Revolutionizing Language Learning: University of Nizwa's inaugural ELT Conference

Oman Monday 22/April/2024 12:14 PM
By: Times News Service
Revolutionizing Language Learning: University of Nizwa's inaugural ELT Conference

The University of Nizwa recently organized its 1st Annual English Language Teaching Conference. The event was inaugurated under the patronage of His Excellency Abdullah Mohammed Al Sarmi, a State Council Member. The conference was a collaboration between the University Foundation institution, Cambridge University Press and Assessment, the Department of Foreign Languages, and the Al-Khalil bin Ahmed Center for Arabic and Humanities Studies at the University of Nizwa. It was also part of this year's cultural season activities, and its main aim was to highlight the importance of promoting education and learning through innovative techniques and modern technologies.

The conference began with a speech by Dr Ahmed Al Rawahi, Director of the University Foundation Institute. He emphasized the power of e-learning as a tool in English language education that offers unprecedented opportunities to reach learners across geographical boundaries and diverse backgrounds. Throughout the conference, participants explored innovative strategies, best practices, and emerging technologies that are shaping the future of online language learning.

Mrs Karen Ryan, a learning assessment consultant at GCC, Cambridge University Press, expressed her delight in being Cambridge Press the conference's main sponsor. She highlighted Cambridge Press's commitment to society, assessment solutions, and the learning experience of students using The Unlock. Mrs. Ryan's reflections emphasized Cambridge Press's dedication to providing quality education.

Dr Serge and Dr Cécile Gabarre, who are associate professors at the University of Nizwa, delivered a plenary presentation on the topic of "A systematic literature review of mobile-assisted language learning for ELT in Oman". the conference also featured a plenary presentation by Prof. Ali Al Issa from Sultan Qaboos University. Prof. Issa shared his thoughts on teaching the English language and the challenges faced by both teachers and students. He discussed the importance of creating an engaging learning environment and the need to adapt teaching methods to cater to different learning styles.

As a part of the conference proceedings, a Postgraduate Poster Exhibition was inaugurated. The exhibition provided an opportunity for postgraduates to showcase and share their academic research. The display served as an excellent platform for the researchers to showcase their work to a wider audience, exchange ideas, and receive feedback on their research.

The first and the second days of the conference witnessed different concurrent sessions presented by a number of distinguished researchers from national and regional institutions. researchers presented their findings related to the use of digital technology in English language teaching. The sessions covered topics such as using Miro as a tool to facilitate grammar learning, the impact of online learning on EFL students, exploring the practice of peer observation among UTAS Nizwa faculty, and guiding foundation students to create meaningful college experiences through co-curricular activities, entitled "Around the world in one day".

A total of 212 participants from various academic institutions attended the conference, including Sultan Qaboos University, the German University of Technology, and A’Sharqiyah University. 80 were English Language Teachers, 72 were from other academic institutions in Oman, 30 were presenters from various academic institutions, 16 were heads of Foundation Institutions in different academic institutions, and 14 were Master's degree students.

The conference was a resounding success, attracting numerous educators, researchers, and professionals from diverse fields of study. It provided an excellent opportunity for participants to exchange knowledge and ideas on the latest developments in digitalization and education. The University of Nizwa has always been at the forefront of promoting education in Oman, and this conference is a testament to its commitment to providing quality education and training to all its students.