Workshop Discuses Approaches to Foreign Language Teaching

Lecturer and researcher at the University of Barcelona Roger Gilabert led a workshop on “Teaching and Learning Languages at the University Level” at Birzeit University on October 8-9, 2016.

The workshop brought together English teachers and academics interested in the teaching and learning of language. The workshop tackled the approaches of language teaching and syllabus and task design that is able to foster students’ skills, critical thinking and competencies for intercultural communication.

Language Learning Assessment methods were also discussed as vital to enable academics providing English learning quality and equity in education.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Henry Giacaman said that Birzeit University endeavors to create environments that foster academic excellence and encourage all students to engage with their learning communities. He alluded to the importance of the provision by higher education institutions of learning opportunities that enable students to become competent and prepared to face the challenges of an increasingly global society.

National Erasmus+ Office director Nedal Jayousi pointed out how important it is that students are able to communicate in different languages, especially in English - the language spoken most widely in the world. “Multilingualism at universities can reward excellence, openness and innovation and encourages widespread engagement with our national and international communities.”

Gilabert expressed his hope that he would learn from the workshop Palestinian needs and context in order to provide decision makers with the basics of a language teaching program that is tailored to the local context. “This seminar aims to give an overview of program design options, and provide models and references that help in decision making to create a concrete English language teaching program that is able to raise the students’ competencies and innovative skills,” he said.

Gialbert is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Barcelona. He is interested in second and foreign language production and acquisition, task design and task complexity, and individual differences and L2 production and acquisition. Gilabert is involved in a research project within the language acquisition research group.