Teaching and Learning Consultant
I have a PhD in Education from Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, fully funded by Queen’s graduate awards and other internal awards. However, my story began in Bangladesh- a country 10,395 km away from Canada, where I was born and raised. I have a BA and MA from Bangladesh and an MPhil in Education degree from India. Growing up in a traditional Muslim middle-class family, I already had more education than anyone thought I could have. However, I pursued my dreams on my own vigorously and passionately, which eventually landed me at Queen’s University as an international PhD student.
I am an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator and Instructional Skills Workshops (ISW) trained, which allows me to facilitate informed workshops, courses and conversations with faculty members. Recently, I have started learning about indigenous history and education by taking courses, workshops, and attending community gatherings.
Before joining Conestoga, I taught at the post-secondary level in Canada and South Asia for a decade. Teaching across different countries, cultures, and academic programs made me see the similarities and differences. I actively bring those stories to conversations to help faculty create insightful classroom teaching for diverse students.
Moments of Pride
During my doctoral studies at Queen’s, I was honoured with a Gold Medallion by Queen’s Ban Righ Center as an inspirational and outstanding graduate student. This is the most precious award amongst other academic awards and scholarships I have received throughout my post-secondary education. This award made me realize the value and impact an international student can create in Canada.
In my current role as a consultant, I constantly feel privileged that I can support so many teachers’ journey and their classroom teaching. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, I have conducted numerous sessions on teaching out-of-country students who attend class from their home country. In addition, I regularly run workshops and courses on teaching international students, creating a sense of belonging, creating learning communities, understanding cultural perspectives, teaching South Asian students, using active learning, and many more
Conestoga: My Teaching Home
It took me many years to find a place in Canada where I felt a sense of belonging. At Conestoga, I found my teaching home, where I teach teacher training courses and workshops, facilitate conversations with faculty members, and teach courses with other schools at the college. Teaching at Conestoga allows me to identify where a faculty member may struggle and how I can support their teaching. My most popular and insightful micro-credential series are: “Developing and Nurturing our Teaching Self” and “Teaching College Courses in Canada.”
Along with wearing many hats in my role as a teaching and learning consultant, I wear my intercultural expert hat most proudly. I bring new and established intercultural frameworks and ideas to the conversations, workshops, and courses to create an informed intercultural training for educators. I actively teach and train the teaching force at Conestoga to support our huge number of international students. From my own experience as an international student, I know what we need to do to help their journey. One of my most popular series with five workshops is- “Teaching South Asian Students”.
Nasreen is an Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) Facilitator. See ISW Network
Some Anonymous Feedback from the Faculty
“Nasreen brought her genuine, authentic self to this workshop and it was refreshing and beautiful. I am excited to learn more from her lived experience and experiment with new ideas to create classroom community.”
“I just completed the feedback survey and wanted to add that I got an incredible amount of learning from this workshop. I’m in my eighth year teaching international students. It was good to step back and appreciate the importance of creating a sense of belonging as well as learning some practical tactics to implement this value in classes. Thanks for delivering the workshop and I’m really glad that I attended.”
“Just a quick note that I have really enjoyed your sessions. You were very comfortable in presenting the topic and engaged with all of us. Your memory is fabulous – I need to do that. I do appreciate all the sharing of tips – in fact I just sent out an email to my faculty team- and encouraged them a) to take the sessions. “
My Philosophy & Life
I see my role at Conestoga as a transformative one. My teaching philosophies include creating kind, positive, and informative teaching sessions for our students where we will have opportunities to generate shared understanding and learning. Learning can only happen in a safe and positive teaching environment. I am an advocate of growth mindset and bringing cultural humility to our students.
I believe in the process of mentorship to guide people to reach to their goals. Throughout my academic and professional career, I always had inspiring mentors supporting my growth in different ways. One inspiring mentor can change people’s lives. I try to bring the same nurturing practices in my classrooms and in the courses and workshops that I run for the faculty.
In my personal life, I am still trying to understand who I am in this world and how I can positively impact people’s lives. Moreover, my journey as an immigrant in Canada is still an evolving one. I am not an outdoor person. I love silly conversations with people I love and trust over food and drinks. Coming from a country where I did not have much freedom as a woman, I enjoy the independence and freedom that Canada has given me. Canada has allowed me to be the person that I want to be. For now, I love driving, travelling, spending time with my wonderful daughter, watching TV shows, spending on myself, and making a community.
As an immigrant, I try to help new immigrants and international students whenever I can. I feel a sense of social responsibility to the international community who needs a little support to do well in Canada- sometimes they just need a conversation. As a person, I constantly try to spread love and sunshine around me.
Selected Conference Papers
1. Sultana, N. (2019, April). Investigating the washback effect of a secondary English public examination in Bangladesh. Paper presented at the 2019 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada.
2. Sultana, N. (2019, April). Assessment Literacy: An Uncharted Area for The English Language Teachers in Bangladesh. Paper presented at the 2019 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada.
3. Sultana, N. (2019, March). Story of an education system accountable for exam-success but not for learning: A washback study. Paper presented at the 41st Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC 2019) conference, Atlanta, Georgia, the USA.
4. Sultana, N. (2019, March). The effect of the secondary English public examination on the students: A washback study in the context of Bangladesh. Paper presented at the 2019 American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) conference, Atlanta, Georgia, the USA.
5. Sultana, N. (2018, July). Proposing a washback model suitable in the South Asian context. Paper presented at the 1st International Conference on English Learning and Teaching Skills (ICELTS), Kolkata, India.
6. Sultana, N. (2018, March). Use of an alignment framework to guide the washback studies. Paper presented at the IER, DU conference, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
7. Sultana, N. (2017, July). In VIVO Vs. in VITRO: A study about a secondary English public examination in Bangladesh. Paper presented at 39th Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC 2017) conference, Bogota, Colombia.
8. Sultana, N. (2017, March). A Game of Chinese Whispers: The journey of a test from the test designers to the test users. Paper presented at the 2017 American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) conference, Portland, USA.
9. Sultana, N. (2016, May). Washback effect of the English secondary public examination in Bangladesh. Paper presented at the CAAL conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
10. Sultana, N. (2016, May). Standardized testing in the primary level in Bangladesh: Friend or Foe? Poster presented at the CSSE conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
11. Sultana, N. (2016, February). High-stakes standardized tests for kids: A critical perspective. Paper presented at the RBJSE conference, Kingston, ON, Canada.
12. Sultana, N. (2015, November). The study of CLT based Curriculum in Bangladesh. Poster presented at the TESL Ontario conference, Toronto, ON, Canada.
13. Sultana, N. (2015, July). Use of comic stripes in English language classes: a tool to motivate the language learners. Paper presented at the conference on Language, Literature and Community, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
14. Sultana, N. (2015, April). Curriculum Vs. Teaching: CLT in teaching English in Bangladesh. Paper presented at the 49th IATEFL Conference, Manchester, UK.
1. Cheng, L., & Sultana, N. (2021). Washback. In G. Fulcher & L. Harding (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Language Testing.
2. Sultana, N. (2019, July). ESL tests: Memorization is a shortcut to high scores, but not to lasting learning. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com.
2. Sultana, N. (2019). Language Assessment Literacy: An Uncharted Area for the English Language Teachers in Bangladesh. Language Testing in Asia, 9(1), 1-14.
4. Sultana, N. (2018). Investigating the Relationship between Washback and Curriculum Alignment: A Literature Review. Canadian Journal for New Scholars in Education, 9(2), 152-158.
5. Sultana, N. (2018). A Brief Review of Washback Studies in the South Asian Countries. The Educational Review USA, 2(9), 468-474.
6. Sultana, N. (2018). Test review of the English public examination at the secondary level in Bangladesh. Language Testing in Asia, 8(16), 1-9.
7. Sultana, N. (2015). Communicative language teaching (CLT): Improvisation is required in the context of Bangladesh. In Pattison, T. (ed.), IATEFL Manchester Conference Selections 2015. Canterbury: IATEFL