Keynote Speaker 1


    Dr. Michael Thomas
    University of Central Lancashire, UK

    Keynote Speech
    Teaching and Researching ESP with Impact in the Age of Digital Natives

    Over the last two decades research in applied linguistics has increasingly engaged with a wide variety of stakeholders across many related disciplines and fields, from healthcare to social media and politics. In many respects this concern with the ‘extra-academic’ implications of educational research is a consequence of the so-called ‘impact turn’ in academic research that was first formalised by the Research Excellence Framework or REF in UK higher education in 2014. At its heart are questions about the usefulness of academic research, who the main beneficiaries of academic research are, what real-world problems research addresses, and how the quality of research activity can be measured, if at all.
    While the impact agenda has been influential in higher education in the UK, we now find other governments and research councils around the world adopting similar definitions, most notably in Australia and Hong Kong, and work in the Humanities and Social Sciences are increasingly evaluated through this lens.
    This presentation explores the impact of teaching and research in English for Specific Purposes, mainly related to the use of digital technologies in several projects, and addresses the validity of this term as a way of framing our activities as language educators.
    The presentation is a timely intervention into these debates in the context of applied linguistics and educational technology and seeks to develop productive and critical perspectives on impact,
    discussing in what ways, over what time periods and to what extent impact can be a valuable concept in the field.

    For more information about Professor Michael Thomas, please Click Here.


    Keynote Speaker 2


    Dr. Heather Kanuku
    University of Alberta, Canada

    Keynote Speech
    Philosophical Orientations of Teaching and Technology


    Theory without practice leads to an empty idealism, and action without philosophical reflection leads
    to mindless activism (Elias & Merriam, 1980, p. 4)

    There are a number of reasons why everyone who evaluates and/or designs educational
    activities should develop a philosophy of teaching and technology, as well as understand how our philosophical orientations guide our course design and learning activities, inclusive of the use of technologies. Perhaps the most important reason why knowing and understanding our personal philosophical orientations is it enables us to
    be reflective practitioners and to better understand the choices we make in our evaluations and designs of artifacts, technology, communication and/or learning. Reflective practice is more than understanding the impact we are making when we design, develop, implement and evaluate our learning transactions; it is also knowing the impact we want to make. The interrelationship between philosophy and action (when designing for effective communication and learning) is what underpins and inspires our activities whether this is in relation to design for use, web communication or learning, and gives direction to our practice. Knowing our philosophical orientations of teaching and technology, provides direction for design and learning, as well as provides us with the ability to articulate not only what we are doing in when we make educational technology decisions, but what we want to do and why.
    This interactive session will include (1) the findings of an international study on educational technologists' philosophical orientations, and (2) provide a working session to help participants identify their personal philosophical orientations of teaching and technology.

    For more information about professor Heather Kanuka, please click here.

    Keynote Speaker 3


    Dr. Joanne Michelle Mynard
    Kanda University of International Studies, Japan

    Keynote Speech
    Supporting Learner Autonomy and Self-Directed Learning in a New Era

    There are several ways that we might approach teaching and learning of languages in a new era. So called ‘digital natives’ use technology seamlessly in almost every aspect of their lives. This presents both challenges and opportunities. In terms of challenges, educators might struggle to make learning materials current for this new generation of learners. In addition, although learners might be familiar with technology for everyday life, they do not necessarily know how to use it for language learning purposes. In order to translate challenges into opportunities, in this talk, I will begin with an overview of learner autonomy and self-directed learning. Autonomous learners have a sense of awareness and control over the learning processes and can manage cognitive, metacognitive, social, and affective factors relevant to them. These are essential skills for navigating the new opportunities and in developing a personalised learning ecology for the coming years. I will discuss how we can equip our students for learning and re-learning in a new era by drawing on some of the available tools that can be embedded into our classroom activities. As one example, we will look at how technology-based language learning tools might push students to “confront their own planning, monitoring, and evaluation in language learning” (Schwienhorst, 2008, p. 163) and promote language learner autonomy. I will share some practical ways in which educators can examine their own teaching and learning environments, curriculum documents, and teaching practices in order to provide enriching ways to engage
    students in a lifelong learning journey.

    For more information about Professor Joanne Michelle Mynard, please click here.


    Keynote Speaker 4


    Dr. Lisa K. Kervin
    University of Wollongong, Australia

    Keynote Speech
    (Topic will be provided later soon.)


    (Abstract will be provided later soon.)

    For more information about Professor Lisa K. Kervin, please click here.