Asia's ELT on show

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun May 6 16:30:17 UTC 2007

Asias ELT on show

Themed Empowering Asia: New Paradigms in English Language Education, the
conference will see Kuala Lumpur hosting delegates from all over the
world, not just Asia, including renowned scholars and researchers in the
field. Organised by the Malaysian English Language Teaching Association
(Melta), the conference will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre from
June 8 to 10. Among the eight plenary speakers is Malaysias Prof Datuk Dr
Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid who is, among other things, a Fellow of the Council
of Education Management in Commonwealth Countries and Distinguished Fellow
of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.

Prof Ibrahim will present a paper entitled The Paradoxes of Language
Empowerment: Lingua Franca, International Languages and Knowledge
Management and Wealth Creation. He will trace the demographic, historical,
political, cultural and linguistic backgrounds leading to the recurring
and newly emerging contents of language debates, the dominant ideas of
various language activists and language policy paradigms. In a related
plenary paper entitled Is English Special?, the University of Melbourne's
Prof Joseph Lo Bianco will address questions of language planning,
especially the invention and development of language forms aimed at making
languages neutral or easy to learn.

He will also contrast these aspirations with interactive and dialogical
understandings of languages and communication that allow more space for a
common shared English and the retention of distinctive linguistic
identities and cultures. Dr Paul Kei Matsuda, associate professor of
English and director of composition at the University of New Hampshire,
will examine the development of various approaches to second language
writing. Meanwhile, Prof Jun Liu, the first Asian president of Teachers of
English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc, will present a plenary paper
on Reconceptualising Communicative Competence in English Language

In it, he will make a call for joint efforts in providing ESL/EFL learners
with additional knowledge and skills in order for them to become more
communicatively competent in multiple socio-cultural settings. Teachers
can also look out for Jill Hadfields paper, which will focus on exploiting
learning styles to create successful lessons. Hadfield, from New Zealand's
Unitec, will introduce participants to seven different theories of
learning styles that recent research has found to have greater validity
and reliability, and will analyse and evaluate them.

Another highlight of the conference will be 10 country-featured speakers
who will look at curriculum innovations and implementation strategies.
Valuable lessons from near and far will be presented by leading ELT
experts from countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, China, Iran and
Russia. Malaysia will be represented by the Education Ministry's Schools
Division director Noor Rezan Bapoo Hashim. She will discuss the various
curriculum changes introduced and how the ministry has implemented these
innovations to meet the needs of the country and its ESL learners.

There will be five colloquia at the conference, with panellists from more
than 15 countries. Among the topics are English and the national languages
as the languages of instruction in Asia, English in the real world: ESL or
EFL for Asia and English teachers employment and qualification system in
East Asia: The current status and its implementation plan. The other
topics are A comparative study on the senior high school English language
textbooks in East Asia and Assessments used in teaching English as a
foreign language at elementary schools. Delegates will also be able to
choose from over 400 parallel presentations. For further details, visit or or call 03-8944 1027.


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