1 July 2020

Introduction

This webinar outlines a continuing telecollaborative project which involves science students in the UK, Occupied Palestinian Territories and Malawi.  

The students work together to look for contextually appropriate engineering responses to technological challenges. Via the content requirements of their projects, a ‘pluriliteracies’ approach pushes them to work at a cognitive level that is more demanding than their grammatical ability. 

Language use is authentic due to the in-built need for communication. This builds measurable confidence in a short time. A final outcome is meaningful intercultural engagement, helping to build what Paolo Freire termed ‘critical consciousness’.

Speakers

Anna Rolinska has worked as an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Lecturer at the University of Glasgow and is currently working at the Glasgow School of Art. She teaches and co-ordinates EAP on the foundation programme and pre-sessional courses. She has 20 years of experience in teaching English as a foreign language and English for academic and specific purposes. Her research interests include use of learning technologies, academic literacies, multimodality and creativity.

Abeer Abuzayed recently graduated from the Islamic University of Gaza and attended the University of Glasgow as part of the Erasmus exchange programme. She is a self-employed machine learning engineer and a former member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She is interested in natural language processing (NLP) and Arabic NLP, and is working in research related to the machine learning field and NLP.

Bill Guariento has over 20 years’ experience in teaching English at the University of Glasgow. This includes teacher training and master’s supervision, and co-ordination of pre-sessional and in-sessional courses. He is currently Senior Lecturer in English Language at the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Northumbria University, England. His main interests are the use of telecollaboration for project work to enhance language skills and intercultural awareness via peer-to-peer communication, and pluriliteracy approaches to language learning.

Nazmi Al-Masri has been a co-investigator on more than 15 UK and EU-funded research, capacity building and mobility projects, in full partnership with UK and European universities. He is Associate Professor at the English Language Department, Islamic University of Gaza, Occupied Palestinian Territories. He teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses, including technology in teaching English as a foreign language, and oral communication skills. His main research interests include pedagogy and technology and intercultural communication. He has co-published several education-related research papers in international journals.

Wilson Mandala is Executive Dean of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Malawi University of Science and Technology, and Professor in Immunology. He has served as the Director of the Research Support Centre, College of Medicine in Malawi, and as the Associate Director of the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust. His previous research has looked at malaria in children, and the effect of HIV in pregnancy. His current research covers malaria, non-typhoidal salmonella (NTS) and HIV/AIDS immunology.