RDG Conference Report of Rebecca S. Gaddi

Write up about the Conference

The Pan –Asian Conference held December 5-7, 2013 was entitled Teaching and Innovation in Language Education. It featured three main speakers: Stephen Krashen, Huw Jarvis and Kevin Cleary.

Viewed in the context of globalization and the fast-paced information technology, multi-lingualism is a must – meaning in the context of literacy, one should be literate at least in three languages – one, in one’s own tribal language or mother tongue for identity; two, one’s country language for unity with one’s countrymen; and three, knowledge of English as a global language to keep up with the modern and post-modern events. Added to this is the importance of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) in language use and teaching techniques to enhance communication and facilitate learning. The Conference also emphasized the need to develop, among learners and teachers, 21st century skills like creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, decision-making and learning to develop learner autonomy; working harmoniously with others; ICT literacy; life and career; personal and social responsibility and citizenship. This is being targeted in view of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by different signatory countries, one of which is education for all. PALT had this conference with the theme Tradition and Innovation in Language Education, to push further the changes needed.


Conference Topics

  • Mother tongue-based multi-lingual education                    (MTB-MLE) in the K-12 curriculum
  • World Englishes
  • Translation
  • Use of multi-media, multi-level and multi-text types to develop functional literacy
  • Multi-tasks and strategy training for learner autonomy
  • Interactive and collaborative tasks to develop oral communication skills
  • Face-to-face and online computer-assisted language learning
  • Extrospective and introspective measures to evaluate language proficiency
  • Top-down discourse approach to develop reading and writing skills
  • Shifting from the traditional goal-centered  input-based education (IBE) approach to  the learner-centered outcome-based education (OBE) in designing language plans and programs’
  • Language education policies in multi-lingual societies
  • Classroom and action research
  • Innovative language teacher education programs

Featured Speakers

Stephen Krashen (University of Southern California, USA)
Language acquisition scholar

Huw Jarvis (University of Salford, UK)
Language teaching and learning expert

Kevin Cleary (Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan)
Language teacher development leader

and other scholars from Africa, Asia, and North America

Feedback on paper presented

Participants were very much attentive to the use of qualitative research in the study, particularly the use of ‘narratives’ which presented the actual phenomenon and experiences of respondents who are all survivors of domestic violence. They inquired on the validity of the subjects’ capacity to create meanings from out of their experiences. The paper presenter told them, what could be more valid than the real and actual experiences that transpired which became part of the survivors’ process of healing from the violent experiences.

Future directions of research presented

The paper was published in the PALT journal 52nd issue December of 2012. The Philippine Journal for Language Teaching is a double-blind refereed journal of the Philippine Association for Language Teaching (PALT), Inc.

Potential foreign collaborators

Dr. Ali S. Alghonaim of Qassim University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia tried to link with some universities present to form a pool of language teachers for their school.

Other important contacts and insights

Dr. Marlyn Arbes of the Mindanao State University who presented a research on certain indigenous tribe in Mindanao, together with me realized the value of narratives as a form of research tool to capture cultural highlights and the deep-level stories of their lives and how they make meanings to their engagements with the modernizing world.

Short write-up of one’s participation (to be used to feature/publicize the grantee’s participation in the conference)

I presented a paper entitled “LENGGWAHE, PAGLALAHAD AT PAGHIHILOM” which is an extract from my dissertation in Philippine Studies in the University of the Philippines. The paper shows the importance of language as an instrument of communication, tool for narrating one’s experiences and expressing one’s thinking and feelings from these experiences. The experiences referred to are ‘healing processes’ of 12 selected women survivors of domestic violence, how they coped and how they turned around their lives in order to find justice and peace of mind. Using three theories: theory of linguistics, psychosocial theory, and pedagogy theory, the research findings showed there are different faces of healing, as a process. Healing has subjective meanings, there is no one mark when healing starts and how one becomes fully healed. The varying narratives provide the quality in the stories told, having differing contexts, which validate and strengthen their experiences.