Empowering Researchers & EFL Learners Through Digital Literacy


The Scientific Research Committee - Women's section - organized a webinar entitled "Empowering Researchers & EFL Learners Through Digital Literacy" on March 31, 2021. The webinar was presented by Dr. Amal Metwally, the head of the scientific research committee, who indicated that the webinar is designed to explore the vital role of digital tools in empowering researchers and EFL learners.


Dr. Amal Metwally started her presentation with an introduction in which she differentiated between "digital natives" and "digital immigrants". Our students today are all "native speakers" of the digital language of computers and the Internet. Those of us who were not born into the digital world but have adopted aspects of the new technology are compared to them as "digital immigrants", she illustrated.


Dr. Amal Metwally asserted that digital natives may not be familiar with digital educational tools. For this reason, they need to be made aware of and taught about these educational tools since they are able to adopt new technologies into their learning quite easily.


"When teaching with digital tools and apps, you need to spend some time deciding which tools to use and how to use those tools to create autonomous, collaborative, innovative, authentic, and student-centered learning experiences", said Dr. Metwally.


"Digital Literacy" is often used as a synonym for digital or technical skills and competencies. However, comprehension of digital literacy should go beyond mere information technology skills, explained Dr. Metwally. She referred to two main types of definitions of digital literacy; conceptual definitions and standardized sets of operations intended to provide national and international normalizations of digital literacy.


Dr. Metwally referred to the definition by Richard Lanham (1995), who claims that "literacy" has extended its semantic reach from meaning "the ability to read and write" to now meaning "the ability to understand information however presented".


She also illustrated that in his book Digital Literacy (1997), Gilster identifies four key digital literacy competencies. These are: knowledge assembly, evaluating information content, searching the Internet, and navigating hypertext. Finally, she said that DL could be better defined as "The ability to use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information, and the possession of a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information".


Dr. Metwally has also investigated the four digital literacy types: language-based, information-based, connection-based, and (re-) design-based literacies. She also indicated that digital literacy comprises five major digital skills. These are photo-visual, reproduction, branching, information, and socio-emotional skills.


In the following section of the webinar, Dr. Amal Metwally introduced some significant technology integration frameworks. The importance of exploring technology integration models is that such models are used by educators to evaluate and inform how they teach with digital tools and apps.


"Our goal, as educators, is to teach students, not just by transferring knowledge to them, but by creating meaningful learning experiences that support their knowledge, understanding and skill development", she said. SAMR model (2011), which stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition, can be used as a guide for evaluating and selecting digital tools that will create meaningful teaching and learning experiences. Another model is the TPACK Framework (2006) which focuses on technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge, offers a productive approach to many of the dilemmas that teachers face in implementing educational technology in their classrooms. By differentiating among these three types of knowledge, the TPACK framework outlines how content and pedagogy must form the foundation for any effective educational technology integration. In exploring the role of digital literacy in empowering learners, Bloom's taxonomy can serve as a tool to help us select the most appropriate apps and tools based on the level and depth of cognitive knowledge students need to acquire. As we design instruction, we can consider how we might start with the higher-order thinking skills to encourage students to build their knowledge through learning experiences, explained Dr. Metwally.


She then answered the significant question, "How can digital literacy empower researchers & EFL learners?" She also reviewed some very helpful tools that can support researchers and EFL learners in their journey.


The webinar, which was very informative and highly engaging, was attended by the Dean's Assistant, Dr. Salma Alqahtani, staff members, MA & Ph.D. students, as well as some undergraduate students who showed their interest in digital tools. It is worth mentioning that the webinar was the last event organized by the scientific research committee in the second semester of this academic year 2020-2021.

Date: 4/4/2021

Source: Saeeda Alfaifi, member of the Scientific Research Committee

  The Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, had a great loss this year when one of its teaching staff passed away, leaving behind a vacuum among us.   Dr. Adel Bahameed was an Associate Professor of Translation at the Department of English, Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia, from 2018 to 2022. He previously worked for Hadhramout University, Yemen, for twelve years. His areas of interest included Cross-Cultural Translation, Assessment of Translation, Interpreting, and Technicalities of Translation.   He was born in 1971 in Hadhramaut, Yemen. He was a husband and a father of two daughters and a son. He graduated from the University of Aden, Yemen, in 1995 with a B.A. in English Language and received his M.A. in English Language and Translation from Yarmouk University, Jordan, in 2002. His Ph.D. in English Language and Translation was obtained from Universiti Sains in Malaysia in 2007. He held various teaching and research positions in Yemen, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia. Dr. Bahameed was fluent in Arabic and English and had a working knowledge of Malay. He died in his hometown in Hadhramout in April 2022.   Research Work   Dr. Bahameed published several research articles in renowned journals covering various themes related to translation. He actively attended several conferences and seminars and presented quite a good number of research papers related to his specialization. His latest article was published in January 2020 and entitled Saudi MA Translators: An Evaluation Issue. He also wrote two books: Think-Aloud Protocols: Translating Proverbs in 2009 and Translation One: A textbook for Translation Students in 2014. In addition, he supervised M.A. dissertations as an external examiner.   We are going to miss him, and we are sure that our college will always wish that he could be there among us, sharing his creative thoughts and ideas. His contribution to the faculty, colleagues, and students will always be appreciated. Our prayers will always be with him and his family. Date: 5/23/2022 Source: Aziz Salafi
  On 17 May 2022, the Translation Unit invited Mr. Ahmad Assiri, a Ph.D. candidate in Translation Studies at Macquarie University, to deliver a special translation webinar available to all King Khalid University students. The webinar, entitled "Translation in a Clear & Correct Arabic Language", stressed key aspects of the Arabic Language that translators/interpreters should consider in order to produce a clear Arabic translation/interpretation when conveying English texts to Arabic, including stylistic, grammatic, orthographic aspects. The webinar also highlighted a number of issues that help translators post-edit their work.   "It was a pleasure speaking to KKU’s students during this amazing webinar organized by the Translation Unit. The number of attendees, as well as their interactive engagement with the content, reflects an outstanding understanding of the key concepts presented," said Mr. Ahmad Assiri.   Of noteworthy mention, attendance at the webinar was high, with nearly 100 participants actively participating in practical training exercises related to the aspects discussed throughout the session. Thank you to everyone who participated live. If you were unable to attend, you can view a recording of the webinar here: https://youtu.be/AVOH20MhNdA Date: 5/20/2022 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  The English Department recently hosted an exciting Public Speaking Competition. The audience of over 100 attendees were treated to a magnificent display of talent by the participants. Because of the high standard of all the competitors' presentations, it was extremely difficult for the judges to choose outright winners.   The Dean will be hosting a small prize-giving event for these fantastic competitors in the near future. The Mountain Top Magazine's student journalists will publish a more comprehensive article, and provide related video links about this historic, world-class event, in the next issue. Date: 4/6/2022 Source: Azad Hayat
  On 22 March 2022, Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, and Translation Unit Director, Dr. Eisa Asiri, interviewed with Al Ekhbariya, an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel based in Riyadh. Dean Al-Melhi began his interview by introducing how the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT) was established, the academic roles of the FLT, our recently achieved full accreditation status in the Bachelor of Arts in English program, and the community roles of the FLT, including partnerships with several government & private institutions. He then pivoted to recent developments on the horizon, mentioning the new era of the Chinese language in Saudi Arabia and how the FLT responded to the call by establishing the Department of Modern Languages.   Dr. Eisa Asiri was interviewed shortly after, echoing Dean Al-Melhi’s main points. He mentioned the newly established Translation Unit (TU) at the university level and how TU aims to allow FLT students and students in all colleges to take the absolute full advantage of the several short-term and long-term programs. He highlighted that by translating research outputs and materials from Arabic into other languages, the local community of Asir is served, creating a spirit of community partnership and preparing qualified personnel to meet the needs of the region.   To view footage of the interview, please visit https://flt.page.link/Al-Ekhbariya. Date: 4/1/2022 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  On Monday, March 28, 2022, the accreditation team celebrated news of the Bachelor of Arts in English Program, one of the leading programs at King Khalid University, being awarded full accreditation for the first time by the Education and Training Evaluation Commission, represented by the National Center for Academic Accreditation and Evaluation (NCAAA) for 7 years beginning in the first quarter of 2022.   The new accomplishment cements BAEP's position as a prestigious language and translation program offering an excellent quality of education centered on preparing students to be future leaders in the fields of English language studies and translation and contributing to the overall development and economic growth of the Kingdom.   "We are grateful to the entire senior leadership team of King Khalid University at the level of the president, vice president, vice rectors, and deanships. Without their support, this achievement would not be possible. We would also like to thank all internal quality consultants, whose dedication to the program and enthusiasm for its success made this possible. Finally, we thank all faculty members and staff who worked together to accomplish this feat. We strive to uphold the highest standards in teaching, learning, research, student support, curricula, learning resources and community service. This is an accomplishment for all of us," said Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation.   "I want to express my tremendous gratitude to the quality team for their tireless efforts. Working day and night, their efforts have helped us continuously improve our quality assurance system. It was not an easy task for all of us, and now it is time to celebrate," said Vice Dean for Quality and Development, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa. He then congratulated all faculty and staff and mentioned that BAEP is aligned with Vision 2030 and the Aseer Strategic Plan in that we aim to graduate students who can contribute positively to the national economy and development being witnessed on all levels all across the Kingdom, especially the Asir region.   Date: 3/30/2022 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation