I feel greatly honored to write this foreword to the 2nd MEC TESOL Conference organized by Middle East College, Muscat, Oman, on the 28th of October, 2020. This year’s conference title, “Emerging Trends and Contemporary Issues in Language Learning: The EFL Context” encompassed a wide variety of relevant TESOL themes. The conference intended to provide an opportunity to English language teachers, curriculum designers, and researchers who share this common vision. There were around fifty 50 paper presentations by ELT practitioners from around the globe. Twenty-nine full-length papers have been selected for publication.
Since English is the lingua franca in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, competence in the language is an essential requirement for a successful academic and professional career. Therefore, the language proficiency of Arab EFL learners entering tertiary education needs to be strengthened to meet the requirements of a higher education system in which English is the language of instruction and assessment.
The conference aimed to share best practices and reflect on how these students can be initiated into their disciplinary and workplace language requirements. This purpose is aligned with the mission of Middle East College — We endeavour to fulfill creative human potential through education, inquiry, innovation, intercultural engagement and service — and to the educational priorities of Oman which envisions a community of learners equipped with the English language skills to compete at the international level.
The papers presented during the conference covered a wide range of topics related to the conference theme and sub-themes including, English for Academic Purposes; English for Specific Purposes; emergency remote teaching; flipped learning; critical media literacy; use of ICTs in language learning; academic writing; use of hypermedia tools in language learning; project-based learning; and principled eclecticism in the classroom.
I am confident that these Proceedings will furnish teachers and curriculum designers, from across the globe, with excellent ideas for classroom delivery and stimulate further research in the field of TESOL.
I am deeply grateful to all the authors for their valuable contributions, all the reviewers for their comprehensive feedback that helped in enhancing the quality of selected papers, and the Editor, AWEJ for his support during various stages of the publication process.
Dr. Samia Naqvi
Head, Centre for Foundation Studies
Middle East College, Muscat, Oman