Ms Al-Alami is currently reading for a PhD in the field of Applied Linguistics at Aston University. Her dissertation deals with utilising fictional texts to promote English language proficiency and enhance critical thinking on the part of EFL university students. Ms. Al-Alami worked as a Senior Supervisor of Teaching and Training at the Ministry of Education in Jordan. At present, she works as a Lecturer at Al Ghurair University in Dubai, UAE. Ms. Al-Alami is recognised for her achievements in the field of TEFL. Whilst working in Jordan, she was twice nominated to represent the country. Besides conducting workshops and initiating training programmes, she has published several articles and directed some projects in Jordan and the UAE. In addition, Ms. Al-Alami has presented papers at thirty-four conferences, the most prominent of which are the ALTE Third International Conference which was held at the University of Cambridge/England in the year 2008, and the PALA International Conferences which were held at: Roosevelty Academy/Holland in the year 2009 and the University of Genoa/Italy in the year 2010. Last but not least, Ms. Al-Alami is a member of TESOL Arabia/UAE, MENAWACA/UAE, PALA/UK, and BAAL/UK. Amongst Ms. Al-Alami’s research interests are literature in EFL/ESL contexts, discourse analysis, language assessment, and stylistics.
Joshua holds a BSC in Biology with a focus on Genetics from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. He went on to complete his MSC in Education from Temple University at the Tokyo campus in Japan. He has taught L2 English in China, Canada and Japan to a variety of different learners at a variety of levels. He is currently a full time lecturer at Toyo University in Gunma, Japan. He began working on his PhD, titled ‘Collocations: Productive and receptive tasks to improve productive abilities’, at Aston University in April 2010. Designed as a mixed methods research project, the project aims to improve the way ESL teachers approach vocabulary instruction. Specifically, improve our understanding of receptive and productive tasks with the goal of improving our students’ productive abilities. Among his other research interests are extensive listening and incidental learning. He has made several presentations in Japan and is a member of JALT and ETJ.
Suzanne Bonn holds a BA in French and German Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MATESOL from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, CA. Suzanne is currently teaching at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan where she has been for almost 10 years. She is an active member of JALT (regular presenter and JALT 2010 Program Chair) and has presented at TESOL as well. She began her studies in the PhD in Applied Linguistics program in April 2010 and her PhD research is entitled “Teacher Personal Narrative Use in the EFL Classroom”. Suzanne is investigating the characteristics of teacher personal narratives (i.e., personal stories or anecdotes) as well as the when, how, and why they are used by teachers. Furthermore, she will examine students’ reactions to such narratives as well as discover what learning opportunities there are for the classroom. Other research interests are teacher and student portfolios, content-based teaching, and curriculum design.
Andrew Boon is an associate professor in the faculty of humanities at Toyo Gakuen University. He has been teaching in Japan for over 14 years and completed an MSc in TESOL from Aston University in 2003. He is currently an Aston University PhD student. His research focuses on learner support and discovery in non-judgmental environments. His PhD explores the ways that teacher-researchers make use of Instant Messenger Cooperative Development (IMCD), an online tool which utilizes the Skype text chat function and CD framework for professional development (Edge, 2002) to make discoveries about their individual research projects.He has been an active member of JALT since 2004, has presented at numerous conferences, and has published articles on teacher development, motivation, and methodology. He is also a materials writer and is currently working on a new coursebook,Discover the News with David Harrington (Language Solutions, 2011).
Cynthia’s interest in linguistics, languages and language teaching was stimulated through travel, language learning and work experience in Europe during the early to mid-1980s. Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics with distinction (1990) and a minor in German language from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her Masters level education includes coursework in linguistics and adult education; she obtained a M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education (1999) from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, with completion of her M.Ed. thesis entitled Relational Processing and Instructional Design: Designing Writing Resource Materials for ESL Teachers and Students. She has taught in diverse contexts which include general literacy, ESOL, and individual education programming for special needs and diversity. She has taught in adult community-based programmes, Canadian K-12 private schools and Sylvan Learning Centers. She has also been a teacher educator with the MA TESOL programme at Trinity Western University (TWU) since 2004. Her current research interests include collaborative problem-based learning for ESOL teachers, online teaching and learning for TESOL, as well design and piloting of English language diagnostic assessments for international graduate students at TWU. In 2010, Cynthia began her current Ph.D. research at Aston. The longitudinal, mixed methods case study involves an interpretation, adaptation and application of Huey Chen’s nonlinear programme theory framework and the theory-driven evaluation approach to develop a generic evaluation model for the context of second language teacher education (SLTE). Use of the model is demonstrated through its application to a specific case, the TWU MA TESOL programme. The evaluation examines the manifestation of select constructs from the SLTE knowledge-base in the TWU MA TESOL programme design and delivery, identifying professional development trajectories and outcomes for cohorts from both the online and resident tracks.
Joe Fagan is Teaching Fellow on the on-campus MA in TESOL at the University of York (UK) and is online tutor at the University of Leicester (MA in Applied Linguistics & TESOL) and at Aston University, where he is temporary module convenor of ‘Analysing Written Discourse’ on the MSc in TESOL programme. Previous to his employment in the UK, Joe spent fourteen successful years in Spain working as an EFL teacher and teacher trainer working principally with the British Council, and was also involved with a number of large multinational organisations (IBM, PWC, Telefónica, Media Planning Group) and universities (UCM, UC3M & UEM) where he contributed to teaching and ESP syllabus and materials design. He holds a first degree in Topographic Science from the University of Glasgow, a Cambridge University CELTA, Trinity College, London, Diploma in TESOL, an MSc in TESOL (Aston University, 2005) and is currently completing a PhD in Applied Linguistics at Aston University under the supervision of Carol Marley and Fiona Copland. His PhD research combines many of his interests in SLA, lexicogrammar, and writing where he is conducting a longitudinal study of the interlanguage development of the expression of ‘modality’ in assessed learner writing on Aston University’s pre-sessional programmes. The initial corpus-assisted analysis of the learner texts will be combined with an analysis of learner and teacher beliefs on the learning and teaching of modality in Academic English contexts. Joe has spoken at a number of conferences and seminars on the theme of modality and learner writing, he is a member of BAAL and BALEAP, and is working towards fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
Brian Gaynor holds a BA in Communication Studies from Dublin City University and a MA in Mass Communications with distinction from the University of Leicester. He has worked in Japan for 14 years as a teacher of L2 English and has taught at all levels of formal education from primary to university level. He is currently an associate professor at Muroran Institute of Technology in northern Japan. He began his PhD research in 2009 focusing on the policy planning and classroom implementation of the new course of study for English in Japanese elementary schools. His other research interests include bilingualism and identity, and task based language learning. He is an active member of JALT, JACET and BAAL and has presented at numerous conferences both in Japan and overseas.
Marcus holds a BSc in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and an M.A. in Humanities from California State University where he graduated as a Phi Kappa Phi. His dissertation examined the study and practice of aikido in Japan. He also holds a postgraduate certificate from the University of Michigan in Online Instruction. For the past 20 years he has been an EFL teacher at colleges and universities in Japan and continues to lecture there. In April 2010 he began reading for his PhD in Applied Linguistics at Aston University. The qualitative case study investigates the effect of video-based lessons on the oral proficiency of Japanese EFL students in university classrooms. Marcus is also an EFL materials writer. In addition, he has been recognized with grants and awards for his work in multimedia production. Other research interests include multimodality, communication strategies, and the Feldenkrais Method. He is a founding member several international societies and an active member of TESOL, JALT and CALICO.
Hsun-yu Liao holds an M.A. in Translation Studies from Birmingham University. She is currently enrolled on the Aston University PhD in Translation Studies Programme under the supervision of Dr. Severine Hubscher-Davidson and Professor Christina Schäffner. She is an interpreter for Absolute Interpreting & Translation Ltd for community interpretation, and her PhD thesis is entitled “Investigating the Influence of Translator Certification on Translation Training and Translation Industry in Taiwan from a Sociological Perspective". The aim of the study is to explore the relationship and interaction between the various stakeholders, and to gauge the impact on translator education in Taiwan. Hsun-yu wishes that her research could promote a new understanding between these parties in the translation field.
Paul graduated his BSc. in Sports and Exercise Science in 1996 from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK. He came to Japan that same year and started teaching English, firstly at junior high schools as an Assistant Language Teacher with the Japan Exchange Teacher (JET) Program, then from 2000 at the university level. An MA in TEF/SL from the University of Birmingham, UK, followed in 2002. Since then he has become increasingly interested in using the Project-Based Language Learning (PBLL) approach in EFL courses, not only to improve students’ English language knowledge and skills but also their cognitive skills (critical thinking, organisation, planning, identifying and solving problems and decision-making) and social skills (discussion, negotiation, collaboration and compromise). Over time he has refined his PhD thesis, ‘Integrating Project-Based Language Learning in Japanese university and college EFL courses’, to focus exclusively on the language learning outcomes associated with PBLL. He will be bitterly disappointed if the Mayan prediction of the end of the world on December 21st 2012 turns out to be correct because he was aiming to submit his thesis at the end of March 2013 and it would be such a shame to waste all that hard work.
Somjet received his MA in Foreign Languages (TESOL) from West Virginia University in the USA. After his return from the States to his home country, he taught English at Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya Rajabhat University in Thailand for 12 years. Because of high demand in English language development, he set up his own English language training services center in Thailand. Through the center, he has taught EFL in a variety of settings including English education camp projects to schools/universities throughout Thailand. In addition, Somjet has been a teacher trainer for primary and secondary school teachers in several areas of Thailand since 2000. In August 2010, he completed a book for EFL teachers entitled “Interactive English Camp Activities for EFL Learners”. He joined the Ph.D. program at Aston University in October 2010. His interests are EFL teaching methodology, teacher development, and culture in ELT. His Ph.D. research is entitled “Development of an English Teacher Training Course Using Local Cultural Cooperative Task-Based Instruction (LCCTBI) and Effects of the Course Application with Thai EFL Learners”
Urania Sarri holds a BA in English Language and Literature from the Kapodistrian University of Athens and an Msc in TEYL from Aston University , where her dissertation focused on the integration of culturally diverse students in the Greek school. She has taught English in Greece and Cyprus for twenty years at a variety of levels. She currently works in Cyprus as a teacher of English. She began working on her PhD titled “The impact of L1 in bilingual immigrant Albanian students in the Greek Primary School system” at Aston University in 2010. Her research aimsto investigate the linguistic repertoire of young Albanian immigrant learners in Greece and to detect signs of language shift as well as its implications for the students’ academic, personal and social development. Among her research interests are theories on Bilingualism and Intercultural education.
Kristjan is a DELTA-qualified teacher who holds a MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (University of Leicester). As an ESL Instructor, he has had the opportunity to instruct a wide variety of EFL students of different ages, levels and cultural backgrounds in East Europe, West Europe and North America. He is a supporter of post-method pedagogy and he continuously tries to assist EFL/ESL students by reflecting upon his own learning/teaching practice and integrating his experience with theory to ensure that they comprehend and retain concepts and language. As a PhD student, Kristjan began his academic studies at Aston University in 2010. His research interests lie in ELF Methodology, Language Attrition, Teacher Training, and Systemic Functional Genre Studies. One of his studies was published in The Asian EFL journal (link: www.asian-efl-journal.com/Thesis/Thesis-Seferaj.pdf) and he continues to work on the area of LI attrition as well as his PhD project that aims to investigate how and why six East-European EFL teachers use Western teaching resources in their classes.
Joseph holds a BA in English with a focus on Education from Lawrence University (US) and an MA in TESL/TEFL with distinction from the University of Birmingham, where his dissertation focused on the teaching of second language (L2) listening. He has taught L2 English in Japan for several years at a variety of levels, and is currently Assistant Professor at J.F. Oberlin University, Tokyo, Japan. He began working on his PhD, titled ‘Problematising L2 listening pedagogy: The potential of process-based listening strategy instruction in the L2 classroom', at Aston University in 2010. Designed as Action Research, the project aims to implement new standards for the teaching of L2 listening by incorporating a process-based approach and listening strategy training. Among his other research interests are theories of listening and language learner psychology. He has made several international presentations and is involved with the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) at a variety of levels, receiving a ‘Best of JALT’ award for excellence in research and development in 2010.
