is student motivation. It can be a daunting task even in a small class as the students’ personal views, instructors’ opinions, in-class activities, and the overall class environment will determine the students’ motivation level; hence both the environment and the students themselves influence one another (Svinicki, 2004). When one is teaching EFL, maintaining students’ motivation can be even more challenging considering students have fewer opportunities to use the language outside of class as compared with students studying English in a country where English is the native tongue. As Deci and Ryan (1987) explained, motivation, either positive or negative, originates from the students’ ability to gauge success and control. If students feel they have little control over their learning environment, the activity is too difficult, or there is little possibility of success, they will lose motivation as the environment and activities have determined the outcomes. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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In order to transform the learning environment into one where students feel a sense of control and can witness success, instructors need to implement strategies that help students determine their potential success (Svinicki, 2004). The belief that students can pursue goals to become what they believe they are capable of could be the basis of self-efficacy or self-actualization (Bandura, 1997; Goble, 1970). A fundamental aspect of intrinsic motivation is based on feedback that communicates to students areas where they are successful and areas where they need to improve in order to reach their goal of self-efficacy (Crow & Small, 2011). In the CLT classroom, intrinsic motivation would stem from the students’ ability to see themselves using English effectively in authentic, real-life situations with classmates. Due to the limited opportunities for students to communicate in the English language outside of class, many students believe they are incapable of using it effectively. To overcome this, instructors need to confront students and demonstrate that these beliefs are inconsistent with reality (Svinicki, 2004). One way to change students’ beliefs is to incorporate technology in order for students to watch themselves communicating effectively in English.

Technology as a Learning Tool

Using video effectively for evaluating communicative strategies and communicative competence can build students’ self-confidence and esteem. As Lonergan (1990) explained, in order for students to master the elements of English, they must first be able to determine how well they have performed on communication tasks. In the current study, students were able to view themselves and determine their ability to perform the communicative activities from each unit. Students were also able to examine their communicative competence as they witnessed themselves using English in authentic situations. Video contains a wealth of information, encouraging students to become constructive learners as they reflect upon and assess their language abilities through an innovative use of technology.

Knowledge Survey

One of the most difficult things for students studying English as a foreign language in Japan is the ability to witness their progress. Richards and Lockhart (1994) stated that a learner’s assumptions and beliefs could affect the learning process, including motivation Volume 23

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and attention. Knowledge surveys (KS) are another method that can be used to help students see their progress. A KS consists of a list of questions based on course objectives that test mastery of the objectives, a method for students to assess their own progress (Nuhfer, 2003). As students read the questions, they assess their confidence on a three-point scale; after the activity is complete, students review the KS, marking changes according to their new confidence. Nuhfer stated, “Knowledge surveys were created to allow instructors to prove that their courses produced specific changes in students’ learning and to disclose the detailed content of a course to students” (2003, p. 61). By orienting students toward performance goals, students can be motivated to communicate in English (Svinicki, 2004). Jeff Mehring is an associate professor at Ohkagakuen University in Nagoya, Japan. He is completing his doctorate in educational learning technologies at Pepperdine University. His research interests include the students’ voice, the integration of technology, and the flipped classroom. More information is available at www.jeffmehring.com.

Study Design

This study investigated how technology and knowledge surveys used in combination could lead to higher levels of motivation and attention among EFL students in a Japanese university setting. The research provides an understanding of student motivations and challenges. This exploratory study addressed the research question: What were the experiences of EFL university students using a combination of technology and knowledge surveys for instruction? For this study to be of use to those considering, or supporting, the transition to this teaching style, the following subquestions were also addressed: • What were the students’ impressions and opinions about using video for self-reflection? • What were the students’ impressions and opinions about using knowledge surveys to assess learning outcomes? • What were students’ perceived benefits and challenges of learning in this format?

Demographics

The participants of the study were 13 Japanese first year students studying EFL in a women’s university. They were enrolled in a skills-based course, Communicative English I, which aimed to develop the students’ ability to express themselves verbally and to acclimate them to the requirements and expectations of college life. The course objectives TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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afterwards each student would review the video and write a short 300-word reflection (See Appendix C). After each group completed the video session, the instructor handed back the KS to each student in the group and asked them to review, update, and return it during the ninth week of the semester.

were to (1) use various learning strategies to build the skills necessary to successfully communicate with their classmates and instructors, (2) use technology as a medium for sharing learning experiences with others, and (3) define the students’ learning goals and plans of action to attain those goals. The course met once a week during the 15-week semester for 90 minutes each week. The students, aged 18 to 19 years, had been studying English between four and six years before entering the university, and had graduated from both public and private high schools. Participants had a Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) score between 200 and 420. (TOEIC scores range from 10-990 with a score between 255-400 considered elementary proficiency (ETS, 2011), or a limited, but functional, ability to communicate in English in simple conversations on a familiar topic.)

At the beginning of week nine, students completed a new KS that the instructor collected. The objectives during this time were to increase discussion times from five to ten minutes, develop fluency, and talk on a variety of topics. During week thirteen, the activity was similar to week seven’s; students were placed in dyads or small groups by the instructor and told they would be videotaped. After each group had been videotaped, the groups were again asked to update the KS, review the video, and write a 300-word reflection. Week fourteen consisted of collecting the KSs and informing students that they would have an individual interview during week fifteen using the same questions from week two. After the individual interviews were conducted, students were asked to review all four videos, the two individual interviews, and the two group videos, and to complete the final reflection (Appendix D). This final activity completed the assignments for the semester.

Class format

During the second week of the semester, students were interviewed in order to have a starting point for students to refer back to at the end of the semester. The recorded interview consisted of the instructor asking each student a number of questions individually whilst recording the interview (Appendix A). Recordings were placed in each student’s personal Google Drive™ folder for student access and viewing.

Findings

At the beginning of the third week, students were given their first KS and asked to read it with a partner (Appendix B). After reading the KS, the instructor and students discussed any unknown vocabulary, making sure that questions were fully understood. Students were given 15 minutes in class to complete the survey, and then the instructor collected them for safekeeping. The objective during the next five weeks was to discuss a variety of communication strategies including asking for and giving information, verbal and non-verbal cues, agreeing and disagreeing, and expressing sureness. Students worked in dyads and small groups to practice the week’s objective using real-life situations. During week seven, the students were placed into dyads or small groups and told they would be videotaped the following week. Students could choose the discussion topic, but had to incorporate the objectives from the previous five weeks into their conversations. Students were informed that they needed to hold a discussion for five minutes and Volume 23

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This section discusses the students’ responses as they related to the research questions. All of the thirteen students who participated in the study completed and returned the knowledge surveys and reflections. In order to ensure anonymity, students are identified here as S1 through S13. All participants’ quotes are transcribed verbatim, thus including a number of language errors.

What were the students’ impressions and opinions about using video for self-reflection?

After reviewing the students’ reflections and comments, there were instances where students found the videos very helpful for both language development and motivation arousal, such as S9 who commented, “Taking video helps me improve my English speaking skills.” S1 concurred, “Yes it was. Because I could find my weak points. So, I think it is very important,” adding later, “Can see weak points. I can fix them. Speaking more naturally now.” The videos enabled students to watch themselves speaking English and recognize their weaknesses. Since students

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were able to recognize their weak points, they could work on them and improve their overall fluency as S11 stated, “Video is important and can look when talking and can speak more. Little by little I can see myself improve.” S8 found that, “Words improved and changed mind, nervous and afraid to speak English but now more relaxed.” S5 realized that, “Communication skill is improving in this class because my English was katakana English But I can talk English naturally than before this semester.” (Katakana English is a result of Japanese speakers adding a vowel to the end of common English words so they are easier to pronounce; for example but becomes buto, and becomes ando, email becomes mēru.) S2 mentioned, “Yes I thought my English is improving because I could be able to speak little naturally.” Students also commented that the videos motivated them to keep practicing in order to improve, as S6 pointed out, “Helped to stay motivated,” and S1, “Keeps me motivated.” S12 commented that, “It is encouragement to me. I want to increase knowledges more and more. I want to speak well.” Other students had similar comments. S4 stated, “This video give me to drive,” and S5 mentioned that, “I saw video and wanted to increase speaking ability.” The videos were helpful to students because they could find areas where their language abilities were improving, but the videos also made students realize that the image they possessed of their language abilities may not always be accurate. Videos exposed students to ideas they may not have been aware of before watching the video. For example, S9 realized that, “I cannot speak English so I need to try harder,” and S10 found that, “I thought I can talk English with my friends but video showed I cannot talk English smoothly.” Motivation extends from the students’ ability to gauge success (Deci & Ryan, 1987), and from the videos, students were able to witness themselves interacting and using the target language in authentic situations, witnessing both positive achievements and negative areas for further improvements.

What were the students’ impressions and opinions about using knowledge surveys to assess learning outcomes? The knowledge surveys did not seem as beneficial to the students as the videos were. S2 stated, “I don’t think its helpful because I don’t know the standard level,” S8 commented, “So-so, I think that I should Volume 23

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effort more,” and S12 pointed out, “No, it was not. Because I could not remember just simple words.” The researcher feels this is mainly due to two points: (1) students were unaccustomed to using KSs, and (2) they were not an active part of the students’ regular class. When the KSs were first introduced, the instructor found that students had trouble understanding what the KS represented and how to correctly answer the questions. Upon further discussions, the instructor realized that students had never been asked to assess their learning using this type of system before, and that it would take students time to comprehend the benefits of the KS. Second, students completed the KS at the beginning of a unit, and then it was collected and held by the instructor until the end of the unit. Considering the units were between four and five weeks long, students usually forgot about the KS. The KS was not an active part of each class, whereas the videos were accessible to the students all the time. In the future, it would be beneficial to have the knowledge surveys stored online so they will be accessible to students. Taking into account that the KSs were new and not a regular part of class, a few students did find them useful in their learning. S1 stated, “I could make sure of my thinking. I knew my opinion.” S10 said, “I can look back,” and S9 mentioned, “I can preparations for lessons review.” The KS seemed to have mixed results in the study, but as students become accustomed to them, KSs could become a helpful tool for students to gauge success.

What were students’ perceived benefits and challenges of learning in this format?

The written reflections and videos point to instances where the students felt this new learning environment was beneficial as pointed out by S2: “By watching it, I was able to see how much I improved in speaking, so I think its helpful to keep motivated.” Later during the interview S2 added, “I think my attitude for speaking little better. At first I didn’t want to speak in English but now I enjoy speaking English. I think video work helped to improve speaking skill because I could compare my attitude and skill for speaking.” S8 concurred, “The videos have helped me to study motivated when I am studying English. I knew my English is improving. I can confirm that communication’s situation. The TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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videos were useful for me to improve communication skills.” Later S8 added, “Whether or not I can achieve my goals depend on how strongly I believe in myself.” Finally, S7 mentioned, “Yes these are. Because I can judge my English level on my own eyes,” adding later, “My motivation for studying English kept same level before because keeping same level was the best way for me, but now it has gone up. Through four months, I think I want to study more hard!” Videos afforded students opportunities to witness themselves communicating in English, encouraging them to remain motivated and improve. Comparing their English abilities at the beginning of the semester and then at the end enabled students to visualize actual progress. It also helped students to assess their weak areas and devise a plan for continual improvement. This new learning format gave students the move up motivation necessary to continue trying to communicate in English even though they did not have many opportunities outside of class to speak English. Students recognized that the learning environment had changed, inspiring them to communicate and achieve their language learning goals. Incorporating knowledge surveys and video into the classroom improved learning; students were using English in authentic situations where they strived to improve.

Conclusion

In order to arouse and maintain student motivation and attention, instructors need to design new learning formats that incorporate the latest teaching tools available. Technology can play a major role in learning a foreign language. Providing students with evidence that demonstrates their improvement will also help increase student motivation and encourage students to realize their language learning goals. Changing a learner’s beliefs and assumptions about their language abilities is not easy, but with the right format and tools, it can become a significant motivating factor in learning a foreign language.

References

Ames, C., & Archer, J. (1988). Achievement goals in the classroom: Students’ learning strategies and motivation processes. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(3), 260-267. Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy:The exercise of control. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman. Berns, M. (1990). Contexts of competence: Social and cultural considerations in communicative language teaching. New York, NY: Plenum. Volume 23

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Crow, S., & Small, R. (2011). Developing the motivation within: Using praise and rewards effectively. School Library Monthly, 27(5), 5-7. Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (1987). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York, NY: Plenum. ETS. (2011). TOEIC Correlation Table. TOEIC Listening and Reading Scores Descriptors and European CEFR levels. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. Geer, R., & Sweeney, T. (2012). Students’ voices about learning with technology. Journal of Social Sciences, 8(2), 294-303. Goble, F. (1970). The third force:The psychology of Abraham Maslow, a revolutionary new view of man. New York, NY: Pocket Books. Howatt, A. P. R. (1984). A history of English language teaching. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Lonergan, J. (1990). Making the most of your video camera. London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research. Matsuura, H., Chiba, R., & Hilderbrandt, P. (2001). Beliefs about learning and teaching communicative English in Japan. JALT Journal, 23(1), 69-89. McNeil, F. (2009). Learning with the brain in mind. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Nuhfer, E. (2003). The knowledge survey: A tool for all reasons. To Improve the Academy, 21, 59-78. Richards, J. C., & Lockhart, C. (1994). Reflective teaching in second language classrooms. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (1986). Approaches and methods in language teaching. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Savignon, S. (2005). Communicative language teaching: Strategies and goals. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 635-651). New York, NY: Routledge. Sousa, D. (2006). How the brain learns. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Sprenger, M. (2010). Brain-based teaching in the digital age. Alexandria,VA: ASCD. Stefi-Mabry, J., Radlick, J., & Doane, W. (2010). Can you hear me now? Student voice: High school and middle school students’ perceptions of teachers, ICT and learning. International Journal of Education and Development Using Information and Communication Technology, 6(4), 64-82. Svinicki, M. (2004). Learning and motivation in the postsecondary classroom. San Francisco, CA: JosseyBass.

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Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2010). The new science of teaching and learning. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

1) Were you and your partner able to speak naturally? Why? Why not? 2) Were you and your partner able to talk about a variety of topics? Give an example from the video. 3) Do you feel your English is improving as you watch yourself on video? Why? Why not?

APPENDIX A First Interview Questions Next week you will have a short talk with the instructor. This talk will be videotaped and is NOT graded. The video is to show your starting point in this class.You will be asked the following questions:

APPENDIX D Final Video Reflection Questions After reviewing the 4 videos (your introduction video, the 2 partner videos, and the final interview video), reflect on and answer the following questions. You can write in either Japanese or English.

1) 2) 3) 4)

What do you like about English? What are your strengths in English? What are your weaknesses in English? What do you want to do this year to improve your skills in English? 5) What is your image of a university student? 6) What is something that is happening in the news right now?

1) Tell me one area where you can see improvement. 2) Tell me one area that you want to continue to work on. 3) How have the videos and knowledge surveys helped you to remain motivated and study English?

APPENDIX B Knowledge Survey

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Don›t Understand

Well

Not Very Well

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Not At All

I can give my opinion. I can agree with someone. I can disagree with someone. I can give a reason when I agree or disagree. I can use many phrases for giving my opinion. I can ask others for their opinion. My motivation for studying English has:

Gone up

Gone Stayed down the same

Why? Please explain:

APPENDIX C Second Video Reflection Questions After watching the video, alone or with your partner, comment on the following questions: Volume 23

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Bringing the World into Our Classrooms: A Trend Towards Promoting Language Education Fatma Abdullah Alsaidi Sohar College of Applied Sciences, Sohar, Oman Global education has received vital recognition as an indispensable trend in today’s globalised world. With such an interconnected world, dealing with a host of globalised issues becomes inevitable in language education. This paper discusses a number of issues regarding the possibility of incorporating a global perspective into second/foreign language education, and also considers some of the implications of a global educational approach for language classrooms. In spite of the popularity of this innovative learning approach, a critical analysis is necessary to ascertain its efficacy with regard to teaching/learning situations.

Introduction

Educational perspectives are influenced by many integrated factors which cannot be split; among those factors are information and knowledge, international interdependency and global engagement, ethics, values, responsibilities, cultural sensitivity, rapid development of technology, learning and leisure. These issues are of vital impact upon teaching/learning approaches, and particularly language teaching approaches. By offering perspectives on global education as an innovative approach to the field, this paper aims at strengthening our understanding of global education and its relationship to language teaching. It also aims at supporting teachers and students to become more aware of their own global education activities. The paper briefly discusses the concept of global education and its relevance to foreign language teaching, focusing on global issues as a way of incorporating a global perspective into foreign language education. Since language awareness goes in line with knowledge of the world, riding the wave of global education poses certain applications in Second/ Foreign Language Teaching (SLT/FLT). Volume 23

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Related concepts

Global education, according to Global Education Week Network, is “an education perspective which arises from the fact that contemporary people live and interact in an increasingly globalised world” (2012, p. 10). The globalised world is one where political, economic, social, and cultural features become interrelated in a way that contracts the differences and widens the similarities among people (Basedow & Kono, 2000). The global education approach first emerged in the 1970s and 1980s in the field of social studies (Yakovchuk, 2004). Throughout those two decades, the concept was influenced by world political and economic priorities. Later, however, this concept began to reflect a more humanistic perspective, aiming to promote “the knowledge, attitudes and skills relevant to living responsibly in a multicultural, interdependent world” (Yakovchuk, 2004, p. 30). At the forefront of global education is language teaching since language plays a central role in global communications and interactions and is also one of the main subjects in any educational system. As pointed out by Cates (2000), a global education approach in language teaching involves the integration of global issues into language classroom instruction via placing sufficient emphasis on globalised themes and building activities that link students to their world. In fact, concepts such as social responsibility, individual differences, cultures, and world citizenship can efficiently link students to their wider world. It is an approach to language teaching that “aims to enable students to effectively acquire a foreign language while empowering them with the knowledge, skills, and commitment required by world citizens to solve global problems” (Cates, 2014, p. 41). TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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It is worth pointing out that the concept of global issues is a related concept that needs to be highlighted. Many definitions have been suggested to describe this general term. One is provided by Pike and Selby (1988), who state that a global issue is “a contemporary phenomenon affecting the lives of people and/or the health of the planet in a harmful or potentially harmful way” (cited in Yakovchuk, 2004, p. 32). However, this definition... definition is predominantly associated with the negative sides of global issues, despite the fact that the concept can also be used to refer to world issues including values, responsibilities, citizenship, and cultures. A more comprehensive definition is offered by Bhargava (2006), who considers that any important concepts and concerns for the international community, either in developed or developing countries, can be addressed by globalised issues. This later explanation, consequently, indicates a thorough picture for the concept. Hence, the above definitions and Cates’s perspective will guide the discussion in this paper.

Rationale for global education

As mentioned above, global education is an education perspective which has been proposed to be in line with the increasing demand for interconnections among people around the world. This fact has enhanced the necessity for dealing with more globalised issues and providing learners with the opportunities and competencies to reflect and share their perspectives and roles within a global community. Understanding and discussing complex relationships of common cultural, social, political, and economic issues are crucial elements for education today. Learners need to develop new ways of thinking and acting based on available materials and obtained knowledge (Jacobs & Cates, 1999). When defining global education, the Maastricht Global Education Declaration (O’Loughlin & Wegimont, 2002) states that “it opens people’s eyes and minds to the realities of the globalised world and awakens them to bring about a world of greater justice, equity and human rights for all.” Fisher and Hicks (1985, as cited in Cates, 2002, p. 41) pointed out that global education has strong potential to promote skills, manners, attitudes, and knowledge which boost learners to live responsibly in a multicultural, interrelated world. Similarly, Cates Volume 23

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(2000, p. 241) divides the goals of global education into four essential domains, described below. · Knowledge about countries and cultures, and about global problems, their causes and solutions; · Skills of critical thinking, cooperative problem solving, conflict resolution, and seeing issues from multiple perspectives; · Attitudes of global awareness, cultural appreciation, respect for diversity, and empathy; · Action: the final aim of global learning is to have students think globally and act locally. The fact that our planet faces serious global issues or world problems entails looking for effective solutions. As Kniep (1987) notes, “hardly a day goes by without an announcement of terrorist activities, the latest energy crisis, the suffering of displaced people in refugee camps or the repression through violent means of people seeking their human rights” (cited in Cates, 2014, p. 42). Another important rationale for global education has to do with current education systems. Cates (2014) reports that a number of educators are concerned about the fact that a large proportion of students worldwide do not have sufficient preparation to cope with global problems. Within the same discussion, Cates points out that “too often, schools around the world are locked into traditional education systems that feature rote memorization, passive learning, examination pressure, and the discouragement of critical thinking” (p. 41). It is obvious to concerned educators that education has to be developed in a way that enables the new generation to maintain satisfactory knowledge of their planet which will permit them to cope with its serious problems. Such a perspective is not new as its concerns have been expressed by international figures in many parts of the world. As an example, Asia expert Edwin Reischauer (cited in Cates, 2002), formerly the US ambassador to Japan, stated: We need a profound reshaping of education… Humanity is facing grave difficulties that can only be solved on a global scale. Education is not moving rapidly enough to provide the knowledge about the outside world and the attitudes toward other people that may be essential for human survival. (p. 42) TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Global education and language teaching

Being aware of global problems, understanding why they occur, caring about and having the skills to overcome the problems, and being able to evaluate different proposals for addressing them are vital concerns all over the world. A language teacher has two roles in society: to convey linguistic knowledge and to educate students for a better understanding of the world. In other words, being a language teacher requires certain actions – not only teaching grammar, vocabulary, or communication skills, but also equipping learners with the knowledge, skills, and values which can help them confront both local and global problems. As Yakovchuk (2004) points out, by integrating global education into language classrooms, a global approach aims at maintaining linguistic competence and building global awareness so that students can effectively speak the language and have the required skills, knowledge, and commitment that world citizens need to cope with global problems. Fatma Abdullah Hamed Al-Saidi holds a Master’s degree in TESOL. She is a lecturer at Sohar College of Applied Sciences, Ministry of Higher Education, Oman. Her interests include educational research, cross-disciplinary research, metacognitive strategies, educational technology, study/academic skills, and curriculum design.

The past thirty years have seen a growing number of professional groups working to tackle globalised concerns and making efforts to solve world problems by conducting and using research, educating the public, and pursuing political action.Thus, language teachers have to play their role in such phenomenon. Cates (2014) states that “if language teachers truly aspire to be [professional] in the real sense of the word, then they must consider this aspect of social responsibility” (p. 42). In addition, the status of language teachers within the field of education imposes their role in promoting peace, helping saving the environment, and educating their students about their sphere, all of which are the core of global education. That is why global issues should be paid adequate attention to in the language classroom. In light of that, there is a common belief that the second or foreign language (SL/FL) classroom is the proper place for introducing global issues (Maley, 1992, cited in Cates, 2000; Dyer & Bushell, 1996; Jacobs & Cates 1999; Tennant, 2005). Dyer and Bushell (1996), for instance, claim that “students should be encouraged to use their English to clarify and express their values, to think and speak critically about world issues, and to judge and synthesise other perspectives” (p. 2). Volume 23

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Consequently, it is believed that the foreign language classroom can be a step towards utilizing global perceptions as it is a meeting point between two languages which may be spoken in a number of countries. This means many cultures will be talked about in the classroom and, therefore, students will be familiarized with many issues in these countries.

Integrating global issues in second/ foreign language teaching

As Wilga Rivers (1976), a famous figure in education, has written, “As language teachers we are the most fortunate of teachers; all subjects are ours. Whatever the students want to communicate about, whatever they want to read about is our subject matter” (cited in Jacobs & Cates, 1999). Hence, based on such a merit, it is easier for language teachers to consolidate global issues in the learning situation without having to change the given materials. Infusing globalised issues into language teaching does not mean applying it in every lesson, group discussion, writing, or reading passage. It is rather showing awareness of such issues while teaching, as it is not a subject in itself. Teachers can refer to global issues mentioned in newspapers, magazines, or specialised books, taking into account appropriateness for students’ levels, ages, genders, etc. Although whole lessons focused on global issues may be an unaffordable luxury for classes under syllabus and timetable pressure, many teachers tackle global issues in a mixture of ways. Some have students focus on a global concern as an integral part of a lesson. For example, if the focus of the lesson is on a certain grammar point mentioned regularly in a reading passage, the teacher may choose a passage of global concern. One similar application is in the Omani English course book for grade 12 (Ministry of Education, 2009). The reading passage is about eco-cities, cities that efficiently use natural resources while providing a comfortable life for their citizens, and the focus of the lesson is on modal verbs used frequently in the text. By having such lessons, the students would learn about a global concern (cities that help protect the environment) as well as the needed grammar point.

Choosing global issues

In her study,Yakovchuk (2004), concludes that “students’ characteristics (namely, interests and needs, age, language competence, etc.) emerge as the most favoured criterion for selecting which global issues to

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address and which global values to promote in foreign language teaching” (p. 40). She explained her findings in relation to the current trends in methodology towards learner centeredness and learner autonomy. There are many topics which can be dealt with such as global warming, natural wonders, natural disasters, or desertification. Other topics might be more generic issues such as peace, justice and equality, human rights and social responsibility, globalization and world development, social identity, pollution, fair trade, endangered animals, and the role of the English language and English language teaching in the world. All of these have vital impacts upon our perceptions of the world. Having chosen a topic or topics, teachers can then devise a wide range of activities that can be applied in the classrooms. They can utilize a number of activities with the four skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. For example, grammar and vocabulary lessons can serve as means in which global issues can be raised. Through these two subskills, students may learn a variety of concepts and be able to handle knowledge of their world. Additionally, students can participate in choosing the topics to be covered. Their involvement can be through bringing materials to the class (e.g., simplified texts, magazines, etc.), suggesting global topics associated with events taking place where they live (e.g., pollution in a nearby city, river, etc.). Doing so would also assist in making generic issues more localized and relevant to the students’ needs and interests. By localizing global issues, teacher may achieve a number of things. The first is that students become far more involved in the topic. There is also a practical aspect of such accomplishment. In Tennant’s (2005) words, “rather than simply being English lessons, and a means of improving students’ language skills, the lessons can be a means of activating students and getting them to do something constructive in terms of global and local issues” (p. 25).

