Plenary Speakers 

Awad Ibrahim is a Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. He is a Curriculum Theorist with special interest in applied linguistics, cultural studies, Hip-Hop, youth and Black popular culture, social foundations (i.e., philosophy, history and sociology of education), social justice and community service learning, diasporic and continental African identities and ethnography. He has researched and published widely in these areas. He obtained his PhD from OISE, the University of Toronto, and has been with the Faculty of Education of the University of Ottawa for six years. Before that, he was in the United States where he taught in Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Internationally, he has ongoing projects in Sudan, Morocco and the United States. His current projects include an ethnography of two inner city high schools in Ottawa and a project on the daily struggle of ‘becoming citizen’ in Canada. His book, The Rhizome of Blackness: A Critical Ethnography of Hip-Hop Culture, Language, Identity and the Politics of Becoming is to be published by the University of Toronto Press (2013). He is the co-editor with Samy Alim and Alastair Pennycook of the volume: Global linguistic flows: Hip-Hop cultures, youth identities and the politics of language (Routledge, 2009). He is the co-editor (with Shirley Steinberg) of The Youth Studies Reader (2013) and The Education of African Canadian Youth (with Ali Abdi, 2013). He made more than 150 conference presentations and has more than 70 published papers.

Prof. Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia on December 7, 1928. He was an intellectual prodigy who went on to earn a PhD in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1955, he has been a professor at MIT and has produced groundbreaking, controversial theories on human linguistic capacity. Chomsky is widely published, both on topics in his field and on issues of dissent and U.S. foreign policy.

Prof. John Swales is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Michigan, where he was also Director of the ELI from 1985 to 2001. His latest book-length publication (with Chris Feak) is the third edition of "Academic Writing for Graduate Students". An important earlier episode in his long career was the five years he spent at the University of Khartoum in the 1970s.

Dr. Barbara Dennis is an Associate Professor of counseling and educational psychology at Indiana University, Bloomington. She conducts qualitative educational research on the complexities of diversity. She is also working on a pragmatic theory of care involving an integration of feminist theory, critical epistemology, and symbolic interactionism. She is interested in theories of identity and their connection to methodological theory. She is also interested in spirituality and the limits of understanding.

Dr. Dennis published widely and the following are among her most recent publications:

Dennis, B., Carspecken, L. and Carspecken, P. (2011, in press). Qualitative Research: A Reader on Philosophy, Core Concepts, and Practice. Series - Counter points: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education. New York: Peter Lang Publishers

Dennis, B. (in press, 2011). Validity crisis in qualitative research, still" Movement toward a unified approach. In B. Dennis, L. Carspecken, and P. Carspecken, Eds. Qualitative Research: A Reader on Philosophy, Core Concepts, and Practice. Series - Counter points: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education. New York and Frankfurt: Peter Lang Publishers. Chapter 1.

Dennis, B. (in press, 2011). Theres more to it: An analysis of caring among friends. In B. Dennis, L. Carspecken, and P. Carspecken, Eds. Qualitative Research: A Reader on Philosophy, Core Concepts, and Practice. Series - Counter points: Studies in the Postmodern Theory of Education. New York and Frankfurt: Peter Lang Publishers. Chapter 19.

 Christine Coombe has a Ph.D in Foreign/Second Language Education from The Ohio State University.  She is currently on the English faculty of Dubai Men's College.  She is the former Testing and Measurements Supervisor at UAE University and Assessment Coordinator of Zayed University. Christine is co-editor of Assessment Practices (2003, TESOL Publications); co-author, A Practical Guide to Assessing English Language Learners (2007, University of Michigan Press); co-editor, Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness in EF/SL Contexts (2007, UMP); co-editor, Language Teacher Research in the Middle East (2007, TESOL Publications), Leadership in English Language Teaching and Learning (2008, UMP) and Applications of Task-based Learning in TESOL (2010, TESOL Publications).  Christine’s forthcoming books are on task-based learning and reigniting, retooling and retiring in English language teaching. 


Christine has lived and worked in the Arabian Gulf for the past 20 years.  In this capacity, she has served as President of TESOL Arabia and as the founder and co-chair of the TESOL Arabia Testing Special Interest Group who organize the Current Trends in English Language Testing (CTELT) Conference. 

During her tenure in the Middle East, she has won many awards including: 2002 Spaan Fellowship for Research in Second/Foreign Language Assessment; 2002-03 TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award; TOEFL Board Grant for 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2009-10 for her work in delivering assessment training assessment in developing countries. Most recently she served on the TESOL Board of Directors as Convention Chair for Tampa 2006 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Teacher of the Year for 2003-04.  She is currently TESOL Past President (2010-2013).

Dr. M. O. Kambal currently lectures at Al-Mughtaribeen University, Khartoum, Sudan. He is specialized in applied linguistics and taught English at secondary and university levels in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 


Featured Speakers


Dr. John Batternburg is English Department Head and Professor at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE.  He has taught at institutions such as California Polytechnic State University, the University of Tunis, and Purdue University as well as served as U.S. AID Consultant in Costa Rica, Fulbright Senior Scholar in Tunisia, and U.S. State Department Academic Specialist in Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Austria.  His teaching and research interests focus on language policy and planning, lexicography, and second language teaching. 

Dr. Yvonne Pratt-Johnson Yvonne Pratt-Johnson holds the Ed.D., M.A. and M.Ed from Teachers College, Columbia University in Spanish Education and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and the M.S. from Georgetown University in Spanish Linguistics.  She has many years of undergraduate and graduate teaching experience within the City University of New York.  Currently, she is Professor of TESOL at St. John’s University in New York City. 

Dr. Pratt-Johnson has researched and continues examining such topics as teacher preparation, first and second language acquisition and literacy development for first and second language learners.  Additional research includes the teaching of dialect-different students and shifts in English language intonation patterns.  Her research has been presented at international and national conferences and published in academic journals and books.  Dr. Pratt-Johnson, who is an international speaker and who has traveled extensively, has led groups of educators on study abroad trips to such places as Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Italy and Vietnam.