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

  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