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

The administration of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, on the eve of the final exams, held a meeting with all faculty members in the conference room of the Faculty of Education on Sunday, 24th of December 2017. In his opening speech, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, the Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, thanked the administration of the College of Education for providing technical support and allowing the use of their facilities. The honorable Dean, on an optimistic note, informed the audience that our College had recently received approval for the renovation of our Conference Room [Room A/3/60], and stated that it would hopefully be available for use before the end of the current academic year.  In the course of his speech, the Dean emphasized the need for all faculty members to play an active role in the successful conduction of the exams in various capacities including invigilation, supervision of the exams, and setting the exam papers. He expressed his confidence in the overall professional performance of faculty members; however, he wished that everyone would try their level best to avoid a repetition of the shortcomings encountered in the past. Following after, Dr. Yahya Asiri, the Vice-Dean and head of all the exam committees at the Faculty, confirmed that even though most faculty members were familiar with the exam regulations, there was nevertheless a need to refamiliarize faculty members with the rules and regulations to ensure their effective and consistent implementation. First, he dealt with those regulations related to faculty members’ responsibilities before the commencement of the exam, focusing on those issues related to the downloading of updated invigilation timetables, printing of the latest attendance sheets, and setting of exam papers using new sets of questions. Next, he highlighted the role of the exam committee members and invigilators during the exams. He proceeded to explain in detail the procedures for starting the exams, and for handling issues related to the identification of students before their entry into the exam halls. He apprised faculty members on operational matters such as dealing with late students, using unfair means (i.e., cheating cases) during the exams, as well as collecting and managing the exam papers. In conclusion, Dr. Asiri announced the formation of a newly established Exam Control Committee charged with authenticating the integrity of the results and answer scripts submitted by the course instructors.  The meeting concluded after a Q&A session.  Date: 12/27/2017 Source: Salahud Din Abdul Rab Multimedia Contribution: Mohammad Sherajul Islam
The Second Annual Admissions Exhibition was designed to help prospective King Khalid University students successfully transition from high school to college. From the moment students stepped on our campus, they were greeted with the vibrant energy and differentiating value of the Faculty of Languages and Translation. The program was a concerted effort by faculty and staff to ensure that incoming students feel comfortable and welcome in their new surroundings. It gave prospective students the opportunity to examine their academic abilities, interests and educational plans before their first semester of classes. The exhibition provided prospective students with a basic understanding of what will be expected of them at King Khalid University and how their particular abilities and interests may fit with one or more of the University's majors. Hundreds of admissions packets containing infographics and pertinent details on the Faculty of Languages and Translation were provided to all prospective students who came to our booth. “The Second Annual Admissions Exhibition organized by the Deanship of Admissions and Registration was an exciting platform to introduce the Faculty of Languages and Translation to eager students. We interacted face-to-face with hundreds of students and showcased the strengths and uniqueness of the FLT under one roof," said Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, Dean. The Faculty of Languages and Translation was exceptionally represented holding a host of interactive sessions that included but were not limited to: An Academic Counseling Overview  A Course Registration Overview  An E-Learning Overview  An English Language Center Overview An English Club Overview An IELTS Overview An Introductory Video on the FLT A Language Enhancement Program Overview  An interactive Q&A session with a significant portion of the faculty A big round of applause to all faculty members who represented the Faculty of Languages and Translation making it a spectacular success. Dr. Abdulmohsen Al-Qarni, Dean of the Admissions and Registration Department, commended the visible presence of faculty members and staff from the FLT interacting with prospective students. More importantly, he awarded the FLT first place on Thursday, December 14, 2017, for an outstanding admissions booth and visually appealing materials. A vote thanks go to the administrative employees of the faculty who tirelessly worked to ensure a first-class set-up. As the new semester dawns, the class of 2022 will join upperclassmen in September 2018 to begin their journey towards success. Date: 12/15/2017 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation Multimedia Contribution: Dr. Munassir Alhamami and MD Sherajul Islam This event was held over two days (December 13, 2017, and December 14, 2017).
Believing that Gratitude is the greatest of all virtues, the English Club held "The Gratitude Event" to foster and strengthen a heightened sense of thankfulness to the blessings bestowed upon us. The program started with a fascinating lecture by Assistant Dean, Dr.Suad Al-Qahtani, entitled "Do You Know How Much You Are Rich!" Following after, numerous speeches were delivered expressing gratitude to the most prominent blessings in life along with a beautiful operetta on blessings starting with undying gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and our brave soldiers. The program continued with a touching personal dedication to fathers by Activities Coordinator, Mrs.AmatulHafeez, and Website Coordinator, Ms.Aisha Alvi. They included a surprise demonstration in front of all students where they gave a beautiful message of dedication to their father, and subsequently, he delivered a powerful and upbeat speech to the students imploring them to the value and honor their parents. Correspondingly, English Club representative students Hajar Albishri, Mashail Saad and Mashail Ali expressed gratitude to their mothers who attended the event. Haifa Al-Qahtani gave a dedication to her sister and Nora Abdullah to her friends. Towards the conclusion of the event, students of the English Club expressed their gratitude to the Assistant Dean for providing continuous support. Furthermore, Mrs. AmatulHafeez presented a commemorative memento and flowers to Dr.Suad Al-Qahtani for her unmatched guidance. Similarly, a vote of thanks was extended to all teachers by student representatives of the English Club. To conclude, a special dedication from English Club students was presented to their coordinator Mrs.AmatulHafeez for her sustained efforts and sincerity in the promotion of student activities. The program ended with the assistant dean distributing certificates of appreciation to distinguished faculty members, staff members, students, and employees.  Date:7/12/2017 Source: Public Relations & Media Office
Believing in the importance of building strong bonds with government and private educational institutions, the FLT female campus received a delegation from Al-Dhikr High School consisting of 20 grade 12 students and three teachers. The English Club held an orientation which contained informational sessions about the faculty and the English program. Welcoming the delegation, Activities Coordinator, Mrs.AmatulHafeez, expressed her heartfelt gratitude and appreciation of this initiative from the faculty's administration. English Department Supervisor, Dr.Mona Alshihry, also welcomed the delegation and emphasized that they should seize the opportunity to ask questions and have a fruitful visit. Following after, student representatives of the English Club delivered an eye-catching presentation giving the prospective students useful information and first-hand accounts of the English program. Afterwards, the English Club led prospective students on a tour of the building and introduced them to the classrooms, labs, and offices which created excitement among students. To conclude, a certificate of appreciation was presented to the faculty's activities coordinator, and final words of wisdom were imparted to the students.  Date: 12/6/2017 Source: Public Relations & Media Office
The Language Research Center organized a seminar on December 06, 2017 that included a presentation by Dr. Emad Al-Tamari titled "Linguistics in Aid of Teachers of English." His presentation attempted to focus on how “fixing” and “developing” students’ linguistics competence will lead to improving students’ linguistic performance. His session began with some questions about whether our teachers have ever tried to assess their own English, whether they evaluate their students’ English and whether they have thought of linguistics as a tool to help improve their students’ English. Dr. Al-Tamari successfully pinpointed significant problem areas our students have, which he thought our teachers should focus on when teaching English. Dr. Al-Tamari, while defining linguistics, highlighted some pedagogical implications linguistics could have. He quoted Chomsky while focusing on the nature of language and how communication works. He explained Chomsky’s three models namely that of linguistic competence, performance, and language acquisition. Finally, he focused on major areas of linguistics such as phonetics, phonology, syntax, morphology, and semantics. Dr. Al-Tamari recommended that our teachers should assess their students’ English regularly. A teacher, he added, should be a role model for the students when it comes to language use.   The Al-Samer girls’ campus also participated in this seminar online. The presentation was worthwhile, interactive and overall a great success.  Date: 12/6/2017 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique Multimedia Contribution: Mohammad Sherajul Islam