Tools for bringing the world into the classroom

The web, governmental and non-governmental organizations, the media (e.g., TV, newspapers, and magazines), businesses, and books are all good resources for globalised topics.Various tools can be used to apply these resources to support language teaching and learning. The following is a list of some tools and means that can be utilized for a better understanding of the world. Volume 23

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Computer and Internet: Using computers in schools has many rewards. One of these rewards is utilizing different programs and software, using their features for both teachers’ and students’ benefit leads to a better learning experience. Likewise, having access to the Internet and its immense materials can aid language teaching with creative sources. Generally, technology holds great promise for helping teachers provide those materials to students. Smartphones, apps and tablets: Teachers can encourage their students to use certain apps prior to class in order to facilitate the learning process. Recommending some apps before the class will initiate discussions and enable students to gain some knowledge needed for meeting the specified objectives within a shorter time. There are hundreds of apps available which contribute to building global competence. Numerous apps on various platforms are built around global perspectives. Some examples include Being Global, Know Your Country,Word Lens, Stuck on Earth, Global Safety Initiatives, Global News, Earthviewer, Nature’s Notebook, Global Sleepover. Television and video: Teachers may utilize television in their classes in a way that serves language learning. They may show a program which talks about a global issue and develop discussion and activities based on it. Harmer (2001) states that “We will often be able to introduce a short two- or three-minute video extract into a lesson devoted to a particular topic. If students are working on a reading text about genetically modified food and animals, for example, we might show a quick interview clip with a government minister, or a quick burst of a news bulletin about campaigners against genetic modification” (p. 285). Realia: Using realia helps to make topics more realistic. When talking about recycling, for instance, the teacher can bring recycled materials such as bags, bottles, or books printed on recycled paper. They will be especially useful where there are worksheets and related materials for the students to work with. Projects: Having students do service projects teaches social skills and helps them understand their society. Among the earliest documented service learning courses for the SL/FL classroom is one mentioned by Warschauer and Cook (1999). They describe a course in which ESL students help community members develop technology skills. Such a course helps students overcome the embarrassment of speaking by giving them a chance to teach a topic they are confident TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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about. Thousands of young people from different countries have joined community aid projects and adventure challenges, finding out about each other’s lives, sharing experiences, and forming life-long friendships while helping developing societies as part of an unofficial global citizenship education. Involving students in such projects would develop their confidence and leadership, and teach them things beyond their course books and classroom walls. Newspapers and magazines: Newspapers and magazines can be an excellent resource. They are filled with a variety of global issues with updated statistics and information. However, teachers need to choose the materials which suit their students’ level since many of these sources are written for educated people who speak the language efficiently. To solve this problem, teachers may have to rewrite the material in a way which suits their students, or they can search for simplified versions. Commercially available teaching materials: There are many course books in which a number of global issues can be found. Other materials can be taken from the internet where free various lesson plans, reading passages and listening materials are available.

Examples of implementation

Fortunately, more SL/FL language textbooks now include lessons dealing with global themes (Cates, 2014). Scrutinizing the English curriculum being taught in Oman can provide a clear indication of this. The curriculum includes themes like Natural Disasters (Ministry of Education, 2007), Global Issues, and Our Blue Planet (Ministry of Education, 2009), to name a few. More recent examples have also been added to Our World Through English (Ministry of Education, 2012), the English curriculum being used in many schools in Oman. Apart from Oman, numerous English SL/FL textbooks include global issues in their lessons, ranging from topics about famous figures such as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Mother Teresa to world concerns like tropical rainforests, world hunger, poverty, and drought. English language textbooks which explicitly include global issue themes have increased rapidly in recent years (Cates, 2014, p. 46). Cates (2014) identifies various examples including Making Peace (Brooks & Fox, 1995), Global Views (Sokolik, 1993), The Global Classroom (de Cou-Landberg, 1995), Volume 23

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Environmental Issues (Peaty, 1995), Impact Issues (Day & Yamanaka, 1998), and The World Around Us (Hoppenrath & Royal, 1997). There is also a well-known project that covers many issues around the world, the Global Consortium for Sustainable Peace (GCSP). It is a promising project developed in relation to the perspective of global education.The GCSP, according to the Global Education Week Network (2012), is “a network of global partner institutions that share the common goals of bridging cultural gaps in our world, examining global challenges and solutions, increasing global competencies, and fostering peace through global education, dialogue, and conflict resolution” (p. 4).

Beyond the classroom

Since many course books cover a wide range of topics associated with global issues, one might wonder what the next step would be after teaching these topics in schools. We may say students will be able to know their world, identify major problems, and have some background of the main issues facing our world. However, these are theoretical perspectives which need to be applied in real life. According to Jacobs and Cates (1999), a number of activities can be accomplished by individuals and teachers. Among these activities are writing letters to governments, organizations and companies; growing trees and other plants; reducing use of paper, energy, and containers; reusing materials such as glass jars; recycling materials; buying recycled products; educating others; taking part in campaigns; fundraising; boycotting environmentally unfriendly products; buying environmentally friendly products. All of these can be done by students, and they can help persuade their families to do so, as well.

Reflection

Global education in general and teaching global issues in particular, like any other teaching approach should not be presented without inquisitive implementation. When dealing with global issues, a variety of elements should be taken into consideration including dilemmas, tensions, sensitivities, biases, preconceptions, doubts, and different perceptions which may appear in the education process. In other words, teachers must analyse their pedagogical situations and, based on that analysis, search for the most appropriate issues to cover with their students. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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This entails some necessary attempts to localise the issues being taught. This local perspective has become essential due to the common complaint that course books tend to deal with the same global issue topics despite the variety of students’ contexts and circumstances. In addition, these topics are nearly always dealt with in broad terms (Tennant, 2005). Furthermore, there is a debate about which global issues should be adopted and pinpointed within a particular teaching context. Some topics should be included due to their local effects and consequences. Covering global topics that are related to our local lives is of great importance. As Tennant (2005) states: I think one of the problems is in the very name Global Issues itself. Although these issues are global, one of the most important aspects about them is that they are local as well, or at least there are local consequences. If they weren’t, then their relevance and importance to students would be far less than it is. (para. 2)

Conclusion

Educators around the world have become more concerned about the planet and the future of humanity on earth. SL/FL teaching is a field in which these concerns can be translated into more actual work. By bringing global issues into the language classroom, teachers hope to empower learners to become more critical citizens. To this end, educators all over the world are trying their best to integrate social and global issues into the school curriculum wherever possible.

References Basedow, J., & Kono, T. (Eds.). (2000). Legal aspects of globalization: Conflict of laws, internet, capital markets and insolvency in a global economy. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International. Bhargava,V. K. (2006). Global issues for global citizens: An introduction to key development challenges. Washington, DC: World Bank Publications. Brooks, E., & Fox, L. (1995). Making peace. New York, NY: St. Martins Press Cates, K. (2000). Entry for global education. London, UK: Routledge. Cates, K. (2002). Teaching for a better world: Global issues and language education. In Human rights in Asian schools, (Vol V). Osaka, JP: AsiaPacific Human Rights Information Center. Retrieved from http://www.hurights.or.jp/pub/ hreas/5/06cates.pdf

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Day, R., & Yamanaka, J. (1998). Impact issues. Hong Kong: Lingual House/Longman. de CouLandberg, M. (1995). The global classroom. New Jersey: Addison Wesley. de Cou-Landberg, M. (1995). The global classroom. New Jersey: Addison Wesley. Dyer, B., & Bushell, B. (1996). World issues or a global perspective?. The Language Teacher, 20(11), 10-16. Global Education Week Network. (2012). Global education guidelines: Concepts and methodologies on global education for educators and policy makers. Lisbon, PT: North-South Centre of the Council of Europe. Harmer, J. (2001). The Practice of English Language Teaching. Harlow, UK: Longman. Hoppenrath, C., & Royal, W. (1997). The world around us. Toronto: Harcourt Brace. Jacobs, G. M. & Cates, K. (1999). Global education in second language teaching. KATA, 1(1), 44-56. O’Loughlin, E., & Wegimont, L. (Eds.). (2002). Global education in Europe to 2015: Strategy, policies, and perspectives. Outcomes and papers of the Europe-wide global education congress, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Lisbon, PT: NorthSouth Centre of the Council of Europe. Peaty, D. (1995). Environmental issues. Tokyo: Macmillan. Ministry of Education (Oman). (2007). English for me (Class book for Grade 10A). Muscat: Technical Printing Press. Ministry of Education (Oman). (2009). Engage with English (Course book for Grade 12B). Muscat: Almazoon Printing Press. Ministry of Education (Oman). (2012). Our world through English. Muscat: Almazoon Printing Press. Pike, G., & Selby, D. (1988). Global teacher, global learner. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Sokolik, M. (1993). Tapestry: Global views. New York: Heinle and Heinle. Tennant, A. (2005). Making global issues local. Global Issues Special Interest Group Newsletter, 18 (IATEFL). Retrieved from http://gisig.iatefl.org/ newsletter-highlights/making-global-issues-localby-adrian-tennant Warschauer, M., & Cook, J. (1999). Service learning and technology in TESOL. Prospect, 14(3), 32-39. Yakovchuk, N. (2004). Global issues and values in foreign language education: Selection and awareness-raising. English Language Teacher Education and Development, 8, 28-47. i

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Humor as an Instructional Tool in Qatari Foundation English Classes This paper is an action research project designed to examine the usage of humor as an instructional tool in the Qatari female English as a Foreign Language classroom (EFL). The surveyed students attend a college in Doha where they are enrolled in an English foundation program. Through qualitatively surveying students in three levels in this program, the researcher attempted to better understand the attitudes and mindsets of Qatari female college students towards humor as an instructional tool. Participants answered questions anonymously in free response form. The results of the survey revealed that humor is indeed important to this population because it enhances classroom learning.

Introduction

Education, and particularly learning English, should be fun. Classes of all types should encourage students to learn more about themselves, and make connections between other disciplines and the world around them. Teachers who help students see that interconnectivity exists between education disciplines, the working world, and individual lives perform a great service. The author takes a humanistic approach towards his teaching, and principles behind this type of teaching guide his method of instruction. When students are having fun and enjoying class, they are more likely to be engaged with the material. Furthermore, the author believes that when students like coming to class, it breaks down their affective filters and enables them to understand concepts with greater ease; this is especially true in the EFL environment. Students need to feel comfortable and like being in the classroom to learn at a higher level. Humor can play an important role in this regard. This paper explores what humor is appropriate and inappropriate in the Qatari female EFL college classroom. Volume 23

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Bryan Corbin Southwestern College Winfield, KS, USA

Purpose, Defining Variables, and Research Questions

The main purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes that Qatari female students enrolled in EFL classes had toward humor as an instructional tool. The research proposal asked the primary question: what types of humor do Qatari female students learning English find most appropriate and helpful? The other research question asked: what types of humor does this same population find inappropriate for use in the classroom? Since the majority of the survey questions were open response, there were few variables to define. However, the definition of humor used in this study is “the ability to be funny or to be amused by things that are funny” (“Humor,” n.d.).

Review of Literature

The main themes that emerged from the review of the literature included the impact of humor on the health of students; effective and ineffective ways for teachers to use humor; the importance of instructors knowing their students before employing humor; understanding cultural nuances for humor; the necessity of having humor be specific and related to course content; ways that humor can change the learning process; and humor as a way to bridge gaps of misunderstanding and bring a class to the same mindset. Humor in the classroom has been studied in great depth over the years. Zhang (2005) found that proper use of humor by students decreased students’ communication apprehension. When used correctly, humor has a special way of bringing people together and helping everyone come to the same page about a particular idea or issue (Seidman & Brown, 2013). However, for humor to be successful and considered appropriate by students, the teacher must know his/her students well and understand their cultural norms (Seidman & Brown, 2013). Hellman TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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(2007) recommends that teachers use the first class meeting to get to know their students and to help students understand the way class will be conducted throughout the semester. If humor is to be employed successfully in a course, it needs to be well suited for the content directed, and to the point (Garner, 2006). The risk of offending students unknowingly is possible, so this possibility was taken into consideration while writing the research questions for this paper. It seems logical then that there are a number of socio-cultural factors that can play a significant role in relation to using humor appropriately (Wagner & UriosAparisi, 2011). Thus, in order to avoid offending individuals from a culture different from the instructors’, it would be wise for instructors to have a solid grasp of the students’ culture before attempting to engage humor as an essential component of the lesson. Humor, when used appropriately, can improve students’ opinions related to their ability to learn content, and it can also increase attention spans. However, it should not be tasteless or without a purpose (Shibinski & Martin, 2010). As Banas, Dunbar, Rodriguez, and Liu (2011) concluded, it is important to use relevant humor to explain topics being discussed in class. Wanzer, Frymier, Wojtaszczyk, and Smith (2006) looked at appropriate and inappropriate usage of humor in the classroom, and found that 47% of all humor that was considered appropriate was related to the course material, and that using humor related to lessons helped students better understand the concepts being discussed. Popescu (2010) studied usage of humor in English classes taught in Romania. Her extensive study indicated that lessons with humorous elements benefited classroom life. This makes sense because laughter actually affects the cerebral cortex, which in turn enhances vitality (Lei, Cohen, & Russler, 2010). Huss (2008) interviewed a number of teachers about their use of humor in the classroom and anecdotally found that laughter actually starts adrenaline flowing, which helps with the learning process. Some research even suggests that humor can drastically change the learning process (Trunfio, 2011). However, instructors must not try to force humor on those they instruct. In fact, doing so can have a negative effect on the classroom environment Volume 23

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(Wisler, 2011). Wisler queried teacher assistants in higher education classes and found that humor was either used inappropriately or that what was not actually funny was considered disrespectful. Thus, the notion that instructors must know their audience continues to permeate the research conducted on humor in the classroom. Hartwell (2006) analyzed why some jokes were received positively and others were not, concluding that the answer lay in the way people perceived what or whom the joke was about. Englert (2010) invoked humor in her classroom through activities and proved that instructors do not need to rely upon just their words to incorporate humor. On the other hand, James (2004) states that humor can have a variety of incarnations, including intonation, body language, and even facial expressions. Barnes (2012) indicates, though, that using physical humor is an entirely different skill set than using verbal humor, while Huss (2008) unequivocally states that teachers should not use any kind of physical humor in their classroom. Humorous activities and laughs do not always need to come from the teacher. Goebel (2009) has students in his writing classes revise clichés into something worth laughing about. The new clichés can be displayed for publication or even shared during class time for a bit of comic relief. Bryan Corbin is currently earning his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Southwestern College. He works as an EFL instructor in Qatar and has been in that country the past three years. Prior to working in the Middle East, he taught English in Korea and China. He holds a BA in Communications, a master’s degree in Professional Writing, and a second master’s degree in Reading Education and English. Bryan can be reached at: corbinbryan@gmail.com.

Participants and Context of the Study

The purpose of this study was to determine the attitudes of Qatari female students related to humor in the EFL classroom. The students were enrolled in a college foundation program that conducts gendersegregated classes. The majority of students surveyed were in their early twenties. All of the students have graduated from high school and study English in classes of 15 to 25 students. Approximately sixty-four instructors teach in this program. English is the only language of instruction that is allowed in the classroom, so in theory, the students are completely immersed in the language while TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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in classes which take place four days a week for approximately 5.5 hours per day. There are four, 10week levels in the program; in each level, students take grammar, reading, and writing. With each new level the students enter, they build upon previous concepts learned, but at a deeper level. Students from levels two, three, and four were surveyed. Level one students were not surveyed because they are new to the program and thus may not have a proper frame of reference to answer the questions. In addition, their lower level of English would have necessitated more translation.

and 26 from level four. Due to the fact that students in this foundation program have the option of attending classes in Arabic after completing level three, which some do, the pool of prospective respondents was smaller in level four. The openended responses proved to be a challenge for students at all levels to answer, especially at level two; therefore, eight respondents from level two wrote in Arabic, three from level three, and one from level four. These responses were translated into English and included in the analysis.

Besides the author, the participating practitioners were five EFL teachers, each of whom administered surveys to students in their levels. Teachers disseminated and collected the anonymous surveys from their own students. Upon collecting the surveys, the participating teachers returned them to the researcher for analysis. A total of 116 surveys were collected.

The common theme that emerged the most from the open ended questions was that students believe that use of humor in the classroom contributes to a greater understanding of material. One level two student wrote, “Humor makes the class more active and positive, and makes the students understand more.” Many other students echoed similar statements, and most were in agreement that humor helps them grasp material; this may be an indication of how motivated students are to improve their English.

Methodology

The data collection was quite comprehensive since the students surveyed spanned three different levels of the foundation English program. This added credibility to the collected data by providing varied perspectives. The sentences in the student survey were written in plain English in an effort to make the questions easy to understand (Appendix A); they were also translated into Arabic. Surveying three different levels of students allowed for application of the principle of triangulation as students have varying degrees of understanding the English language. Asking open ended questions allowed the researcher to look for patterns in thoughts and perceptions that Qatari students have about use of humor in their EFL classes. Before handing out the surveys, teachers assured students that the survey would not impact their grades. It was also explained that the survey was being conducted as a way of improving teaching at the EFL level. Additionally, students received a permission slip written in Arabic and English detailing the same information; this served to further encourage the students to participate openly and honestly.

Results

One hundred sixteen students responded to the researcher’s survey on utilizing humor in the Qatari female classroom. Forty-seven of the students surveyed were from level two, 43 from level three, Volume 23

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The next most common theme that emerged is that humor in the classroom decreases boredom. This result surprised the researcher because he thought this would be the number one reason why female Qatari students would enjoy employment of humor by EFL instructors. A level four student proclaimed, “A lot of solemnity causes boredom in the class.” Most students, regardless of their culture, do not want a dry class, so it is not surprising that the respondent would feel this way. Many students used the word ‘funny’ in a positive manner. The majority of students considered funny teachers to be a positive aspect of learning; just one student out of the 116 surveyed indicated that having teachers who are funny is a negative trait. The term funny came up most often in response to Question 6, which asked students if they felt it was funny when instructors used words in Arabic. “Yes because they don’t know the pronunciation of a word, and this is a little funny,” stated a level two student. Depending on how poorly or well a native English speaker attempts to speak a word in Arabic, it could very well result in laughter from even the most serious of students. That humor helps with memory retention was the fourth most common theme to emerge from all of the responses. Approximately 28% of the level TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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three respondents indicated that humor helps them remember concepts better. One level three student remarked, “I remember the answers because I often remember the jokes.” However, only 8% of students in level four mentioned that humor helped them with retaining information. This could be because they have already achieved a high level of understanding English, so the impact of humor is not highly significant. Nevertheless, the results clearly indicate that humor can have an effect on the ability of Qatari female students to remember taught material.

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of people from poor to rich, white or black [is not okay].” The students in the researcher’s courses certainly echo the previous quote, as he has never heard a Qatari female student denigrate anyone. In general the students are respectful of others, including their peers, and the responses from the survey help to verify this notion. Therefore, it makes sense then that approximately 30% of the students said they do not approve of the instructor making fun of himself/ herself, or the students he/she teaches.

Physical humor not related to the course was indicated as inappropriate by 21.5% of all students, and 17% of respondents indicated that humor not related to course content was inappropriate to use. The latter result was somewhat surprising given that the students overwhelmingly stated that using humor in the classroom helped them understand concepts better. The reason for this might come from the fact that nearly 64% of the students’ instructors used humor related to the content. This percentage is more in line with students’ perceptions that humor helps them remember the material. It is, therefore, no surprise that 53% of respondents indicated that their instructors used funny stories in the classroom. For better accuracy related to teachers using funny Table 1 stories in the classroom, the survey should have Correlation of Humor in the Classroom specified “funny stories related to the content.” As a result, it is impossible to determine what the students Helps Funny Increases Decreases with Contributes meant when they had “funny stories” in mind. Used Understanding Boredom Memory to Comfort Videos from the Internet and jokes were the next Positively Retention two most widely used instances of humor by Level instructors in the classroom. Jokes, of course, need no 63.83% 38.30% 25.53% 17.02% 25.53% 2 technology, and teachers have been using them for Level a long time to grab the attention of their students. 44.19% 20.93% 13.95% 27.91% 9.30% 3 One level three student said, “Jokes help students Level 50.00% 11.54% 23.08% 7.69% 7.69% love the subjects and make the class easy and simple.” 4 The final theme that emerged was that humor contributes to a comfortable learning environment. When asked if students laughed with their instructors more after getting to know them, a level four student said, “Yes, because it creates a connection, and makes the students more comfortable to ask whatever crosses their minds.” A level two student, when asked whether teachers should use more humor in the classroom, responded, “Yes, I hope we can deal with these kinds of teachers because it makes us feel comfortable and relaxed.” Table 1 below shows the breakdown of responses by most common theme to the open ended questions of the survey.

The rest of the responses did not indicate pattern or theme, but simply expressed a variety of ideas related to humor in the classroom. In terms of questions related to inappropriate usage of humor in the classroom, over 60% of respondents said that it was not appropriate to make fun of religion. Regardless of the level, this point generated the most disapproval. Besides not making fun of any kind of religion, 45% of the students indicated that making fun of any ethnic group is also a problem. A level four student, stated: “Making fun of any other people, any kind

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Instructors teasing their students in an appropriate manner was the lowest incidence of humor incorporated by instructors in the classroom. Perhaps it goes along with what a level two student said, “You should not make fun of things students write.” Students, even the brightest ones, need encouragement. Just 22% of respondents indicated that their instructors employ this type of humor in the classroom. Table 2 below shows the overall percentages to questions two and three.

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Table 2 Percentage of Responses to Multiple Choice Questions 2 & 3 Do you find any of the below attempts at humor inappropriate? The instructor making fun of other religions besides Islam.

The instructor making fun of any ethnic group.

The instructor making fun of himself

The instructor making fun of a student he or she knows well.

Physical Humor

Humor Not Related to Content

60.34%

45.69%

32.76%

30.17%

21.55%

17.24%

Which of the following do your instructors use to make you laugh in the classroom? Funny statements about the material

Funny stories

Videos from The Internet

Jokes

Teasing in a positive and appropriate manner

63.79%

52.59%

38.79%

37.07%

22.41%

Discussion

It is obvious that Qatari female students learning English in foundation programs want humor interjected into their coursework. According to the respondents in the survey, humor helps them understand material better.This is the most important finding of this research. Considering the complexity of learning the English language, instructors are advised to find more ways to make students laugh, to ensure that the learning experience is more enjoyable. In addition, teacher trainers should implement training that supports instructors in utilizing humor effectively in their pedagogy. Next, instructors working on a Qatari female campus need to be aware of the fact that making fun of any religion comes with great potential for being offensive. Additionally making fun of anyone, including one’s self, should not be done. Unfortunately, the results of the research did not reveal as much as anticipated to the primary research question, which asked what types of humor Qatari female students learning English find most appropriate and helpful. Instead, the question revealed why this population is in favor of humor in the classroom. This was due to the openended nature of questions, and a lack of focus on appropriate usage of humor by EFL instructors.

Conclusion

All in all, the results of this study indicate additional research is needed on how and why humor helps Qatari female students understand material better. Future researchers might craft a mixed methods Volume 23

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study to ascertain precisely the ways that humor is beneficial to this population. Also, it would be helpful to conduct similar research on Qatari male students as well. Students learning English in a foreign language environment need all the assistance they can receive to become fluent, so exploring how humor influences their learning process on a deeper level could prove beneficial.

References

Banas, J. A., Dunbar, N., Rodriguez, D., & Liu, S. (2011). A review of humor in educational settings: Four decades of research. Communication Education, 60(1), 115-144. Barnes, C. (2012). It’s no laughing matter… boys’ humour and the performance of defensive masculinities in the classroom. Journal of Gender Studies, 21(3), 239-251. Englert, L. (2010). Learning with laughter: Using humor in the nursing classroom. Nursing Education Perspectives, 31(1), 48-49. Garner, R. L. (2006). Humor in pedagogy: How haha can lead to aha! College Teaching, 54(1). 177180. doi:10.3200/CTCH.54.1.177-180. Goebel, B. A. (2009). Comic relief: Engaging students through humor writing. English Journal, 78(6), 38-43. Hartwell, S. (2006). Humor, anger, rules, and rituals. Clinical Law Review 13(1), 327-377. Hellman, S.V. (2007). Humor in the classroom: Stu’s seven simple steps to success. College Teaching, 55(1), 37-39. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Humor. (n.d.). in Merriam-Webster online dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster. com/dictionary/humor Huss, J. A. (2008). Getting serious about humor: Attitudes of secondary teachers toward the use of humor as a teaching strategy. Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, 3(1), 28-36. James, D. (2004). A need for humor in online courses. College Teaching, 53(3). 93-94. Lei, S. A., Cohen, J. L., & Russler, K. M. (2010). Humor on learning in the college classroom: Evaluating benefits and drawbacks from instructors’ perspectives. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 37(4), 326-331. Popescu, C. (2010). The contribution of humour in language education to the construction of classroom culture. Petroleum - Gas University of Ploiesti Bulletin, Philology Series, 62(2), 1-8. Seidman, A., & Brown, S. (2013). College classroom humor: Even the pundits can benefit. Education, 133(3), 393-395. Shibinski, K., & Martin, M. (2010). The role of humor in enhancing the classroom climate. Athletic Therapy Today, 15(5), 27-29. Trunfio, T. (2011). Navigate by the smiles. The Journal of School Health, 81(2), 53-54. Wagner, M., & Urios-Aparisi, E. (2011). The use of humor in the foreign language classroom: Funny and effective?. Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 24(4), 399-434. Wanzer, M., Frymier, A., Wojtaszczyk, A. M., & Smith, T. (2006). Appropriate and inappropriate uses of humor by teachers. Communication Education, 55(2), 178-196. Wisler, A. (2011). The use of humor in the conflict resolution classroom. Journal for the Study of Peace & Conflict, 2010-2012, 19-27. Zhang, Q. (2005). Immediacy, humor, power distance, and classroom communication apprehension in Chinese college classrooms. Communication Quarterly, 53(1), 109-124.

Appendix A Student Survey Please answer the following questions to the best of your knowledge. The questions are based on humor in the classroom and will be used to improve teaching methods at your school. Thank you for your time. 1. Do you think you learn more when your instructor uses humor to explain concepts? Yes / No and why? Volume 23

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2. Do you find any of the below attempts at humor inappropriate? If so, please circle them. A. Physical humor. B. Humor not related to the content. C. The instructor making fun of himself. D. The instructor making fun of any ethnic group. E. The instructor making fun of religions. F. The instructor making fun of a student he or she knows well. 3. Which of the following do your instructors use to make you laugh in the classroom? A. Jokes B.Videos from the Internet C. Funny statements about the material D. Funny stories E. Teasing in a positive and appropriate manner 4. Do you laugh more with your instructors after you know them better? Yes / No and why? 5. Do you think that instructors who use humor on a regular basis are serious teachers? Yes / No and why? 6. Do you find it funny when an instructor uses a word in Arabic? Yes / No and why? 7. Would you like to see your instructors use more humor in the classroom? Yes / No and why? 8. Besides religion, politics, and inappropriate jokes, are there any reasons why your instructors should not try and make you laugh? Please provide your answer below.

Mark your calendars for the

3rd World Congress on Extensive Reading Dubai, UAE 18-20 September 2015 erfoundation.org/erwc3 TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Collaborative Classroom Writing in a University Summer Intensive Course Introduction

This article is about my experience as a professor at a private, US-affiliated university (referred to as PUAU in this article) in Qatar while teaching a 3-week summer intensive research and writing course. My pedagogical approach to this course was informed by research and my own teaching philosophy, but it was also experimental in nature because it was the first time I taught in this manner. My experience with this new approach has convinced me that collaborative, whole-class writing is an acceptable and appropriate method to teaching research and writing, particularly during an intensive or short-term course.

Context Qatar and PUAU The teaching experience I describe in this article took place at PUAU. PUAU is a branch campus of an established American university. The institutional mandate of the branch campus in Qatar is to replicate the education delivered in the USA; in fact, by simply looking at the degree conferred, one would assume that the student had studied in the USA. In addition to these educational requirements, however, there is also a mandate to fulfill a quota of the student body with Qatari nationals. These students come from a wide range of educational backgrounds and experiences; for the purposes of this article, the most notable consideration is that the vast majority of students studying at PUAU do not come from native English-speaking backgrounds. The course: UNIV 200 UNIV 200: Writing and Rhetoric Workshop II is part of the core curriculum at PUAU; it is a basic research and writing course. Typically, this course is taken during the first semester of students’ sophomore year. However, for a variety of reasons, Volume 23

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Molly McHarg Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar Doha, Qatar

sometimes students take the course later in their academic careers. Classes are predominantly female, and the vast majority (90-95%) use English as their second or third language. Their proficiency levels vary, but typically they have very high, near native, oral proficiency but significantly weaker reading and writing skills. Reading for pleasure is a relatively foreign concept. Similarly, writing skills are often not as highly valued as they are in Western academia. UNIV 200 is notorious for its presence in the curriculum as a gateway course. Quite simply, it may be one of the most challenging courses for students at PUAU. The concepts of research, citation, critical thinking, analysis, and intensive reading and writing are all particularly new and problematic for this demographic. It is not uncommon for students to take the course more than once during their academic careers before they successfully satisfy the requirement. All of these are challenges faced during the average, 15-week academic semester. Therefore, when I offered to teach the course in a 3-week time span during the summer intensive session, I was met with many questions from both faculty and students about how to effectively deliver the course in such a condensed time frame. The following sections delineate my plan and execution of UNIV 200 during the summer of 2014.

Course delivery

There were fourteen students enrolled in the course (despite the official cap of twelve). The course began with me providing students a short reading about summer school. The article very briefly touched on some of the pros and cons of taking summer intensive courses at the university level, and it discussed whether or not short-term courses were as effective as equivalent courses taught during the TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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regular academic semester. The content in the article served as an impetus for class discussion: what did they think? Why were they taking a summer course? Had they taken summer courses before? If so, did they feel they were as effective as courses taken during the regular semester? The students quickly discovered that there were many possible reasons why someone might choose (or be forced to) take a summer course that might be different from their own reasons. I then used this discussion as a launch point into their own research. Although most current best practices in teaching encourage letting students make choices, particularly with writing assignments, I took a critical departure from this standard practice and determined the research topic for the entire class before the course began. All students in the course would be investigating the same topic – summer school – and they would collaboratively research and write about their findings. One of the reasons I made this active choice was that I had experience teaching the course during the regular semester, and I had learned that one of the most time-consuming aspects for students was brainstorming and choosing their research topics. Although this is undoubtedly an important skill, I felt that it was less important for this particular course. One reason was that they had already spent an inordinate amount of time brainstorming and freewriting in their two prior core English courses. Another was that the aim of this course is to provide intense emphasis on research, reading, analysis, synthesis, and writing. Furthermore, although I chose the broad topic of summer school, I did not narrow it down for them; I viewed this as a key step in the research process that they would need to learn about, including practicing honing their skills at developing a research question and thesis. Although space limitations do not allow for a daily recount of lesson plans, below are some of the key activities in which students engaged during the 3-week course.

Key activities

Interviewing: Students worked in pairs to brainstorm appropriate individuals to contact for interviews.These potential interview participants were discussed in the whole class setting, and each student determined whom they would interview and why. Students also worked together with my guidance to develop appropriate interview questions (e.g., Why did you take a summer course? Do you think summer courses are as effective as Volume 23

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25 courses taught during the regular semester? Why or why not?). Citation: Students worked collaboratively to teach themselves appropriate citation. In one of the first lessons, I provided students with a sample Chicago style research paper. I also provided them a variety of handouts with models and explanations of how to cite in Chicago format. Then I gave the class a journal article and asked them to cite it. They struggled individually with the materials provided, then compared answers in pairs, and finally a volunteer wrote the citation on the computer connected to the overhead projector. Almost every class throughout the three weeks was dedicated to a similar activity. Although this took a significant amount of time in the first days, it was extremely quick by the second and third week. Molly McHarg holds a doctoral degree in Composition & TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has lived and worked in Doha, Qatar from 2005-2015, where she served as the President of the Middle East-North Africa Writing Center Alliance (MENAWCA) and served on the Qatar TESOL Executive Board. More information can be found on her website: www.mollymcharg. weebly.com.

Research: All students participated and contributed by conducting their own research. This included conducting interviews and locating appropriate sources in the library. Library workshops contributed to the students’ expertise in researching, and then the students were required to identify, read, analyze, and summarize articles related to the class paper. Each student chose one particular article to present to the class. This classroom presentation offered another means of students showcasing their other talents, such as oral presentation skills. Writing: As noted above, the production of academic writing is one of the key objectives of UNIV 200. Writing during this summer intensive course was both individual and collaborative. As noted above, students were required to conduct their own research and write a brief summary of one article. This writing contributed to the literature review of the final paper. Toward the end of the class, students were placed into groups to collaboratively write the other sections of the paper. The final product was one research paper authored by all students in the class.

Results

By the end of the 3-week course, I felt that the students’ progress in research and writing was almost tangible. A short quiz on citation (completed TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Discussion and applicability to other contexts

individually) demonstrated to me that these students knew more about citation than any students with whom I had previously worked. The final days of class were primarily dedicated to student collaborative writing. During this time, I was able to observe and assess individual students on an ongoing basis. While it was clear to me who the weaker and stronger students were in each group, it was also clear that all students were participating and honing their own skills. More advanced students were able to explain and articulate thoughts and vocabulary in a more sophisticated manner to the weaker students. Weaker students, however, often had important ideas that they could not express as easily in the English language. This constant engagement of language and ideas proved beneficial for learners at all levels.

This type of collaboration works well when given a significant number of important objectives to cover in a short period of time within a multi-level classroom. The collaborative approach affords an opportunity for stronger students to gain leadership and confidence. Best practices in teaching recognize that teaching others is the best way to improve and strengthen one’s own knowledge, and this method reinforces such a concept. Less proficient learners can have more opportunities to work with peers in a shortened time, therefore exposing them to more opinions and a variety of styles and strategies to improve their own learning.

While this teaching approach was well-received in an art and design school because it was perceived by students as emulating the studio model of learning, it is also applicable to learners around the globe in different contexts. Specific tasks and assignments could easily be modified to appropriately fit different learning environments.

Another unique aspect to this particular context is that PUAU is an art and design school. Consequently, most students spend their time in studio classes. Studio classes typically offer long periods of individual and collaborative work with periods of consultation with the faculty member. When I informally polled the students at the end of the UNIV 200 course, they unanimously, but without my prompting, suggested that this was the first English course they had taken that simulated a studio-type course. Consequently, they felt it was more in line with their typical style of learning, and they enjoyed it more than traditional, more lecturebased courses.

Conclusion

Collaborative writing can be implemented effectively in short-term, intensive courses, and can be particularly valuable for English language learners. Thoughtful and informed preparation that recognizes strengths and limitations of student skills, faculty time, and course time are all critical to effective execution in the classroom. i

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Call for TESOL Arabia Conference Proceedings The editors of the Proceedings of the 2015 TESOL Arabia Conference would like to invite you to submit a paper based on your presentation at the TESOL Arabia 2015 Conference to be considered for publication in the next volume of the Proceedings. Only those who presented at the Conference may submit articles for the Proceedings. Please send your article to Publications Coordinator, Peter McLaren at: pmclaren@uaeu.ac.ae The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2015. Please follow the specifications outlined below: · · · · · · · · ·

Articles should be 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 cm. Do not use color in tables or figures. Do not use footnotes. Only use portrait orientation (i.e., do not insert any pages in landscape orientation). Remove all hyperlinks in the text. Include a complete list of references using APA style (6th ed.). Send articles electronically as a Word attachment.

We will acknowledge receipt of articles within two weeks. Volume 23

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Feature Article Educational Technology

Huda Jamal HCT, Khalifa Women’s College Abu Dhabi, UAE

Mobile Technology in a Blended Learning Environment: A Learning by Doing Approach

Teachers of English as a second language (ESL) are frequently confronted by limitations of time and space in their classroom when trying to achieve their lesson objectives. It is often difficult to apply student-centered approaches and maintain pupils’ motivation levels all whilst promoting learning independence. This is especially challenging among weaker students. Additionally, monitoring students’ progress is not always feasible. This paper aims to provide a description of tools and approaches that can be used to solve these challenges. Adopting a blended learning (BL) environment where learning by doing (LbD) can be practiced extensively through using mobile technology (MT) is one practical solution to overcome these learning challenges. The article examines how these tools and approaches can support student autonomy by encouraging self-directed learning while contributing to the knowledge of how post-secondary foundation teachers in the context of ESL in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can best apply these tools. The paper will then provide an illustration of a specific learning by doing model for post-secondary ESL students using mobile technology in a blended learning environment.

Review of literature

Blended learning involves collaboration between content delivery and practice that uses traditional classroom input with the application of supportive e-learning resources. This definition could also be seen from another perspective in which student’s learning is delivered inside of the classroom by the teacher’s direct input and, at times, by engagement Volume 23

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in independent e-learning activities. When this occurs, the teacher takes on the role of a facilitator. This approach highlights students’ role as a dynamic component in their own learning process. They then ideally become responsible for recognizing when they need assistance from the teacher in the classroom and when to use other resources outside the classroom to meet their teaching and learning goals. The students thus determine their own specific language and knowledge needs. Staker and Horn (2012, p. 3) define blended learning as “a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.” In contrast, the International Association for K-12 Online Learning argues that blended learning is, “Learning that is facilitated by the effective combination of different modes of delivery, models of teaching and styles of learning, and is based on transparent communication amongst all parties involved with a course” (2010, as cited in Blended Learning Wiki, n.d.). The key difference in these definitions is the level to which they cite that one important goal of the approach. That is, the growth of the student to become an independent, self-motivated learner which is an essential objective of ESL teachers. Interestingly, Quinn (2000, as cited in Mobl21, n.d.) also states that mobile or e-learning is, “simply learning that takes place with the help of mobile devices, or the intersection of mobile computing (the application of small, portable, and wireless computing and communication devices) TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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and e-learning (learning facilitated and supported through the use of information and communications technology).” Thus, one could assume that mobile learning that takes place using technology such as an iPad or other smart tablets minimizes the self-centered role played by teachers. Also, mobile learning overcomes time and space limitations and provides learners with unlimited resources and the means to record their work for feedback and monitoring of progress. Learning by doing as defined by Reese (2011, p. 1), “means learning from experiences resulting directly from one’s own actions, as contrasted with learning from watching others instructions or descriptions, or listening to others’ instructions or lectures.” Supporting this is Felder and Brent (2003), who argue that, “The only way a skill is developed…is practice” (p. 282). Clearly, LbD and BL, when applied in a balanced and thoughtful way, can support independent learning through experimentation, application, and production. This applied practice approach involves student interaction and engagement through individual, pair, and group work activities. These authentic tasks and projects should use technology as one of the learning tools so that students progress from listeners or passive recipients, to contributors and producers. Huda Jamal holds a master’s degree in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA. She is an English Foundation teacher at Khalifa Women’s College in Abu Dhabi. Huda is interested in mobile learning, learning by doing, and blended learning.

Challenges and applied solutions: the foundation experience

Developing LbD tasks is not an issue for teachers as there are numerous activities that can be adapted for a particular class. In fact, “The number of possible active learning tasks is limitless” (Felder & Brent, 2003, p. 283). However, some teachers may raise a concerns about LbD, such as whether they could still cover all of the topics in their syllabus, how it can be applied in large classes, or how to deal with students who choose not to non-participate (Felder & Brent, 2003). In addition to these major instructional challenges, learners may find it difficult to retain their work in easily accessible portfolios. Teachers can also experience difficulties retrieving materials and tracking student progress inside and outside the classroom in a stored accessible record. Volume 23

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In many low-level English Foundation classes, most classroom time is spent on content delivery and lecturing on language basics, and MT is mainly used as a tool to aid lecturing. There is little time for applying adequate LbD activities to help weaker students or challenge less motivated ones. The limitations of time and space inside the classroom prevent teachers from using different learning styles and innovative techniques to tackle all students’ needs. Indeed, in such classes, learners need some sort of language input and restricted practice, before more free LbD activities. Otherwise, practice that is not based on accurate language input and instruction will not be effective. However, there is often not enough time when it comes to free LbD activities inside the classroom, which are indispensable to complete the learning cycle. Although LbD is an optimal way to confirm deeper understanding and help struggling students move upwards in low-level Foundation English classes, it is more challenging to allocate time for LbD because students need more guidance, instruction repetition and language recapping before they start applying what they have learned. The only solution is to extend the classroom, and most of the LbD activities can work outside of the classroom. Students apply what they have learned in the classroom and have a chance to practice more and confirm their understanding. Here, they become more independent learners where they are in complete control of time and space and have all the time they can afford to use according to their capabilities and circumstances. Thus, outside classroom work allows teachers to solve the problem of time and space limitation. The connection between inside and outside classroom work is the basic model of BL: it is the combination of classroom instruction delivered by the teacher and outside instruction delivered by various online resources. Therefore, blended learning is the most effective way to promote LbD in and out of the classroom. Although adopting a BL approach with the implementation of LbD and mobile learning sounds like a great solution to all teaching problems, the real challenge for teachers is designing learning environments that incorporate the three learning approaches effectively, as well as figuring out how best to use them to solve challenges and achieve maximum learning outcomes. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Feature Article Educational Technology

The Blended Learning Model

Developing a learning design that balances between inside and outside the classroom is essential. Figure 1. A sample blended learning environment In a Foundation program, the teacher starts with guided input, inside classroom practice, checking and feedback, and assigning outside classroom practice. She or he then ends with checking and feedback thus creating the aimed at BL environment. Usually, this strategy is implemented through the use of MT The problem of implementing LbD in humanities or social sciences – fields that typically do not involve actually performing a skill, such as focusing a microscope or driving a vehicle – with “doing devices” (Schank, 1995) could be easily solved through the use of mobile devices as educational apps, websites, and online storage clouds. MT devices present an extensive tool box that can provide effective LbD activities. They provide teachers with unlimited useful options that can be applied to their pedagogical needs and aspirations. As mentioned earlier, mobile devices solve teachers’ concerns about time and space. They offer plenty of useful material and serve as online storage units. They also encourage students to become the center of the learning process. Mobile devices include any online technological tools that are accessible anytime and anywhere such as mini-laptops, iPads, mobile phones, or any other tablets that have wireless connections. In many Foundation programs in the UAE today, the iPad is used as a core mobile tool to apply LbD through a BL model. It is compatible with many useful storage clouds and online resources such as Box.com, Dropbox, Quizlet, Google Doc/Drive/ Forms, Blogger, Edmodo, Note Anytime, Weebly, YouTube, Nearpod and countless more. In addition to the actual sites, the iPad can access many of these tools via apps. There is an ever-increasing number of educational apps that are built specifically to facilitate the learning process

Conclusion

In conclusion, MT continuously provides and adds new and useful resources to education and learning. Selecting the most appropriate devices and applications that best meet the learning objectives in well-organized models or designs is key for teachers who are looking to provide more BL opportunities Volume 23

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for their students. This means choosing those resources that are useful, feasible, shareable, recordable, and linguistically and culturally appropriate. There are numerous types of learning. However, balancing restricted activities in the classroom with more unrestricted and free ones outside the classroom can speed up learning and encourage students’ independence. This could be achieved effectively through a BL model. Teachers can design and create their own BL models that meet their students’ needs and correspond to their objectives.

