BTC Faculty and Students Strongly Represented at the Bahrain English Language Teaching Professionals Network 7th Annual Conference
October 21, 2018
The conference, supported by the British Council of Bahrain, took place on Saturday, October 20th, 2018, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Manama. Attended by English language teaching (ELT) professionals from across institutions in Bahrain and the region, the conference was opened with a welcome from Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain Mr. Simon Martin, as well as from Dr. Husain Dhaif, Chairperson, Bahrain ELT Professionals Network; Dr. Samah Ajjawi, Acting Director of the Bahrain Training Institute; and Mr. Richard Rooze, Director of the British Council Bahrain. Keynote speeches were given by three ELT experts from the UK. The theme of the conference was 21st Century Teaching Practices: Challenges and Solutions.
Three BTC faculty members presented papers at the conference. Dr. Parween Ebrahim, Head of the Department of English Language Education, presented a session titled “Using multi-literacies to develop 21st century thinking skills in the ELT classroom.” Dr. Neesha Malik, lecturer in the Department of English Language Education, presented a paper titled, “Reflective practice: From practicing reflection to reflective practice.” Finally, Dr. Ismail Elmahdi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Studies, delivered a paper titled, “Using Google Earth in classrooms to create virtual lessons.” In addition to these faculty presentations, two BTC graduates, Ms. Eman Al Balooshi and Ms. Fatima Fakhroo presented separate papers on a phonetic intervention program and a quality assurance experimental study, respectively. Also of importance was the role of Dr. Hasan Alwadi, Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language Education, who serves as a member of the Steering Committee of the ELT Professionals Network.
Asked about Google Earth for language learning, Dr. Elmahdi shared with attendees that the key to the tool is the emphasis on exploration and discovery, elements that are necessary for language learning, as such learning should focus on “students’ natural curiosity, play, and adventurous traits.” It was innovative ideas such as this that made BTC faculty members and graduates stand out in the conference line-up.
What also made the Bahrain Teachers College stand out was its 16 students who served as volunteers at the conference, as well as the many other faculty members who came to support the work of the network.