Dr. Romola Rassool


Senior Lecturer I


Department of English Language Teaching (DELT)

University Location:



0112 930782


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Educational Qualifications:

  • PhD in Arts (Sociolinguistics) University of Melbourne, Australia - 2014
  • M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) Teachers College,

Columbia University, USA – 2002

  • B.A. (Hons in English) University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka – 1996

Teaching Experience:

  • Over 18 years teaching various English as a Second Language (ESL) coursesto undergraduates of all faculties
  • Lecturer in the BA degree Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)course
  • Also teach in MA in Linguistics, MBA, and Master’s in Business programmesconducted by the University of Kelaniya
  • Visiting Lecturer in the Staff Development programmes of the Faculties ofHumanities, Social Sciences, and Science
  • Visiting Lecturer, Postgraduate Institute of English, Open University of SriLanka

Administrative Experience:

  • Head, ELTU (2006 – 2008)
  • Head (Acting), Department of English (March 2014 – December 2015)

Research and Publications:

  • “Issues of Power and Privilege in the Maintenance of Sri Lanka Malay: A

Sociolinguistic Analysis” - Book chapter in The Genesis of Sri Lanka Malay: A

Case of Extreme Language Contact, published by Brill (2013)

  • “Preserving the lesser known languages: The case of Sri Lanka” – Proceedingsof the International Seminar on ‘Linguistic Diversity in South and Southeast Asia’ – November 21-23, 2016, India International Centre, New Delhi(forthcoming)

Research interests:

  • Sri Lanka Malay
  • Minority Languages of Sri Lanka

International & National Workshop/Conference Presentations:

  • “Preserving the lesser known languages: The case of Sri Lanka” – Invitedspeaker at the International Seminar on ‘Linguistic Diversity in South andSoutheast Asia’ – New Delhi, India, November, 2016
  • Examining responses to perceived ‘endangerment’ of the Sri Lanka Malay language and (re)-negotiating Sri Lanka Malay identity in a postcolonial context” – Third Bremen Conference on Language and Literature in Colonialand Postcolonial Contexts – March 2016, Bremen, Germany.

Full presentation can be viewed at https://mlecture.uni-bremen.d/ml/index.php?option=com_mlplayer&template=ml2&mlid=3604

  • “Same but different: The complexities of constructing a distinct “Malay Muslim” identity in Sri Lanka” – Seminar on “Muslims in the Sri Lankan Social Science Scholarship” organized by the American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, December 2015
  • How standard is ‘standard’? (and who sets the standard anyway?”) - Plenary speaker at the National Conference on Language Assessment and 16th National RESC Conference 2014, National Institute of Education, Sri Lanka
  • “How ‘endangered’ is ‘endangered’? Assessing the actual language vitality of the Sri Lanka Malay language” - International Conference on Austronesian Languages in Bali, Indonesia, 2012
  • “Malays of the East and Malays of the West: more alike than different? Discussing the vitality of the Sri Lanka Malay language in two provinces” -International Symposium on Malay and Indonesian Linguistics, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, 2012
  • “Economic factors that determine language maintenance/ shift: the case of Sri Lanka Malay” –International Symposium on Malaysian and Indonesian Languages, Malang, Indonesia, 2011
  • “Studying contemporary usage of and attitudes to the Sri Lanka Malay language: a preliminary discussion” –Seminar on Sri Lanka Malay at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, 2010.

Awards and Achievements:

  • Australian Leadership Award (ALA) from AusAID to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia (2009 – 2013).
  • Australia Awards Ambassador – selected to promote Australian scholarship programmes in Sri Lanka (2017)
  • Scholarship to attend CoLang 2014 – a two-week intensive course on language revitalisation at the University of Texas at Arlington in June 2014
  • Fulbright Junior Award to pursue an MA at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA (2000 – 2002)
  • American Field Service (AFS) Award to study in New Zealand for one year as a cultural exchange student (1988).

Positions held:

  • Resource Person, World Bank funded Higher Education for the Twenty-firstCentury (HETC) project – May - July 2016
  • Chair, conference organising committee - the  International Conference on the Humanities (ICH) 2015 and 2016, University of Kelaniya
  • Member, Self-Evaluation Report drafting committee, Faculty of Humanities,University of Kelaniya, 2017
  • Member, Academic Syndicate, Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological
  • Education (SLIATE) from August 2012 to August 2017
  • Member, Board of Study, Postgraduate Institute of English, Open University of Sri Lanka from November 2016 to October 2019
  • Member of the Arts Council of Sri Lanka, Panel on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) from March 2017 to February 2018
  • Member, Editorial Board of “Kalyani” – the journal of the University of Kelaniya – from April 2017 to April 2018
  • Member of the Standing Committee on English of the University Grants Commission, Sri Lanka – 2007 to 200
  • Member of the Board of Management of the Postgraduate Institute of English, Sri Lanka - 2007 to 2009
  • Resource Person of the National Institute of Education (NIE) - 2007 to 2008
  • Resource Person for the Department of Education - 2008 Resource Person forthe Department of Examinations - 2004 to 2008.
  • Materials writer - the General English textbook, which was used by A/Lstudents in Sri Lanka
  • Main local coordinator for the International Symposium on Malay and Indonesian Linguistics (ISMIL) held at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka,2012.

Supervision and examination of Postgraduate Theses

  • Currently supervisor of one PhD thesis, three MPhil theses and two MA theses. In the past I have supervised approximately 20 PhD, MPhil and MA theses. These theses have examined various aspects of Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics and issues relating to teaching ESL in particular. I have supervised postgraduate students affiliated to the Faculties of Graduate Studies of the Universities of Kelaniya, Colombo, Peradeniya, and the Open University of Sri Lanka.

  • Examiner of several PhD, MPhil and MA theses.