First Annual Forum: Teaching English in the 21st Century

The First Annual Forum on the English language titled Teaching English in the 21st Century was held on April 15, 2017, at Saudi German Hospital in Abha, Saudi Arabia. The forum was organized under the supervision of Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, in cooperation with Quality Education Holding Company and Oxford University Press. The aim of the forum was to train language teachers for professional development that would emphasize the enhancement of teaching competence regarding classroom management, activities, and handling overall language teaching. The program included two training sessions and four presentations on English Language Teaching (ELT). The participants included both male and female faculty members working at King Khalid University.

The program began with a welcome speech by Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi.  In his speech, he emphasized the significant value of holding Forums which aim to advance the field of ELT. He reiterated such importance by focusing on the fact that forums of this nature always bring beneficial changes in language teaching and help to discuss new teaching concepts. He suggested there be more frequent language forums in the future for professional development.

Terrie Craddock from Oxford University Press conducted two training sessions. In her first session, which was titled Motivating Students, she shared ideas about how to motivate language learners. During the session, the participants took part in an interactive discussion, where they exchanged their views on motivation. She highlighted different ways to make language tasks more interesting and engaging. Craddock’s second session, Differentiated Teaching and Learning, looked at dealing with groups of mixed abilities. Despite the challenges involved in handling diverse skill groups, she said, it is manageable if the teacher knows how to engage fast learners. She also highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of combining fast learners with slow ones. Overall, both the sessions were very interactive and informative.  

What followed was Mohammad Adil’s presentation titled Exploitation and Adaptation in EFL Teaching. His presentation was based on a case study he had conducted on the usefulness of course materials used in skills and language courses. He pinpointed some issues associated with the use of published course materials. He emphasized that teacher’s creativity, control, and choice (McGrath 2013: 22-23) can make a difference.  He showed how a boring or monotonous lesson could be changed into an interesting and engaging one if the teacher uses his or her creativity. Adil concluded that it is illogical to believe that the course books are useless and at the same time, it is not logical either to depend strictly on published course books while teaching. In his session, the participants also exchanged their valuable thoughts.

The next presenter was Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin who spoke about Second Language Acquisition (SLA). His presentation titled Theoretical Approaches to Second Language Acquisition was primarily centered on theories about language learning and acquisition such as Krashen’s (1982) Monitor model, behaviorism, and innatism. During his session, he showed some funny movie clips to highlight challenges involved in language learning and acquisition. Dr. Eyhab, through these video clips, also wanted to highlight how a learner’s mother tongue influences second language learning. He concluded that SLA theories are closely related to their counterparts in the mother tongue. Also, prior knowledge of mother tongue, usually acquired from the parents, may or may not be an advantage depending on the similarities and differences between the pair languages in question.

Dr. Abdul Wahed Al Zumor’s presentation was centered on his study based on challenges encountered by King Khalid University Science faculty students, as a result of English Medium Instruction (EMI). The study revealed that the identified approach results in a failure in that it deteriorates lecture comprehension, understanding content, and communication with their instructors due to lack of adequate English proficiency. Dr. Al Zumor concluded that the additive bilingualism approach could enrich their learning environment. This presentation was worthwhile in that it successfully raised awareness among the participants of the drawbacks of English Medium Instruction (EMI) in teaching courses other than English.   

Mohammad Sirajul Islam concluded the sessions by presenting about issues related to the use of e-learning. This was also based on a case study that aimed at investigating students’ attitude towards e-learning. Interestingly, students enrolled in language courses showed a positive attitude towards online learning. On the other hand, content course students’ attitude towards e-learning was negative. He pinpointed another crucial issue related to teachers’ expertise in using Blackboard. Many teachers fail to follow the rubrics while designing online courses. He concluded that there is a need for proper e-learning training for teachers so that they can enhance their expertise in teaching online.

In the end, there was a closing speech by Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, who thanked the organizing committee for arranging such a program. He congratulated those who had worked behind the scenes to make the forum a real success.

We would like to recognize the following organizing committee members for their efforts in this event:

  • Dr. Mwafaq Momani
  • Mr. Javed Ahmed
  • Mr. Mohsin Raza Khan
  • Mr. MD Sirajul Islam
  • Mr. Saleh Hokash
  • Mr. Naser Alhawamdeh
  • Mr. Mazharul Islam    

Date: 04-17-2017

Source: MD Adil

Multimedia Contribution: MD Sirajul Islam

Glimpse Of Rhythm or Glimpse of Truth?
The Faculty of Languages and Translation is pleased to announce the release of FLT Lecturer, Sharear Talukder's, Glimpse of Rhythm. This is the author's first published book of poetry, and it addresses a wide-range of subjects including but not limited to citizen rights, freedom, and social justice. "I decried the injustice of every manner but cried for a world full of hope and aspiration through my work," added Shahrear. He demonstrated his angst and anger in words. Candidly, this Glimpse of Rhythm is a Glimpse of Truth. You can contact the author by visiting his blog at http://shahrear.com/. Date: 9/17/2017 Source: FLT Media Center
Ahmad Al Otaibi is a student at the Faculty of Languages and Translation, and he is a journalist at Aseer News. Lately, due to his continues press and social media coverage for the Abha Charity Association and as a representative of Aseer News, he received an appreciation certificate from the Governor of the Asir Region, HRH Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz. "Ahmad sets an example of how a college student can actively contribute to the community while continuously striving for academic success," said Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, FLT Dean. It is worth mentioning that Ahmad is also an active member in many activities as Vice President of the English Club. Date: 8/17/2017 Source: Abdullah Omar (KKU IT)
On Monday, May 01 2017, Abdullah Omar, an MA student at King Khalid University held a presentation titled Awareness and Attitude of Saudi Students towards World Englishes in a seminar organized by the Language Research Center of the Faculty of Languages and Translation. It was based on his MA research proposal. The study aimed to measure the awareness and attitude of the male undergraduate students at King Khalid University towards World Englishes. Abdullah Omar began his discussion with the history of World Englishes. While talking about its history, he related that the rapid spread of English around the world as the primary factor that contributed to the concept of World Englishes. He cited some scholars who conducted research in the field of World Englishes. Despite the fact that in Saudi Arabia, there are people from different parts of the world who speak English, Abdullah pointed out, most of the higher level students are not aware of this phenomenon. The session was very engaging and entertaining.   Date: 05/02/2017 Source: MD Adil
Inauguration The 12th Annual Research Day, under the supervision of Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, and Dr. Ismail Al Refaai, Director of the Language Research Center, was held on April 20, 2017, at King Khalid University. The program began with a recitation of the Holy Quran and a welcome speech by Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi. In his speech, he emphasized the vital importance of not only participating in Research Day 2017 but also expressed that new directions of inquiry and new insights from the 12th Annual Research Day will provide a platform for all of us to discover, imagine, and create. He praised our talented faculty members for their research contributions and appreciated their creative endeavors.  He also thanked the organizing committee who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the event was outstanding. First Session The theme of the first session was Bilingualism. The first speaker was Dr. Munassir Alhamami whose presentation was titled English and Arabic in the College of Sciences. It was based on his research that aimed at investigating the use of English as the Medium of Instruction in Saudi Science Colleges. He pinpointed many issues associated with the use of English as a Medium of Instruction. This was followed by Dr. Oveesa Farooq’s presentation titled Need of a Syntax-based Interpretation of Learning English as a Second Language among Arabic Speakers. She focused on the significance of having a working knowledge of phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Her research, she pointedly said, underpinned the idea that native Arabic speakers’ poor knowledge of the four skills is the result of their lack of knowledge concerning the language system.   Dr. Abdul Wahed Al Zumor, who appeared third, in his presentation titled Arabic Language Policy and Planning in Saudi Arabia, highlighted the efforts the Kingdom had been doing since 1346H. The study aimed to attract researchers’ attention to the issue of Arabic language policy and planning. He concluded that this country’s development and its language policy are in step. Dr. Hasan Jaashan’s topic was Topographical Divergences and their Impact on Linguistic Variation. His presentation was based on his study that aimed to determine the phonological features of people who live in mountain areas as opposed to those who live in the coastal regions. His conclusion was that people living in mountainous regions use more complex phonological structures than those living in coastal regions. Dr. Shadma Iffat’s presentation was titled An Overview of Students-Teachers Relationship in Colleges and its Effect on Students’ Academic Achievement. She pointed out that Teacher-Student relationships can be the key to students' attitudinal motivations that exist towards learning. Second Session The speakers of the second session had various presentations on the themes of Technology, Translation, and Literature. Dr. Mona Hamad talked about the Pros and Cons of Using Blackboard Collaborate for Blended Learning on Students Learning Outcomes.  She identified some issues related to blended learning. She termed poor internet access as one of the factors that affect blended learning negatively.  She also emphasized that Blackboard Collaborate for blended learning is convenient for learners who have problems with attending face-to-face lectures. Ms. Karima Ali Sallem spoke about The Role of Teacher in the Age of Globalization. She emphasized the concept of a globally competent teacher and his or her roles when facing complex challenges. Mr. Samsur Rabb Khan had a presentation titled Teaching Literature in Language Classrooms: Why and How? He, while highlighting the significance of his study, mentioned the fact that research on literature in EFL is rare in Saudi Arabia. His study explored the role of literature in ELT and the potential advantages of using literature in EFL classrooms. Ms. Alvina Yousaf talked about Teaching Poetry to EFL Learners. She pointed out that involving learners in critical analysis of certain literary texts is one of the challenges teachers teaching poetry have to face. She also highlighted the importance of applying certain methods to facilitate understanding literature. Ms. Anjum Mishu’s presentation was titled The Effectiveness of Distance Acculturation for Saudi EFL Learners by Using English Literature. She related that interested language learners could go through a process of positive acculturation in the target language without having direct exposure to the real setting. She added that literature of the target language could help learners get the feel of staying in a native speaker setting via realia and authentic materials. Third Session The theme of the third session was Language Learning and Teaching. The first presentation was by Dr. Soheir Ghanem and Dr. Hanan El Sayeed Sanad, which was titled Developing an Edutainment Framework for Improving Vocabulary Acquisition and Motivation among Students at KKU. The purpose of their study was to explore the benefits of using edutainment as a teaching strategy for English language learning, vocabulary acquisition and enhancing motivation. They emphasized that proper learning is possible when education is incorporated with entertainment. Ms. Mannujan Mohini Sudha spoke about the application of a critical thinking approach to learning English in her presentation titled Introducing Critical Thinking Approach in the EFL Classroom. She pointed out that EFL classrooms are primarily teacher-centered which lacks learners’ autonomy.  Such a situation could be handled, she added, with the help of problem-solving skills where learners have a chance to apply their critical thinking skills. Ms. Ivy Sultana spoke about improving reading skills in her presentation titled Applying Different Skills and Strategies Effectively for Developing Reading Skills of the ESL Students at King Khalid University. She pinpointed a common misconception that reading is an easy skill to teach. This results in teachers’ tendency to apply traditional approaches when teaching reading. She emphasized that various strategies are involved in improving reading skills. Ms. Sanjida and Tanzina Halim's presentation was titled Usefulness and Learnability in Teaching Vocabulary to ESL/EFL Students. They put emphasis on the teachers’ knowledge of usefulness and learnability of vocabulary for their learners. They concluded that teaching vocabulary becomes easier if the teacher chooses what to teach. Dr. Dawood Ahmed Mahdi’s presentation was titled Relationship between Oral Communication Apprehension and Communication Competence among EFL Students. He termed lack of confidence or natural apprehension as the barrier to conversing in English among ESL or EFL learners. He suggested improving motivation through various activities and encouraging oral communication through proposed strategies. Dr. Syed Ali Shafee’s presentation was centered on course books. It was titled A Set of Language Skills Books with Cultural Appropriateness for Non-English Stream Arab Students. His presentation was primarily based on a proposal. He pointed out that Arab students need course books which are culturally appropriate so that comprehension becomes easier. He proposed that we work together to produce course books suitable for Arab Learners. Research Day 2017, was a great success, and it gave the participants an opportunity to discuss and share their thoughts.  We would like to recognize the following organizing committee members for their efforts in this event: Mr. Erich Beer Ms. Fatemah Abdualla Amer Mr. Javed Ahmed Mr. Mahmudul Haque Mr. MD Adil Mr. MD Sirajul Islam Dr. Olaa Ali Alhaqan Mr. Salahud Din Abdul Rab Ms. Sara Abdulla Osaydan Mr. Sayed Karim Mr. Shahrear Talukdar Ms. Sharifah Abdualla Abo Abthan Dr. Zahraa Ahmed Misfer Date: 4/22/2017 Source: MD Adil Multimedia Source: MD Sirajul Islam
Under the supervision of Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT) extended its academic support to the College of Applied Medical Sciences (CAMS). The FLT facilitated a two-day student training workshop on 'Medical Terminology.' The two-day workshop was conducted by Mr. Naser Alhawamdeh, Mr. Javed Ahmad, Mr. Salahud Din Abdul Rab and Mr. Mohsin Raza Khan. The facilitators provided rigorous training spanning over two days [18-19 April 2017] to students from various departments of the College of Applied Medical Sciences. In his introductory session, Mr. Naser Alwawamdeh familiarized the students with the major medical terminologies. He discussed the importance of medical terminologies and general learning strategies. Mr. Javed Ahmad facilitated the second session.  He gave a detailed presentation proposing practical solutions for significant difficulties in learning medical terms. In his presentation, he highlighted various aspects of medical terminology from a linguistic point of view. Mr. Javed also focused on the etymological aspects of medical terms and showed how these words are related to Greek and Latin languages. He explained the way these terminologies could be acquired efficiently by using interactive worksheets. The second day of the workshop was initiated by Mr. Mohsin Raza Khan where he introduced morphological and phonological dimensions of the particular language register of medicine.  Mr. Khan consolidated the theocratical knowledge of students in the field of medical vocabulary through collaborative/cooperative learning activities.  In the course of his thought-provoking presentation, he familiarized the students with the standard abbreviations in the field of medicine. The fourth session of day two was conducted by Mr. Salahud Din Abdul Rab. Keeping in view the students' needs to comprehend the semantical and syntactical aspects of medical discourse, he opened his presentation with the contextual usage of medical lexis. Mr. Abdul-Rab classified and categorized the medical terminology according to the various specialties of the medical domain. Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi further related that service learning is an excellent opportunity to involve students in community service activities and enrich their learning experience. He stressed that it is vital the students apply the experience in their academic and professional development. Educational resources including handouts and worksheets were distributed among the students during the two-day workshop. Dr. Ali Ajab Al Shahrani, CAMS Student Activities Club Director, concluded the workshop by extending his vote of thanks. He further extended his sincere appreciation to the FLT, represented by its faculty members, for successfully conducting the interactive workshop. He appreciated the sincere efforts of the presenters by distributing certificates of appreciation. Date: 4/20/2017 Source: Salahud Din A. Rab Multimedia Source: CAMS