Seminar

From Normal to New Normal: Rethinking Methodologies

  Ms. Sharmin Siddiqui presented her research paper titled From Normal to New Normal: Rethinking Methodologies, at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on January 27, 2021. She highlighted the dramatic shift from one teaching move to another due to the current pandemic.   Siddiqui first defined the new normal with a reference from Wikipedia on how the term 'New Normal' was first used in 2007 and 2008 during the financial crisis and used until COVID-19. She mentioned how the traditional classroom pedagogies during the lockdown abruptly took a backseat, and virtual learning became the only way of teaching in mainstream education. She also stated how the sudden disruption required many professionals to change their conventional mindsets and acquire a new set of skills compatible with the latest online pedagogies.   Siddiqui focused on the dramatic success of online teaching at King Khalid University during the outbreak. She mentioned that faculty members and students could communicate effectively and successfully in this virtual teaching mode during the pandemic, although many educational institutions of different countries halted their activities sine die.   Siddiqui also talked about the two most popular learning management systems: Moodle and Blackboard. She brought out some limitations of using virtual platforms exclusively and put forward some issues to reconsider the teachers' methodologies. Referring to a case study, she mentioned that if learners are provided with the same learning material, quality of teachers, and resources as in the traditional mode of learning, the same academic outcomes will be achieved.   The primary issue associated with virtual classrooms, Siddiqui said, is the difficulty in addressing individual interests and needs according to the learners' different learning styles. Also, lecturing is the commonly used method in the online mode, she added. The intended communicative gestures that are considered important vehicles for building rapport with learners are not possible in a virtual platform. Besides, reassessing absenteeism criteria is one of the needs for ensuring the learning outcomes, she mentioned. She also highlighted some drawbacks of applying a particular test type in a virtual platform and questioned its validity.   The presenter concluded her presentation with some recommendations. To differentiate instruction in virtual platforms, teachers need to switch between the modes. Using different kinds of synchronous and asynchronous communication ensures successful collaboration between teachers and students, she emphasized. To ensure the learners' attention and attendance, teachers should announce that at the end of the session, there will be an incentive-based assessment.   The webinar was very interactive and a great success with both male and female faculty members' active participation. Date: 1-29-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Virtual Teaching of English Courses: Ways to Make it Effective

  Ms. Amatul Hafeez Alvi conducted a workshop on Virtual Teaching of English Courses: Ways to Make it Effective, at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on September 16, 2020.   Alvi started the session by stating the objectives of the webinar – creating interactivity, reliability in building online learning experiences, forging online connections to build the teacher-learner relation, the application of key principles to create teaching presence and avoidance of "turning off" students to the online paradigm.   First, she emphasized the proper knowledge a teacher should have about instructional technology. She specifically focused on being familiar with devices, the Internet, e-content, related problems associated with the course website and connectivity. She also added the importance of having proper knowledge of how to handle problems with students and troubleshoot them efficiently.   Secondly, Alvi emphasized the teacher's presence. She focused on how a teacher should introduce himself or herself by, for instance, uploading an introductory video or emailing. Doing this, at least, can create an impression that the teacher is around. A teacher should use both synchronous and asynchronous communication methods to connect with the learners, she added. Furthermore, she stressed on being a reflective teacher who is able to evaluate himself or herself after what he or she has done.   Alvi also talked about fostering communication by being a role model, allowing students to know each other, creating a safe learning atmosphere and social opportunities, and emphasizing teamwork. Clarity and simplicity are also essential in designing a course, said Alvi. A teacher must be able to consider different learning styles, she added. For example, there are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners who acquire things differently.   Alvi concludes that a teacher must keep on searching for new ideas, for example, from the Internet and colleagues.   The webinar was very interactive and a great success with the active participation of both male and female faculty members from the Bachelor of Arts in English program. Date: 9-16-2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Scientific Research Requirements for Program Accreditation

  The Women's Scientific Research Committee organized a seminar on Monday, March 2, 2020, on Scientific Research Requirements for Program Accreditation. The seminar was presented by Dr. Eman Alzaanin, Supervisor of the Academic Development and Quality Unit, who highlighted the significant role of scientific research in the program accreditation.   Dr. Alzaanin started her presentation by defining program accreditation. "Program accreditation is an evaluation process whereby a program of study provides information on its activity and achievements to an external body (i.e., NCAAA in Saudi Arabia) that independently evaluates this information in order to issue a public judgment based on set standards for the value and quality of the program," said Dr. Alzaanin. She then reviewed NCAAA standards for program accreditation and program mission and objectives, which should guide all its operations.   Dr. Alzaanin asserted that the focus is on both faculty members' and students' research competencies. She further illustrated that program administration should be responsible for preparing and monitoring the scientific research plan, monitoring its commitment to implement its role in the research plan of the institution through specific performance indicators, and activating the values of scientific integrity, intellectual property rights, rules of ethical practices, and proper conduct in all academic, research, administrative, and service fields and activities.   She concluded that teaching staff should regularly participate in academic activities (e.g., participation in conferences and group discussions, research projects, arbitration of theses, and research). They should also participate effectively in research activities and scientific production, and their participation in these activities is considered as one of the criteria for their evaluation and promotion. The seminar was attended by Bachelor of Arts in English program staff members and included several valuable contributions from the audience that enriched the discussion. Date: 3/7/2020 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally – Women's Scientific Research Committee Coordinator
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Simultaneous Interpreting

  On February 19, 2020, there was a presentation titled 'Simultaneous Interpreting' by two Master of Arts in Translation program students named Wafa Al-Qahtani and Raneem Riadh at a seminar organized by the Language Research Center.   Wafa and Raneem first defined 'Interpreting', followed by a detailed explanation of three modes of interpretation. "Interpreting is the transfer of one spoken or signed language into another", said the presenters. They went on further to say that it was IMMEDIACY rather than ORALITY that set 'interpreting' apart from 'translation' because orality usually EXCLUDES 'signed language'.   Simultaneous Interpretation (SI), they said, is the one in which the interpreter listens and renders the entire message in the target language at the same time the speaker is talking. They also talked about some more interesting sub-types of interpretation, such as chuchotage, bidule, bimodal interpreting, and so on. They shed light on the fact that the goal for simultaneous interpreting is NOT to paraphrase but to convey the exact message uttered in the source language.   Wafa and Raneem then talked about how SI originated, and how it is the mode officially adopted at large global organizations like the UN, EU, etc. They stated the working environment for simultaneous interpreters. In a sound-proof booth with direct view onto the conference room, the interpreter listens to a speaker through earphones and simultaneously transmits the message in another language through a microphone to the listeners' room, they added.   Wafa and Raneem, while explaining its salient features, talked about how it saves time and ensures continuity with less distraction and more concentration. They brought to light the skills a simultaneous interpreter must possess, i.e., amazing language skills, specialized knowledge, and cultural competence.   Décalage, EVS (lag time) and Word Order, the main focus of attention of the seminar, were dealt with separately, saying defining the former as the period of time between the source text input and the interpreter's target text. One important issue is that the interpreter has to make a decision on the size of units or chunks he deems suitable to form a meaningful unit to start with, when to start, when to chunk, when to wait or stall and when to start again. In relation to word order as a critical issue in simultaneous interpreting, they said, "Awkward word order is ubiquitous. The Europeans' focus of interest has been on the difficulty of putting German, Russian, Chinese or Japanese into English or French. In these source languages, a verb or predicate which are traditionally seen as the heart of the sentence's meaning and usually come early in English, may be delayed until the end". They brought this issue to Arabic. Arabic deploying VSO order is considered very hard to be interpreted alongside English. Translating an English noun phrase with one noun preceded by 5 or more adjectives into Arabic must start with the noun first and then it lists the adjectives. This poses a challenge and the interpreter's memory is the yardstick on which SI success depends. The example is elucidated by a native, shady, ornamental, high, massive, mature, mighty tree.   The seminar was informative, interactive, and an overall success. The faculty members and the MA students at the Graigor campus also participated in the seminar. Concluding the seminar, Language Research Center Director, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, thanked the participants and encouraged all other MA students to participate and follow suit. Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin, swelling with great pride, thanked them for their resourceful content, and for their stamina and courage to have taken to the stage. Date: 2/20/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Creating Future Leaders by Teachers as Core Professionals

  Ms. Sharmin Siddiqui and Ms. Sufia Sultana delivered a presentation titled Creating Future Leaders by Teachers as Core Professionals at a seminar organized by the Language Research Center on February 12, 2020. Their presentation emphasized the importance of building leadership among teachers and transferring leadership attributes to students of the Bachelor of Arts in English program.   The session began with a lead-in task in which the participants were asked to write names of their high school teachers. Ms. Siddiqui and Ms. Sultana focused on the fact that the teachers who had created a positive impression among their students were in general well remembered.   They pointed up leadership among teachers by quoting Richard Dufour who termed teaching profession as the creator of all other professions. They also quoted Wendell Willkie, J.F. Kennedy, Henry Adams and Alexander the Great while talking about the correlation between leadership and learning.   The main points Ms. Siddiqui and Ms. Sultana’s presentation covered were leadership qualities a teacher should possess, leadership styles, the demonstration of leadership in class, teaching leadership skills, and barriers to developing teacher leadership. They highlighted the combination of leadership qualities great teachers possess, and how they can train up the learners to achieve those leadership attributes that they can apply in their lives and profession.   The presentation was informative, interactive and a great success. It is worth mentioning that Graigor male campus also participated in the seminar through video conferencing.   Date: 2/15/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Publishing in Peer-Reviewed Journals: Challenges and Solutions

  The Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized a seminar entitled "Publishing in Peer-Reviewed Journals: Challenges and Solutions" on Monday, February 3, 2020. The presentation, which was conducted by Dr. Mazeegha Al- Tale', focused on highlighting the significance of publishing in peer-reviewed journals, necessary steps, and techniques. At the beginning, Dr. Al-Tale' thanked the Scientific Research Committee for giving her the chance to give that presentation. She extended her thanks to the outstanding researchers Dr. Fakieh Alrabai and Dr. Munassair Al-Hamami for providing her with valuable information about international publishing.   "As faculty members, we strive to publish in peer-reviewed journals. After the hard work of thinking about appropriate topics, designing our studies, collecting the data and going through other steps of writing, we all are eager to see our works in good scientific journals", said Dr. Al- Tale’. Dr. Al- Tale' illustrated that there are five steps that researches have to follow in their journey towards publishing their work in authentic reliable journals. These are: reading towards topic selection, writing the research paper, selecting a journal, editing, and submission. She further explained in detail how each step could be accomplished perfectly towards publishing in peer-reviewed journals.   Dr. Al-Tale' also highlighted the importance of checking the impact factor of a journal before correspondence. Additionally, Dr. Al-Tale' provided a list of good publishing houses and explained the journal selection tools. She also visited some useful websites during the session in order to show the audience how to know if the target journal is listed in Scopus or not, to know whether a target journal is predatory or not, and to make sure that the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is a real one.   The seminar was attended by Dean's Assistant, Dr. Salma Alqahtani, Vice Dean, Dr. Mona Alshehri, teaching staff, and students. The seminar was very informative, engaging and such a great success.   Date: 2/4/2020 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally, Scientific Research Committee
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Translating Songs and Poems

  Dr. Adel Bahameed spoke on the subject of Translating Songs and Poems at a seminar organized by the Language Research Center for the Bachelor of Arts in English program on January 29, 2020. The presentation centered on the challenges involved in translating songs and poems.   The main objective of his research, Dr. Bahameed says, was to refresh translation studies with regard to the possibility of translating songs and poems.   Dr. Bahameed, based on his research, describes 'translating songs and poems' as a challenging task. "There has been a long controversy over whether songs and poems can be really translated or not", states Dr. Bahameed. He mentions a famous Arab singer Abu Bakr Salem and a famous Arab poet Hussein Al-Mihdar and how their works have been translated. While translating a song, he adds, the translator must pay attention to rhythm, rhyme, prosody, music and the culture. Some translators, while translating, only focus on forms, and some, on the other hand, give priority to content over form. He states that the translator should preferably be a poet so that he/she can appreciate the poetic text in hand.   Dr. Adel Bahameed concluded that Arabic poems are translatable, but the translation process is complicated. However, Arabic songs are untranslatable because of the extra dimension of music, which is beyond the translator's control.   The seminar was very interactive, engaging, and a great success. It is worth mentioning that King Abdullah Road Campus also attended the seminar. Date: 1/30/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Interpretive Reading

  Dr. Ahlullah Siddiqui, Bachelor of Arts in English program, delivered a presentation titled Interpretive Reading at the seminar organized by the Language Research Center on November 27, 2019. The presentation was based on a research paper titled "Interpretive reading as a strategy to construct meaning in EFL Reading Comprehension: A case study at KKU EFL Classroom ", conducted by Dr. Ahmad Ismail Assiri and Dr. Ahlullah Siddiqui.   The presentation focused on how effective interpretive reading is in reading comprehension. Dr. Siddiqui highlighted some previous studies conducted by Alsamadini (2009), Al-Jarf (2007), Carrell (1989) and Cooper (1984). The studies, he stated, emphasized the positive correlation between language competence and being able to understand written texts, and how reading helps in vocabulary building.   Dr. Siddiqui related that interpretive reading is the effective communication of thoughts and or feelings of an author to the listener. He then stated the research objectives: to determine whether interpretive reading has a significant effect on students' reading comprehension; to investigate the efficacy of interpretive reading in employing various types of texts; to compare the effect of interpretive reading to that of silent reading and reading aloud respectively; and to suggest ways in which teacher can go about using interpretive reading in their teaching. He, while explaining the methodology, also compared the statistical data of the control group and the experimental group. Finally, he explained in detail the research outcomes. Two video clips were also played, which demonstrated two examples of interpretive reading.   The seminar was very interactive and a great success. It is worth mentioning that the King Abdullah Road Campus also attended the seminar. Date: 11/30/2019 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Mastering the Skills of Writing Research Manuscripts

  Ms. Amatul Hafeez Alvi spoke on the subject of 'Mastering the Skills of Writing Research Manuscripts', at a seminar organized by the Language Research Center on October 23, 2019.   Alvi began her session with the main objectives of her presentation. She focused on the importance of publishing research papers, what makes a successful writer, how to choose a journal, the process of writing, submission and issues related to revision, acceptance and rejection.   She emphasized the fact that all a writer needs is 'zeal'. She discussed in detail some other related issues, such as having academic experience with no publications, little exposure to research activities, university demands, demotivation after rejection, lack of language skills, et cetera.   Alvi also spoke about the qualities of good writing. She encouraged writers not to hesitate or haste and to select a suitable publication outlet, ensure clarity, monitor the process and collaborate when writing a research article.   Alvi concluded that a researcher should keep on trying to get their work published. A researcher should not be demoralized after being rejected.   The seminar was a great success and raised awareness on the significance of improving skills in pursuit of research publication. It is worth mentioning that the women's college at King Abdullah Road, Al-Samer Campus, and the main campus attended the seminar in-person or via teleseminar. Date: 10/24/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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Comparison of Feminism Power in Anne Bradstreet and Virginia Woolf's Works

  On 14 October 2019, the Scientific Research Committee organized the 1st seminar of this semester titled 'Comparison of Feminism Power in Anne Bradstreet and Virginia Woolf's Works', which was delivered by Ms. Maram Al-Malki. The presenter started the seminar by explaining to the audience why she has chosen this particular topic. As she is a writer herself, she has found some similarities between herself and the two authors mentioned in her presentation. Ms. Al-Malki highlighted some thought-provoking issues on feminism, and the seminar came ended with a lively discussion between and among those in attendance.   It was an informative presentation that was attended by Assistant Dean, Dr. Salma Al-Qahtani, Dr. Suaad Al-Qahatani, former assistant dean, and faculty members. Date: 10/16/2019 Source: Shanjida Halim, Member, SRC
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