October 12, 2018
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TESOL SUDAN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Hind Elyas, Acting Vice President, TESOL Sudan; English Instructor, International Technical College, Makkah, Saudi

TESOL Sudan held its 7th International Conference on the 16-17 of February in Khartoum, Sudan. The conference, sponsored by Sudan International University, was well-attended. It had over 400 participants and presenters from many different countries.

The Theme:

The theme of the conference was Foundation Programs: Transitioning from Schools to Universities and the conference aimed to tackle the English Language Foundation and Preparatory programs in secondary and tertiary levels. It also focused on shedding light on different practices and on how to bridge the gap between secondary and tertiary education.

The conference had a great line up of speakers from many different countries such as Qatar, Oman, The United Arab Emirates, Sudan, The United States of America and Saudi Arabia.

Plenary Speakers:

1. Dr. Christine Coombe:

Christine Coombe has a Ph.D. in Foreign/Second Language Education from Ohio State University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Dubai Men's College, and she is the former Testing and Measurements Supervisor at UAE University and Assessment Coordinator of Zayed University.

Dr. Coombe presented a workshop titled Classroom Management: Empirical and Practical Perspectives. In this Workshop, she explored why classroom management is sometimes difficult to achieve and why past techniques no longer work with modern-day students.

Dr. Coombe presented a plenary session titled Improving Your Communication Skills in English. This plenary explored the importance of interpersonal communication, the linguistic elements of effective communication and some strategies that can be used to improve communication skills in English.


The TESOL Sudan International Conference, A Great Success!

2. Dr. Ali Shehadeh: 

Dr. Shehadeh is Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL in the Department of Curriculums and Methods of Instruction, College of Education, UAE University. He was Chair for two terms and a Professor in the Department of Linguistics, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, UAE University. He supervised and sat on committees of over 35 Masters and Doctoral dissertations in the region and beyond.

Ali Shehadeh's Plenary began the first day with a talk on Transitions and Challenges in EFL Learning and Teaching from High School to University. The main purpose of this speech was to recognize the transitions and preparedness needed for EFL learning and teaching from high school to university. His speech identified the various academic, social, and cultural challenges faced by both students and teachers in these transitions.

Dr. Shehadeh also presented a workshop titled Transitions from Summative to Formative Assessments that aimed to enable the participants to successfully implement and utilize TBLA in their teaching situations.

3. Dr. Dudley Reynolds:

Dr. Reynolds is the Immediate Past President of TESOL International Association and a Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar where he teaches first-year writing. Widely published, his research focuses on the development, assessment, and teaching of second language reading and writing. Over his career, he has also taught elementary school learners in Egypt, Intensive English students at Indiana University, and MA TESOL candidates at the University of Houston.

Dr. Reynold’s first session was a talk titled: Building a Coherent System English Language Education Across the Divides in which he argued that this problem is more perception than reality. He explained that if we adopt a system perspective of English language education, it becomes clearer why each level views students, curriculum, and teachers differently. Dr. Dudley's second session was a workshop titled Lesson Study: School-based Professional Development where he focused on professional Development in schools.


Members of TESOL Sudan with TESOL Past President Dudley Reynolds

4. Dr. Zohreh Eslami:

Dr. Eslami is a professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture at Texas AM University in College Station and currently serves as the Liberal Arts Program Chair at Texas A&M University in Qatar. Her research has examined intercultural and cross-cultural communication, English as an international language, sociocultural perspectives of teaching, and acquisition of English as a second/foreign language. Her publications include over one hundred journal papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings.

Dr. Zohreh also gave a talk on WEs/EIL-Aware Teacher Education: Consciousness-Raising Activities in a Teacher Education Program. In this presentation, Dr. Zohreh discussed activities used in two courses oriented towards promoting the examination of WEs/EIL-related issues, and she conveyed the experience of sensitizing prospective teachers towards WEs and EIL through materials and activities that contain manifestations of English as a pluralistic world language.

Her second session was a workshop titled Teaching Students to Use Language Effectively focused on the pragmatics of a second language and it addressed possible ways to highlight appropriate language use in the classroom.

Entertainment:

We all enjoyed an unforgettable sunset cruise along the wonderful River Nile which is the most popular attraction in Sudan. Most importantly, it was a great opportunity for everyone to kick back, relax and enjoy great food, great company, and great music!

Cruise on the River Nile 

Dinner at the Saha Lebanese Restaurant:

At the end of the day, we all enjoyed a delicious meal at the Saha Restaurant which is one of the best Lebanese restaurants in Khartoum with an array of culinary experiences.

Dinner at the Saha Lebanese Restaurant

Bio:

Hind Elyas is the Acting Vice President of TESOL Sudan and a member of the Africa TESOL Steering Committee. She is an international presenter. She is a member of TESOL International Association and many TESOL organizations in various countries. Hind works as an English Instructor at the International Technical College in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

 


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