Dr. Romola Rassool
Dr. Romola Rassool Senior Lecturer I


Department of English Language Teaching
(Room Number) K15
University of Kelaniya
Sri Lanka

Tel:     +94-11 2 9037832(Office)          
E-mail: romola@kln.ac.lk (University)

Educational Qualification:

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 theUniversities of Kelaniya, Colombo, Peradeniya, and the Open University of Sri Lanka.
  • Examiner of several PhD, MPhil and MA theses.
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