GUST English Language and Literature (GELL) 2nd International Conference
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GUST English Language and Literature (GELL) 2nd International Conference

Challenges of Teaching Foreign Language and Literature

April 21st – 23rd, 2015

Call for Papers

Teaching is one of the most challenging professions because it brings individuals of different backgrounds (teachers and learners) into a very close relationship.  The process of teaching/learning arguably constitutes the most important aspect of this relationship, but it is intimately connected with other complex personal, social, cultural, and even historical and political factors.  A teacher is not a neutral entity, nor does s/he teach in a social, cultural, and historical vacuum.  Similarly, the learner is not a tabula rasa, subject to the teacher’s inscriptions.  Inevitably, the process of education will elicit critical questions or even resistance.  Teaching foreign languages and literatures to non-native speakers may pose challenges for both teachers and students.  These challenges may be administrative, technical, pedagogical, linguistic, social, cultural, political, or even a combination of all.  This conference aims at exploring these challenges in different teaching situations and environments.

The GELL 2015 conference welcomes all language and literature professors and instructors to share their experiences, but wishes particularly to focus on teaching foreign languages and literatures in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  Also, though professors and instructors of foreign languages and literatures other than English are welcome, the language of the presentations/articles must be English.  Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

  • The American-style university: the model of the future
  • Varieties of the literary canon: what do we teach and why?
  • The colonized teacher: how our students change us
  • The Other in the classroom
  • The goals of teaching literature: literacy, liberalism, global citizenship?
  • Local culture and history as contexts
  • Stereotypes, the Orientalist and Occidentalist
  • Political correctness, cultural taboos and censorship
  • Teacher expectations vs. student expectations
  • Native language interference/transfer
  • The cultural aspect of teaching language and literature
  • Technology and language instruction
  • What’s lost or gained in translation
  • Institutional policies and institutionalized restrictions
  • Applying theory to the classroom

Proposals (consisting of a 300 word abstract and a 200 word biography) should be sent to the GELL organizing committee.  Time allowance for each presentation is 20 minutes and an additional 15 minutes will be provided for discussions. 

Deadline for proposal submission: December 21st, 2014.

Notification of proposal acceptance: January 15th, 2015

Publication Opportunity:  Cambridge Scholars Publishing has offered to publish a volume based on the conference proceedings.  Papers presented at the conference will be reviewed and the best 10-12 will be selected for inclusion in the book. 

Conference contacts:  All inquiries should be directed to the following contacts.  All literature proposals should be sent to Dr. Elsherif, and all language and linguistics proposals should be sent to Dr. Tryzna

Dr. Ikram Elsherif: elsherif.i@gust.edu.kw

Dr. Marta Tryzna: tryzna.m@gust.edu.kw

Dr. Gerald Naughton: naughton.g@gust.edu.kw

Dr. Martin Rosenstock: rosenstock.m@gust.edu.kw