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Embassy Target-of-Opportunity Speaker Addresses a Keynote Speech at the 2012 International Colloquium on Language Teaching

Prof. Collins delivering his keynote remarks at International Colloquium on Language Teaching 2012 (U.S. Embassy photo)

Prof. Collins delivering his keynote remarks at International Colloquium on Language Teaching 2012 (U.S. Embassy photo)

Prof. Dr. James T. Collins of the Northern Illinois University delivered a keynote speech on language ‘Authenticity and Proficiency’ to more than 60 participants from Malaysia and Southern Thailand. The participants came from diverse language backgrounds including English, Thai, Khmer, Vietnamese, Japanese, Mandarin, Arabic, French, German etc.  The 3-day colloquium hosted by University of Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) was organized for the second year in its campus in Bachok, Kelantan.  It was intended to provide a platform for language trainers to discuss and share best practices and current issues relating to teaching languages to non-native speakers and learning foreign languages. In his remarks, Dr. Collins, who is a Professor in Malay and Indonesian, urged the audience to use real-life instructional materials – such as advertisements, pamphlets, etc -- to enhance the proficiency of language learners.  Dr. Collins believes that these materials help students relate their own experiences in better understanding foreign languages.

During the colloquium, participants presented papers at four parallel sessions and shared their research findings on teaching language to foreigners.  UMK also hosted a welcoming dinner in conjunction with the University’s international language night.  The guests were entertained by multi-cultural performances by the students of the Faculty of Modern Languages, UMK.  Also present was UMK Deputy Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Alumni Prof. Madya Abdul Aziz Bin Ab. Latif, Director of the Center of Language and Generic Development Prof. Dr. Farok Zakaria and Embassy representative Ms. Nur Farizan Zulkifli.

At the end of the seminar, Prof. Collins was interviewed by local press Utusan, Bernama and RTM on Malay language learning in the U.S. and the West in general.  An article on the interview can be found at the Utusan Malaysia news portal.