Language Research Center

Analyzing the Efficacy of the Teaching Approaches Implemented by the Literature Teachers for EFL Students: Undergraduate Learners' Perspective

  The Language Research Center organized a webinar on March 23, 2022, that included a presentation titled "Analyzing the Efficacy of the Teaching Approaches Implemented by the Literature Teachers for EFL Students: Undergraduate Learners' Perspective", which was delivered by Dr. Najmus Sarifa and Ms. Rakhshinda Jabeen.   Sarifa and Jabeen spoke about different approaches to teaching literature, highlighting the fact that we should never ignore the significance of the extent to which learners learn when a particular teaching method or a technique is implemented in class. In other words, the researchers emphasized the learning methods rather than the teaching ones. The study explored the effectiveness of certain teaching approaches employed by teachers in a literature classroom.   Literature, the researchers added, is beyond what is commonly believed. This is even beyond learning about "people, culture, ethics, behaviours and other social norms" (Mustakim, Mustapha & Lebar 2018). Literature courses, they said, are indispensable for enhancing the learning scope of the language. A variety of characters with certain literary diction takes language learning to another level.   The researchers highlighted the fact that technology and innovation have given rise to a dramatic change in learning skills. They pointed up the inclusion of a profound range of literary works in the course curriculum. The dual benefit of including literature in the curriculum at the tertiary level, they said, is the fact that the students can develop an insight into the culture and characters of the English society and increase their imaginative power.   Sarifa and Jabeen explained in detail certain approaches to teaching literature such as teacher-centered approach, stylistic approach, learner-centered approach, paraphrastic approach, and culture-based approach by comparing them.   The speakers concluded that literature teachers need to be creative and trained enough to choose a teaching method that provides maximum benefits to the learners.   The webinar was very informative and a great success. Date: 3/25/2022 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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A Practical Approach to Aligning Course Learning Outcomes with Tests and Other Assessment Tools

  Mr. Mohammad Adil conducted a workshop titled “A Practical Approach to Aligning Course Learning Outcomes with Tests and Other Assessment Tools” on February 16, 2022. The workshop was organized by the Language Research Center. The trainer mainly emphasized the course learning outcome measurement methods. He also emphasized why it is important to formulate an alignment plan in advance.   The session began with a brainstorming task for the participants. The task showed a sample of a course report highlighting the learning outcome measurement part. The task question was what issues might be raised about the measurement shown in the report. The participant came up with some interesting ideas.   The trainer also emphasized that the instructors need to measure each learning outcome based on a single task. For example, suppose a full-length test, such as a final examination, is aligned with several learning outcomes. In that case, the measurement should be performed on the basis of the points achieved in each task rather than the entire exam marks. He showed in detail how final exam tasks could be aligned with specific learning outcomes and how they could be measured effectively with precision.   The trainer also spoke briefly about what an assignment could be like based on a specific learning outcome.   Adil concluded that the coordinators should be proactive by designing an alignment plan in advance, which should be shared with the instructors at the beginning of a course to avoid confusion.   The workshop was very practical and a great success. Please see the embedded YouTube video below. CLO Alignment Webinar Date: 2/17/2022 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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A Professional Approach to Reducing Stress Involved in Course Report Writing

  Mr. Mohammad Adil conducted a very effective workshop focusing on stress management which was titled A Professional Approach to Reducing Stress Involved in Course Report Writing, on November 10, 2021. The workshop was organized by the Language Research Center. The trainer, along with some basics of course report writing, particularly emphasized how to lessen stress many teachers experience before course report submission. He also emphasized that a professional approach to handling this course report task can easily reduce stress to a great extent.   The session included some brainstorming tasks for the participants. The tasks were based on the relationship between a course coordinator and instructors and how a wrong approach to designing an examination or a quiz could lead to unnecessary stress. In response to the tasks, the participants shared some thought-provoking ideas that every teacher must think of. For example, changing our mentality helps a great deal. We all should avoid downplaying the course report writing job and therefore consider it as an important one.   The trainer emphasized being proactive and working on the report ahead of time, preferably during the semester, not after the final examination. He also showed some examples of how tests, quizzes, and tasks could be aligned with the course learning outcomes in advance and how it could help design tests in a more effective way, eventually reducing stress most teachers experience at the end of every semester.   As regards Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) measurement, the trainer primarily emphasized the "Values" domain, which many instructors have experienced difficulties with. He showed a sample of a survey form that could be used in class to measure the CLOs under "Values".   Adil concluded that we, the instructors, especially the coordinators, work ahead of time by being proactive by designing and aligning. The coordinators should avoid burdening the instructors with tasks they can do easily alone. Also, the instructors should cooperate as well by being available to the coordinator.   The workshop was very engaging and a great success. Please click here to view the workshop booklet. Date: 11/12/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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Functional Dysphonia: A Rehabilitative Approach

  Dr. Yahia Zeghoudi’s presentation was based on a particular speaking disorder which is titled Functional Dysphonia: A Rehabilitative Approach. It was presented at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on October 20, 2021.   Dr. Zeghoudi began the session by mentioning some common symptoms of this speaking disorder, such as hoarseness, huskiness, roughness, breathiness, restricted pitch range, etc. He also highlighted some mental, physical as well external causes such as risk involved in certain jobs, stress and anxiety, throat infections, irritants, and so on.   Dr. Zeghoudi mentioned a French citizen who was wrongly assessed by his music teacher after the World War. The teacher classified his voice range as very low. Actually, his voice was seriously injured, and he eventually became voiceless. He spent 20 years suffering from dysphonia, moving from doctor to doctor and from speech therapist to speech therapist beginning in 1956 and ending in 1976, Dr. Zeghoudi added.   In regards to therapy, Dr. Zeghoudi mentioned Guérin’s approach that is based on voice rehabilitation. Guérin started a smooth rehabilitative program. He suggested — in general — implementing about 300 vocal exercises but selected a limited number of about 15 to 20 depending on the case of the patient. Some of the basic exercises were yawning, voicing, larynx toning, and deep breathing.   The webinar was very interactive and a great success. Date: 10/23/2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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From Pedagogy to Andragogy in Post COVID-19 ESP Courses: A Customized Blended Learning Model for English in Medicine at a Saudi University

  Ms. Amatul Hafeez Alvi presented her research paper she had previously presented at the 1st AEJ UKI SLA Research International Conference that aimed at bringing together English language professionals from around the world to share, learn, and further the English language. Her research was titled "From Pedagogy to Andragogy in Post COVID-19 ESP Courses: A Customized Blended Learning Model for English in Medicine at a Saudi University", and was presented at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on October 11, 2021.   Alvi began the session by talking about a customized blended learning model for teaching English in Medicine at King Khalid University. In her research, she mentioned, she had tried to address the challenges which COVID-19 posed when teaching a subject like this. She shared her experience as she had done at the conference.   Alvi highlighted how COVID-19 affects health, the public, the entire society and most importantly the education system worldwide. Many countries around the world dramatically changed their policy with regard to education to ensure the proper safety of the people involved, she added.   Alvi emphasized that the education sector was so immensely disturbed that the attendance to universities, colleges, and schools was suspended almost globally. According to statistical data in 2021 from UNESCO, more than 94% of students around the globe were affected by this pandemic. She mentioned Saudi Arabia as one of the success stories in the world when it comes to coping with the impact of COVID-19 in the education sector.   Alvi pinpointed the fact that some courses were affected severely due to this pandemic. English for specific purposes (ESP), which has an "oriented focus", is one of those affected as face-to-face mode would be more effective. Such ESP courses, she added, are completely different from EFL and ESL courses in that they primarily focus on language in context. In ESP, the learners' knowledge of English reflects directly on their profession. Her research focused on English in Medicine. In the case of ESP, she added, they actually concentrated on the transfer from Pedagogy to Andragogy, the latter of which is more learner-centered.   Alvi concluded that we need to explore more methodologies and approaches to make ESP more effective.   The webinar was very interactive and a great success with the active participation of both male and female faculty members. Date: 10/14/2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Dean Al-Melhi Receives Plaque of Appreciation From University President

  On 29 March 2021, Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi received a plaque of appreciation from His Excellency Falleh Al-Solamy, President of King Khalid University, in recognition of his efforts and contributions to the Saudi Journal of Language Studies as editor-in-chief. Vice President of Higher Studies & Scientific Research, Dr. Hamad Al-Garni, Scientific Journals & Societies Unit (SJSU) Supervisor, Dr. Abdullah Asiri, and SJSU Consultant, Dr. Amir Kessentini, supported all honorees in the meeting, expressing their deepest gratitude for the unfailing support and contributions made to ensuring the large body of scholarship produced at King Khalid University will be utilized.   Published by Emerald on behalf of King Khalid University, the Saudi Journal of Language Studies is an academic, open access, double-blind peer-reviewed journal focused on the diffusion of articles on all aspects of language studies. The Saudi Journal of Language Studies (SJLS) is an open forum for interdisciplinary research grounded in sound theory, practice of language research, and translation studies of interest to scholars and language educators. SJLS seeks cutting-edge interdisciplinary research from around the world that reflects diverse theoretical and methodological frameworks and topical areas, including but not limited to:   Foreign and/or second language learning, teaching, and use Language assessment and testing Language for Special Purposes (e.g., ESP) Language for Academic Purposes (LAP) Multimodal communication and Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) Teacher/learner identity studies Foreign/second language classroom-centred research Translation studies Literature studies Culture studies Bilingualism and Multilingualism Lexicographical research, Literacies, Rhetoric and stylistics Sociolinguistics Pragmatics Semiotics Discourse Analysis Psycholinguistics Deaf Linguistics Forensic Linguistics Historical Linguistics Theoretical Linguistics   Of note, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Tanuma, Prof. Abdulaziz Fageeh, received a plaque of appreciation from His Excellency President Al-Solamy in recognition of his efforts and contributions to the KKU Journal of Humanities as editor-in-chief. Both Dean Al-Melhi and Dean Fageeh extended a very warm welcome to thank authors, editors, and anonymous reviewers for contributing to the success of the journals, noting that Dr. Ismail Alrefaai has made significant contributions as a coordinator of both journals.   The website of the journal can be accessed through https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/sjls. Submit your research article today, and the SJLS Editorial Advisory Board will assess your submission based on the policy and scope of SJLS. Prof. Habib Abdesslem, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, Dr. Fakieh Alrabai, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, and Prof. Abdulaziz Fageeh all serve as SJLS Editorial Advisory Board members and look forward to your submissions. Date: 3/30/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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Areas and Themes in Translation Studies: A Lantern Shone into the Dark Maze of Tunnels, Excavated by Translation Students and Researchers

  The Language Research Center organized a webinar on March 24, 2021. The webinar presenter was Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin, who conducted a workshop for those interested in research in the field of translation and, in particular, the students of translation studies. The title of the presentation was "Areas and Themes in Translation Studies: A Lantern Shone into the Dark Maze of Tunnels, Excavated by Translation Students and Researchers".   Dr. Eyhab began his session by highlighting why doing research in the field of translation studies is hard. Research in translation studies, an area which, because of its interdisciplinary nature, can present the inexperienced researcher with a bewildering array of topics, he stated. The major purpose of such research, he added, is to make a contribution to the field in several ways.   Dr. Eyhab stated different ways to contribute to the field of translation studies such as by providing new data, suggesting an answer to a specific question, testing or refining an existing hypothesis, theory or methodology, proposing a new idea, hypothesis, theory or methodology. He also specified the major factors that launch the drive for conducting research in translation studies. The factors, he stated, are a piqued sense of natural curiosity, a need to obtain a further qualification, a general desire for personal development, and areas of interest.   At the beginning of the research, he said, a researcher may be excited, but he or she may discover that someone else has already conducted the same research in the same area. Another upsetting thing about the research may be the lack of feasibility. To address this problem, Dr. Eyhab recommended that a researcher should ascertain the current state of research in the field, which involves a lot of reading.   The purpose of such research, Dr. Eyhab said, is to add the sum of knowledge. Therefore, re-inventing the wheel is a waste of time. A piece of research does not take place in a vacuum, but it relates to what has gone before. In this case, the literature review is essential.   He highlighted an overview of some research areas relevant to translation studies as follows:   A. Text Analysis B. Translation Quality Assessment C. Genre Translation D. Multimedia Translation, known as audio-visual translation, and is further broken down into dubbing and subtitling. E. Evaluating Software F. Interpreting   The webinar was an informative one with the active participation of the faculty members, MA and Ph.D. Students from both male and female campuses.   To view a recording of the webinar, please click here. Date: 3/25/2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Lexical Borrowing: French Loan Words into English

  At a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on March 10, 2021, Dr. Shazia Tabassum spoke about Lexical Borrowing: French Loan Words into English. The presentation was all about how the English Language has so far been enriched with lexis from other languages.   Dr. Shazia, first, started her presentation stating an intriguing fact that English is not a pure language in terms of lexicon, but a heterogeneous one. This particular phenomenon is because of its exposure to frequent cultural changes over ages. The English language is composed of words from different languages across the world, she added. As a result, many of the everyday words used in spoken and written English have been adopted from other countries in which the first language is not English, she highlighted. She quoted David Crystal who termed English as an “insatiable borrower”.   Dr. Shazia explained the term Lexical Borrowing. She explained it as a process by which a word from a donor language is adapted for use in the recipient language. It is a two-way process in that a recipient language interestingly may sometimes become a donor language too, she added and also emphasized the fact that lexical borrowing plays a vital role in bilingualism.   Dr. Shazia spoke about foreign invasions, wars, foreign trade and travel that resulted in such lexical borrowing. Most of the English lexical items have been taken from Greek, Latin, and French she added. She also mentioned some other donor languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Hindi, and Urdu. The interesting point is that 70% of the modern English words have been all borrowed from other languages, and French is the major donor language, she said.   She showed the similarities and differences between English words and the main donor language French. She exemplified gender for inanimate things in French. She gave some more examples of French load words and phrases that are frequently used in English.   Dr. Shazia finally emphasized the learner-centered approach to teaching vocabulary in a language class.   The webinar was a great success with the active participation of the faculty members, PhD and MA students. Date: 3/14/2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Challenges of Online Classes and Strategies to Overcome Them

  At a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on March 3, 2021, Dr. Sarwat Un Nisa delivered a presentation titled Challenges of Online Classes and Strategies to Overcome Them. The presentation was based on several research studies conducted on the above issue.   Dr. Sarwat started her presentation by stating that the rapid shift from a face-to-face learning mode to a distance learning mode has given rise to many challenges for ELT instructors around the world. One of the challenges, she states, is handling classroom management issues. It is crucial and important to admit that virtual classroom management strategies are different from face-to-face classroom management.   Dr. Sarwat's presentation was divided into three parts – online pedagogy, challenges faced by students, the strategies instructors can adapt, and the challenges students face and the strategies they can adapt to overcome them.   According to Pelz (2009), she said, learning is more effective when students do most of the work in class. Interactivity is the heart of effective asynchronous learning. While explaining online pedagogy, first, she emphasized using technology as a tool. Creating a successful online learning experience begins with the deliberate application of instructional design principles, she added. Secondly, she emphasized keeping technology as simple as possible. If technology turns hard for the students to understand, the instructors need to spend extra time explaining the technology itself, which affects the actual learning. Thirdly, she spoke about alignment, which is all about the correlation between the course content, tests and learning objectives. Fourthly, she mentioned the ease in course design and navigation. She explained that the course teacher can make it easy for the learners by creating hyperlinks and making regular announcements. The fifth point she covered is the importance of clear expectations and directions for activities and assessments. Students should be clear about which direction they are moving towards. Finally, she emphasized making the instructor’s presence known to students. Regular correspondence between the instructor and students can solve this issue.   Dr. Sarwat, while talking about teacher-student interaction, stated that it is essential to respond quickly to student questions. By doing this regularly, such interaction increases.   Dr. Sarwat also highlighted student-to-content interaction, multimedia principles, multiple interactions with the same content, academic honesty and authenticity of student work, supporting students. She also talked about technical issues and how to solve them. She concluded her presentation by sharing some strategies that learners can adapt to overcome the challenges of online learning.   The webinar was a great success with the active participation of faculty members and graduate students. Date: 3-4-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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21st Century Teaching and the Global Scale of English

  At a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on February 24, 2021, Ms. Arshi Khatoon presented her topic: 21st Century Teaching and the Global Scale of English. She put emphasis on the dynamics of the most modern concepts of learning and teaching and its proper implementation to have better learning outcomes.   Ms. Khatoon, first, stated the fact that in this global and interconnected world, all learners need new skills and knowledge to be successful in their lives. 21st-century skills are essential for the fulfillment of such success, she added. She quoted David Nunan, "The Global Scale of English represents the most significant advance in performance-based approaches to language learning, teaching and assessment since the development of the Common European Framework of Reference".   Teachers, Ms. Khatoon, said, can use the global scale of English to guide their students properly. The teachers first ask themselves how good their English is, whether they are progressing and what they need to do next. To answer these questions, both teachers and students need to follow the steps of the English learning ecosystem. A teacher should know a clear definition of a particular level of proficiency, alignment between the learning materials and the 'levels' of definitions, and have tacit knowledge of assessment tests designed to profile learners' proficiency across the four basic skills. The Global Scale of English, Ms. Khatoon explained, is an accurate, standardized scale that measures English language proficiency. Unlike other frameworks, this particular scale identifies what a learner can do at each point on the scale across the four skills. The purpose of the scale, she said, is designed to motivate learners.   She focused on Learning and Innovation Skills that comprise 4Cs – Critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. These skills help students thrive in their working lives. These 4Cs help students have opportunities in advance to develop basic skills or foundation knowledge. They also ensure that students have proper academic, social-emotional, and workforce skills to be successful.   The key elements of 21st-century learning help students prepare for their future jobs independently. She, therefore, emphasized that lessons should be designed according to the 21st-century theme.   Ms. Khatoon concluded that students need the ability to think critically and creatively, collaborate with others and communicate clearly.   The webinar was a great success with active participation from students and faculty members of the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs. Date: 2-25-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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