As part of the organizing committee, I am pleased to inform all that the Fourth BUiD International Conference, which will cover Current Trends in Teacher Education at the British University in Dubai, will be held on Thursday 14th May and Friday 15th May, 2015.
For call for papers please click here
For abstract template please click here
The conference website http://ctte.buid.ac.ae/index.html
Professor Fatima Badry, American University of Sharjah, UAE
Topic: The cognitive benefits of bilingualism
There is plenty of evidence to show that possessing more than one language has several conceptual benefits for the individual and society. These benefits span a wide range of cognitive functions with diverse communicative and socio-cultural dimensions. In academic life, evidence shows that proficient bi/ multi-linguals tend to have higher scores in math test scores, exhibit mental flexibility, possess better memorization skills and are more creative with language. Socially, multi-linguals are said to be more perceptive to cues in their environment and possess enhanced general skills. Recent studies have even claimed that bilinguals are more resistant to conditioning and that multilingualism may delay dementia in old age. The UNDP report on human rights cites research from the US, Canada, Africa and the Philippines, showing that students in bilingual programs outperformed those taught in the second language only.
However, these benefits depend on what is meant by bilingualism. Definitions of bilingualism range from considering a bilingual as someone possessing an equal mastery of two or more languages in all domains, to merely being able to function appropriately in different languages in different domains. In addition, researchers caution that to achieve beneficial bilingualism through education, education policy makers need to consider several variables in designing their programs ranging from pedagogical issues and teacher qualifications, proficiency in L1 and L1 role in the curriculum, learners’ age, to sociolinguistic, economic and political factors. It is suggested that bilingual education programs should use “the two languages to educate generally, meaningfully, equitably, and for tolerance and appreciation of diversity” to prepare students to become global citizens by enabling them to “function across cultures and worlds” (Garcia 2009, 6).
In this presentation I will suggest that curriculum design and current methodologies combined with sociolinguistic perceptions attached to both English and Arabic in the GCC do not favor a dual language education that would lead to a proficiency level in the two languages to yield the benefits listed above. Instead the language in education policies in place are not likely to lead to the desired academic proficiency in either language and may explain several of the academic challenges faced by high school graduates entering university. Research in bilingualism has demonstrated that in order to develop the cognitive and academic benefits of bilingualism, bilingual education needs to foster an equal appreciation for the two languages being utilized and promote the development of academic skills in both.
Professor Fatima Badry has a PhD in psycholinguistics from the University of California at Berkeley, CA, USA. She has international teaching experience and is currently professor of linguistics at the American University of Sharjah. She has occupied several administrative positions at AUS including chair of the department of English, director of the MA TESOL program, and graduate programs director at the College of Arts and Sciences. Her research activities span over a wide range of language, education and globalization. Her publications are in the areas of language acquisition, bilingualism, identity, education policy and globalization of higher education.
Professor Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow, UK
Topic: Conflict and Compassion: Intercultural Language Education and the Human Ecological Paradigm
This paper present work undertaken with Professor Glenn Levine, UCI, which challenges the predominant model of language teaching, particularly at the university level, which we frame here as a performative model largely limited to functional and technicist goals (Lyotard, 1984). In this paper I aruge that this model is no longer adequate to meet the demands of a globalized world and economic, ecological and global insecurities and vulnerabilities which are part of today’s geo-political context. Initiatives for reform, beginning in the 1990’s with the National Standards, through the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), to the proposals of the 2007 MLA Ad Hoc Committee, have remained limited in their overall impact because the pedagogical model for communicative language teaching is rooted in a structuralist model; in our work we argue that what is needed instead is a “human ecological” pedagogy based on an ecological perspective of language learning and teaching In this paper I focus on two core elements of our five-fold model: that of conflict and that of compassion.
(1) conflicts both within the classroom and in the L2 society in our mdoel are not ignored or simply smoothed out, rather transformed into affordances for learning and for the expansion of language education capabilities
(2) the fostering of compassion needed in a globalized, interconnected world in which security, sustainability, and indeed success in one’s life and profession have come to mean different things from just a generation ago. Languages play an important role in the fostering of compassion.
These elements form part of a framework toward an approach to curriculum and teaching practice which we label “human ecological’ and offer for discussion and dialogue for a C21 pedagogy of intercultural language education.
Alison Phipps is Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Co-Convener of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNET). She is a member of the Creativity, Culture and Faith group in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow where she teaches languages, religious education, anthropology and intercultural education and education for non-violence. She is also Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Waikato University, Aotearoa New Zealand. In 2011 she was voted ‘Best College Teacher’ by the student body and received the Universities ‘Teaching Excellence Award’ for a Career Distinguished by Excellence. In 2012 she received an OBE for Services to Education and Intercultural and Interreligious Relations in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In 2013 she was awarded a grant of £2 Million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council under its Translating Cultures programme, as Principal Investigator to undertake a project entitled Researching Multilingually at the Borders of the Body, Language, Law and the State.
She has twenty years of research experience in using creative and intercultural methodologies, including participant observation in multilingual communities, work across mobilities (international students, modern linguists, tourists, migrant communities, international NGOs) and overseas. She has undertaken work in Palestine, Sudan, Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, USA, Portugal. She has produced and director theatre and performance and worked as creative liturgist with the World Council of Churches from 2008-2011 for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation. She is regularly advises public, governmental and third sector bodies on migration and language policy.
She is author of numerous books and articles and a regular international keynote speaker and broadcaster. Her first collection of poetry, Through Wood was published in 2009. She has published widely in the field of modern languages, tourism and intercultural studies and European anthropology as well as in the field of Higher Education Studies. She co-edits the journal and book series Tourism and Cultural Change and the book series Languages, Intercultural Communication and Education and is on the editorial board of both Language and Intercultural Communication, and Hospitality and Society. From 1999 – 2004 She was Chair of the International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC). She is a senior policy advisor to the British Council and a member of the Iona Community.
Dr. Margaret Dowens, The University of Nottingham, China
Dr Christine Coombe, Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE