Middle East College (MEC) organized its 2nd Teaching English to Speakers Other Languages (TESOL) conference, which focused on “Emerging Trends and Contemporary Issues in Language Learning: the EFL Context”. The conference was held online on 28th October 2020. The conference saw attendance of over 10 countries around the world including experts, academics, researchers, and students, and received 50 research papers’ participations. Prof. Thomas Robb, Professor Emeritus, Kyoto Sangyo University, and Dr. Ali Al-Issa, Associate Professor of English Language Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Sultanate of Oman, delivered their keynote speeches on topics of great interest.
The conference was successful in unearthing some of the best practices in TESOL, the methods followed in English language teaching and learning. It provided a platform for academics and researchers to present their innovative ideas and techniques. It discussed various English language teaching-related themes like Blended learning during COVID-19, English for Academic Purposes, Writing across the Curriculum, Writing in the Disciplines, the 21st Century Language Classroom, Flipped Learning in ELT, and Innovative Pedagogies for Arab Learners, to name a few.
Dr. Samia Naqvi, Head of Centre for Foundation Studies at MEC, said: “The aim of the conference was to share best practices concerning English Language teaching and learning and reflect on how our students can be initiated into their disciplinary and workplace requirements. This is aligned with Oman's educational priorities, which envisions a community of learners equipped with the English language skills to compete at the international level and contribute to the development of the nation. The conference intended to provide an opportunity for the English language teachers, curriculum designers, and researchers who share this common vision”.
“The college is at the forefront of sharing the most innovative practices as well as strategies in all the areas that we are specialized in. This conference, on TESOL, commenced in 2016 as an educational gathering, as a symposium in 2017 and finally as a local conference in 2018 when it was successfully conducted on campus. Despite the pandemic situation, MEC has dedicated to conducting the conference virtually to keep TESOL expertise updated with the most current practices concerning blended learning, which is the theme in focus during this period. Moreover, it introduced the participants to high-quality teaching/learning approaches that will surely enhance students' experience locally and internationally.” Dr. Amjed Ayyat, Conference Coordinator and Faculty at the Centre for Foundation Studies at MEC, said.
It is worth mentioning that MEC is institutionally accredited with top-ratings in Oman for Teaching Quality and Research Performance. The college always work towards enhancing the experience of students and faculty members by providing them with the necessary support in teaching and learning, and research areas with an aim to contribute to enhancing the Sultanate's higher education sector.