Prof. Stefanie Pillai
Prof Stephanie PillaiProf. Dr. Stefanie Pillai is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya (UM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Stefanie began her career as an English language and Literature teacher in a secondary school in Kuala Lumpur upon completing her Bachelor of Education (Hons.) in TESL in the United Kingdom (UK). She joined UM as a language teacher in 1993, before becoming a lecturer in 1993. She was a recipient of the Commonwealth Split-Site PhD completing her tenure at the University of Newcastle, UK. She was the 2917 Bill Balsamo Asian Scholar at JALT 2017 and the Ian Gordon Fellow at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Her main areas of research interest are the segmental and prosodic features of spoken Malaysian English and Malacca Portuguese. Her initial work on the Malacca Portuguese was funded by, and has been archived in the Endangered Languages Archive. She has also been working on capacity building for language documentation with Professor Peter K. Austin of SOAS, UK under a Newton-Ungku Omar Fellowship. Stefanie contributed to Malaysia's English Language Roadmap, a comprehensive plan for English language education in Malaysia.  Her papers have been published in journals such as Asian Englishes, English Today, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, World Englishes, Language Sciences and Language and Communication.

Globalising English Language Teaching
The need for graduates to have good communication skills is a recurrent theme in employability surveys. With economic and human resource markets becoming more borderless, graduates have to be proficient in a language other than their own. In the regional and global context, this language is likely to be English. To this end, Singapore, the Philippines and to a large extent, Malaysia, have an advantage over the rest of the ASEAN countries. To address the declining levels of English proficiency, both Malaysia and Thailand are aligning their English language education to the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR). This keynote will address questions about the extent to which such an alignment will achieve its purpose. It will also look at the economic empowerment that comes with being fluent in English. In relation to English Language Teaching (ELT), the paper will discuss the concerns about the conforming to exornormative norms for English, especially when it comes to the spoken form given that most communication in English is going to be with ‘non-native’ speakers, and in ‘non-native’ speaking contexts. The paper argues that this native-non-native paradigm in English language teaching is not useful in today’s context. Instead, we need to prepare our graduates with language, intercultural and communication skills and competencies, which prepare them for cross border communication and job opportunities.

GOLD SPONSOR

REGULAR SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSOR

REGULAR SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSOR

REGULAR SPONSOR