The English Department of ALHOSN University, a leading Abu Dhabi-based university dedicated to high-quality, value-based education, recently fielded nine delegates to TESOL Arabia's 18th International Conference and Exhibition 2012 held at Dubai Women’s College. The group included faculty members Hassan Mustapha, Hassan Belhiah, Mark Neville, Richard Baltus, Amanda Tinnin, Mongi Baratli, Chantal Mercier, Maha Elhami, and May Elhami.
Held under the theme ‘Achieving Excellence Through Life Skills Education,’ this year’s conference gathered over 1,000 delegates and offered participants a wide range of professional development opportunities including presentations by plenary and featured speakers, concurrent sessions, and specialized professional development courses. Delegates also availed of the opportunity to see the latest teaching aids and tools up close during the Innovative Materials Showcase as well as new books and other literary materials from international publishers and distributors displayed during the TESOL Arabia Exhibition.
Dr. Hassan Belhiah, Associate Professor at ALHOSN’s English Department, delivered a presentation titled ‘Thinking Critically in English: Challenges and Opportunities.’ In his presentation, Dr. Belhiah explained the process of launching new curricula that focus on problem-solving and critical thinking. The presentation walked the audience through the decision-making process involved in the development of the critical thinking component with a view to enabling participants to design effective critical thinking tasks taking into account their students’ proficiency level in English. The audience had the opportunity to see the materials and resources used during the process, including exams, tasks, materials, and online references.
The presentation concluded with a set of recommendations on the effective integration of critical thinking into curricula that foster students’ expert thinking and promote the level of cognition needed in a globalizing economy and culture.
“The International TESOL Arabia Conference is an inspirational annual event representing a must-attend forum for English Language Training professionals. We thank ALHOSN University for supporting the members of its English Department and encouraging them to attend this landmark conference,” said Prof. Hassan Mustapha, Chair of the Department of English, ALHOSN University.
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 Arabia aims to provide a network of communication among professionals – mostly based in the UAE and Gulf region – who use English as a medium of instruction. It promotes and maintains excellence in teaching and administration.
Named after Abu Dhabi’s historic ALHOSN Palace, 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.