Dr. Hememala Ratwatte

Dr. Hememala RatwatteKey note by Dr. Hememala Ratwatte. She will speak on Seeking New Horizons: Continuous Professional Development, the Sri Lankan English teacher and Altruism

Hemamala Ratwatte, the Director of the Postgraduate Institute of English in Sri Lanka, holds a PhD in Psycholinguistics and Second Language Acquisition, and an MSc in Applied Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, UK.  She was a past President of SLELTA (The Sri Lanka English Language Teachers’ Association) and is the Country Representative for Asia TEFL.  Hemamala has been a plenary and featured speaker at international conferences in Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Dubai, China, Philippines and the UK with research interests in Bilingualism, Psycholinguistic underpinnings of learning and teaching a Second Language, Gender, and Teacher Education.

She spent her sabbatical in 2003 as a Visiting Fellow at the University of London, Institute of Education, UK, where she taught on the MA in TESOL programme. She has also been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Hemamala is also an author and co-editor of the text book for General English for the Advanced Level and the Text books English for Accountancy for the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Sri Lanka.

 Plenary sessions by Professor Priyanvada Abeywickrama and Professor Arjuna Parakrama

Professor Priyanvada Abeywickrama

abeywickramaProf. Abeywickrama will speak on “Reflection, Research and Innovation in Language Assessment.” 

Priyanvada Abeywickrama is an associate professor at San Francisco State University where she teaches in the MA TESOL Program in the English Department. Her research interest is in language assessment, specifically examining issues of validity. She presents regularly at the annual TESOL conference, American Association of Applied Linguistics conference and the Language Testing Research Colloquium. She is the co-author of Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices.

Professor Arjuna Parakrama

ArjunaProf Parakrama will speak on Extra-Linguistic Value (of Sri Lankan English) = Zugzwang (for Non-Elite Users)

Arjuna Parakrama is currently Professor of English at the University of Peradeniya. Before this he was Dean/Arts at Colombo University where he taught for over 15 years. He has published widely on Language standardisation and the politics of language, subaltern studies, Lankan English and teaching English in Sri Lanka, conflict transformation and discourse theory. He has been awarded a Guggenheim research grant, as well as senior fellowships from the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, and the US Institute of Peace. He was a Fulbright New Century Scholar in 2007/8. He says he is treated with healthy suspicion by activists who see him as too academic, and by academics, perhaps less justifiably, as too activist. Not-quite-fitting-in is what he seems to do best, to which he gives the fancy name “productive unease”. When he decides that he’s useless as a teacher, he will retire to watching birds and writing poetry. He’s almost there now.