First Annual Forum: Teaching English in the 21st Century

The First Annual Forum on the English language titled Teaching English in the 21st Century was held on April 15, 2017, at Saudi German Hospital in Abha, Saudi Arabia. The forum was organized under the supervision of Dean, Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, in cooperation with Quality Education Holding Company and Oxford University Press. The aim of the forum was to train language teachers for professional development that would emphasize the enhancement of teaching competence regarding classroom management, activities, and handling overall language teaching. The program included two training sessions and four presentations on English Language Teaching (ELT). The participants included both male and female faculty members working at King Khalid University.

The program began with a welcome speech by Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi.  In his speech, he emphasized the significant value of holding Forums which aim to advance the field of ELT. He reiterated such importance by focusing on the fact that forums of this nature always bring beneficial changes in language teaching and help to discuss new teaching concepts. He suggested there be more frequent language forums in the future for professional development.

Terrie Craddock from Oxford University Press conducted two training sessions. In her first session, which was titled Motivating Students, she shared ideas about how to motivate language learners. During the session, the participants took part in an interactive discussion, where they exchanged their views on motivation. She highlighted different ways to make language tasks more interesting and engaging. Craddock’s second session, Differentiated Teaching and Learning, looked at dealing with groups of mixed abilities. Despite the challenges involved in handling diverse skill groups, she said, it is manageable if the teacher knows how to engage fast learners. She also highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of combining fast learners with slow ones. Overall, both the sessions were very interactive and informative.  

What followed was Mohammad Adil’s presentation titled Exploitation and Adaptation in EFL Teaching. His presentation was based on a case study he had conducted on the usefulness of course materials used in skills and language courses. He pinpointed some issues associated with the use of published course materials. He emphasized that teacher’s creativity, control, and choice (McGrath 2013: 22-23) can make a difference.  He showed how a boring or monotonous lesson could be changed into an interesting and engaging one if the teacher uses his or her creativity. Adil concluded that it is illogical to believe that the course books are useless and at the same time, it is not logical either to depend strictly on published course books while teaching. In his session, the participants also exchanged their valuable thoughts.

The next presenter was Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin who spoke about Second Language Acquisition (SLA). His presentation titled Theoretical Approaches to Second Language Acquisition was primarily centered on theories about language learning and acquisition such as Krashen’s (1982) Monitor model, behaviorism, and innatism. During his session, he showed some funny movie clips to highlight challenges involved in language learning and acquisition. Dr. Eyhab, through these video clips, also wanted to highlight how a learner’s mother tongue influences second language learning. He concluded that SLA theories are closely related to their counterparts in the mother tongue. Also, prior knowledge of mother tongue, usually acquired from the parents, may or may not be an advantage depending on the similarities and differences between the pair languages in question.

Dr. Abdul Wahed Al Zumor’s presentation was centered on his study based on challenges encountered by King Khalid University Science faculty students, as a result of English Medium Instruction (EMI). The study revealed that the identified approach results in a failure in that it deteriorates lecture comprehension, understanding content, and communication with their instructors due to lack of adequate English proficiency. Dr. Al Zumor concluded that the additive bilingualism approach could enrich their learning environment. This presentation was worthwhile in that it successfully raised awareness among the participants of the drawbacks of English Medium Instruction (EMI) in teaching courses other than English.   

Mohammad Sirajul Islam concluded the sessions by presenting about issues related to the use of e-learning. This was also based on a case study that aimed at investigating students’ attitude towards e-learning. Interestingly, students enrolled in language courses showed a positive attitude towards online learning. On the other hand, content course students’ attitude towards e-learning was negative. He pinpointed another crucial issue related to teachers’ expertise in using Blackboard. Many teachers fail to follow the rubrics while designing online courses. He concluded that there is a need for proper e-learning training for teachers so that they can enhance their expertise in teaching online.

In the end, there was a closing speech by Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, who thanked the organizing committee for arranging such a program. He congratulated those who had worked behind the scenes to make the forum a real success.

We would like to recognize the following organizing committee members for their efforts in this event:

  • Dr. Mwafaq Momani
  • Mr. Javed Ahmed
  • Mr. Mohsin Raza Khan
  • Mr. MD Sirajul Islam
  • Mr. Saleh Hokash
  • Mr. Naser Alhawamdeh
  • Mr. Mazharul Islam    

Date: 04-17-2017

Source: MD Adil

Multimedia Contribution: MD Sirajul Islam

  The Faculty of Languages and Translation, in cooperation with the English Club recently hosted the third and final 'Twitter Winners' outing on the 14th of November. These short trips are rewards to high-performing students who win a variety of language-based competitions.   English Club Director Faisal Al-Fadhil supervised the trip to the Abha Airport Hotel, where the participating students bowled and went swimming. Later they all had dinner together and reflected on their times at King Khalid University and in the English Club. Vice Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Yahya Asiri, noted that he is thrilled that so many of our students are committed to their education and fully engaged in their college experience. Date: 11/16/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  The English Club at the Faculty of Languages and Translation - female section - organized the 'I am Talented Exhibition' on Thursday, November 14, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A room full of exhibits were on display ranging from portrait drawings to fashion design. Faculty members and staff were impressed with the student-led showcase, which included but was not limited to:   Party Organization; Horror Makeup; Instagram Sweets Shop; Abstract Paintings; Portrait Drawings; Writings; Crochet Stitching; Fashion Designs.   The department faculty members and students had an excellent time at the event, viewing and discovering these fantastic hidden talents. Date: 11/15/2019 Source: Ms. Maram Almalki, Student Activities Coordinator
تم تفعيل برنامج دلني بكلية اللغات والترجمة شطر الطالبات خلال ثلاثة ايام، ناقشت فيها الطالبات اهم الظواهر السلبية المنتشرة في المجتمع الجامعي و اثارها وطرق التخلص منها. وقد قد تناول البرنامج السلوك الايجابي من عدة جوانب: نفسية،اجتماعية،فكرية، و تربوية.
  Two MA students named Raneem Riadh and Amani Hadi delivered a presentation titled 'Dyslexia as a Language Disorder', at the seminar organized by the Language Research Center on November 13, 2019. Raneem and Amani's presentation covered dyslexia facts, its history, the causes, the symptoms, and its treatment.   They began their presentation with some other disabilities related to learning, such as dysgraphia and dyscalculia, showing a few samples of language work done by those afflicted with same. It was noted that 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek words 'dys', meaning difficulty, and 'lexia', meaning language. Dyslexia is generally defined as a specific learning disability in basic reading skills and spelling, which is neurobiological in origin. While talking about the facts, they added that this is a common reading disorder and therefore the most common cause of reading, spelling and writing difficulties.   They mentioned its discovery in 1877 by a German neurologist Adoff Kussmaul. They also mentioned some famously successful people (Piccaso, Whoopi Goldberg, Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg and Cher) who had suffered from dyslexia.   The seminar was informative, interactive, and an overall success. The faculty members and the MA students at the main campus also participated in the seminar. Date: 11/13/2019 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
  Dr. Ahlullah Siddiqui delivered an interactive presentation on similes, metaphors, and idioms on behalf of the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT) and the English Club. The well-attended seminar included many students from the FLT and various other colleges. The purpose of the event was to discuss the importance of figurative language in learning English.   Dr. Siddiqui began by defining the different types of figuratives in the English language. He explained that we use metaphors, similes and idioms to make otherwise dull language or topics more interesting or dramatic. "Figurative language is a way of dressing up plain, everyday English and making it unique and fun. It allows speakers and writers to put their own style into language," he said. Figuratives also make the subject of a conversation or writing more relatable to many people and thereby can enhance understanding through greater clarity. Dr. Siddiqui then discussed other types of figurative language, including hyperbole, irony, etc. He noted that figuratives bring emotion, emphasis and a sense of memorable style or poetry to important concepts or points. "Colourful language provokes thoughts and emotions and adds spice to our language, engaging the audience. I am so happy to be sharing the more esoteric aspects of the English language with all of you. I encourage you all to improve your skills and language abilities continually," he concluded.   After the initial presentation, the audience participated in an exercise that helps explain the differences among various forms of figurative language. The students deciphered the latent meaning in phrases such as "time is money" and "icing on the cake". At the conclusion of the exercise, Dr. Siddiqui and the audience reviewed the figurative language as a group.   Special thanks to English Club Director Mr. Faisal Al Fadhil and the English Club for organizing the event and making this useful event possible.   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: 11/13/2019 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation