Dr. Aliya Sikandar

Communication Department

Associate Professor

Counseling Hours:Monday and Tuesday
                                12:30 pm – 2:00 pm


Dr. Aliya Sikandar holds a Ph.D in Education from Institute of Business Management, MA TESOL from the Institute of Education, University of London, UK, and a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Karachi. Dr Sikandar’s PhD concerns Critical Discourse analysis of research consultations in higher education. She also has an RSA certificate in Teaching of English (COTE) from University of Cambridge. She has worked for the Aga Khan University for almost 24 years before joining the Institute full time in September, 2013. Currently, Ms Sikandar is engaged in teaching Business Communication courses. Her areas of interest are Business Writing and Speech, Critical Discourse Analysis, Scholarly Writing and Spoken Discourse.

Dr Sikandar has had an extensive 32 years of varied experience of teaching, research, and administration. She has delivered variously and intensively by offering quality programmes, courses and workshops for her students and clients from business and education sector. As an administrator she has contributed substantially in her career in various positions, from a coordinator to the Head of her department, at the Aga Khan University and at Institute of Business Management. She been a part of critical thinking and problem based learning workshops, experiential learning, communication skills courses, and task based learning. She guided her students to resources effectively. Her main focus has always been to inspire her learners towards research and publications. Some of the examples are her nursing and MEd. students of AKU & IED.

Dr Sikandar contributes effectively in the enhancement of knowledge and skills of IoBM’s Business and Media Studies learners through use of the most effective and latest strategies. Her academic and professional career is evident of intellectual contribution to teaching, research, and scholarship, in the form of intensive and extensive nation-wide research studies, classroom research, and qualitative exploratory research that are directly related to her academic and professional pursuits. In recognition of her research and professional pursuits she has been awarded with various distinction awards. The impact of these scholarly endeavors is evident in her teaching, writing and research, and is aligned with IoBM’s mission to enhance research and scholarship

  • 2018        PhD (Education), IoBM.
  • 2006        MA (TESOL), Institute of Education, University of London U.K.
  • 1991        Certificate of Teaching English, Royal Society of Art Cambridge University, U.K.
  • 1986        MA (English Literature), University of Karachi, Pakistan.
  • 1985        B.A. (Honors) in English, Philosophy and Psychology, University of Karachi.
  • Assistant Professor: Communication Department, Institute of Business Management (September 2013-to date)
  • Interim Director: Center of English Language, Institute for Educational Development Apr 2012-Aug 2013: Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Assistant Professor: Center of English Language, Institute for Educational Development Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan (1990-2013)
  • Vice Principal: Leader’s High School, Karachi, Pakistan (1988-1990)
  • Principal: Ladybird Grammar High School, Karachi, Pakistan (1986-1988)
  • Sikandar, A. (2015) Code switching: a Menace or a Resource? 31st SPELT International Conference
  • This paper resents the findings of an exploratory-qualitative study carried out on the professionals in an organization, at different
    management levels. It discusses the perceptions regarding code-switching, causes of code switching, and implications of code switching in Pakistani society.
  • Sikandar, A. (2011) Presentation skills for the teachers. 28th SPELT International Conference.
  • This paper presented state-of-the –art aspects of presentations for the language teachers. The paper focuses on the metrix of presentation, planning the different stages of presentation. It deals with techniques of making presentations convincing in terms of visua; presentations.
Conferences attended
  • Sikandar, A. (2018) Experiential Learning: Enriching the Experience. ICEL Conference.34th SPELT International Conference.
  • This paper reports on an exploratory qualitative study on undergraduate business students’ experiential learning projects in which the classroom pedagogy of thought encouraging questioning was used to enrich business students’ experience of experiential learning.
  • Sikandar, A. (2018) The state of Teacher Education in Pakistan: A Qualitative Case study
  • This exploratory qualitative case study reports on the state of teacher education in a school of Karachi, against the “National Professional Standards for Teachers”, recommended by the Government of Pakistan, 2009.
  • Sikandar, A. (2016) Classroom Pedagogies for inculcating Critical Thinking Skills 32nd SPELT International Conference 2016
  • 32nd SPELT International Conference 2016
  • This paper discusses the aspects and techniques related to critical thinking and pedagogies that the teacher can develop for inculcating critical thinking among the learners.
Areas of Teaching/Research Interest
  • New Academic literacy
  • Critical Discourse analysis
  • Teaching argumentation
  • Academic discourse
  • Business English
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Academic and professional speaking and writing skills.
  • English literature
  • Directing and managing the teaching and research activities of the English Language Center, consisting of 15 faculty members Research and Scholarly writing at graduate and post graduate levels
  • Teaching English as a Second Language; Teaching English for Academic/Specific Purposes)
  • Academic Writing
  • Business English courses for the corporate clients and business students
  • Oral communication, including academic and professional presentations
  • Professional development courses for staff in various professions and with varied needs
  • Teaching TEFL and Applied Linguistics at Master in Education Programme
  • Speech and oral communication
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Critical literacies
  • IoBM’s Merit award on the basis of academic performance in PhD 2018
  • 22 year Successful Service at AKU Award, 2012
  • AKUCEL Faculty Development Award (2004)
  • British Council South Asian ELTeCS Innovation Award as an editor of the AKU-OUP Publication, 2003
  • AKUCEL Outstanding Teacher Award ( 2002)
  • Prestigious Award of Researcher of Aga Khan University Research Council funded project of a nation-wide research, 2002, titles “English and Employment”.

