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In this issue: Feature Articles IELTS and Academic Achievement: A UAE Case Study

Dawn Garinger, Kevin Schoepp Vocabulary Building for Arab Learners

Anthony Kripps CPD Micro-sessions: A Collaborative Professional Development Program

Ahmed Mukhtar Abdelaziz

Lesson Ideas Reviews Networking TESOLArabia News SIG Reports Chapter Reports

Volume 21

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Guidelines for

Contributors 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 TESOL Arabia Perspectives invites previously unpublished manuscripts that address the diverse topics that make up our profession, including, but not limited to, methodology, pedagogy, curriculum and materials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 utilities and incorporation into practice. This could include software, hardware, and web-based resources.

Networking This section will feature conference and country reports. Reports will 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 offers 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.

Upload your submissions to: perspectives.tesolarabia.org

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

Volume 21

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Feature Article

C o n t e n t s

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Pers p e c t ives Volume 21 No. 3 November 2013

From the Editors

2

Message from the President

3

Message from the Conference Co-Chairs

4

Feature Articles IELTS and Academic Achievement: A UAE Case Study

Dawn Garinger & KevinSchoepp

Vocabulary Building for Arab Learners CPD Micro-sessions: A Collaborative Professional Development Program

7

Anthony Kripps 14 Ahmed Mukhtar Abdelaziz 21

Lesson Ideas i-Reflect: This Is How i-Learn

Rania Jabr

27

Molly McHarg

Teaching for Social Justice

Goma Tanko

30 33

A Spectrum Approach to Evaluating Sources

Reviews Close Up English Unlimited Starter Life Upper Intermediate Student’s Book The CLIL Resource Pack

Colin Toms William A. Schmidt Laila Galal Rizk Micheline Habib

38 40 41 43

Networking Cutting Edges Research Conference 5th Biennial International Conference on TaskBased Language Teaching

Neil McBeath Ali Shehadeh

45 46

TESOL Arabia News 47 49 50 51 52 54 55 56

TESOL Symposium and 12th Annual CAMELTA Congress Fundamentals of Language Assessment Programs in Venezuela Fundamentals of Language Assessment Programs in Uruguay Teacher Training and Teacher Development SIG Plans Chapter Reports SIGs Chapter Representatives Executive Council Volume 21

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From Feature the Article Editors

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Dear Readers,

Editors

It’s time to welcome you back to the 2013-2014 academic year and the latest issue of Perspectives. We have a great issue for you that includes lots of practical ideas for the classroom as well as research-based articles to inform classroom practice and decision-making.

Melanie Gobert Abu Dhabi Men’s College

Our first feature, by Dawn Garinger and Kevin Schoepp, “IELTS and Academic Achievement: A UAE Case Study,” addresses the role of IELTS in predicting academic success at one tertiary institution in the Gulf region. The second feature, by Anthony Kripps, “Vocabulary Building for Arab Learners,” is a meta-analysis of vocabulary studies in the region including recommendations for the most effective vocabulary instruction strategies. The third feature, by Ahmed Mukhtar Abdelaziz, “CPD Micro-sessions: A Collaborative Professional Development Program,” offers a novel idea for ongoing institution-wide professional development. We also feature an abundance of great lesson ideas in this issue starting with Rania Jabr’s “i-Reflect: This Is How i-Learn,” reminding us of the importance of reflecting on learning. Our second lesson idea is the timely “A Spectrum Approach to Evaluating Sources” by Molly McHarg. This idea will be particularly useful for teachers of Academic Writing throughout the region. The third lesson idea is Goma Tanko’s “Teaching for Social Justice” which reminds us of the very important connection between learning and doing. We would also like to welcome you to our new version of Perspectives online. We invite you to submit articles and sign up to be a reader at http://perspectives.tesolarabia.info/. By being available online, we are hoping that our journal will gain a new following of scholars who wish to cite our articles in their own research. Have a great year and remember, your feedback and submissions are always welcome. If you’d like to be part of Perspectives as an author, peer-reviewer, copy editor, or materials reviewer, we’d be happy to hear from you. Melanie Gobert and Tandy Bailey Editors, Perspectives

Tandy Bailey Abu Dhabi Women’s College

Reviews Editor Paul Dessoir United Arab Emirates University

TA News/Copy Editor Julie Riddlebarger Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research

Advisory Panel Daniel Mangrum Janet Olearski Kourosh Lachini Nagwa Soliman Dennis Balint Rania Jabr Paul James Dessoir Peter McLaren Sally Ali Hala Nur Neil McBeath Rachel Lange Lobat Asadi Julie Riddlebarger Laura Lau Richard Lau Indrani Ibrahim Suhair Al Alami

CREDITS Layout / Artwork Sudeep Kumar

Printing

Melanie Gobert

Tandy Bailey

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 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

November Cover Photo Wadi Rum, Jordan Munir El Kadi Higher Colleges of Technology

native language. For more information, please visit our website: http://www.tesolarabia.org

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Message Feature Article from the President

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Dear Colleagues, Now that the beginning of the school year is over and a couple of public holidays have passed, I hope you have had some well-deserved rest and are ready to participate in as many professional development (PD) events offered by TESOL Arabia Chapters and Special Interest Groups as you can. So far we have run twelve PD days in different parts of the UAE, and our active volunteers have many more planned for the rest of the year. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to check our online calendar at http://tesolarabia.org. I would also like to thank all of our valued members who have attended the training events so far. Attending TESOL Arabia events is one of the aspects of being a member that I appreciate the most, not only because of the formal learning that takes place inside the training rooms, but also because of the informal learning and networking that happens when I chat with passionate teachers who like to share their success stories and experiences during breaks. I hope you will take advantage of these affinity spaces and share your ideas and best practices when you attend one of our events. TESOL Arabia has been busy with many projects since the beginning of the year. The organization held its annual retreat on September 5-7, 2013, at the Yas Island Rotana hotel in Abu Dhabi where all TA volunteers met to discuss important issues and challenges related to the development of the organization as well as to plan the calendar of events for the year. One of the main discussions that took place was related to strategic planning and Join TESOL Arabia on Social Media: how it would help the organization grow. A workshop was conducted by an outside Twitter: @tesolarabia | #TESOLArabia strategist, and we now have a special committee working on a two-year-strategic Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tesolarabia plan focusing on different themes, one of which is supporting members’ professional Linked In Group: TESOL Arabia development. Growing online was another topic discussed at the retreat, and we are very pleased to see the growing interest in the TA Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/tesolarabia, which has reached almost 5000 fans, as well as our Twitter page and LinkedIn group. In addition to growing online and strategic planning, one of the topics that came up during the retreat was forming sister affiliations with regional organizations that have approached us to strengthen ties with TA. This is a clear indication of the influence and great reputation TA has created for itself over the years, regionally and internationally. Stay tuned as we will soon release the news about these new affiliations. In addition to professional development events that take place throughout the year, our 20th International Conference & Exhibition is fast approaching. This year the conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Dubai, from March 1315, 2014. Four special Pre-conference Certificate courses will be held on March 12 for those of you who wish to get more PD at this annual event. The conference Co-Chairs, Sandra Oddy and Les Kirkham, along with their conference committee are working hard to create yet another great experience for the TESOL Arabia International Conference attendees, so please read their letter in this edition of Perspectives and visit the conference website at http://tesolarabia.org/conference/ for more information. Moreover, don’t forget to renew your membership to get discounted rates on the conference registration fees. As a volunteer-driven organization, TESOL Arabia depends on the dedication of its leadership to continue providing members with its varied services. Every year the organization holds elections for open positions on the Executive Council; this year we have 8 positions open for nominations, which must be received before midnight on December 31, 2013. Please visit http://www.tesolarabia.org/elections/nominate.php to nominate yourself or a colleague. On a final note, I would like to thank all TESOL Arabia volunteers for their efforts and time serving the education community in the region, and thank you for being a member of TESOL Arabia.

Rehab Rajab

President rehabrajab@tesolarabia.org Volume 21

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Message from the Conference Co-Chairs Feature Article

The 20th Annual TESOL Arabia International Conference & Exhibition Thursday, March 13 – Saturday March 15, 2014 “Methods and Means in ELT” Looking for inspiration in your work? Need reenergising? Enjoy discussions with like-minded people? Want to widen your professional horizons? All these wishes and more will be met by the 20th Annual International TESOL Arabia Conference & Exhibition 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dubai from Thursday to Saturday, 13-15 March, with Pre-conference courses on Wednesday, 12 March. The theme this year is “Methods and Means in ELT,” so the focus will be on actual practice in the classroom. To help us we have assembled another splendid range of Plenary Speakers to address this theme from various angles. Tom Farrell is wellknown for his work on teachers’ reflective practice; Herbert Puchta for the practical applications of research into the working of the brain; Alan Maley for his perspective on methods of teaching over a long career; Carol Read for her work with young learners; Scott Thornbury for rethinking the sources of our material; and Donald Freeman for implications for teacher development. They are sure to illuminate and entertain. In addition we have a range of Featured Speakers to inform you as well as set you thinking: Martin Hewings, Philip Kerr, Stella Cottrell, Tim Collins, Richard Kiely, and Mark Hancock. All our Featured Speakers have expertise in specific fields of interest to all ELT professionals, have published extensively, and have presented at conferences throughout the world. We are also organizing a number of Professional Development Courses (PDCs) again. The four Preconference PDCs address a range of current topics that are of interest to anyone in the profession: Personal and Professional Strategic Planning for ELT Educators, led by Dr Christine Coombe and Dr Dean Sheetz of Dubai Men’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE; IELTS and the Language Teacher, with Sarah White of the British Council IELTS office and Marilyn Cleland from IDP Education; Mobile Devices as Language Learning Tools, with Troy Priest and Nick Yates of Zayed University, UAE; and Pronunciation in Practice, facilitated by Mark Hancock

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(freelance author in the UK) and Martin Hewings (freelance consultant and Honorary Research fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK). The in-conference PDC, Student Achievement: Making the Difference, will be facilitated by a selection of our Plenary and Featured Speakers and, like our Preconference courses, is an opportunity for a limited number of conference-goers to interact closely with our guest speakers. Besides the guest speakers, around 200 TESOL Arabia members will be presenting talks and workshops, having been selected from a large number of proposals. We also, of course, have a number of Special Sessions, including the 20x20 Pecha Kucha and the Dubai Discussions. The Exhibition is expected to have around 40 exhibitors and remains the premier event of its type in the region. It is the best place to see what materials and services are available in the ELT field in this part of the world, and globally, too. There is also the Showcase Strand within the conference program in which organizations are able to showcase their new products and services in presentations. The Job Fair continues to attract a large number of employers and an increasing number of candidates, and is a service intended for our conference-goers, so if you wish to ”job seek,” please remember you need to register for the conference as well. The Annual International Conference & Exhibition regularly attracts over 1,600 participants from more than 30 countries, and for the past two years we have had record numbers of proposals for breakout sessions. The 2014 event promises to be as productive and enjoyable as ever. Keep up with the latest information on the Conference pages of our website: http://tesolarabia.org/conference. We look forward to seeing you there. Les Kirkham & Sandra Oddy Co-chairs, TACon 2014

TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Feature Article

Methods and Means in ELT5 20th International TESOL Arabia Conference & Exhibition 2014

13-15 March 2014, Hyatt Regency, Dubai, UAE

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Volume 21

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Feature Article

Dawn Garinger Zayed University Dubai, UAE

Kevin Schoepp Zayed University Dubai, UAE

IELTS and Academic Achievement: A UAE Case Study

Over the past two decades in tertiary institutions around the world, IELTS has taken on a position of dominance as the most commonly accepted entrance exam for non-native speakers of English wishing to study in an English-medium setting (IELTS, 2013). While the TOEFL exam remains popular and acceptable, especially in the USA, IELTS has gained a strong foothold in the Gulf nations, particularly over the past ten years. Given its proliferation in the region, there has been considerable debate and discussion amongst researchers, academics, and other stakeholders about both the predictive ability of the IELTS and the most suitable entrance-level score for English-medium study at the tertiary level. The pervasive attitude is intuitively that higher scores are superior and that entry requirements at many Gulf institutions should be raised in order to ensure better success rates in degree programs. This research seeks to examine the relationships between IELTS entrance scores and academic success as determined by Grade Point Average (GPA) in the early stages of a baccalaureate program, specifically at the end of the general education program at Zayed University, a representative Gulf institution. A quantitative analysis of correlations between IELTS scores and sub-scores with GPA and an analysis of variance to examine whether or not GPA mean differences were significant was undertaken to determine if relationships exist between the two measures for this student population.

Institutional Context

Zayed University is an English-medium institution serving primarily UAE citizens in a gender segregated environment. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission for Higher Education Volume 21

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(MSCHE), one of six regional U.S. accreditors, a distinction it holds with a few select international institutions.The university serves nearly 10,000 native Arabic-speaking undergraduate students across two campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Given the challenges of completing a bachelor program in English, the overwhelming majority (80-85%) of students spend anywhere from a half semester to two full academic years in the preparatory English language program before commencing the bachelor’s degree. Though cited by the MSCHE as an institutional strength, approximately 20% of students do not matriculate out of the preparatory program. Once in the baccalaureate program, English remains an institutional priority because it is the medium of instruction and impacts the entire student experience at the university.The institution invests heavily in IELTS testing at exit from the preparatory program, at the end of the general education program, and at graduation. The general education program at Zayed University is managed through the University College and is comprised of 16 core courses worth 48 credits taken over the first three semesters of the bachelor’s degree. It is a fully standardized program with a set of five course sequences including University Socialization and Career Education; Global Awareness; Academic English Language Development; Academic Arabic Language Development; and Science, Math, and Technology. In this research, the English composition sequence and the Global Awareness sequence were emphasized as the composition courses are the most writing intensive courses and the Global Awareness courses are considered to be the most reading intensive. The calculation of GPA at Zayed University is quite standard as courses have a weighting based upon TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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the credit hours, which is calculated with the grade point assigned to the letter grade to form the GPA. An A is a perfect 4.0, a B is a 3.0, a C is a 2.0, a D is a 1.0, and an F is assigned a 0.0. Students with a GPA of 3.6 and above are included on the Dean’s List whereas students with a semester GPA below 2.0 are placed on academic probation, and if they remain below 2.0 for a further semester, they are dismissed. For this research, as the objective was to examine the relationship between English language proficiency test scores and academic achievement in Englishmedium courses, the Arabic language courses were not included in GPA calculation. IELTS at Zayed University was first widely implemented in 2007. At that time, a minimum overall average score of 5.0 with no sub-score lower than a 5.0 or a 5.5 overall average (with one sub-score at the 4.5 level permitted) was set as the minimum entrance requirement for study in the bachelor’s program. Later, this requirement was altered to an average of 5.0 with no minimum requirement in sub-scores (Zayed University, 2012). Therefore, students with sub-scores of 4.5, 4.0, or 3.5 can gain entry into the degree program provided their scores in other areas are sufficiently high to result in the overall 5.0 average. Since this time there have been discussions within the institution over the consequences of this decision and its impact on students’ success. While the prevailing view may be that this adjustment has hindered student success, a quantitative analysis of the relationship between students’ GPA and IELTS entrance scores had not been completed until this research study.

Literature Review

While there are commonly-held assumptions about the predictive value of the IELTS, IELTS as an organization is very cautious in describing the purpose of the exam. They state only that the exam is able “to fairly assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication” (IELTS, n.d., para. 1) and that it “provides a fair, accurate and relevant assessment of language skills based on well-established standards” (IELTS, n.d., para. 2). Their own literature does not promise success in either a workplace or educational setting based on particular scores. The public band scores describe a candidate’s language abilities in only the most general terms such as “Band 6: Competent user: has generally effective command of the language Volume 21

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despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations” (IELTS, 2013, p. 12). IELTS emphasizes that there is no “pass/fail” criterion for the exam and that every institution must determine a threshold score for its own purposes. However, IELTS’s Guide for Institutions and Organisations (IELTS, 2013) reveals certain assumptions about the level of proficiency, as measured by this exam, required for candidates to be successful in an English-medium tertiary program. It states that for linguistically demanding and linguistically less demanding academic study, further English study would be required for any candidate below the 6.5 level. It can be therefore be extrapolated that an IELTS entrance score of 5.0 is well below the recommended threshold for academic studies. Therefore, it may also be assumed that students who undertake a degree program with low IELTS subscores will be less successful than those who were deemed to have a higher level of English proficiency as assessed by the exam. Even though there is a reticence to recognize a predictive value of IELTS for academic success, there is nonetheless a large body of research which investigates this issue. Studies into the predictive abilities of the IELTS (and TOEFL) exam have produced conflicting results over the last 20 years. The question of the ability of standardized language exams to predict academic success became a major point of interest in the early to mid-90s when the IELTS began to be widely adapted by tertiary institutions, especially those in Australia. Several early studies found little or a limited correlation between IELTS scores and academic achievement including Davies (1988), Cotton and Conrow (1998), and Dooey (1999).These results have been substantiated by later research that also found a lack of a relationship between language proficiency as measured by standardized exams and students’ later GPA, including work by Kerstjens and Nery in 2000, and Dooey and Oliver in 2002. However, the majority of this research was conducted in Australian universities with international students who were attending tertiary institutions in a foreign culture.The reasons for their academic success, or lack of academic success, are of course much more complex than English language proficiency. Lack of familiarity with the education system, approach to learning, cultural barriers, motivation, and a host of other factors could all contribute to students’ ultimate academic achievement. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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However, in the past ten years, the majority of studies published on the topic have continued to focus on this population of students yet with more varied results. In 2002, Feast discovered a “significant and positive relationship” between students’ IELTS entry scores and their subsequent GPA. Paul’s (2006) case studies supported the importance of this relationship and showed that students with the highest entry scores coped best in the tertiary setting. Woodrow (2006) found “weak but significant correlations” between GPA and IELTS scores with the strongest correlations occurring between the three sub-scores in writing, speaking, and listening. Other studies focusing on sub-scores (Humphreys, Haugh, Fenton-Smith, Lobo, Michael & Walkinshaw, 2012) found that listening and reading were the skills that best predicted students’ first semester GPA. While the direct link between GPA and standardized language proficiency exams is not always clear, Oliver,Vanderford and Grote (2012) still found these tests to be the best predictors of academic success when compared to other measures such as the completion of an institution’s own foundational language program. This result is reinforced by Cho and Bridgeman’s (2012) examination of the iBT TOEFL which also found this standardized exam to be the best predictor of student academic success when balanced against “other admissions tests,” even when correlations between GPA and exam scores were small. As might be expected, however, the relationship between proficiency exam scores and academic success may diminish over time as discovered by Yen and Kuzma (2009), where the strength of the correlation changed between students’ first and second semester GPA although significant correlations remained with listening, writing, and reading sub-scores. There has been limited research conducted on EFL students who remain in their own country for English-medium tertiary education as is the case in most Gulf states and for the students who constitute the population of this research. One such study was completed by Maleki and Zangani (2007) in Iran where they found a significant positive correlation between English language proficiency and student GPA. A separate study conducted in Tanzania secondary schools (Wilson & Komba, 2012 ) also found a positive relationship between students’ English ability and their academic success. Volume 21

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Research Design

This research was completed using existing institutional data available through two of the university’s online databases which are readily accessible to all faculty. Student data was treated confidentially. The original target for participants was 50 students per six consecutive semesters who entered the bachelor program at the beginning of both fall and spring semesters over a 3-year period ending with the fall 2011 intake. They were chosen from the student population which had just graduated from the foundation English language program (with a minimum overall IELTS score of 5.0) or students who had bypassed the foundational program because they presented an IELTS score of a minimum 5.5 average upon entrance to the university (direct entry students). Sampling was Dawn Garinger has worked at Zayed University for 10 years, and is currently a faculty member in University College, teaching English composition courses. Prior to coming to Zayed University, she taught English in Canada, Thailand, Costa Rica, and Turkey. She has a master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Alberta.

stopped at the fall 2011 intake because this was the last cohort which would have had sufficient time to complete the 3-semester core general education curriculum. It was also surmised that beyond this 1.5 year interval, and matriculation into students’ majors, relationships between entering IELTS scores and GPA may be diminishing. These six cohorts were to provide a sample of approximately 300 students. However, issues with incomplete data sets meant that the eventual sample was set at 181 students over the 3-year period, and no students who had bypassed the foundation English program (i.e., direct entry students) were included. Prior to the last academic year, the institution did not track the IELTS sub-scores for these students, so the data was not complete, and therefore, direct entry students cannot be included in the research study at this time. The student participants were randomly selected from each of the cohorts, including males and females, to ensure reliability and validity of the subsequent analyses. This data was sufficient to allow investigation of the relationships between the entering bachelor’s IELTS scores and GPA at the end of 3 semesters of study.

Data Analysis

Prior to the application of any inferential statistical techniques, basic descriptive techniques were applied TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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to the data set. Mean, median, and mode scores along with the minimum and maximum scores were identified for the 3-semester Overall GPA, the Composition GPA, the Global Awareness GPA, and the IELTS scores and sub-scores. Table 1 shows the results of these analyses. The mean and median for overall GPA were nearly identical at 2.31 and 2.30 respectively, while the GPAs for the Composition and Global Awareness streams were also quite similar.

The overall IELTS mean of 5.4 was slightly higher than the typical institutional average. (Two previous analyses conducted at the institution level showed the exiting IELTS mean score to be 5.1 and 5.2.). However, as was expected with the target student population, the IELTS sub-scores confirmed that speaking was the greatest strength (5.7), whereas reading was the weakest skill (5.0), with writing (5.2) and listening (5.2) skills averaging in between.

Table 1 Data Overview Overall GPA

Comp GPA

Global GPA

IELTS Overall

IELTS Listening

IELTS Reading

IELTS Writing

IELTS Speaking

Mean

2.31

2.32

2.23

5.4

5.2

5.0

5.2

5.7

Median

2.30

2.43

2.23

5.5

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.5

Mode

2.45

2.67

2.00

5.0

5.0

5.0

5.0

6.0

Minimum

0.00

0.00

0.00

5.0

3.5

3.5

4.0

4.5

Maximum

3.91

4.00

4.00

7.0

8.0

7.0

6.5

7.5

Within the sample there were 10 students who did not complete the full 3 semesters. However, they registered an IELTS mean of 5.4, a median of 5.3, and a mode of 5.0, so their attrition could not be attributed to a difference in IELTS scores.

achieved through application of Pearson’s correlation coefficient. In all cases, there was little or no meaningful relationship, and none were statistically significant at the 0.05 level. Recognizing that a +/-1.0 indicates a perfect linear relationship and a 0.0 no linear relationship, the data in Table 2 shows that GPA was not meaningfully related to any of the IELTS measures. None of the correlations even approach the benchmark of a weak relationship of +/- .30.

Subsequently, inferential statistical techniques were employed to examine the relationships between GPA and overall IELTS scores, and then disaggregated further to GPA and IELTS sub-scores. This was

Table 2 GPA-IELTS Correlations GPA- Overall IELTS

GPA- IELTS Listening

GPA- IELTS Reading

GPA- IELTS Writing

GPA- IELTS Speaking

.07

.08

.03

.10

.001

The final set of correlations conducted was of the two language-intensive sequences within the core general education program, which are the 3-semester English composition sequence and the 3-semester Global Awareness sequence. Because English composition is the most writing intensive set of courses and Global Awareness represents the courses with the most demanding reading expectations, it was hypothesized that if a relationship between the IELTS and GPA existed, it would emerge within Volume 21

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these curricular streams. Surprisingly, this does not seem to be the case (see Table 3), as the correlations did not demonstrate the suspected relationships. The only statistically significant correlation was GPA to IELTS listening, which had a very weak correlation at .20.

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Table 3 GPA-IELTS Curricular Stream Correlations English Composition

Global Awareness

GPA- Overall IELTS

.09

.13

GPA- IELTS Listening

.02

.20*

GPA- IELTS Reading

.06

.11

GPA- IELTS Writing

.03

.09

GPA- IELTS Speaking

.08

.06

*statistically significant at the 0.001 level Further analysis through a comparison of group GPA mean scores using ANOVA was conducted. It was again hypothesized that the greater the IELTS score exiting from the foundational English program, the greater the chance for student success. Hence, the participants were separated into 3 groups: those with an average IELTS 5.0 (n=81), those with a

5.5 (n=74), and those with great than or equal to 6.0 (n=26). There were GPA mean differences as indicated in Table 4, but the range of scores was consistently at the C (2.0) or C+ (2.3) level. However, in no cases were the mean differences statistically significant at the .05 level as is shown in Table 5.

Table 4 GPA Mean Scores IELTS 5.0

IELTS 5.5

IELTS 6.0+

Overall GPA

2.25

2.36

2.39

Composition GPA

2.24

2.38

2.44

Global Awareness GPA

2.10

2.32

2.38

Table 5 ANOVA

Overall GPA

Composition GPA

Global Awareness GPA

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Sum of Squares

df

Mean Square

F

Sig.

Between Groups

.690

2.0

.345

.681

.508

Within Groups

90.205

178

.507

Total

90.895

180

Between Groups

1.156

2

.578

1.021

.362

Within Groups

100.732

178

.566

Total

101.887

180

Between Groups

2.651

2

1.326

1.877

.156

Within Groups

125.693

178

.706

Total

128.344

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Though the data showed overwhelmingly that there was no significant relationship between incoming IELTS scores and subsequent GPA, a final visual check of some of the lowest performing students in terms of GPA was performed. Through this analysis, it was also discernible that even the low performing cohort’s incoming IELTS scores did not show a relationship to their later GPA.

Discussion

The data analysis puts forth a very strong argument that within this English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context, IELTS scores are not a predictor of academic success. Against popular belief, it also Kevin Schoepp is the Director of Educational Effectiveness at Zayed University. His role in educational effectiveness includes program review, learning outcomes assessment, and accreditation. He has a doctorate in higher education leadership and a master’s degree in educational technology from the University of Calgary and a master’s in TESOL from the University of Alberta. He has lived in Abu Dhabi and worked at Zayed University for 10 years.

seems to indicate that particular IELTS sub-scores are not more pertinent or important than others. While there was a numerical difference in GPAs of students with an IELTS score of 5.0, 5.5, or greater than or equal to 6.0 overall, through the two language intensive curricular streams, these differences were not statistically significant and were still bound within the C to C+ range, which makes the case that they are not practically significant either. For this reason, this research supports many of the early studies conducted in mainly English as a Second Language settings which also found no or limited relationships (e.g., Cotton & Conrow, 1998; Davies, 1988; Dooey, 1999; Dooey & Oliver, 2002; Kerstjens & Nery, 2000) while contradicting some regional data which did find correlations between greater language proficiency and academic success (Maleki & Zangani, 2007; Wilson & Komba, 2012). The implications for the institution address the question of raising IELTS entrance score requirements, as it does not appear as though more resources should be invested into having students achieve higher IELTS entry scores, whether this be by applying sub-score thresholds, or by simply raising the entrance score to a 5.5 or greater. Using GPA as a measure of academic success, students appear to be equally successful entering with the minimum IELTS requirement as they are at the 5.5 or 6.0 level. Raising the entry requirement would deny a tertiary Volume 21

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education to students who are at a level where their peers are achieving success academically. The findings of this research also raise questions about the official IELTS band recommendations for tertiary study as 5.0. While the IELTS organization clearly suggests a minimum score of 6.5 for successful study, this research demonstrates that students at a much lower level of proficiency are succeeding equally well. It may be that in an EFL environment, one in which students share a common mother tongue, a lower threshold is plausible. However, it may also be telling about the limitations of the exam to discriminate well at the 5.0-6.0 range.

Future Research

In terms of future research there are some obvious directions which should be taken. First, the existing sample included a very narrow band of IELTS admission scores. As the institution is now tracking the complete IELTS data set (overall and sub-scores) for each direct entry student, the ability to conduct these same analyses with more proficient students will be available in the future. By including this wider range of IELTS entry scores, significant relationships may emerge that did not emerge with this sample. Perhaps this more English proficient group has much higher GPAs than the students who entered the bachelor program via the foundation language program. Second, qualitative work with faculty needs to be conducted in order to investigate reasons why there does not appear to be a relationship between IELTS scores and GPA. A question that needs to be answered is, has the entry IELTS of 5.0 caused faculty to alter their pedagogy or their expectations with regard to student performance or achievement? Even prior to introduction of the IELTS entrance exam at the institution, English language proficiency levels of the student population were quite low in comparison to students in other parts of the world. Though there were different measures for university entrance (TOEFL and internal exams), faculty have always had to cope with students at a similar level of language ability, and this may have always had an impact on student assessment in the degree program. The final investigation that is readily available is to measure growth of IELTS scores throughout the undergraduate program and look at GPA through this data. Given that the institution delivers IELTS exams to samples of students at the end of the general education program and at graduation in addition to the entry IELTS scores, this seems especially apt. It TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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may show that an improvement in English proficiency through the undergraduate program is significantly related to GPA at these later stages.

Conclusion

The results of this study indicate the need to put aside pre-conceived notions of the relationship between language proficiency and academic success in an EFL environment. While students require a certain minimum level of language competency to perform in an academic setting, the reasons for their success or failure are more complex than simply their ability to communicate in the target language. The same factors that impact the transition from secondary school to college level in an L1 setting exist in an L2 environment. While students may be well equipped in terms of their English skills, they may not have the necessary academic skills, family support, internal motivation, or intellectual rigor to cope better than students with weaker language skills. IELTS is but one measure that must be considered when accepting students for entry into an English-medium bachelor’s program.

References

Cho,Y., & Bridgeman, B. (2012). Relationship of TOEFL iBT scores to academic performance: Some evidence from American universities. Language Testing, 29(3), 421–442. Cotton, F., & Conrow, F. (1998). An investigation of the predictive validity of IELTS amongst a group of international students studying at the University of Tasmania. IELTS Research Reports. Retrieved from http://www.ielts.org/pdf/ Vol1Report4.pdf Davies, A. (1988). Operationalizing uncertainty in language testing: An argument in favour of content validity. Language Testing, 5, 32-48. Dooey, P. (1999, February). An investigation into the predictive validity of the IELTS test as an indicator of future academic success. In K. Martin, N. Stanley & N. Davison (Eds.), Teaching in the disciplines/learning in context, (pp.114– 118). Proceedings of the 8th Annual Teaching Learning Forum. The University of Western Australia. Retrieved from http://otl.curtin.edu. au/professional_development/conferences/tlf/ tlf1999/dooey.html Dooey, P., & Oliver, R. (2002). An investigation into the predictive validity of the IELTS test. Prospect, 17(1), 36–54.

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Feast,V. (2002). The impact of IELTS scores on performance at university. International Education Journal, 3, 70-85. Humphreys, P., Haugh, M. B., Fenton-Smith, B., Lobo, A. I., Michael, R., & Walkinshaw, I. S. (2012). Tracking international students’ English proficiency over the first semester of undergraduate study, IELTS Research Reports. Retrieved from http://www.ielts.org/pdf/RR_ Online1_May2013_Humphreys.pdf IELTS. (2013). Guide for educational institutions, governments, professional bodies and commercial organisations. Retrieved from http://www.ielts. org/PDF/Guide_Edu-%20Inst_Gov_2013.pdf IELTS. (n.d.). What is IELTS? Retrieved from http://www.ielts.org/institutions/about_ielts/ what_is_ielts.aspx Kerstjens, K., & Nery, C. (2000). Predictive validity in the IELTS test. In R. Tulloh (Ed.), IELTS Research Reports, 3, (pp. 85-108). Canberra: IELTS Australia. Maleki, A., & Zangani, E. (2007) A survey on the relationship between English language proficiency and the academic achievement of Iranian EFL students. Asian EFL Journal, 9(1). Retrieved from http://asian-efl-journal.com/ March_2007_EBook.pdf#page=86 Oliver, R.,Vanderford, S., & Grote, E. (2012). Evidence of English language proficiency and academic achievement of non-English speaking background students. Higher Educational Research and Development, 31(4), 541-555. Paul, A. (2006). IELTS as a predictor of academic language performance, part 2. IELTS Research Reports. Retrieved from http://www.ielts.org/ pdf/Vol7_Report4.pdf Wilson, J., & Komba, S.C. (2012). The link between English language proficiency and academic performance: A pedagogical perspective in Tanzanian secondary schools. World Journal of English Language, 2(4). Retrieved from http:// www.sciedu.ca/journal/index.php/wjel/article/ view/1763 Woodrow, L. (2006). Academic success of international postgraduate education students and the role of English proficiency. University of Sydney Papers in TESOL, 1, 51-70. Yen, D., & Kuzma, J. (2009). Higher IELTS score, higher academic performance? The validity of IELTS in predicting the academic performance of Chinese students. Worcester Journal of Learning and Teaching, 3, 1-7. Zayed University. (2012). Zayed University Catalog. Retrieved from http://www.zu.ac.ae/main/files/ contents/docs/Course_Catalog_2012To2013.pdf

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Vocabulary Building for Arab Learners Vocabulary knowledge interlocks the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Nonetheless, explicit vocabulary instruction continues to be neglected. The result is that many learners remain at a plateau after the initial phase of study, leaving them unprepared to meet the demands of more advanced study. The purpose of this article is to survey both quantitative and qualitative research in order to answer two questions: a) What is the difference between Arab learners’ vocabulary depth of knowledge versus the amount of vocabulary needed for academic study at the tertiary level? and b) How can teachers assist learners in bridging this gap?

Vocabulary Load and Knowledge

More than one hundred years ago, Sweet (1899) observed that one of the greatest challenges to a learner is “mastery” of the foreign language vocabulary. In the 21st century, researchers in ELT were able to quantify mastery as a vocabulary load of 8,000-9,000 word families (Nation, 2006). It has been estimated that Arab learners need about 3,000 word families before entering post-foundation studies (Al Farsi, 2008). In 2011 at a university in Oman, only 300 out of 2,751 entering freshmen demonstrated a sufficient vocabulary to directly begin post-foundation studies (Sergon, 2011). For foundation program learners, vocabulary size ranges from 400-2000 words for Oman (Al Farsi, 2008), 1,919 words for UAE (Boyle & Kirk, 2007), 1000+ for Saudi, and 2000+ for Libyan undergraduates in an ESL program (Andrews, 2009). Statistics are somewhat different for undergraduate English majors in KSA: first year students were at 1,650 words, while fifth year students were at 3,000 words (Al Masrai & Milton, 2012). Volume 21

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Anthony Kripps Salalah College of Technology Sultanate of Oman

In order to help learners to bridge the gap between their vocabulary knowledge and load, a two-pronged approach is needed: both best practices in vocabulary teaching and learner strategy training.

Vocabulary Teaching Activities

Although the literature on teaching vocabulary to Arab learners contains a plethora of suggested activities, only a small portion of these suggestions have been tested through quantitative methods, such as comparing traditional textbook learning with various supplemental activities. For example, in a first year foundation program in Oman, students studied vocabulary using a combination of CALL and formal instruction in a 12-week course (Cobb, 1997). The activities included choose the correct definition, word search, and choose the correct word that completes the sentence. Students also had to take weekly vocabulary quizzes. The researcher found that 430 new words were gained after three months of training (Cobb, 1997). In another experiment in KSA, female freshmen learned vocabulary through a variety of activities for 50 lessons in a 12-week course, while the control group used a textbook only. The mixed approach used by the control group included multimedia, flashcards, mnemonic strategies (keyword, mind mapping), dictionary, extensive reading, as well as textbook. The experimental group scored 62.90 mean on the post-test, but the control group scored only 47.93 (Al Jarf, 2006). Finally, in a UAE foundation program, both males and females learned vocabulary by memorizing word lists and having activities such as guessing meaning from context, scrambled letters, word formation, and dictation practice. Post-testing showed that only forty-three new words, or 8.6%, from a target of 500 words were learned per level tested (Davidson, Atkinson, & Spring, 2011). TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Presentation of New Vocabulary

If left to their own devices, many learners, especially low proficiency ones, will not try to access meaning of new words autonomously. Therefore, the following classroom techniques for presenting new vocabulary and their meaning are recommended. Teacher Gives First Language (L1) Equivalent Arab learners generally rely on the teacher to give the Arabic equivalent of English words (Al Mohanna, 2010). Non-Arabic speaking teachers can elicit Arabic equivalents for new vocabulary from high proficiency learners (Al Jadidi, 2009). This technique has the advantage of creating a cooperative learning environment and encouraging more student participation. Word and Picture Matching An obvious way for learners to discover meaning in the second language (L2) without relying on L1 is the use of pictures. Both children and adult learners respond favorably to this technique (Al Ja’afari, 2009). This is yet one more way to break routine and be less reliant on the textbook (Al Jadidi, 2009). It also has the value of focusing the attention of the entire class, whether with printed pictures or multimedia. Pantomiming New Vocabulary Bilingual teachers generally present new vocabulary with one Arabic equivalent for each word, whereas monolingual teachers use pantomime to present meaning of new words (Al Jadidi, 2009). This activity has proven equally effective with primary school children (Al Ja’afari, 2009) and with college students (Saafin, 2005). Afterwards, a student can choose a vocabulary item to pantomime from those being reviewed for classmates to try to guess the English word.

Practicing New Words

Classroom techniques and activities for Arab learners to practice new words and their meanings include choose the correct item, previewing, flashcards, and games. They should be used in combination with textbook learning. Choose the Correct Item Classroom activities for consolidating meaning of new words include choose the correct definition, choose the correct word to complete the sentence, and choose the correctly spelled word to complete the sentence (Davidson, Atkinson & Spring, 2011). Volume 21

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15 Experience indicates that with this activity many learners simply engage in wild guessing. Therefore, in an interactive classroom more advanced students should be encouraged to answer chorally. Previewing Previewing new vocabulary has been recommended as a pre-reading activity (Albakri, 2013). It can involve brainstorming in L1 or L2 about which vocabulary items are likely to be encountered. The teacher can list the words in L1 from the brainstorming session on the whiteboard, and then give the L2 equivalents if they are unknown. After encountering the new words in a reading passage, learners should be encouraged to use them in class discussions (Al Jadidi, 2009). This activity has the advantage of allowing learners to work cooperatively in small groups and letting a designated chairperson answer for the group. Flashcards This kind of direct vocabulary instruction has proven effective in ESL classrooms (Nation & Waring, 1997). Classroom research into flashcard use for vocabulary instruction in the Gulf is limited to primary school children. However, it was found that learners are more motivated when they are allowed to find their own pictures to create their flashcards and select their own pictures (Al Ja’afri, 2009). Flashcards are equally valuable for home study. This means that students can be assigned to create flashcards during class time which they can use outside of class. Games The value of games in the language classroom has been recognized for more than two decades (Oxford & Crookall, 1990). Games which require the learner to match a word and its definition should also be part of explicit vocabulary instruction (Albakri, 2013). Games allow learners to review and recycle vocabulary. Some commercial games include Scrabble, Bingo, Concentration, Password, and Jeopardy (Sökmen, 1997). Classroom research into the use of games for Arab learners is growing but largely limited to selfreporting by participants. In two surveys, secondary and tertiary students described their notion of an effective teacher as one who uses digital vocabulary games and other activities rather than simply following the textbook (Baniabdelrahman, 2013; Saafin, 2005).

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16 Production of New Vocabulary

Ideally, learners should attempt to consolidate new vocabulary by interacting with native speakers or non-native speakers. However, in some Gulf countries this is not feasible. For example, KSA students have little exposure to English outside the classroom, and few opportunities to use it communicatively. By contrast, students in the UAE do not seek opportunities to use English outside the classroom, despite an abundance of EnglishAnthony Kripps is a lecturer in the foundation program at Salalah College of Technology in Oman. He has a BA in French, MA in general linguistics, and PhD in Central Asian languages. He has published articles on out-of-class language learning, e-learning and listening comprehension. He can be contacted at polyglot12@yahoo.com.

speaking expatriate workers (Khan, 2011). Therefore, learners can at the very least maximize speaking opportunities inside the classroom with each other. Monologues, Dialogues, Role Plays New vocabulary knowledge can be activated by using it in role plays, dialogues, monologues, and presentations (Sökmen, 1997). One researcher in Oman found that monolingual teachers tended to use dialogues more than bilingual teachers (Al Jadidi, 2009). In KSA, however, teachers are less willing to use role plays and dialogues because they fear losing disciplinary control in the classroom (Al Mohanna, 2010). Nevertheless, oral work is part of the learning cycle for vocabulary which involves using new words in listening, speaking, reading, and writing tasks.

Vocabulary Learning Strategies

Effective vocabulary building also requires instruction in vocabulary learning strategies (Schmitt, 2007). If Schmitt’s (1997) inventory of 58 vocabulary learning strategies is any indication, it should serve as a reminder of the scale of the burden that resides more with the learner than the teacher. Strategy use can be explicitly taught at the beginner to intermediate levels (Ali, 2008a). However, it should be remembered that some strategies may not be suitable in all contexts. For example, whereas the use of singing and lyrical music may be a popular learning strategy in Asia, it is not likely to be accepted in many countries of the Middle East.

Strategies for Discovery of Meaning

In order to find the meaning of a new word, students typically consult either their teacher or a classmate. This tendency indicates that most learners are not Volume 21

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aware of other strategies for discovering meaning (Qashoa, 2006). Strategies to discover meaning which have been used to train Arab learners include analyzing affixes and roots, guessing meaning from context, and dictionary use. Analyzing Affixes and Roots Due to the nature of English morphology, Greek and Latin roots and affixes as well as word families and derivations are essential to vocabulary building (Schmitt, 2007). Arab learners are disadvantaged by the fact that they know mainly spoken English, but not the Greco-Latin roots for Academic English (Boyle & Kirk, 2007).Two benefits of analyzing roots and affixes are enhancing receptive knowledge and helping learners guess the meaning of members of word families. Guessing Meaning from Context Lexical inferencing involves guessing the meaning of new words from a variety of clues including phonological, orthographic, morphological, lexical, contextual, and world knowledge, or any combination of these (Comer, 2012). However, successful use of this strategy depends on the learners’ threshold of proficiency as demonstrated by their depth of vocabulary knowledge. In other words, lexical inferencing is suitable for high proficiency rather than low proficiency learners (Alseweed, 2005). Unfortunately for many foundation students in the Gulf, commercial textbooks like Oxford’s series Headway, Intermediate “has no specific vocabulary offering” beyond the 1000 word level. Instead, students are expected to acquire vocabulary by guessing the meaning from context (Cobb, 1995, p. 10). Considering that first year undergraduates have a vocabulary size of 500-1000 words; while upperintermediates average 1,500 words, guessing meaning from context is not an appropriate strategy for these students to discover the meaning of words (Cobb, 1999). Other researchers agree that this strategy is not suitable for low-level learners (Sökmen, 1997) because knowledge of 2,500-2,600 word families is needed to effectively guess meaning from context (Nation & Waring, 1997). Dictionary Use Effective dictionary use is a strategy which tends to be neglected. Arab learners generally do not use a dictionary (Thompson-Panos & Thomas-Ruži, 1983). Another study found that even if a dictionary is consulted, contextual information is ignored, and the wrong sense is selected (Jabak, 2007). TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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In one survey of strategies used by 112 male and female students at two secondary schools in KSA, it was found that low proficiency learners refused to use a dictionary, but used haphazard guessing instead (Ali, 2008a). In another study, the opposite was true; namely, that dictionary use was the most popular strategy for low proficiency users in KSA (Alseweed, 2005). Arab learners can benefit from dictionary activities that require them to find part of speech, multiple senses, and good contextual examples, which they can enter in their vocabulary notebook.

learners to use flashcards for self-teaching. One project in the UAE began an EAP course by demonstrating how to make vocabulary cards. Students were assigned to create at least 5 cards per day and 25 per week for unknown words. At the end of the course, 75% of the learners rated this method of reviewing vocabulary highly because they could do it anywhere at their leisure (Rogier & Coleman, 2007). An alternative to paper cards is an electronic dictionary which has a “save and review” feature for both words and definitions (Hunt & Beglar, 2005).

Strategies for Consolidation

Memory Strategies Mnemonic learning strategies can form two or three links between new verbal information and past experience. An acoustic or phonological link is formed by relating a foreign word, either wholly or partially, to a similar sounding word in the native language (i.e., a keyword). A second can be formed by associating the meaning of the foreign word with a mental image.

Consolidation involves strengthening the mental link between new verbal information (acoustic or visual) and long-term memory. A new word can be processed mentally by forming some kind of association or image. One way to retain new information and make it available for recall is by connecting it to prior knowledge. When the learner makes a deliberate effort to learn the material that is being recycled, the retrievability of the new information is consolidated (Craik & Lockhart, 1972). Strategies to help learners recycle and recall new vocabulary include memorizing word lists, drilling with flashcards, memory strategies, and extensive reading. Word Lists The value of word lists lies in the fact that L1-L2 equivalents allow direct association between form and meaning (Atkinson & Raugh, 1975). Rote memorization of L1-L2 word lists is generally regarded as outmoded because it uses decontextualized language. However, researchers are gradually realizing that it is still a valuable technique (Yang & Dai, 2011). According to one researcher, an L1-L2 list of 30-100 words can be memorized in an hour and can be retained for several weeks (Sökmen, 1997). At secondary schools in KSA, learners copy long vocabulary lists into the notebooks, and teachers give the Arabic equivalent for words (Al Mohanna, 2010). Learners in UAE are demotivated because they have to memorize long vocabulary lists, wrongly believing this to be the only way to build their English vocabulary (Qashoa, 2006). Therefore, learners should be made aware that word lists are only one of a repertoire of learning strategies. Flashcard Drilling There is scant research involving training Arab Volume 21

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More advanced learners can make a third link, which is a direct association between the meaning of a new word in L2 and its L1 equivalent. The keyword method is particularly beneficial to those learning a foreign language that is phonemically unrelated to their native language (Atkinson & Raugh, 1975). Just as mnemonics consolidate the brain’s ability to recall new verbal information, they also strengthen our ability to retain words in long-term memory (Craik & Lockhart, 1972). Finally, mnemonic keywords are better recalled and retained if they are coined by the learner rather than the teacher. Adult beginners in KSA were successfully trained to use the keyword method, peg method, and acrostics and rhyming to acquire new vocabulary (Ali, 2008b). Some researchers recommend using the keyword method to study 15-20 new words per 5-week session (Cohen & Aphek, 1981). In one experiment using the keyword method, learners were introduced to 800 words per quarter (Atkinson & Raugh, 1975). With three quarters in an academic year in the Gulf, a foundation learner might acquire 2,400 words using such a schedule. Extensive Reading This strategy involves pleasure reading of comic books, magazines (Oxford & Crookall, 1990), and graded readers (Schmitt, 2007). Research shows that with extensive reading, the pick up rate ranges from TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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18 zero to less than one new word per thousand read. Comparable results have been found regardless of the L1 (Watts, 2011).

the use of digital games indicates that some learners will be motivated to do more learning outside the classroom in an online environment.

Although the pick up rate for new vocabulary tends to be quite low, extensive reading offers other benefits. First, it provides both contextualized recycling of vocabulary, which is necessary for long-term retention and recall (Schmitt, 2010). Second, it motivates learners to be independent readers. Third, it increases reading speed and reading comprehension, which in turn motivates learners to read more in the target language. Comparable results have been found for increased reading speed and comprehension, as well as increased enjoyment and more positive attitudes toward English for KSA (Al Homoud & Al Salloum, 2011), UAE (Johnson, 2009), and Yemen (Bell, 2001).

References

When learners are able to choose their own books, they prefer reading at or below their own level of proficiency. It has generally been found that learners are motivated when they can read an entire book without opening a dictionary, whereas reading beyond their level is demotivating (Al-Tamimi, 2012). Given that Arab learners find reading English burdensome, studies have found that incorporating extensive reading into the curriculum for as little as ten minutes per session a few days per week will yield noticeable benefits.

Conclusion

Researchers in vocabulary acquisition and pedagogy agree to the need for explicit vocabulary instruction alongside training in learning strategies. Moreover, researchers have concluded that a mixed approach using a variety of activities is more effective than a single textbook or method. Feedback from Arab learners, regardless of age, strongly favors having a wide range of games and activities, which they find motivating because it creates a relaxed and enjoyable learning environment. Despite this rosy picture from the research surveyed here, the reality is that chalk-and-talk teachers outnumber innovators. That means that vocabulary building will reside largely with the learner. In addition, teachers naturally resort to the methods and activities that they are most familiar with based on their prior learning experience. This might entail relying entirely on the textbook, vocabulary lists, and quizzes. On a positive note, however, research into Volume 21

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Albakri, R. (2013). Teaching scientific vocabulary to EFL learners using English: Content and language integrated learning. Arab World English Journal, 4(1), 269-284. Al Farsi, B. (2008). Morphological awareness and its relationship to vocabulary knowledge and morphological complexity among Omani EFL university students (Unpublished master’s thesis). The University of Queensland, Australia. Al Homoud, F. & Al Salloum, M. (2011). The effects of extensive reading on the breadth and depth of vocabulary knowledge and reading speed. Extensive Reading World Congress Proceedings, 1, 65-67. Al Ja’afari, I.S. (2009). Using pictures in teaching vocabulary in grades 5 and 6 classrooms. In S. Borg (Ed.), Researching English language teaching and teacher development in Oman. (pp. 132-139). Sultanate of Oman: Ministry of Education. Al Jadidi, H.S. (2009). Teaching English as a foreign language in Oman: An exploration of English language pedagogy in tertiary education (Unpublished doctoral dissertation).Victoria University, Australia. Al Jarf, R. (2006). Making connections in vocabulary instruction. Paper presented at the 2nd ClaSIC Conference. Singapore. Al Masrai, A., & Milton, J. (2012). The vocabulary knowledge of university students in Saudi Arabia. TESOL Arabia Perspectives, 19(3), 13-19. Al Mohanna, A.D.M. (2010). English language teaching in Saudi Arabian context: How communicatively oriented is it? Journal of King Saud University, Language & Translation, 22, 69-88. Ali, M.F. (2008a). An investigation of proficient and less proficient EFL Arab learners’ vocabulary learning strategies, linguistic self-image and perceptions of learning environment. Fayoum University E-Journal. Retrieved from http:// www.fayoum.edu.eg/English/Education/ ElectronicMagazine1.aspx. Ali, M.F. (2008b). Incorporating self-generated mnemonics into lexical learning: Impact on EFL adult learners’ vocabulary achievement, retention and metacognitive awareness. Reading and Literacy Journal, Egyptian Reading and Literacy Association, College of Education, Ain Shams University, 77.

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Alseweed, M. (2005). Overcoming unknown words. Educational and Psychological Sciences Journal, 6(1), 5-37. Al-Tamimi, H. (2012). Teaching literature to foreign language learners as a medium for cultural awareness and empathy. Arab World English Journal, 3(4), 214-232. Andrews, S. (2009). Educational background as predictor of lexical richness among Libyan and Saudi Arabian ESL students (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Pittsburg, USA. Atkinson, R.C. & Raugh, M.R. (1975). An application of the mnemonic keyword to the acquisition of a Russian vocabulary. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 104, 126-133. Baniabdelrahman, A. (2013). The effect of using online tools on ninth grade Jordanian students’ vocabulary learning. Arab World English Journal,4(1), 189-202. Bell, T. (2001). Extensive reading: Speed and comprehension. The Reading Matrix,1(1), Retrieved from http://www.readingmatrix.com/ articles/bell/index.html. Boyle, R. & Kirk, T. (2007). Estimating and enhancing learners’ knowledge of academic vocabulary. Paper presented at the International Conference on Foreign Language Education, Sabanci University School of Languages, Istanbul, Turkey. Cobb, T.M. (1995). Imported tests: Analyzing the task. Paper presented at TESOL Arabia, Al Ain University, UAE. Cobb, T.M. (1997). Is there any measurable learning from hands-on concordancing? System, 25(3), 301-305. Cobb, T.M. (1999). Applying constructivism: A test for the learner-as-scientist. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47(3), 15-31. Cohen, A.D. & Aphek, E. (1981). Retention of second language vocabulary over time: Investigating the role of nnemonic associations. System, 8, 221-235. Comer, W.J. (2012). Lexical inferencing in reading L2 Russian. Reading in a Foreign Language, 24(2), 209-230. Craik, F.I.M. & Lockhart, R.S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11, 671-684.

