Teaching mixed-ability classes (powerpoint)

Contributed by Mr. Gamal Rabeea
BA English Language
ESL EFL Instructor – Prep Year
Taibah University, Yanbu Male Campus

Teaching mixed-ability classes is not only a norm, but a daily challenge for language instructors. Gamal Rabeea conducted a workshop on dealing with this challenge.

To benefit everyone, the powerpoint presentation is attached here.



Doctoral dissertation grants – TIRF

Doctoral Dissertation Grants

Background of Doctoral Dissertation Grants

Since 2002, TIRF has supported students completing their doctoral research on topics related to the foundation’s priorities. Each year, applicants who have been advanced to candidacy in legitimate PhD or EdD programs are invited to submit proposals for Doctoral Dissertation Grants (DDGs). (By “advanced to candidacy” we mean [a] having completed all required course work, if any, and [b] having had a research plan approved by the candidate’s university committee.) Proposals are reviewed by a TIRF committee of established international researchers. DDGs are provided in the amount of up to US $5,000 per awardee.

To learn more about the findings of previously funded studies, please click here.

2017 DDG Competition Now Open

The 2017 Doctoral Dissertation Grants competition is now open. The application deadline is Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 11:59pm Pacific Time (United States & Canada). Award decisions will be made in late August 2017 and announced on our website and via our newsletter.

  • Download the 2017 DDG call for proposals
  • Download the 2017 DDG application form (best viewed via Firefox)
  • View the resource videos to help complete the application form
  • Visit our DDG frequently-asked-questions page
  • Submit your proposal/letter of support via our Application Submission Area

We would like to recognize the wonderful support of Cambridge English Language Assessment and the British Council. The efforts of these two organizations help to make possible this year’s DDG competition.

CELA_BC_Logos_Together_8Feb2016Russell N. Campbell Award

Each year the highest rated Doctoral Dissertation Grant proposal is awarded in the name of the late Russell N. Campbell. Dr. Campbell, a Past President of TESOL, was one of the founding fathers of the Foundation.

Overview of Eligibility

The following points are only an overview of eligibility to apply for a DDG. Successful applicants will read the call for proposals and carefully follow the instructions.

Applicants must

  • be enrolled in a legitimate doctoral program;
  • be advanced to candidacy and have had a research plan approved by a faculty committee at their university;
  • write a proposal which is clearly related to TIRF’s research priorities;
  • follow specific instructions located in the call for proposals; and
  • have their research supervisor submit an official letter of support attesting to the applicant’s readiness to complete the doctoral dissertation.

Please note that DDG applicants do not need to be US citizens.

Research Priorities

TIRF’s current research priorities are listed below. Please click on a topic to read more about it. TIRF reserves the right to change its priority topics at any time.

Digital Technology in Language Education

English as a Medium of Instruction

Language Assessment

Language Planning and Policy

Language Teacher Education

Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, the Professions, and Educational Contexts

Students’ Age and Effective English Language Education in Schools

ELC Digest

Sohaib Sandhu (Editor)

The ‘ELC Digest‘ was a magazine produced by the ELC under the guidance of Dr. Waleed Al-Amri, and managed and edited by Dr. Fauzia Shamim from 2011 onwards for approximately 2 years. It contained selected ELT information (articles, websites etc.) as well as news about conferences, new books/articles etc.

There were numerous topics that were no doubt of interest and beneficial, many of which related to the Middle Eastern context.

Rather than let this valuable resource ‘gather dust’ and disappear in the ‘vast canyon of lost knowledge’, we have decided to share the magazines with our colleagues.

We have for this week uploaded two of the first editions which cover topics such as:

  • To use or not to use L1 in the classroom
  • An Action Research Toolkit
  • An article on how to improve teaching through action research
  • Book Reviews
  • Ten tips for classroom management, and much more.

It’s possible that some of the links do not work as they are old. We will try to rectify this problem. In the meantime, enjoy the read.

We have dedicated a separate page for the ELC Digest so you can refer to this any time you like.

Here’s the link:



Free resource of references and bibliographies – fast forward your research career!

Sohaib Sandhu (Editor)


If you are thinking about doing some research or are looking for a topic for your MA or potential PhD it’s essential that you start reading. However, quite often, we may not know where to begin.

The International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF) has an excellent resource of references categorised by topic. To take a look at it, go to:


You will literally find lists of research articles categorised by a vast array of topics. Reading these will quickly bring you up to standard on a particular area. This is a treasure trove. Don’t miss this great opportunity to springboard your research career.

The TIRF also provides research funding and is particularly interested in researchers from the Middle East. If you are interested in finding out more, go to:


To subscribe to their monthly newsletter, go to:


Happy researching!!


How to promote students’ motivation in learning English

Contributed by Ms. Duria Salih Mahmoud
MA English Language
ESL Instructor – Prep Year
Taibah University, Al-Ula Female Campus

“If there is a job worth doing, it is worth doing well”.

What is motivation? Motivation is a combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning the language. It plays a significant role in the process of learning a language & it improves students’ self-motivation.

Student’s motivation is influenced by internal and external factors that can intensify or discourage it.

  1. Intrinsic motivation: The urge to engage in a learning activity for its own desire.
  2. Extrinsic motivation: The individual’s motivational stimuli are coming from outside.

Points to keep in mind:

  • Create a comfortable, friendly, pleasant, relaxed, and supportive atmosphere in the classroom.
  • Give verbal and non-verbal rewards. Ignoring showing praise, encouragement or appreciating students for their efforts can erode their confidence.
  • Provide a real life situation and set a goal for learning.
  • Look for a communicative situation which brings language to life in the classroom, e.g. games which can link language with action.
  • Keep everyone involved, active, interested and participating.
  • Develop a good relationship with students.
  • Promote learner autonomy, taking into account individual differences, interests and expectations.
  • Learners must believe that they have some control over the outcomes because of their performance.
  • Use strategies like brain storming, previewing etc. to create motivation in the class, start from the previous knowledge and link it with the new lesson.
  • Give positive feedback and reinforcement to increase students’ self-confidence, competence, and encourage positive self-evaluation.
  • Encourage students to relate their classroom experience to outside interests and activities, e. g., use some apps for learning English as a means to facilitate conversation, learn, and have fun.
  • Provide pair and group activities to develop students’ confidence and collaboration.
  • Develop your teaching strategies & create appropriate & varied teaching methods.
  • Respect students as learners.Don’t be critical of your students.  When students make a contribution or attempt to answer a question acknowledge their effort and respond in a diplomatic way.
  • Correct errors with compassion.
  • Show students that you care about them and how well they are learning the subject matter.
  • Help them analyze their strengths & weaknesses & offer tools to help.
  • Ask students to analyze what make classes more or less ‘’motivating’’.
  • Avoid creating intense competition among students.
  • Be enthusiastic about your subject.
  • Encourage Students to Personalize the Classroom Environment (e.g., cover the walls with colorful posters or arrange their classroom in the way that would make them feel most comfortable).
  • Provide opportunities for students to experience & celebrate their success.


  • The major factors in students’ motivation are the teacher (attitude , i.e. set a personal example of how they should behave), the teaching method, and the learning environment.
  • The issue is not “How can people motivate others?” but “How can people create the conditions within which others will motivate themselves?”
  • Useful link: http://busyteacher.org

You can access the power point presentation here:


Teacher Development

Contributed by Ms. Tahira Farid
ESL Instructor – Prep year
Taibah University, Yanbu Female Campus

Modern day teaching requires continuous growth with the help of new approaches, ideas and teaching methodologies. A teacher, in today’s fast paced world, is obliged to be engaged in continuous professional development through different means and sources. CPD (Continuous Professional Development) serves that purpose befittingly and ensures that teachers continue to be competent in their profession. It’s an ongoing process which takes place throughout our teaching careers and improves our performance on the job.

It is important to note that CPD is not merely a formal process such as a workshop, seminar or conference; it can also occur in informal contexts such as reading, discussion among colleagues, research or peer observation.

My first post (link attached) on this forum is related to the role of CPD in our profession; how we can continue to learn and develop throughout our careers and how to keep our knowledge and skills up to date.

The British Council’s website gives an overview of the complete CPD framework which is a part of British Council’s Teaching for Success Approach (written by Simon Borg). There is an overview for each of the 12 professional practices of CPD including relevant resources such as links for webinars and articles, to further help in the development of language teachers.


Facilitation Skills in Education

Contributed by Hayat Hajier
English Language Lecturer – Prep year
Taibah University, Yanbu Female Campus
Assistant Principal at a public school in Jordan

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

Godfrey Reggio

As an English language lecturer/teacher and as an assistant principal at a school in Jordan, for about 15 years, the Teacher’s Role in the Classroom has been one of my interests. Over the years, I read a lot about this and attended several courses on the latest strategies and techniques in this field. Further, I got a MEd degree to increase and update my knowledge and views about the teaching/learning process: how people learn and retain knowledge, how to improve the opportunities of learning and how to promote education among our students. The teacher’s role -as a facilitator- attracted my attention the most because, according to my experience, some teachers don’t pay sufficient attention to this role and tend to maintain a teacher- centered class instead of having a student-centered one, which has become an important requirement for successful learning. There is a famous quote from Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese-American artist and writer, who says “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind”.

Having the above in mind, I organized a workshop on Facilitation Skills in Education, illustrating when they are required and what they are required for. In this workshop, teachers were given tasks on differentiating between teaching and facilitating (roles) and on identifying how a teacher changes her/his teaching perspective according to her/his experience. At the end of the workshop, recommendations were offered for teachers on using effective techniques to facilitate teaching, and a few poor facilitation practices were displayed to be avoided.

The following are links for the presentation and the videos. I hope you will find them useful.

My presentation direct link:



Video links:


From teacher to facilitator of learning


What do facilitators do?


Engage me !