Bachelor of Arts in English Program

Empowering Researchers & EFL Learners Through Digital Literacy

  The Scientific Research Committee - Women's section - organized a webinar entitled "Empowering Researchers & EFL Learners Through Digital Literacy" on March 31, 2021. The webinar was presented by Dr. Amal Metwally, the head of the scientific research committee, who indicated that the webinar is designed to explore the vital role of digital tools in empowering researchers and EFL learners.   Dr. Amal Metwally started her presentation with an introduction in which she differentiated between "digital natives" and "digital immigrants". Our students today are all "native speakers" of the digital language of computers and the Internet. Those of us who were not born into the digital world but have adopted aspects of the new technology are compared to them as "digital immigrants", she illustrated.   Dr. Amal Metwally asserted that digital natives may not be familiar with digital educational tools. For this reason, they need to be made aware of and taught about these educational tools since they are able to adopt new technologies into their learning quite easily.   "When teaching with digital tools and apps, you need to spend some time deciding which tools to use and how to use those tools to create autonomous, collaborative, innovative, authentic, and student-centered learning experiences", said Dr. Metwally.   "Digital Literacy" is often used as a synonym for digital or technical skills and competencies. However, comprehension of digital literacy should go beyond mere information technology skills, explained Dr. Metwally. She referred to two main types of definitions of digital literacy; conceptual definitions and standardized sets of operations intended to provide national and international normalizations of digital literacy.   Dr. Metwally referred to the definition by Richard Lanham (1995), who claims that "literacy" has extended its semantic reach from meaning "the ability to read and write" to now meaning "the ability to understand information however presented".   She also illustrated that in his book Digital Literacy (1997), Gilster identifies four key digital literacy competencies. These are: knowledge assembly, evaluating information content, searching the Internet, and navigating hypertext. Finally, she said that DL could be better defined as "The ability to use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information, and the possession of a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information".   Dr. Metwally has also investigated the four digital literacy types: language-based, information-based, connection-based, and (re-) design-based literacies. She also indicated that digital literacy comprises five major digital skills. These are photo-visual, reproduction, branching, information, and socio-emotional skills.   In the following section of the webinar, Dr. Amal Metwally introduced some significant technology integration frameworks. The importance of exploring technology integration models is that such models are used by educators to evaluate and inform how they teach with digital tools and apps.   "Our goal, as educators, is to teach students, not just by transferring knowledge to them, but by creating meaningful learning experiences that support their knowledge, understanding and skill development", she said. SAMR model (2011), which stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition, can be used as a guide for evaluating and selecting digital tools that will create meaningful teaching and learning experiences. Another model is the TPACK Framework (2006) which focuses on technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge, offers a productive approach to many of the dilemmas that teachers face in implementing educational technology in their classrooms. By differentiating among these three types of knowledge, the TPACK framework outlines how content and pedagogy must form the foundation for any effective educational technology integration. In exploring the role of digital literacy in empowering learners, Bloom's taxonomy can serve as a tool to help us select the most appropriate apps and tools based on the level and depth of cognitive knowledge students need to acquire. As we design instruction, we can consider how we might start with the higher-order thinking skills to encourage students to build their knowledge through learning experiences, explained Dr. Metwally.   She then answered the significant question, "How can digital literacy empower researchers & EFL learners?" She also reviewed some very helpful tools that can support researchers and EFL learners in their journey.   The webinar, which was very informative and highly engaging, was attended by the Dean's Assistant, Dr. Salma Alqahtani, staff members, MA & Ph.D. students, as well as some undergraduate students who showed their interest in digital tools. It is worth mentioning that the webinar was the last event organized by the scientific research committee in the second semester of this academic year 2020-2021. Date: 4/4/2021 Source: Saeeda Alfaifi, member of the Scientific Research Committee
English

Dean Al-Melhi Receives Plaque of Appreciation From University President

  On 29 March 2021, Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi received a plaque of appreciation from His Excellency Falleh Al-Solamy, President of King Khalid University, in recognition of his efforts and contributions to the Saudi Journal of Language Studies as editor-in-chief. Vice President of Higher Studies & Scientific Research, Dr. Hamad Al-Garni, Scientific Journals & Societies Unit (SJSU) Supervisor, Dr. Abdullah Asiri, and SJSU Consultant, Dr. Amir Kessentini, supported all honorees in the meeting, expressing their deepest gratitude for the unfailing support and contributions made to ensuring the large body of scholarship produced at King Khalid University will be utilized.   Published by Emerald on behalf of King Khalid University, the Saudi Journal of Language Studies is an academic, open access, double-blind peer-reviewed journal focused on the diffusion of articles on all aspects of language studies. The Saudi Journal of Language Studies (SJLS) is an open forum for interdisciplinary research grounded in sound theory, practice of language research, and translation studies of interest to scholars and language educators. SJLS seeks cutting-edge interdisciplinary research from around the world that reflects diverse theoretical and methodological frameworks and topical areas, including but not limited to:   Foreign and/or second language learning, teaching, and use Language assessment and testing Language for Special Purposes (e.g., ESP) Language for Academic Purposes (LAP) Multimodal communication and Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) Teacher/learner identity studies Foreign/second language classroom-centred research Translation studies Literature studies Culture studies Bilingualism and Multilingualism Lexicographical research, Literacies, Rhetoric and stylistics Sociolinguistics Pragmatics Semiotics Discourse Analysis Psycholinguistics Deaf Linguistics Forensic Linguistics Historical Linguistics Theoretical Linguistics   Of note, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Tanuma, Prof. Abdulaziz Fageeh, received a plaque of appreciation from His Excellency President Al-Solamy in recognition of his efforts and contributions to the KKU Journal of Humanities as editor-in-chief. Both Dean Al-Melhi and Dean Fageeh extended a very warm welcome to thank authors, editors, and anonymous reviewers for contributing to the success of the journals, noting that Dr. Ismail Alrefaai has made significant contributions as a coordinator of both journals.   The website of the journal can be accessed through https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/sjls. Submit your research article today, and the SJLS Editorial Advisory Board will assess your submission based on the policy and scope of SJLS. Prof. Habib Abdesslem, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, Dr. Fakieh Alrabai, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, and Prof. Abdulaziz Fageeh all serve as SJLS Editorial Advisory Board members and look forward to your submissions. Date: 3/30/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Course Design: The Backwards Model

  On March 21, Dr. Sheila Simpkins delivered an in-service instructor training webinar to almost 500 attendees in cooperation with the Ministry of Education Directorate in the Asir region and Rijal Alma entitled "Course Design: The Backwards Model". She began the webinar by asking participants to reflect on the question "What is your role in the classroom?" According to Dr. Sheila, the answer to this question is fundamental to course design.   She indicated that best practices in educational research tells us that we need to shift from the direct transmission view of the teacher's role towards the constructivist view. She introduced Bloom's taxonomy as a powerful tool to help teachers plan lesson/unit/course/program objectives that are in line with constructivist views of teaching/learning where the teacher is a facilitator, and the students are actively engaged and involved in learning. Best practices in teaching encourage teachers to set learning objectives that require higher-order thinking skills such as analyzing, evaluating, and creating.   Having introduced these two principals Dr. Sheila shared the backwards model of course design. She indicated that teachers should plan 'backwards' beginning with the end in mind. Teachers should ask themselves three questions.   Where do I want my students to 'be' by the end of this sequence of work? How will I know whether they have gotten there? What are the best strategies to support students on this journey?   Dr. Sheila indicated that all course design should take the constructivist view of teaching/learning into consideration.   With that in mind, she indicated that   Course learning objectives/outcomes should be student-centered, concrete, and observable/measurable. Bloom's taxonomy should be used here. Assessment/assignments should be aligned with the learning objectives and they should be authentic. This means the assignments/activities that students are engaged in to learn the material are also used to evaluate their accomplishments. Assessment/assignments should be student structured, and direct evidence. Examples of this kind of assessment are role play, drama, student portfolios, journals, debates, and presentations. Rubrics should be used to measure performance. In the constructivist view, traditional paper-based measurement should be kept to a minimum. Teaching strategies should match assessment. In other words, how you assess is how you teach. Conversely, how you teach is how you assess. Then you plan course content and select course materials—what textbook/film/speaker will speak to the topics and help accomplish learning objectives. The last step is to create the course schedule and sequencing. Activities must be organized to provide sufficient practice, skills must build upon another, and there must be sufficient time for feedback. Date: 3/28/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Alumni Unit Delivers Professional Job Skills Webinar

  On March 23, 2021, Mr. Javed Ahmed delivered a webinar titled 'Professional Job Skills'. The webinar, under the supervision of Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, and technical support of E-Learning Supervisor, Mr. Mohsin Khan, was developed to help Bachelor of Arts in English program upperclassmen and alumni understand the mindset and competencies needed in the future workplace. In the webinar, Mr. Javed explained why some companies place heavy emphasis on the skill of multitasking and need new hires who have up-to-the-minute, state-of-the-art skills. "I wanted to provide alumni with an opportunity to reflect on adaptability, mental agility, and resilience," said Mr. Javed. He then pivoted into a highlight of the most in-demand professional jobs skills alumni should look to develop, noting how they will help them remain competitive job candidates. "I see we have several alumni in the webinar. Employers are looking for hard as well as smart workers, being a potential candidate one has to change his outlook towards the traditional way of thinking," Mr. Javed added. He concluded by highlighting the schematic diagram, which will definitely help our alumni to think, visualize and actualize multi-dimensional intelligence.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program is committed to providing students and alumni of the program with additional activities for their professional development, consistent with the intended learning outcomes, and labor market developments. Date: 3/26/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Your Guide for MA Studying

  The Scientific Research Committee organized a webinar titled "Your Guide for MA Studying" on 24 March 2021. The speakers of this webinar were three post-graduate students Ms. Warda Saad, Ms. Fatemah Abdulaziz, and Ms. Alaa Salem. The 1st speaker Ms. Warda Saad started the program by posing a question to the undergraduate students: What is your goal? Next, she explained the four goals listed by her, which are as follows:   Expand your knowledge of fields related to your field. Gain recognition. Start making connections. Take advantage of academic support.   After elaborating on the goals of the students, the speaker stated the students' and teachers' expectations in the MA program. In a nutshell, she urged the students to be prepared for more work, be more focused and motivated, cite every word they say or use in their work, and develop their habits. Towards the end of her speech, Ms. Warda advised the students to ask a lot of questions to their supervisors and professors. She also explained that any remarks from the professors/supervisors/teachers are never personal, and they should be aware of that.   The 2nd speaker Ms. Fatemah started her speech by explaining the meaning of scientific research. Next, she elaborated on the reading skill of researchers, which is essential. She focused on the skimming and scanning techniques used in reading, and she imparted the message to the students that to expand the knowledge of the researchers, there is no alternative to reading. She has urged the students to think critically and objectively and develop the skill of discussion as well.   In the next part of her speech, Ms. Fatemah highlighted the magic of the Internet. She has discussed how students can view YouTube as a Tutor and use Grammarly for checking Plagiarism. She concluded her speech on a motivating note by saying, "Celebrate small achievements on the way to your goal."   The 3rd speaker, Ms. Alaa Salem, started her speech by talking about Applied Linguistics research areas or where to go in research. She referred to a book titled Contemporary Applied Linguistics. She has pointed out various aspects such as globalization of language, the death of languages, language and economy, poverty and languages, religion, family and language, language and culture, translation and language, language and the brain, etc. While discussing language and economy, the speaker gave an example of a story of a Phillipino worker and showed how people are judged by how they speak a language. She pointed out that language becomes an indicator of the intelligence of a person.   Last of all, the speaker discussed language and the brain, and she said how Neurolinguistics, Speech Disorder, and Sign language could be sources for researchers.   All three speakers of the webinar were successful in enlightening the undergraduate students about the MA program. Date: 3/25/2021 Source: Ms. Shanjida Halim, Scientific Research Committee Member
English

