1. Plenary Speaker: Dr. Richard Smith, University of Warwick, UK

Title:Teachers do research! Why, how, and with what results?

Abstract: In this talk, I share insights into how teachers, even those working in the difficult circumstances of large-class, low-resource classrooms or emergency remote teaching situations, can be supported to carry out research into the issues facing them. Research in such cases is not an academic pursuit – rather, it is an eminently useful activity which can help teachers understand their situations better and take appropriate action to overcome problems. Experience gained in quite large-scale mentoring programmes in Latin America, South Asia and Africa has shown that, when an appropriate form of teacher-research is introduced in a jargon-free way to teachers, initial hesitancy, time constraints and other factors which are commonly believed to make research by teachers impracticable can all be overcome. I will summarize findings from one of these programmes – the Champion Teachers programme in Latin America – to illustrate the increased sense of agency and improved relationships with students that can result.

  1. Plenary Speaker: Prof. Penny Ur, Israel 

Title: Research and the language teacher

Abstract: The question of the gap between research-based theory and classroom teaching is one that has been frequently discussed in recent years, and has been seen, essentially, as a cause for concern. Teachers, it is argued, do not keep up to date with the research and do not use it as a basis for practice, which they should. My position is that the knowledge-base of effective teaching is essentially experience and reflection, and that research-based theory is a relatively minor, though significant, supplementary resource. Given this reservation, I will make some suggestions as to how insights from research can be made accessible to busy practitioners and can contribute to their professional expertise.

  1. Full name: Rezky Pratiwi Balman

University: Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Global Society, Kyushu University, Japan

Title: Addressing in intercultural email communication: The case of Indonesian students in Japan

Abstract: This study investigated the forms of address used by students when writing emails to their university professors using English as a lingua franca. The data, comprising a total of 100 authentic emails sent by Indonesian students to their Japanese professors, were analyzed using a framework contrived by Economidou-Kogetsidis (2011).

The result indicates that Indonesian students accommodate their English to Japanese cultural norms when addressing their Japanese professors using the format 'last name' + work 'title'. This decision seems to be heavily influenced by students' cultural knowledge and their willingness to accept the Japanese norms where power difference overrides familiarity. Even though they use English in writing their email, none of them followed English norms where egalitarian principle using 'first name' is common.

 

  1. Full name: Nadejda Zubaeva

University: National University of Uzbekistan named after Mirzo Ulugbek, Uzbekistan

Title: Critical Analysis of Political Discourse: the Ways to Reach Pragmatic Goals

Abstract: The main research method was critical discourse analysis, involving the use of data from related mass media. When analyzing discourse, preference was given to qualitative research methods, namely: components of semantic and pragmatic interpretation, contextual, comparative analysis, content analysis, intertextual analysis.

The results of the study consider political discourse as a form of social practice, where fixed word combinations act as socio-cultural prototypes conveying pragmatic meaning.

  1. Full name: Diana Akhmedjanova

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: Self-efficacy in Online Education of WIUT Faculty and Students 

Abstract:  This paper focuses on WIUT faculty and students’ self-efficacy in distance education. Two surveys were distributed among WIUT faculty and students in August 2020 (Time 1) and November 2020 (Time 2) to identify the degree of self-efficacy among WIUT students and teachers in online education. One of the scales in both faculty and student surveys asked them to rate their self-efficacy in teaching and learning online on a 5-point Likert scale (1 – Strongly Disagree to 5 – Strongly Agree). Time 1 Student Survey indicated that students (n=496) did not feel self-efficacious at the beginning of the academic year (M=2.76). Interestingly, Time 2 Student Survey showed a slight decrease in students’ (n=746) self-efficacy to study online (M=2.66). In terms of Time 1 Teacher Survey, teachers (n=96) had medium self-efficacy to teach online (M=3.58). Teachers (n=73) indicated an incremental increase in their self-efficacy to teach online (M=3.83) during the second survey. These results suggest that both students and faculty do not feel confident with distance education. However, teachers feel a little more self-efficacious at Time 2 survey rather than at Time 1. To increase both teachers and students’ self-efficacy in distance education, WIUT should organize intensive trainings on digital literacy and successful teaching/learning in online environments. Hence, WIUT should start offering some modules online to give students and teachers opportunities to get used to and tailor distance education for the cultural context of the university. 

  1. Full name: Nargiza Abdurakhmanova and Kholida Begmatova

University: MDIST and IUT, Uzbekistan 

Title: Transition to Online Learning during COVID-19: Case Study of Inha and MDIST

Abstract: This case study reports the transition to remote learning in two international universities: Inha University in Tashkent (IUT) and Management Development Institution of Singapore in Tashkent (MDIST) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, no universities in Uzbekistan had experience in delivering online courses, so each university had to choose its own approach. At IUT, it was decided to record video lessons: uploaded into the online.inha.uz learning system, and conduct Zoom meetings. At MDIST, lessons were delivered via the Zoom platform: recorded and uploaded into Blackboard. At both universities, communication with students was conducted via emails and Telegram. New online learning experiences caused such challenges as cheating and inactive student participation. This comparative case study analysis concludes that transition to online education is challenging; however, it motivates universities to develop digital literacy skills and online courses in the future. The paper also includes possible solutions for problematic situations.

  1. Full name: Thomas Topham 

Organization:  The Agency for Presidential, Creative and Specialized schools, Uzbekistan

Title: Empowerment of Local Teachers – Global Experiences and The Agency for Presidential, Creative and Specialized Schools Future Plans

Abstract: Reflection on experiences and learnings working as a teacher trainer in many parts of East and Central Asia – what are the commonalities in non-native teachers as they work to develop their skills as practitioners of student-centered learning? How can “foreign expert” trainers model these practices, encourage the use of reflective practice, and facilitate their growth and learning as professionals? How does empowerment of local teachers lead to the larger dissemination of modern pedagogical practice within the country?  Conclusions with plans of The Agency for Presidential, Creative and Specialized Schools as relates to these points in the coming years of development of the Presidential and Specialized Schools in Uzbekistan.

  1. Full name: Klara Nazmutdinova

University: Uzbekistan State World Languages University, Uzbekistan 

Title: Teaching pragmatics: main focus and strategies

Abstract: The importance of teaching pragmatics has been discussed widely by academics but still we can see that teachers lack understanding of this area and as a result, it is not practiced extensively by local teachers of Uzbekistan. This presentation will try to raise awareness about the issue and provide some effective strategies to apply in the classrooms.

  1. Full name: Lobar Babakhodjaeva

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Title: Blended learning - requirements for success. Institutional perspective

Abstract: Blended learning might be the curriculum model which in case used properly became the basis for change in how we learn and teach as a consequence of emergency online teaching. This brings the question of readiness of the institutions, teachers and students to use technology in education. In order for blended learning to work, a major economic investment in technology and education is needed. The relevant policies in this direction are needed. Secondly, teachers must have the relevant technology and be well trained for its educational use. More importantly they must also have an open attitude to use technology in their teaching to recognize diversity in their students. Lastly, students, who must also be trained in these technological resources, need to have and nurture the commitment to use technology for their learning. Paper looks at what needs to be done at the institutional level to support these three requirements. 

  1. Full name: Karen Ferreira-Meyers

University: University of Eswatini, Eswatini

Title: The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the teaching and learning of languages: the case of the University of Eswatini

Abstract: In this paper, I examine the transformations that took place – partly due to the Covid19 sanitary measures implemented at the University of Eswatini – in order to ensure continued interaction, both verbal and in writing, in a first-year university-level French as a Foreign Language class (in a B. Ed. Primary and Secondary programme). Importantly, in a communicative, socio-constructivist and active learning teaching and learning paradigm, interaction in the target language is of the essence. Shifting from an expected situation of classroom communication to a distance/online learning environment can have an impact on motivation and acquisition of language skills. In this paper, the focus is on practical interventions aimed at ensuring the active participation of motivated stakeholders (in particular students). In particular, I will look at how the LMS (in our case, Moodle) can be structured and designed to maximize communication among students and also between students and instructors.

  1. Full name: Amirsaid Sadikov 

Organization: British Council Uzbekistan 

Title: Aptis for teachers

Abstract: Today, in a period of active globalization and the emergence of a larger number of international companies with multi-branch industries and networks around the world, the need for unified and generally recognized standards is becoming very relevant.

This trend is also inherent in the professional skills of human resources, such as knowledge of certain foreign languages, computer literacy, or other skills.

In this regard, along with other organizations, the British Council, as a leading specialist with over 80 years of experience in the assessment of the English language proficiency, has developed the test "Aptis".

This presentation will focus on the Aptis test, its types and some certain peculiarities that differ it from other international tests. We will also speak about the structure and format of the test, the types of questions used, as well as will get acquainted with the test simulator "Aptis" which is freely available 24/7.

At the end of the presentation we will inform about joint partnership work in Uzbekistan and our productive cooperation with the State Testing Centre under the Cabinet of Ministers on the "Aptis for Teacher" project, which allows teachers to receive bonuses to their salaries.

  1. Full name: Kamola Muradkasimova

University: Uzbekistan State University of World Languages, Uzbekistan 

Title: Language Assessment Literacy: Assessment practice and training needs of language teachers in Uzbekistan

Abstract: Learner assessment is an integral part of the language learning and teaching process. Besides, it is the powerful decision making tool. Unfortunately, teachers/educators of high educational establishments (HEI) in Uzbekistan are not trained enough to make assessment decisions that will match the assessment core principles that will engage and motivate students, and as the result enhance learning.  In the following article the researcher present the results of the study that examines teachers’ perception, identify the existing gaps in training teachers, and provide recommendations. The finding shows that the level of assessment literacy of teachers depends on the level of training they have in language assessment through the following research questions: 1) what are the perceptions of teachers on language testing and assessment. The following research was undertaken with the help of two data collection methods: qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative method helped to identify the perception of teachers on student assessment. Quantitative method was used as test with authentic and contextualized scenarios. The following research aimed to mitigate the barriers based on findings and provide useful recommendations. The research was conducted with 103 English as foreign language (EFL) teachers from three language universities in Uzbekistan.  Through, conducted research methods we have found the teachers LAL profile. Findings of this study contribute to our understanding of LAL development in assessment training for language teachers in pre -service and in-service teacher programs

