Over 2000 conference delegates attended the TESOL Arabia 21st Annual International Conference and Exhibition at the Hyatt Regency, Dubai, from March 12-14, 2015. The theme of this year’s conference was “Theory. Practice. Innovation. Teaching and Learning in the Digital World.” The conference included sessions for everyone, teacher or administrator, and every level, K12-tertiary and professional training.
Lindsay Clandfield, award winning educational author, opened the conference with a talk on Social Media and Teacher Development: Help or Distraction? Donna Brinton, author of Teaching English as a Foreign Language and New Ways in Content Based Instruction, presented on Academic Literacy: Expectations and Realities. The Immediate Past President of TESOL, International, Deena Boraie, of the American University of Cairo, presented on the Shifting Sands of Teaching and Learning English. Ken Hyland, Professor at the University of Hong Kong, presented on Teaching Writing: Understanding Texts, Writers, and Readers, and Professor Bernd Ruschoff spoke on Content and Language Integrated Learning and Bilingual Language Teaching. Dr Christine Coombe, or Dubai Men’s College, closed the conference with a talk on Professionalizing Your English Language Teaching.
Conference attendees had the choice of over 400 concurrent sessions during the three days of the conference. Over 30 publishers and exhibitors at the conference showcasing their latest educational projects. Pre-conference certificate courses were held on March 11.
As a way to give back to the larger community, this year TESOL Arabia sourced their conference bags from the Chetana Women’s Empowerment Group based in Pokhara, Nepal. By sourcing our bags there, they provided income for 22 women to provide for their families for five months. In addition, four fully paid scholarships were offered to delegates living in the greater MENA region, excluding the GCC countries, to attend the conference. 100 complimentary scholarships were given to teachers from the UAE Ministry of Education to attend the conference. Also, Tatweer Company for Educational Services, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, gave 110 complimentary scholarships to supervisors from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education to attend the conference.
Another highlight of the conference was an organisational meeting of the Association International de Linguistique Appliquée, for teachers who teach other languages such as Arabic, Spanish, or German was held at the conference.
The TESOL Arabia International Conference is organised for teachers, by teachers. TESOL Arabia is a not-for-profit professional development association for teachers who teach through the medium of English. Teachers from all over the UAE volunteer their time to provide the most significant factor in teacher development, self-selected professional development empowering teachers to direct their own professional development.
In addition to opportunities for presenting, TESOL Arabia offers opportunities for publishing in Perspectives, our TESOL Arabia peer-reviewed journal, and in our TA book publications. To date we have published over 40 books focusing on our learners’ needs in the region. We also offer travel grants, research grants, and course grants to our members as well as complimentary memberships or conference fee waivers to our affiliates’ conferences.