Claire Kramsch, University of California at Berkeley
Claire Kramsch’s area of research is applied linguistics and second language acquisition, as well as language pedagogy. She is the director of the Berkeley Language Center. In 2000 she received both UCBerkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the Modern Language Association. In 1998 the Federal Republic of Germany bestowed on her the Goethe Medal in recognition of her work in fostering intercultural dialogue. Her writings deal with various aspects of the acquisition of language in discourse, language and culture, pragmatics, aesthetics, and hermeneutic approaches to language learning. Her 1994 book, Context and Culture in Language Teaching (1993), won the MLA’s Kenneth Mildenberger Prize for Outstanding Research Publication in the Field of Foreign Languages and Literatures. The book is a pioneering attempt to reconceptualize the teaching of foreign languages as the crossing of cultural boundaries. She edited Language Acquisition and Language Socialization: Ecological Perspectives (2002) and Redefining the Boundaries of Language Study (1996), and co-edited Text and Context: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Language Study (1992), a first exploration into the various disciplinary strands that make up the study of a foreign language. Her other books include Language and Culture (1998); Foreign Language Research in Cross-Cultural Perspective (co-editor, 1991); Reden, Mitreden, Dazwischenreden: Managing Conversations in German (1990); Interaction et discours dans la classe de langue (1984); and Discourse Analysis and Second Language Teaching (1981).
The politics of culture in foreign language education.
Today, the local vs. global aspects of culture prompt applied linguists to take a more political view of culture in foreign language education and to build considerations of symbolic action and symbolic power into their theories of communicative competence. After reviewing the ethical and political aspects of Dell Hymes’ concept of communicative competence (Hymes 1987) and how foreign language educators have understood and operationalized the concept since then, this paper draws on poststructuralist ecological theories of communication (Blommaert, 2005, 2010) and electronic mediation (Poster 1990) as well as on the theory of symbolic competence (Kramsch, 2011) to redefine and reconceptualize the role of culture in a politically aware applied linguistics.
Ghanim Alnajjar, Kuwait University
Ghanim Alnajjar is a Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University, and Chair of the Board of Arab Human Rights Fund based in Beirut, Lebanon. He served for 8 years as the UN Independent Expert for Human Rights in Somalia, representing The former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan from 2001 until 2008. He was also elected as member of the Coordination Committee of the UN Human Rights Mandate Holders 2005 and 2006. He serves as an advisor to ALECSO (Arab Unesco) based in Tunis. Former International Jurist with International Commission of Jurists based in Genève. Member of the Board of the Council on Arab and International Affairs. Member of the Advisory Board, MENA of Human Rights Watch. Member of Amnesty International Advisory Committee for MENA Region. He took part in several international investigations, fact finding, and trial observation and human rights issues missions to several countries such as Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, Somalia, Yemen, and other countries, with Amnesty International, the UN and other international organizations. He conducted several training workshops on human rights and conflict resolution, in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, USA, Peru and others.
Dudley Reynolds, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
Dudley Reynolds is the author of a forthcoming WISE Research Report (wise-qatar.org) on Language Policy in Globalized Contexts. He is a Co-Area Head of Arts and Sciences and Teaching Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar as well as a Past President of TESOL International Association. His research focuses on issues of policy and practice related to language learning and teaching. In addition to undergraduates in Qatar, over his career he has taught elementary school learners in Egypt, Intensive English students at Indiana University, and MA TESOL candidates at the University of Houston.
The Politics of Language Learning in Qatar:
From a History of Competition to a Future of Collaboration?
Historically, language education has focused on promoting proficiency in individual languages. What languages to teach, what languages to use when teaching content areas such as math and science, and how to maximize proficiency in the target language therefore present as the main questions for educational policy. In Qatar, calls to promote Arabic as a language of heritage and religion are frequent along with public discussions of why students are not learning “proper” Arabic. At the same time, the Second National Development Strategy 2018-2022 recognizes “poor performance, particularly in math, science and English language” as a continuing challenge facing the national education and training system. Conspicuous in their absence from this public discussion is mention of promoting other languages spoken by Qatar’s diverse population. Because Arabic and English are frequently viewed as competing, multiple policy reversals regarding their use as languages of instruction for content areas at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels are not surprising.
The sense that languages compete in society, and the brain, is an artefact of ideology more than reality, however. Multilingualism is so common across the world today that Aronin and Singleton (2008) refer to it as “the new linguistic dispensation”. In a wide variety of contexts, children grow up “normally” while being immersed in multiple languages (Grosjean, Grosjean, & Grosjean, 2010; Grosjean, Li, & Li, 2012). Classrooms engineered to promote both social integration and global citizenship are developing approaches to dual language instruction that encourage students to access all their linguistic resources.
What if language education in Qatar focused on developing students as competent multilinguals, rather than proficient speakers of individual languages? How would the questions for educational policy change? What would the impact be on achieving the strategic goals for human development of the Qatar National Vision 2030? What challenges exist for implementing a collaborative model of language education?
Abdelwahab El-Affendi, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and University of Westminster
Professor of Politics, Dean, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Previously, Head of the Politics and IR Program at DI (2015-2017), and coordinator of the Democracy and Islam Program at the University of Westminster (since 1998). Also worked as diplomat in the Sudanese Foreign Ministry (1990-1997), a London-based journalist, including editor or managing editor of several publications (1982-1990).
Also worked as a visiting fellow/professor at the Christian Michelsen Institute (Bergen, Norway), and the Universities of Northwestern (Chicago), Oxford, Cambridge, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (Malaysia). Delivered keynote speeches and lectures at most major universities in the US, UK and a number of universities in Asia, Africa and South America.
Author of: Genocidal Nightmares: Narratives of Insecurity and the Logic of Mass Atrocities (New York: Bloomsbury, 2015).
Talking Oneself to Death: Violent Stories and Stories of Violence
The recent upsurge in populism in the United States and Europe has stunned observers, surprised to see mainstream Western politics take a ‘Third World’ flavor. Howe can we explain this extraordinary state of affairs?
One first step is to observe the language these politicians use. Invariably, it consists of scare stories. Immigrants are ‘invading’ our country; politicians and the elite are party to a conspiracy to deceive and defraud; Europe is being ‘Islamized’; Muslim terrorists are everywhere; foreign countries are stealing our jobs; etc. Often these stories are offered audio-visual enhancement: witness Donald Trump’s visits to the Mexican border to illustrate American vulnerability, or the story during the mid-term elections campaign regarding a moving horde of immigrants, who included ‘unknown Middle Easterners’. (There is a composite narrative here: they are ‘unknown’, but their identity is known; being from the Middle East= being terrorist).
The phenomenon is not restricted to one region. In our own ‘Middle East’, there are those who promote the idea that most ‘Middle Eastern’ are ‘Islamists’, and Islamists are by definition terrorists. Proponents of democracy and human rights activists are colluding with terrorists, because they defend them and question the necessary precautionary action taken against them. Therefore, democracy is a threat, because it will bring terrorists to power, or at least hamper action against them.
This raises a series of complex questions. Why do such narratives have this sort of impact? Why do some people tend to believe them, while others do not? It is clear that the media and intellectuals in the West are not buying these stories, which makes them purveyors of ‘fake news’, or witting or unwittingly, in collusion with the enemy.
In this paper, we examine how the stories we believe makes us who we are, how such stories are constructed and marketed, and how they achieve their impact. Also the context in which scare stories become prevalent and more believable, often irrationally. No less important: What can we do about them.
Fauzia Shamim, Ziauddin University, Pakistan
Dr Fauzia Shamim is Professor and Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Ziauddin University, Karachi, Pakistan. Earlier, she has worked in leadership positions in several universities including Taibah University, Saudi Arabia, and the University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan. She has developed and taught Applied Linguistics and EFL/ESL programs, and trained English language teachers in a variety of settings in Pakistan and internationally. Dr Shamim is a founder member of the Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT), Pakistan Association of Research in Education (PARE), and Chair of the TESOL International’s Research Professional Council (USA ). Her current research interests include teacher development of non-native English speaker teachers, large class teaching, and English as medium of instruction.
Maximising learning in large classes: Together we can make a difference!
What is a large class? How large is large? How do teachers and learners experience teaching-learning in large classes? This interactive presentation will begin by addressing these initial questions about large classes. Next, specific classroom strategies used successfully by teachers to enhance learner engagement and achievement in large classes will be shared. Finally, the participants will be invited to join an international network on large classes for ongoing sharing and discussion on teaching and research ideas in large class contexts.
Waleed Madibo, Ministry of Development, Planning, and Statistics in Qatar
Senior Governance and International Development Expert with over two decades of experience encompassing a scientific background in civil and structural engineering combined with 7 years’ executive leadership of a highly successful non-government organization and more recent achievements in consultative support to the Qatari Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS). Offers nuanced comprehension of governance issues from both conceptual and operational perspectives, earned through academic teaching and professional teaching, extensive consultations as well as full-scale project management. Brings significantly advanced expertise in strengthening strategic planning capabilities, driving enhanced policy responses, supporting ongoing institutional development and ensuring some level of reciprocity between top-down and bottom-up approaches. Possesses a vast wealth of experience in conflict resolution, reconciliatory efforts and sustainable peace, and community mobilization working with displaced and disenfranchised communities.