Kenote Speakers


Assoc. Prof. Tan Choon Keong
University Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia

Tan Choon Keong (PhD) is currently an Associate Professor with the Faculty of Psychology and Education, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia. He has 15 years of experience as a lecturer in the discipline of e-learning, multimedia and educational technology at the university. He started his service as a secondary school English Language and had served the Ministry of Education for 11 years before joining Ilmu Khas Teacher Education Institute (IPG) as an educational technology lecturer. After serving 2 years at the IPG, he joined UMS in 2002. At the university, he served as Head for the E-Learning Unit for 13 years, Deputy Dean (Research and Innovation) for 2 years and Chief Editor for International Journal for E-Learning Practices (IJELP) for 2 years. Currently, he is still the Deputy Chief Editor for IJELP. He headed a research grant for studying the use of multi-sensory approach for English Language teaching in Kota Belud, Sabah (2012-2014) and another two grants for investigating the behaviour of East Malaysia’s English Language students in using technology for learning (Grant 1: 2015-2016, Grant 2: 2017-2018). He also participated in a few other research projects as Deputy Research Head involving rural school students in the use of multisensory approach to learn listening and speaking skills in English (2013-2015). Regarding the area of teacher development, he was as a Deputy Research Head for the TPACK project in University of Foreign Languages Studies, Da Nang and University of Languages and International Studies, Hanoi, Vietnam from 2015 to 2016. His main research interest is to improve English Language learning via ICT. He had published numerous journal papers on creativity, e-learning and multimedia in higher education.

Speech Title: Alternative Learning Method via Multi-Sensory Approach for Improving English Language Reading Skills
Abstract: Acquiring a functional literacy level in English has always been a challenge for children of rural schools in Malaysia especially for underprivileged children. The present study involved Year 1 to Year 6 primary students and preschoolers on the remote island of Mantanani, about 60 kilometers from the town of Kota Belud, Sabah, East Malaysia. The experiment took two weeks to accomplish. The study was sponsored by CIMB Foundation Malaysia via its corporate social responsibility (CSR) division. Conventional teaching method such as the chalk and talk approach was discarded. A group of student teachers from a local university in East Malaysia volunteered for the study. The primary students and preschoolers were taught synthetic phonics using the Jolly Phonics technique which is a method commonly used by European countries in particularly United Kingdom. They learned to recognise all the letter sounds of English, and how to use the letter sounds to read and spell, as well as developing visual, listening and memory skills, and becoming familiar with some sight-words. It involved multi-sensory learning skills such as singing, dancing, letter writing using fingers, hopscotching, drawing and games to learn the fourty two letter sounds. The findings revealed that the students enjoyed learning using the synthetic phonic approach for improving reading skills. Their letter reading skills improved by six times as indicated in the posttest. It is recommended that language teachers adopt this unconventional method to augment the development of basic literacy skills of young children.

Prof. Yi Zhang
Northwestern Polytecnical University, China

Yi Zhang, Professor, Associate Dean of School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Northwestern Polytecnical University. Her research area covers Teacher Education, Second Language Acquisition and Comparative Studies of Language Education etc. As the first and correspondent author, she has published 50 papers in peer reviewed journals both in China and abroad. She has organized and accomplished more than 20 research projects granted by the government. In 2014, she obtained "National Award for Teaching Achievement" rewarded by Chinese Ministry of Education. Since 2000, she has been awarded 5 times by the provincial government and 8 times by the university for her teaching and research.  

Prof. Zhang is a councilor member of Chinese Educational Linguistic Association,  member of Asian Teachers' Association, oral examiner of Business English Certificate (BEC) test and invited reviewer of Linguistics and Literature Studies.   

Speech Title: An Analysis of Chinese Scholars' Published Linguistic Articles (2004-2014)
Abstract: This study aims to find the features of the linguistic research articles written by Chinese scholars from 2004 to 2014. Articles from international journals cited by SCI, SSCI and A&HCI are classified. Among the 172 journals, Chinese scholars' have over 1452 articles published, covering 73.8% of the journals. According to the impact factor, the articles from top 25 journals are studied from the perspective of research topic, participant, instrument and method. Findings suggest that Chinese scholars' research interest cover a wide range of topics and different research methods are adopted. Chinese EFL learners are the major research participants. Suggestions about the future of the linguistic research and language teaching are offered.  

Assoc. Prof.Ronald Candy S. Lasaten

Mariano Marcos State University, Philippines

Ronald Candy S. Lasaten is from the City of Batac, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He earned his degree Doctor of Philosophy major in Applied Linguistics at the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Graduate School, Laoag City, Philippines in 2012.
He is presently an Associate Professor at the Mariano Marcos State University College of Teacher Education (CTE), Laoag City. He is the College Coordinator for Instructional Materials Development, Coordinator for Board Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (BLEPT) Review and the Editor-in-chief of the CTE Research Journal. His research interests include linguistics, language, literature, language and literature teaching, language and literature assessment, instructional materials development and integration of ICT in education.
Dr. Lasaten is the Vice President for Research of the Association of Teacher Education Administrators (ATEA), member in Asian Qualitative Research Association (AQRA), Philippine Association for Teacher Education (PAFTE), and International English Learners Training Institute (IELTI).