September 4, 2014, by michaelgroves
The end of last week was quite empty in the CELE corridor, since over half the team had gone to the MELTA conference in Kuching. This is a large academic conference, focused on the wider world of English language teaching in Malaysia and beyond, this year featuring Asia TEFL- thus making it two conferences in one. I estimate that there were around 1,200 people in attendance. There were some big names in the field. Both Alistair Pennycooke and Andy Kirkpatirck gave excellent talks about the shifting status of English and the challenges that this will provide to the language teaching profession. Tony Bush argued for more autonomy for local schools and school teachers, while Averil Coxhead gave her highly informed views on academic vocabulary.
The CELE team also gave a number of talks. Mike Groves discussed the theoretical ideas and ideals behind the development of a new EAP module for foundation. Wong Yao Hing and Salomy Krishna delivered a workshop on using film for the teaching of Critical Thinking, and also a talk on the results of a controlled intervention of Critical Thinking with some students earlier in the year. Saleha Abdul Rahman spoke of the need to nurture students’ critical thinking dispositions as well as their skills, while Melissa Yoong identified sexist language used in the education supplements of local newspapers- and argued that students need to be aware of this if there are to interact fruitfully with the wider global academic community.
Three of the team were also on a panel discussion about the idea of critical thinking, alongside colleagues from Nottingham School of English, Swinburne and INTI.
It was an interesting few days, and as always, it was good to meet people form the community, and be reminded what a diverse community the “English Teaching” one really is. In addition, it would be remiss of me not to mention the key role that Sarawak Laksa played in making the trip to Kuching such a pleasure.
Slides of the presentations are available at here