Qatar TESOL 2013
The 2013 Qatar TESOL Conference took place on the 22nd and 23rd of Feb, 2013 in the ABP building (LAS) in Education City, Doha, Qatar. Its theme was: 21st Century Education – What’s Changing? What’s Not?
It was a great event, attended by nearly 300 people, well organized and with really inspiring plenary speakers (Dr Deborah Healey: “Gamification – A Way to Hook Digital Natives”, and Dr Abdelmajid Bouziane: “Teacher Training in ICT in ELT – the LEAP approach”).
I presented a paper entitled What’s hidden behind glass walls. My presentation examined the changing classroom culture in a post-secondary English-language academic institution in Qatar (with “glass walls” as a metaphor for increasing openness and transparency of educational processes taking place inside the classroom as well as a symbol of invisible boundaries and barriers), and discussed “the unchangeable”: students’ reluctance to engage in reading and their resulting inability to write effective academic essays. I focused on technology-induced secondary orality and how it may impact our students’ approach to reading and writing.
Here are two articles related to my paper that have come my way just recently:
http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/178563-survey-finds-poor-reading-habit-among-children.html (Link no longer available. SD)
At the conference, I also attended two interesting workshops:
1. Developing meta-cognitive skills in a writing class by Dr. Krystyna Golkowska (Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar)
“Research has proved that strong metacognitive skills are essential for academic success. Consequently, helping students become reflective, self-regulated learners should be an important goal in any class. This presentation discusses an approach that emphasizes metacognition in the context of writing instruction. The presenter shares activities designed for first-year pre-medical students.” (From the Q-TESOL conference programme)
2. Where Reading and Writing Meet: Teaching Rhetorical Analysis in FYC (first-year composition) by Dr. LeeAnn (“Mysti”) Rudd (Texas A&M University)
“Many instructors of FYC teach students to rhetorically analyze texts including articles, photographs, videos, or live events. However, few FYC instructors teach L2 students the epistemology underlying their understanding of how writing and reading are connected. This presentation explores the benefits and pitfalls of teaching theory in FYC.” (From the Q-TESOL conference programme)
Links to articles about the 2013 Qatar TESOL Conference:
http://www.iraqdailyjournal.com/story-z7147191 (Links no longer available. SD)
P.S. Btw, I won an iPad Mini in a Q-TESOL-organised competition for the best description of a teaching innovation. I guess that means I will have to join the digital natives’ tribe… – after undergoing some e-rites of passage, no doubt. 🙂