September 1, 2008

Angele Tadros is a renowned professor of Applied Linguistics. She has made numerous contributions to the field, most notable of which is her Predictions Approach to Discourse Analysis.

Biographical Information:

Angele (or Angela) Aziz Tadros was born in Khartoum North, Sudan, to Egyptian parents from upper Egypt.  Her father, Aziz Tadros immigrated to Sudan during the time of the Anglo-Egyptian occupation of Sudan and worked in the Stores and Ordnance Department of the government in Khartoum North.  After working for several years, he went to Egypt, got married and returned to Sudan, where he lived until his retirement.

Angele came from a large family with eight children.  She had 4 sisters and 3 brothers of whom 5 remain, death devouring her beloved and most intimate sister the same year she graduated from Khartoum University.  She was utterly devastated and from that time she developed a personal philosophy in life:  life gives with one hand and takes with the other.  Subsequent events in her life nurtured this philosophy:  the death of her father when she was happily doing her TEFL diploma in London; the death of her mother while she was immersed in her research as a Fulbright scholar in the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the death of her favorite brother just as she was happy to return to Saudi Arabia to take up post as head of the then English Department at the Nursing College, National Guards Health Affairs, now King Saud bin Abdulazziz University for Health Sciences.

 

Education

Angele started her education at the age of 4 at the American School in Khartoum North, Sudan. She committed to memory an extensive repertoire of songs and nursery rhymes.  The medium of instruction at her school was English, with Arabic language classes. Angele exhibited a special talent for mimicry and acting when at school.  As a child, she was very good at imitating her teachers – the way they walked, talked and behaved, much to the delight and amusement of her siblings and the disapproval of her strong-principled mother, who condemned the whole act and kept reminding her that she should treat others as she would like to be treated by them.  Her love of acting led her to translate and transform the fairy tales she read: ‘Cinderella’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, Oberon and Titania’ and others into Arabic plays, which were then acted by her and her younger siblings, the older ones being in charge of the stage and costumes.

In secondary school, the curriculum was geared towards the Cambridge School Certificate, with all the subjects in English, except Classical Arabic.  The Cambridge School Certificate was the passport to university.

At Khartoum University, the curriculum of the Faculty of Arts was such that the student had to choose two major subjects and one minor out of 4 subjects: English Language and Literature, Classical Arabic, Geography and History.  Angele was the only student that chose English and Classical Arabic as her majors and geography as her minor.  After three years of study she graduated and started her career as a teacher in Sudan Government Schools in 1949.

Scholarships for Post Graduate Education

As a school teacher, Angele impressed the British Inspector of English (Schools in Sudan at that time were subject to inspection by the British.) who remarked in his report “Angele Tadros is better than many British teachers I have seen,” and recommended that she be sent to U.K on a scholarship.  Consequently, she spent two years in the U.K : one year at the London Institute of Education for a TEFL Diploma (1958-1959) where she had a firm grounding in Linguistics for teaching, structural linguistics being at that time in vogue.  The other year was spent in Nottingham where she did a post-graduate Diploma in English Studies (1959-1960), where she was introduced to British life and thought and developed her appreciation of English Literature, choosing as the title of her dissertation “Jane Austen’s Gallery of men characters”.  After obtaining those two diplomas, she returned to Sudan where she resumed her work as a teacher of English.

While working as a teacher of English, she noticed that students made mistakes which she could attribute to translation from Arabic. She registered (1963-1966) for a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Khartoum. The title of her thesis was “An Analysis of the Interference Errors in the written English of Sudanese Students”. The impact of structural linguistics was evident. The external examiner was Professor John Sinclair who later was her supervisor for her Ph.D at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her MA thesis was sought by scholars such as Jack Richards. The thesis was microfilmed by University Laval, Quebec, Canada. After obtaining her MA Degree she joined the University of Khartoum in the College Of Arts as a lecturer and it was here that she started her involvement in English for Specific Academic Purposes while at the same time maintaining her interest in Contrastive Linguistics. In 1968-1969 she was awarded Longmans Research Fellowship where she studied English under eminent professors: Quirk, Halliday, Hudson, Huddleston.

On her return she resumed her work at the University and was also appointed Part-time Associate Professor at Khartoum International Institute for the Teaching of Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages. In the 1970s she had the good chance to work with Professor John Swales, the most eminent scholar in the area of ESP/EAP at the time. He established the English Language Servicing Unit (ELSU) and founded the glorious ESPMENA Bulletin (English for Specific Purposes in the Middle East and North Africa) which had a great impact on ESP. The Bulletin is indexed by ERIC.

In 1979 she received a scholarship from Ford Foundation to do her PhD at Birmingham University. The area of her research was the Discourse Analysis of Economics Text. It is in this area that she developed her notion of Prediction. Her approach to Discourse Analysis has been adopted by researchers doing MAs and PhDs in places such as Turkey, Aston, York, Birmingham and others.

After obtaining a PhD in 1981, she resumed her work at the University of Khartoum. She held the post of the Director of the English Language Servicing Unit (ELSU) from 1982-1988, where she taught Economic and Law students ESP/EAP and supervised research theses on Contrastive and Error Analysis. In (1987-1988) she was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship. She spent the time at the English Language Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she had the good chance to meet with Professor Swales again and also with Professor Larry Selinker. She spent the time researching into the Discourse Analysis of Law and giving presentations on her approach to Prediction.

From 1988 to date she has been working in Saudi Arabia, the first 14 years in the English Department, College of Arts, King Saud University and from2002 until the present in the Nursing College-Riyadh, now King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.

Other Awards won (apart from scholarship awards) :

  •  Award for the most Distinguished Referee of the year (2001-2002) for the Journal of Humanities, Kuwait University. In the light of Angele Tadros’s editorial experience with the ESPMENA Bulletin, ELSU, Khartoum (Having been chief editor from 1982-1988) and also of her membership of the Editorial Advisory Board of English for Specific Purposes, New York: Pergamon, she is frequently sought to referee manuscripts for publication in journals and assess published material for scholarly promotions.
  •  Award (2001) for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry (2001) by the International Society of Poets, USA.

Politics

Angele Tadros participated in the celebration that took place when Sudan achieved its independence. Although at heart a patriot, she did not take on active part in demonstrations except in the demonstrations against Nimeri that brought about his downfall in 1985. She remembers with bitterness how the country was paralyzed, how people suffered from severe shortage and how her husband used to drive his car at 3 in the morning to queue for petrol.

Poetry

Outside the area of specialization and research, Angele Tadros is interested in writing poetry. Throughout her life, whether as a student at Khartoum University, or at Birmingham University, or as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Michigan she has taken a special interest in poetry, finding it a safe haven when the going is rough. But it was only when she took up post in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that the spark of writing poetry was kindled. The first incident that set the spark alight which produced the collection of poems printed in the volume “From Camel to Kangaroo” (2001, Waterman press, MD, USA-library of Congress) was the departure of her daughter, Dr. Nuha Fawz Kamal and her family from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Australia. All of the poems in the collection have been written in the land of poetry -the land of fascinating cultural wealth- in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

 

Contributions to Linguistics and English Language Teaching

Angele Tadros’s research is well-known among Applied Linguists worldwide. She is considered to have broken new ground in the analysis of expository text, using her notion of prediction. Prediction in Discourse Analysis is a prospective interactive phenomenon that investigates the structure of the text and signals that what is predicted is not an element of syntactic structure but a discourse item whose fulfillment transcends the boundary of the sentence. It is a commitment made by the writer to the reader, the breaking of which will shake the credibility of the text. Prediction is overtly signaled and thus a piece of text which does not have a signal of prediction can not unambiguously commit the writer to a certain course of action. It is strongly binding; it is more in the nature of a legal contract, where predictive signals are the writer’s signature confirming that he is committed to what he has said he will do.

A model of Discourse Analysis was designed based on the Notion of Prediction and making use of the underlying assumptions that written text is interactive and the writer is involved in his text as long as there is no signal of detachment. The corpus of the study was a full-length textbook of Economics used by students at Khartoum University, (Hanson, 1953 [1972]). Six categories of prediction were identified on the basis of rigorous criteria. Enumeration, Advance labeling, Reporting, Recapitulation, Hypotheticality and Question. Each category consists of a pair: the first member is the predictive (symbol V) and the second is the predicted (symbol D); the V fulfils the prediction of the D.

Later the model was applied to a legal textbook.

It has been extensively reviewed and adapted by researchers for their Master’s and Ph. D. theses.

Its pedagogical implication guided the production of numerous teaching materials.

 Angele Tadros has also made significant contributions in the area of Contrastive and Error Analyses. Her M.A. thesis investigated the Arabic interference errors in the written English of Sudanese students. Her article on Relativization, published in the English Language Teaching Journal, XXXIII,3, London: OUP, April 1979, 234-239 was selected for referencing by the Council of Abstracting services, California. She supervised a number of M.A. theses on Contrastive Analysis.

 Another area of research is based on the notion of text averral and attribution. Text averral is evidenced in the unmarked parts of the text, where the utterances are assumed to be attributed to the author. Attribution, the counterpart of text averral is the marked case where the sources of authority are clearly signaled. This notion is of great pedagogical significance since all too often it is found that students get lost amidst the echoes of the multiple voices they hear within the same text. In addition to that, when they produce research papers it is not clear when they have switched from expressing their own views to reporting or vice versa with the result that they may be accused of at best text ambiguity and at worst plagiarism.

Contributions to Writing for Academic Purpose 

Angele Tadros has had a number of publications geared towards ESP and the teaching of academic writing. As early as 1977, she put her ideas in a paper which she read at the 2nd regional ESP conference in Isfahan, 1977 and printed in 1979. In the paper she put forward her Reading towards essay writing approach which implies that unless the students learn to make use of the knowledge gained from reading within the discipline of concern, they will not be able to produce academic writing. ( of course at that time no electronic information was available). She then devised an essay writing module based on readings from an economics textbook which the students were using for their content subject. Prior to that Angele Tadros had produced an academic writing module in the discipline of history. This was included in her publication: Paragraph and Essay constructions for students of Economics and Social Science, Khartoum, ELSU.1976

 External Links including citations of Tadros’s work

 

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