Programme (2017)

The IAFOR International Conference on Language Learning – Dubai 2017 (IICLLDubai) was a multidisciplinary conference held concurrently with The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Dubai 2017 (IICEDubai), The IAFOR International Conference on Social Sciences – Dubai 2017 (IICSSDubai), and The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Dubai 2017 (IICAHDubai).

This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the 2017 Speakers page.


  • Education: A Supertanker in an Ocean of Change and Innovation
    Education: A Supertanker in an Ocean of Change and Innovation
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Christina Gitsaki
  • By Natural Law the Earth Is Held in Common
    By Natural Law the Earth Is Held in Common
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Robert JC Young
  • Interdisciplinary Education for Innovation and Change
    Interdisciplinary Education for Innovation and Change
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall
  • Reading: A 21st Century Skill in Higher Education
    Reading: A 21st Century Skill in Higher Education
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Melanie Gobert
  • The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Humanities and Cultural Studies Today
    The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Humanities and Cultural Studies Today
    Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall, Professor Said M. Faiq & Dr Joseph Haldane
  • EDUCATE to INNOVATE
    EDUCATE to INNOVATE
    Featured Presentation: Dr Fadi Aloul
  • How the Most Productive TESOLers “Fit It All In”
    How the Most Productive TESOLers “Fit It All In”
    Featured Presentation: Dr Phil Quirke & Dr Christine Coombe
  • Managing for Innovation and Sustainability: Lessons from the Gulf Region
    Managing for Innovation and Sustainability: Lessons from the Gulf Region
    Featured Presentation: Dr Virginia Bodolica
  • Effective Mentoring in an Educational Context
    Effective Mentoring in an Educational Context
    Featured Presentation: Mr Mohammed Azaza
  • Leadership Skills and Styles for Successful Administrators
    Leadership Skills and Styles for Successful Administrators
    Featured Presentation: Dr Sufian Abu-Rmaileh
Education: A Supertanker in an Ocean of Change and Innovation
Keynote Presentation: Dr Christina Gitsaki

The field of Education has long been criticized for being too slow in adopting much needed changes commensurate with the sweeping social changes brought on by globalization in the information age. This session will first discuss change in Education from a number of different perspectives highlighting factors that in the past have inhibited long and short-term change in the field. Following that, the session will address key points relevant to Education in the Gulf, will explore the role of research and technology in improving human learning potential, and provide a set of concrete recommendations and guidelines for major stakeholders, such as educators, educational leaders and policy makers, in an effort to successfully plan and implement small and large-scale projects that can bring about change in the field.

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By Natural Law the Earth Is Held in Common
Keynote Presentation: Professor Robert JC Young

“naturali iure communia sunt omnia haec … terra.” – The Institutes of Justinian

If Justinian’s Institutes of the sixth century appeared to prescribe and lay down an equal sharing of the earth, today this appears as an ideal, not a reality. Historically innovation and discovery have often worked to unbalance human societies on earth and the power relations between them. In this talk I will consider the ways in which those historical forces continue to influence our actions and how far we need to take them into account when we imagine possibilities for transformation.

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Interdisciplinary Education for Innovation and Change
Keynote Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall

Whatever we may isolate as the chief global threats that we face in the twenty-first century, we have little hope of effectively responding to them without finding common ground across nations, cultures, languages, and belief systems. We cannot address global warming, HIV/AIDS, the threat of terrorism, nuclear proliferation, religious intolerance, famine, poverty, or any other social ill by our own lonely and isolated selves—either as individuals or individual nations. States often, understandably, act out of national self-interest, but none of the major challenges we face today are solvable by individual nations acting solely on that basis of self-interest, except to the extent that it is in the interest of individual nations to work together collaboratively and energetically. How then do we begin to solve our biggest and most fundamental problem of them all: the challenge of living in peace, good will, and with a sense of shared interests with our fellow inhabitants of the planet?

By the end of this talk I will return repeatedly to that question because I do not think that science, technology, engineering, or business alone helps us achieve that foundational goal of living in peace, good will, and with a sense of shared interests with our fellow inhabitants of the planet. Science will help us cure disease. Technology will allow us to communicate and travel faster. Engineering may assist us in generating new forms of energy and protecting against eroding agricultural lands and coastal areas. Business provides incentives to develop new media, new pharmaceuticals, and new ways of feeding our hungry populations. However, none of them displaces or challenges self-interest, national or personal. None of them provides the tools alone to achieve our goal of living in peace, good will, and with a sense of shared interest with our fellow inhabitants of the planet. For that, we need interdisciplinary training in the liberal arts and sciences – especially as informed by the humanities, the social sciences, and the visual and performing arts. Only interdisciplinarity can teach us how to cross boundaries comfortably, even enthusiastically. Interdisciplinary perspectives can save us from ourselves and the threats that are produced by a narrow reliance on science, technology, and business.

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Reading: A 21st Century Skill in Higher Education
Keynote Presentation: Dr Melanie Gobert

It is assumed that reading is a basic, core skill in the range of skills needed to be a 21st century thinker and that all students have acquired this skill before embarking on higher education (Kivunja, 2014), yet research in the United Arab Emirates shows that the average Emirati student has read only 4 books a year compared to her/his Korean peers (40 books), and the average Emirati family only has 20 books in the home compared to the average British home which has 203 books. In fact, research in the USA from the ACT college placement tests shows that about 50% of high school graduates lack the necessary reading skills to adequately commence college. In the USA and Europe, many of these students are language minority students. In addition, more and more English-medium colleges and branches of English higher education institutions are opening abroad in non-English speaking countries. English proficiency has also become a graduation program requirement in more and more foreign universities due to the impact of globalization. Add to that, the impact of electronic media on education and the impact of the retrieval of information from the Internet on the human brain, higher educational institutions are often left with a deficit in the college-preparedness of incoming students. A result of this, particularly for many English-medium overseas colleges and universities, is that the teacher is paid to read and summarize the content for underprepared students, thus impacting the standard of the graduates of the university and the university’s reputation. This talk will look at some of the causes and effects of this phenomenon and discuss some research-based solutions.

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The Challenges of Doing Research and Creative Activity in the Humanities and Cultural Studies Today
Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Donald E. Hall, Professor Said M. Faiq & Dr Joseph Haldane

Given the rise of anti-intellectualism and increasing emphasis on technical and skills-based education, 2017 and beyond will prove particularly challenging times for those of us working in Cultural Studies and the Humanities. Our panelists will each speak for five-10 minutes about the broad political constraints on their work, as well as their respective national and institution contexts of funding and prioritization. This will be followed by a general discussion with the audience about collective experiences and strategies for individual and collective response to the challenges that we face.

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EDUCATE to INNOVATE
Featured Presentation: Dr Fadi Aloul

Successful countries today are working on developing an innovation-led knowledge-based economy. Without innovation and creativity, countries would not progress. Schools and universities provide the skilled human capital necessary for producing the innovation-led knowledge-based economy. In this talk we will discuss various methods to bring innovation to schools and universities to help create future innovators.

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How the Most Productive TESOLers “Fit It All In”
Featured Presentation: Dr Phil Quirke & Dr Christine Coombe

Ever feel like you’re just not getting enough done? If so, you’re like many TESOLers around the world. Research shows that on average people are only productive three days a week. The purpose of this session is to share the results of a research project investigating how the most productive TESOLers "fit it all in" and attain the ever elusive work-life balance. It doesn’t matter what you do or where you work, everyone is looking for ways to be more productive on the job and in life. In this session, the presenters will share some recent research on how productive TESOLers seem to fit it all in. For the purposes of this research we define a productive TESOLer as one who holds down a job, engages in teaching, does research, presents at and organizes conferences and events, and publishes and does so with what we consider good work-life balance. This presentation will have two parts. In the first part, the presenters will first define "productivity" and elicit what characterizes a productive day for most teachers. They will then present certain issues that cause teacher productivity to decline. In a general review of the literature, the characteristics of highly-productive people will be discussed and the presenters will share strategies for improving personal and professional productivity and attaining better work life balance. The second part of the presentation will report on a research project that investigated the beliefs and practices of extremely productive English language teachers.