Faculty Members Receive Plaques of Appreciation for Teacher Training Webinars

  On 14 March 2021, faculty members were delighted to be invited to attend an award ceremony at the General Directorate of Education in Asir where Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, was presented with several plaques of appreciation for the management and implementation of the first in-service EFL teacher training series of webinars to over 500 teachers in the Asir Public School System.   Director of Education in Asir, Saad Al-Jouni, welcomed all participating faculty members in attendance, noting that the Faculty of Languages and Translation demonstrated outstanding work. He looked forward to increased cooperation and commended the professional development series of webinars developed under the supervision of leadership at the Faculty of Languages and Translation. Deputy Director, Safar Al-Butaidi, and Administrative Supervisor, Mohammed Al-Tarish, echoed Director Al-Jouni's remarks and called for increased cooperation.   The webinars, generously supported by the technical capabilities of King Khalid University's Deanship of E-Learning, were also run under the supervision of Department of English Head, Hussein Asiri, at the General Directorate of Education in Asir. Asiri explained that continuous professional development of teachers will increase awareness of best practices in the latest modern teaching methods.   The following faculty members received plaques of appreciation for past and/or future planned work:   Dean, Dr. Abdulllah Al-Melhi; Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa; Mr. Hassan Costello; Dr. Sara Huseynova; Mr. Mohsin Raza Khan; Dr. Sayyed Rashid Ali Shah. Dr. Sheila Simpkins.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program is committed to offering expertise to teaching staff in the Asir Public School System in accordance with a plan that meets their needs and contributes to the development of their performance. Date: 3/15/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Lexical Borrowing: French Loan Words into English

  At a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on March 10, 2021, Dr. Shazia Tabassum spoke about Lexical Borrowing: French Loan Words into English. The presentation was all about how the English Language has so far been enriched with lexis from other languages.   Dr. Shazia, first, started her presentation stating an intriguing fact that English is not a pure language in terms of lexicon, but a heterogeneous one. This particular phenomenon is because of its exposure to frequent cultural changes over ages. The English language is composed of words from different languages across the world, she added. As a result, many of the everyday words used in spoken and written English have been adopted from other countries in which the first language is not English, she highlighted. She quoted David Crystal who termed English as an “insatiable borrower”.   Dr. Shazia explained the term Lexical Borrowing. She explained it as a process by which a word from a donor language is adapted for use in the recipient language. It is a two-way process in that a recipient language interestingly may sometimes become a donor language too, she added and also emphasized the fact that lexical borrowing plays a vital role in bilingualism.   Dr. Shazia spoke about foreign invasions, wars, foreign trade and travel that resulted in such lexical borrowing. Most of the English lexical items have been taken from Greek, Latin, and French she added. She also mentioned some other donor languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Hindi, and Urdu. The interesting point is that 70% of the modern English words have been all borrowed from other languages, and French is the major donor language, she said.   She showed the similarities and differences between English words and the main donor language French. She exemplified gender for inanimate things in French. She gave some more examples of French load words and phrases that are frequently used in English.   Dr. Shazia finally emphasized the learner-centered approach to teaching vocabulary in a language class.   The webinar was a great success with the active participation of the faculty members, PhD and MA students. Date: 3/14/2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

FLT Faculty Member Leads Virtual Workshop for Quality Matters

  Under the supervision of the Deanship of E-Learning, E-Learning Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, recently delivered a 2-day training course on "Applying the Quality Matters Rubric Workshop (Virtual)". Ms. Safa Al-Shehri and Mr. Abdullah Zubain at the Deanship of E-Learning provided holistic support.   The Quality Matters (QM) Rubric introduces participants to best practices, instructional design, and research-based design principles of an online/hybrid course to ensure quality assurance.   "The 10-hour virtual workshop was particularly helpful to those new to QM or those considering the adoption of a quality assurance process for online and blended learning. It was a great opportunity for 30 faculty members from various disciplines to learn more about the QM Rubric and its use in reviewing the design of online and blended courses," Khan said.   The Deanship of E-Learning explained that the QM Rubric is a widely respected set of standards used to design effective online courses through a faculty peer review process. Participants in the virtual workshop commented that the QM Rubric increases learn engagement and learning achievement.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program is committed to offering expertise to teaching staff in other colleges, allowing them to participate in professional and academic development programs in accordance with a plan that meets their needs and contributes to the development of their performance. Date: 3/11/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 7

  On March 3, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the seventh and last session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   "It is highly recommended the inclusion of a short concluding section", said Dr. Alqarni. Most readers can read the conclusion as well as the abstract as they summarize the main findings of the research paper in a non-technical language, as she further illustrated. Dr. Alqarni explained the main purpose of the conclusion: "To clearly signal to the reader that the writing is finished and to leave a clear impression that the purpose has been achieved". She also indicated that there are several features of the conclusion; among them are the provision of a summary for the whole paper and the explanation of the paper's main purpose. Accordingly, she emphasized in the "possible structures of the conclusion" that the conclusion should be concise and clear.   After that, Dr. Alqarni illustrated some common mistakes that the author should steer clear of in his/her conclusion. Additionally, she stated that the author should use basic synthesis of information in the conclusion. She also emphasized that he/she should restate results, highlight achievements, outline possible applications and implications of the work, and propose future work for third parties to carry out in his/her conclusion.   Following this section about the conclusion, Dr. Alqarni moved to discuss the abstract, which was the second part of this session. "The abstract is a very important paragraph at the beginning of your research paper'', said Dr. Alqarni. She pointed out that there are many features of the research paper abstracts. She also indicated that there are two main approaches to writing research paper abstracts: "a result-driven'' abstract and "a research paper summary abstract". Dr. Alqarni further illustrated the correct order of the research paper abstract. She finally displayed an example of an abstract from the article "Use of a Writing Websites by Pre-Masters Students on an English for Academic Purposes Course".   By the end of the seventh session of the academic writing series of webinars, attendees had the opportunity to ask their questions and share their suggestions and thoughts. Date: 3/5/2021 Source: Khairyah Al-Beshri - Scientific Research Committee
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 6

  On March 3, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the sixth session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   This webinar was designed to investigate the discussion of results in a research paper. In the discussions section, writers have greater freedom than in the introduction or in the literature review. "By the time readers reach the discussion, authors can assume a fair amount of shared knowledge", illustrated Dr. Nada at the beginning of the webinar. "They can assume that the reader has understood the purpose of the study, obtained a sense of the methodology, and followed along with the results".   The purpose of the discussion section is to show that the results lead clearly to the conclusion being drawn. This may include any limitations that might cause problems with any claims being made as well as any possible explanations for these results.   Dr. Alqarni asserted that discussion should be more than a summary. It should go beyond the results. It should be more theoretical, abstract, or general. It should be more integrated with the field, more connected to the real world, or more concerned with implications or application.   She further indicated that in the discussion section a researcher should step back and take a broad look at the findings of the study and the study as a whole. "The discussion section moves from the narrow specific focus of the research to a more general view. It must clearly show how the results lead to the conclusions being drawn and therefore how these conclusions should be understood and any possible explanations for these results", she said. This should include any limitations that might cause problems with any claims being made.   A discussion section should include the following elements: a reference to the main purpose of the study, a generalized review of the most important findings (i.e., summary of results), possible explanations for the findings in general, comparison with expected results and other studies, limitations of the overall study that restrict the extent to which the findings can be generalized, and the conclusion of the discussion section. In the discussion section, the researcher should not simply repeat all the details, attempt to cover all the information, or claim more than is reasonable or defensible, she illustrated.   Dr. Alqarni also referred to the qualifications and strength of claims in the discussion section and gave examples of using modal auxiliaries to weaken claims. She also highlighted the language used in the discussion section with examples.   The webinar, which was mainly delivered to MA and Ph.D. students and attended by staff members of the Faculty of Languages and Translation and other faculties, witnessed overwhelming participation.   The series of academic writing webinars — organized by the Scientific Research Committee — consisted of seven sessions that were held every Monday and Wednesday from February 10 to March 3, 2021, at 4:30 pm. Date: 3/4/2021 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally - Head of Scientific Research Committee
English