References

Blended Learning Wiki. (n.d.) Definitions. Retrieved from http://blendedlearning.pbworks.com/w/ page/40419181/Definitions Felder, R.M & Brent, R (2003). Learning by Doing. Chemical Engineering Education 37(4), 282-283. Retrieved from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/ lockers/users/f/felder/public/Columns/Active.pdf Mobl21. (n.d.) Mobile Learning Basics. Retrieved from http://www.mobl21.com/Basics_Of_ Mobile_Learning.pdf Reese, H. (2011).The learning-by-doing principle. Behavioral Development Bulletin, 11. Retrieved from http://www.baojournal.com/BDB%20WEBSITE/ archive/BDB-2011-11-01-001-019.pdf Schank, R. (1995). What we learn when we learn by doing. Northwestern University Institute for Learning Sciences Technical Report No. 60. Retrieved from http://cogprints.org/637/1/LearnbyDoing_ Schank.html Skater, H., &Horn, M. B. (2012). Classifying K-12 Blended Learning. Retrieved from http://www. innosightinstitute.org/innosight/wp-content/ uploads/2012/05/Classifying-K-12-blendedlearning2.pdf

Call for Proposals 22nd Annual TESOL Arabia International Conference & Exhibition Deadline: November 15, 2015

http://www.tesolarabia.co/conference/ TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Calendar of Upcoming Events July

August

September

3-4: 2015 KATE International Conference, “Shaping the Past, Leading the Future of English Education in Korea: KATE 50th Anniversary Conference,” South Korea. http://www.kate.or.kr/Conference/KATE_2015.asp 21-23: 2015 TESOL Asia / Asian EFL Journal 14th Annual International Conference, “Teaching TESOL in Changing Times, Learning English in a New Age.” Pampanga, Philippines. http://asian-efl-journal.com/8837/blog/2015/03/14th-annual-international-conference/ 2-3: International Language Assessment Conference in Egypt (I-LACE), “Toward A Learning Community for Language Assessment.” American University in Cairo. http://conf.aucegypt.edu/ILACE%202015 18-20: Third World Congress on Extensive Reading, “Extensive Approaches to Language Learning,” Dubai, UAE. http://erfoundation.org/erwc3/ 8-10: 21st Conference of the International Association for World Englishes, “World Englishes: Bridging Cultures and Contexts.” Istanbul, Turkey. http://www.21stconferenceofiawe.com 10-11: Korea TESOL 23rd Annual International Conference, “Transitions in Education: Transitions in ELT,” Seoul, South Korea. http://koreatesol.org/IC2015

October 23-25: 17th International INGED ELT Conference, “Rise and Shine.” Ankara, Turkey. http://inged.org.tr/ 29-30: Culi International Conference 2015, “ESP: Needs, Pedagogy, and Assessment,” Bangkok, Thailand. http://www.culi.chula.ac.th/International/2015InterCon/index.php 5-7: TESOL Kuwait Conference, “Reshaping English in an Age of Innovation,” Kuwait. http:// www.tesolkuwait.org/november-tesol-conference-2015.html 7-15: 31st SPELT (Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers) International Conference 2015, “ELT Traditions & Innovations,” Karachi, Lahore & Islamabad, Pakistan. http://spelt.org.pk/ conferences/ November 12-14: GLoCALL 2015, “Globalization and Localization in Computer-Assisted Language Learning,” Daejeon, South Korea. http://glocall.org/home/ 20-23: JALT2015: 41st Annual International Conference on Language Teaching and Learning & Educational Materials Exhibition, “Focus on the Learner,” Shizuoka City, Japan. http://jalt.org/ conference

December

3-5: TESOL International Association Regional Conference, “Excellence in Language Instruction: Supporting Classroom Teaching & Learning.” National Institute of Education, Singapore. http:// www.tesol.org/events-landing-page/2014/10/08/excellence-in-language-instruction-supportingclassroom-teaching-learning

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FeatureReviews Article

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Open Mind Elementary – Student’s Book Pack Mickey Rogers, Joanne Taylore-Knowles, Steve Taylore-Knowles Macmillan, 2014 ISBN 978-0-230-45760-7 175 pages The Open Mind series is a new general English course for adults. It aims at providing learners with a good grounding in the professional, academic, and personal skills needed for success in today’s world. Open Mind Elementary is the second book in the six-level series and is pitched at CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) A1 level learners. The book is divided into twelve units of equal length. Each unit includes sections on the four skills, grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and life skills. The latter is an attempt to hone critical thinking skills and to foster learner independence. Units end with two standard sections: a language wrap-up and a workshop. The wrap-up is a page with tasks and activities to review vocabulary and grammar covered during the unit while the workshop alternates focus between speaking and writing and serves to expand on themes/language introduced earlier in the unit. Open Mind Elementary is a visually appealing, vibrant publication with a good array of photos and illustrations throughout. Themes and materials are both current and relevant to adult learners, and the authentic, real-life nature of many of the tasks is engaging and generative. A common link between all of the main sections of each unit is the coverage of functions, which helps to underscore this book’s practical use. Open Mind Elementary tackles skills work in a thorough fashion. Readings are semi-authentic and give good practice in extracting the main idea and in scanning for specific information. The texts lend themselves well to their accompanying speaking

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activities and promote good integration of the skills. Writing moves carefully from simple to compound sentences and provides learners with a sense of achievement by setting realistic tasks. Speaking and listening similarly emphasise practicality, and their extension activities seem generally effective and very useable. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Feature Article Reviews

One feature which is noticeable in Open Mind Elementary, however, is that there seems to be a heavy focus on grammar at the expense of vocabulary. While coursebook writers are naturally constrained by limits to the size of a book and its constituent units, this book comes up slightly short in the areas of vocabulary coverage and development. Grammar is always contextualized in Open Mind Elementary (and that is very definitely how it should be), but more words mean more communication and greater possibilities – and adult learners are generally keen for fast results learning-wise. That said, the inclusion of sections on higherorder skills (e.g., critical thinking) does give this publication a bit of an edge. The book treats adults as adults, and there is a definite nod towards professional and academic skills. Learners are also clear about what they will be covering – a small box provides this information on the first page of each unit, giving the impression of organization and a sense of direction. In addition, some of the speaking and writing tasks ask learners to assess how they view their progress in areas which have been covered. For writing in particular, there are checklists on the workshop pages. All of this promotes greater learner independence and instills good language learning strategies generally.

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which encompasses higher frequency vocabulary, an ability to perform more routine tasks, write simple notes/messages, and understand language related to areas of immediate priority. But overall, Open Mind is definitely one to bear in mind. i

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Some parting observations on this coursebook are that it is a strong challenger from the many publications out there aimed at adult learners which is straightforward, practical, comprehensive and thoughtful. Regarding suitability for a Middle Eastern audience, Open Mind Elementary seems to be directed more towards a European market to judge from photos, reading material, and the general tenor of the book. However, that is not to say by any means that it would not work with L1 Arabic learners. As for level and appropriacy, I was somewhat surprised to note that my copy of the Elementary course book has CEFR level A1 printed on its cover. For readers less familiar with the CEFR, this taxonomy describes six levels of language proficiency ranging from A1 (Breakthrough) to C2 (Mastery). A1 is characterized in its skills descriptors by adjectives such as “simple,” “basic,” and “limited.” Open Mind Elementary is at a higher level than this, and I would place it firmly within the A2 band Volume 23

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What English Language Teachers Need To Know: Designing Curriculum MaryAnn Christison and Denise E. Murray Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-0415662550 255 pages This is the third volume in Routledge’s What English Language Teachers Need to Know series, a sequence of books that addresses the fundamental question that underpins all teacher education: What do teachers need to know and be able to do in order for their students to learn? This very readable third volume, authored by MaryAnn Christion and Denise Murray, focuses solely on curriculum. It is a companion piece to an earlier volume on the background knowledge that English language teachers need, including knowledge of learners and learning, and knowledge of educational policies; and preceded by a second volume which focuses on the teaching cycle (planning, instructing, and assessing). The three volumes are part of the ESL and Applied Linguistics Professional Series, edited by Eli Hinkel. This present volume on curriculum is intended for pre-service and novice teachers of English, and also for administrators and policy makers. It aims to address the creation and implementation of studentfocused curriculum design at all educational levels, from primary school through to adult education. It strives to be relevant to all contexts of ELT, whether in a context where English is the dominant language, or is a second, additional, or foreign language, or a global lingua franca. It seeks to encompass General English, Professional English, English for Academic Purposes, and English for Specific Purposes. Undoubtedly, the vastness of the terrain that the book attempts to cover is quite “a big ask,” as the authors themselves note (p. xviii), yet overall the book does indeed live up to its all-encompassing intentions. Volume 23

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Theoretical perspectives and research-based evidence inform each chapter, while the vignettes at the start of each chapter are written from an impressively diverse and global range of contexts, grounding the book solidly in practice. Importantly, the reader is reminded that “Curricula are embedded in the sociocultural, political, and historic settings in TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Feature Article Reviews

which they are used .... As a result, curricula are best designed for local use, rather than adopted from outside contexts” (p. 61). This crucial point may unfortunately have gone unheeded at times under the sweep of school reforms in the Gulf in recent years. The first section examines the contexts for curriculum, and explores the ways in which the views of language and of learning held by various stakeholders impact on curriculum. This is followed by a section examining the design of curriculum for specific contexts, utilizing a standard model that the authors have used successfully in a variety of contexts, and based on an iterative cycle of planning, implementation, and evaluation. The third section takes the reader through the familiar gamut of linguistically-based curricula: from structural/ grammatical, to functional, to genre or text-based, to lexical and skills-based syllabi. Each approach is presented separately, chapter by chapter, which is certainly helpful for the beginning student of applied and educational linguistics, but perhaps less useful for the program leader or planner who is looking for support in constructing a holistic curriculum. The fourth section examines content-based curricula, wherein language and content teaching are closely integrated. The penultimate section contains three chapters on what the authors term “learner centred curricula” – negotiated, humanistic, and task-based approaches. The final part of the book looks at learning centred approaches to curriculum design, namely outcomes, competency, and standards-based approaches.

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This book is recommended for it readability and for its impressive breadth. It provides a very sensible and comprehensive introduction to the field of curriculum for undergraduate and novice teachers of English. For others – postgraduates, academics, professionals – it provides a solid reference point from which to delve more deeply elsewhere into the particular areas that are of interest to the reader. i

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Given the sheer scope of the book, some chapters are inevitably a little thin in terms of content. For example, for readers in technologically more sophisticated regions, such as the Gulf, the usefulness of the chapter on educational technology may be limited. Mobile assisted language learning (MALL) is a significant development in the intensive English pre-university preparatory programs in the UAE, yet mobile technology is not really addressed, making the content in this chapter already appear a little dated. The book is more successful in other areas, and many chapters will hold particular appeal for Perspectives readership, such as the chapter on World Englishes.

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IATEFL 2015 Associate Report Manchester, England Mohamed A. EL Zamil This year I had the honor of representing TESOL Arabia as the Affiliate Representative at IATEFL Annual Conference in Manchester, England, from April 10-14, 2015. It was a great opportunity to learn more about organization and to network with other national and international affiliates of IATEFL. The Associates’ Day was full of activities. It started with a welcome speech by IATEFL President Carol Read, followed a series of reports from IATEFL representatives. Mark Griffiths (Trinity College) gave an engaging talk on “Language Competence and Assessment in the 21st Century: What Do We Want To Measure?” The day ended with an enlightening talk by David Crystal on “World Englishes: Where Next?” In between, I shared experiences and discussed cooperation with the representatives of ELT Ireland, NILE TESOL, IATEFL Poland, and KATE (Korea). The Associates’ Day gave us plenty of ideas about strategic planning and governance. I really enjoyed the whole experience and made several new acquaintances. As a participant, I attended a number of selected sessions. They were all interesting and up to my

expectations. I enjoyed the plenaries given by Donald Freeman and Joy Egbert which were highly interactive. I also went to sessions by Jeremy Harmer, Scott Thornbury, and Kathleen Graves. I had small talks with all of the mentioned speakers about TESOL Arabia 2016 conference. They expressed interest in presenting at our conference. I also volunteered to sit in the IATEFL Affiliates booth for two hours on Sunday, April 12. This is a booth where affiliates can showcase their materials and show convention delegates what they have to offer. It was another great opportunity to connect with other delegates and colleagues. Naziha Ali, TESOL Arabia President, was there as well. We never missed any opportunity to promote TESOL Arabia among fellow affiliates and delegates. My experience in Manchester was a fantastic one indeed, from the excellent selection of speakers and the variety of sessions, to the wonderful networking events. I also presented at IATEFL and my presentation was well-attended. I’m really grateful to TESOL Arabia for granting me this opportunity. i

Mohamed EL Zamil, David Crystal, Hillary Crystal, Naziha Ali, and Mark Griffiths took a moment from their busy schedules for a photo. Volume 23

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Mohamed EL Zamil shared news and information about TESOL Arabia at the Affiliates booth. www.tesolarabia.org


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TESOL International 2015 Toronto, Canada Julie Riddlebarger with visitors to the booth about our organization and invited them to visit the TESOL Arabia International Conference & Exhibition. Next, I similarly supported the Higher Education Interest Section, where I serve as Member-at-Large, by spending an hour at their table in the Exhibition Hall. I also participated in the HEIS Business Meeting.

The TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, held in Toronto, Canada, March 25-28, was, as always, an excellent conference. I am fortunate enough to have attended several TESOL Conferences; this was my seventh. However, it was my first time visiting Canada. Toronto was an excellent venue, but I will probably only go back during the summer; it was far too cold for me! My conference experience has changed over the years from the first TESOL I attended in New York in 1999. Then, I dashed madly from session to session, barely taking time out to gulp down a cup of coffee, rarely stopping for anything. I was more focused on taking notes and collecting handouts than on meeting people and having conversations. This time, I was more selective, attending sessions only if they were clearly relevant to my teaching, research, or editorial roles. I also participated in a workshop for Affiliate Editors, where I got to see what other affiliates around the world are publishing. Probably the most important session I attended, though, was “Publication Trends in TESOL Quarterly and TESOL Journal” (Carlin, Paltridge, Mahboob, & DelliCarpini). This presentation gave me insights into the publication process at these journals, which I hope to use to continue to develop and improve Perspectives. In addition to attending sessions, I did some volunteering at the conference. First, I spent an hour at the affiliate booth representing TESOL Arabia. The other volunteers and I passed out literature and talked Volume 23

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What made this conference the most different from that first one sixteen years ago was the amount of time I spent networking. I walked the Exhibition Hall, speaking to publishers and other exhibitors. I made plans and met with former colleagues. I actually took time out to have meals with people! Finally, I signed up for a special, ticketed event and met with Bonny Norton who is known for her research on identity and also conducts an amazing literacy project in Africa. I learned so much from these simple interactions. And while I found the conference just as stimulating and was very busy throughout, I felt rejuvenated by the experience rather than utterly exhausted as I often was in the past. I owe many thanks to TESOL Arabia for partially funding my attendance with an International Travel Grant. If you are interested in attending next year’s 50th TESOL International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, I encourage you to apply for one of these grants. Go to www.tesolarabia.org, and click on Grants for more information.

Sheri Henderson, Christina Gitsaki, Melanie Gobert and Julie Riddlebarger helped out at the Affiliate Booth. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Crossing Borders, Building Bridges– TESOL International 2015 Convention Toronto, Canada Sheri Henderson This year’s TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo was held in Toronto, Canada. Marking the first time in 15 years that the event was hosted outside of the United States, the multicultural city of Toronto provided a winter welcome for participants from over 120 countries. In 800 concurrent sessions, attendees were urged to network and build connections to celebrate and share best practices for English language teaching with this year’s convention theme of “Crossing Borders, Building Bridges.” I was thrilled to be elected in November as TESOL Arabia’s 2015 Affiliate Representative to TESOL and appreciate the support of Executive Council in my role. To fulfill our Affiliate member obligations, I prepared and submitted our annual Affiliate

Report to TESOL International in February. A key convention activity is hosting time in the Affiliates’ booth in the Exhibition area, a space which TESOL provides for each affiliate to showcase itself. To highlight TESOL Arabia, passersby were enticed with offers of chocolate-covered Arabian dates, viewed the TESOL Arabia website on an iPad, and were given pens, print brochures, copies of Perspectives, and promotional stickers for the TESOL Arabia 2016 conference. As part of its ongoing support for affiliates, TESOL International staff arranged a great program of sessions tailored to current needs expressed by affiliate representatives. This year I participated in an all-day workshop on March 25, a session for Affiliate Editors on March 26, and the annual Affiliate Assembly on March 27. On March 25, the morning session was facilitated by Rhonda Singer of Global Learning, Inc. and Heather Turnbull of Lanaverde, Inc. Their session, “Inspiring Leadership,” focused on the topics of making connections, forming partnerships and recruiting volunteers, issues of concern identified in a survey distributed to Affiliate Representatives prior to the convention.

Affiliate Booth early birds Sheri Henderson, Julie Riddlebarger and Christine Coombe set up the TESOL Arabia display. Volume 23

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The afternoon program consisted of presentations given by various affiliates, including TESOL Arabia Executive Council members Dr Christina Gitsaki and Dr Naziha Ali, who spoke on “TESOL Arabia: Supporting a Multicultural Community of TESOL Professionals.” Following this I attended Leo Selivan’s “Reaching a Wider Audience through Online TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Feature Article Networking

Engagement,” and “Engaging Regional Members” presented by Shawna Williams and Karen Rauser. Both of these sessions recounted tips for increasing member involvement in an affiliate. These activities put me in touch with Affiliate Leaders from around the world, and for me, my duties representing TESOL Arabia were both personally and professionally rewarding. By the time I reached the Affiliate Assembly on Saturday morning I had connected with leaders from many of the 116 different TESOL affiliates commended by outgoing TESOL President Yilin Sun and incoming President Andy Curtis at the assembly. It was inspiring to hear about TESOL events and issues in other areas and to highlight our own TESOL Arabia successes. There were many compliments about Perspectives during the session for Affiliate Editors which I attended with co-editor Julie Riddlebarger. I strove to promote TESOL Arabia by distributing pamphlets and 2016 Conference stickers throughout the entire convention, inviting everyone I met to come to Dubai next March, assuring them the weather would definitely be warmer than Toronto’s minus 10 degrees Celsius temperatures! Along with my Affiliate Representative duties, I was able to take part in a wide range of talks, workshops, poster sessions and practical demonstrations, to visit with Exhibitors, and to learn new digital skills at the convention’s Electronic Village and Technology

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Showcase. Chatting with Dr Jim Cummins following his keynote speech on March 28 about celebrating linguistic diversity was inspiring for me. This was my first time attending TESOL International, and representing TESOL Arabia at the event was my pleasure. It was a thoroughly invigorating professional experience which I highly recommend. Next year marks the 50th Anniversary of the TESOL International Convention. It will be hosted by Maryland TESOL from April 5-8, 2016, and promises to be an outstanding celebration of English language teaching professionals, one I urge everyone to attend.

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TESOL Arabia Book Drive

Sheri Henderson met Keynote Speaker Dr Jim Cummins, Professor Emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

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Contact: ruth.glasgow@zu.ac.ae TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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TESOL Arabia Featured at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Melanie Gobert, TESOL Arabia Past President Three members of TESOL Arabia gave presentations for the Professional Development Program at the 25th Annual Abu Dhabi International Book Fair held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center from May 8-13, 2015. TESOL Arabia Past-President, Dr Melanie Gobert;Young Learners Special Interest Group Treasurer, Garlfar Andrews; and TESOL Arabia member and regular presenter and author, Dr Ghassoub Mustafa all shared their expertise and experiences with appreciative audiences. Melanie Gobert’s talk, “Gulf Arab Students’ Reading Challenges,” focused on home literacy practices in the Gulf Region, the impact of Arabic diglossia on student achievement, the difference between the lexical access routes of English and Arabic, and how students are taught to read in Arabic and in L1 English. In “Advice from an Experienced TESOL Teacher,” Garlfar Andrews shared his experiences on best practices in promoting bilingualism and teaching English in L1 predominantly Arabic classrooms which include a lot of support activities in the content areas, such as interactive speaking and listening activities, and reading and writing in collaborative groups rather than individually. Because students are learning content in a second language, they need a lot of support, and classroom activities have to be planned carefully to make up for any shortcomings in the children’s linguistic abilities.

Garlfar Andrews presented “Advice from an Experienced TESOL Teacher.” Volume 23

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Ghassoub Mustafa’s presentation, “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers,” provided teachers with strategies and techniques to enrich their teaching career and strengthen their “immune” system to protect them from burn-out and decline. The seven habits were: be pro-actively inquisitive; be a reflective practitioner; be a researcher; be student-centered; be humanistic, humorous, and a story-teller; synergize, meaning create a collaborative environment; and sharpen the saw, or in other words, keep the items in your teacher’s toolkit sharp by using institutional evaluation, your own students’ feedback, peer, supervisor, and self-observation, along with intense and continuous reflection to keep your teaching sharp and up-to-date. He concluded that teachers are in need of a deep look at their personal paradigms. This is the first time that members of TESOL Arabia were invited to participate as presenters in the Professional Development Program of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. More than 70 exhibitors offered over 500,000 titles for sale in Arabic and English. In addition to the professional program, a cultural program was on offer featuring numerous local and international authors. The Sheikh Zayed Prize for Arabic Literature, one of the richest literature prizes in the world valued at over $200,000 USD, is awarded during the fair. This year’s winner was Osama Alaysa, author of The Fools of Bethlehem.

Ghassoub Mustafa shared the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers.”

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Melanie Gobert posed with a graphic recording of her talk, done by Viz Think Lab.

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Gobert Serves on TESOL International Association’s Affiliate Task Force · Help advance TESOL International Association’s goals, strategic direction, and growth. · Assist TESOL International Association in cultivating knowledge and information about the field and the profession. Past President of TESOL Arabia Dr Melanie Gobert has been selected to serve on TESOL International’s Affiliate Task Force during the coming academic year, 2015-2016. The Task Force is composed of eight volunteers from TESOL International affiliate organizations around the world along with TESOL Board members. Its mandate is to present options to the Board of Directors on possible models and structures for TESOL’s affiliation program that can achieve the following vision: · Help support a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship between TESOL International Association and its affiliates.

· Provide for different forms and activities relevant to the needs of different groups (i.e., not a “one-size-fits-all” model). · Align with, and advance, the TESOL International Association’s strategic plan. To achieve this goal, the task force is to conduct research on contemporary forms and functions of similar types of programs in associations, and present options for TESOL to consider. Part of the task force’s remit is to include input from affiliates, and identify strategies to foster strong communication and knowledge-sharing between affiliates and TESOL. If you have any comments or would like to give any input, please contact mgobert@hct.ac.ae.

Become a TESOL Arabia Affiliate

Find out how at www.tesolarabia.org

Benefits include: · one complimentary conference registration to the annual TESOL Arabia International Conference & Exhibition · two free subscriptions to Perspectives · free advertising of events via newsletters, websites, and member mailing lists

GESS Al Nadi & GEF

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Al Ghurair University Hosts TESOL Arabia Executive Council Al Ghurair University, Dubai, hosted the first meeting of the TESOL Arabia 2015-2016 Executive Council. The meeting was held on May 22 and was attended by members of TESOL Arabia’s Executive Council TAExCo, including representatives from all of the seven emirates. Dr Naziha Ali,TESOL Arabia President, commenced the meeting by thanking Al Ghurair University for their on-going generous support. Among many other items, TAExCo members deliberated on the pressing need to enlarge the

membership base of TESOL Arabia and to expose members to a variety of innovative training programs within the field of teaching English as a foreign/ second language. The UAE’s population comprises over 200 nationalities, and the workplace, too, is multi-cultural in nature. The increasing use of English as a medium of communication will result in the emergence of a cohesive culture. It is within this context that the activities of TESOL Arabia assume great social relevance and appreciate the support of institutions such as Al Ghurair University.

TAExCo members enjoyed Al Ghurair’s hospitality.

Al Ghurair University is located in Dubai’s Academic City.

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Chapter/SIG Reports Feature Article

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The TAE SIG Expands its Horizons Christine Coombe, TAE SIG Co-Chair The past year has seen the TESOL Arabia Testing, Assessment and Evaluation (TAE) SIG expand its horizons through collaboration with other professional development entities and the creation of alternative forms of professional learning. Three face-to-face events were held over the past year. The first occurred in the fall and focused on item writing. The TAE SIG in collaboration with the UAE’s National Admissions and Placement Office (NAPO) organized and facilitated this oneday workshop for 40+ attendees. Our second event occurred during the TESOL Arabia Conference in March 2015 at the Hyatt Hotel. The TAE SIG Featured Speaker was Marine Condette, the Academic Relations Manager of ETS Global. Marine, who is based in The Netherlands, was sponsored by AMIDEAST.The final TAE SIG event took place at the 1st Annual SIG Conference on May 1-2.This event was free of charge and was jointly conducted with T-PLUS, a teacher development organization from Turkey.TAE SIG Co-chair Dr Christine Coombe took a leadership role in organizing this conference which was held at Dubai Men’s College. Dr Sahbi Hidri presented his current research on assessment conceptions at the SIG Conference. In addition to our regularly-held face-to-face events, we also experimented with new forms of assessment development activities. The first Professional Development Certificate on Alternative Assessment was held in October 2014. Over twenty-five teachers

from around the region participated in this threemonth self-access course. Another of our major initiatives was a three-month online course on the “Fundamentals of Language Assessment” which was taken by 258 participants from around the world. This academic year also sees the publication of TESOL Arabia’s first e-book entitled Best Practice in ELT:Voices from the Classroom. This e-book is co-edited by Dr Christine Coombe (TAE SIG CoChair) and Dr Rubina Khan (Bangladeshi English Language Teacher’s Association Testing SIG Chair) and features 25+ chapters on best practice in our field from areas like teaching the skill areas, research, learning strategies, and assessment. The leadership team of the TAE SIG has seen some new additions.We would like to welcome Dr Alia Mitchell and George Kormpas as our TAE SIG Satellite SIG Co-Chairs in Riyadh, KSA, and Dr Sahbi Hidri as the TAE SIG Satellite SIG Chair in Oman.

Alia Mitchell and George Kormpass, from KSA, stop to chat with Christine Coombe at the 1st Annual SIG Conference in Dubai. Volume 23

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What does the next year hold for TAE SIG members? Our first event will be a collaborative one with the Research and Leadership and Management SIG focusing on applied research and how to conduct it. This one-day academy will be held in October 2015. See the TESOL Arabia website for more TAE SIG updates: www.tesolarabia.org. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Special Chapter/SIG Chapter Reports Reports Group Reports FeatureInterest Article

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LM SIG Provides Teacher Training and Development Christine Coombe, LM SIG Co-Chair introduction of the proposed LM SIG Mentoring Program and Award by Christine Coombe. A major initiative of the LM SIG this year was the chartering of a TESOL Arabia Toastmasters Club in October 2014. Since our first meeting in September we have grown as a club to 28 active members. Although the year for Toastmasters extends to June 30th, we anticipate that TESOL Arabia Toastmasters will achieve distinguished club status with the completion of 7 out of 10 points in the Distinguished Club Program.

The TESOL Arabia Toastmasters Club participated in District 20 Toastmasters Annual Conference (DTAC 2015), held 28-30 May in Dubai.

International outreach is an important mandate for the LM SIG and on May 8-9, LM SIG chair and executive board members Christine Coombe and Hafeez Rehman and Naziha Ali, TESOL Arabia President, conducted a charity event in Lahore and Wazirabad, Pakistan.

The past academic year has seen a number of events and initiatives for TESOL Arabia’s Leadership and Management (LM) SIG. In addition to a half-day workshop on strategic planning conducted in Fujairah in September 2015, the LM SIG hosted the 6th Annual Teacher Leadership Academy at Dubai Men’s College on February 13th. At the TESOL Arabia 2015 Conference, Dr Christine Coombe and Moises Alcantara delivered the LM SIG Featured Session on mentoring. Our final face-to-face event took place at the 1st TESOL Arabia SIG Conference with a plenary speech on mentoring and the

Our priorities for the coming year are the implementation of our mentoring program and award in the fall, and the development of an Advanced Practitioner Certificate in Educational Leadership. For more information and updates on LM SIG activities, please see the TESOL Arabia website at http://tesolarabia.org.

TESOL Arabia members had an enthusiastic reception in Pakistan. Volume 23

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Tales from the Chalkface: Teacher-Led Research Racquel Warner, TTD SIG Chair/Secretary & Mohamed Azaza, TESOL Arabia Vice-President

Abu Dhabi University provided the venue for the conference.

TESOL Arabia’s Abu Dhabi Chapter, Research SIG, and Teacher Training and Development SIGs successfully collaborated in hosting the 3rd annual mini conference, “Tales from the Chalkface: TeacherLed Research” at Abu Dhabi University on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Participants were treated to a morning of research-based presentations on topics such as continuing professional development, learning organizations, learning enhancement methods, leadership behaviours, technological innovations to enhance teacher student relationships, conceptual learning and its impact on power distribution in the classroom, and student attitudes toward teacher identities. In addition to these sessions, James Buckingham, EDTECH SIG Chair, Volume 23

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EDTECH SIG Chair, introduced the digital badges initiative at the beginning of the event. Conference presentations were developed in light of the aforementioned themes and were organized in three concurrent sessions. The opening plenary, by Mohammad Azaza, set the context for the concurrent sessions by accentuating the importance of communities of practices in which practitioners can enhance their skills, critically reflect on their practices, seek out opportunities for further development, and improve their rapport with students and colleagues. Drawing on a recent study carried out in the UAE, the presenter stressed the need for a paradigm shift in reconceptualization TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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instrument which revealed that principals exhibit ineffective behaviours in three domains: human relations, trust, and instructional leadership. Focusing on the use of Moodle for instruction and assessment, Richard Baltus and John Frymire’s session illustrated different types of activities and tests that could be created as well as the benefits of using Moodle.

Racquel Warner (TTD SIG Chair/Secretary) and Saad Rabia (ESP SIG Co-Chair) gave an overview of the day’s events.

teacher professional development (PD). He argued that effective PD should be supported by a school culture where teacher professional learning is not looked at as an individual activity, but rather as an integral part of the school organizational learning where different stakeholders, such as teachers, school leaders and learning communities, are called upon to collaborate and learn. In the following concurrent sessions, teachers’ educational and classroom practices were examined from the perspective of teachers’ emotions, personalities and beliefs in a study entitled “Dear Teachers: What Keeps You Going On?” In this presentation, Mouna Abou-Assali argued that teachers’ positive and negative attitudes punctuate and have a significant impact on teacher-learning processes and their relationships with students. In another presentation, “Intercultural Competence and the Quality of Life in the Classroom,” Bridin Harnett attempted to raise teachers’ awareness about the need to focus on quality of life and intercultural communicative competence in the language-learning classroom, rather than on the instrumental values of output to meet both student and institutional expectations. Edith Flahive’s session examined the leadership behaviour of principals in government and private schools in the UAE from the perspective of teachers. She presented the analysis of her data derived from a tried and tested survey Volume 23

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Four more concurrent sessions were scheduled after the break. Ali Al Maskari highlighted the principles of a learning organization through the lens of an ongoing change initiative in his presentation, “Learning Organization: What’s in it for Schools?” Amjad Tah’s presentation was the second presentation in the conference focusing on culture. He argued that teaching culture in an ESL/EFL setting could be a risky task; he also shared classroom activities geared towards helping learners enhance their cultural repertoire. In another concurrent session, Sudha Sunder brought into focus the issues of power and control in the classroom that challenge teachers in adopting a concept-based approach to curriculum and instruction. Ameni Benali presented the results of her study on “Understanding Arab Students’ Attitudes to Native and Non-Native English Speaking Teachers in Abu Dhabi.” Testing and assessment were also represented in the conference through Sahbi Hidri’s presentation, “Practical Tips on How to Carry Out Item Analysis,” which gave advice on conducting classical and modern item analysis. Recommendation tips were also accentuated to address the necessity of writing a list of specs to design useful tests. In attendance at the event was Smart Book Publishing and Distribution which had teaching and learning resources in both Arabic and English on display. The event concluded with an exciting raffle in which 12 lucky winners received TESOL publications.

Fathi Bin Mohamed welcomed attendees and got the conference off to a great start. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Teaching Ties with Turkey: The First TESOL Arabia SIG Conference, with T-PLUS Mick King, TESOL Arabia SIG Coordinator (Acting) Yasemin Yelbay, T-PLUS Organizing Committee Bahar Gün, T-PLUS Organizing Committee On May 1-2, TESOL Arabia Special Interest Groups (SIGs) launched their 1st SIG Conference in conjunction with T-PLUS, a Turkish professional development organization for English teachers. The conference focus was teacher training, and its aim was to promote the activities of TESOL Arabia SIGs and to cement ties with T-PLUS to add to the increasing number of TESOL Arabia affiliates that are being established abroad. This is in line with a TESOL Arabia drive to reach out to the many members who reside outside the UAE. The goals of T-PLUS were the same: to establish and further cooperation with international networks of teachers of English. This event was the first of its kind for the Turkish organization. T-PLUS Organizing Committee member Yasemin Yelbay said, “The event was important for us as we are working towards becoming an organization that can represent all

teachers in Turkey, and we believe that we will benefit from our interaction with TESOL Arabia in achieving this goal as TESOL Arabia is now an established organization of teachers of English.” The opening plenary was given by Dr Simon Phipps, Director of Anatolia Training Institute in Ankara, Turkey, whose talk on “Trainer Development: How to Obtain and Enhance the Necessary Skills” set the scene for 23 more scheduled sessions over the two days, many of which were facilitated by visitors from Turkey. The conference showcased six of TESOL Arabia’s nine SIGs and was a great opportunity to network across borders and learn about the similarities and differences of teacher training in a variety of contexts. The international flavour was not confined to the UAE and Turkey, however, as visitors came from Saudi Arabia and Oman as well.

Some of the attendees took time for photos at the end of a successful conference. Volume 23

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Yasemin Yelbay and Sufian Abu Rmaileh discussed the day’s schedule.

The first day was accompanied by a music performance arranged by Jonathan Aubrey, and on both days the TESOL Arabia Toastmasters Club, an initiative of the Leadership and Management SIG, held sessions to allow attendees to learn more about Toastmasters and to experience firsthand the benefits it can bring to teachers, be that in the classroom or the boardroom. Some T-PLUS members even won awards at the Toastmasters session, and they returned to Turkey with many future cooperation opportunities and good memories to share at their annual event in June. Finally, paperwork is underway to make T-PLUS a TESOL Arabia affiliate, and plans are in place to hold a second joint TESOL Arabia/

T-PLUS event in late 2015, and taking place this time in Turkey. T-PLUS thanks TESOL Arabia for this successful event and great hospitality on behalf of the T-PLUS members who were present at the event. In turn, TESOL Arabia appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with our T-PLUS colleagues and thanks them for attending and making the 1st SIG Conference a success. The conference was indeed a great initiative and will hopefully be the first of many. If you would like more information on TESOL Arabia SIGs and on T-PLUS, please visit http://www.tesolarabia.co/sigs/ and http://www. tplusturkey.org/, respectively.

Yasmine Ali helped attendees choose from the many sessions on offer. Volume 23

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English for Specific Purposes SIG

Phone: 02 644 0339 Email: esptesolarabia@gmail.com Saad Rabia Co-Chair

Namaat Saadi Hezber Co-Chair

Leadership & Management SIG Phone: 050 619 4796 Email: christine.coombe@hct.ac.ae Email: konrad.cedro@tesolarabia.org Christine Coombe Konrad Cedro Co-Chair Co-Chair

Teacher Training & Teacher Development SIG

Email: tatdsig@gmail.com Racquel Warner Chair/Secretary

Faiza Umar Marketing Communications Officer

Testing, Assessment & Evaluation SIG Phone: 050 619 4796 Email: christine.coombe@hct.ac.ae Phone: 050 843 8782 Email: peter.davidson@zu.ac.ae

Christine Coombe Peter Davidson Co-Chair Co-Chair

Research SIG

sabhi.hidri@tesolarabia.org Sahbi Hidri Secretary/Proposals & Publications Coordinator

Young Learners SIG

Independent Learning SIG

Phone: 050 151 3613 Email: kathygardner007@gmail.com

Email: oabuorouq@aus.edu Phone: 050 984 8066 Kathy Gardner Chair

Read SIG

Educational Technology SIG Email: edtechsig@gmail.com Ning: http://taedtech.ning.com

Phone: 050 266 8937 Email: yassersalem@yahoo.com Yasser Salem Chair

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edtecharabia.twitter.com #taedtech James Buckingham

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Abu Dhabi Representative

Al Ain Representative Ian Taylor

Higher Colleges of Technology/CERT PO Box 17155, Al Ain, UAE 050 277 3981 (mobile) itaylor1@hct.ac.ae

Sharjah Representative (acting) Nicholas Karavatos

American University of Sharjah PO Box 26666 Sharjah, UAE nicholas.karavatos@tesolarabia.org

Dubai Representative Hafeez Rahman

hafeez.rahman@tesolarabia.org

RAK Representative Safaa Abdulla Hassan Eissa

Ittihad University, RAK safa.eissa@tesolarabia.org

Eastern Region Representative Mohamed El Zamil

Ajman University mohamed.elzamil@tesolarabia.org

Western Region Representative Peter Stanfield

Higher Colleges of Technology/MZ/RUW Colleges peter.stanfield@tesolarabia.org

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President/Conference Chair

Past President

Naziha Ali Emirates Aviation College - B Dubai, UAE 050 646 1788 (mobile) nazihaali2005@yahoo.co.uk

Melanie Gobert HCT - Abu Dhabi Men’s College Higher Colleges of Technology PO Box 25035 Abu Dhabi, UAE mgobert@hct.ac.ae

Vice-President

Executive Treasurer

Mohamed Azaza ADNOC Technical Institute 055 379 0099 (mobile) mazazamelki22@gmail.com

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

Membership Secretary/Conference Co-Chair

Executive Secretary

Christina Gitsaki HCT - Dubai Men’s College Dubai, UAE christina.gitsaki@tesolarabia.org

Sheri Henderson HCT - RAK Men’s College PO Box 4793, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE sheri.henderson@tesolarabia.org

SIG Coordinator (acting)

Member-at-Large (acting)

Mick King Middlesex University Dubai, UAE micjak66@gmail.com

Amr Elzarka Ministry of Education amr.elzarka@tesolarabia.org

Conference Co-Chair

Conference Treasurer

Konrad A Cedro 050 144 7680 (mobile) konard.cedro@hct.ac.ae

Helene Demirci Conference Treasurer HCT - Abu Dhabi Men’s College helene.demirci@tesolarabia.org

Conference Proceedings/Publications Coordinator

Perspectives Co-Editor

Peter McLaren United Arab Emirates University Al Ain, UAE 050 138 3406 (mobile) pmclaren@uaeu.ac.ae

Suhair Al Alami Al Ghurair University PO Box 37374, Dubai, UAE suhair.alalami@tesolarabia.org

Perspectives Co-Editor Julie Riddlebarger Khalifa University of Science, Technology & Research PO Box 127788, Abu Dhabi, UAE julie.riddlebarger@tesolarabia.org

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Feature Article IPP WINS 8 AWARDS AT

DUBAI INTERNATIONAL

PRINT AWARD 2011 1 AWARD IN 2006

2 AWARDS IN 2007

4 AWARDS IN 2008

6 AWARDS IN 2009

8 AWARDS IN 2011 THE QUEST UEST FOR QUALITY CONT CONTINUES

5 GOLD 2 SILVER 1 BRONZE

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Feature Article

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