A commendation for his ‘unique contribution to English language assessment in the context of international education’ was a kudos for Dr Gamal A Shehata received from an examiner who assessed his doctoral thesis.
Shehata graduated with a PhD in Education for his thesis which profiled UKZN as an international university with a broad reach extending beyond the continent with its research making a huge impact on foreign institutions, policy-makers and teachers internationally.
Shehata, who is Head of the Curriculum and Testing Unit at the English Language Center at the Taibah University in Medina, Saudi Arabia, said: ‘I am excited and privileged to get this commendation as it has been a life-long dream of mine to obtain a PhD degree in an area that is of importance at both academic and professional levels. I hope to enter academia as a lifelong scholar and contribute to the field through publications as well as by supervising other prospective teachers in their scholastic pursuits,’ he said.
His research focuses on relating English language examinations and tests to the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) at a Saudi Arabian University – an area which is of interest at national and international levels. ‘It is also of close relevance to my current work at the Taibah University. I wanted to investigate this area in order to benefit my current institution as well as contribute to the literature related to this important area,’ he said.
He thanked his family, friends and supervisor Professor Ayub Sheik for their support and encouragement. ‘I am very grateful to Prof Sheik for his priceless feedback from the initial stages of registration, right up to the conclusion of this research project. I am also thankful to all my colleagues who have participated in this study.’
Shehata has a Masters of Education in E-learning from the University of Hull, a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) from Mansoura University in Egypt, and a qualification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont in the United States.
He is also a certified teacher trainer and worked as an IELTS examiner.
With over 30 years of experience in the field of English language education, Shehata has a wealth of practical knowledge on issues in TESOL.
His research interests include curriculum design, managing English language programmes, language assessment, and online language pedagogy.