Spelling Bee Buzzes With Excitement

 

On October 3, 2019, the English Club, in cooperation with the Advising and Guidance Unit, held the Fall 2019 Spelling Bee Competition. Nearly two dozen students at varying levels of study participated in the event, which was monitored by Academic Guidance Counselor, Dr. Dawood Mahdi. The event featured cash prizes from Jarir Bookstore. 500 SR in gift certificates were distributed to the top 3 finishers (300 for 1st, 150 for 2nd and 50 for 3rd).

 

This year's spelling bee was conducted differently, and the newly styled competition was more challenging. In the first level, competitors were given a word scramble that they had to revise into a cogent sentence. The purpose of this is to ensure that students understand the definition and proper usage of their ever-expanding vocabulary. In the second level, the number of syllables in each word given increased commensurately with each round. The final authority and sole source for selecting the words for the spelling bee was the Merriam-Webster Unabridged dictionary, which is available at https://unabridged.merriam-webster.com

 

The competition was intense and exciting, lasting more than an hour and a half. Well into the 4th grueling round, the first and second place winners emerged victoriously: Abdulrahim Ali (1st Place) and Hamad Ghanam (2nd Place). Both performed magnificently. Then the competition took an unexpected turn. A fierce battle for third place among Faisal Al-Dosary, Abdulrahim Qahtani, Abdullah Ali and Othman Shamsi ensued in a 'sudden death' lightning round. The pages in the dictionary rustled loudly as the remaining contestants successfully dispatched word after word. English Club Director and Spelling Bee Judge Faisal Alfadhil could hardly contain his excitement. "This year's competition really brought the best out of the competitors," he said. Finally, after many additional rounds Abdulrahim Al-Qahtani claimed third place.

 

The Spelling Bee is an important activity for the Faculty of Languages and Translation. It allows all students at the university to test their limits and showcase their skills. The friendly competition and prizes associated with 'The Bee' adds an element of excitement. Director Alfadhil said: "The Spelling Bee is great in so many ways. In preparation for the competition, the students increase their English vocabulary. The event itself gives the contestants valuable experience in performing under pressure and speaking in public. We are so proud of everyone who participated."

 

The English language is important in many career fields. One can practice language skills in a variety of ways. It is worth noting that all of our top 3 finishers in the Spelling Bee are avid readers of English language books and articles. Both scientific research and anecdotal evidence indicate that reading is a critical skill in language proficiency expansion. It is also worth noting that Hamad Ghanam and Abdulrahim Al-Qahtani regularly attend the FLT's Language Enhancement Program (LEP). This program helps students improve all of their English language skills through informal practice. The LEP is open Sunday through Thursday and all students from every college/department are welcome.

 

The Faculty of Languages and Translation is dedicated to sponsoring events and programs that benefit students and encourages increased participation in the English Club. From making language learning fun to bridging the gap between theoretical and practical language usage, the FLT is focused on providing the necessary language tools to all students. Under the vision and tutelage of Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi, extracurricular activities and competitive events that promote learning and enhance engagement are always expanding.

 

The FLT congratulates all of those who participated in the Fall 2019 Spelling Bee Competition and offers its highest praise to the winners.


Date: 10/4/2019

Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation

  Under the patronage of Assistant Dean, Dr. Salma Alqhtani, the Unit of Advising and Counseling at the female campus observed World Mental Health Day and launched a fabulous exhibition, which began on October 6, 2019, and ended on October 10, 2019.   The Unit organized a rich program to raise students' awareness of mental health in general and 'suicide prevention' in particular. The students shared their amazing arts and participated in a competition for the best three works of art. The exhibition welcomed all mediums of art.   A group of talented students also participated in the mental health campaign and performed a short silent scene inside the classes during the regular time of the lectures. More than 18 classes viewed performance during two periods; the first period from 8 am to 9 am and the second period from 11 am to 12 pm. Their performance was spectacular, and it encouraged other students and even faculty members and staff members to visit and participate in the exhibition. The program spread positive vibes throughout the week and created a safe place for everyone to learn and talk about the epidemic of mental illnesses.   The purpose of the program was to encourage students to express themselves through art. The topic of 'art therapy' was introduced to the students as a way of treatment for mental health issues. For this reason, the activity room was reorganized to serve the program purpose. There were different sections and corners: Awareness Wall, Mural Corner, Feelings Wheel Corner, Table for Creative Writing, Table for Drawing and Painting, and Corner for Educational Films and Videos.   Dr. Khadijah Almuadi, the Assistant Dean of the Advising and Counseling Center, visited the FLT exhibition, along with other members, and praised the effort and organization of the program.   At the end of the week, three winners were nominated by the students and faculty members. They received gift certificates from Jarir Bookstore. Students had a great time last week, and they shared their joyful moments on the hashtags as follows: #سفيراتالتوجيهوالإرشاد_KKU #مركزالإرشادالنفسي_kku #عمادةشؤونالطلاب Date: 10/16/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  On October 10, 2019, the English Club sponsored a camping trip to Al-Souda. Participating members went for a 10-kilometer hike into the mountains and spent the evening roasting marshmallows and exchanging stories of their academic careers. English Club Director, Faisal Al-Fadhil, supervised the event. He drove his 4x4 pick-up as a support and emergency services vehicle if needed. "This event was wonderful. We were able to combine physical activity, practicing English, and community service all at once."   Early the following morning, the intrepid adventurers did community service by spending several hours cleaning up trash from the trails and surrounding areas. Dean Abdullah Melhi praised the English Club for this worthwhile endeavor. Date: 10/13/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  Vice Dean of Academic Development and Quality, Dr. Abulrahman Almosa, sponsored a Self-Evaluation Scales (SES) and Self-Study Report (SSR) training workshop on Saturday, October 12, 2019. The event was co-sponsored by the Deanship of Academic Development and Quality. In attendance were the various members of the accreditation committee and the pertinent sub-committees. It is worth noting that both male and female team members attended the event at the main campus.   Head of the Academic Development and Quality Unit, Dr. Hasan Jaashan, began the event by presenting on the purposes and requirements of the SES report. "Today, I hope to clarify certain questions and to help the teams avoid the common pitfalls associated with an initial submission for accreditation," he said. Dr. Jaashan took questions from the audience and focused the group on hypothetical problems that could surface in the preparation of the SES. Program Coordinator, Dr. Fadi Al-Khasawneh, served as an additional resource during the question and answer session to help assure that everyone had a common understanding of the outstanding accreditation work.   Quality Consultant at the Deanship of Academic Development and Quality, Dr. Ahmad Farid, expounded upon the SES report basics covered by Dr. Jaashan. Using an overhead projector and handouts, he walked the participants through the detailed minutia of the SSR requirements. He stressed the strict evidentiary requirements set forth in the accreditation approval criteria. He noted that successful National Commission for Academic Accreditation & Assessment (NCAAA) accreditation applicants produce a detailed and lengthy trail of documents and related records. This evidence is both cumulative over a period of years and provides incontrovertible support for the statements and or conclusions proffered. He emphasized that while links to our website are very useful, these alone are insufficient proof of claims as per NCAAA regulations. The body of evidence must be both broad and deep. The support package should include material from a variety of both academic and administrative sources. Note once again that it is important to have an unbroken chain of compelling, cumulative evidence as well. Such is required for a credible application package. Although the question and answer session was generally quite favorable, there are some open questions concerning evidentiary requirements.   The FLT is grateful to the Deanship of Academic Development and Quality for its co-sponsorship of the event and Dr. Ahmed Farid's well-received workshop. "Thank you all for giving up part of your weekend to attend this most important event. We are confident that with all of your hard work, we will be granted accreditation in the near future. The entire college is anticipating the celebration that will mark the accreditation confirmation," said Dr. Almosa.   The Faculty of Languages and Translation is dedicated to providing excellence in all aspects of its educational offerings. The FLT, its students, and alumni deserve national recognition for the quality of the program. The department is determined to secure such recognition by way of NCAAA accreditation in the near future. Date: 10/13/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  On October 9, 2019, the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT) recognized Mr. Sayed Mohammed Abdul Karim and Dr. Hassan Mahill for their service to the department's digital communication efforts. Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi presented them each with a certificate thanking them for their outstanding contributions to the FLT. "We are so grateful for your hard work and dedication to making sure that the FLT remains at the forefront of digital media," said Dean Al-Melhi. Department Chairman, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, echoed Dean Al-Melhi's sentiments saying, "We were fortunate to have both of you on our team for several years, and we wish you the best." Both Mr. Karim and Dr. Mahil are currently assigned to the English Language Center (ELC), and their efforts will never be forgotten.   Mr. Sayed Mohammed Abdul Karim held the role of Social Media Content Administrator for the Faculty of Languages & Translation from 11/1/2016 to 9/1/2019. As the Social Media Content Administrator, Mr. Abdul Karim was responsible for keeping the department's social media accounts updated. Social media is a critical component of the FLT's public relations strategy and an essential means of intra-departmental communications. Maintaining social media accounts with relevant, useful and timely information is a difficult task. Mr. Abdul Karim consistently managed social media accounts with great aplomb.   Dr. Hassan Mahill held the role of Website Translator from 4/1/2017 to 9/1/2019. The Faculty of Languages and Translation publishes numerous static pages in both the Arabic and English languages. Dr. Mahill served as the web translator for English to Arabic and vice versa. To translate successfully, one must be adept with the nuances of both languages in an educational environment. Dr. Mahill always did an admirable job in capturing the literal meaning and the spirit of the web content even though the information is often complex.   The website team strongly believes in thanking and recognizing everyone who contributed, including both past and present faculty members. Every member of our current team stands on the capable shoulders of past members. While space constraints prevent us from mentioning each by name, we are grateful for their efforts and their important role in our success. We also recognize those who are not FLT Web team members but who substantially contribute to our continuing success based on content submission.   Every great university has a substantial digital media presence. King Khalid University stands among those institutions, which have fully embraced the advantages of digital technology. The website and social media platforms are critical components of King Khalid University's global reach. Having a quality web presence for each department/function within the university is a critical determinative factor in international institutional rankings. In addition to providing current news and information, the website serves as a depository for historical information about the department and its activities. Date: 10/12/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  On October 7, 2019, Hassan Costello presented a workshop titled 'Introduction to Building Quality Online Courses'. The workshop, organized by the E-Learning Unit at Faculty of Languages & Translation in collaboration with the Deanship of E-Learning, was initially tailored toward the English teachers at the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT). However, under the supervision of Vice Dean of Academic Development and Quality, Dr. Abulrahman Almosa, and guidance from E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, the FLT decided to open the program to all faculty members in the university system. The college expanded the program university-wide because the material is applicable to online course design across a broad spectrum of professions and disciplines. Members of the FLT and faculty from the College of Medicine attended the workshop.   As the overall quality of online courses is paramount, Mr. Costello framed the workshop in accordance with the eight general standards of Quality Matters (QM). Teaching online requires the skillful interplay of two distinct but closely related activities- course design and student interaction.   Course design requires clarity of purpose. That is, everything in the course must support the desired learning outcomes for the students. Also, online courses must be logically formatted and clearly presented with easy navigation. As students will generally not have unfettered access to the course instructor nor their classmates, the course designer should make individual student autonomy a high priority. Tracking the QM Rubric in the design process helps assure that the ultimate course objectives can be met.   Student/teacher interaction with online courses is very different than traditional classes. Students often work during irregular hours and/or at their own pace. The teacher might not be available to students at mutually convenient times. Also, a teacher may not have the time to respond to every student inquiry in a timely fashion based solely on the number of students enrolled in the class. The limitations on the level of expected student/teacher interaction must be carefully considered in the course design.   In his presentation, Mr. Costello introduced the attendees to each of the QM Rubric standards and provided a summary of 'best practices' for complying with same. The current QM Rubric (6th edition, revised in 2018) has 42 specific standards that are used to evaluate the design of online and blended courses. "Applying the QM Rubric to your course is all about 'alignment'. That is, each lecture, assignment, and activity furthers an objective supporting one or more desired learning outcomes. Aligning tasks and activities with objectives translates into a fully integrated course. The end result is a successful and positive learning experience. Think of the eight general standards of the QM Rubric as a road map that we use to design a course so that both the students and teacher reach the objective in an efficient and pleasant manner," he said.   Mr. Costello provided an introduction to and the best practices of the following general standards:   The Course Overview and Introduction; Learning Objectives (Competencies); Assessment and Measurement ; Instruction Materials; Course Activities and Learner Interaction; Course Technology; Learner Support; Accessibility and Usability.   Mr. Costello also paid particular attention to the issue of accessibility. Unsurprisingly, accessibility in course design is a top priority for many schools and institutions around the world. In point of fact, accessibility is so important that the QM Rubric includes an 'Accessibility and Usability' component. King Khalid University fully embraces the goal of expanding access to course work. King Khalid University was the first university in the Kingdom to subscribe to the tenets of QM.   Mr. Costello's presentation was chock-full of information. He acknowledged that it was hard to take it all in at once. But he encouraged the attendees in saying, "I want you to think of this workshop as a primer to the 'Applying the Quality Rubric (APPQMR) Workshop'. That workshop is provided free of charge and is sponsored by the Deanship of E-Learning to all interested faculty members. The APPQMR workshop is QM's flagship presentation on the QM rubric. There you will review many of the concepts and requirements we have seen today. Being exposed to the material and having access to the resources will be valuable in the future."   Faculty members in attendance from the College of Medicine showed great interest in applying the strategies Mr. Costello explained in his presentation. The medical college currently has an online course taught by 20 faculty members, and this workshop provided the tools to make substantial improvements to that course.   The turnout for the event was not as large as planned. Due to unforeseen circumstances, many faculty members had unavoidable scheduling conflicts. The FLT hopes to repeat this workshop to benefit more of the faculty in the near future. The Faculty of Languages and Translation is dedicated to providing world-class language education to an ever-expanding segment of the population. Date: 10/9/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation