A representative of ALHOSN University’s English Department extensively discussed the use of inquiry-based learning as a sound alternative approach to teaching English to the UAE’s Arab students during the 19th
TESOL Arabia International Conference and Exhibition held recently in Dubai.
TESOL Arabia is the regional arm of TESOL Inc., a US-based global professional organization for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Its annual event features various professional development and networking opportunities and displays of the latest teaching aids and tools. This year’s edition was held under the theme ‘From KG to College to Career’ and welcomed more than 1,000 participants.
The ALHOSN delegation included eight faculty members of the English Department, namely, Hassan Mustapha, Mongi Baratli, Mark Neville, Chantal Mercier, Maha Elhami, May Elhami, Richard Baltus and Amanda Tinnin.
Maha Elhami, English Instructor at ALHOSN’s English Department, delivered a presentation titled ‘Teaching English as Inquiry: Challenges and Applications.’ She offered the inquiry-based learning approach as an alternate view of teaching English with more focus on questioning and research skills. The audience discovered new ways of designing inquiry-based activities that motivate students to think critically, ask meaningful questions and ascertain the information they learn. They were shown materials and resources used during the inquiry process including authentic tasks and online references. The presentation concluded with useful tips and links designed exclusively for an effective integration of inquiry-based learning approach into any English curriculum, taking into account students’ proficiency levels in English.
“The International TESOL Arabia Conference was an inspirational venue for learning the best ways and tools to teach English as a second language. The ability to communicate in a second or even a third language is crucial to molding global leaders. The English speaking skill is especially vital as English is considered the preferred language of business. By exposing our English educators to platforms such as the annual TESOL Arabia conference and exhibition, we enhance their teaching ability while fulfilling our promise of global knowledge with local vision,” said Prof. Hassan Mustapha, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, ALHOSN University.
ALHOSN University was founded in 2005 by the Abu Dhabi Holding Company in response to growing local demand for high-quality, value-based educational institutions. It currently offers 12 undergraduate and 7 graduate programs under the Faculties of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Business, and Arts and Social Sciences. ALHOSN accepts students of all nationalities and also accommodates youths with special needs. All its programs are accredited by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.