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Managing for Innovation and Sustainability: Lessons from the Gulf Region
Featured Presentation: Dr Virginia Bodolica

The resource-rich countries of the Gulf region have experienced a vertiginous economic growth and unparalleled achievements in infrastructure development over the past decades. Since several Gulf-based nations (particularly Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) attained noteworthy international standings in a short period of time, this presentation aims to uncover the specific sources of regional competitiveness, sustainability and innovation. Drawing upon a globally benchmarked portrait of major economies in the Gulf, I illustrate their recent accomplishments in espousing the principles of the knowledge-based economy and delineate strategic priorities for attaining sustainable development goals. Among the fundamental pillars of regional growth that are emphasized in the presentation are government-led initiatives of investing in local youth to boost their self-motivation and future potential, supporting entrepreneurial undertakings of nationals and resident population, promoting gender equality and women participation in the labor force, fostering the creation of university-based innovation labs to bridge the gap between the industry and educational institutions, and implementing viable corporate governance and social responsibility practices in both publicly-listed firms and privately-held family-run businesses. Based on this in-depth analysis of dynamic characteristics and development drivers in this rapidly growing region in the world, I identify and discuss the key features of Gulf-based organizations that set them apart from other companies in the Middle East.

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Effective Mentoring in an Educational Context
Featured Presentation: Mr Mohammed Azaza

Mentoring has traditionally been defined as a one-to-one relationship between a more knowledgeable professional and a mentee or novice. The mentor’s job is, therefore, to instruct, guide, protect and challenge the novice protégé (Anderson & Shannon, 1988) whereas the mentee is expected to practice and demonstrate what has been learned. However, the mentor’s role has been recently extended to include other roles, such as co-thinker, learning companion, resource partner and coach. Accordingly, in this emerging new approach, the mentor is not only perceived as an expert who offers positive and honest feedback on a lesson or a teaching strategy, but also plans with the mentee about how to overcome a challenging classroom situation. These roles have also developed to accommodate other emerging roles, such as raising the mentee’s awareness about other dimensions of practice that are often overlooked. These new dimensions include cultural sensitivity and diversity, context, organizational micro-politics, power relations, awareness of group dynamics and the balance between the teacher’s needs and the organizational needs. Reflecting on a recent research study carried out in the local context of the UAE, the presenter will discuss how can mentoring be a powerful learning experience for both the mentor and mentee. He will also argue that good mentoring in an educational context not only entails a good pedagogical content knowledge but also developing cultural competence as well as ethical and organizational awareness.

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Leadership Skills and Styles for Successful Administrators
Featured Presentation: Dr Sufian Abu-Rmaileh

Leadership, at any level, is a complicated matter that is not easy to decipher. Achieving superiority and distinction in leadership sometimes necessitates the use of unconventional processes by which people lead. Each leader manages in a different way and with a different style. “Leadership styles” refers to the way a leader behaves and deals with issues arising in the work environment (Bates, 2002, Garland and Parry, 1987). Style relates to the leader’s personality and how they operate during certain situations. In addition, leadership style relates to how much leeway leaders allow for their constituents’ participation in problem solving and in the decision-making process. This has to do with how much freedom employees are given to be participants in the organization, affecting the way the day-to-day activities of the organization are handled (DePree, 1989, Dogget, 1987, Lall and Lall, 1979). Leaders have to work with norms, parameters and concepts that are vital to their success. The constituents, practices and issues are job specific. Personality type, risk at work, organizational culture and the objectives of the task at hand are also vital in leadership. Effective leaders need to have a never-ending enthusiasm for the job. They need to have flexibility of thought, be approachable and understanding. Leaders need to be sensitive to their constituents (Lussier and Achua, 2004, Popper and Lipshitz, 2000).

In this presentation, participants will look at the factors affecting leadership styles, examining six different styles (directive, visionary, affiliative, democratic/participative, pacesetting and coaching). They will have an opportunity to complete a survey which reveals to them their leadership style and what they are working with and how it can affect their work environment. Finally, they will examine some qualities of good leadership.

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