4th Annual Forum Held

On December 8, 2018, the 4th Annual Forum was held which was titled Modern Methods in Teaching English as a Second Language in collaboration with Oxford University Press at Saudi German Hospital. The event was conducted under the supervision of the Faculty of Languages and Translation Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, and Dr. Mowafiq Al-Momani.

The purpose of the forum was to raise awareness of modern concepts of English language teaching. Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi began the program with a welcome speech. In his speech, he explained how teaching methods could be improved through such a forum. He reiterated that it would help share innovative ideas about modern pedagogy. He suggested that we make greater use of such events. Faculty development through forums and the like are an integral aspect of our goal of continuous improvement in delivering a world-class language education, he added. The participants included both male and female faculty members working at King Khalid University.

The morning session included a presentation by Mr. Zaid Ben Hamad from Oxford University Press titled Teaching ESP highlighting practical teaching with reference to English for Specific Purposes. He showed how to model a warm-up task, the importance of having proper knowledge of the specialism before designing an ESP course, and how to design a fact-sheet. The session included some activities with questions that actively involved the participants.

The afternoon session included six presentations.

Dr. Eman Alzaanin gave a presentation titled EFL Writing Instruction from a Cognitive Ecological Perspective. She highlighted pedagogical practices in L2 writing classrooms and L2 writing teacher cognition. She also explained the contribution of the cognitive-ecological model that gives insights into cognition networks, broader understanding types of knowledge, context, and stimulus for teacher cognition. The bottom line was the fact that in EFL writing instruction, a teacher must have a clear idea about ecology impact on the class.

Dr. Munassir Alhamami spoke on the subject of Digital Presentations in EFL Classrooms that focused on various ways to use digital presentations in class. He emphasized the need of appropriateness of material we choose, and understanding copyright issues before applying them in class. He showed how digital presentations facilitate the learning process by making difficult ideas easy, playing the role of ice-breakers. Later he showed the steps of creating such presentations by understanding rubrics.

Mr. Chris Harris spoke about Classroom Management in the context of Saudi Arabia that emphasized creating a rapport with students. Dressing appropriately may create a good impression, he added. Classroom management is successful, he said, if the lesson gives proper satisfaction and enjoyment in teaching. He also focused on how to address other related issues such as disruption, coming late, and not bringing books and pens. Some culturally sensitive topics, he said, must be avoided. He concluded that a happy teacher makes happy students.

Mr. Stephen Sampliner’s presentation focused on giving accurate instructions. It was titled How do You Measure a Successful Day of Teaching?  The role of instructions might play an important role in determining how successful a lesson is, he said. He then highlighted some key aspects of giving instructions. He emphasized making use of visual demonstrations in giving instructions. He reiterated that instructions should be easy, direct and short.

Mr. Michael Maschmeier's presentation was about Writing in the Classroom. He began by the benefits of writing in class – observing and replicating real-world text. He emphasized involving students in writing a complete unified piece of writing instead of just getting them involved in language-related tasks. He explained the process of writing – pre-writing, making the first draft, revising and editing, and publishing and feedback. He also focused on self-editing, practicing writing long essays, academic essays, articles, cover letters, and emails.

Dr. Sara Sevinj Huseynova spoke about the Key Concepts in Language Assessment. She particularly highlighted the types of assessment and assessment principles. While talking about assessment principles, she explained reliability, validity, practicality, and washback. Teachers should have a clear idea about why, what, and how the assessment is done. She also focused on how feedback should be given to learners in a non-judgmental and unbiased way.

The attendees greatly benefitted from all the presentations. Then there was a Q&A session after each session in which many participants raised important issues, and all benefitted from the discussion.

Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi gave a concluding speech in which he emphasized sharing experience through such a forum. He thanked all of the participants, attendees and those working behind the scenes. The Faculty of Languages and Translation, he added, is committed to a culture of on-going improvement in language education and professional development in teaching. The dean, vice dean, and chairman are committed to holding forums such as this in support of this worthy objective.

The event was worthwhile and well-attended.

Date: 12-10-18

Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique and Mahmudul Haque

Multimedia Source: Mohammad Taisir Albukaai

  In November 2021, Dr. Mazeegha Al-Tale' received a certificate of appreciation from the National eLearning Center (NELC) for reviewing a FutureX learning management system course as part of NELC's ASAS initiative. FutureX, which launched in late October 2021, connects institutions throughout the Kingdom together to support the human capital development objectives of Vision 2030. "It was an honor to be selected as a course reviewer for material appropriateness. While many MOOCs focus on getting knowledge out to as many people as possible, FutureX wants to make sure the knowledge is also useable. EdX, Coursera, and FutureLearn are some of the more well-known partners working with FutureX, and we fully expect an improvement in human capital development through online learning," said Dr. Al-Tale'. Date: 12/24/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  In November 2021, Mohsin Raza Khan received a certificate of appreciation from the National eLearning Center (NELC) for reviewing a FutureX learning management system course as part of NELC's ASAS initiative. FutureX, which launched in late October 2021, connects institutions throughout the Kingdom together to support the human capital development objectives of Vision 2030. "FutureX and the ASAS initiative have several interesting plans in place. In my role as a course reviewer, I leveraged my experience as a QM master reviewer to ensure best practices were found in the MOOC I reviewed. Many of the fundamental best practices and areas reviewed are also based on the E-Learning Practitioner course that is run by the Deanship of E-Learning on an annual basis," said Mohsin.   Of noteworthy mention, Mohsin also led the E-Learning practitioner certification course in November 2021, which is implemented on an annual basis by the Deanship of E-Learning. In that course, dozens of participants throughout King Khalid University learned how to improve student engagement, interaction, and quality learning. These objectives were solidified by the core foundation of the program that participants would be able to: Create content items to present a variety of learning activities to enhance student learning. Deliver authentic assessments to evaluate student knowledge in a variety of meaningful ways. Use Blackboard communication tools to promote interactions between the student and instructor, the student and course content, and the student and peers. Effectively utilize Blackboard Collaborate™ tools to increase student engagement by providing a means to share and create knowledge. Date: 12/24/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  Dr. Ahlullah Siddiqui S/O Mohammad Urwatullah Siddiqui was born on February 24, 1973, to a noble and humble family in Allahabad, UP, India. He died of cardiac arrest on December 9, 2021, in Abha, KSA, at the age of 48 years. He is survived by his wife, three daughters, and a son. His eldest child is a 17-year-old daughter, and all his kids are schoolgoers. Dr. Siddiqui obtained his primary, secondary, and university education from reputed institutions. Since his school days, he was found to be a possessor of certain distinctive traits uncommon among his classmates. He was not only sound academically, but he exhibited all his potentials in extracurricular activities also.   Dr. Ahlullah Siddiqui did his masters in linguistics and literature, M.Phil in English Literature, and a Ph.D. in Sociolinguistics. He also had the opportunity to join as a Fulbright scholar in the Professional Development Programme for English lecturers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C.   Dr. Siddiqui has worked in several capacities from time to time. He started his teaching career by teaching English language and literature to adult learners, under the National Open Schooling Program, Delhi, from 1999 to 2004. He also taught English language and literature to pre-university students, at a historical college, under the government of Delhi from 2004 to 2008.   He joined King Khalid University Abha, KSA, in October 2008. Since then, he taught English as a foreign language at the undergraduate level till his death with zeal and zest in the Department of English, Faculty of Languages and Translation. He also served as a coordinator for the English Language Center, King Khalid University Abha, KSA.   Dr. Siddiqui has to his credit, several research articles published in renowned journals covering various themes related to linguistics and literature. He has actively attended several conferences and seminars and has presented quite a good number of research papers related to his specialization.   It was his positive disposition, his reflective ways of operating, and all of the character traits that made him so special. Dr. Siddiqui’s questions never went unanswered. It was his humble and amicable nature that made him look different from his contemporaries.   It is indeed the hardest thing to forget someone who means the world to you. Forgetting a friend like him is like forgetting our own soul – it is just not possible! His sudden disappearance has created a vacuum among us. He will be remembered with warm thoughts and memories.   Having him with us was having great support, a great colleague, a caring brother, and a loving father. Date: 12/17/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  On November 29, 2021, Dr. Mazeegha Al-Tale' led a training webinar for undergraduate and graduate programs in the Faculty of Languages and Translation titled 'Designing CLOS for EFL Courses'. In attendance were around 35 course coordinators and instructors from numerous campuses.   Dr. Al-Tale' began the webinar by explaining the benefits of course learning outcomes (CLOs) to both teachers and students. She stressed the need for teachers to ensure the consistency and alignment of outcomes, materials, methods, and activities because that will help students learn more effectively.   When going through the difference between objectives and outcomes, she explained that course objectives describe an intended state and is more general and open to more than one interpretation. Dr. Al-Tale' then mentioned that learning outcomes are specific and not open to more than one interpretation. "There are 7 characteristics of writing good CLOs. They should be topic-related, domain-related, measurable, specific, concise, clear, and aligned," she said. She then showed the 4 criteria to consider when writing CLOs, stressing CLOs need to be aligned with program learning outcomes, course objectives, content, teaching methods, teaching activities, and assessment tools. At the conclusion of her presentation, there was a lively question and answer session where participants had the opportunity to discuss course learning outcomes and how they align. Please click here to view a recording of the event. Date: 11/29/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  On November 27, 2021, Dr. Abdulwahid Al Zumor led a training webinar for undergraduate and graduate programs in the Faculty of Languages and Translation titled 'Course Learning Outcomes'. In attendance were around 55 course coordinators and instructors from numerous campuses.   Dr. Al Zumor began the webinar by explaining that course learning outcomes (CLOs) are the brain and heart of the course specification. He stressed the need to utilize the models provided in level 6 of the NQF-KSA because it acts as a key nexus that reinforces and consolidates relationships between education and training on the one hand and the practical and realistic requirements of the labor market on the other. When going through the knowledge/understanding, skills, and values learning domains, he related that values also include autonomy and responsibility. "Effective learning outcomes are student-centered, measurable, concise, meaningful, achievable, and outcome-based," he said. He then showed examples of both well-written and poorly constructed CLOs, emphasizing the importance of quantifiable CLOs, whether direct or indirect. At the conclusion of his presentation, there was a call to action to write the main course objective from the instructor's perspective and to have a variety of assessments. Please click here to view a recording of the event. Date: 11/27/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation