The English Language Institute (ELI) at King Abdulaziz University held recently its mid-year symposium dubbed “Back to basics: Core Competencies in Language Teaching” at King Faisal Convention Center.
The series of professional development events was opened with a speech by the ELI Dean who welcomed a large audience comprised of ELI Vice-Deans, senior administrators, and faculty from all ELI campuses. In his opening speech, Dean Dr Abdullah Al-Bargi said that this theme would bring the ELI back to its core purpose, made clear in its mission, to provide its students with quality language instruction. “This event is an opportunity for all of us as language educators to consider both our core professional practices as well as the underpinnings that make up the principled beliefs that guide those practices in the classroom and in our research interests,” he added.
The first day's plenary speeches explored the theme of core competencies in language teaching. Engaging and inspiring input illustrating cutting edge advances and innovative concepts in ELT was presented by accomplished external speakers and experienced ELI representatives. The presenters included:
Ms Nahla Malki “Teaching beliefs as the basis of our development”
Mr Patrick Boylan “Teacher competency frameworks in language teaching”
Dr Nashwa Saaty “A situated perspective on intercultural communicative competence in the ELI classroom”
Mr Peter Lucantoni “Back to basics: The expert in everyone was once a beginner”
Ms Syeda Saima “Developing life skills competence in ESL/EFL”
Mr Ian Dickie and Ms Bushra Latif “Inspiring learners to become aspiring writers”
The audience participated enthusiastically throughout and faculty feedback was positive, citing that a lot of what had been offered would prove of real use and benefit to our learners.
The Dean rounded off the day's events by thanking the participants and then presenting awards to the ELI translation team, whose combined efforts had won the Prince Khalid AL-Faisal’s Moderation Prize (Translation Category).
Follow-up workshops took place over the next three days on all campuses. The workshops complimented the symposium theme and included such topics as 'Differentiated Instruction', 'Learning Styles' and 'Responding to Writing'. The workshops were warmly received by all and provided practical ideas and strategies for the ELI classroom.
The ELI very much looks forward to hosting a consecutive and similarly productive symposium towards the end of the current academic year.