Bachelor of Arts in English Program

FLT In-Service Teacher Training Webinar: Quality in Educational Organizations

  On 18 October 2020, Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, delivered an in-service teacher training webinar in cooperation with the Directorate of Education in Sarat Abidah on "Quality in Educational Organizations". Vice Dean Almosa related that he planned this community service event after receiving a request from the Directorate of Education in Sarat Abidah, noting that it was an excellent opportunity for the Faculty of Languages and Translation to recommend consultative high-potential policy interventions, which are linked to a sound quality assurance system that drives continuous improvement.   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: 12/19/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Scientific Research Committee Webinar: Netspeak Linguistic Features Used by Youth

  Prof. Najaat Busabaa, professor of linguistics at the faculty of languages and translation, delivered a webinar titled "Netspeak Linguistic Features Used by Youth" at an event organized by the scientific research committee on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.   Prof. Busabaa started her presentation by emphasizing the indisputable fact of the widespread use of internet among the youth. They use it because "it is quicker, cheaper, and more convenient than other communicative methods, "she illustrated. She added that the rapid development of this new technology and communicative method has become of great importance in modern people's lives. This development is parallel to the expansion of the internet culture mainly mediated through the English language, and consequently, it has a profound influence on languages, spoken or written.   Netspeak is "a type of language displaying features that are unique to the internet." Prof. Busabaa noted that this phenomenon in Arabic is prolific; however, it has been rarely investigated among the youth. When chatting, as was assumed by linguists, they have two alternative choices; either they will use English with Latin letters and compensate for the lack of some correspondence letters in English by using numbers that look like those letters or, they will Arabize those letters with English Netspeak abbreviations putting them in Arabic scripts.   She also referred to Arabizi as a norm used in Netspeak chatting rooms. According to many scholars, Arabizi is "a blended language composed of English and vernacular Arabic, written in Latin letters but using arithmographemes; numerals as letters."   Prof. Busabaa, moreover, identified the methods and procedures of the study. She stated that in order to investigate the frequency of linguistic features used by Yemeni students in Netspeak, a qualitative method was used, limiting these features then describing and explaining them linguistically. She also reviewed the literature and then reached the findings of the study. The study indicated that there is a common balance in the chatting roles; the participants are brief and focus on the direct content of their responses. Moreover, sentences that are used are short and simple, which gives an impression of brevity to listeners. In addition, communication topics mainly include news about school or university issues such as timetables, lectures, and exams. Also, jokes, parental relations, love poetry, wise sayings, remarks on death, or congratulations have been noticed. Furthermore, commenting on others' lexical mistakes is rare. They paid no attention to correct each other. The researcher has found only one comment as feedback to correct the mistake of the other chatter. The linguistics categories involve showing exaggeration by repeating some letters to draw attention, dictation marks: "spelling, glottal stop, al-taa, al marboodah, the use of punctuation marks, question marks, exclamations, colon, semi-colon, and al-Tashkeel."   Prof Busabaa explained that extracts from the Holy Quran require special attention from the users because these are sacred texts. She reached the conclusion that vernacular language replaces standard Arabic in chat rooms, which is entirely different from the findings of the other earlier works where English replaces other languages. Consequently, she proposed some recommendations to follow. These include initiating a number of organized campaigns, either electronic or in the fields among Yemeni youth of the importance of their language to establish and strengthen their identities. Also, teachers should be strict in correcting students' linguistic mistakes and establishing web pages that provide the youth with the principles of their language in attractive ways to draw their attention and involve them in defending their own language.   The webinar was very informative, and it witnessed significant interaction from both faculty members and MA students who showed their interest in the study and its findings. Date: 12/6/2020 Source: Amal Metwally – Scientific Research Committee Coordinator
English

Scientific Research Committee Webinar: Academic Writing

  Dr. Sheila Simpkins, assistant professor at the faculty of languages and translation, delivered a webinar titled “Academic Writing”, at an event organized by the scientific research committee on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.   Dr. Simpkins started her presentation by explaining some basic assumptions about English writing that EFL students are unaware of.  Most EFL students will say that writing is about grammar. Dr. Simpkins says that academic writing is all about ideas.  Grammar is important in the sense that we need to write in a way that the reader can understand our ideas. She maintains that the goal of academic writing is to persuade. “You as a writer have an idea, and your goal is to persuade the reader that your idea is correct,” said Dr. Simpkins.   She further explained that there are certain patterns in English writing that ensure the writing will be unified, cohesive, coherent, and therefore will persuade the audience. One of the important patterns she referred to is within the body paragraph: T SEE SEE SEE C. The body paragraph has a topic sentence, supporting sentences, explain/example sentences, and a conclusion sentence. Each of these sentences has a specific job to do in the paragraph. She went on to explain the role of each of the sentences.   Dr. Simpkins understands that this may seem formulaic, however, the veracity of the pattern holds whether students are beginners just learning to write a standalone paragraph or are advanced and writing a longer piece of work. Knowing this basic pattern/rule is essential for EFL students to write strong academic papers.   The webinar was highly informative and comprehensive, with a well-structured presentation. It was attended by faculty members and MA students who took part in the discussion. Date: 12/6/2020 Source: Amal Metwally – Scientific Research Committee Coordinator
English

FLT In-Service Teacher Training Webinar: Online Pedagogical Practices

  On 30 November 2020, Mohsin Khan and Dr. Sayyed Rashid Ali Shah delivered an in-service teacher training webinar to 300 participants. The webinar, in cooperation with the Directorate of Education in Rijal Alma on "Online Teaching: Authentic Assessment Tools and Strategies" by Dr. Sayyed Rashid Ali Shah and "Online Pedagogical Practices" by Mohsin Khan, provided both male and female teachers with the strategies, tools, and knowledge needed to adjust to the educational changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, related that he planned this event after receiving a request from the Directorate of Education in Rijal Alma, noting that it was an excellent opportunity for the Faculty of Languages and Translation to provide a unique in-service teacher training opportunity that combines learning goals, learning outcomes, and community service in a way that enhances both teacher and student growth in the region.   After introductions by Vice Dean Almosa, Dr. Shah began the discussion to center on the pedagogical shift required for online teaching, noting that assessment plays a vital role. He began by encouraging educators to introduce innovative assessment tasks based on recent trends. Dr. Shah highlighted the different types of assessment tools in online teaching and learning, helping participants to develop an understanding of online assessment tools that can be utilized/adapted by English language teachers in the Saudi EFL context. "There are a number of practices you can use to evaluate students mindfully. The best method will vary based on learning needs and objectives," he said.   Khan then discussed the need for providing context in an online environment. He then explained that a teacher must find creative ways of using a given learning management system to enhance student learning. Drawing on his experience as a Master Reviewer for Quality Matters, Khan guided participants through a series of strategies they can use to evaluate and improve their online instruction. "The mere use of technology is not enough. The success of online education lies in proper incorporation of technology in order to attain the curriculum objectives and academic goals," he concluded.   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: 12/4/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Exploring the Infringing Behaviors of Students Inside an EFL Classroom: A Research Study From the Teacher’s Vantage Point

  On 2 December 2020, a webinar was organized by the Language Research Center (LRC) of the Faculty of Languages and Translation dedicated to those students who are often overlooked by the teachers and are tagged as bad students entitled "Exploring the Infringing Behaviors of Students Inside an EFL Classroom: A Research Study From the Teacher’s Vantage Point." At the beginning of the webinar, Dr. Najmus Sarifa and Ms. Rakshinda Jabeen began by explaining their study's purpose, which is centered on the premise that there are neither bad students nor bad teachers, noting that only expertise, competence, and cooperation can do wonders in the class.   Sarifa and Jabeen introduced their topic by stating the fact that the infringing behavior of students is defined as a set of undesired and objectionable behavior that hampers the flow of teaching-learning activities in the classroom. Such behavior, they said, can result in a disturbance in class and eventually hinder the entire learning process. Not only is it annoying for the teachers, but it is irritating, exasperating, and tiresome for the learners as well, they added. They pinpointed some common misbehavior types such as disobedience, rudeness, non-attentiveness, daydreaming, unpunctuality, and most importantly, not completing classroom tasks.   Their research study investigated how university teachers perceive misbehavior and sheds light on the underlying causes of such undesired behavioral traits. It was based on a descriptive survey, the result of which showed the common inappropriate behaviors the teachers encounter and the reasons for such behaviors. The findings of the study, they said, would help to establish a well-managed classroom.   To achieve proper education goals, Sarifa and Jabeen explained that it is important to create an ideal learning environment that fosters a positive attitude among the students.   While explaining the potential reasons for misbehavior, they mentioned some scholars Başar (1998), Bull & Solity (1996), and Stephens & Crawley (1994). According to these scholars, they said, students with variegated characters may have problematic behaviors. Students' past experiences may result in misbehavior as well. The teacher's attitude towards students may also give rise to such undesired attitudes.   Sarifa and Jabeen emphasized that skillful classroom management will make a significant change and lessen the amount of undesirable behavior in class. The presenters further recommended that effective instruction and the smooth running of a lesson require interaction patterns, and teaching methodologies that create diverse communication contexts in an EFL classroom.   They concluded that students rarely misbehave without cause. The research study opens room for further analysis and discussion on outside factors as well as the inside factors responsible for disruptive behaviors. They recommended further exploration of the reasons for misconduct among students.   During the question-answer session, LRC Director, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, emphasized that it is important to explain the rules, regulations, and expectations at the beginning of every course or class. He also placed emphasis on reducing teacher talk time in language classes and ensuring teaching and learning strategies are student-centered and encourage active learning.   The webinar was very interactive yielding insights into a better understanding of the appropriate methods to care for, motivate, and support underachieving students in the Bachelor of Arts in English program.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to ensuring that students are provided with effective academic, professional, psychological, social guidance, and counseling services through qualified and sufficient staff. Date: 12/3/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

FLT Alumni Unit Hosts Webinar on Constructing ATS-Optimized Résumés

  On 25 November 2020, Hassan Costello delivered a webinar to 48 participants organized by the Alumni Unit of the Faculty of Languages and Translation that addressed the importance of having a highly optimized résumé entitled "Constructing a Resume That Will Get Noticed". The workshop, under the supervision of Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, and planning of Alumni Unit Coordinator, Mohsin Khan, was developed to provide Bachelor of Arts in English program students and alumni with additional activities for their professional development, consistent with the intended learning outcomes, and labor market developments. Prior to the webinar, research was conducted to gather input and experiences of alumni who successfully obtained employment using the strategies delivered in prior résumé training sessions.   After introductions by Vice Dean Almosa and Mohsin Khan, Costello began the webinar by discussing the need for English majors to educate potential employers about what they can do and how what they've learned is transferable to work situations. He pointed out that many employers will be eager to talk with someone who has skills in writing, editing, communication, critical analysis, research, problem-solving, collaboration, and managing information, just to name a few. Costello noted that the average employer will only spend 20 seconds in the initial review of the résumé, explaining that is the reason why it's critical to write an ATS-optimized resume. Costello then steered the discussion to center on the applicant tracking system (ATS), which is a system — used by recruiters — that uses algorithms to rank resumes based on how well they match the position. He then explained that in order to construct a resume that will get noticed, one must pay attention to keyword optimization, which is the most important element of an ATS-optimized resume. In order to do that, he mentioned that résumés should be tailored to the job description with any and all applicable titles, skills, and keywords found in the actual job description to ensure a high match rate. A lively discussion ensued in which several participants wanted to know how to convey their skills and abilities with no professional experience. Costello then said, "I gave the example of one of our more successful alumni, Hasan AlQahtany, who is now working at BAE Systems in Dhahran as an English teacher. He volunteered, was in the English Club, and served as a student leader in the Language Enhancement Program. Those are some of the things you can put on your resume, and when you do, make sure you use nouns. Those keywords should also match applicable keywords in the job description." He then highlighted that volunteer work or internships show that you have real-world experience and demonstrates abilities.   At the end of the webinar, all comments or questions raised during the event were answered. All participants — who maintained attendance throughout the webinar — were offered an opportunity to have their résumé reviewed by the presenter via email.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to communicating with its alumni and involving them in events and activities. Date: 11/27/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Probing into the Holistic and Atomistic Ways of Learning Adopted by Students at the Tertiary Level

  On 25 November 2020, a webinar was organized by the Language Research Center of the Faculty of Languages and Translation that addressed the importance of teaching for quality learning entitled "Probing into the Holistic and Atomistic Ways of Learning Adopted by Students at the Tertiary Level." At the beginning of the webinar, Ms. Tanzina Halim and Ms. Shanjida Halim began with quotations by Tyler (2013) and Taba (1962), who emphasized the importance of students' ability to transfer teaching to their lives outside school and focused on why real teaching should be given preference over memorizing facts.   The presenters introduced their topic by labeling learning as dependent on a complex interaction of factors. In this way, there are different approaches to learning conditioned by concepts of learning. They differentiated the two central concepts – Holistic and Atomistic approaches. When the approach is holistic, they said, a learner preserves a structure and focuses on the whole in relation to the parts. On the other hand, the atomistic approach allows a learner to distort the structure, focusing on the parts. The former, they added, is an in-depth approach to learning and the latter, on the other hand, is a surface approach that is primarily based on memorization with little emphasis on meaning. As far as the quality of learning is concerned, the presenters labeled the holistic approach more effective. The atomistic approach results in lower quality learning outcomes, they added while quoting Marton & Saljo (1984) and Process & Millar (1989). The presenters explained in detail the characteristics of these two approaches and the factors that affect the learners' approaches to learning at the tertiary level. They focused on the importance of having a proper understanding of 'deep' and 'surface' approaches among educators. They also explained the role of teachers to make learning engaging and changing learners from passive to active.   They concluded that learning is the acquisition of new concepts and beliefs. It was suggested that there is a need for reframing how educators understand 'deep' and 'surface' approaches. The webinar was very interactive yielding insights into a better understanding of effective teaching with better learning outcomes. It was well-structured, insightful, and rich in content with the active participation of both male and female faculty members.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to ensuring that teaching and learning strategies are student-centered and encourage active learning. Date: 11/26/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Quality Parameters for Blackboard Evaluation: A Case Study

  On October 28, 2020, a webinar was organized by the Language Research Center. The presenters were Dr. Rizwana Wahid and Ms. Qudsia Zaini. They spoke on the subject of Quality Parameters for Blackboard Evaluation based on a case study they had conducted.   Wahid and Zaini's paper attempted to explore how teachers justify online learning effectiveness and learner performance quality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before they began their main presentation, they raised a question regarding the authenticity of Blackboard exams in evaluating students' learning and performance.   They stated the challenges involved in conducting remote online exams as far as fairness and validity are concerned. They explained quality parameters that involve multiple strategies and activities to evaluate students' readiness and progress of learning outcomes.   The study was significant, they said, because of the challenges teachers experience while teaching and giving their students exams online. Their paper's major objectives were the investigation of quality parameters to ensure online exam quality, finding the best ways to assess students during the pandemic, and the exploration of the proper ways to justify students' performance in online distance exams. While highlighting the literature review, they mentioned Frazer, Dickinson & Gronseth, and Chang had discussed and emphasized practical approaches to online teaching.   Wahid and Zaini discussed some solutions previously considered difficult or impossible to implement that teachers now use in accurately assessing their students, whether the students really deserve the grades they get by taking online exams, and how the availability of the Internet affects such exams. In response to the questionnaire, most of the teachers expressed their opinion in favor of traditional face-to-face teaching, they said. There were, however, some mixed opinions as well, some of which were in favor of online assessment. To overcome the difficulties experienced by teachers, they made some recommendations. Implementing strategies to increase test security, using the timer effectively, creating larger test pools, randomizing questions, and using Blackboard's "SafeAssign" option may solve the problems associated with online assessment, they added.   They concluded that one of the most important criterion of quality assurance and academic accreditation is ensuring that teaching/learning strategies and assessment methods are aligned with the intended learning outcomes at the program and course levels. They added that the teachers should evaluate the quality of learning, exams, and assignments for every course while ensuring learning strategies are student-centered.   It was an informative webinar and a great success with the active participation of male and female faculty members from the Bachelor of Arts in English program. Date: 10/29/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Social Constructivist Approach: A Panacea for EFL Learners' Stress and Anxiety During the Pandemic

  Ms. Sufia Sultana and Ms. Richa Rastogi gave a presentation titled "Social Constructivist Approach: A Panacea for EFL Learners' Stress and Anxiety During the Pandemic" at a webinar arranged by the Language Research Center on October 14, 2020. The presentation was based on their research that explored learners' attitude towards online learning methods.   Sultana and Rastogi introduced the topic by mentioning how COVID-19 severely affected human life in general across the world and how it impacted educational institutions, resulting in a conspicuous shift from face-to-face to distance learning.   The primary objectives of their study, they said, were to explore students' attitudes towards online learning methods, identify teachers' capability for utilizing online platforms, highlight challenges involved in teaching, and recognize students' anxiety and stress levels as a crucial factor in deciding their academic performance and well-being.   Sultana and Rastogi highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on higher education. While reviewing the literature, they mentioned a research study conducted by the World Bank in response to the crisis. According to the study1, they said, "A failure to sustain effective tertiary systems can lead to perilous social upheavals, as youth fall outside the education system, unable to engage in active learning and uncertain about the future of their education and prospects." They also mentioned a study conducted at Arizona State University on how this crisis affected students of low-income groups.   The presenters further focused on the students' perspective during the pandemic. They substantiated the major reasons for stress and anxiety. The reasons, according to their research, are insufficient information about precautionary measures, fear of personal losses with respect to standard of living, lack of support network, claustrophobic confinement at home, and lack of motivation in self-isolation. Sultana and Rastogi's research also revealed that insufficient command of the target language, lack of exposure to electronic exams, and time-consuming schedules result in higher stress and anxiety levels.   They finally made some recommendations, such as increasing teacher training in implementing high-quality courses, creating a diverse learning environment for the students, orientation programs that train the students for self-directed learning, and developing critical thinking skills. They concluded that students' overall performance was very satisfactory despite the stress they experienced. They added students' readiness for self-directed learning and training curricula are the foundations of an integrated learning experience.   It was undoubtedly a very informative webinar as the presenters successfully pinpointed the major academic issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how to address them. The webinar was a great success with the active participation of both male and female faculty members of the Bachelor of Arts in English program. 1Citation "World Bank. 2020. The COVID-19 Crisis Response: Supporting Tertiary Education for Continuity, Adaptation, and Innovation. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/34571 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO." Date: 10/15/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Using Pools and Random Blocks to Increase Test Security

  On September 21, 2020, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, delivered a webinar titled "Using Bb Random Block for Online Midterm Exam/Quizzes". The webinar, supervised by Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Yahya Asiri, was developed to provide faculty members with tools they can use to reduce academic misconduct in their online exams and quizzes, leading to an effective mechanism used to verify that the work and assignments of students are of their own.   As the overall participation of teaching staff in the assessment and development activities of the Bachelor of Arts in English Program (BAEP) is paramount, Mr. Khan welcomed the participants and thanked them for attending, noting that a recording of the session will be available in the near future. Mr. Khan then introduced the attendees to the concepts of creating Pools and Random Blocks. He then explained that Pools are a collection of questions that function as a sort of test bank. He mentioned that we have the ability to edit or delete each question in a Pool and change the default point values for each assigned question. It is important to remember, he noted, that when instructors select Pool questions for a test, any changes made in the Pool will take effect anywhere the question appears.   Mr. Khan then moved on to Random Blocks, defining them as assessments created from Pools at random so each student’s exam is unique. He then made an important point about Random blocks in that they can be created from one or more Pools of questions. He showed why it is essential that each Pool have a variety of questions with no similarity. It is critical, he explained, that instructors edit the number of questions to display within each Random Block while monitoring the assigned points per question and variety of questions pulled from the Pool.   The Bachelor of Arts in English Program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to developing and improving the professional skills and capabilities of faculty members in line with modern developments. To view the recording of this session, please (click here). Date: 9/21/2020 Source: FLT Web Team
English