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

  On May 4, 2020, the Guidance and Counselling Unit, in cooperation with the English Club, organized an online webinar titled 'Staying Home & Time Management' delivered by Dr. Karem Abdelatif Ahmed. The purpose of the webinar, which was attended by nearly 50 participants, was to show students that time management during these trying times is about taking control of the time available and optimizing it for productivity, keeping in mind life balance and well-being.   Guidance and Counselling Unit Head, Dr. Dawood Mahdi, and English Club Director, Khalid Al-Qasemi, jointly supervised the event and thanked the students for their attendance, noting that they are conscious of the challenges students face during this crisis.   Dr. Karem Ahmed began his program by stating, "The aim of good time management is to achieve the lifestyle balance." He noted that spending more time on something doesn't necessarily achieve more. Focusing on results in the most simplest and productive way creates value in that managing time effectively is not about working harder. Dr. Karem Ahmed then provided 10 tips for time management and stated his strategy: "Remember that successful time management today can result in greater personal happiness, greater accomplishments at home and at work, increased productivity, and a more satisfying future." In short, Dr. Karem Ahmed admonished the students to achieve their education and personal goals through effective time management.   Near the conclusion of the webinar, students were introduced to 'Real Life Stories'. Dr. Karem Ahmed narrated a series of stories designed to instill life lessons in our students to help them reach their potential. During this time, participants were allowed to chime in with some stories of their own. Academic Development & Quality Unit Head, Dr. Hasan Jaashan, commented that students are to make use of this time, citing examples from history of philosophers who engaged in groundbreaking discoveries while the world was in quarantine. Agreeing with Dr. Jaashan, Dr. Mahmoud Radwan spoke about how Daniel Defoe's master of social distancing, Robinson Crusoe, speaks across the centuries, especially now as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. On the island, Crusoe sees the beauty of the simple things in life and discovers new and unexpected sources of fulfillment. Those fulfillments, explained Dr. Karem Ahmed, can be realized by being closer to Allah.   The Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to providing world-class language education and empowering the students with the tools to succeed in challenging academic programs. Date: 5/7/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  On 10 March 2020, we reported that E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, delivered a university-wide webinar, which also included a curated session to the English Language Center on 11 March 2020, titled 'Transformation to Full E-Learning'. In those webinars, Mr. Khan introduced faculty members to useful content and tool areas within Blackboard that are needed to be able to effectively conduct their classes online. It is worth noting that as a result of questions from students about the logistics of virtual learning, a special webinar was held on 14 March 2020 in which Mr. Khan led students through a practical session of how to use Blackboard Ultra and efficiently use different content areas within Blackboard from the student perspective.   Commenting on the recent events, Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi noted that some of our students who live in remote areas will feel the shift to online most intensely. "We have to ensure that we are flexible and take issues on a case-by-case basis. We need a variety of assessments with grades communicated to students on a frequent and timely basis," he said.   In response to Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi's call for a variety of assessments and timely grade notifications, English Department Chair, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, and Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, commissioned Mr. Khan to deliver a webinar titled "Using Blackboard for Online Assessment" on 21 March 2020. In that webinar, Mr. Khan led approximately 70 faculty members through the fundamentals of how to create and deploy over 15 types of assessment types, including assignments and the discussion board. Additional technical training was provided on how to export created tests and share within the same course across different sections and teachers.   An active question and answer session followed shortly after the conclusion of the training in which the topic of cheating was discussed. It was noted that no purely online assessment system can prevent all forms. However, some steps were provided, such as randomizing questions and answers. At the end of the session, Chairman Alhamami recognized that the level of anxiety due to the sudden switch to online learning is high, noting that in time and with more familiarity, it will get better.   Of noteworthy mention, Mr. Khan will lead an additional Blackboard assessment training webinar tailored to students on 22 March 2020. Date: 21 March 2020 Source: Faculty of Languages & Translation
  On March 10, 2020, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, delivered a university-wide workshop titled 'Transformation to Full E-Learning'. The workshop, under the supervision of the Deanship of E-Learning's Training Manager, Mohammed Jarallah, was developed to ensure faculty members, whether they are seasoned experts or first-time users, understand the essentials of posting documents, assignments, quizzes, tests, videos, and discussion boards. Perhaps the most important part of the webinar, which was attended by nearly 200 faculty members, was the in-depth review of the specific features and functionality of Blackboard Collaborate and Blackboard Ultra.   With the evolving public health situation presented by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), proper precautions were put in place for our teachers at King Khalid University to increase their online teaching presence. "A huge part of your success will be leveraging the technology we have made available to you. Blackboard Collaborate is a synchronous video conferencing tool that you can add files to and share your screen. I recommend that you use the virtual whiteboard to interact," said Mr. Khan. He also looked at both the 'Collaborate: Ultra Experience' and the 'Collaborate: Original Experience'. The main difference between the options – which are both offered – is that 'Ultra' is an entirely web-based interface while 'Original' requires that Java be installed.   As course content, course design, and instructor readiness are essential to implementing the best practices of online pedagogy, Mr. Khan also introduced participants to the eight standards of Quality Matters, which will ensure faculty members achieve the university's goals for delivering quality online learning. This set the foundation for the suggested online classroom model, which places focus on not just the platform, but also interactivity.   Of noteworthy mention, an adapted version of this webinar was delivered to teachers of the English Language Center on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Commenting on future webinars, English Department Chairman, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, said, "We plan to hold a similar webinar this Monday. You will learn best practices, available tools, and where to find support for teaching your classes online. I will be a part of that webinar and highly encourage you to attend." Date: 3/12/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  With the commitment to advancing the practice of quality teaching, the Women's Academic Development and Quality Committee organized the "Usefulness and Learnability in Teaching Vocabulary to ESL/EFL Students" workshop on Monday, 24 February 2020. The workshop was conducted by Ms. Shanjida Halim, Ms.Tanzina Halim and Dr. Rizwana Wahid. The workshop was tailored to new teachers, graduate students, and teachers who have not taught ENG 214 Vocabulary Building 1 or ENG 219 Vocabulary Building 2. The objectives of the workshop were as follows:   Importance of vocabulary as ''the building blocks of a language ''and some basic principles; Types of Vocabulary; Incidental vs. Intentional Acquisition/Learning of Vocabulary; What to teach while teaching vocabulary; Different/Various ways of presenting and Teaching Vocabulary; Selection of Vocabulary: Two Criteria: Usefulness and Learnability in teaching vocabulary; Tips/Suggestions on promoting long-term retention.   The workshop mainly focused on the selection of vocabulary, which is very important for teachers to have awareness of. The two criteria: 'Usefulness' and 'Learnability' in teaching vocabulary were discussed in detail. Apart from this, the trainers emphasized on active vocabulary of the target language, which every learner needs to have to be a fluent speaker and an effective writer. The workshop was concluded by recommending some useful strategies of teaching and learning vocabulary, and the presenters urged all practicing teachers of vocabulary to promote long-term retention of vocabulary in ESL/EFL students.   The workshop proved to be very informative. Dr. Salma Musleh, Dean's Assistant, Dr. Mona Al Shihry, Vice Dean, Dr. Nada Alqarni, Head of the Department, esteemed colleagues, and graduate students attended this workshop. Date: 3/11/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  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 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