Richard Silver holds a BA and an MA in English Literature, both from the University of Sheffield. He is currently enrolled on the Aston University PhD in Applied Linguistics Programme, where he is researching teacher cognition connected to autonomy under the supervision of Sue Garton. He has been teaching English in various contexts in Japan since 2003 and is a full-time foreign language lecturer at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. His research interests include student autonomy and learner independence, teacher cognition and technology in the classroom. In the past 18 months he has presented in Dubai, Seoul and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He is a member of Arabia TESOL and the Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics (PAAL), as well as the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT). Within JALT he is involved with the Teachers Helping Teachers SIG as Co-editor of the Proceedings, and is the Programme Chair of the Learner Development SIG.
Klaus Thiele holds an M.A. (German magister, equivalent to MA) and the first part of a teaching degree (German 1. Staatsexamen) in German and English Studies from the University of Mannheim in Germany. He has been teaching German and English at a grammar school in Germany. From October 2009 till June 2010, he has been teaching UWLP Intermediate German I/II at Aston University. Since January 2010, he is working on a PhD project on “Metaphors in spoken academic discourse”. Since having started his research, he works part-time as Project Coordinator for a Volkswagen-funded research project, which is called “GeWiss”, (Gesprochene Wissenschaftssprache). The purpose of the project is to compile and analyse a corpus of spoken academic discourse for contrastive analysis across English, German, and Polish. Other research interests are listed on his staff page and include corpora in learning and teaching, as well as the potential of positive transfer for speakers of different L1s, e.g. German, Chinese etc.
Elisabeth Wielander holds the degree of Magistra philosophiae in Translation Studies (English/Russian) from Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria, and worked as a free-lance translator (mainly German into English) for a number of years. After holding the position of Instructor of German at the University of Oklahoma, US (Fulbright German Language Teaching Assistant Program) for one year, she acquired a post-graduate certification in “Teaching German as a Foreign Language” from the University of Graz. Since 2007, Elisabeth has been the resident Austrian Lektorin for German at Aston University. Recently, she began working on her PhD, entitled “CLIL in UK Higher Education – Content and Language Integrated Learning in Modern Language Teaching, based on a case study in German at Aston University”. Her research interests include Content and Language Integrated Learning, the role of L1 in modern language teaching, and new media in language teaching and learning.
Simon has a BA and PGCE in English from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He also has a Master of Arts in English Language Teaching with distinction from the University of Technology, Sydney. He taught English Language and English Literature at a high school in North Wales for 4 years before moving to Japan where he taught L2 English at primary, secondary and tertiary level for 8 years. He is currently a lecturer at Kyushu University of Technology. He began a PhD at Aston University in April of 2010 focussing on a text-based approach to the teaching of speaking in the L2 classroom, incorporating Rasch analysis as a diagnostic tool. His other research interests include vocabulary acquisition, peer-assessment and programme design by Action Research. He is co-editor of the journal for the Kyushu Sangyo University Language Education and Research Centre and also a member of the working committee for the centre's e-learning programme. He has presented at a number of international conferences and is an active member of the Japan Association of Language Teaching (JALT) and the Japan Association of College English Teachers (JACET).
Goa Yan holds a MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Liverpool (UK). Her MA dissertation mainly explored the textual patterns in medical research articles making use of the relevant theories of Professor Michael Hoey. She has been teaching English as a second language in China for 20 years. In April 2010, she enrolled at Aston University for PhD research, focusing on ‘register and modality in different genres of medical texts’ following Halliday’s Systemic Functional Lingusitics theories. Her other academic interests are chiefly concerned with second language acquisition and teaching.
Qiaochao Zhang obtained in 2001 a BSc in International Business and English from Shenyang Agriculture University, China, and an MSc in Business Management from Salford University in 2003. Her interests turned to languages after she obtained a diploma in Public Service Interpreting. In 2006, she started a career in teaching Mandarin to students at college and university levels. Since then, she has contributed to a few language-learning projects. She has worked as a Mandarin lector in Aston University since 2008, and obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education the same year. Along her teaching, she is doing research on teaching and learning Mandarin as a foreign language, which is a relatively new research area. Her research focuses on developing a pedagogical framework for teaching the Chinese aspect marking system. Her research interests include Chinese grammars, L2 Chinese teaching and learning, and language and marketing.