The Research and Consultancy Committee of the ELC, UTAS-Ibri, hosted a webinar on December 23, 2021, on Translingualism and Translanguaging Pedagogy in ELT.
Dr Maria Luisa Saministrado introduced the term "translanguaging" as the process whereby multilingual speakers use their language as an integrated communication and "languaging" as the term used to refer to the activity of mediating cognitively complex ideas using language.
The speaker stressed the importance of translingualism to bilinguals and multilingual communities. She also shared how power politics influenced the country's language policy and the status of minority languages. She also stated that language minorities in most countries continue to be educated in the dominant language without leveraging their home language practices.
The topic was novel and interesting enough to make language teachers think about integrating new methods and practices in language teaching.
Dr Maria Luisa Saministrado holds two doctorate degrees: A PhD in English at the University of Newcastle, Australia and a PhD in Educational Management from Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan. She was the former head of the English Language And Literature Department of XU-Ateneo, where she served for seven years and was also the Director of the English Communication Development Institute ( ECDI ). She has produced several English textbooks for tertiary and high school students, which are used in various universities in the Philippines. Also, she has published papers in peer-reviewed journals on language and literature.
The Research and Consultancy Committee of the ELC, UTAS-Ibri, hosted a webinar titled How to get Poetry Published on December 16. Dr Zola Gonzalez introduced the audiences to different ways of getting poetry published in international research journals of repute(both paid and unpaid). She demonstrated submitting poems to Griffel, a journal of international repute. Dr Zola shared an interesting observation and said that when a poem is submitted for publication, its just not just for publishing but also to people, biases, preferences, readers, screeners and editors who project themselves as gatekeepers by establishing their values when it comes to poetry and other forms of writing. She also shared the latest norms of publishing poetry. The session was interesting to those who had a penchant for poetry.
Dr Zola Gonzalez-Macarambon is a writer and teacher from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. Her works are published in various national and international publications, including Gasher (USA), Poets Choice (India), Loch Raven Review (USA), Cordite (Australia), Peril (Australia), Asian Cha (Singapore), among others. In 2021 she received the Pandemic Writers Grant from the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing (the USA. She received the Ninja Arts Grant for ‘Sendong’, a suite of poems ranked 1st by judges of the Hawker Prize for Poetry 2019. She has a PhD in Communications from Monash University (Australia), an institution ranking among the world’s top 100.
Dr Sepidah Damirichi was invited to speak on the applicability of neuroscience of learning in online classes at the ELC, UTAS-Ibri. One of the references she quoted states that when one has to learn something entirely unrelated to anything an individual already knows, the brain still craves a reference point, without which it can find itself in an infinite search loop. The brain neuro constructively scaffolds information. (Siros et.al 2008).
She connected the dots with the study of the biological processes and aspects that underlie cognition and cognitive activities that are affected or controlled by neural circuits in the brain.
Her main focus was on the applicability of neuroscience of learning in online classes, emphasising two significant factors: bringing neuroscience of learning to online teaching and learning principles. It was an apt discussion for teachers to ponder and execute in their classrooms.
Dr. Sepideh Damirchi holds BA. in English Language and Literature, MA. In Linguistics. She is a PhD student of Cognitive Science language. She is interested in research in the field of Cognitive Linguistics, Cognitive Semantics, Neuroscience of language, Neuroscience of bilingualism and Neuroscience of learning.
UTAS-Ibri hosted a webinar on “Modern Interactive Apps for Online Teaching” on December 16, 2021. The presenter Ms Aybüke Demet ÖREN, from Turkey, shared her insights and acumen of modern interactive apps for online teaching.
Due to recent developments in technology, evolving needs of our learners and especially the pandemic affecting every nation globally, online teaching has become more widespread than ever worldwide. With this paradigm shift, teachers are expected to catch up with the latest trends and developments in education, making it impossible to overlook the online tools utilized in teaching.
She came up with an exciting list of interactive apps for Math, IT and ELT. For language teachers, she suggested Wordwall, Padlet and Live worksheets.
She also shared a colourful description of the qualities of a good teacher, and the audience could easily relate to the visual.
Aybüke Demet ÖREN, Turkey, is an EFL teacher of 17 years from Turkey who believes in life-long learning. She holds a BA from Marmara University and an MA from Bahçeşehir University in the English Language Teaching Department, located in İstanbul, Turkey. She has published articles and translations in the field of ELT. She is also a Cambridge certified teacher trainer, a DELTA candidate by Cambridge University, and an İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa CEARC certified Turkish as a Foreign Language teacher. Currently, she works at İstanbul Atatürk High School of Science.
The English Language Center at UTAS-Ibri launched the IELTS course as part of its commitment to provide high-quality services to its students and the community. The first batch was offered a four-day training course from 21st to 24th November 2021 at the new ELC building. The students were informed to register through the British Council IELTS Online Application to get admitted to the course.
The selected students were divided into two classes (Classes A & B) with 19 students each. They were given IELTS study materials to become conversant with the concept-based questions, which guided them to think and answer the questions well. They were also familiar with the tips and techniques to answer using LSRW skills. Dr Miriam shared some websites that students can use to get writing & speaking feedback.
The participants who were from different age groups and professional backgrounds appreciated the efforts exerted by the English Language Center to train IELTS aspirants.
The PDC of ELC, UTAS-Ibri, hosted an online workshop on Collocational Competence on December 9, 2021. The focus of the presentation was on Assisting B2 learners to enhance their collocational competence by applying the TTT Procedure and principles of Collaborative Learning. She stressed the seven main collocational categories, teaching strategies, and the contextual use of collocations using the TTT(task-teach-task) method. She engaged the audience with interesting activities through collaborative learning techniques.
Ms Zenovia focused on the principles of TBL(task-based learning) and their applications in various language learning contexts too. The audience found customized strategies and techniques suitable and ready to use.
Zenovia Efstratios Michael is an EFL and DELTA certified English language teacher. She is a teacher trainer and works as a Volunteacher in Aviva Ingles Project Brazil.
The ELC Students’ Activities Committee organized its first Debate Competition on December 9,2021 and the topic of the debate was Online Study vs. Offline Study. Ms Archana, Ms Adeeba and Mr Jabez Syam organized the event and their efforts were laudable. The society invited the alumni to the event to motivate the contestants.
Dr Mohsen Amiri moderated the session and his energy levels were matchless. The eight contestants were in two groups. The following students were in Group A debated favored Offline Study: Almu'Taz Hamood Muslem Al Shukaili, Saif Muhanna Saif Al Hinai, Al Muntaser Nasser Salim Al Kalbani,Al Moatase m Said Saleem Al Shakaili. Group B had Samah Mubarak Said Al Ghafri, Sultan Khalifa Ahmed Al Abri,Mithaa Saud Fadhil Al Qatbi, Omaima Hafedh Mohammed Al Shaibani.
Ms Sandra and Mr Andries who were on the selection panel declared Group B as the winners. Dr Maryam Al Ghafri thanked the contestants and announced the winner.
The ELC Students Activities Committee of UTAS-Ibri, conducted a Writing workshop for the Level 1 students on 14.11.2021 to promote and enhance English language skills. These are highly favoured in the ELC as they ensure that all students are fully prepared for their midterm and final exams.
Mr Sultan Al Sawafi, the coordinator of the Level 1 and Dr Mohsen, organized the workshop to enhance students' writing skills. It instilled confidence in students and motivated them to learn more.
The Students Activities Committee lauded the efforts of Mr Sultan Al Sawafi for his commitment and extended its heartfelt thanks.
The English Society of UTAS-Ibri ELC is always at the forefront of organizing events that motivate students to learn English through various modes and channels. The society initiated its second activity by organizing an event to promote and motivate the Foundation students on Thursday, 2 December 2021, in the ELC Shade area. Dr Abdulsalam graced the event and highlighted the role of the English Society.
The event started with a short drama by Balarab Al Shukaili, and Mohammed Al Alawi from Level 1-Group 5 entertained the young audience. The members of the society encouraged students to contribute to Hues Magazine and participate in large numbers by enrolling in the English Society programs. The competitions “Tongue Twister” and “Spell Bee” fueled the enthusiasm among the students.
Dr Mohsen thanked the English Society members for their teaching and motivating other students. He extended his heartfelt thanks to the Students Activities Committee for their support and assistance.
The global spread of English has impacted teaching and learning practices and has several implications in an educational context. Some of these implications are teaching pronunciation and grammar, language assessment, and the role of learners’ first language (L1) in the context where English is used as the primary medium of instruction.
The Professional Development Committee of the English Language Centre, UTAS-Ibri, hosted a webinar titled “Global English and Teaching: Diversity and Inclusivity in Educational Settings” on Thursday, December 2, 2021. In her presentation, the guest speaker Dr Wafa Zoghbor focused on enhancing inclusivity within linguistically diverse contexts through contextualized learning and retaining individuals’ accents and cultural identity.
Dr Wafa Zoghbor is an associate professor of Applied Linguistics, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates. She is an accredited professional international trainer in strategic planning. Her research interest in applied linguistics covers phonology, ELF, Translanguaging in Higher Education, and Sociolinguistics.