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Davidson, P., Atkinson, F., and Spring, J. (2011). The impact of explicitly teaching vocabulary on students’ vocabulary learning. In D. Anderson & R. Sheehan (Eds.), Foundations for the future: Focus on vocabulary (pp. 27-41). Abu Dhabi, UAE: HCT Press. Hunt, A. & Beglar, D. (2005). A framework for developing EFL reading vocabulary. Reading in a Foreign Language, 17(1). Retrieved from http:// nflrc.hawaii.edu/Rfl/April2005/hunt/hunt.html. Jabak, O. (2007). Analysis of the most commonly recurring difficulties facing Arab students when translating into English (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Salford, Manchester, UK. Johnson, A. (2009). To what extent can graded readers motivate Emirati students to become extensive readers? A case study at Abu Dhabi Men’s College. In D. Anderson (Ed.), Cultivating real readers (pp. 101-110). Abu Dhabi, UAE: HCT Press. Khan, I. A. (2011). Learning difficulties in English: Diagnosis and pedagogy in Saudi Arabia. Educational Research, 2(7), 1248-1257. Nation, P. (2006). How large a vocabulary is needed for reading and listening? The Canadian Modern Language Review, 63(1), 59-82. Nation, P. & Waring, R. (1997).Vocabulary size, text coverage and word lists. In N. Schmitt & M. McCarthy (Eds.), Vocabulary: Description, acquisition and pedagogy (pp. 6-19). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Oxford, R. & Crookall, D. (1990).Vocabulary learning: A critical analysis of techniques. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada, 7(2), 9-30. Qashoa, S.H. (2006). Motivation among learners of English in the secondary schools in the eastern coast of the UAE (Unpublished master’s thesis). British University in Dubai, UAE. Rogier, D. & Coleman, B. (2007). Learner-made vocabulary cards in the EAP classroom. Compleat Links, 4(4). Retrieved from http://www.tesol. org/read-and-publish/journals/other-serialpublications/compleat-links/compleat-linksvolume-4-issue-4-%28december-2007%29/learnermade-vocabulary-cards-in-the-eap-classroom. Saafin, S.M. (2005). An investigation into Arab students’ perceptions of effective EFL teachers at university level (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Exeter, UK. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Sökmen, A.J. (1997). Current trends in teaching second language vocabulary. In N. Schmitt & M. McCarthy (Eds.), Vocabulary: Description, acquisition and pedagogy (pp. 237-257). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Sweet, H. (1899). The practical study of languages: A guide for teachers and learners. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Thompson-Panos, K. and Thomas-Ruži, M. (1983). The least you should know about Arabic: Implications for the ESL writing instructor. TESOL Quarterly, 17(4), 609-623. Watts, J. (2011). Measuring the effectiveness of a vocabulary programme In D. Anderson & R. Sheehan (Eds.), Foundations for the future: Focus on vocabulary (pp. 15-25). Abu Dhabi, UAE: HCT Press. Yang, W. & Dai, W. (2011). Rote memorization of vocabulary and vocabulary development. English Language Teaching, 4(4), 61-64.

Schmitt, N. (1997).Vocabulary learning strategies. In N. Schmitt & M. McCarthy (Eds.), Vocabulary: Description, acquisition and pedagogy (pp. 199-227). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Schmitt, N. (2007). Current perspectives on vocabulary teaching and learning. In J. Cummins & C. Davidson (Eds.), The international handbook of English language teaching,Vol. 15 (pp. 827-841). New York: Springer. Schmitt, N. (2010). Key issues in teaching and learning vocabulary. In R. Chacon- Beltran, C. Abello-Contesse, and M. Torreblanca-Lopez (Eds.), Insights into non-native vocabulary teaching and learning (pp. 28-40). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. Sergon,V. (2011). Playing the blame game: English education in Omani government schools. Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection, Paper 1132). Retrieved from http://digitalcollections. sit.edu/isp_collection/1132.

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Call for Papers: Best Practice in ELT: Voices from the Classroom Collaboration between the Testing, Assessment and Evaluation SIGs of BELTA and TESOL Arabia The Testing, Assessment and Evaluation SIGs of Bangladesh English Language Teachers Association (BELTA) and TESOL Arabia have agreed to embark on a joint, collaborative publication. The tentative title of the publication is: “Best Practice in ELT: Voices from the Classroom.” The proposed production will be a 300350 page book (either print-based or online) with approximately 16-22 chapters, covering a range of topics related to classroom teaching and learning. If you would like to contribute a chapter, please contact the co-editors before December 1st, 2013. Chapters will be due on March 1, 2014 and the publication is expected to be out by September 2014.

Book Title: Best Practice in ELT: Voices from the Classroom Editors: Dr. Rubina Khan (rkhan@agni.com) & Dr. Christine Coombe (ccoombe@hct.ac.ae) Chapter length: 5000 words including references, appendices Tentative Sample Chapter Titles include (but are not limited to): · Teacher Effectiveness · Testing and Assessment · Best Practice in Four Skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) · Understanding Students · Understanding Learner Styles Volume 21

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Technology in the Classroom Task-based Language Teaching Materials Development Coping with the Challenges of the Profession Teachers as Lifelong Learners Teacher Evaluation Classroom Management

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Ahmed Mukhtar Abdelaziz Saudi Aramco Rahima ITC Ras Tanura, KSA

CPD Micro-sessions: A Collaborative Professional Development Program

This paper presents an in-service professional development program that is used at one of the Aramco Industrial Training Centres (AITC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This program was outlined and introduced as a pilot program to a group of 16 teachers for three weeks. However, the positive feedback, along with the genuineness of the idea, encouraged AITC upper management to approve the program and, thus, invite all teachers of the English unit in the AITC, approximately 56 of them, to take part in the program.

Teaching Context and Professional Development problem:

According to Saudi Aramco’s official website (2011) “Saudi Aramco’s training program, one of the largest of its kind in the world, offers a wide range of programs, events and activities to develop its Saudi employees.” To make this program successful, the company has hired professional teachers and trainers from all over the world, equipped different training and professional development centers with the most up-to-date forms of technology, and provided all centres with a wide range of resources, whether hard copies, soft copies or online materials and courses. An important sub-division of Saudi Aramco’s training program is the English language program, which has been mandated with two primary objectives. The first objective is to prepare employees to take full advantage of the job skills training programs which immediately follow the English language courses. The second is to enable employees to communicate professionally in English as it is the company’s medium of communication. The English language programs are introduced mainly in the AITCs and administered by an Academic Curriculum and Testing Unit (AC&TU) in the headquarters of the company. However, the teaching situation in these AITCs is unique, and tends to be dichotomous. Volume 21

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Cultural and Linguistic Background

Due to the presence of teachers from all over the world, the AITCs are home to many cultural and linguistic backgrounds such as North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East as well as the Far East. Each teacher has his own unique background, and this distinguished mixture of teachers creates a rich, vibrant, and varied environment.

Expertise

Although the hiring committees do their best to select the most professional and experienced teachers, there is a wide range of expertise existing in the AITCs. There are highly-experienced teachers, and there are newly-graduated and much less experienced teachers. This is accompanied by a mixture of practical expertise represented by older teachers, some of whom have been teaching for more than 20 years, versus theoretical expertise represented by newly-graduated teachers.

Teaching Dogma

According to the feedback reports that the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET) and the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) have provided after visiting some AITCs, there are a lot more teachers judged as “traditional” rather than having a “learner-centredapproach” (LCA). ACCET and CAL have come up with a final statement that there is almost 80% teacher-talk versus 20% student-talk in our classes. In other words, almost 80% of our classes are teachercentered, and only 20% are learner-centred. However, many changes have been adopted since the last received feedback report back in 2009. For example, younger recruits have been hired in the place of senior staff; there is a tendency towards TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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hiring more native speakers; and more workshops, presentations and meetings for professional development in general and for LCA in particular have been scheduled and conducted.

View of Technology

Although the company has provided the most upto-date technology in the AITCs such as the latest interactive whiteboards, online books, the Aramco Moodle website, wikis, forums, along with the appropriate forms of training for these types of technology, there is still a mixture of pro-technology versus anti-technology teachers. Some teachers still believe that technology has little effect on teaching/learning processes. Others think that it has a negative effect as learners tend to depend more on it, not on their mental abilities. However, some teachers use all available forms of technology effectively and professionally in a way that maximises the potential of learning and fosters independendence by designing creative and engaging activities, and by addressing different learning styles of the learners through the use of different audio-, visual- and even tactile-based activities.

View for Professional Development

Saudi Aramco gives a lot of credence to the area of professional development. It provides a wide spectrum of activities ranging from inviting subjectmatter experts, whether to introduce a new idea, concept, technology, curriculum, or teaching methodology, to holding in-service days, seminars, forums, presentations and workshops. For example, in 2007, Dr Curtis Bonk from Indiana University was invited to deliver a whole-day workshop about learning theories, LCA, technology, and games in classrooms; in 2008, experts were invited to train the teaching staff on using Moodle when it was first introduced in our AITCs; McGraw Hill representatives were invited to present the concept and the basics of the Interactions textbooks series when they were adopted; in early 2009, Dr Ron Schwartz, from CAL delivered a workshop about LCA; and later the same year, four AC&TU analysts conducted a hands-on workshop on “Portfolio Assessment” when it was started. However, it has been noticed that all kinds of professional development take the traditional form of workshops and presentations, and there has been some evidence that teachers use systematic personalized individual activities for professional development at our AITCs. Furthermore, there are some drawbacks that have limited the effect of the Volume 21

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above mentioned professional development workshops in our context as follows: • There are no real systematic follow-up plans after these workshops. • Theory always outdoes practice in almost all the introduced workshops; according to many teachers, this approach does not offer much to their real situations. • There are generally some accompanying negative feelings with attending these workshops such as feelings of boredom which result from the long duration of the workshops and the introduction of too much theory. • These workshops occur at long intervals. Richards and Lockhart (2004, p. 2) come to a similar conclusion: “In-service workshops designed to improve teaching skills often have only short-term effects and rarely involve teachers in an ongoing process of examining their teaching.” However, this does not mean that the current activities have no effect at all. They will continue to play an important role in professional development along with “selfdirected, collaborative, inquiry-based learning that is directly relevant to teachers’ classrooms” (Johnson, 2009, p. 95). On the other hand, looking at professional development from another angle in this context, there is a great deal of awareness of its importance, and there are positive feelings towards attending and conducting professional development workshops and presentations among the teaching staff.

Proposed Solution

The proposed solution offered conducting regular weekly meetings of 15 to 20 minutes, during or after teaching hours, followed by peer observations and oral and written discussions.

Objective of the Program

The main objective of the proposed program was to pool experience and share best practices and knowledge collaboratively through a consistent, continuous, and fair strategy that gave each member a chance to choose to present the best of their knowledge and practices to the others in a way that: • was motivating and appealing to teachers • proposed practical techniques for teaching language skills and sub-skills • minimized cognitive overload for teachers, especially within the constraints of time and pacing schedules • led to more sharing of goals, teaching methods and techniques and enhanced the quality

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• provided triggers for more individual and pair reflection on professional development • fostered and encouraged the spirit of team work • enhanced teachers’ self-esteem and motivation.

Overview and Definition of Professional Development

Guskey‫(‏‬2000, p.16) defines professional development as “the process and activities designed to enhance the professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes of educators so that they might, in turn, improve the learning of students.” This definition comprises three main components: • Process and activities (designing and implementing stage) • Enhancing the professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes of teachers (immediate objective) • Improving learning of students (long-term objective) Ahmed Mukhtar Abdelaziz has a BA in English from Ain Shams University, Cairo and an MA in Educational Technology and TESOL from the University of Manchester, UK. He taught English in intermediate and high schools in Egypt from 2000 to 2005. He joined Saudi Aramco Industrial Training Centers as an advanced ITC teacher in 2006, and is currently a senior teacher and a coordinator of the English Program at Rahima ITC, Saudi Aramco, Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia.

Guskey’s (2000) three components seem coherent and lead to one another systematically towards the center of the learning process: namely, the learners. Ostensibly, the most challenging part is the basic stage because, if there are well-designed activities for professional development, most probably the end will be enhanced knowledge, skills, and attitudes of educators leading to improved learning of students. However, well-designed activities for professional development can lead to two more powerful and effective components, namely increased selfesteem, which results from doing and observing improved learning of students, and increased intrinsic motivation of teachers, which results from enhanced self-esteem. These two components have a significant effect on teachers’ views towards professional development, on the one hand, and on the learners, on the other hand, because if these practices are good for teachers, it is quite probable that they will be reflected in the learners later on. In this case, the type of relationship between these components, as shown in Figure 1, is practically circular as they lead to one another continuously.

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Figure 1. Relationship between circular components of professional development These two factors have a dialectical relationship. Mruk (2006, p. 34) clarifies that, “The need for self-esteem also takes on the character of a ‘calling’ or an intrinsic motivation to reach a higher level of mastery and growth.” Based on this, any professional development program will not achieve valuable outcomes without real motivation on the teachers’ part, and without taking into account their values and needs (Head & Taylor, 1997). Thus, this increased motivation and self-esteem will lead to the search for more activities and processes for professional development. In this respect, professional development may be defined as the process and activities based on real personal values and needs, and are designed to enhance the professional knowledge, skills, attitudes, and selfesteem of educators so that they might, in turn, improve the learning of students and themselves. A powerful professional development program should not only focus on one kind of activity or procedure. Richards and Farrell (2005) list a number of procedures and activities for in-service teacher development ranging from individual, one-to-one, group-based, to institutional activities. However, the more various types of procedure and activities that are combined effectively and meaningfully, the more valid outcomes are expected, which is the core of the proposed in-service program.

Procedures of the Proposed Program The proposed program is based on three stages and a technological factor that is a wiki. These stages are: a) training/discussion; b) peer observation/ discussion; and c) wiki updates.

Stage 1: Training/Discussion

Weekly micro professional development sessions (MPDS) of only 15 to 20 minutes after or during working hours are held regularly and structured as follows: TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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• An email is sent to all staff inviting them to attend the session with time and venue stated clearly. • Voluntarily, a teacher prepares and presents a teaching technique that he finds interesting and lends itself to learner-centered instruction; a class-management technique that he finds helpful in our teaching context; a technological aspect that he finds helpful in delivering lessons, or any other similar ideas. • All the required papers, textbooks, handouts, and seating arrangement are prepared in advance before the session starts. • The presenter leads the session and introduces ideas in the form of steps using any suitable program like Office or ActiveInspire and projects it in about 5 minutes. The objective of the proposed technique, the subject area it handles, the technology needed, and the level it suits, whether basic (Levels 1 to 4) or advanced (Levels 5 and 6), are mentioned. • Next, the technique is presented hands-on to some of the staff in about 10 minutes • A quick discussion focusing on the positive aspects of the technique follows for up to 5 minutes responding to staff questions. However, the amount of time prearranged for this discussion varies from one technique to another according to how motivating and brain-teasing they are. Some sessions may witness voluminous, spontaneous, and meaningful discussions and enhancements. On the other hand, some other sessions may just end up upon the presenter’s completion. It is at this point that one can realize how potent, stimulating, and effective a certain technique is. Knowing that this is the case, presenters are selfmotivated and self-obliged to introduce their best practices and activities in a way that, according to Rhoton and Bowers (2001, p. 75), “must stimulate inquiry and discussion and foster internalization and competence with new skills and understandings as well as encouraging ongoing dialogue and continual evidence-based improvement of teaching.” This is expected to generate a positively competitive and constructive atmosphere among teachers as they work on proposing the best of their best practices, which will gradually lead to better outcomes. Further to this point, the healthier the discussions at any stage of this program, the more variations of the same technique teachers may come up with. This means that the proposed activities along with the entailed discussions can trigger other effective variations of the same technique. Volume 21

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Stage 2: Peer Observation/ Discussion

The next day, a peer observation schedule should be made out and sent by e-mail to everyone so that peer teachers can see real implementation of the technique in real contexts. The selection of teachers to be observed is based on the technique proposed in relation to the subject area they teach. For example, if the proposed technique is for reading, then all those who teach reading should be scheduled to be visited all through the week by teachers free at the time. This may sound like only a group of teachers are going to be visited all of the time. In fact, the different techniques presented by different teachers about the same skill area, whether reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, or vocabulary, and the continuous change of the teaching schedule guarantee that everyone is visited by a peer or makes a peer visit. Making peer visits is sometimes interrupted by the constraints of teaching and pacing schedules. However, the results are worth the effort exerted for planning and preparation because training only is not enough to maximize effectiveness and productivity. For example, in a study comparing the impact of training alone to a combination of training and coaching, Olivero, Bane, and Kopelman (1997) come to a conclusion that while productivity increased by an average of 22.4% after training alone, it rose to 88% when training was accompanied by coaching. On the other hand, during these peer visits, it is not expected that teachers focus only on how a certain technique is implemented, or how students are engaged in a certain activity. Rather, there are other things to be positively focused on and maybe transferred as well, such as classroom management techniques, time management techniques, patterns of interactions, teacher-talk time (TTT) versus student-talk time (STT), teacher’s responsiveness to varied situations, and instructional design (Díaz-Maggioli, 2004).

Wiki Updates

The wiki serves two roles. First, it works as a natural reservoir for all the teachers’ ideas which can be revisited, not only by our teachers, but by teachers from other AITC areas as well. Second, it is a convenient platform for discussions and reflections on the proposed ideas and techniques. Once the wiki is updated, an email is sent to all teachers notifying them about the new updates.

A Factual Sample MPDS

This session was conducted when I presented a technique for teaching reading as follows. I mentioned that I had used this technique to teach TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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reading for comprehension, especially passages that are clearly divided into large paragraphs, such as the reading passages in Interactions Reading series, Middle East edition, which we use for the basic levels in our AITC. Next, I projected the following steps on a PowerPoint slide: 1 Divide the class into a suitable number of groups. (Four groups of four members, if possible, would be a great advantage.) 2 Each two groups will work on one paragraph as follows: • Groups 1 and 2 work on paragraph “A,” and groups 3 and 4 work on paragraph “B” • Each member reads the assigned paragraph silently • Members of each group work together to summarize their assigned paragraph. They have to make sure that everyone has comprehended the paragraph and can speak about it if invited or randomly selected on behalf of all the group members • For each pair of groups, one group reads the paragraph with the objective to prepare questions, and the other reads the same paragraph with the objective to answer the first group’s questions.

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· All teachers unanimously agreed that the proposed technique lends itself to learnercenteredness. · Many teachers thought that the technique was motivating and productive. · Many teachers expressed their willingness to try the technique the next time they teach reading. · One teacher said, “I think it is better to ask one group to summarize and the other to prepare questions as this will make students focus more on one objective.” · Another teacher said,“I think if we assign roles for the group members such as a speaker, a writer, a time keeper, and so on, the trainees will be more motivated and productive.”

Immediate Concerns

Some teachers expressed concerns about the time needed to cover lengthy passages. This technique, in practice, saved time for more discussions as the reading passages were distributed amongst various groups, and if quality was stressed over quantity, then this technique was undeniably helpful. A peer observation schedule was sent to all teaching staff, and the technique was posted on our Aramco wiki, updated by adding the recommended ideas, and an email was sent to notify everyone about that.

Evaluation

5 You may ask the class which group did better and why.

This program was evaluated in light of its objectives and in relation to its impact on the teaching context by means of a survey that was sent to the teaching staff involved in the program, comments received from teachers during oral discussions, comments received from senior staff during oral discussions, and personal observations and class visits.

6 Let students of Group 1 ask their questions to Group 2, and students of Group 3 ask their questions to Group 4.

A survey of 16 questions was sent to 46 teachers. Thirty-two teachers completed the survey. In general the results have been positive and supportive.

7 Swap roles with other paragraphs. (3 minutes)

· 97% of the teaching staff agree or agree strongly that professional development is crucial to their present and future career security, understand the objectives of the weekly MPDS, and think that sharing best practices can meet their professional development expectations. This shows a high degree of awareness of the importance of professional development among the teaching staff. · 72% of the survey respondents agree or agree strongly that MPDS are motivating, offer practical classroom teaching

3 Assign suitable time for the activity. 4 Randomly select two members from each two groups responsible for a certain paragraph to summarize it to the whole class.

I had already prepared two groups with two unique names, reading passages, and blank sheets of paper. Eight teachers volunteered to form two groups. I showed the “how” of the technique hands-on (7 minutes). I asked for immediate feedback from the audience and was surprised at the quantity and quality of feedback and concerns.

Immediate positive and constructive feedback The following feedback was provided in the second half of the micro-session (10 minutes). Volume 21

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techniques, enhance the spirit of team work, and offer triggers for reflective feedback based on the discussions that follow the training sessions and peer observations. 88% think that sharing knowledge and best practices at MPDS help to minimize educational and teaching background differences and to unify our vision towards achieving our objectives. 75% agree or agree strongly to lead MPDS, which indicates positive attitudes towards these sessions. 81% of teachers agree or agree strongly that focusing on one activity or one technique per session as happens in MPDS is better than having numerous techniques and activities taught at sessions spaced further apart as in traditional workshops and presentations. 85% of teachers think that they have benefited from the observations that follow these techniques. 100% of them think that the wiki is a good platform for keeping our activities and techniques and for updating them.

Additionally, oral discussions with teaching staff provided a lot of feedback about MPDS. Here are some quotes from participants about these sessions. “I think it is a good idea to share our best practices.” “There are some useful ideas.” “I have found the workshops very useful and tried many of the activities in the class. However, I would be lying if I said I had used all the activities as I have not. Although some of the ideas have been good, I think they would be too time consuming to use in classes without losing a big chunk of time from the pacing schedule, which is supposed to be covered for test purposes.”

Conclusion and Recommendations

Based on the feedback survey results, the oral discussions with the teaching staff, and observations, these are the main strengths and recommendations for MPDS. These MPDS have gained a lot of momentum and positive outcomes over time. For example, at the beginning of the program, when volunteers were recruited for the next session, almost no one wanted to raise their hand; now, our session schedule is reserved five weeks in advance. Many teachers attending these MPDS have been applying the same techniques they saw or variations of them in their classes. MPDS do not put extra cognitive load on teachers as they focus on only one technique each time, and all of them are introduced Volume 21

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practically hands-on. There are a lot of discussions in the teachers’ office about the implementation of learner-centered techniques in our classrooms, which means that they find them practical and helpful. Nevertheless, it is recommended that these meetings be well-structured, so that they achieve their objectives within the time limits.

References

Díaz-Maggioli, G. (2004). Teacher-centered professional development. Alexandria, USA Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ publications/books/104021.aspx Guskey, T. (2000‫)‏‬. Evaluating professional development. California: Corwin Press, Inc. Head, K.‫‏‬and Taylor‫‏‬, P. (1997). Readings in teacher development. Oxford: Heinemann. Johnson‫‏‬, K. (2009). Second language teacher education: A sociocultural perspective. New York: Routledge. Mruk, C.‫(‏‬2006). Self-esteem research, theory, and practice:Toward a positive psychology of self-esteem. New York: Springer Publishing Company, Inc. Olivero, K., Bane, D., & Kopelman, R. (1997). Executive coaching as a transfer of training tool: Effects on productivity in a public agency. Retrieved from http://www.businesstrainingonline.co.uk/pdf/ Executive%20Coaching%20Public%20Sector.pdf Rhoton, J., & Bowers, P. (2001). Professional development: Planning and design. Arlington, USA: National Science Association Press. Richards, C., & Farrell, T. (2005). Professional development for language teachers. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Richards, J., & Lockhart, C. (2004). Reflective teaching in second language classrooms. New York: Cambridge University Press. Saudi Aramco Homepage. Professional and management training programs. Retrieved from http://www. saudiaramco.com/irj/portal/anonymous?favlnk=% 2FSaudiAramcoPublic%2Fdocsnav%2FCommunit y%2FLearning%2FAdvanced+Training&ln=en. i

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Donate to the TESOL Arabia Book Drive at TACON 2012. Contact: ruth.glasgow@zu.ac.ae

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i-Reflect: This Is How i-Learn Rania Jabr The American University in Cairo, Egypt Despite the well-meaning efforts of language teachers, we have collectively ignored an often forgotten variable in skill-based language learning. No matter how diverse the pedagogies we use to integrate skills and to attempt to transfer them across tasks and activities, one essential ingredient is missing, namely, reflection. Students practice the skills we target in class; however, when faced with a new, different task, they are unable to apply what they have learned to new, different assignments. Obviously, they are unable to transfer whatever skills they acquire to other skills, classes, or courses. Mastery of relative clauses in our grammar classes does not necessarily mean that when students are asked to write a paragraph or an essay, they will be able to complete the task with success. The examples are numerous. For instance, when reading, guessing vocabulary from context is unsuccessful despite the many hours spent instructing students about prefixes, suffixes, and word roots. The answer is simple: self-reflection. If students are systematically taught how to reflect on their learning within each skill area targeted, they will be able to successfully self-assess and digest what is being learned. They will learn how to learn, not simply learn.

Rationale

What is being suggested is a comprehensive selfanalysis scheme which trains students to self-reflect on every step of their own learning. They are acculturated to a model which relies on translating their own learning process into spoken or written words. By keeping a self-reflection e-portfolio of the skills being taught (i-Read, i-Write, i-Discuss, and i-Write), students are finally able to assert Volume 21

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with confidence: i-Learn. The goal at the end of the course is to celebrate their own learning by showcasing their progress and reflective process by compiling an e-portfolio or a simple portfolio of their learning. This is shared with a real audience: their peers and teachers. I recommend using an electronic medium for creating and maintaining the student portfolio. This would include images, videos, audio, and hyperlinks. By keeping this repository online, students will be able to easily share their work with their peers. This learning record will last and be easily modified over time, thus facilitating reflection at different stages of the course. Traditional portfolios can also be used yielding successful results. However, an e-portfolio gives teachers a more vivid picture of a student’s learning process than any test, no matter how valid and reliable it may be.

Reflection

A student would include her/his own reflection or comments on the content selected for inclusion in the e-portfolio. This record of learning can only become complete when the owner of this record selfassesses her/his development. This task of selecting from numerous pieces of work is not random and is based on a rubric designed specifically based on the goals and learning outcomes of the course. Hence, the value of e-portfolios lies in their use by educators for assessment for learning in addition to the assessment of learning at the end of a course.

Method

In an integrated skills course of Academic English, an e-portfolio ought to mirror all the skills being taught. The suggested model would be as in Figure 1. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Figure 1: A schematic diagram of an e-Portfolio Students are encouraged to choose a catchy title for their portfolio which also sums up their journey of learning throughout the course. There are set stages for compiling an e-portfolio given below.

Step 1: Compilation

This is an on-going process from day one in the course when students regard their e-portfolio as a storehouse of their work. They simply dump in pretty much anything they “feel good� about. Here comes the role of the teacher as s/he supplies students with guidelines that help them answer the eternal question: Should they collect everything or be selective?

Step 2: Organization

This obviously includes how the e-portfolio ought to be organized. But it also refers to ensuring that a variety of material is included: tests, essays, outlines, audio recordings, graphic organizers, and so on. I insist on a table of contents and an explanation of the rationale for including specific content and for the chosen order of the material.

Step 3: Weeding out

main question to answer in this step is: Why am I doing this? To answer this question, students are asked to reflect on the following: a) how or why they chose an item b) the skills and knowledge they used to produce each item c) the process itself and how they perceive it Reflection is in writing. I am aware that some teachers ask their students to reflect orally on their e-portfolios. This is a great idea but insufficient. Being a demanding teacher, I require both. First, students write a self-reflection report which I give them feedback on, and then they give a brief 5-minute presentation showcasing their work, a show-and-tell event. The student, peers, administrators, and teachers are all involved in the final reflection process during a celebration of learning event in which students showcase their work and share their insights. What I look for is evidence of growth and the idea of taking ownership of their learning process and becoming more aware of its value. A reflection form is only used as a guide for students to give them direction (see Appendix). The types of questions to include vary according to the level of the class and the content of the course; however, what is essential is that students reflect on the process, and not simply on what they learned. Students are also required to compare items in their Rania Jabr is a senior instructor at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award for the year 2013. A conference presenter, teacher trainer, educator, journal reviewer, and editor with particular interest in teaching reading and writing and materials development, she attends and presents at international English language teaching conferences and has published numerous articles in ESL professional journals. Her main areas of interest include mentoring, self-access learning, and classroom-based research.

This is the most critical stage and brings a dose of reality as students must think critically and answer two very important questions: What is the purpose of my e-portfolio? and Who is my audience? The extent to which they succeed in answering these questions impacts the success of the e-portfolio. Teachers are encouraged to create guidelines for students to follow such as the number of items to include. In addition, students need to be informed of grade deductions in case they fail to properly collect their work as well as the consequences for not completing the portfolio.

portfolio and thus assess their work and show where they have improved. The value of this step is in encouraging students to take an active role in their assessment for learning process. Students are able to accurately become aware of the level of their own achievement and clearly pinpoint areas where they need to improve.

Step 4: Reflection

Step 5: Assessment

This is the most important step in the whole process of keeping an e-portfolio, and this is what brings the task to life and makes it meaningful for a student. It also serves as a step toward achieving closure. The Volume 21

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A step-by-step process grading system best reflects the components of this task. Based on set criteria summarized in a rubric, students are graded in a clear, transparent way. Sharing this rubric with the TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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class at the beginning of the e-portfolio compilation process helps give students direction and aids them in remaining on task.

Suggested Tips

The key factor to keep in mind is that the e-portfolio ought not to simply showcase a student’s best work; it needs to reflect growth or progress, and what I call a journey of learning. Students should include a diverse collection of their work. This idea positively impacts our teaching as we are encouraged to diversify our assigned tasks and activities throughout the course. This also means that there should be periodic checks to ensure that students are on track, not inundated with the other class assignments they must complete. This helps ensure that students are organized and actually setting aside their work for the upcoming stage of the e-portfolio.

Conclusion

I have a confession to make. It took me time as a teacher to venture into the land of portfolios, and now I am convinced of their true value. E-portfolios make students’ progress visible.The more students’ skills develop, the more this is positively reflected in their personal repository of learning (Van Wesel & Prop, 2008) . I insist on a chronological layout to document growth and chart a road map of their learning journey, and hopefully they will be proud of their progress. Students will vary in the degree to which they have improved, and it is worth reminding them of the obvious fact that we are teaching language, not content; thus, progress takes time. If students are able to look at the final product and critically assess themselves and explain what the task did for them, my mission will have been successfully accomplished. Only then will they have understood why they were asked to compile an e-portfolio.

Appendix Student Self-reflection Checklist 1. I have met the following goals: 2. I need to continue working on: 3. My perceived strengths are: 4. My acquired skills/abilities are: 5. Which step in the e-portfolio process is most useful? Why? 6. Which step in the e-portfolio process is most difficult? Why? Volume 21

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7.

The most useful skill I learned in compiling this portfolio is: 8. On a scale from 1- 5 (with 5 being the most successful) rate your portfolio: 9. Comments:

References

Van Wesel, M & Prop, A (2008, November). The influence of portfolio media on student perceptions and learning outcomes. Paper presented at the Student Mobility and ICT: Can E-LEARNING Overcome Barriers of Life-Long Learning Conference, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Retrieved from http:// www.personeel.unimaas.nl/maarten.wesel/ Documenten/The%20influence%20of%20 portfolio%20media%20on%20student%20 perceptions%20and%20learning%20outcomes. PDF Strivens, J. (2007). A survey of e-pdp and e-portfolio practice in UK Higher Education. United Kingdom: Higher Education Academy. Retrieved from http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/ documents/pdp/survey_of_epdp_and_eportfolio_ practice_in_uk_higher_education.pdf i

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A Spectrum Approach to Evaluating Sources

Molly McHarg Virginia Commonwealth University Doha, Qatar

Evaluating sources has always been a challenge in education. How can students learn to discern meaning from a source based on its origins? How can we teach students to think critically and investigate a text and its author before accepting it at face value? In the modern technological age, these issues become even more salient. Students growing up in the information age ask questions online that are immediately answered by a quick Google search. But what kinds of information is this yielding? Is Wikipedia a blessing or a curse?

undergraduate students, the first question they often ask is, “How many primary sources do we need?” The response is always, “It depends.”

The activity described here aims to target a particular population of learners and address the challenge of source evaluation by building on what students already know; it also strives to create a collaborative environment of critical thinking in the classroom. This lesson has been used at three different American university branch campuses in Qatar with first-year undergraduate students. These students are predominantly international students for whom English is not their first language. This classroom composition lends itself to a unique and particular group of learners; nonetheless, this activity has applications for information literacy awareness at all levels with both native and non-native English speakers around the globe.

An illustrative example of how this latter question could be problematic emerged during fall 2012 semester in a course entitled “Critical Writing in International Affairs.” Students were asked to select and research a topic of their choice.The entire semester was devoted to a scholarly investigation of collecting and analyzing sources, then writing a comprehensive research paper. At the start of the semester, one student decided to investigate issues related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by interviewing a number of family members affected by the crisis. During a class discussion, the student indicated that s/he felt this would be the “best” approach to research since it would incorporate primary source material.While this research strategy would undoubtedly yield interesting and primary source data, by no means did it address the complex situation required for a complete, collegelevel research project by synthesizing a wide variety of sources.

Understanding Sources

My work with a very diverse population of internationally educated students indicates that educators have traditionally introduced students to sources on a dichotomous scale: primary versus secondary. When asked how they evaluate sources, students tend to equate sources as either good or bad, where primary equals good and secondary equals bad. When research papers are assigned to these first-year Volume 21

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As writing and research professionals, we understand this nuanced response.What is the subject you are researching? What type of research are you conducting? Are you developing an argument or proving something with evidence or opinions? What if there are no primary sources to be found? Is a research paper truly stronger if it only has primary sources?

Distinguishing between primary and secondary sources remains a valuable and critical tool for students. Nonetheless, it falls under the broader scope of source evaluation, a skill that these internationally educated students do not seem adequately equipped with. A quick Google search TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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for “information literacy and evaluating sources” yields countless, authoritative sites about how to identify and critically analyze sources of information. The importance of distinguishing between primary and secondary sources can be found buried within these sites. This reflects how teaching materials are evolving to accommodate the greater volume of sources with which students are presented. Instructional texts increasingly reflect this fluid and dynamic approach to information literacy (Alfano & O’Brien, 2011; Spatt, 2011), and this activity developed in class allows students to expand their critical evaluation of sources beyond the primarysecondary source dichotomy by taking a “spectrum approach” to sources.

The Activity

I begin by having students bring in an article related to their research topic. This could be adapted to any context by having students bring in any article of interest or an article related to a particular subject they are studying in class. At this early stage, no parameters are set as to where they need to find a source – it can be the library, online, in a newspaper, and so on. Even Wikipedia is acceptable. When students come into class, I distribute a fullpage arrow, which is later placed on a spectrum (see Appendix). Students are instructed to complete the arrow appropriately with information about the title, date of publication, author, and so on. If the information is not available, they simply leave that section blank. Initially, I anticipated this activity would bore the students. I assumed it would be a Molly McHarg is a Writing Center instructor and assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. She has taught at various American universities in Doha’s Education City, including Virginia Commonwealth, Georgetown, and Northwestern Universities. She is pursuing her PhD in Composition and TESOL at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her website is http:// mollymcharg.weebly.com.

basic review session, and I included it as general scaffolding for weaker students. Surprisingly, however, it was the impetus for much discussion: What if I don’t know when this was published? There is no author; what should I do? How am I supposed to know anything about the author? The questions students posed led to a rich, engaging, student-centered discussion. Students were often able to sufficiently answer and address each other’s questions, with occasional guidance and Volume 21

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support from me. Even the stronger students, who had seemingly taken for granted these relatively basic pieces of information, came to realize their importance as their peers struggled to locate dates, authors, and other information.

Engaging in Collaboration and Dialogue

Research demonstrates that learning through peers can be beneficial (Newton & Ender, 2010). Nonetheless, students often remain skeptical as to the value of peer comments and level of expertise. This activity underscores the value of peer collaboration because, depending on the particular class and students, it can be almost entirely student-led, with minimal instructor facilitation. One student may recognize that a text from thirty years ago is outdated, while another may recognize that the particular text is foundational and a germinal work in that particular research field. If these particular points are not noted in class discussion, the instructor’s direct instruction is crucial to bring them to the students’ attention and develop a greater awareness. After all their questions about completing the arrow had been answered, I draw a long line across the whiteboard and post three large signs, from left to right, as follows: 1. I have 100% confidence in this source. 2. I believe it, but I need to find out more information before I can reliably trust this source. 3. It is possible that my 6-year-old brother wrote this. I ask for one student volunteer to present the information on her/his arrow and tell me where s/he would place it on this spectrum. (While the three signs indicate benchmarks, students are encouraged to place their arrows at any point along the line.) This activity serves many purposes. First, it provides an opportunity for the students to give a small oral presentation in a low-stakes environment.The students have already written their information on the arrow, so they are not immediately pressured to produce spontaneous remarks.This opportunity to think and reflect before participating is fundamental in working with English Language Learners. Once the student places her/his arrow on the line, a true discussion and debate ensues. Students are permitted to agree with the placement of the arrow or shift it to the left or the right. Students TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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are also permitted to ask questions about the source text. Often this requires a student to refer back to the source and locate the necessary information. When it is not available, there is much discussion about the importance of such an omission and whether or not it is critical to locate that information in order to proceed with incorporating that source into the student’s formal, written essay. In one class, one of the stronger students presented his source and provided a convincing argument to place his arrow on the farthest left (most reliable/valid) point on the spectrum. However, when he provided a final piece of information that his text came from a website with the words “how-to” in the URL, the other students immediately questioned the scholarly nature of his selection and moved the arrow elsewhere on the scale. Although there are no prizes or rewards, this has become a competitive activity. In one class, after the first student presented her work, the students immediately recognized that the goal in academia is to utilize sources as far to the left (“I have 100% confidence in this source”) as possible. When the class agreed on the appropriate placement of the first student’s arrow, the rest of the students tried to develop convincing arguments why theirs should be even further to the left. One added motivational factor could include prizes for the winner or transforming this into a group activity. An extension activity could be to repeat this assignment, but with students knowing the outcome and seeking to place their article on the far left end of the spectrum. This activity caters to multiple learner needs. First, it appeals to a variety of learners and learning styles, which is not only critical in teaching but particularly in teaching ESL students. The activity provides multiple methods of language production such as writing and oral reporting. The visual display of information also addresses various learning styles.

This article strives to provide a simple and practical lesson plan for evaluating a source that can be built upon throughout the rest of the course. It is often remarked that an instructor’s role is simply facilitating, guiding, and drawing out the knowledge that is already inside a learner’s mind. This practical, adaptable classroom activity highlights this phenomenon. The wide range of applications in a variety of contexts makes it a pedagogically sound activity worthy of exploration in a variety of secondary and tertiary level classrooms.

References

Alfano, C. L., & O’Brien, A. J. (2011). Envision:Writing and researching arguments (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson. Newton, F. D., & Ender, S. C. (2010). Students helping students: A guide for peer educators on college campuses (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Spatt, B. (2011). Writing from sources (8th ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. Appendix

Appendix

YOUR NAME______________________ TITLE OF TEXT____________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ DATE OF PUBLICATION____________ __________________________________ AUTHOR(S) OF TEXT_______________ __________________________________ __________________________________ INFORMATION YOU KNOW ABOUT AUTHOR(S)_______________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ OTHER INFORMATION YOU HAVE

Conclusion

This activity typically lasts one class session of approximately seventy-five minutes. The long term results of the activity, however, last throughout the semester. Throughout the course I discuss students’ individual research projects with them, and we often find ourselves talking about what sources they will use, where and how they will locate them, and so on. I always come back to asking, “And where on the spectrum would you put that source?” If the student can confidently say, “On the far left,” then the student generally feels confident in the source and can explain Volume 21

why. When the student hesitates to respond, we often then engage in a collaborative critical analysis of how the source might effectively support or detract from the scholarly research being conducted.

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ABOUT THIS SOURCE __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ __________________________________ _______________________

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Teaching for Social Justice

Goma Tanko Fujairah Men’s College Fujairah, UAE

What is social justice teaching? There is no one definition of social justice teaching. It is defined differently by individuals based on their world views. For example, Cotton and Hardy (2004) defined it as “a way of working that accounts for, and works with, the links between oppressions, inequalities and exploitations that we see inside and outside our schools and classrooms” (p. 90). Tanko (2012) defined social justice teaching as a way of teaching mathematics, or any subject, that helps learners to understand their world better and also enables them to seek their legitimate share of the benefits in their society, while contributing to its positive development. It also includes issues of equal opportunities for jobs and income, civic participation, and information and support related to one’s personal life. Researchers (e.g., Gutstein, 2001, 2003; Tanko, 2012; Tanko & Atweh, 2012; Tracey, 2007; Turner, 2003) have documented some of the benefits associated with teaching for social justice. However, the methodology needs courage and commitment on the part of the teacher, and support, and even protection, from the head of the college or policymakers because it can be a risky endevour. This is supported by the quote below: Being forced out of Rivera [school] by an acting principal certainly brought home to me the importance of administrator support [while attempting to teach for social justice]. (Gutstein, 2006, p. 161) In this quote, Gutstein highlighted one of the major challenges associated with teaching for social justice; the fear of retribution from administrators who may perceive the pedagogy as a threat to the status quo. It would be an understatement to say that many educaVolume 21

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tors around the world have this fear, and this is even more so in the current politically charged atmosphere throughout the Middle East. The term social justice may even be misconceived as revolutionary by some. One can only speculate about the reasons for such a misconception: maybe because many people do not really know what social justice teaching means, or the pedagogy is not commonly used in this part of the world. In an exception to this, Tanko and Atweh (2012) reported how a group of students’ mathematical knowledge improved as a result of their exposure to social justice teaching. The aim of this article is to highlight a lesson idea on social justice teaching, which the author utilised in the classroom, that led to improved student learning. It is pertinent to mention here that the lesson plan described can be applied to any subject area. However, the time allocated for the projects would vary depending on the content area of investigation.

Context

The research (Tanko, 2012) referred to in this paper was carried out in one of 17 Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). At the time of this research, at entry, students with reasonable Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (CEPA) scores in English and mathematics were admitted into the Higher Diploma Foundation Program (HDF) and the remainder into the Diploma Foundation Program (DF). DF students were perceived by the system as mathematically weak, and the course aimed to develop basic numeracy skills in order to prepare students for higher studies. Further contextual information about the college that is relevant to the content of the projects TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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developed by the students is that more than 50% of the students came from rural environments. The college provided bus services at a subsidized rate to students who required the service. Some students were driven or drove themselves to college. Those who drove themselves were mostly part-time working students. The college has a student parking area and a staff parking area within its premises. The mathematics course in which the participants were involved consists of eight modules: whole numbers; time; fractions and decimals; measurement; fractions, decimals and percentages; ratio and proportion; time calculations; and tables, graphs, and formulas. The research focused on three content areas: percentages, time calculation, and graphs. Experience from previous years showed that these topics remain a particular challenge for many students who undergo a traditional teaching approach. They are also useful topics to deal with many of the demands of daily life.

Research Literature on Teaching for Social Justice

Very little work has been done in the Middle East on teaching for social justice. Recently, Tanko (2012) reported how opportunities were provided for students to learn practical numeracy meaningfully, while addressing some social justice issues. In another work by Tanko and Atweh (2012), they reported how a group of students’ mathematical knowledge improved as a result of their exposure to social justice teaching. Globally, a number of researchers have documented how they utilised social justice teaching to improve their students’ learning outcomes. For example, Gutstein (2001, 2003) documented how middle school students utilised their understanding of the concept of “area” to argue that the world map projection used in their school (typically, Mercator’s) was misleading and distorted because it enlarged Europe and Greenland but shrunk the African continent (2001, p.18). He also documented how his students utilized mathematics to discover that the cost of one B-2 Bomber could pay for full, 4-year scholarships for the whole graduating class for 79 years. Turner (2003) described how urban middle school students developed their understanding of measurement and ratios by investigating the level of crowdedness of their school in comparison to others in the district. Tracey (2007) documented how students in a Math Club used mathematics as Volume 21

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a tool to fight against a plan to close their school, by considering the costs of busing them to the new school, and the subsequent overcrowding and adverse learning conditions that may have resulted at the receiving school. As with many things in life, teaching mathematics for social justice is not without its challenges. For example, Taysum and Gunter (2008) said “it is arguably dangerous to attempt to work for social justice in school, when the writers [leaders] of policy tests are people far removed from the messiness of the day to day realities of the people whose identities they are shaping” (p. 187). Gutstein and Peterson (2005) argued that social justice teaching cannot be easily done when using a rote, procedure-oriented mathematics curriculum. Jacobsen and Mistele (2010), in their investigation of the challenges pre-service teachers face with teaching for social justice, concluded that the major challenge was what they called the “problem of balancing” (p. 8). In other words, the problem is how to strike a balance between the subject content and the social justice issues addressed in given tasks.

Student Projects

At the start of the project, students engaged in a brainstorming session to identify issues related to social justice which were of concern to them and Dr Goma Tanko has over 25 years of experience teaching mathematics across three continents, Africa, Europe, and Asia. He is currently on the faculty of Fujairah Men’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology, in the United Arab Emirates. He is a member of TODOS: Mathematics for All, USA. His research interests include teaching mathematics for social justice, culturally relevant pedagogies, and using technology to teach mathematics.

that they wanted to investigate using mathematics. This resulted in three projects: Time of Travel, Career Aspirations, and Car Parking. The Time of Travel group investigated whether the means of transport provided by the college could be improved to meet the needs of students who lived outside the city. All students in the class recorded their travel time to and from college for a week. This data formed the basis of learning mathematics as well as investigating the challenges some students faced in their travels to and from college. The Car Parking group studied the allocation of parking at the college to see if it was fairly distributed between staff and students. To obtain their data, they measured TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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the dimensions of all car parks and worked out how many cars could park at any given time. The Career Aspirations group used mathematics to discover what action was needed to increase the amount of information available to students with regards to available career opportunities. To collect data, they constructed a questionnaire which was completed by seven classes out of the nine in Diploma Foundation (DF) at the college. During the early stages of the projects, it was noted that the group discussion tended to focus less on the mathematics involved and more on the issues being investigated. This is the “problem of balance� identified by Jacobsen and Mistele (2010). In seeking to meet this challenge, the author utilised the data collected by the participants to develop mathematically enriched worksheets to focus the students on mathematics. A separate sheet was developed to consider the data from each of the three projects. Each student in the class attempted all the worksheets: first, on their own in class and at home; then, they discussed their results within their groups, answering questions and raising their own questions; and, finally, the main group working on the topic presented their findings to the whole class. Each presentation was followed by a question and answer session. Five hours every week for the duration of six weeks were devoted to the projects. The rationale for these projects was based on the further development of mathematical skills and concepts to show how the applications of mathematics to social justice issues were achieved. The projects were conducted in 4 stages:

Stage One (2 Weeks)

Students at this stage brainstormed issues that were of concern to them, or to their community, and narrowed them down to one topic that they then investigated. As the projects required novel data to be collected, students in small groups designed appropriate questionnaires and data collection sheets to collect the data that they needed to inform themselves about their selected topic. Some data were collected using the Internet. Scaffolding the students was crucial at this stage due to the novelty of the task and the support that these students needed in language. Consequently, the author supported them, where necessary, in order to avoid unnecessary frustrations. For example, the Career Aspiration group decided they wanted to use a questionnaire to collect their data. Therefore, they Volume 21

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had the challenge of deciding what kind of questions they should include. I supported them by advising them to seek opinions from all class members on what to include. They did that, and in the end they came up with some very good questions. I also supported all the groups (mostly with writing in English) through the remainder of the process without interfering too much.

Stage Two (1 Week)

This was when the questionnaire was developed and piloted by the Career Aspirations group. The data collection sheet for the Time of Travel project was designed, and the Car Parking group went out into the field to measure the dimensions of car parks. To ensure that the questionnaire asked the right questions, the group tested their questionnaire by asking students from another class to fill it in. Some questions were revised. After this, the teacher asked colleagues to distribute and collect back the completed questionnaires from their students. This was done for two reasons: first, to minimise any possible disruptions to lessons; and second, to make sure that each question was fully explained to the students before they answered it. Seven out of the nine classes in DF completed the questionnaires.

Stage Three (1 Week)

This was when all the groups tabulated their data and did the necessary calculations and then decided on the appropriate way to demonstrate their results.

Stage Four (2 weeks)

Focus group interviews and an interview with the college director were conducted by the students during this period. Students also prepared and delivered a presentation of their findings to the whole class. Each group was given 20 minutes for their presentation, and this was followed by general questions and discussion from the whole class. In addition, the Car Parking project group presented their findings to the college director. Both the Car Parking and Career Aspirations groups wrote letters to the Transport and Career Coordinators, respectively, in which they explained their findings and also made recommendations for change. At the end of the projects participants completed an open ended reflective questionnaire.

Reflection

Running three projects simultaneously made it challenging for the teacher to effectively monitor the progress made by the different groups. It was also TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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challenging to have whole class discussions during the projects before class presentations. In addition, although each team member was supposed to play a role in his or her group, it was challenging to ensure this was the case.

Final Thoughts

This article has provided a lesson idea on teaching for social justice that could be applied in any subject area. Teaching for social justice shows the pedagogy has great potential to improve learning outcomes (Tanko, 2012; Tanko & Atweh, 2012). However, if the pedagogy is to be widely used, it has to be shown that it is in harmony with the local culture. After all, it is not necessarily opinions that are hard to change, but rather beliefs and misinformation. Recent research confirms that where an individual or group has previously accepted or entrenched misinformation, beliefs, or a world view, that perception of reality will largely trump facts and data that contradict, challenge, or disprove these previously held positions. Information that is presumed to be true at the time of encoding but later on turns out to be false (i.e., misinformation) often continues to influence memory and reasoning (Ecker, Lewandowsky, Swire & Chang, 2011).

References

Cotton, T., & Hardy, T. (2004). Problematising culture and discourse for mathematics education research. In P. Valero & R. Zevenbergen (Eds.), Researching the

socio-political dimensions of mathematics education: Issues of power in theory and methodology (pp. 85–

103). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers Group. Ecker, U.K., Lewandowsky, S., Swire, B., & Chang, D. (2011). Correcting false information in memory: Manipulating the strength of misinformation encoding and its retraction. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 18(3), 570-578. Gutstein, E. (2001). Math, maps, and misrepresentation.

Rethinking Schools: An Urban Educational Journal,

15(3), 6-7. Gutstein. E. (2003). Teaching and learning mathematics for social justice in an urban, Latino school. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 34(1), 37-73. Gutstein, E. (2006). Reading and writing the world with mathematics:Toward a pedagogy for social justice. New York, NY: Routledge. Gutstein, E., & Peterson, B. (2005). Rethinking mathematics:Teaching social justice by the numbers. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.

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Jacobsen, L. J., & Mistele, M. J. (2010). Please don’t do “connect the dots”: Mathematics lessons with social issues. Science Education and Civic Engagement, 2(2), 9-15. Tanko, M.G. (2012). Teaching practical numeracy through

social justice pedagogy: Case study of Abu Dhabi Women’s College. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation).

Curtin University, Australia. Tanko, M.G., & Atweh, B. (2012). Developing mathematical knowledge through social justice pedagogy with young adult Arab women. In J. Dindyal, L.P. Cheng & S.F. Ng (Eds), Mathematics education: Expanding horizons, Proceedings of the 35th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australia, eBook (pp. 720-727). Singapore: MERGA, Inc. Taysum, A., & Gunter, H. (2008). A critical approach to researching social justice and school leadership in England. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 3(2), 183-199. Tracey, K. (2007). The impact of human resources

capital on ethnic minority middle school students, engagement in a mathematics community of practice and their mathematics identity. (Unpublished

doctoral dissertation). University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA. Turner, E. E. (2003). Critical mathematical agency:

Urban middle school students engage in significant mathematics to understand, critique, and act upon their world. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation) University

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FeatureReviews Article

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Close Up Angela Healan, Katrina Gormley, & Diana Shotton Heinle Cengage, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-133-31872-9 190 pages Close Up is a three-level course spanning the B1 (Common European Framework “Threshold”) and B2 (“Vantage”) levels. My review copy, Close Up B2, is aimed specifically at students taking the FCE, ECCE, and BEC exams. The second in a series of four bullet points thereon declares the contents to contain “high interest material adapted from… authentic sources.” Well, the first question must be: high interest for whom? A quick flick through reveals pages extensively peopled with model-standard, young, Western adults. Close Up’s target demographic, then, is as clear as cling film. The corollary of this is that, in terms of representation, Middle-Eastern learners find themselves almost completely out in the cold. Actually though, Unit 2 does feature two pictures of an elderly Bedouin man sitting in the sand.Yet Middle-Eastern learners, ironically, would probably be the best litmus when it comes to testing that “high interest” claim, for if Close Up can capture the attention of my Sunday morning class, its interest quotient can be taken for granted. The series as a whole represents another of the recent tie-ins between Heinle ELT and National Geographic (and much is made of this: three of those four bullets celebrate the contribution of National Geographic, almost as if the language learning element were of secondary importance). Now this collaboration has worked in the past; one thinks of World English (reviewed in Perspectives, v.18, 2, June 2011 issue) and, better still, the Reading Explorer series. So the next question must be: can they do it again? Compare Close Up with its predecessors, however, and the impression gained is a trifle less than impressive. As with most textbooks, each of its units follows a regular pattern. In this case, there are two pages each devoted to reading, vocabulary, and grammar; one apiece to listening and speaking; two to writing; and one to a DVD round-off.The font throughout is small and the average page packed tighter than a Tokyo commuter train.The photography would be effective were it more prominent – or even just a bit bigger. But it’s not; quality photos are routinely constrained by dense Volume 21

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blocks of text. And though cool, manga-style, cartoon characters pop up sporadically to offer handy hints (“In a letter of application, you should present yourself in a positive light”), these engender an adolescent, “teen mag” feel rather than offering any real visual relief. This much said, the heart of any English Language textbook beats within its scope and sequence pages, for that is where the syllabus lies.Yet before we dig into it, we should reiterate that this book is fundamentally an exam preparation course. As such, it has a pre-defined job to do. It must therefore stand or fall on whether or not it does that job, not on how pretty it looks. Close Up comprises the conventional 12-unit, discrete-skills format. Somewhat unusually, however, it offers a review after every two units. Now this is generous, even by contemporary standards of reflective educational practice. In a book like this one, however, it is most certainly to be welcomed. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Reading in each unit focuses primarily upon (textdependent) multi-choice and multi-matching question types.Vocabulary is theme-related, and, though those themes might appear a little tired (Crime, Environment, Leisure, Work), we remind ourselves that these are the hardy perennials of the B2 exam canon. Grammar offers an intuitively satisfying progression of tenses, gerunds, passives, and conditionals. Listening introduces and recycles the necessary exam skills. Speaking does likewise. Writing is generic: formal letters, emails, stories, reports, and articles. The DVD section unites vocabulary extension, grammar practice, listening, and speaking activities under a single umbrella. Overall, despite the shortcomings outlined above, there can be little doubt that this is a book which rolls up its sleeves and gets down to business. There is one last component worthy of note. A reference section appears at the back of the book, summarizing what has been learned on a unit-by-unit basis. Hardly unprecedented, except that this one is a considerable 30 pages long. Better still, it contains

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useful exam-taking tips in addition to the more predictable grammar glosses and list of irregular verbs. In conclusion, then, the final question must be: have they, in fact, done it again? Well, Close Up is an undeniably good, solid, working companion for those seeking success at the B2 exam level. However, in the “high interest� stakes, it loses out to its aforementioned stable-mates and, to my mind at least, its page formatting remains a handicap. So the final answer must be yes, but that yes needs be a qualified yes.

Colin Toms The Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi, UAE

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English Unlimited Starter Adrian Doff Cambridge University Press, 2010 ISBN: 978-0-521-72633-7 128 pages This book is the first in a six-part series, described on the back cover as “a goals-based course for adults, which prepares learners to use English independently for global communication.” Many of these goals are listed under each of the ten unit headings. Unit titles for this beginner’s book are simple and short, including People, About You, Every Day, and Places, so a teacher may find s/he does not have to explain a new title at the start of a chapter for this text. These unit titles are followed with lists of functions and tasks such as “Say where you live,” “Ask how people spend their time,” and “Ask about prices.” Again directions are kept short and simple for fairly easy tasks and functions. The Cambridge website for this book (www.cambridge.org/9780521726337) states, “Centered on purposeful, real-life objectives, [English Unlimited] prepares learners to use English independently for global communication. Through universal topics and activities, and a focus on intercultural competence as a ‘fifth skill,’ this international course book helps learners become more sensitive, more effective communicators.” There is a desire for international and even intercultural growth, even saying it is a fifth skill, in addition to the four language facilitators teach daily. I have found some effort by this beginner’s book to do that. Much cultural appropriateness relevant to our region and area is kept. No forbidden foods or drinks are shown or mentioned. Most pictures show people dressed in long sleeves with pants, and the few showing short sleeves or a skirt are done in a demure way. Location markers in Unit 3, “Where and when?” include a mosque and a church. The website shown above also has a link to bilingual word lists showing ten languages. The Arabic list displays equivalents to this book’s basic vocabulary. A more extensive, all English word list is also linked, giving parts of speech with a short English definition. These vocabulary extensions should be helpful to a teacher of beginners. Graphics can be seen as another plus. With changes in background color and font, readers are presented with a different array of tasks, clozes, skills, and functions on just a few pages. These graphic changes could help Volume 21

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motivation. When there are no written changes in ongoing work, students might feel like chain-gang members, plodding from project to project. Graphics also fill the page; there are no wide open spaces in the margins. In the past for other books, booksellers told me wide spaces were for copious student notes, something I never saw in years of teaching. That’s why we have lined notebooks. A problem, though, can be seen in grammar. Grammar points are covered too quickly. Demonstratives “this” and “these” were covered in one short paragraph, including presentation and a handful of examples. Demonstratives are an excellent grammar point for beginners, encouraging them to make complete sentences. Even with the book’s grammar appendix on page 100, this is not enough coverage. And why were the distant demonstratives, that and those, not covered at all? They should be all together, and not separated by different books. A teacher will need to produce extra material to present new grammar, and then follow through with relevant and thorough TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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drills for students. This book is too quick with its “in and out” approach to new grammar, especially for Arab adult beginners. A second problem could be the appearance of skipping. The book quickly goes from skill to skill in short segments. Although this might be good in keeping students’ attention, as mentioned above, it might also give the appearance of disorganization, or at least some loose ends.Yet a teacher could avoid this perception by keeping students focused on that unit’s topic and functions. Adrian Doff, the author, has written and contributed to a number of Cambridge books. He also co-authored the advanced book for this English Unlimited series. He further wrote for the Meanings into Words and Language in Use series, as well as writing Language Links. He lives in Munich, Germany, where he teaches and teacher-trains, besides writing. In his bio, Adrian Doff writes, “I’m very interested in the way English is developing as a language for international communication.”

41 This is a good book, and this reviewer especially appreciates its cultural relevance for our region. A final section at the end of each unit called “Across Cultures” is especially relevant. It helps to fulfill the book’s goal for intercultural competence. Some settings and situations covered by this “Across Cultures” section include office clothes, tea making, and shops in various countries, including Egypt and Turkey. Problems in grammar presentation can be handled with extra material. As a cross-skill textbook, English Unlimited makes an interesting and worthy addition.

William A. Schmidt Higher Colleges of Technology/ CERT Al Ain, UAE

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Life Upper Intermediate Student’s Book Paul Dummett, John Hughes, & Helen Stephenson Heinle Cengage, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-133-31572-8 182 pages Life Upper Intermediate Student’s Book is part of a six-level series that develops the learners’ grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and language skills through communicative tasks. The book is complemented by a DVD featuring National Geographic material for every unit. Each unit in Life Upper Intermediate includes a number of activities and exercises, including grammar, vocabulary, real life functions, pronunciation, listening, speaking, reading, writing, and critical thinking. Each unit is divided into five sub-themes that relate to the main theme of the unit. The book explores interesting and contemporary topics that appeal to both young and adult learners, including relationships, science and technology, art and creativity, customs and behavior, and knowledge and learning. The material is quite diverse and is drawn from different cultures, including Volume 21

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42 material about the building of Dubai, Queen Hatshepsut, and Cleopatra. The book is culturally appropriate for students in the Arab world, though some of the content may be very culture-specific and require teacher guidance. One of the major strengths of this book is the section on critical thinking.Viewed as a necessary skill, there has been an increasing emphasis in recent years on teaching critical thinking skills. An important question is how to best instruct students in these skills. Rather than teaching thinking skills in isolation, the book effectively incorporates them into the readings of each unit. Critical thinking skills, including argumentation and text analysis, are reinforced through appropriate activities that help students develop and apply these skills in situations that go beyond the language classroom. The writing section of each unit stresses many important real-life writing skills that students would find useful, including writing an informal email, an online review, a letter of complaint, and a report. The book uses the communicative approach and stresses the purpose and the audience of writing. Students engage in real-life tasks that integrate writing with other skills such as reading and speaking. The reading section stresses reading strategies that help learners read more quickly and effectively, including previewing, predicting, skimming, scanning, summarizing, and paraphrasing.Vocabulary is introduced thematically with further focus at lexical and morphological levels in word focus and word building sections. Speaking activities focus on completing a specific task, encouraging pair and group work. The many tasks and exercises provide opportunities for students to negotiate meaning, expand their language resources, and take part in meaningful interpersonal exchange. Pronunciation exercises on word stress, sentence stress, intonation, and word linking are taught in context, and combine reception and production. Grammar is presented in context and the exercises provide an opportunity to put grammar to use and relate it to real-life situations. There is a grammar summary section at the end of the book including full explanations and extensive additional support. The authors claim that the rich National Geographic content, including images, articles, and videos, transforms the learning experience and brings life into the classroom. The book has an attractive layout including a lot of interesting photographs, maps,

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illustrations, and screenshots. Each unit ends with watching a video segment that is related to the topic of the unit. The video segments are quite diverse, and they allow the students extensive listening and speaking practice. Students become involved through a number of pre and while watching activities. The “After you watch” section includes a role play based on the video segment. Role plays are motivating and entertaining, and help engage students with difficult topics. However, teachers need to prepare their students for role-play tasks, especially those students who may find such tasks intimidating because they lack self-confidence or have lower proficiency levels. Each unit also has a review section that includes grammar, vocabulary, and speaking activities, in addition to a “Real life” section that models and practices everyday functions, including meeting people, asking for and offering technical help, getting around, and so on. Overall, this is a useful book that engages learners through high-interest topics, lively activities, and many opportunities for students to communicate their own lives and experiences.

Laila Galal Rizk Ain Shams University Cairo, Egypt

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Apply for a TESOL Arabia Research Grant.

For guidelines, visit www.tesolarabia.org. TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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The CLIL Resource Pack Margaret Grievson & Wendy Superfine Delta Publishing, 2012 ISBN: 978-1-905085-65-1 149 pages If you are an English teacher who is required to incorporate English through science, this is the book for you. And if you are a teacher with a challenging group of students and need to set them up for success in both English and science, this is also the book for you. Although the authors state that The CLIL Resource Pack incorporates English through all materials, the book unquestionably incorporates English through science best. It has ten units with six lessons each. All ten units deal with science topics such as forces and motion, life cycles, the human body, and more. The units start out very easy and pick up in difficulty in Unit 5, with the science topics becoming more advanced while the language stays at the same level. This could be related to the authors’ claim that “children’s educational experience is improved when the subject content is emphasized more than the language used.” So their goal is to provide a stress free language environment for the students to help them feel secure and confident in order to enjoy the content and pick up the language. In addition, the authors state that “the object of these materials is to present new topics using a crosscurricular approach while integrating the language and revising vocabulary and/or structures and the way lessons are used and presented will obviously vary from school to school and depend on the language level of the pupils.” Thus they are giving way to teachers to make the best of the book by making it possible for them to tailor the material to their groups’ needs and also a chance to be able to select a topic according to its suitability for their class. The CLIL Resource Pack is a teacher’s book and not a student’s book; therefore, each lesson is two pages: instructions or a lesson plan and activities on one page and photocopiable material on the second. It is easy to use with everything you need in one pack: photocopiable material, worksheets, lesson plans, CD, answer key, tapescript, extra links, and interactive whiteboard (IWB) activities. The CD is a great asset of the book. It has links, IWB activities, songs, special effects sounds, listening exercises, and more. All activities in The CLIL Resource Pack have a strong emphasis on the four language skills and at the same time are designed to teach cross-curricular subjects. They are also designed for pair work and sometimes group work. It is important to keep this in mind when developing lesson plans. The cross curricular links include art, math, music, and geography, among others. The websites and cross curricular links are useful and motivating for various age groups. Volume 21

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The CLIL Resource Pack is intended for primary and lower secondary levels (ages 8-12+). Some of the material, though, might not appeal much to students who are 12 and up; however, if they are struggling with the language but not the scientific content, the activities could be appropriate. In addition, the interlinks which are included in the book and found on the CD can help as they are interesting, challenging, and motivating, and students will enjoy them tremendously. The CLIL Resource Pack is well organized and easy to use. The units are divided in a simple and effective way that saves the teacher’s time and helps students meet the learning objectives. It is a great resource to support science and make learning English through science fun. It does not require extra teaching time, so it is very suitable for classes with a limited time per period that is less than 60 or 50 minutes as each activity can be covered in one 30- to 40-minute lesson.

Micheline Habib Freelance Educational Advisor & ESL Trainer Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Calendar of Upcoming Events December 04, 2013

(Worldwide) TESOL Virtual Seminar: “Talking in Order to Learn: Insights and Practical Strategies on Learner Anxiety and Motivation.” Email edprograms@ tesol.org.

December 18-19, 2013

(Africa and the Middle East) TESOL Sudan, “Teaching English in a New Millennium,” Khartoum, Sudan. Email elsheikhaymen@hotmail.com.

January 11-12, 2014

11-12. (Africa and the Middle East) The Australian College of Kuwait’s (ACK) English Department’s Second Annual Conference, “Research-based strategies for teaching language and literacy to Arab ESL students,” Australian College of Kuwait, Mishref, Kuwait. Email s.hamade@ack.edu.kw.

January 17-18, 2014

(Asia and Oceania) Thailand TESOL, The 34th Annual Thailand TESOL International Conference, “21st Century English Language Education: Towards Global Citzenship,” Chang Mai, Thailand. Website: http://www.thaitesol.org/

January 27, 2014

(Africa and the Middle East) “TESOL Unplugged: Back to the Basics, a TESOL Symposium,” American University of Cairo, New Cairo Campus, Cairo, Egypt. Website: http://www.tesol.org/events-landing-page/2013/08/27/ tesol-unplugged-back-to-basics-a-tesol-symposium-in-cairo-egypt

January 28-29, 2014

(Africa and the Middle East) NileTESOL, “Navigating a Way Forward: Innovating & E-novating in TESOL,” American University in Cairo, New Cairo Campus, Cairo, Egypt. Email skillsconf@aucegypt.edu. Website: http:// niletesol.org/

February 11-12, 2014

(Asia and Oceania) Confluence V. The Fifth Annual International Conference on English as a Second/Foreign Language, TGP College of Engineering, Nagpur, India. Email info@confluenceindia.co.in. Website: www. confluenceindia.co.in 

February 21-22, 2014

(Africa and the Middle East) Qatar TESOL, The 10th International Qatar TESOL Conference. “Promoting a Culture of Reading.” College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, Doha, Qatar. Website: http://qatartesol.org/je/

February 22-23, 2014

(Asia and Oceania) CamTESOL, “English for Regional and International Integration,” Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Email sophearith.ngov@idp.com.

February 27- March 1, 2014

(Europe and Eurasia) ECIS ESL and Mother Tongue Conference, “Developing Multi-literate Global Citizens: From Language Policy to Classroom Practice,” Amsterdam, Netherlands. Email ronrosenow@gmail.com. 

February 28- March 1, 2014

(North America) Illinois TESOL-BE 40th Annual Convention, “Milestones in Learning: ITBE 40 Years On,” Illinois, USA. Email convention@itbe.org.

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Cutting Edges Research Conference Canterbury Christ Church University, UK Neil McBeath This year’s Cutting Edges theme was “Interrogating Perceptions of Culture.” Held on July 5, 2013, in Canterbury, UK, the program offered two plenaries and a choice of over 20 other papers spread across seven different sessions. The day was profitable, with a number of contributions that were of particular relevance to teachers in the Gulf. The plenaries raised several questions. Catherine Wallace’s paper, “Crossing Cultural Boundaries: When the Local and Global Meet in a Multilingual London School,” explored the tensions between pupils’ in-school and out-of-school identities, and between their earlier educational experiences (if any) and the demands of a co-educational, comprehensive education, as interpreted by teachers who may themselves be products of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It is a challenging task and puts the “cultural problems” of many expatriate teachers in the Gulf into perspective. The second plenary, Robert Beckford’s “Is David Starkey Right or Has the Jamaican Language Movement Lost Its Mind? Linguistic Imperialism and the Jamaican Bible as a Site of Resistance” took its title from comments made by the television historian David Starkey at the time of the 2011 urban riots in England. Starkey’s thesis was that the cause of the riots lay in young male members of the white working class aspiring to the style of “gangsta” rappers. No evidence was ever found that supported this opinion, and Starkey should have been aware that “gangsta” culture is an African-American phenomenon that has little resonance with the Afro-Caribbean population in the United Kingdom. Even so, Starkey’s simplistic and racially tainted Eurocentrism raised interesting questions on the discourse of power and cultural hegemony. Beckford explored these questions using

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the example of a recent (2012) translation of the Bible into Jamaican English. Minoum Melliti’s paper, “Exploring the Way Culture Is Handled in Global ELT Coursebooks,” was delivered by video link from Tunisia. Melliti raised the familiar problem of bland, “global” textbooks published by companies that are so anxious not to offend that their products become effectively interchangeable and anodyne. As a profession we have yet to resolve this dichotomy, although there is still a case for preferring the competently written, well-presented, dull international text over the poorly presented, over-illustrated local production. Paul Hudson’s paper, “Tiptoeing through the ‘Cultural’ Minefield: ELT in Arabia,” revisited many of the concerns he raised at the 2013 TESOL Arabia Conference, but his classification of teacher responses (Bull in a China Shop, Keep Your Head Down and Don’t Rock the Boat, Infantilisation, The Innocent Abroad, Bend over Backwards, and No Nonsense) will be wryly familiar to most teachers working in the Gulf. This paper was based on Hudson’s doctoral thesis; the full version of his argument is available at http://independent.academia.edu/PaulHudson2 My own paper, “Cultural Change in the Arab Gulf: Natural Progression or Imperialist Plot?” took issue with Asadi’s suggestion that the recent introduction of English language teaching in Saudi primary schools is an instance of linguistic imperialism. It suggested that many changes in the culture of the Arab Gulf should be regarded as phenomena that have occurred as a result of the agency of Arab Gulf nationals themselves, and that little is gained if expatriate commentators persist, against all evidence, in regarding the Arab Gulf as a culturally homogeneous unit.

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Feature Networking Article

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5th Biennial International Conference on Task-Based Language Teaching

University of Alberta, Banff, Calgary, Canada Ali Shehadeh The 5th Biennial International Conference on TaskBased Language Teaching (TBLT) was hosted by the University of Alberta, Banff, Calgary, Canada on October 3-5, 2013. I contributed to the conference with a presentation titled “Broadening the Perspective of TBLT Scholarship: The Contribution of Research in Foreign Language Settings.” The goal of the presentation was threefold: (a) to argue that there is a strong need to broaden the perspective of TBLT research to include English as a Foreign Language (EFL) settings, (b) to illustrate success stories and projects of TBLT in EFL settings, and (c) to propose a research agenda for moving the field of TBLT in EFL settings forward. The presentation was well attended and well received by the audience. The presentation was based on a recent volume edited by Ali Shehadeh (United Arab Emirates University, UAE) and Christine Coombe (Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai Men’s College, UAE), titled Taskbased Language Teaching in Foreign Language Contexts: Research and Implementation (2012, John Benjamin’s Publishing Company, The Netherlands). It includes 13 empirical studies on the research and implementation of TBLT from settings as varied as Japan, China, Korea,Venezuela, Turkey, Spain, and France. It also includes a foreword by Teresa Pica; an introductory, contextualizing chapter by Ali Shehadeh; and a concluding chapter by David Carless. As in previous TBLT conferences, this conference brought together more than 250 researchers and educators from around the world to share and learn from one another’s innovations and research in taskbased language teaching and assessment. More than 80 individual paper and poster sessions, keynote speeches, research forums, and symposiums were offered at this thematically-based conference. Some of the issues Volume 21

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that were addressed in the conference include the following: how teachers evaluate tasks, how to develop TBLT as a researched pedagogy, what are the advances in TBLT research, TBLT-based English courses for professionals, tasks and the real world, can we use tasks with learners at all levels, and how do we assess taskbased language learning and teaching? Other key themes and questions on TBLT that received considerable attention and focus at this conference were: (a) how is the syllabus in TBLT organized? (b) how do we design courses and program materials based on TBLT principles? (c) technology‐mediated TBLT, including fostering English learning through technology-mediated tasks, and (d) the interface between TBLT and content‐ based instruction. A number of keynote speeches, colloquia, and research presentations focused on these themes specifically. I am pleased to say that this event has provided me with much input for my professional as well as personal development. It is worth mentioning, finally, that the TBLT conference is convened every two years. The next conference will be hosted by the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, in October 2015. i

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TESOL Symposium and 12th Annual CAMELTA Congress Catholic University of Central Africa, Ekounou Campus Yaounde, Cameroon Christine Coombe As part of my summer vacation, I had the great pleasure of serving as a plenary speaker at the TESOL Symposium on K-12 Teacher Development and Training on August 12, followed by the 12th Annual CAMELTA Congress, August 13-14, 2013. The Symposium, planned jointly with TESOL International Association and CAMELTA (Cameroon English Language and Literature Teachers Association), provided a unique opportunity for teachers, teacher trainers, and administrators in Cameroon, Africa, and EFL contexts worldwide to explore effective policies and practices in K-12 teacher development. Joined by the current TESOL International President Dr Deena Boraie of the American University of Cairo and Dr Richard Smith of the University of Warwick in the UK as plenary speakers, I found the event a resounding success with over 320 participants in attendance. As a veteran conference presenter with over 300 presentations in 36 countries under my belt, the two combined events were unique for me in a number of ways. First of all, it was my first conference in Central Africa and my first sustained contact with TESOLers in this part of the world. The enthusiasm from the CAMELTA organizing committee and members was contagious with an opening ceremony replete with a choir and cultural show. Even more amazing was that many of the songs that were sung were written expressly for CAMELTA. It was also my first time to have musical accompaniment as drum rolls were even done during the plenary sessions! Volume 21

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Probably the best thing about these two events was the engagement of the members during the sessions. It was very refreshing to attend a professional development event where so many members asked pertinent questions and made insightful comments during the plenaries and workshops. Some participants even wrote and recited poems about what they got out of the symposium and conference. Sessions were jam packed throughout the three days and amazingly enough, the closing ceremony had just as many participants in attendance as the opening. My own participation consisted of two plenaries (one for the symposium and one for the conference). My symposium session entitled “10 Characteristics of Highly Effective EF/SL Teachers� and my plenary for the conference on strategic planning for personal and professional growth were both very well-received, and I now have a significant number of Cameroonian Facebook friends with which to network. My thanks go to Dr Rosa Aronson (TESOL International Association Executive Director), Sarah Sahr (TESOL International Association Education Programs), Dorothy Corbin (CAMELTA President), and members of the conference committee for their superb event organization. I also express my gratitude to the sponsors who made the events and my participation in them possible: the Charles W. Seifert Fund, the Ministry of Secondary Education of Cameroon, and the U.S. Department of State.

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I can think of nothing more rewarding that spending some of my vacation time in promoting TESOL and expanding my professional development network.

15 November 2013-- Envisioning and Creating the Future for English Language Teaching and Learning, Guangzhou, China

If you are interested in attending an upcoming symposium, here are some possible events for you. More information can be found on the TESOL website at www.tesol.org.

27 January 2014—TESOL Unplugged: Back to the Basics, American University in Cairo, Egypt

Dr Christine Coombe (third from left) and Dr Rosa Aronson,TESOL International Association Executive Director (fifth from left) pose with CAMELTA attendees.

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Dr Christine Coombe and Dr Rosa Aronson sit in the audience at the CAMELTA Congress in Cameroon.

Coombe Wins International Assessment Award TESOL International past-president and TESOL Arabia past-president Dr Christine Coombe has won the British Council International Assessment Award for 2013. Dr Coombe teaches at Dubai Men’s College, United Arab Emirates, and is the co-chair of the TESOL Arabia Testing, Assessment, and Evaluation Special Interest Group (SIG) and Leadership and Management SIG. The British Council Assessment Research Awards and Grants recognize achievement and innovation within the field of language assessment. Together, these awards and grants form part of the British Council’s extensive support of research activities across the world. The British Council International Assessment Award recognizes an individual working for the promotion of excellence in language assessment internationally. Dr Coombe has published widely on language testing and presented at over 80 international conferences. She is the driving force behind the growth of language testing interest in the Gulf and in many other countries. She has been a co-organizer of the Current Trends in English Language Testing (CTELT Conference), which is now in its 16th year. In addition, her charitable outreach work in the form of workshops has been conducted in every Emirate of the UAE and in 29 developing countries in Africa, Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe. Dr Coombe was president of TESOL International from 2010 to 2013. Volume 21

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TESOL Arabia Perspectives

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Special FeatureInterest Article Group Reports

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Fundamentals of Language Assessment Programs in Venezuela Christine Coombe The TESOL Arabia Testing SIG in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State English language programs organized a three-day intensive assessment training program for over 45 teachers as well as a one-day teacher development program in Caracas, in August 2013. The theme of these intensive programs focused on the “Fundamentals of Language Assessment.� TESOL Arabia Testing Special Interest Group Co-Chair Dr Christine Coombe conducted the training courses with sessions on assessment basics, the cornerstones of assessment, assessment

Participants pose with Dr Christine Coombe (top left) at the Fundamentals of Language Assessment workshop in Caracas,Venezuela.

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of the skill areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, and test preparation for teachers and students. Sessions were a mixture of theoretical lectures followed by practical hands-on activities, while the one-day program in teacher development focused on teacher effectiveness and strategic planning. Response to the program was very enthusiastic, and we have been invited back for an advanced FLA next year.

Fundamentals of Language Assessment workshop attendees in Caracus show off their certificates.

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Special Interest Group Article Reports Feature

Fundamentals of Language Assessment Programs in Uruguay Christine Coombe The TESOL Arabia Testing SIG in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State English language programs organized a one-and-a-half-day intensive assessment training program in Montevideo for more than 40 teachers at the Instituto de Perfeccionamiento y Estudios Superiores, and a half-day program in Colonia for 10 teachers at the Liceo Departamental de Colonia, in July 2013. The theme of these intensive programs focused on the “Fundamentals of Language Assessment.” Two TESOL Arabia Testing Special Interest Group members (Dr Christine Coombe and Nancy Hubley) conducted the training course with sessions on assessment basics, the cornerstones of assessment, and the assessment of the skill areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking as well as on test preparation for teachers and students. Sessions were a mixture of theoretical lectures followed by practical hands-on activities. The program in Montevideo was a follow up to last year’s sessions on assessment basics. Based on the program, we have come away with several impressions about the English language teaching situation in Uruguay. First of all, teachers

were extremely receptive to the theoretical and practical work that was presented in the interactive workshops. As far as the field of assessment is concerned, we were particularly struck by the desire of teachers, both novice and experienced, and teacher trainers to improve their knowledge and skills in this area. Response to our workshops and presentations was very enthusiastic. It is clear that teachers in the region have a thirst for knowledge about the field as well a great interest in their own professional development as educators.

Christine Coombe (center) with Fundamentals of Language Assessment attendees from the Liceo Departamental de Colonia.

Christine Coombe (center) shown with Montevideo Fundamentals of Language Assessment attendees from the Instituto de Perfeccionamiento y Estudios Superiores. Volume 21

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Special FeatureInterest Article Group Reports

51

Teacher Training and Teacher Development SIG Plans Racquel Warner

It has long been accepted that the end result of most education interaction in schools and universities should be student improvement. However, if reforms are to be successful, some concessions have to be given to the role of the teachers in improving student performance. It is evident in the UAE that the government has recognized the importance of teacher training and development and massive strides have been made to increase development provisions for both pre-service and in-service teachers. With this in mind, the Teacher Training and Development Special Interest Group (TTD SIG) of TESOL Arabia continues this year with an exciting line up of events to offer information that is relevant and immediately useful for participants. Three joint events are being planned across Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai in conjunction with the TESOL chapters in these emirates on the following dates: · TTD SIG & Sharjah Chapter Event – November 16, 2013 · TTD SIG & Abu Dhabi Chapter Event – January 11, 2014 · TTD SIG & READ SIG Event at Middlesex University – May 3, 2014 The 2013 vision of the TTD SIG committee is to: · provide relevant sessions that will sharpen teaching skills in the classroom; · equip teachers with resources that will enhance their content knowledge; · use online tools to inform teachers of developments in the field of TESOL and in education in general; · encourage action research among teachers to generate and contribute new knowledge to the profession. This SIG has seen a change in the committee with two new members. Racquel Warner is the CoVolume 21

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Chair/Secretary, and Faiza Umar is the Marketing and Communications Officer. Mick King is the returning member to the committee, but he has taken on the role of Co-Chair/Treasurer. All the committee members have worked in the field of TESOL and carry a passion for continued professional development of teachers. This year the TTD SIG is hoping to expand its target audience at events by directly encouraging schools to send representatives to events.

Do you want to attend a conference in another part of the world? Apply online for a TESOL Arabia International Grant For guidelines, visit

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Chapter Article Reports Feature

52

Abu Dhabi Chapter Hosts Extensive Reading Event The Abu Dhabi Chapter held their first event of the year on October 5, 2013, at Al Hosn University in Abu Dhabi. The theme of the event was “Promoting Extensive Reading for Better Language Learning.” There were five concurrent sessions followed by a panel discussion on the challenges and successes of extensive reading chaired by Dr Melanie Gobert, the president-elect of TESOL Arabia. Helene Demirci, of Abu Dhabi Men’s College (ADMC), Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), presented on a reading competition, the Reading Challenge, organized by the Foundations level at ADMC.The competition uses M-reader (m-reader. org) to track how many words the students have read during the semester. Demirci discussed research on the motivation of L2 reading showing that students were beginning to read for its own sake after the competition was launched, while their initial motivation was extrinsic, namely to win the competition. Dr Peter McLaren from United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) in Al Ain described two small scale initiatives aimed at making reading in English more enjoyable and less daunting, especially for weaker students.The first initiative was adapted from the Oxford Bookworms “Reading Circles” approach and the second was a traditional classroom library. Both were monitored over the course of a semester with both pre and post reading tests to gauge any improvement. Vicky Allen, of Fujairah Women’s College (FWC), HCT, presented a session on extensive reading in practice. The audience was reminded that extensive reading is not reading large amounts of short texts

Anthony Solloway shares a lighter moment in his presentation on reading in the Arab Gulf region. Volume 21

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and answering questions, but reading large amounts of graded readers at an appropriate level with ease and fluency as the goal. Allen shared statistics showing that students who read and listened to extensive texts had a much higher pass rate on the IELTS test than students who were taught using traditional methods. Anthony Solloway of UAEU, Al Ain, presented on the different text types that people actually read in their daily life and work such as novels, emails, menus, grocery lists, internet websites, maps, and so on and compared these multitude of text types with the one or two text types normally read in classrooms (i.e., newspaper articles and short informative texts with questions). The presenter also showed statistics to the audience from the Arab Human Development Report of 2002 showing how little the average L1 Arabic speaker reads and how few books are published in the Middle East when compared with other linguistic regions. Tom Le Seelleur, from Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research (KUSTAR), Sharjah, offered participants an opportunity to learn about free events, competitions, initiatives, projects and resources to make their classrooms, schools and community text rich. The presenter commented that it is particularly important when promoting extensive reading that students and teachers are given choices. One of the largest events held with many free workshops and competitions is the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (www.emirateslitfest. com), which is held annually in Dubai in March.

Dr Melanie Gobert (third from left) chairs a discussion panel with presenters (from left) Dr Peter McLaren, Helene Demirci,Vicky Allen, Anthony Solloway, and Tom LeSelleur. November 2013

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Chapter Feature Reports Article

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Al Ain Chapter News Ian Taylor

This year the Al Ain Chapter will be looking at basic skills. For the first two events the Chapter will encourage presenters to divulge their secrets on how to make a successful reading and writing lesson. We would like to analyze the components that make up teaching these skills and ask what causes students to avoid reading and fear writing. What types of writing should we be teaching? What books should we encourage students to read? These are broad questions to go with the broad subject matter, and there should be something for everyone. If you feel you have something to contribute why not drop me an email at itaylor1@hct. ac.ae? We encourage first time presenters, so why not give it a bash? Equally, any experienced presenters are always welcome to contribute their wealth of experience.

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Here at the Al Ain Chapter we are also looking for people who have ideas for events – themes, presentations, and new venues. Again, please contact me at the above address, and we will certainly do our best to accommodate your ideas. Last year, in addition to two open houses with a mixture of themes, we held these successful events: • Building a Portfolio/Recent Developments in Teacher Evaluation • Pedagogical Fitness: Literature, Literacy and Language Arts for ESL/EFL Learners • Young Learners We are hoping to follow up last year’s success with improved events this year. i

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Special Interest Groups SpecialFeature Interest Article Groups

60 54

TESOL Arabia Special Interest Groups English for Specific Purposes SIG Phone: 02 644 0339 Email: esptesolarabia@gmail.com

Saad Rabia Chair

Leadership & Management SIG

Namaat Saadi Hezber Co-Chair

Literature, Literacy & Language Arts SIG

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

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

Phone: 050 465 5234 Email: lauren.stephenson@zu.ac.ae Dr Christine Coombe Co-Chair

Hala El Muniawai Chair

Lauren Stephenson Co-Chair

Teacher Training & Teacher Development SIG

Email: tatdsig@gmail.com Mick King Racquel Warner Faiza Umar Co-Chair/Treasurer Co-Chair/Secretary Marketing Communications Officer

Young Learners SIG

Independent Learning SIG

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

Email: oabuorouq@aus.edu Phone: 050 984 8066

Kathy Gardner

Kathya Garder Al Haddad Secretary

Testing, Assessment & Evaluation SIG

Samah El Shal Treasurer

Ola Marie Abu Orouq Chair

Read SIG

Phone: 050 619 4796 Email: christine.coombe@hct.ac.ae Yasser Salem Phone: 050 266 8937 Email: yassersalem@yahoo.com

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

Yasser Salem Chair

Educational Technology SIG Email: edtechsig@gmail.com Ning: http://taedtech.ning.com edtecharabia.twitter.com #taedtech James Buckingham

Vance Stevens

Research SIG Phone: 050 780 3988 Email: amelki22@yahoo.com researchsig22@gmail.com

Mohammad Azaza Denise Mcqueen Sevhan Acar Hammudeh Helene Demirci Secretary/Networking Treasurer/Event Ozdeniz Chair Event Coordinator Coordinator Coordinator

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Chapter Feature Representatives Article

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Abu Dhabi Representative

Ian Taylor

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

Amr El Zarka

Madaras Al Ghad (MAG) 050 711 7980 (mobile) amr2000r@yahoo.com

Tamas Lorincz

Teacher Trainer 050 585 2347 (mobile) dubaichapter@gmail.com Blog: http://dubaichapter.edublogs.org

Position Vacant! If interested, contact Rehab Rajab at rehabrajab@tesolarabia.org or Naziha Ali at nazihaali2005@yahoo.co.uk

Position Vacant! If interested, contact Rehab Rajab at rehabrajab@tesolarabia.org or Naziha Ali at nazihaali2005@yahoo.co.uk

Volume 21

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Executive Council Feature Article Executive Council

56 64 President

Past President

Rehab Rajab Dubai, UAE 050 637 5957 (mobile) rehab.rajab@tesolarabia.org Twitter: @tesolarabia || #tesolarabia

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

Vice-President/Perspectives Co-Editor

Executive Treasurer

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

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

Conference Co-Chair/Membership Secretary

Conference Co-Chair

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

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

Executive Secretary

Conference Treasurer

Cynthia Weston Academic Bridge Program Zayed University Dubai, UAE 050 382 4377 (mobile) cynthia.weston@zu.ac.ae

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

Member-at-Large

Perspectives Co-Editor

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

Tandy Bailey Abu Dhabi Women's College Higher Colleges of Technology P.O. Box 41012 Abu Dhabi, UAE tbailey-seffar@hct.ac.ae

Acting SIG Coordinator

Conference Proceedings Editor / Publications Coordinator

Daniel Stebbins Ministry of Education Sharjah, UAE 050 464 5002 (mobile) justaskdan@gmail.com

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

Webmaster Konrad A Cedro Dubai Men's College Dubai, UAE 050 144 7680 (mobile) konard.cedro@hct.ac.ae

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Feature Article

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58

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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2013 NOV  
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