In spring 2006 at the TESOL Arabia conference, a TESOL affiliate out of United Arab Emirates, EFL educator Philline Deraney spoke with John Schmidt from TESOL International about the need for a professional development and service association for EFL educators in KSA. Based on this discussion, a group of language educators started to meet in fall 2006 about starting a language teacher organization. The purpose and mission, the association name, the logo, possible international affiliations, the first governing documents, and meetings were planned in this founding stage. From there, KSAALT was born. These seven founding members were appointed various officer roles that formed the Executive Council. The founding members of KSAALT are Christine Evans, Doug Evans, Edith Lotti, Louis Dormier, Georgina Dornier, Amani Hamdan, and Philline Deraney and the founding institution is Prince Mohammad University.
KSAALT had its first monthly meeting in February 2007 and membership grew quickly with about 58 people attending the April 2007 meeting. In December 2007, just over a year after it was founded, KSAALT became the 100th affiliate of TESOL International and, in 2010, KSAALT became an associate of IATEFL and in 2015, an affililate of TESOL Arabia. In 2007, KSAALT also began its newsletter, the KSAALT Quarterly and its first website in 2008. From that time, KSAALT has grown with annual conferences attracting several hundred participants and renowned international and national speakers since 2008 and annual mini conferences since 2009. KSAALT has also added chapters in Jeddah, Riyadh, Yanbu and Abha along with the original Khobar chapter itself. The annual conferences have been held in Khobar since May 2008 with the exception of two conferences at chapters in Jeddah (2012) and Riyadh (2014).
In 2014-2015, KSAALT took the momentous step in its 8th full year of operation to completely separate Al Khobar chapter from the Executive Council allowing the EC time and resources to lead the organization strategically into its next era. In Fall 2015, KSAALT held its first Leadership Retreat with all chapters gathering to plan their chapter events and draft strategic goals for the organization.
KSAALT recognizes with sincere appreciation its founding institution, Prince Mohammad University in Khobar, the first institution to support KSAALT. From inception to meetings, membership, and conferences, PMU has been an invaluable support for the KSAALT membership and organization in its early years.
*The history of KSAALT is adapted with permission from former KSAALT Publications Editor David Berry’s article: Introducing KSAALT—Helping Teachers Bloom in Saudi Arabia, ALC Newseltter-March 2013 at http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/tesolalc/textonly/2013-03-11/7.html
Presidents of KSAALT TESOL
Year Name of President
2006-2007* Philline Deraney
2007-2008 Doug Evans
2008-2009 Jamila Jones
2009-2010 Ahmad Nurredin
2010-2011 Hamdallah Alhousban
2011-2012 Amani Hamdan
2012-2013 Renata Ruff
2013-2014 Thomas Wood
2014-2016 Malikah Sisay
2017-2018 Jad Michaelson
*As KSAALT formed this year, all E Council members were appointed positions in Spring 2007.
KSAALT Chapters (in alphabetical order)
Chapter Location Founded
Honorary Members for Life for their contribution to the establishment of and sustained support for KSAALT:
- Issa H. Al Ansari—Rector, Prince Mohammad University (PMU)
- Yousif Suleiman-Advisor, Vice Rector Office, Prince Mohammad University (PMU)
- Desmond Rice— Former Director of the Learning Resource Center, PMU
- Hanadi AbdelSalam—Former Director of the Female Campus, PMU
- Abdulrahman Mohammed . A . Al Khalufi, Supervisor General of Public Relations & Media Information