Department of English

Department of English

The Department of English, which is staffed by academics with expertise and research accomplishments in fields such as applied linguistics, literary theory, discourse analysis, curriculum design and language teacher education, is primarily dedicated to supporting students develop academic literacy skills. These are students who are majoring in science and engineering disciplines, and for whom English is a second or additional language.

The department is responsible for two core English and Communication courses for Freshmen students: English 111 and English 112. These courses introduce students to academic discourse, engaging them in analyzing texts, and producing artefacts such as essays, literature reviews, research proposals and reports. With scaffolding from faculty, this process helps students develop critical thinking, academic writing and research skills. They also develop teamwork capabilities, since they work in groups as well as individually.

The department also supports postgraduate students in developing technical and scientific writing skills, enabling them to write in more nuanced ways that fulfil expectations for the genres they are working in.

Besides teaching on the courses above, faculty also contribute to electives such as Public Speaking, and Engineering Communication. These courses are for Sophomore, Junior and Senior students.

Faculty are engaged in related pedagogical research, for example regarding teamwork on English and Communication courses, peer tutoring, reading in English for science, the development of critical thinking skills, as well as research in content areas such as language teacher psychology, educational philosophy, and science fiction.

Details of our core English and Communication courses for Freshmen students are as follows:

ENGLISH 111 focuses on the development of argumentative writing, with each student writing an individual formal, academic research paper. The course will also develop the skills to produce effective persuasive writing. It provides extensive practice in the use and integration of sources and also develops reading, critical thinking and analytical skills.

ENGLISH 112 develops and builds on skills learned in the ENGL 111 course. Students are required to undertake a semester-long collaborative academic, educational or technical project leading to an extensive, full written report and a presentation. Students will also explore communication theories and reflect on them in writing.

The department hopes to develop two new Masters programs in due course (subject to Board approval), so as to meet the emerging skills needs of the UAE’s knowledge economy.

Program structure

There are 2 core English Communication subjects offered at undergraduate level at Khalifa University. The English Communication subjects (8 credits) are part of the University General Education Requirements (43 credits) and need to be completed by all undergraduate students. Freshmen at Khalifa University would typically take ENG111 in their Semester 1, and ENGL112 in their Semester 2.

English Communication (8 credits).

Course Code Course Name Credits
ENGL 111 English Communication I 4 credits
ENGL 112 English Communication II 4 credits

Typical study sequence

Term Courses
Freshmen Year Semester 1 English Communication I
Freshmen Year Semester 2 English Communication II


Academic Faculty

Dr. Mark Dressman

Chair – Professor

  • Department of English

Dr. Caroline Anne Brandt

Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Dr. Anthony Robert Archdeacon

Assistant Professor

Dr. Nader Ayish

Assistant Professor

Dr. Curtis David Carbonell

Associate Professor

Dr. Tanju Deveci

Assistant Professor

Dr. Nicholas Dimmitt

Associate Professor

Dr. Mark Wyatt

Associate Professor 

Dr. Asli Hassan

Assistant Professor

Dr Mary Hattaka

Assistant Professor

Dr. Lejla Kucukalic

Assistant Professor

Dr. Hwee Lim

AAssociate Professor

Dr. Muna A. Balfaqeeh

Assistant Professor

Dr Jessica Midraj

Assistant Professor

Dr Benhur Oral

Assistant Professor


Robert Craig

Senior Lecturer

David Dalton

Senior Lecturer

Dr. Glenda El Gamal

Senior Lecturer

Wael Samir Al Sokary


Kevin Garvey


D. John Langille

Senior Lecturer

Faculty engage in research in various disciplinary areas that include academic literacy, applied linguistics, cognition, curriculum design, discourse analysis, educational philosophy, educational psychology, engineering education, entrepreneurship, gender studies, human capital development, learning styles, literary studies, science fiction, semiotics, and teacher education. A list of faculty members with their specific research areas is below:

Faculty Member Research / Publication Areas
Dr. Muna A. Balfaqeeh
  • Critical/ Conversational Discourse Analysis
  • Language and Gender
  • Developing Students’ Higher Order Thinking Skills in relation to their Academic Performance
  • The Integration of Students’ Learning Styles in Teaching Pedagogy
Dr. Anthony Archdeacon
  • Early Modern Literature and Ideas
  • Early Modern Drama
  • Medieval to Renaissance Transitions
Dr. Nader Ayish
  • Critical Literacy and Technology
  • Intercultural Communicative Competence
  • Critical Pedagogy and Learning
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Language Barriers related to STEM Education
Dr. Caroline Brandt
  • Linguistic Features of Academic Writing (Lexis and Modality / Grammatical Mood in particular)
  • Post-Process Approaches to Teaching Writing
  • Enquiry-based Learning for Development of Academic Language and Skills
  • Constructively-aligned Curriculum Design for Integrating Content and Language Learning
  • Epistemological Beliefs of First-year Students
Dr. Curtis D. Carbonell
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Studies
  • Analog Game Studies
  • Trans-and-Posthumanism
  • Critical Theory, Literary Studies, Third Culture and Popular Culture
  • Science and Technology Studies
Robert Craig
  • Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Outcomes-based Learning
David F. Dalton
  • Research-informed Teaching and Teaching-informed Research
  • Higher Order Reading Skills
  • Technical and Academic Writing
  • Research Writing
  • Engineering Design and Communication
Dr. Tanju Deveci
  • Lifelong Learning and Limitless Education
  • Academic Literacy
  • Learning Styles
  • Pragmatics
Dr. Nicholas Dimmitt
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Confidence and Student Self-efficacy
  • Experiential Education to Develop Critical Thinking
  • Academic and Business Ethics
  • Teacher Professional Development
Dr. Glenda El Gamal
  • Bilingual Education
  • Education Policy
  • Academic Writing for STEM
Wael El Sokkary
  • Engineering Education
  • Applied Linguistics
Kevin Garvey
  • Impacts of Learner Participation on Performance; Students as their Own Co-teachers
  • Cognitive Skills Awareness, Stages of Learning: Factors and Approaches Enabling Inter-related and Extended Abstract Learning
  • Engineering Graduate Students’ Perceptions of either/both Intrinsic and Transfer Value of Teaching / Learning Theory
Dr. Asli A. Hassan
  • Developing Students’ Higher Order Thinking Skills
  • Accommodating Different Learning Styles
  • Defining Academic Success Among College Students
  • Promoting Evidence-based Teaching and Learning Practices
  • Fostering Interdisciplinary Curriculum and Learning Pedagogy
Dr. Mary Hatakka
  • Developing Academic Literacy Skills
  • Engineering Habits of Mind
  • Critical Thinking
Dr. Leila Kucukalic
  • Contemporary American Literature
  • Science Fiction
  • Literature and Science
  • Biotechnology and Culture
  • Semiotics and Teaching
 Donald John Langille
  • Reading for Academic Purposes
  • Academic Advising within a University Context
  • The Pedagogy / Technology Interface
Dr. Hwee Ling Lim
  • Corrosion Education
  • Engineering Education
  • Human Capital Development
Dr. Jessica Midraj
  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Teacher Education
  • Language Education
Dr. Sevket Benhur Oral
  • Educational Theory
  • Educational Philosophy
  • Curriculum Theory, Design and Implementation
  • Project-based Learning
  • Pedagogy of STEAM Learning and Experiential Learning in STEAM
Dr. Mark Wyatt
  • Language Teachers’ Self-efficacy Beliefs, Teacher Motivation and Teacher Cognition
  • Reflective Practice, Practitioner Research and Teacher-research-mentoring
  • Task and Project-based Learning
  • In-service Language Teacher Education
  • Teaching Science through English

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