Speakers (2017)

The IAFOR International Conference on Education – Dubai 2017 (IICEDubai2017) was a multidisciplinary conference held concurrently with The IAFOR International Conference on Language Learning – Dubai 2017 (IICLLDubai2017), The IAFOR International Conference on Social Sciences – Dubai 2017 (IICSSDubai2017), and The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Dubai 2017 (IICAHDubai2017).

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


  • Dr Christine Coombe
    Dr Christine Coombe
    Dubai Men's College, UAE
  • Dr Virginia Bodolica
    Dr Virginia Bodolica
    American University of Sharjah, UAE
  • Dr Christina Gitsaki
    Dr Christina Gitsaki
    Zayed University, UAE
  • Professor Robert J. C. Young
    Professor Robert J. C. Young
    New York University, USA & New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • Dr Melanie Gobert
    Dr Melanie Gobert
    Abu Dhabi Men’s College, UAE
  • Professor Donald E. Hall
    Professor Donald E. Hall
    Lehigh University, USA
  • Dr Fadi Aloul
    Dr Fadi Aloul
    American University of Sharjah, UAE
  • Mr Mohammed Azaza
    Mr Mohammed Azaza
    ADNOC Technical Institute, UAE
  • Dr Phil Quirke
    Dr Phil Quirke
    Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE
  • Dr Sufian Abu-Rmaileh
    Dr Sufian Abu-Rmaileh
    UAE University, UAE
Dr Christine Coombe
Dubai Men's College, UAE

Biography

Christine Coombe has a PhD in Foreign/Second Language Education from The Ohio State University. She is currently on the English faculty of Dubai Men's College. She is the former Testing and Measurements Supervisor at UAE University and Assessment Coordinator of Zayed University. Christine is co-editor of Assessment Practices (2003, TESOL Publications); co-author, A Practical Guide to Assessing English Language Learners (2007, University of Michigan Press); co-editor, Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness in EF/SL Contexts (2007, UMP); co-editor, Language Teacher Research in the Middle East (2007, TESOL Publications), Leadership in English Language Teaching and Learning (2008, UMP) Applications of Task-based Learning in TESOL (2010, TESOL Publications), The Cambridge Guide to Second Language Assessment (2012, Cambridge University Press) and Reigniting, Retooling and Retiring in English Language Teaching (2012, University of Michigan Press). Christine’s forthcoming books are on research methods in EF/SL and life skills education.

Christine has lived and worked in the Arabian Gulf for the past 21 years. In this capacity, she has served as the President and past President of TESOL Arabia and as the Founder and Co-chair of the TESOL Arabia Testing Special Interest Group who organise the Current Trends in English Language Testing (CTELT) Conference. Christine is also the Founder and Chair of the TESOL Arabia Leadership & Management SIG.

During her tenure in the Middle East, she has won many awards including: 2002 Spaan Fellowship for Research in Second/Foreign Language Assessment; 2002-03 TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award; TOEFL Board Grant for 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2009-10 for her work in delivering assessment training assessment in developing countries. Most recently she served on the TESOL Board of Directors as Convention Chair for Tampa 2006 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Teacher of the Year for 2003-04. She served as TESOL President (2011-2012) and was a member of the TESOL Board of Directors (2010-2013). Christine received the British Council’s International Assessment Award for 2013.

Featured Presentation (2018) | Classroom Management: Empirical and Practical Perspectives

Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | How the Most Productive TESOLers ‘Fit it all in’
Dr Virginia Bodolica
American University of Sharjah, UAE

Biography

Virginia Bodolica, PhD (HEC Montreal, Canada), is a Professor in the School of Business Administration at the American University of Sharjah, UAE. She teaches in the areas of strategy and innovation, corporate governance, family business, and human resource management. Her research interests are related to governance issues in for-profit settings, family-owned enterprises and healthcare institutions, board of directors’ dynamics, and the incentive design of executive compensation packages in the context of merger and acquisition transactions. She co-authored a research-driven book on Mergers and Acquisitions and Executive Compensation, which was recently published as part of Routledge Studies in Corporate Governance. Among other journals, Bodolica has published in the Academy of Management Annals, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Business Research, Strategic Organisation, Journal of Business Ethics, Management Decision, and Health Expectations. She received a Research and Scholarship Award from the UAE National Research Foundation for her collaborative project on corporate governance arrangements in UAE–based family businesses that culminated in the publication of the practice-oriented book titled Managing Organisations in the United Arab Emirates: Dynamic Characteristics and Key Economic Developments. Bodolica assumed consulting roles in private and public organisations and delivered executive education sessions and customised programs to companies in North America, Middle East, and Latin America. Her involvement in professional service activities has earned her Outstanding Reviewer Awards from the Academy of Management Business Policy and Strategy, Healthcare Management, and Management Education and Development Divisions. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Middle East Center, London School of Economics and Political Science, where she conducted research on corporate governance initiatives in publicly listed and family-run organisations located in the Gulf region.

Featured Presentation (2018) | In the Era of Disruptive Transformations: Embracing the Imperative of Dynamic Adaptation to the Evolving World of Work

Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | Managing for Innovation and Sustainability: Lessons from the Gulf Region
Dr Christina Gitsaki
Zayed University, UAE

Biography

Professor Dr Christina Gitsaki is the Research Coordinator at the Center for Educational Innovation, Zayed University, UAE. During her 20-year career in higher education she has contributed to the field in a number of different capacities such as English language teacher, applied linguistics lecturer, pre-service teacher educator, in-service teacher trainer, textbook author, project manager, curriculum leader, editor and researcher. In the past she served as the UNESCO Chair in Applied Research in Education in Sharjah and later as the Associate Dean of the Foundations program at HCT. Before coming to the UAE, she worked at The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia, where she educated pre-service ESL teachers and supervised Masters and PhD students in language education research. She has worked with Education Queensland and The Learning Federation of the Curriculum Corporation, Australia on state and federal education projects such as the creation of digital Learning Objects for K-12 ESL students. Dr Gitsaki has presented her research at International Conferences, has been an invited speaker at various professional events and she has published 72 papers in refereed journals and book chapters on language acquisition and pedagogy. She is the author, editor and co-editor of twelve books on language education research. At the CEI she oversees the Mobile Learning Research Fund, the SoTL Certification Course, the development of resources for research and she provides advice and mentorship to faculty who are interested in engaging in research on teaching and learning.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | Innovation in Education Through Curriculum Reform and Research: The Case of the UAE

Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2017) | Education: A Supertanker in an Ocean of Change and Innovation
Professor Robert J. C. Young
New York University, USA & New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE

Biography

Robert J. C. Young is Julius Silver Professor of English and Comparative Literature at New York University, USA, and Dean of Arts and Humanities at New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE. Before joining NYU in 2005 he was Professor of English and Critical Theory, and a Fellow of Wadham College, at the University of Oxford, UK. He has held research or visiting professorships at the University of Hong Kong; Center for Advanced Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany; Monash University, Australia; St John’s College, University of Oxford, UK; University of Puerto Rico; and University College, Galway, Ireland. His research interests range across the fields of cultural and political history, literature, philosophy, photography, psychoanalysis and translation studies, with a particular focus on colonial history and postcolonial theory. His books include White Mythologies (1990), Colonial Desire (1995), Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction (2001), The Idea of English Ethnicity (2008), Empire, Colony, Postcolony (2015), and, with Jean Khalfa, Frantz Fanon. Écrits sur l’aliénation et la liberté, Œuvres II (2015). His work has been translated into over twenty languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Gujarati, Hebrew, Persian, Tamil and Turkish. He is a corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Academia Europaea.


Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2017) | By Natural Law the Earth Is Held in Common
Dr Melanie Gobert
Abu Dhabi Men’s College, UAE

Biography

Dr Melanie Gobert is on the General Education Faculty at the Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi Men’s College. She is a past president of TESOL Arabia, and she was the editor of Perspectives, the TESOL Arabia peer-reviewed English Language Teaching journal, from 2009 to 2014. She has co-edited Current Issues in Reading, Writing and Visual Literacy: Research and Practice (2015) published by Cambridge Scholars. She has also published and presented widely in the region, including, “Taboo Topics in the ESL/EFL Classroom in the Gulf Region” in Intercultural Communication with Arabs (2014, Springer) and “Research-Based Solutions to Gulf Arabs’ Reading Challenges” (in press) Teaching English in the Arab Context: Challenges and Practical Classroom Applications (Cambridge Scholars). She has two upcoming chapters on “Accommodation in ESL” and “Realia” in the new Wiley Publications A to Z of Assessment and A to Z of English Language Teaching. She was the editor of the Student Edition of From Rags to Riches: A Story of Abu Dhabi by Mohamed Al Fahim (Makaram Publishing, 2011). She has also published “Grammar Correction in ESL Writing Classrooms” in Cultivating Real Writers (HCT Press, 2010) and “Key Findings from Research and Implications for the Classroom” in Cultivating Real Readers (HCT Press, 2010). She was a featured speaker at the 2nd World Congress on Extensive Reading held in Seoul, Korea, in 2013, and she presented on “Language Learner Literature and Identity” at the TESOL Regional Conference on Excellence in Language Instruction: Supporting Classroom Teaching & Learning at the National Institute of Education in Singapore in December 2015.


Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2017) | Reading: A 21st Century Skill in Higher Education
Professor Donald E. Hall
Lehigh University, USA

Biography

Donald E. Hall has published widely in the fields of British Studies, Gender Theory, Cultural Studies, and Professional Studies. Prior to arriving at Lehigh in 2011, he served as Jackson Distinguished Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English (and previously Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages) at West Virginia University (WVU). Before his tenure at WVU, he was Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where he taught for 13 years. He is a recipient of the University Distinguished Teaching Award at CSUN, was a visiting professor at the National University of Rwanda, was 2001 Lansdowne Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Victoria (Canada), was Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Cultural Studies at Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria, for 2004-05, and was Fulbright Specialist at the University of Helsinki for 2006. He has also taught in Sweden, Romania, Hungary, and China. He has served on numerous panels and committees for the Modern Language Association (MLA), including the Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion and the Convention Program Committee. In 2012, he served as national President of the Association of Departments of English. In 2013, he was elected to and began serving on the Executive Council of the MLA.

His current and forthcoming work examines issues such as professional responsibility and academic community-building, the dialogics of social change and ethical intellectualism, and the Victorian (and our continuing) interest in the deployment of instrumental agency over our social, vocational, and sexual selves. His book, The Academic Community: A Manual For Change, was published by Ohio State University Press in the fall of 2007. His tenth book, Reading Sexualities: Hermeneutic Theory and the Future of Queer Studies, was published in the spring of 2009. In 2012, he and Annamarie Jagose, of the University of Auckland, collaborated on a volume titled The Routledge Queer Studies Reader, which was published in July of that year. He continues to lecture worldwide on the value of a liberal arts education and the need for nurturing global competencies in students and interdisciplinary dialogue in and beyond the classroom.


Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2017) | Interdisciplinary Education for Innovation and Change
Dr Fadi Aloul
American University of Sharjah, UAE

Biography

Dr Fadi Aloul is a Professor and Department Head of Computer Science and Engineering and the Director of the HP Institute at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), UAE. He holds a PhD and MS degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, respectively, and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering summa cum laude from Lawrence Technological University, Michigan, USA. His research and industrial interests are in Cyber Security, Mobile Applications, and Design Optimization. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the founder of several cyber security awareness initiatives in UAE including UAE’s Cyber Academy. Dr Aloul received a number of prestigious awards including being the only recipient from the Middle East to receive the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC) Airbus Engineering Diversity Award in addition to the H. H. Sheikh Khalifa (UAE’s President) Award for Higher Education, the Sheikh Rashid's Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Young Arab Researchers, the AUS Excellence in Teaching Award and the Semiconductor Research Corporation Fellowship. He has more than 100 publications (available at www.aloul.net) and one US patent. He is a regular invited speaker and panelist across a number of international conferences related to Cyber Security, Technology, Innovation and Education. He was the founder and chair of the UAE IEEE Graduates of Last Decade (GOLD) group, an organization dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.


Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | EDUCATE to INNOVATE
Mr Mohammed Azaza
ADNOC Technical Institute, UAE

Biography

Mohamed Azaza holds an MSc in TESOL from Aston University and DELTA from the University of Cambridge. He is also a PhD candidate in Research in Education with the University of Leicester. Mohamed has published and presented on areas as diverse as teacher professional development, professional communities of practice, teacher leadership, curriculum and materials design, differentiated instruction, emotional intelligence and cross-cultural communication. Mohamed currently works at ADNOC Technical Institute.


Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | Effective Mentoring in an Educational Context
Dr Phil Quirke
Higher Colleges of Technology, UAE

Biography

Dr Phil Quirke is Executive Dean of Education, Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE. He has been in ELT Leadership positions for fifteen years and has published on areas as diverse as face, action research, appraisal and journaling. His books, Managing the Language Classroom and An Exploration of Teacher Knowledge, are widely available, and his publication on Reflective Writing is available online.


Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | How the Most Productive TESOLers ‘Fit it all in’
Dr Sufian Abu-Rmaileh
UAE University, UAE

Biography

Dr Sufian Abu-Rmaileh is an English Lecturer at UAE University. He was the External Projects Coordinator for four years. He was also the Professional Development Coordinator for the Foundation Program. For the past thirty-four years, he has been teaching English at various levels, skills and institutions in the United States and the Middle East. He has been an administrator and a team leader for over ten years in the United States, and the UAE. He has an MA in Linguistics, and received both his TESL Certificate and his PhD in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University, USA. Dr Abu-Rmaileh has also won many awards for his work as a leader, researcher and classroom teacher. He is a frequent presenter, invited and plenary speaker at local, national and international conferences. Dr Abu-Rmaileh has written on culture, classroom technology, motivation, stress and burnout, critical and creative thinking, emotional and social intelligences, team building, problem solving and leadership. He is TESOL Arabia’s past president, past conference co-chair, and over 20 years experience as local, regional and international conference planner.

Featured Presentation (2018) | Using Critical Thinking Techniques in the Classroom

Previous IICEDubai Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | Leadership Skills and Styles for Successful Administrators