The English Language Centre, IbriCT, hosted the 5th English Language Teaching Professional Development Workshop with a thought provoking theme “Strategies for Encouraging, Engaging and Educating Students(SEES-2)” on April 17, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Ibri College of Technology.
The event commenced with a video of 2018 events. The welcome speech from Dr. Sultan Al- Ghafri, the Head of the ELC sections, extended a warm welcome to the guests, presenters and participants from various colleges and universities in the Sultanate of Oman and abroad. He stated that the English Language Centre at IbriCT has always been an active platform in providing opportunities to English language teacher, practitioners and trainees to share their expertise and motivate students to enhance their English language skills. Dr. Al Ghafri also assured that the ELC at IbriCT would continue to inspire and provide support to those who want to be part of a knowledge seeking and sharing society.
Dr Hamdan Al Manthari, Dean of IbriCT, heads of the centers and heads of departments graced the occasion.
Dr.Halima Benzoukh, associate professor from Kasdi Merbah University, Algeria, was the plenary speaker and her talk focused on “Musicality of Teaching English as a Foreign Language.” She mentioned that finding out strategies to push their learners forward in the learning process, should be the focus of teachers.
As the second plenary speaker, Dr Hashil Al – Saadi, lecturer at the Center for Preparatory Studies at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), gave an interesting talk on “Student Engagement in the learning process” which emphasized on the significance of effective learning.
Lecturers from different universities and colleges shared their expertise through poster presentations, teaching tips, paper presentations and workshops. The workshops were scheduled for 45 minutes, paper presentations and teaching tips were scheduled for 35 minutes.
The teaching fraternity had rich takeaways from the elite gathering.
As a token of appreciation, gifts were distributed among the keynote speakers and presenters. The participants also received their certificates of participation. Mr. Faisal Ibrahim Al Shamali, coordinator of IbriCT Professional Development Committee, headed this year’s ELT Professional Development Workshop Organizing Committee.
The second staff meeting in the AY 2018/2019 was conducted on Thursday 13 December, 2018 from 09:00 to 10:00 in the VIP room. All the staff members of ELC attended this activity.
Dr. Sultan Al Ghafri, HOC ELC, chaired the meeting. He appreciated the efforts of the staff to run the matters of the centre smoothly and efficiently. He briefed the staff about different matters relating to teaching, learning, and quality assurance. He urged upon the staff to maintain the same efforts and motivation for the coming semester as well. Dr. Sultan also highlighted the targets to be achieved for GFP accreditation process during this academic year.
At the end he gave away the certificates to the coordinators and Staff of the Month, for their efforts in maintaining quality of teaching and learning. He also bade farewell to Ms. Belle, our outgoing staff member.
Under the aegis of Dr Sultan Al-Ghafri, HOC ELC, Dr. Mariam and Ms Badour, HoS ELC, a Vocabulary Competition (Sem I-2018-19) was held in Room A215B on 11th December 2018.
The competition started at 11:30 am. Five teams from different levels of the Foundation participated in it. Each team consisted of three members. There were three rounds in it. In the first round, the participants were asked questions about spellings of words. In the second they were asked questions about meanings of words and in the last round they were asked to make sentences with words. Each round had two sections. In the first section, the participants were asked questions individually. The second section was a team event where team work was required.
Mr. Sultan Al-Swafi, Ms. Fazilat Jahan and Mariette Louise Oberholzer were the judges. Ms. Archana V. Gupta anchored the competition. The winner teams were:
i. Dhikra Rashid Mohamed Al-Muqarshi
ii. Salama Musabah Abdallah Al-Kalbani
iii. Yasmine Ali Khalaf Nasser Al-Majarfi
Team members were:
i. Mazoun said Saleh Khalfan Al-Alawi
ii. Tif Mohammed Abdallah Al-Alawi
iii. Samah Mubarak Said Musabah Al- Ghafri
Team members were:
i. Amna Rashid Abdullah AL Mamari-
ii. Shuhd Ali Aamir Al Hatmi
iii. Marwah Mohammed Ali AL MAZROUAI
Ms. Hind Salim Al Mahrouqi, Ms. Maha Al Darei, Ms. Zahra Arab, Ms. Warqa Sabri, Ms. Priya Jayaprakash and Ms. Michelle Mendoza worked as advisors to different teams.