  1. Full name: Rokhatoy Boltaeva

University:  Webster University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan  

Title: Energising EFL Learners through Creative Writing activities

Abstract: In this interactive workshop, the presenter shows the ways to enhance the participants' creativity and imagination, opening up their writing capacity and the ability to tell stories. Creative Writing can be an energizing and inspirational tool for EFL learners in enhancing their language and soft skills. Sternberg notes the role of Creative Writing in “producing active citizens and leaders who will make a positive meaningful, and enduring difference to the world. ” (Sternberg, Robert J., 2014) Thus, it is a vital piece of art that contributes to creativity and leadership, the main soft skills, which every student and employee living in the 21st century should possess to succeed in life. During the workshop the presenter will discuss the significance of Creative Writing in shaping personality and extending their use of memory, observation and imagination skills in their writing. The attendees will pick up some techniques and ideas about how to shape and develop their pieces of writing working individually and in groups.

  1. Full name: Saida Radjabzade and Liliya Makovskaya

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: Investigating L2riters source-text use in summary response writing

Abstract: An effective source use for L2 writers to support their arguments is one of the essential skills in the academic writing process. The study aims to explore students’ source use experience in the integrated writing task based on the learner’s position regarding the topic and the requirements of the written assignment. The students’ opinions (N=390) on the source choice and incorporation were studied through the online questionnaire. To investigate their performance, 50 students’ papers were analyzed based on the usage of source-text ideas, lexical and stylistic modifications to source information and content accuracy of source information. The findings reveal mismatch between students’ writing performance and their opinions. The presenters will share the results of their study in detail and provide explanation of the data received. Instructors’ awareness of these results might assist in coming up with more helpful teaching instructions with effective source use strategies.

  1. Full name: Saida Akbarova 

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent

Title: Synoptic assessment: students’ views and lessons learnt  

Abstract: Many educational institutions are looking for ways to improve  the practice of assessment through creating learning environments that give students opportunities to develop the skills needed to be employed, translate theory into practice, and be involved into meaningful and engaging learning (Morris, 2016). Traditional exams and tests may not always function in such an environment. The literature on assessment suggests using synoptic assessment instead, which is a joint assessment between two or more modules and requires students to demonstrate how they can integrate the knowledge acquired from the subject (QAA cited in Morris, 2016). The current presentation aims to highlight the main aspects of joint assessment and  share experiences in designing and implementing the integrated assessment of two modules for first-year university students, Academic English and ICitizen. Also, students’ views on synoptic assessment collected through an online questionnaire (n=138) will be presented along with the lessons learned. Experiences with synoptic assessment might be of great interest to educators who are looking for ideas to refresh their assessment practices.

Morris, E. (2016). A synthesis of synoptic assessment. Trent Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT) Symposium: Exploring synoptic assessment. 13 December, Nottingham Trent University. Available from https://www4.ntu.ac.uk/webevents/adq/document-uploads/191206.pdf [Accessed 15 April 2021]. 

  1. Full name: Vino (Vinodhini) Reardon

University: Webster University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Title: Alternatives in Assessment: Implications for ESL, EFL and SPED Populations

Abstract: This presentation will address the concept of “alternatives” in assessment within the overall context of instructional goals and learning outcomes as they relate to ESL (English as a Second Language), EFL (English as a Foreign Language), and SPED (Special Education) populations.  More specifically, the discussion will focus on how “alternatives” in assessment (e.g. portfolios) can shape teaching or learning outcomes by contributing to a beneficial “washback” effect, especially when dealing with students who have special needs. 

The presentation will touch on the distinction between “formative” assessment (often construed as “assessment FOR learning”) and “summative” assessment (often better interpreted as “assessment OF learning”), and it will underscore the critical importance of employing “alternative” assessment to improve teaching practices and learning outcomes. In particular, various alternative assessment strategies will be proposed to examine “how” teaching outcomes can be modified to better distinguish the “individual” needs of students to maximize learning outcomes. 

  1. Full name: Elyanora Menglieva and  Ella Maksakova

University: British Management University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: Beliefs and practices of TESOL female leaders working in Uzbekistan

Abstract: There has been little research in the field of TESOL female leaders’ identity, particularly working in developing countries. This research is of great importance due to lack of TESOL leadership training programs in the Uzbekistani context. This study, which featured a qualitative design with semi-structured interviews as the main research instrument, offers useful insights into beliefs intrinsically enrooted on specific leadership theories that form their TESOL leadership identity. 

The presentation reports on findings from an investigation into 2 female leaders who majored in TESOL, but were not trained much in leadership and are currently working in two Uzbekistani universities. The findings revealed that beliefs mainly based on transformational and servant leadership theories and three fundamentals of leadership (purpose, context, and human agency) intrinsically embedded in their leadership roles form their identity as female leaders. This study will contribute to feminine leadership theory and understanding of women as educational leaders.

  1. Full name: Feruza Akhmedova and Rano Rozikova

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: Overcoming Teacher Anxiety of Classroom Observation: Experience, Reflection, Benefits

Abstract: Teacher observation is believed to be an important tool to develop teaching skills. Nevertheless, the majority of teachers feel stressed being observed by their colleagues or mentors feeling insecure or believing that their teaching will be judged. This perception prevents teachers from substantial professional development. The current article intends to reveal two university teachers’ reflections on their own experiences who benefited from being observed by their mentors during the course of Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (PGCert). 

  1. Full name: Ilona Israilova 

University: Tashkent Medical Academy, Uzbekistan 

Title: Organization of a pedagogical experiment on the effective medical English study based on the results of linguistic and extralinguistic analysis of the series 

Abstract: The article explores the possibilities of the authentic “House M.D.” series as an educational tool in successful ESP teaching. An interactive way of teaching, has a greater impact in comparison with the ordinary traditional lesson. The selected film of the corresponding specialty of students serves as a motivational support for the study of the language in general. The article illustrates the organization of an experiment for university students based on the implementation of the above series in the educational process. The factors contributing to effective language acquisition are analyzed, including both linguistic and extralinguistic analysis. It investigates new method as one of the most appropriate means of using the source's capabilities as a straightway path to learning medical English.

  1. Full name:  Elina Tovmasyan

University: Yeoju Techical Institute in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: The Implementation of CLIL Methodology in History and Culture Classes

Abstract: Designing a CLIL lesson requires the teacher to focus on several important aspects such as the balance between language and content and clear sequence of lesson stages. A CLIL lesson can be compared to a 3-course meal, where each stage of the lesson corresponds to the starter, main course and the dessert. The first stage activates students’ prior knowledge of the topic; the second and the main stage of the lesson deals with the language and content input. Here the teacher should decide when the content or language need more focus. The last stage of the lesson, so-called “dessert”, is as a rule neglected by most teachers due to the lack of time; however, it allows students to reflect on the lesson and see what has been learnt. The article describes a Culture class that follows the given structure of the lesson. 

 

  1. Full name: Anila R. Scott-Monkhouse and Armando Vannucci 

University: University of Parma Language Centre, Italy 

Title: Inter-disciplinary peer observation. Can it work?

Abstract: Peer observation has become increasingly common in Higher education, but may still be unexplored ground in the online teaching scenario which has developed since the outbreak of the pandemic. At Parma university (Italy), an EAP lecturer and a Signal Processing professor experimented with inter-disciplinary peer observation of each other’s classes (approx 40 EAP students; over 100 Engineering undergraduates) during the spring 2020 lockdown, when all teaching went online overnight. What started as reciprocal help, with no academic research intent, slowly developed into semi-structured practice which proved valuable in terms of professional development for both observer and observee. After describing the objectives of our reciprocal observations, we will explain how we carried them out and how over time we came to develop a shared format and etiquette. We will also highlight the importance of didactic and psychological factors in this process of constructive cooperation, but also the impact of truly being a learner in each other’s class on the outcome. 

 

  1. Full name: Janar Abuova

University: Yeoju Technical Institute in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: The importance of peer observation and the ways of making it more pleasant and helpful 

Abstract: This paper is going to focus on the important moments of professional development and particularly peer observation. In most cases, it is considered the most unpleasant part of professional development, as teachers see peer observation as a tool for critics and not for constructive feedback. The reason for such a negative attitude is feedback illiteracy and incorrect peer observation procedures. One factor that will positively change that attitude is teaching all steps of peer observation such as peer observation cycle, peer observation etiquette, and giving effective feedback. By enhancing peer observation literacy we might turn one of the most unpleasant professional development tools into the best and the effective way of teacher training method without spending a lot of money and using the most effective resources.

 

  1. Full name: Safi Eldeen Alzi'abi

University:  Isra University, Jordan

Title: Arab learners’ difficulty in correctly stressing English words with “ate”

Abstract: Alzi’abi (forthcoming) showed that Arab EFL learners failed to correctly stress most words that ended with ‘ate’. They tended to place stress in words such as ‘ˈcognate’, ‘ˈpercolate’, ‘ˈgerminate’, ‘ˈimpregnate’, ‘ˈremonstrate'’ on the rightmost syllable. This could be attributed to their L1 parametrical setting. However, Alzi’abi’s study included a limited sample of items ending with ‘ate’. To further explore and verify the above preliminary finding, a follow-up investigation which includes a large number of similar words ending with ‘ate' is warranted. 

      The purpose of this research is to reveal any coherent pattern in the strategies adopted by Arab EFL learners and find any association with the part of speech of the item in question or its syllable structure, i.e. the number of syllables it has, more specifically English words ending in “ate”. It will also investigate the impact of explicit instruction on improving subjects’ production of the same type of items. To this end, 102 Arab EFL third and fourth-year Jordanian English majors participated in this study. A total of 90 highly infrequent English items ending with ‘ate’ were used in pretest and posttest pronunciation tasks; the subject had to read the stimuli aloud. The reason for using infrequent stimuli was to ensure that the subjects have not learned these items. To investigate the impact of instruction in stress placement on subjects’ comprehensibility and intelligibility, a nine-hour stress-training course was run over three weeks. The posttest followed.

A large percentage of Arab EFL learners (94%) appeared to have significant problems in correctly producing English word stresses owing to their tendency to mainly make prominent the ultimate heavy syllables. Almost all subjects performed poorly in the pretest task and failed to produce stress correctly. A close examination of the data showed that Arab EFL subjects were prolonging the last vowel and accentuate the ‘ate’ syllable in most stimuli. The analysis demonstrated very little association of subjects’ performance with the number of syllables and word classes of the stimuli. The scores of the posttest far exceeded those of the pretest; explicit instruction about proper stress assignment considerably improved subjects’ word stress acquisition. 

The current research is considered a step towards a more comprehensive examination of Arab EFL learners’ acquisition of suprasegmental features and its findings have much implication to offer to both Arab teachers and learners.

 

  1. Full name: Aziz Holmatov

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: The Role and Pragmatics of Using Humor in Online Foreign Language Learning

Abstract: The role of humor in online foreign language learning is an understudied area. Current research based on the data collected by the extended literature review, observation and an interview with one teacher explores the questions of which functions of teacher-initiated humor plays in online foreign language learning, its effect on pragmatics and the potential differences in the roles of humor in conventional face-to-face classes versus online language learning lessons. The findings show that in online-synchronous audio-visual classes, humor functions almost the same as in face-to-face classes. In this setting (i.e. online-synchronous audio-visual classes) humor contributes to a feeling of social presence,stimulates attention and interest among learners,  encourages the participation of the course participants in the discussions and thereby increases the productivity of the learners. It also helps with the retention of information and in dealing with the foreign language material more easily. While, in text-based synchronous computer mediated communication the social (mitigating) and linguistic (pragmatic) role of humour gain more importance.

 

  1. Full name:  Komila Tangirova, Aziza Yuldasheva, Zukhra Rasulova and          Muzaffar Mamatkulov

University: Warwick University and Tashkent State Transport University, Uzbekistan 

Title: Collaborative Action Research Project for Developing ESP teaching materials using self-developed specialised corpus

Abstract:  One of the pressing challenges in teaching ESP is scarcity of ready materials for ESP directions and very few or no specific textbooks that could be relied on, as for the most part, commercially available textbooks and teaching materials are understandably developed for large-scale users, while the needs of learners in narrowly focused specialisms seem to be neglected. An ongoing collaborative action research project is based on collective efforts by a researcher and ESP practitioners to build a “Corpus of English for Road Construction” for the purpose to inform the main input and focus in developing ESP teaching materials. The presentation will be made by a team of four presenters where each presenter will tell about their perceived role in the collaboration.

 

 

  1. Full name: Nilufar Kurbanova

University: Webster University, Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: The importance of foreign language proficiency for school teachers of Uzbekistan: issues and recommended solutions

Abstract: This paper aims at explaining the importance of special teacher training courses for school teachers to improve their foreign language proficiency according to the needs analysis conducted by MA TESL at Webster University student.As for the methodology, the researcher prepared a questionnare for school teachers in Bustanlik, Tashkent region which is in the mountain area.Only 16 % of school teachers obtain official  language proficiency whereas 88 % want to win international professional development scholarships where they should have at least Intermediate level to participate successfully. The results were analysed , some issues identified and  recommendations are given according to the needs analysis. The research shows that school teachers in Uzbekistan firstly need official language proficiency levels and then other methodological implementations will be successful.

 

  1. Full name: Diana Akhmedjanova

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: Self- and Socially-regulated Learning as Part of the Academic Writing Instruction 

Abstract: This study proposes incorporating principles of self- and socially-regulated learning while teaching academic writing to non-native speakers of English. The Model of Self- and Socially- Regulated Multilingual Writing suggests that both teaching and learning writing relies on external and internal processes, which are situated in a larger cultural context. Processes external to a student include such processes as instructional techniques and formative assessment, and processes internal to a student activate students’ background knowledge, motivational beliefs, metacognition, writing strategies, etc. In this way, processes external to a student represent socially-regulated learning, and processes internal to a student – self-regulated learning. This paper will propose a practical application of combining self- and socially-regulated learning while teaching multilingual students to write persuasive essays. 

 

 

  1. Full name: Kiriaki Kanakidi and Alyona Yartseva

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title:  The subjective effects of stress on academic achievements considering the pandemic academic year 2020-2021

Abstract: This study has investigated the relationship among wellbeing, academic achievements and situational forgiveness in light of the COVID-19 pandemic academic year. Participants consisted of 140 foundation level students enrolled at Westminster International University in Tashkent (WIUT). For data collection students anonymously filled out an online google survey based on Wagnil and Young Resilience Scale, Perceived Stress Scale and Enright Forgiveness Inventory (EFI) Scale. The outcomes of the research are going to be indicated by the end of May, 2021 as for obtaining a full plethora of necessary information all three main factors should be included, particularly wellbeing, situational forgiveness and academic results. 

 

  1. Full name: Umida Abdurakhimova

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: Inclusivity: How close we got? 