Dr Sikandar’s learning innovations are in number of areas, some of which are as follows:

  • Critical thinking skills among faculty and students
    • Using questioning techniques to generate thought-encouraging questions
  • Problem-based learning
    • Learner-centred approach to detect problems and to guide the students to find solutions by counseling with the subject specialists
  • Experiential learning
    • Reflecting on the wealth of experience through peer-tutoring
  • Strategies of inculcating spoken English
    • Making the student realize aspects of spoken English and to attend to them through video conferencing, Skype conferencing
  • Motivation as a way of learning
    • Student-led projects by doing dual assignments
  • How to generate ideas in different areas of learning and topics
    • Using blogs as a way of generating ideas
    • How to reflect and bring in new insights through student newsletter
  • What makes presentation skills presentable
    • Use of gestures as a way of expression by peer guidance, acting and drama techniques.
    • Using visuals to explain misunderstandings
  • How to design good questionnaires
    • Piloting as a way of learning how to ask politically correct question on faculty and students of other classes
  • Interview taking techniques
    • Setting up conflict of interests, problems, criminal cases and finding causes, actions and backgrounds of problems. Then setting up interviews between the parties to solve cases.
Research Projects
  • Conducted qualitative research on: Language Ideologies Prevalent in a Business Institute: A Case Study of Linguistic and Socio-cultural Realities 2013-2014
  • Conducted quantitative research on: Critical thinking skills among students of IoBM’.2014
  • Completed a funded Nation-wide research project on: English and Employment
  • Completed research study on: Attitude towards languages: A case of language ideological norm
  • Completed Action research on: Factors affecting oral communication
Workshops: 2014
  • Conducted 3 days workshops on Critical thinking skills for the faculty of Education and Communication, IOBM
Conference Presentations
  • Presented at the IoBM Conference on Experiential Learning, 2016
  • Presented regularly at SPELT Conferences
  • Chaired 6 sessions at IoBM Conference
  • Presented at AKU-IED’s Educational Conference
  • Presented Papers at AKU CEL Biennial Conferences from 2001 to 2012. Some of these are:
  • The Role of English in the Educational System of Pakistan
  • Language ideologies at play in Pakistan’s multilingual society
  • Paper presented at Al-Ain, TESOL Conference, Arabia in 1995 on ‘ESP In Pakistan: An Overview’
  • Papers presented at SPELT Annual Seminar from 1990 to date, some of these include:
  • Responsibilities of a teacher in teaching oral communication
  • Innovations in Teaching Academic Writing
  • Attitude towards Languages
  • Making Speaking Activities a Real Fun in the Classroom
  • Presentation Skills for Teachers’.
  • Difficulties in Designing Research Questionnaires
  • Reading Skills for College Students
  • Language Policy In Pakistan
  • Testing Spoken English
  • Don’t teach them what you teach, EGP vs. ESP
  • Presented Paper at AKU CEL Seminar 2011 as a featured speaker on: ‘English in Multilingual settings
  • Paper presented at Al-Ain, TESOL Conference, Arabia in 1995 on ‘ESP In Pakistan: An Overview’
Journal Publications
  • Sikandar, A. (2018). Inculcating Critical Thinking among Business Students through the strategy of questioning. Pakistan Business Review, 20 (3) (AAS) (PJR)
  • Sikandar, A. & Hussain, N. (2018). Power and hegemony in research supervision: A critical discourse analysis. Journal of Education and Educational Development. 5(2). (BDS) (PJR)
  • Sikandar, A. (2017). Language ideologies in a multilingual corporate setting. Kashmir Journal of Linguistics and Language Research.19(1) (BDS) (PJR)
  • Sikandar, A. (2017). Planning of language policy in Pakistan: Issues and challenges. Pakistan Business Review, 19 (1). (TLS)
  • Sikandar, A. (2015) John Dewey and his philosophy of education. Journal of Education and Educational Development, 1, (2) .(TLS)
  • Sikandar, A. & Hussain, N.  (2014) . Language Ideologies in a Business Institute: A Case Study of Linguistic and Socio-Cultural Realities. Journal of Education & Educational Research. 1(2). (AAS) (PJR)
  • Sikandar, A. (2013)Better English Better Status: A perception in Pakistan. In AKU publication of CEL Conference papers. (TLS)
  • Sikandar, A. (2004) Business English: Role and Implications in Pakistan. In Language Policy and Planning: A South Asian Perspective. AKUOUP Publication of Seminar 2001 Papers. (TLS)
  • Sikandar, Aliya (2004) Teaching methodologies: which on is the best? SPELT Quarterly
  • Sikandar, Aliya (2001) Languageteaching through Pictures, SPELT Quarterly, 16, 16-19.
  • Sikandar, Aliya (1999) Are they Afraid of Speaking, SPELT Quarterly, 16, 25-28.
Major Scholarly Engagements

2011 & 2012: Conducted Teacher Education courses for English Language Practitioners, AKU IED

2010, 2011 & 2012: Designed and taught Thesis writing courses for the following programmes at AKU SON

  • Nursing
  • Epidemiology
  • Masters in Education Programme

Thesis supervision in terms of language and structure of:

  • 2010, 2011, & 2012: MSc. Nursing students
  • 2012-13: Internal examiner of MEd. student
Curriculum/Program Development


  • 2014-15 Developed and taught English II course
  • Revised Communication Course Descriptions and Outlines


Developed and refined the following Programs/Curricula:

  • Enrichment courses for entrance into various academic programmes (under graduate and post graduate)
  • Advanced Diploma Programs in TEFL in Higher Education
  • Short Courses, Workshops and Consultancy Programme
  • Ed TESOL Course
  • School of Nursing Courses for Higher Academic development
  • Employees’ English Language Development Programmes
  • Medical College English Elective (Literature & Communication) courses
  • English academic courses for Masters in Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Academic Literacy

Book Review: Sabiha Mansoor’s Book: “Language planning in higher education: A case study of Pakistan”, in the first issue of Multilingual Matters (Malaysian Journal), June 2006.

Journal Review: ELF Annual Research Journal, Shah Abdul Latif University, 2005, 2006 & 2007.

  • Edited first 2 issues of Educational Journal of IOBM
  • Language Policy, Planning and Practice: A South-Asian Perspective. AKUOUP Publication 2004
  • Emerging Issues in TEFL: Issues and Challenges, 2007. AKUOUP Publication
olarly Engagements

Conducted Teacher Education courses for English Language Practitioners

Designing and teaching Thesis writing courses for the following programmes:

  • Nursing
  • Epidemiology
  • Masters in Education Programme

Thesis supervision in terms of language and structure of:

  • Nursing students
  • Internal examiner of MEd. student
  • Edited first 2 issues of Educational Journal of IOBM
  • Language Policy, Planning and Practice: A South-Asian Perspective. AKUOUP Publication 2004
  • Emerging Issues in TEFL: Issues and Challenges, 2007. AKUOUP Publication
  • Motivational lectures on the basic aspects of being a Muslim
  • Becoming part of Toast master sessions
  • Involved in Occupational therapy among the depressed patients
  • Reading to old people in the Old Home of Karachi
  • Reading and giving lectures to younf students on various aspects of Character Building
  • SPELT  Newsletter
 Institute of Business Management (IoBM)

 CBM Building: Room No. 324, Institute of Business Management

Korangi Creek, Karachi Pakistan – 75190


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