Teaching Language Skills: Basic Ideas and Techniques for Instructing Listening and Speaking

 

On February 28, 2021, Dr. Sara Sevinj Huseynova delivered an in-service instructor training webinar to almost 500 attendees. The webinar, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education Directorate in the Asir region and Rijal Alma on "Teaching Language Skills: Basic Ideas and Techniques for Instructing Listening and Speaking", was warmly received by local participants and attendees from around the Kingdom.

 

The Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, opened the webinar by underlining the effectiveness of initiating the interaction of instructors teaching the same subject in order to improve their performance. Dean Al-Melhi then introduced keynote speaker Sara Huseynova, who he pointed out as well "needs no introduction".

 

Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, related that he planned this event after receiving a request from the local Directorate of Education, underlining that it was an excellent opportunity for the Faculty of Languages and Translation to provide a unique instructor training opportunity that combines professional growth opportunity with online discussions in a very business-like manner.

 

Following after, Dr. Huseynova started the webinar presentation noting that languages are learned through excitement and not through fear of mistakes, and shared her knowledge on how to inspire the students for a greater attitude to learning English and the 4 basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. She pointed out the necessity to balance those skills and practice them according to the new tendencies in the language's instruction. "The same way languages are taught at the English Department of the FLT," she stressed.

 

Dr. Huseynova then started the discussion of the skills teaching general approach in applied linguistics like the focal method, content-based instruction and also, task-based approach, which is currently widely used in language instruction worldwide.

 

Participants were then introduced to the fact that the core principles of teaching listening and speaking with the task-based approach are generally the same even though one is receptive and the other one is productive. The principles, Dr. Huseynova said, are communicative teaching, interactive and task-based learning, learner-centered instruction, group and blended learning. According to sociolinguists, communication takes place mainly visually, and also, vocally and verbally. In the communicative approach, she added, students might successfully be engaged in interactive learning, which also involves authentic language input in real-world contexts.

 

The keynote speaker also emphasized the appropriateness of the textbook: the material used might well include various culture and gender-appropriate topics and interactive activities that invite students to talk and respond. Moreover, teachers need to prepare lesson plans based on the textbook; however, the general instructional line of the lesson should, by all means, involve the ideas of communicative approach in action.

 

Dr. Huseynova recommends that the teachers help students have proper exposure to genuine English usage. The teachers should apply both controlled and non-controlled techniques along with efficient but not overwhelming use of technology in class. The presenter mentioned real-life characteristics and difficulties of listening and speaking processes, making oral communication difficult to teach, evermore during online instruction with so much possible distraction. Overall, the lessons should be fully learner-centered with less lecturing or reduced "Teacher Talk Time", with the instructor being a role model and art director to improve student-teacher interaction.

 

While explaining the interactive teacher roles, the presenter focused on unlocking the students' knowledge before letting the students practice listening, which activates their schematic knowledge. Pre-listening encourages discussion around the theme of the unit with inspiration from interesting questions and striking visuals. Pre-listening may include pronunciation practice as well, which may help improve the overall listening comprehension, and post-listening activities can deepen the development of all 4 core language skills.

 

The keynote speaker also explained in detail the basic principles of modern teaching strategies for listening, creative and interactive teacher roles, how to encourage students to listen and talk, and assessment methods, the necessity to provide the appropriate feedback in a manner that will be well-received by the students, for the right feedback to "make the students' brains smarter, even happier."

 

Later, she mentioned the appropriateness of using the flipped classroom model for teaching listening and speaking, especially during online education. In the traditional classroom, a lower level of understanding happens in class. With the flipped classroom model, learning is flipped, and the students can finish the lower level of cognitive work before the lesson starts, and the teacher will continue with applying the knowledge and practicing listening and speaking skills in class. The visual flipped Maslow's pyramid on Bloom's Taxonomy was a striking explanation of the usefulness of the flipped classroom method of teaching 4 skills, particularly online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The conclusion was that it is very important to create an effective rapport with the students and share the appropriate knowledge they need. An instructor is to praise the students in a balanced way with mild criticism while giving corrective feedback, with a genuine heart-felt attitude and desire to help the student, which shows the teacher's genuine interest in each and every student's performance and language growth. The feedback should be given tactfully so that the students are not embarrassed or anxious, by any means not to lose interest in learning English.

 

Dr. Huseynova guided participants through a series of strategies they can use to evaluate and improve their online instruction, after which she took numerous questions from the audience, and the discussion of those questions lasted for an additional hour which shows the participants were so eager for the professional interaction concerning their professional growth. Dean Al-Melhi and Vice Dean Almosa actively participated in the ensuing discussions and exchange of views.

 

Overall, the webinar was, as Dean Al-Melhi noted, as informative and interesting as having a "lighthouse effect" on the participants. The webinar was a great success with 500 teacher-participants. The Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to participating in community collaboration projects as part of its role in the Community Partnership Plan at King Khalid University.


Date: 3-5-2021

Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation

  Under the supervision of Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi, the 2021 Online Summer Language Program (OSLP) titled "English Across Cultures and Intercultural Awareness" ended on 19 August 2021. OSLP is a four-week, intensive program in language study designed specifically for the curriculum in applied linguistics taught with a focus on intercultural awareness and different models of teaching and learning English. OSLP, much like our summer language program at Swansea University in 2019, was designed as an in-person, intensive language program, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OSLP ran synchronously online for the first time.   The OSLP team, led by Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, Chairman, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, and E-Learning Supervisor, Mohsin Raza Khan, sprung into action to co-develop — along with the team at Monash University — a fully online four-week summer language program for 63 of the best and brightest male and female students students in the Bachelor of Arts in English program.   Dr. Almosa noted, "This was the first time we held an online summer language program in cooperation with a leading international university. There were several technological and pedagogical challenges in developing an effective program that incorporates a social and cultural immersion experience that our students would get in person. Most of the modules were designed around language and culture concepts and instructional design, which are at the heart of recent developments in applied linguistics and related fields. I am pleased to report that our program was a success and among the first of its kind in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I sincerely thank Dr. Nizar Farjou, Dr. Raqib Chowdhury, Dr. Ruth Fielding, Susan Davis, Dr. Anna Podorova, Dr. Libby Tudball, Dr. Melissa Barnes, Dr. Dat Bao, Dr. Amber McLeod, and Ouahiba Zarzi at Monash University for their diligent collaboration and effort to make our joint program successful."   In his closing remarks, Dean Al-Melhi congratulated the students involved in the joint program and expressed his appreciation to all participating faculty members at Monash University and the Faculty of Languages and Translation at King Khalid University. The Bachelor of Arts in English program is committed to providing students with additional activities for their professional development, consistent with the intended learning outcomes and labor market developments. Date: 9/3/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  On 29 June 2021, Hassan Costello delivered a 2-hour webinar titled "Strategies for IELTS Preparation and Test-Taking". Under the supervision of the Vice Presidency of Business and Knowledge Economy, the webinar was organized by the Scholarship Administration and Faculty of Languages and Translation as part of Mobaderoon 2, a community service initiative focused on furthering the development of knowledge exchange between King Khalid University and the community. In the webinar, Costello explained to nearly 250 participants that there are plenty of decent study guides on the market, but his goal was to provide practical strategies that can be used to exploit weaknesses in the test itself and avoid the most common errors when taking the IELTS. "Each tip was carefully selected for its effectiveness. Strive to become an expert in learning what works well and what can be done in order to improve," he said.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to participating in community partnership activities as part of its role in the community partnership plan at King Khalid University. Date: 7/9/2021 Source Faculty of Languages and Translation
  Mubarak Saeed Al-Qahtani, class of 2021 graduate, has wanted to own a business since his freshman year in the Bachelor of Arts in English program, and that dream has become a reality. Al-Qahtani has brought an Al-Qassim touch to the Asir region with several drive-through coffee shops.   "College and coffee are a perfect match, and Kyan Cafe is no exception," said Al-Qahtani. While sitting in the King Khalid University parking lot before an exam, Al-Qahtani began to notice several rearview mirror air fresheners with the Kyan Cafe logo on it written English and the rest is history. He immediately began to research the brand and asked a few of his instructors in the Bachelor of Arts in English program what they thought about him becoming an entrepreneur. After receiving words of encouragement, he immediately formulated his idea, which revolved around quality, speed and convenience. Al-Qahtani credited much of his success in the operational side of the business to being able to use the language skills he picked up in the Bachelor of Arts in English program, which improved his ability to understand when to speak or write, who to deliver the message to, and what to say and how to say it. "I can honestly say that graduating with a degree in English has helped to use Foodics, which is the point of sales system we use. My dream is to launch new innovative ideas in cooperation with international companies and become a franchisor. I encourage all of the students from our program to contact some of the startup accelerators we have in Saudi Arabia to pitch their business ideas and obtain funding. There are some in Riyadh, Jeddah, and we have one in Asir," he said   The Bachelor of Arts in English program is dedicating to fulfilling its role in developing entrepreneurial leaders with the language competence necessary to take advantage of the new economic realities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by inculcating creativity and innovation in the learning process. Date: 6/28/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  Dr. Eyhab Abdulrazak Bader Eddin, Assistant Professor of Translation, has written a chapter for a book entitled "Research Into Translation and Training in Arab Academic Institutions". The book will be published by Routledge on July 30, 2021. Dr. Bader Eddin's chapter is entitled "Insights into Translators Training: Issues and Methods of Assessment". As explained in the book description, the book "addresses translators' status, roles, and structures. It also provides Arab perspectives on translation and translation training, written by scholars representing academic institutions across the Arab world. Themes in this collection include training terminologists on managing, promoting and marketing terms; corpora and translation teaching in the Arab world; use of translation technologies; translators training and translators' methodologies and assessment of translators' competence; research on translator training; and the status quo of undergraduate translation programs in a sample of five Arab universities. A valuable resource for students, professionals and scholars of Arabic translation and interpreting." Date: 6/8/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
  Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin has undertaken a fresh initiative for bringing "Annotated Translation" to light. Annotated Translation is a fascinating yet complex subject that has increasingly come to prominence and gained currency for being adopted as a major assessment method for Translation students in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Although a firm dividing line could be drawn between 'annotated translation' and 'translation commentary', they both have been used interchangeably in his session open to the public during the Spring 2021 semester. Dr. Bader Eddin delivered a 2-hour-long session — titled "Annotated Translation: Showing students the ropes — on the fundamentals of the subject", drawing attendees' attention to the seminal book, which was the first of its kind, fully devoted in a book-size work to this subject. Viz. Sewell's 2002 (Translation Commentary: The Art revisited). The session tackled such points as definition, How should an annotated translation look like? What should it include and exclude, desirable and undesirable features, marking criteria for translation commentary, steps to initiate a translation annotation project, and some illustrative practical examples. Some tangible examples have been offered to link theory to practice, as a rarely distinguished feature in translation. The session was followed by some assignments to ensure the attendees had grasped the content of the session.   To view all webinars, please click here. Date: 5/6/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation Date: 5/6/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation