The GISIG Committee is a team of practising ELT professionals, located in four different countries. All of us are unpaid volunteers, who are committed to raising the profile of global issues within English language teaching. We actively encourage and invite all our members to get involved in the activities of the SIG. If you have feedback, ideas for future projects or collaborations, or would like to join the committee, please get in touch!

Nick Bilbrough (UK) – Joint Coordinator

Nick Bilbrough is a teacher, teacher trainer and author of methodology books for language teachers. He founded the Hands up Project charity in 2016 as way to develop the English language skills of young people in Palestine through storytelling, remote theatre and intercultural communication. He’s particularly interested in context specific teacher training approaches and in English as a tool to amplify the voices of the oppressed. | Email

Sara Wood

Sara Wood is an English language teacher and provides EAL & SEND support to students in and outside the classroom. She is the Learning Coordinator at the Hands Up Project and has been involved with the Project since 2016. She facilitates and coordinates online intercultural Zoom link-ups connecting young Palestinians with their peers around the world and is responsible for volunteer training. She also participated in the award-winning HUP-UNRWA Gaza Facebook Live Team Teaching for the Palestinian English curriculum initiative.

Rajaa Abu Jasser (Gaza)

Rajaa Abu Jasser is an EFL teacher of large classes of children based in Gaza, Palestine – a context with very limited resources and a very challenging working environment. She’s also the Gaza based coordinator of the Hands up Project charity and is responsible for connecting Palestinian teachers with remote volunteers around the world. She loves the opportunities for intercultural learning that this work provides. | Email

Linda Ruas (UK) – Publications

Linda Ruas now teaches ESOL and CELTA at a London FE College, manages the New Internationalist Easier English wiki, and also works with English teachers in Guinea Bissau and other West African countries via WhatsApp. Linda’s main interests are human rights, equality, justice and social issues in Africa. | Email

László Hajba (Hungary) – Online

László Hajba is a freelance ELT teacher and materials writer based in Budapest. He is also the national coordinator of the PeaceCamp project, bringing together Jewish, Palestinian, Hungarian and Austrian teenagers and refugees every year to discuss issues of peaceful coexistence. His interests include gamification, critical pedagogy, peace education and LGBTQ+ issues. | Email

Hind Elyas (Saudi Arabia) – Publications/Events

Hind works as an English Instructor at Alfalak in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She is heavily involved in PD and her current roles include the IATEFL Global Issue, Issues Month Coordinator ,the Past Chair of the TESOL International Professional Development Professional Council , Founding Member of TESOL Arabia and a member of the former TESOL International Womentorship in ELT committee. She is also serving as a TESOL International New Member Guide. Hind has served as a judge for the British Council ELTon Awards since 2021, and she had the honor of being appointed as a National Geographic Advisor for the development of a new academic skills series titled Reflect in 2020. Hind’s former roles include the Executive Secretary of Africa ELTA, Acting Vice President of TESOL Sudan and Professional Development Coordinator at KSAALT TESOL (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Association for English Language Teachers) Some of her achievements include being selected as a TESOL International 2021 Leadership Mentoring Program Award recipient and a TESOL International Convention Ambassador. Her research interests include student engagement, differentiation, and 21st-century teaching and employability skills.

Gergő Fekete (Hungary) – Online

Gergő Fekete is based in Budapest where he works as a teacher of English and German at primary and secondary level. Using his CELTA, he is also active in international summer camps teaching English to multicultural groups. His study and work experience abroad sparked his interest in global issues, diversity, and creativity in language teaching, which guided him to IATEFL’s Global Issues SIG in 2016. | Email

Patrice Kané – Online

Patrice Kané is an EFL teacher and pedagogical advisor at a secondary school in Mali. He has been involved in ELT since 2021 and has delivered training for teachers under the British Council English Connects project. Patrice is the President of a local teachers association in Dioïla and also a member of Malian Association of Teachers of English (MATE). | Email

Varinder Unlu (UK)

Varinder Unlu has worked in ELT for 27 years in all contexts from private language schools to FE and HE, teaching students of all ages. She has been a DOS/Academic Manager/Principal since 2002. She is also a teacher trainer for both Cambridge CELTA and Trinity TESOL, a materials writer and a conference speaker and the co-founder and first coordinator of IATEFL’s Inclusive Practices and SENs SIG.

Abigail Ekangouo Awanga (Cameroon)

Abigail Ekangouo Awanga is an English Language teacher in a state secondary school in the outskirts of Yaounde, Cameroon, who has been in the field for 16 years.She has a Bachelors degree in Bilingual letters, and Higher Teacher training certificate in Bilingual Letters (English and French as foreign Languages). She offers Adult English and French Language course lessons in WhatsApp.She has a passion for instructional technology and she trains English Language teachers on how to use basic digital skills and tools for teaching and for managing communities of practice She is the founder of English language Teaching Women Cameroon Special Interest Group and the present CAMELTA Vice President in charge of International Outreach. At her spare time and to encourage literacy, she offers free English lessons to kids in her community twice per week.She also works as an ELT Consultants Associate and Africa ELTA Associate Editor.

Panagiotis Ruby Polygenis (Greece)

Ruby has been working as a Senior English Teacher and a Director of Studies at Faros Language School in Athens, Greece since 1995. He has an MA in Teaching English to Young Learners fro the University of York. In the past he has served on the TESOL Greece Board and he has presented in various international conferences. He is particularly interested in bridging the real world with his classes both to teenagers and adults. In the last years he has been using the SDGs and their implementation in various projects with his students.

We are extremely grateful for the insight, enthusiasm and support offered by Margit Szesztay, Dennis Newson, Wolfgang Ridder, Bill Templer and Rose Aylett over their many years of involvement with GISIG, as members, former committee members, colleagues and friends.

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