Under the Patronage of his Excellency Mr. Ahmad Sa'eed Tamimi, Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Palestine Polytechnic University (PPU) and the University Graduates Council , Palestine Polytechnic University and the Language and Translation Center (LTC) held the First National Symposium on "Contextualizing English Language within the Palestinian Experience (CELPE)"
The Conference was attended by Dr. Sufian Sultan, the former Minister of Agriculture/deputy of the Board of Trustees of Palestine Polytechnic University, as a representative for the Chairman of the University Board of Trustees, Mr. Rif'at Tahboud, member of the University Graduates Union, Dr. Imad Khatib, President of the University, Dr. Mohammad Ghazi Qawasmi, the Vice President of Community Service, Dr. Mohammad Tamimi, the Chairman of the conference/Director of the Language and Translation Center (LTC), Dr. Tamrika Svili, professor of English within the American English Language Program, in addition to representatives for foreign institutions, AMIDEAST and British Council, a number of representatives for Palestinian universities and Directorate of Education in Hebron, and the academic and administrative staff of Palestine Polytechnic University.
After Dr. Sultan opened the conference, he welcomed the participants and he stressed the importance of learning English language using the latest teaching methods. He also stressed the need to focus on Arabic language and use technology in education, hoping that the outcomes of the conference will be applied in teaching and learning.
Dr. Khatib as well expressed his happiness for holding such a conference, stressing the importance of giving the English language the right to education due to its usefulness in providing a competent and outstanding Palestinian youth generation. He also pointed out that the English language has come in consistent to the University vision to transfer it to an entrepreneurial University. At the end of his speech, he gave his thanks to the Conference Chairman and the participants as well.
Dr. TamrikaShvili, an English teacher at the Language and Translation Center at the PPU, also delivered a speech in which she expressed her happiness for teaching at this University during the last year through the English Language Program, and she said: "I thank you for making Palestine Polytechnic University my second home. Palestine will remain in my heart forever and I will always be supportive."
At the end of the opening session, Dr. Mohammad Tamimi, the Director of the LTC and Chairman of the Conference said that the aim of holding this conference was to give the opportunity to the Palestinians and foreign English teachers to sit together and talk about the challenges facing the educational process as well as following up the opportunities that help in teaching and learning the English language. He also thanked the University for its support to the conference and the researchers for presenting their latest research on teaching English in Palestine. At the end of the his speech, he also thanked Dr. Tamrika for her financial and educational support to the University and the conference through her extensive experience in teaching the English language in different parts of the world.
It is noteworthy that the conference included three papers for keynote speakers: Dr. Shelly Wong, Dr. Keith Walters and Dr. Adnan Shehadeh. Twenty-two researchers presented papers in parallel sessions, speaking about the themes of the conference which focused on modern methods of teaching the language within the Palestinian experience and the integration of technology into education.
In the last session, organized by Dr. Tamimi and Dr. Shvili, the participants discussed their recommendations for the symposium which focused on continuing the talk on contextualizing English language and holding it the next year. Also, they talked about enhancing cooperation among the universities to have more benefits as well as increasing interest and greater coordination and interaction between schools and universities regarding the English language teaching.
At the end of the conference, a cultural visit was made to the Old City of Hebron. The visitors visited the glass factory, Iqneibi Olive Press, the Friendship Park, founded by Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, and also ate Hebronite Kunafa and then many of them visited the Abraham Mosque.
Information & Public Relations Department