Abstract: In recent years Uzbekistan has taken steps to strengthen its position in the world as a civic society in all spheres of life, in particular, in Education. According to The Decree of the President of Uzbekistan dated December 1, 2017 “On measures to fundamentally improve the system of state support for persons with disabilities” students with disabilities were given preferential rights. In 2018-2019 academic year, an additional two-percent quota of admission was granted for people with disability group I and II. Although several decrees have been passed to promote access to higher education for people with disabilities, the question is to what extent the education system and educational establishments themselves are ready to accept and facilitate language learning of disabled students and, thus, to provide quality education. The research is based on the overview of existing literature and it aims to identify the readiness of Higher educational establishments of Uzbekistan in terms of providing proper facilities, the availability of technology, resources and teachers to address the language learning needs of disabled students, and compare them against practices applied in developed countries. The non-empirical study which is based on literature review, several recommendations will be made.

 

  1. Full name: Aisulu Kinjemuratova and Dildora Tashpulatova

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: Using First-Year Students’ Reflections to Assess Needs and Expectations in Academic             English Module  

Abstract: Assessment tasks are critical for development of academic writing skills and identifying students’ needs and expectations. In Academic English module at Westminster International University in Tashkent first-year students are required to write CW1 portfolio which includes three tasks. The last assessment task, reflection, requires students to reflect on their experiences in the coursework completion. The focus of the current research is to analyze the students’ reflections to explore students’ perceptions on three main domains: positive aspects in the process of completion of CW1; the most common issues faced by students; and students’ expectations in Academic English module. One hundred Level 3 students’ reflections were examined. The findings reveal that this form of assessment task can be a useful resource for learning about problem areas students have in completion of their coursework. It is recommended that reflections are used in assessment and integrated into classroom activities.

 

  1. Full name: Mandana Arfa-Kaboodvand

University: University of Eswatini, Eswatini

Title: Teachers' Reflecting on Their Classroom Performance

Abstract: Reflective practice is a buzzword in modern academic circles. In this talk, I will present a few less-discussed but real challenges that language teachers may be facing in their classes. I will also share the responses and reflections of eight teachers living in different countries about them. The topics fall into four categories: teachers, students, interactions, and learning-related issues. Among the points that will be discussed are teachers’ language mistakes, overconfident students, and modern classroom dilemmas, such as friendship requests on social media. Even though there is no one best solution to address these issues, highlighting them can create awareness. This awareness may provide the opportunity for the teachers to reflect on these issues and consider their options in dealing with them. This session will have implications for novice and experienced language teachers and teacher-trainers. 

 

  1. Full name: Nargiza Tadjiyeva

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Title: Perception of teachers about task based language learning 

Abstract: Task based language learning and teaching (TBLT) has become one of   the main topics in the research papers and conference on language learning. It has also become an integral part in the curriculum at many international universities and private enterprise in Uzbekistan. However there is still a gap between how TBLT viewed in the research papers and the way how it is understood by practitioners in foreign language classrooms. The implementation and the effectiveness of TBLT in the instructed foreign language classrooms depend on how teachers view and understand TBLT. In this presentation I will talk about research I am currently conducting on exploring teachers’ perceptions about TBLT.

 

  1. Full name: Gulbakhor Mamadiyeva and Marija Kovac

University:  Webster University, Uzbekistan  

Title:  Language planning for teachers - bringing about the change you want to see

Abstract: Traditionally, teachers are equally unhappy with the current education climate as with any top-down policies trying to reform it. The dissatisfaction arouses from the feeling that the changes are imposed on them, and do not reflect or cater for the students' specific needs in the classroom.

The paper is going to look at teachers' beliefs about being the agents of change and formulating proposals. We are going to show what some former students who took the Language History, Planning and Policy Course brought forward and how that affected their teaching practice.

In the workshop we aim to demonstrate how teachers can outline proposals of their own, after learning about language proposals and action research, so that they can determine what the needs of their students are and how using a bottom-up approach can support them in making meaningful changes in their classrooms.

 

  1. Full name: Anila R. Scott-Monkhouse and Armando Vannucci 

University: University of Parma Language Centre, Italy 

Title: Inter-disciplinary peer observation. Can it work?

Abstract: Peer observation has become increasingly common in Higher education, but may still be unexplored ground in the online teaching scenario which has developed since the outbreak of the pandemic. At Parma university (Italy), an EAP lecturer and a Signal Processing professor experimented with inter-disciplinary peer observation of each other’s classes (approx 40 EAP students; over 100 Engineering undergraduates) during the spring 2020 lockdown, when all teaching went online overnight. What started as reciprocal help, with no academic research intent, slowly developed into semi-structured practice which proved valuable in terms of professional development for both observer and observee. After describing the objectives of our reciprocal observations, we will explain how we carried them out and how over time we came to develop a shared format and etiquette. We will also highlight the importance of didactic and psychological factors in this process of constructive cooperation, but also the impact of truly being a learner in each other’s class on the outcome. 

 

  1. Full name: Flavia Ramos-Mattoussi

University: Florida State University/ Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program, United States 

Title: Textbook Appraisal: Principles, Process, and Lessons Learned 

Abstract: Textbooks play an important role in instruction. They support and enrich education by helping to standardize teaching practices and achieve learning outcomes. Additionally, textbooks can help motivate learners and widen their understandings of themselves and others. Understanding a textbook’s strengths and weaknesses is critical to build on what textbooks offer and compensate for any lack of quality. However, how does one evaluate a textbook and compare the merits of one textbook over another? A quality appraisal process using an effective instrument can help in selecting the most appropriate textbook or understand where a textbook already in use may need to be improved. This paper provides an overview of the design of an appraisal instrument used by the Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program in collaboration with the Uzbekistan Ministry of Public Education to analyze English textbooks. Audience members will receive the appraisal instrument and resources to assess their own learning materials. 

 

  1. Full name: Abbos Utkirov

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Title: Why Another Study on Motivation? EMI versus EFL Universities in Uzbekistan

Abstract:  A plethora of studies have been conducted on motivation in English language learning. As one reviewer previously noted “it isn’t clear why we need yet another study of motivation.” While there are more than 2 million results for “motivation in English language learning” in Google Scholar, very few discuss motivation in English as medium of instruction (EMI) contexts. This gap in the literature is especially notable as one assumption behind EMI is it can create motivation to learn language (Shohamy, 2012). Furthermore, no studies have examined motivations of English learners in Uzbekistan. To address these gaps, 215 students in years 1 and 4 from two universities in Uzbekistan (an EFL university and an EMI university) completed a student motivation questionnaire (adapted from Dornyei, 2010) and 35 teachers from both institutions completed the perception of teachers’ questionnaire (adopted from Hadre, et. al., 2008). Findings thus far include overall higher student motivation levels at the EMI university and a decrease in motivation from year 1 to year 4 students at both universities. Authors hope to compare the motivations not only from EFL and EMI, but also different EFL contexts, such as results from the comparative survey project in Japan, China, and Iran (Taguchi, Magid, & Papi, 2009). A match or mis-match between students’ motivations and teachers’ perceptions will also be explored and considered. This roundtable session invites discussion on next steps in this study, usefulness of results for the different contexts, as well as the importance of continuing to explore under-researched contexts. In particular, presenters will raise the following questions:

  1. Is it important to understand learner motivations in all contexts? Why or why not?
  2. What is the potential value of a correlation between learners’ motivations and teachers’ perceptions?
  3. What findings from this data set can be most useful?
  1. Full name: Ramin Yazdanpanah

University: Florida State University, Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program Partner, United States

Title: Frameworks and implementation of foreign language standards

Abstract:  This paper provides the audience with examples, definitions, and resources of how educational standards are defined in general, introduce frameworks of foreign language standards specifically, and considerations and best practices when developing standards. The presenters will share several international examples of why and how ESL/EFL student-learning standards are written, introduce scope and sequence as a comprehensive resource that integrates standards, and the need of alignment of instructional materials and assessment with standards. The presenters will also discuss foreign language teacher professional standards, and strategies for building teachers’ ability to implement standards-based instructional practices. The presenters will discuss the implications for the development of EFL student standards under the Ministry of Public Education and USAID-funded Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program implemented by RTI International (lead organization), Florida State University and Mississippi State University. 

 

 

  1. Full name: Dilrabo Babakulova

University:  Academic Lyceum under WIUT, Uzbekistan 

Title:  Project-Based Learning in Teaching English 

Abstract: This article discusses the implementation of the “Project-based learning” approach into foreign language teaching practice. Moreover, it focuses on the challenges and benefits of PBL (project-based learning) by providing two examples from ESL classrooms that helped to advance students' language, research, and technical skills, along with creativity and student collaboration.  In both projects, each lesson lasted 120 minutes and conducted once a week. It required three lessons for students’ preparation to produce the final product by getting directions, analyzing sample materials, and practicing during the lessons.  The project presentation was given during the fourth lesson. This approach was applied to freshman students at Academic Lyceum under WIUT.

  1. Full name: Komila Tangirova, Khilola Maksudova

Organization: UzTESPING (Uzbekistan Teachers of ESP Integrated Networking Group) under UzSPIC, Uzbekistan 

Title: UzTESPING-Professional Development Opportunites for ESP teachers in Uzbekistan

Abstract:The poster presentation is aimed at informing the conference participants of the activities run by UzTESPING (Uzbekistan Teachers of ESP Integrated Networking Group). The presenters will give an overview of achievements of this organisation in supporting professional development of ESP teachers since it was established. The poster presentation will focus on the past, current and planned activities of UzTESPING in promoting not only country-wide networking and exchange of practices among ESP teachers in Uzbekistan but also initiatives targeting regular engagement with various international professional communities and teacher associations. The founder and the chief coordinator will explain the details of becoming a member of UzTESPING.

 

  1. Full name: Guzal Sultanova, Rozaliya Ziryanova

University: Westminster International University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

Title: The Teacher’s Voice: what we need to know

Abstract: The purpose of this workshop is to deepen participants’ awareness of the importance of keeping the teachers’ main tool – their voice – healthy and sonorous. The presenters will share information about the abilities and disorders of voice, conduct practical exercises and give recommendations that will assist attendees in the daily use of their voice.

 

  1. Full name: Dina Vyortkina

University: Florida State University, Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program Partner, USA/Uzbekistan

Title: “We Can’t Hear You!” Using Videoconferencing for EFL Instruction, Meetings, and Professional Development

Abstract: Videoconferencing provides a critical way to stay connected with each other in today’s virtual world, whether you are a teacher communicating with a student or a parent, an educational administrator working collaboratively with teachers or a group of staff in a virtual space. With the advent of the COVID-19 global pandemic, videoconferencing as a mechanism for keeping an education system functioning skyrocketed. We will provide a comprehensive overview of best practices for using videoconferencing for EFL instruction, teacher professional development and support, and meetings. We will discuss the unique benefits and limitations of videoconferencing, critical success factors, participant engagement strategies, and lessons learned by the team from the USAID-supported Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program implemented in collaboration with the Uzbekistan Ministry of Public Education. The authors will also share resources that will be helpful for videoconferencing organizers, regardless of the selected technology/platform. 

 

  1. Full name: Ozoda Turabova

University: Uzbekistan State World Languages University, Uzbekistan 

Title: Innovations in Assessing Speaking Proficiency 

Abstract: Integrating innovative methods in assessing language ability of learners are critical part of language teaching and learning. The present paper is dedicated to explore integration of digital platform “Flipgrid” where instructor posted tasks and students answer in video format. This innovative tool allowed to process students learning about the content. Students recorded videos were peer and self-assessed with follow-up teacher’s feedback relying on rubric (Grammar and Vocabulary, Discourse Management, Pronunciation, Interactive Communication). After the implementation of Flipgrid, subjects were asked to take a survey on benefits of Flipgrid where most of them highlighted the advantageous as the tool allowed them to be a part of assessment process and to be aware of areas that needs improvement in their oral proficiency.

 

  1. Organization: Discussion of Research Findings by American Councils for International Education, British Council and the University of Leicester (UK), and RTI International

Title: What Do EFL Teachers in Uzbekistan Think, Know and Do?   

Abstract: Teachers are at the heart of the learning process and the quality of the teacher can contribute to students’ success or failure in achieving learning outcomes. We know from an emerging body of research that a highly effective teacher is the key to raising student achievement; however, the qualities that comprise and contribute to effective teaching are complex. Three research studies undertaken respectively by American Councils, British Council and the University of Leicester (UK), and RTI International all contribute to helping the Government of Uzbekistan Ministry of Public Education to better understand what might contribute positively to EFL teacher effectiveness and what might be detrimental to teacher effectiveness and, consequently, to student learning and achievement. In this 2-hour plenary presentation, each organization will describe its research study, present selected findings and discuss the implications for improving EFL teaching and learning in the classroom. There will be ample time for questions from the audience. Dr. Ayubkhon Radjiev, Rector, A. Avloni Research Institute/Ministry of Public Education will moderate the overall presentation and Dr. Ramin Razdanpanah, EFL Technical Advisor/Florida State University will moderate the question and answer section.

  1. Organization: American Councils for International Education

Title: TOEFL Testing Practices in Uzbekistan: An English-Speaking Nation Perspective

Presenter: John Simpson, Program Director/American Councils for International Education

Abstract: This presentation will discuss the findings from TOEFL testing practices in Uzbekistan carried out by American Councils for International Education in October 2020 and February 2021. This findings will be used to better inform and support teacher professional development activities, including the Uzbekistan Ministry of Public Education English Speaking Nation Program, which aims to achieve four main goals: (1) to improve Uzbekistan secondary school teachers’ English language skills with the goal of increased fluency and better use of English in the classroom, (2) to improve Uzbekistan secondary school teachers’ student-centered pedagogical skills, (3) to strengthen the positive perception of Uzbekistan secondary school teachers inside and outside their communities, and (4) to cultivate a supportive ecosystem of teaching and training in order to attain excellence in English language teaching.  

  1. Organization: British Council

Title: Future English in Uzbekistan: Understanding the Context to Support Teaching and Learning

Presenters: Simon Etherton, Future English Programme Director/British Council and Jeff Stanford, University of Leicester

Abstract: The British Council and the University of Leicester (United Kingdom) will present findings from comprehensive research conducted by the two organizations in Uzbekistan, analysing the attitudes and knowledge of secondary school English language teachers, how these influence classroom practices and how these are impacted by English language policy in the education system.

The presentation will briefly outline the Future English regional initiative and then focus on the findings from the situational analysis research conducted in Uzbekistan and the implications and impact of these for English language teacher professional development. 

  1. Organization: RTI International

Title: A View from the Classroom: What Do EFL Teachers Really Think?

Presenter: Simon King, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Technical Advisor/RTI International 

Abstract: The USAID-funded Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program, implemented in collaboration with the Uzbekistan Ministry of Public Education, will discuss the findings from two e-surveys distributed to EFL, ICT and Primary Teachers from across Uzbekistan to understand their perspectives on resources, teaching and learning and professional development. The presentation will focus on findings from EFL teachers and how teacher perspectives are in line with research on teacher effectiveness or may deviate from what is known about teacher effectiveness and what the implications are for improving EFL teaching and learning in Uzbekistan schools.

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