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, 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