KSAALT  TESOL @  10  Anniversary Conference:

Speakers, Biographies and Abstracts

We have a fantastic series of speakers to address our themes this year. No fewer than eleven speakers will deliver talks and workshops!

Friday’s Speakers

Dr. Charles Hall

Dr. Charles Hall, dr.h.c. is Associate Professor of English at Alfaisal University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Former chair of International TESOL ESP Interest Session, he has led training workshops sponsored by various organizations, such as the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations, in over 30 countries. He is author or co-author of several texts, such as the recently published Phonetics, Phonology, and Pronunciation for the Language Classroom [Palgrave] or American Legal English [University of Michigan Press].
[su_tabs][su_tab title=”Keynote Speech”]Cheating, Choice, Culture: Presuppositions in the Globalized Classroom

Full disclosure: I have cheated on a test. Nonetheless, like many Anglo-Americans, I too can be frustrated by the level of cheating I encounter in my work around the world. To better understand the different attitudes towards  “illicit collaboration,” I interviewed students from different backgrounds (Saudi, Syrian, Bangladeshi, Egyptian) who had freely admitted that they had cheated on one of my tests and several instructors who have expressed outrage at the students’ cheating.

Using the encircled pentagram of cultural traits (high/low context, shame/guilt, and face/dignity/honor), I translate what I learned into mutually intelligible, cultural presuppositions and prototypes that instructors can use to de-escalate and defuse conflicts in the classroom. [/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 1″]

1. Case Studies in Cheating: The Encircled Pentagram of Culture

One size does not fit all. Building on the basis of my plenary on attitudes towards cheating, this workshop will involve participants in solving case studies in different types and different contexts for cheating.  Using the Encircled Pentagram of Culture as a framework for analysis, not judgement, participants will engage in discussion, role play, open pairs, closed pairs, scaling, and grading in the Middle Eastern context  (in other words, everything you make your students do) as they respond to prototypical scenarios involving “Academic Dishonesty.”[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 2″]

2. The Case of the Missing Register: Talking with Clients and Patients

Many of our students now speak excellent colloquial English that we must squash when they learn their professional language. However, future doctors, lawyers, and architects, for example, need a third register: educated, non-technical to communicate with their clients and patients. In this workshop we explore activities, projects, approaches that help you help your students learn and practice this essential missing link in the chain of communication. Whether it is a public health brochure written at the grade-8 level or helping a client draw up a contract, these tasks are vital for the demystification of our students’ future expertise as they become members of their profession.[/su_tab][/su_tabs]

Dr. Jennifer Fennema-Bloom, Ed.D.

Dr. Jennifer Fennema-Bloom has an Ed.D. from Teachers College Columbia University. Her dissertation on Pedagogic Code-Switching won first place in The National Association for Bilingual Education’s (NABE) Outstanding Dissertation Competition in 2009. She is currently the Director of Graduate TESOL and Co-director of the ELL Support Center at The University of Findlay located in Ohio, USA.  She sits on the executive board of Ohio TESOL; and is the Ohio TESOL Journal’s content editor.  She is the author of the Wego Foundation’s Step into English Program that encompasses a six-volume, English textbook series, teacher’s guides and accompanying curriculum for the Foundation’s elementary schools located in Taiwan and China. [su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””][su_tab title=”Keynote Speech”]Teacher as facilitator: Optimizing learning for students’ L2 success

Successful language teaching is not necessarily about the teacher’s linguistic knowledge, or even the teacher’s ability with the language that he or she teaches, but rather more dependent on the teacher’s ability to manipulate student learning.  This presentation will review research on memory, retention and learning illustrating how a learner’s ability to retain, recall and apply information is heavily dependent on the teacher’s role as a successful planner facilitator of learning. 

[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 1″]

Dr. Jennifer’s Breakout Sessions

(Dr. Jennifer will hold the same workshop twice during the day to allow as many people as possible to attend.)

Lesson planning for student participation in language classrooms

As an accompaniment to the talk given “Teacher as facilitator: Optimizing learning for students’ L2 success,” this workshop will go into detail on how to plan and scaffold instruction for students’ active participation in their own learning.  It will provide multiple techniques, activities and protocols that teachers can employ at any level in order to minimize teacher-talk time, enhance memory retention and increase student engagement.[/su_tab]

[su_tab title=”Plenary Presentation 1″]You are welcome to download Dr Jennifer’s presentation here, please make sure you cite your references correctly.
Dr. Jennifer Fennema-Bloom Presentation 1 [/su_tab]

[su_tab title=”Breakout Session Presentation 2″]You are welcome to download Dr Jennifer’s presentation here, please make sure you cite your references correctly.
Dr. Jennifer Fennema-Bloom Presentation 2 [/su_tab]


Dr. Anne Walker

Dr. Anne Walker is the Associate Dean of Teacher Education at the University of North Dakota in the United States where she has been a professor of TESOL and literacy education for the past 17 years. She has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s degree in TESOL from Boston University.   Her research interests are in rural education and international teacher education. She frequently travels worldwide working with schools and teachers on developing programs for English Language Learners. She also enjoys spending time at home with her three teenage children.

[su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””][su_tab title=”Keynote Talk”]

Reflecting Back and Thinking Forward 

The field of English teaching continues to evolve bringing new opportunities and challenges for English teachers. This talk will focus on what I have learned and what has changed in English teaching from both a local and global perspective since I was the guest speaker at the inaugural KSAALT conference ten years ago.  The talk will conclude with possible scenarios for the road ahead in the next decade![/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 1″]

1. Word Awareness & Brain-Based Learning: Strategies for Teaching Vocabulary

This hands-on session will focus on brain-based vocabulary teaching strategies that help students gain deeper understanding of word meanings and English morphology.[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 2″]

2:  Translanguaging and Contrastive Linguistic Analysis:  Using L1 to Leverage L2

This session will explore practical ways in which teachers can draw on students’ knowledge of their first language to help them better learn the English language, especially in writing and grammar instruction.  You do not have to speak Arabic to use these strategies in your classroom![/su_tab][/su_tabs]

Saturday Speakers

Dr. Keith Folse

Dr. Keith Folse is Professor of TESOL at the University of Central Florida where he teaches in the MA, PhD, and undergraduate certificate programs.   His teacher certification was initially in secondary language arts and French and he has taught from second grade to seventy‐year‐olds.  Dr. Folse has taught ESL/EFL for more than thirty years in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Japan, and Kuwait.  In addition, he has taught French in the US and Spanish in Japan.  At the University of Central Florida, he has won many teaching and research awards, including Graduate Professor of the Year (2005), as well as the TESOL organization’s Teacher of the Year (2009) award. Dr. Folse has always been interested in materials writing and his doctoral dissertation examined which types of vocabulary exercises might produce more vocabulary learning.  He is the author of 57 textbooks on a variety of subjects from grammar to vocabulary to composition, including five best‐ selling books in the Great Writing series by National Geographic Learning, a part of Cengage Learning.
Dr. Folse is a frequent presenter at conferences worldwide, especially on topics related to best teaching practices for vocabulary and grammar for teacher education and training.  He is particularly interested in the role of vocabulary and grammar in second language writing.[su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””][su_tab title=”Keynote Talk”]The Connection between Grammar, Vocabulary, and Good Writing

The language in academic writing is different from the language in spoken English. In this talk, we will look at some recent research involving the type of writing that college students might typically do in a first-year college setting in the U.S.  In particular, we will look at the grammar and the vocabulary used.  Our goal is to contemplate how well our grammar courses match the language in these essays.  Are we really teaching what students need?[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 1″](Dr. Keith will hold the same workshop twice during the day to allow as many people as possible to attend.)

3 Activities to Improve Students’ Writing

Writing in a second language can be very difficult. The challenge for teachers is to find specific activities that can help students improve their writing.  In this workshop, we will look at three activities from the new series Grammar for Great Writing (National Geographic).[/su_tab] [/su_tabs]

Dr. Othman Barnawi

Dr. Osman BadawiDr Othman Z. Barnawi has a PhD in Composition and TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA, and a Master of Education in TESOL from the University of Exeter, UK. He is the former Managing Director of Yanbu English Language Institute at the Royal Commission Colleges and Institutes, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. He is now the Managing Director of Yanbu Technical Institute at the Royal Commission Colleges and Institutes. He is also a regular presenter at local and international conferences. Specifically, he was an invited speaker at the TESOL 2015 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Ontario, Canada. Dr Barnawi is the author of Examining Formative Evaluation of an ESP Program,VDM Verlag Dr. Müller (2011) and the co-author of International teachers of English in the ‘New’ Middle East: Multi-layered Negotiations and Intercultural Interactions. UK, US, Canada: Multilingual Matters. (Phan, L. & Barnawi, O 2017/2018), Multilingual Matters. He is also the editor of the Writing Centers in the Higher Education Landscape of the Arabian Gulf Book (2017 in press), Palgrave Macmillan, UK, USA. His research interests include second language writing, teachers’ identities, critical pedagogy, assessment in higher education, language teacher education, TESOL and Blackness. His works appear in journals such as ‘Language and Education’, ‘Critical Studies in Education’, and ‘Language and Literacy’. Dr Barnawi can be contacted at albarnawim@hotmail.com.[su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””][su_tab title=”Keynote Talk”]The use of the CEFR in the Saudi context: Interwoven webs of power, paradoxes and contradictions

Although the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages has been widely implemented in English language institutes/centers in the GCC countries and beyond, it has rarely been questioned, particularly from a critical perspective. Grounding his explorations in epistemic disobedience, the presenter demonstrates the ways in which desires and aspirations to adopt the CEFR and its associated products, goods and services in language programs could be causing conceptual confusion, paradoxes and internal contradictions at levels as such policy, curricula, pedagogies and classroom practices across Saudi Arabia.[/su_tab][/su_tabs]

Dr. Christine Coombe

Dr Christine Coombes

Christine Coombe has a Ph.D in Foreign/Second Language Education from The Ohio State University.  She is currently on the English/General Studies faculty of Dubai Men’s College.  She has published numerous volumes on assessment, leadership, teacher effectiveness, research and task-based teaching and learning. Christine has lived and worked in the Arabian Gulf for the past 24 years.  In this capacity, she has served as the President and Conference Chair of TESOL Arabia and as the President of the TESOL International Association (2010 to 2013).  Her most recent honor was being named to TESOL’s 50@50 which “recognizes professionals who have made significant contributions to the TESOL profession within the past 50 years.”[su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””][su_tab title=”Keynote Talk”]

How the Most Productive TESOLers Fit it all in

Ever feel like you’re not getting enough done?  If so, you’re probably right.  Research shows that people are only productive 3 days a week.  In this session we share results of a research project investigating how the most productive TESOLers ‘fit it all in’ and attain the ever-elusive work-life balance. [/su_tab][su_tab title=”Breakout Session “](Dr. Christine will hold the same workshop twice during the day to allow as many people as possible to attend.)

Writing Objective Test Items

According to the testing literature, good multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and other objective test items are probably the most difficult question formats to develop.  However, they are still the most popular formats selected by teachers.  Hence, producing good MCQs is problematic given the fact that most teachers lack proper training and experience in item writing.

This workshop provides guidelines and hands-on experience in writing and critiquing objective test items.  The presenter will provide a rationale for the use of these formats and offer suggestions for constructing valid and reliable test items.  Participants will have an opportunity to immediately put these guidelines into practice by critiquing and improving a “problem test”.[/su_tab][/su_tabs]

Peter Lucantoni

Peter LucantoniPeter Lucantoni has been teaching English, training teachers and writing materials for more than 30 years.
He has an MA in TESOL from the University of Edinburgh, where his dissertation thesis focused on the professional development of teachers of English. Peter has lived and worked outside the UK since 1986, in Europe and the Middle East, and is now based in Cyprus. Peter is an Educational Consultant and Teacher Trainer for Cambridge University Press, and is the author and co-author of several popular course books for students, including IGCSE English as a Second Language, and Introduction to English as a Second Language, both published by Cambridge University Press. Peter regularly presents at conferences and trains teachers internationally, both in the public and private sectors, at secondary and tertiary levels.

[su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””][su_tab title=”Keynote Talk”]Do we need theory to teach speaking skills?

This talk looks at what some of the experts in our field say about speaking as a skill, and then attempts to answer the question of whether or not we need to teach speaking in the language classroom. In our region, where students’ oral skills are often the strongest, this question is particularly relevant. We will consider what speaking actually involves, and what teachers need to teach and what learners need to practice.  Furthermore, the on-going issue of whether or not we should allow our students to use their L1 in the English language classroom will be considered. In the follow-up workshops, there will be opportunities to try out some communicative speaking activities.[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 1″]

Peter’s Breakout Session

(Peter will hold the same workshop twice during the day to allow as many people as possible to attend.)

Do we need theory to teach speaking skills?

In this workshop we will draw on the ideas from the plenary, and look at different ways in which we can promote and develop communicative speaking skills in the classroom. Teachers will be able to participate in various speaking activities, all of which are suitable for various abilities and contexts.[/su_tab] [/su_tabs]

Invited Speakers

We are extremely fortunate to have a wonderful group of Invited Speakers at our conference this year. We welcome again, Dr Charles Hall and Donna Shaw grace our breakout workshop sessions with their presence as they did last year. This year we have the additional bonus of Dr Shaw’s colleague Tonya Mildon, Richard Harrison and Mr. William Mitchell.

Dr. Donna Shaw

Dr Donna Shaw is a senior instructor at the American English Institute, University of Oregon, USA. She has been teaching English to non-native speakers for over 20 years. Along with experience teaching a large variety of levels and skills, Dr. Shaw also specializes in materials and course development.

For the last five years, she has been focused on developing and teaching online teacher-training and professional development courses for EFL teachers world wide. These courses include integrating technology into English classrooms, practical applications of listening and speaking skills, flipped classrooms, and blended learning.  Dr. Shaw holds a PhD in teacher leadership, a master’s degree in scientific and technical communication, a master’s degree in adult education, and a bachelor’s degree in English.

[su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 1″]Rubrics: How to Make Them and How to Use Them

Rubrics are a fundamental assessment tool that every teacher should know and use regularly. This workshop introduces participants to the background theory behind the creation and use of rubrics. In addition, it takes participants through the steps of creating a practical, usable, and simple rubric that they can use for grading either a reading or a writing task. The workshop also focuses on norming and how to effectively use to a rubric for an assessment that is scored by a group of raters. Finally, participants will be introduced to Rubistar, a convenient and easy-to-use online rubric creator.

[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 2″]Multiple Choice Questions: How to Improve the Quality of Your MCQs

Most teachers rely on multiple choice questions (MCQs) as a fundamental tool in their test writing toolbox. But how effective are multiple choice questions, really? This workshop reviews the pros and cons of multiple choice questions and examines the effectiveness of MCQs in assessing higher order thinking skills. Workshop participants will explore a variety of MCQs and practice creating good quality multiple choice questions that address higher order thinking skills. [/su_tab][/su_tabs]

Tonya Mildon

Tonya Mildon has been an instructor at the University of Oregon in the American English Institute since 2011. Prior to that, she taught at Angelo State University in Texas and Zayed University in Abu Dhabi.

She has extensive experience teaching academic English and has also worked as a learning specialist and librarian for two culinary colleges.

She is currently working as part of a partner project between the University of Oregon and a private medical college in Saudi Arabia to prepare its students for health science professions and improve its teaching practices.

[su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””][su_tab title=”Breakout Session 1″]Getting students involved in research and critical thinking with I-Search

In this workshop, participants will explore a research method that motivates students to take a more active, engaged role in the research process, and to think more critically about how they move through this process. Participants should bring a laptop or iPad, if possible.[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 2″]Non-evaluative peer observation: Improving our teaching through observing and being observed by our peers

Most instructors are familiar with—and often dread—summative observations, in which a supervisor observes and evaluates their teaching. This workshop will focus on another, more positive and formative type of observation, which is grounded in the belief that we all have something to learn from our fellow instructors, and we all have something to teach our fellow instructors.[/su_tab][/su_tabs]


Richard Harrison

Richard Harrison is an author, publisher and teacher trainer based in Muscat. He has worked extensively throughout the region.  His ELT publications include Framework: Academic Writing and Critical Thinking and Keep Writing.



[su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””] [su_tab title=”Breakout Session 1″]Critical Thinking in the Language Classroom

Everything that students are engaged in at university or college involves critical thinking. In practice, however, critical thinking is rarely taught explicitly. This talk looks at activities which can be used within a language program, to teach critical thinking skills, such as building strong arguments, analyzing data and solving problems.[/su_tab] [/su_tabs]



 Mr. William Mitchell began his career began as a Peace Corps Volunteer Teacher in Senegal. He worked at a refugee camp in the Philippines, at international schools in Vietnam and Burma, and in military settings in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has taught students and trained teachers in these countries.



[su_tabs style=”default” active=”1″ vertical=”no” class=””][su_tab title=”Breakout Session”]Teacher Toolkit for Continued Learning

With regards to faculty education and professional development, teachers certainly benefit from external resources. However, they can also gain tremendously by utilizing learning resources much closer at hand. Three of these are peer observations, student feedback surveys and strategy notebooks. These afford teachers the opportunity to learn from each other and from the students they teach. Participants will engage in a hands-on activity to demonstrate each of these. Each resource will be analyzed in terms of its benefits and with attention to the advantages and disadvantages of each. Hopefully, when teachers return to the workplace, they will be able utilize each resource in light of local conditions and considerations.[/su_tab] [/su_tabs]