In an effort to create awareness on the alarming rise of the predatory journals in the area of research, the research and consultancy team of ELC, organized a presentation entitled “Awareness on questionable practices: Identifying genuine and predatory publishers” for the lecturers of ELC. The presentation presented by Dr. Rehna Veerankutty Jameela, Lecturer, Engineering Department, IbriCT, was held on 11th December 2018.
As part of introduction of her informative, enlightening and detailed presentation, Dr.Rehna explained and defined the term “Predatory” and highlighted the ground reality of the existence of alarmingly huge number of predatory publishers world-wide in all disciplines of study . She brought to limelight as well the reasons behind the crisis of genuine journals and the statistical figures of the academicians mostly from Asia and Africa falling prey to the trap formulated by these predatory publishers.
The presentation in detail did focus upon the underlying motives behind the operation of these predatory journals, the primary one being making profit through illegitimate means. It shed light with numerous examples on the varied strategies and tactics employed by the predatory publishers namely unprofessional homepage and alluring offers to entrap the academicians. She further explained that the alluring offers like speedy publications of the research articles and papers, privilege to publish the thesis as publications, high impact factors, less publication charges and many more entrap even the prudent academicians, if they are not highly cautious and alert.
One of the highlights of the presentation was Dr. Rehna enlisted the various parameters to be considered by the academicians to determine the predatory journals and the genuine journals. The predatory journals, she emphasized, always fail to follow the standards of scholarly publishing journals. They do not provide the peer review, which is one of the hallmarks of genuine scholarly journals .Other cues to determine predatory journals are their non-professional email addresses, contact details and indexing of journals with fictitious names of eminent scientist as members of the editorial board, she added.
A demonstration on the criteria to define genuine journals was praiseworthy as well. Dr. Rehna explained the different parameters that genuine journals adhere to namely professional homepage without any gaudy colours and scrolls, less impact factor, professional email addresses and no alluring offers and privileges for the authors of the papers. She too offered a note of caution to the participants to keep at bay the hijacked journals, the journals of OMICS groups and journals claiming to possess UGC approval.
The presentation ended with the useful links and websites on the fake and genuine journals provided by Dr. Rehna and clarifications from the participants to her.
The presentation did serve as a real eye-opener to the audience and as a token of gratitude and appreciation, a certificate of appreciation was handed over to Dr.Rehna Veerankutty by Mr. Abdullah Al Balushi, of ELC.
Pedagogy and Curriculum Design is a dynamic process that has intrigued educators across the world. The demands of the knowledge-seeking world are high and educators are expected to meet the expectations to maintain the quality. English Language centre of Ibri College of Technology hosted a webinar titled “Pedagogy and Curriculum Design” on 11.12.2018. It was an initiative of Professional Development Committee. Prof. Mizanur Rahman Jewel, accentuated the definition of pedagogy and curriculum, objective of pedagogy and curriculum, benefits, teachers’ role/ other concerned persons role, resource materials, techniques and procedures, design format and other key considerations. . Prof. Mizanur Rahman Jewel is a seasoned and a passionate educator. His areas of expertise include English language teaching, and Applied Linguistics. In addition, he has a diploma in TESOL from American TESOL Institute, Florida-USA.
As part of involving the Level 1 students in extra curriculum activities, the English Language Centre organised the Cultural Day on 4 December 2018. All Level 1 students were involved in this event. Level 1 Listening and Speaking teachers supervised the students. The students chose different countries such as China, Germany, Italy, France, Sudan, Japan and India. They decorated their corners according to the country they chose. In addition, they brought food and items related to those countries. Judges assessed the students’ performance and the winners were Group 1 Italy, taking first place and Group 2 Japan, taking second place. The event proved that our students are more willing to use English if we put them in a real context.
As part of ELC Research Consultancy with the collaboration of the Professional Development committee initiative, Mr Rufus Isiorho gave an informative presentation on “Neuroplasticity Concepts within ESL/EFL” on 23rd of November 2018 at IbriCT.
The three objectives of the presentation: Issues with high stakes testing, Neuroplasticity Concepts, and fostering grit in students, generated immense interest among the learned audience.
The introduction of high stakes tests prompted the audience to air their views, the audience's perceptions and opinions were thought-provoking. Mr Rufus put across the negative aspects of the high stakes testing that listed high-stress levels during the week leading up to the test(s) and feelings of powerlessness and defeat. It also underlined the inability of teachers to claim that they use the curriculum in the best interest of their students, and the teachers within the audience agreed with the adverse effects of curriculum narrowing. Mr Isiorho listed surface learning/ memorisation and bullying as damaging factors that affect students within a high stakes testing curriculum.
An interesting video on mandated standardised tests roused interest in the concept, it captured the fears, rejections and rebuttal of parents who were of the firm opinion that the standardised tests do not help children to achieve high standards of intelligence; The parents also disagreed that test scores evaluate a child's level of intelligence.
The presenter introduced the teachers to the Self-Determination Theory, which explains how people are centrally concerned with motivation. Another informative video on different concepts of Neuroplasticity showed that the brain is adaptable and not hardwired. A new thought establishes new connections in the brain, and when someone stops thinking in a certain way over a period, the neural pathways disconnect. An individual can rewire their brain purposely and activate their creative abilities by focusing on new concepts/ activities, diligently, until the process becomes an automatic response, thereby the individual knows the connections have been made.
ELC Teachers also benefitted from a TedTalk on education by Ms Angela Lee Duckworth. Ms Duckworth emphasised that educators need to have a better understanding of students' learning abilities from a motivational and psychological perspective. She stated that health, looks and IQ are not the significant predictors of success but that it is grit. Ms Duckworth defined grit as passion and perseverance, perseverance to stay focused on a goal until it has come into fruition. She came up with an interesting analogy that stated that girt was like a marathon and not a sprint to achieve a long-term goal. Ms Duckworth also observed that as educators and researchers, we know very little about how to build grit, but she prudently outlined grit as inversely related to measures of talent and intelligence.
Mr Rufus used the video to demonstrate that although we as educators may not know how to build grit within our students, by teaching students about how powerful their brains are and simplified neuroplasticity concepts; it could be a step forward in getting students to develop a grittier mind set regarding their English language education.
The presentation was judiciously used by the teachers in the audience, to share their opinions robustly and were well received by the presenter.
The event ended with a gentle reminder to ELC Staff from Mr Jabez Syam . He requested teachers to take initiative to join the research groups and contribute to the growth of ELC.
Dr Sultan handed over the certificate of appreciation to Mr Rufus Isiorho for his informative presentation and contribution.
The ELC Staff Professional Development Committee orginzed a training workshop on academic advising on Tuesday 30.10.2018. Mr. Abdullah Al Balushi( Head of Academic Counciling, ELC) conducted the training and showed the importance of academic advising in helping students develop their study and life skills.
The ELC E-Learing and Staff Professional Development Committees organised a Turnitin in Moodle workshop on Tuesday, 30 October 2018, in Lab 5B. Mr Abdullah Al Shukeili, head of the ETC, provided training for ELC staff which will help them and their students to use Turnitin to avoid plagiarism.
The English Language Centre's Staff Professional Development Committee organised a paper presentation on WTC in the EFL Classroom: Beyond the Barriers of Monolingualism. It was conducted on Tuesday, 30 October 2018, by Mr Mokhtar Lafi. Mr Lafi emphasised the importance of L1 in helping in learning and acquiring of L2. After the talk, Mr Younus Al Za’abi, the assistant dean for academic affairs (ADAA), opened the discussion on the role of L1 in language learning and acquiring of L2. Mr Za’abi showed his preference that the Arabic speaking teachers should encourage students to use L2 effectively inside and outside the classroom. Mr Al Za'abi handed over a certificate of appreciation to the presenter.