Plenary and Featured Speakers

Professor Laurence Anthony
Waseda University, Japan
Associate Professor Averil Coxhead
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Professor Low Ee Ling
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Professor Muhamad Kamarul Kabilan
Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Associate Professor Viphavee Vongpumivitch
National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Speaker:

Laurence ANTHONY

Affiliation:

Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Japan

Biography:

Laurence Anthony is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Japan. He has a BSc degree (Mathematical Physics) from the University of Manchester, UK, and MA (TESL/TEFL) and PhD (Applied Linguistics) degrees from the University of Birmingham, UK. He is a former Director and the current coordinator of graduate school English in the Center for English Language Education in Science and Engineering (CELESE). His main research interests are in corpus linguistics, educational technology, and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) program design and teaching methodologies. He serves on the editorial boards of various international journals and is a frequent member of the scientific committees of international conferences. He received the National Prize of the Japan Association for English Corpus Studies (JAECS) in 2012 for his work in corpus software tools design.

Speaker:

Averil Coxhead

Affiliation:

Associate Professor, School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand

Email address:

Averil.coxhead@vuw.ac.nz

Biography:

Associate Professor Averil Coxhead teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in vocabulary, EAP, TESOL and Applied Linguistics in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand. Averil developed the Academic Word List (2000) and is a co-author for the new Academic Spoken Word List (Dang, Coxhead, & Webb, 2017). Recent books include Vocabulary and English for Specific Purposes research: Quantitative and qualitative perspectives (2018; Routledge) and a series of textbooks called Reading for the academic world with Professor Paul Nation (2018, Seed Learning). She is currently researching specialised vocabulary in spoken and written English in the trades and higher education.

Title:

Research and practice in vocabulary for academic and specific purposes

Abstract

It is well known that vocabulary knowledge is essential for English language learners, yet it presents challenges for these learners and their teachers. There are many words to learn in English, and it is important to consider the nature of vocabulary in English for Academic and Specific Purposes (EAP/ESP). This talk focuses on vocabulary for academic and specific purposes, drawing on three research studies and their implications for practice and future research. The first study concentrates on vocabulary in secondary school contexts, looking specifically at learners’ lexical knowledge as well as vocabulary in teacher talk. The second study investigates lexis in spoken English at university level education. The final study looks into technical vocabulary in trades education. Some key implications for teaching, learning, course development and materials design will be outlined and discussed. The talk concludes with some suggestions for directions for future research in the interesting and fast moving fields of vocabulary for EAP and ESP.

Speaker:

Ee-Ling Low

Affiliation:

Professor of Applied Linguistics and Teacher Learning at the English Language & Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

Biography:

Professor Ee-Ling Low is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Teacher Learning at the English Language & Literature Academic Group at the National Institute of Education (NIE), Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Professor Low is Chief Planning Officer, a member of the institute’s senior management team and an elected member of the NTU Senate.

She obtained her PhD in Linguistics (Acoustic Phonetics) from Cambridge University, UK under the NIE/NTU Overseas Graduate Scholarship award. She is also a Fulbright Advanced Research Scholar. Professor Low is an internationally renowned expert in Pronunciation Research in relation to world Englishes and Applied Linguistics. The pronunciation metric system (known as the Pairwise Variability Index or PVI) was a breakthrough as it was able to robustly capture rhythmic patterning empirically. She is currently the President of the Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics and is also the Series Editor for the Routledge-SAAL Series for World Englishes since 2015.

Speaker:

Dr. Muhammad Kamarul Kabilan

Affiliation:

Associate Professor,School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Biography:

Dr. Muhammad Kamarul Kabilan is an Associate Professor at the School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang. His research interests include ICT and Social Networking Sites (SNS) English Language Education and, professional development and critical practices of teachers. He has published widely in his area of research in reputable journals such as TESOL Quarterly, British Journal of Educational Technology, Computer and Education, The Internet and Higher Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology and Professional Development in Education. He can be contacted via email: kabilan@usm.my

Title:

Integrating Social Networking Sites for ELT: A Research Framework

Abstract

Social Networking Sites (SNS) are being widely used and integrated for the teaching and learning of English. The outcomes of such initiatives seem to indicate diverse benefits for both teachers and learners. In order to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of integrating SNS for teaching and learning of English, this presentation suggests a research framework that would allow teachers to plan and conduct meaningful and rigourous research. This framework is based on the concept of maximizing the features of the SNS, expanding social capital, engaging in a community of practice and experiential learning. The presentation will examine and present these four elements as the main pillars of the research framework, which will then contribute to a much more significant and meaningful teaching and learning of English with the use of SNS.

Speaker:

Dr. Viphavee Vongpumivitch

Affiliation:

Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan.

Biography:

Viphavee Vongpumivitch is a Thai who has worked as an EFL teacher and a teacher trainer at a Taiwanese university for the past 13 years. She received her BA in English from Thammasat University and received the late King Rama IX’s Anandamahidol Fellowship to pursue her graduate studies in TEFL and Applied Linguistics in the US. Her interests in the CEFR started back in 1999 when she was a PhD student at UCLA but were intensified when she came as a visiting scholar to NIDA in 2015 and realized the important roles that the CEFR has played, and will play, in Thailand. She would like to have conversations with Thai EFL teachers and learners about the CEFR, communicative-language/task-based language teaching, performance assessment, learner autonomy, and self-assessment. These are the key concepts that she views as essential in Thailand’s mission to improve its EFL education. She can be reached on Facebook at วิภาวี วงศ์ภูมิวิชชุ์.

Title:

CEFR and Learner Autonomy

Abstract

In 2014 the Thai Ministry of Education has declared to adopt the Common European Framework of References for Languages: Learning, Teaching, and Assessment (CEFR) (Council of Europe, 2001) as a guideline for English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) education in Thailand. The declaration published by the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC, 2014) went ahead to set English proficiency standards for Thai learners – A1 for elementary school, A2 for junior high school, and B1 for senior high school. The Office of the Higher Education Commission followed suit by setting level B2 for university students.

But while the concept of the CEFR as a six-level proficiency scale, from A1 to C2, is becoming more familiar to Thai teachers, not much attention has been paid to the European Language Portfolio (ELP) which was launched by Council of Europe, also in 2001, as an “application” of the CEFR (Kühn and Cavana, 2012, p. 1). It may not be clear to Thai TEFL professionals that both the CEFR and the ELP share a similar key idea – learner autonomy. Often defined as “the capacity to take control over one’s own learning” (Benson, 2001, p.2), learner autonomy is a frequently-misunderstood concept and may even be viewed by some as unrealistic. The goal of this speech is to reintroduce the CEFR and the ELP to the Thai TEFL community and to argue that the success of the CEFR policy in Thailand depends on an accurate understanding of learner autonomy and self-assessment as well as sincere implementation of these concepts in real-life teaching-learning practices by both teachers and learners.