Plenary Speakers

Rod Ellis
University of Auckland

Creativity in Learner Language and its Implications for Language Teaching
To examine creativity in L2 learning we need to consider creativity-as a person, creativity-as-an object, and creativity-as-a-process. To date, however, there is only limited evidence that creative people make better language learners. More important for understanding how creativity works in language learning is creativity-as-a process and creativity-as-an-object. Creativity manifests itself incidentally in the communicative uses of the L2 and also more intentionally in language play. All language learners, when given the chance, will engage in the creative construction and creative use of their linguistic systems. That is, they naturally and automatically work on the raw materials provided by the input, combining words, breaking down multi-word units into their component parts and thereby arriving at abstract formulations which slowly and erratically converge on those of the target language. In this talk I show how creativity as a process and as a product are important for language learning and argue that teachers need to create opportunities for the creative use of language as well as promoting conformity to target language norms and that this is best achieved through task-based language teaching.

Using Literature in Consciousness-Raising Tasks (Workshop)
This workshop will explore the nature of literary language through a number of consciousness-raising tasks. It will compare the language of literary and non-literary texts. The workshop will also consider how literary texts can be incorporated into an English language programme and provide an example of a task-based lesson based on a poem.

Rod Ellis is Distinguished Professor of Applied Language Studies in the University of Auckland, and also Cheung Kong Scholar Chair Professor at Shanghai International Studies University. He was recently elected a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. His published works include numerous articles and books on second language acquisition, language teaching and teacher education, including the Study of Second Language Acquisition (OUP). His latest books published in 2013 (with Natsuko Shintani) is Exploring Language Pedagogy through Second Language Acquisition Research (Routledge) and in 2015 Understanding Second Language Acquisition 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press).

Toral Gajarawala
New York University, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Reading Literature in the Anthropocene
Marking the moment when human activity began to have significant global impacts on earth’s ecosystems, Paul Crutzen renamed our era the “Anthropocene” heralding a world increasingly characterized by immeasurable difference and beset by unprecedented challenges such as catastrophic climate change, species and eco-system extinction, food and water insecurity, and financial collapse. What role does the Humanities, particularly literary studies and literature play in meeting these challenges? With a focus on literature from the MENASA region, a region whose populations will be among the most dramatically and quickly affected by the effects of global warming, I suggest that works formerly understood as solely focusing on empire, oil, and labor may also be reinterpreted as “cli-fi” or “climate fiction.” These works and this category of literature offer novel conceptions of reading, scale, temporality, and the relationship of the human and nonhuman, forcing a radical and necessary rethinking of humanity’s understanding of itself as an ecological force that has transformed the planet.

Toral Jatin Gajarawala’s areas of teaching and research include theories of the novel and narrative, postcolonial studies, subaltern studies, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Recent essays include “Some Time between Revisionist and Revolutionary: Reading History in Dalit Fiction” (PMLA) and "Fictional Murder and Other Descriptive Deaths" (Journal of Narrative Theory). She is the author of Untouchable Fictions: Literary Realism and the Crisis of Caste (Fordham, 2013). She is currently working on two projects: Camus in Kashmir?, which considers the intellectual legacy of French existentialism in Indian theatre and film, andReservation Logics: Caste, Categorization and the Contemporary Novel, which examines the aftermath of the 1990 Mandal Commission riots in protest of caste-based reservations, and its effects on the contemporary novel.

Featured Speakers

Christine Coombe

Dubai Men's College, UAE

How the Most Productive TESOLers Fit it all in
Ever feel like you’re just not getting enough done?  If so, you’re like many TESOLers around the world.  Research shows that on average people are only productive 3 days a week.  The purpose of this session is to share the results of a research project investigating how the most productive TESOLers ‘fit it all in’ and attain the ever elusive work-life balance.

Christine Coombe has a PhD in Foreign and Second Language Education from The Ohio State University.  She is currently a faculty member at Dubai Men’s College.  She is the author of many professional volumes on areas like research, assessment, TBLT, leadership and teacher effectiveness. Christine served as President of TESOL International from 2010 to 2013.

Eiman Abbas Elnour
El-Neelain University, Khartoum, Sudan

Arrested Development: The Protagonist's Dilemma in Sudanese Women's Writing
Malkat Aldar Mohammed , Zeinab Bilail and Leila Aboulela are prominent Sudanese women writers who lived  in different times and places. Yet, in their fiction, they share a perplexing approach in the development of their main female characters. In their search for recognition and acceptance, the protagonists seem to be in a constant state of unfulfillment. This situation was not ameliorated even when they were living in the west where choices were in abundance. In this paper I will be examining selected works by the three authors to illustrate and decipher this problematique. 
Eiman El-Nour is Associate Professor in English Literature at Neelain University and Ahfad University, and Teaching Fellow at Khartoum University. She is also a Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge. She specialises in teaching African Literature and her main research themes include African women's writing, Sudanese literature and Sudanese orality.
She is the author of Hadha Huwa al-Makan!: Fi Tadhakkur al-Tayyib Salih (This is the Place!: Remembering Tayeb Salih) (2010)

Othman Al Barnawi
Royal Commission Colleges and Institutes, KSA

Englishization, internationalization and fast-movement education in the Arabian Gulf countries: Critical comparative perspectives
Because internationalization has not yet explicitly connected ‘speed’ and ‘TESOL’, it was easy to overlook their implications in global higher education landscape. This paper theorizes the relationship between ‘speed’ and ‘TESOL’ under the neoliberal economy. Grounding my investigation in the current debates surrounding the international role of English, neoliberalism, poststructuralist and postcolonial theories, I aim to compare/contrast the ways in which internationalization of HE have  been realized in  the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This sessions concludes with several critical questions that need further scholarly attention.

Osman Z. Barnawi is the Director of Yanbu English Language Institutes at the Royal Commission Colleges and Institutes, Saudi Arabia. His research interests include the internationalization of higher education studies, TESOL and Blackness, second language writing, teachers’ identities, critical pedagogy, language programme evaluation and teacher education. His works appear in journals such as ‘Language and Education’, ‘Critical Studies in Education’, and ‘Language and Literacy’.  

Ahmed Elnimeiri
Abu Dhabi University

Hegemonic Discourse in Tayeb Saleh and Leila Aboulela     
The transition  in the Arab consciousness from the nationalistic discourse of the 1950s and 1960s, which celebrated an identity rooted in the national history and culture and which became both untenable and unviable after the Arab defeat in 1967; to an Islamic (largely “fundamentalist”) discourse that sought not only to offer Islam as an alternative to the West and its civilization and culture but to assert in unequivocal and sometimes violent terms the inevitability of a Moslem hegemony; is captured and expressed almost completely in the works of two Sudanese writers: Tayeb Saleh and Leila Aboulela. 

Ahmed Elnimeiri, currently teaching English and Translation at Abu Dhabi University, received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from the University of South Carolina, in the US. He was three times a Fulbright fellow. His work included developing the English curriculum for schools in the Sudan and being chief examiner of English literature in the Sudan School Certificate as well as teaching for over 30 years in universities in Sudan, United States, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  He published a book, William Faulkner’s The Reivers (Garland Publishing 2009), and articles in journals such as ADAB, Gomack Review, Mississippi Quarterly, Critique, Southern Literary Journal and Alif. 

John Wallen
University of Sharjah

Sufi, Christian or Buddhist: Sir Richard Burton’s Parameters of Belief
In this paper presentation I attempt to get beyond the confused and contradictory portrayals of 19th century explorer, linguist and polymath Richard Francis Burton by looking in some detail at Burton’s two long poems: Stone Talk and The Kasidah.    

John Wallen holds a PhD in English Literature from Royal Holloway University of London. His areas of Specialization are: Orientalism, Postcolonialism, Literary Theory, Victorian Literature, Modernism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Travel Writing, Social Media, Creative Writing, English as a Second Language. Dr John Wallen currently teaches English literature at the Department of English Language and Literature, Sharjah University, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Dr. Wallen has worked in the Middle East for 20 years. Previously he worked at Bahrain University and Qatar University. He has also worked in Oman and Saudi Arabia. He is editor of the literary journal "The Victorian" http://journals.sfu.ca/vict/index.php/vict Dr. Wallen has published two scholarly books, a book of short stories, a novel and a book of poems. Most recently Dr. Wallen published a book with Academica Press of California entitled New Perspectives on Sir Richard Burton. https://www.amazon.com/New-Perspectives-Sir-Richard-Burton/dp/1936320878