AUIS Establishes Role as Leader in English Language Learning and Teaching in Region

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 12:15

Sulaimani, Iraq – October 25, 2013 – The Academic Preparatory Program (APP) at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted a conference October 20-21 titled "Achieving Excellence in English-Language Teaching." The two-day conference included teaching demonstrations, workshops, multicultural panels, and presentations by international experts.

Sulaimani, Iraq – October 25, 2013 – The Academic Preparatory Program (APP) at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted a conference October 20-21 titled "Achieving Excellence in English-Language Teaching." The two-day conference included teaching demonstrations, workshops, multicultural panels, and presentations by international experts.

"Because we have a variety of staff from different educational and teaching backgrounds, we have a wide spectrum of knowledge about English language teaching.  AUIS is positioning itself to become the leader in English language learning and teaching in Iraq,” said Rachel Laribee, Director of the Academic Preparatory Program. "Our University does not just educate students.  We educate working professionals from the private sector and government.  And that's why we are the region’s leader in education and workforce development.”

The conference was free of charge to attendees, as it aimed to provide professional development training for English teachers in the area.  According to Laribee, the goal of the event was to share the most up-to-date effective methods in English-language instruction with local teachers and strengthen AUIS' relationship with the community.

Two guest speakers presented at the conference: Brock Brady, Education Programming and Training Specialist for the U.S. Peace Corps, and Dr. Jeff Share, faculty advisor in the Teacher Education Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

"There are two things that impress me a lot here at AUIS. The first is [the University’s] commitment to helping students think in new ways and independently.  When [students] learn how to think independently, they make better decisions," stated Brady, who is the former president of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages International Association (TESOL). "The other thing that I think is very positive is that AUIS is reaching out to local high schools and finding ways that they can work with them and build a community of teachers where we can all learn together.”

The Professional Development Institute (PDI) at AUIS also provides a number of English courses, including TOEFL and IELTS preparation courses and beginner-advanced classes that address the four important elements of English Language instruction: writing and grammar, reading, speaking and listening. In addition to offering English language instruction for members of the community, they provide courses that are tailored to suit the specific needs of local companies and organizations, such as Asiacell and Mercy Corps. Additionally, PDI partnered with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research this year to provide intensive language courses to recipients of the Human Capacity Development Program (HCDP) scholarship.

“PDI has emerged as the leading organization for English-language training in Iraq,” said PDI Director, Dr. Robert Ritchie.  “Our instructors are all native speakers with significant credentials and have continuously demonstrated the appropriate combination of rigor, care, and feedback that research indicates as best practices in English-language education.”