TESOL Sudan 2015 Conference Program

Day 1 (Thursday, February 26, 2015)



8:00 – 4:00


9:00 – 9:45

Opening Remarks

Dr. Aymen Elsheikh
Vice President of TESOL Sudan
Conference Co-Chair

Dr. Ishraga Bashir
President of TESOL Sudan
Conference Co-Chair

Dr. Gasim Badri
President of Ahfad University for Women

9:45 – 10:30



Effective Professional Development for Teachers
Dr. Simon Borg
ELT Consultant

In-service workshops and courses are a predominant form of continuing professional development (CPD) in English Language teaching. There is growing evidence, though, that this approach to CPD often fails to achieve lasting positive impacts in the classroom. In this talk I will first discuss why this is the case then examine alternative approaches which are being increasingly adopted to enhance the effectiveness of the professional development that teachers of English engage in.


Featured Presentation

How English Classes Could Be So Much a Joy
Dr. Ahmed Abdallah
Al Neelain University

The paper falls in the realm of the psychology of learning, though – by definition – it cuts across cognitive and classroom culture at large. The main aim is to find inroads via the ELT classroom presentations to touch the upper possible ceiling in order to maximize the learning process (as opposed to the teaching’s) through a set of procedures, all of which are deriving towards making the classroom a joyful and friendly opportunity of learning the foreign / second language.

11:15 – 12:00

Refreshments / Coffee Break




A Specific and Updated Practical SLA Model for ALEs
Dr. Anwar Mourssi
Higher College of Technology - Muscat

This presentation discusses the findings of an empirical study which was conducted on 74 Arab Learners of English (ALEs). The model addresses how to develop a methodology which integrates focus-on-form with revising/redrafting into a communicative approach in order to improve learners’ written accuracy and fluency as well.


Changing Roles and Finding Your Voice
Ursula Walsh
Zayed University – Dubai

Guiding Arabic learners to look critically and analytically at English texts written by native speakers of English and their fellow students supports their own writing. This presentation will aim to share the important role of student ‘oral ‘ participation when teaching Arabic speakers in an EAP learning environment.

1:00 – 2:00

Lunch Break

2:00 – 2:45



Building Communities of Practice among Teachers and Learners
Jane Hoelker
Community College of Qatar

Building Communities of Practice (CoPs) among teachers and learners promotes performance excellence in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
In this session, I will highlight the theoretical background of CoPs as developed by Wenger and Lave (1991). I will then review examples of successful CoPs from different parts of the world including Qatar.

2:50 – 3:15

Problems of Developing an English Language Proficiency Test
Dr. Amna Bedri
Ahfad University for Women

This presentation will look into this problem of finding a format or universally recognised criteria for designing a test that will act as a benchmark for the level of students in English at the end of the pre-sessional course and at the end of first year at Ahfad University for Women.

3:20 – 3:45

Strides towards Independent Learning in Foreign Language Contexts
Dr. Osman Hassan Osman
University of Nizwa

Language learning strategies have typically been seen as a cognitive approach, but few studies have considered them within a sociocultural approach. The presenter will describe to the audience his endeavour to teach learning strategies from both perspectives in an attempt to develop learner independence.


3:50 – 4:15

Self –identity perceptions of non-native Teachers of English
Sudhashree Parvati
College of Arts and Social Sciences Adi Keih, Eritrea

Being a non-native speaker is a pertinent identity for teachers of English from developing countries. The present study analyses the perceptions of college instructors of English working in Eritrea about their professional identity as non-native speaker- teachers. The findings foster awareness on teacher identity issues in global ELT context.


Day 2 (Friday, February 27, 2015)



8:00 – 12:00


9:00 – 9:45

Workshop 1


Concepts of Learner Autonomy
Phillipa Arthur
Qatar University

Concepts of Learner Autonomy re-visits autonomy in the context of language learning. It specifically explores, through hands-on activities and discussions, how we TESOL professionals could promote autonomy in our learners since it’s the relationship between instructor and learner which is central to the fostering of autonomy.


10:00 – 10:45

Workshop 2

A Practical Approach to Critical Thinking Building Blocks
Peter Holly
Litmus Education

This workshop will discuss issues surrounding critical thinking in the language classroom and suggest innovative ways to help students implement critical thinking effectively. Participants will come away with practical ideas for teaching higher order and lower order thinking skills in a meaningful way.

10:45 – 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00 – 11:45

Workshop 3

Toastmasters and ELT:  A Vehicle for Personal and Professional Development
Dr. Christine Coombe
Ahmad Al Falasi

Toastmasters is an international association that helps individuals develop both communicative and leadership skills.  In this demonstration session, run by experienced TESOLers and Toastmasters, you will explore how tried and true Toastmasters techniques can be used to help teachers and students develop personally and professionally.

12:00 – 12:45

Workshop 4


Ethics and Classroom Culture
Hardie Cooper, Jr
Qatar University

The purpose of this presentation is to explore the relationship between ethics in second language learning and classroom culture. Inclusive in this is administrative policy and procedure which effects both of the aforementioned. We will raise the question  “Has ethics affected your teaching methods and  view of language learning?”

1:00 – 4:00

Lunch  (International Participants)

4:00 – 6:00

Sufi Whirling Ceremony (International Participants)

6:00 – 8:00

Souq Omdurman Tour (International Participants)



















Day 3 (Saturday, February 28, 2015)




8:00 – 2:00


9:00 – 9:45


Professionalizing Your English Language Teaching
Dr. Christine Coombe
Higher Colleges of Technology - Dubai Men’s College

In this plenary session, the presenter(s) will review the literature on professionalism and present definitions of what it means to be a professional.    Other content to be covered include the myths associated with professionalism and the challenges ELT educators face when being profession.  General and field-specific strategies for improving one’s professionalism will also be shared.




Building Communities of Learners through Personality
Jane Hoelker
Community College of Qatar

In this presentation by a certified MBTI Practitioner, participants learn their type through an MBTI instrument modified for the session, and discuss how to adjust their type to meet student needs (Lawrence, 2009). In a variety of scenarios, they practice responding to students in a way that guides them to behavior that yields successful outcomes.



Factors Affecting Teachers' Perceptions of Students
Garon Wheeler
New York Institute of Technology - UAE

The natural need to make rapid assumptions about others affects our judgment toward students more than we realize. This paper examines some common factors that may influence how a teacher sees individual students in the classroom and the effects these perceptions may have on students’ performance.

11:00 – 11:25

Challenges of using EMI in the classroom
Mouhamad Mouhanna
United Arab of Emirates University – Al Ain

This presentation explores the dynamics of the pedagogical decision to use English as a medium of instruction in content based tertiary courses. It explores teachers' and students’ attitudes to the use of English as a medium of instruction and their perspectives on the place of L1 in this educational context.


Lunch Break
Africa TESOL Board Meeting


International Posture, Perfectionism, and Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA)
Dr. Okon Effiong
Qatar University

How do perfectionism and international posture influence Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA)? This session shares the findings of a qualitative study involving 24 university students which indicate that, negative self-evaluation, low self-confidence and high L2 goals account for the negative international posture. Similarly, the tendency towards perfectionism contributes to communication apprehension.

1:30 – 2:15

Aligning Lesson Aims, Objectives, and Assessments
Enita Barrett
Qatar University

Students’ learning outcomes are often diminished by a lack of alignment of lesson aims, objectives and assessment methods. In this interactive workshop, participants will work in groups to explore creative ways of ensuring that assessment methods effectively match stated aims and objective in order to maximize achievement of learning outcome.

2:20 – 2:45

Peer Coaching – Building a Community of Learners
Dr. Lilian Olarinko
Qatar University

Peer coaching has been widely described as a significant tool in teacher professional development. The presenter will describe how it impacts teacher development, its link to students’ academic growth and achievements, and suggested ways on how to implement peer coaching to enhance trust for the system, and teachers’ growth.

3:00 – 4:00

Closing Ceremony

Dr. Aymen Elsheikh

Vice President of TESOL Sudan
Conference Co-Chair

Dr. Ishraga Bashir
President of TESOL Sudan
Conference Co-Chair






Plenary Speakers


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).

Simon Borg has been involved in ELT for over 25 years in a range of international contexts. After 15 years at the University of Leeds, where he was a Professor of TESOL, Simon now works full-time as an ELT consultant. He specialises in the design, delivery, evaluation and study of teacher education and development programmes. Full details of his work are available at

 Jane Hoelker is a former TESOL International Association Board of Directors Member and President of TESOL Arabia. She has taught in Rwanda, Mali, Japan, Korea, the U.S., the U.A.E. and Qatar. She has presented at numerous international conferences and published in many international publications. Jane has facilitated training with the U.S. State Department Specialist Program. She has a Master’s degree from the School for International Training in Vermont in the U.S 

Featured Speaker

Dr. Ahmed Abdallah Mohammed is a graduate of Khartoum, Leeds and Aston Universities. He taught, designed programmes and wrote materials at tertiary level, presented papers, articles, books, textbooks, and served as visiting scholar in UK, USA, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait.


Dr. Amna Bedri is an associate professor at Ahfad University for Women. She taught English for 30 years in schools and universities in Sudan and abroad, supervises MA and PhD theses, teaching practice, and co-authored English for Islamic Studies.


Anwar Mourssi received his M.A in TESL/TEFL from Birmingham University 2006, and his PhD in Applied Linguistics from UWE, Bristol, UK 2012. His major field of study is SLA.


Enita Barrett has a PhD (All but Dissertation) in Educational Leadership –TESOL, M. Ed in Educational Instructional  leadership  and M. Ed Secondary Education TESOL.   She has 22 years teaching experience and 8 years in administration and teacher training.

Dr. Garon Wheeler is the Associate Campus Dean of the New York Institute of Technology in the UAE. He is the author of "Language Teaching Through the Ages" (Routledge).


Hardie Cooper, Jr. has presented at Qatar TESOL, TESOL Sudan, and TESOL Arabia. His presentations have focused on student motivation, teaching practicality, and the utilization of classroom space and teacher talk.


Mouhamad Mouhanna is an English Instructor at the UAE University. He has conducted many research papers in the areas of the mother tongue use in the classroom and action research.


Okon Effiong, President of Qatar TESOL and TESOL International Diversity Committee Chair,  holds  a  PhD  in  Applied  Linguistics  from  the  University  of  Southampton, and previously taught EFL and EAP to undergraduates in Japan and the UK.



Osman Hassan Osman holds a PhD in TEFL, an MA in Applied Linguistics and an advanced certificate in TESOL from the UK. He currently teaches at the University of Nizwa. His research interests include learning strategies and motivation.


Peter Holly has an MA in TEFL from the University of East Anglia, and a PGCE TEFL/TESL from the University of Sheffield in the UK. He has worked in Sudan, Bahrain, Hungary, and the UAE. He has now formed his own ELT company, Litmus Education. 


Phillipa Arthur, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, has an MA in TESOL from NYU. She has taught adult English learners in the United States, China, Korea and Qatar.


Sudhashree Pravati is  a Lecturer in English at C.A.S.S, Eritrea. She is a licensed educator with teaching experience in India, Ethiopia, Thailand and Eritrea. Her research areas are assessment and teacher identity.


Ursula Walsh currently works in Dubai at Zayed University teaching Arabic speaking students. Her area of research has included 'hedging', the difficulties for Arabic Speakers & inclusivity in the GCC.