TESOL Arabia Abu Dhabi Chapter Event On Extensive Reading
TESOL Arabia - Abu Dhabi Chapter
Professional Development Event
for ELT Professionals
“Promoting Extensive Reading for Better Language Learning”
Saturday, October 5th, 2013
ALHOSN University, Abu Dhabi (Men’s Campus)
FOR INFORMATION &
Abu Dhabi Chapter: email@example.com
Free for TESOL Arabia members
AED 40 for non-members
TESOL Arabia Online: http://www.tesolarabia.org
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SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES
8:30 – 9:15 Registration of Participants
9:15 – 10:15 Concurrent Sessions A
Room 1 Extensive Reading in Action
Developing the habit of reading can be a challenge for any teacher, but faced with students from
societies where ‘there is a lack of a reading culture or reading habit in society because of the prized
oral tradition’ (Sullivan, 2004) it can be even more challenging. It is widely held that the integration
of an extensive reading program in an EFL program can have wide reaching positive effects on
learners. Bamford and Day (2003) remind us that “students who read more will not only become
better and more confident readers, but they will also improve their reading, writing, listening and
speaking abilities and their vocabularies will get richer.”
In a pilot study, two classes of male Emirati English Foundation students were encouraged to read
graded readers linked to a software tool. This was utilized to create virtual certificates for students
and by introducing competition between the classes to intrinsically motivate students to read
graded readers at their reading and interest level outside the classroom independently.
This session is intended for any teacher or librarian who would like to foster the habit of
independent reading with their students. Participants will leave the session with the knowledge of
how to obtain, adapt and implement a reading program to suit their needs.
Helene Demirci is a member of the English Foundations faculty at Abu Dhabi Men’s College. She has
taught EFL at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels over the last 20 years in England, Turkey and
most recently the UAE. Her interests lie in engaging students in extensive reading and technology
integration. She holds an MA in TEFL.
Reading Circles & Classroom Libraries: Getting Weaker Students to Read
This presentation highlights the challenges of getting our students to read. In a culture stereotyped
as predominantly oral reading is often usually seen as a means to an end. While Krashen’s (2007)
‘pleasure principle’, suggesting that reading can be an intrinsically enjoyable and motivating activity,
might be wishful thinking in a Middle Eastern cultural context, the presenter will describe two small
scale initiatives aimed at making reading in English more enjoyable and less daunting, especially for
our weaker students. These initiatives: the first adapted from the Oxford Bookworms ‘Reading
Circles’ approach, the latter a traditional classroom library, were monitored over the course of a
semester with both pre and post reading tests administered to gauge any genuine improvement.
The implementation of both the reading initiatives and the research aspect will be explained, and
the results and implications discussed.
Peter B. McLaren Ed.D currently teaches English at UAE University in the University Foundations
Program (UFP). He has taught elsewhere in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Egypt and England.
His research interests are critical issues in the profession, reading and increasingly the adaptation of
technology in the classroom. He has presented and published on these topics.
Room 3 Extensive Reading Clarified
Extensive Reading is a vital part of learning a language. When students read easy, enjoyable books,
they are practicing the vocabulary and grammar that they have already learned. ‘Practice’ is the key
word and fluency is the goal. Students actually learn to read by reading large amounts of books. In
this session, we will discuss what Extensive Reading is and what it is not. There will also be a time
for teachers to share what they are doing or would like to be doing in their reading classrooms.
Handouts will be provided for teachers to refer back to for resources.
Vicky Allen has a BA in Linguistics and M.Ed. in Deaf Education. After 20+ years teaching the deaf,
she became certified in TESOL and now resides in the UAE and teaches English at HCT, Fujairah
Women’s College. She has been involved in individualized, incremental learning and extensive
reading for a number of years.
10:15 – 10:45
Coffee & Networking Break
10:45 – 11:45 Concurrent Sessions B
Room 1 Is this a text which I see before me?
Few teachers, lecturers, or other educators in the Gulf would be likely to complain that their
students read too much. Indeed, the relative lack – and, in some cases, total absence – of reading
for pleasure in the region has attracted attention and engendered comment far outside of
specialist educational circles. In his popular book on Dubai and its relation to the other emirates,
City of Gold, for example, the American journalist Jim Krane writes that there exists a “perennial
deficiency” when it comes to translation of books into Arabic. How does this dearth of reading, of
both Arabic and English, come about, how can it begin to be tackled, and to what extent can
extensive reading, especially in a foreign language such as English, be promoted in a formal
classroom setting? This presentation will examine such questions, and will discuss ways of
encouraging reading for the sheer sake of reading.
Anthony Jonathan Solloway has taught English in the UK, the People’s Republic of China, Hong
Kong, Oman, and latterly at the UAE University in Al Ain where he teaches academic writing and
acts as a mentor for final year applied linguistics students completing their ESL teaching
practicum. He holds a BA (Hons) in Language Studies (German) and Linguistics, an MA in Language
Acquisition, and is currently completing an EdD (TESOL) at the University of Exeter. When not
camping out in the deserts of the UAE, Anthony writes articles on local history for a popular
magazine in Al Ain.
Room 2 Text-rich Classrooms to Promote Reading
Tom Le Seelleur offers today an opportunity to learn about free events, competitions, initiatives,
projects and resources to make your classroom, your school and your community text rich. It is
particularly important when promoting extensive reading that students and teachers are given
choices and when everything in the UAE seems to cost an arm and a leg, isn't it nice to find out
about things which are free. This will be an interactive workshop where every participant will be
expected to talk and contribute.
Tom is a Senior Lecturer at Khalifa University Sharjah He has worked in KSA, Libya, Lebanon,
Spain, UK and has been teaching in the UAE since 2002. Since then he has worked for the
Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, UAE Academy in Al Ain, the British Council, HCT Sharjah Men’s
and Women’s and Khalifa University where he teaches English on the preparatory program.
11:45-12:00 Coffee Break
12:00-12:45 Panel Discussion
Room 1 Students face a lot of problems in reading in the UAE when it comes to benchmark assessments
such as CEPA and IELTS. Many would say that reading is their biggest challenge. This discussion
will explore the causes of these problems and possible solutions. Panelists will present insights
from their own experience on various solutions to the problem. The audience will have a chance
to ask questions and explore best practices with the panel.
The discussion will be moderated by Melanie Gobert (EdD). Melanie is on the faculty at the
Higher Colleges of Technology. She has presented and published extensively in the region on
reading, writing, speaking, vocabulary, assessment, independent learning, and online learning.
She is currently the editor of Perspectives, the TESOL Arabia peer-reviewed journal and VicePresident/President Elect of TESOL Arabia.
Thank you so much for attending.
We look forward to seeing you at these future events:
November 23, 2013
Joint event with Educational Technology Special Interest Group
January 11, 2014
Joint event with Teacher Training & Development and the Research Special
February 1, 2014
Joint event with the Leadership & Management Special Interest Group
April 26, 2014
4 Annual ESP Conference, joint event with the ESP Special Interest Group
May 17, 2014
Joint event with the Young Learners Special Interest Group