Bachelor of Arts in English Program

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
English

Challenges of Online Classes and Strategies to Overcome Them

  At a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on March 3, 2021, Dr. Sarwat Un Nisa delivered a presentation titled Challenges of Online Classes and Strategies to Overcome Them. The presentation was based on several research studies conducted on the above issue.   Dr. Sarwat started her presentation by stating that the rapid shift from a face-to-face learning mode to a distance learning mode has given rise to many challenges for ELT instructors around the world. One of the challenges, she states, is handling classroom management issues. It is crucial and important to admit that virtual classroom management strategies are different from face-to-face classroom management.   Dr. Sarwat's presentation was divided into three parts – online pedagogy, challenges faced by students, the strategies instructors can adapt, and the challenges students face and the strategies they can adapt to overcome them.   According to Pelz (2009), she said, learning is more effective when students do most of the work in class. Interactivity is the heart of effective asynchronous learning. While explaining online pedagogy, first, she emphasized using technology as a tool. Creating a successful online learning experience begins with the deliberate application of instructional design principles, she added. Secondly, she emphasized keeping technology as simple as possible. If technology turns hard for the students to understand, the instructors need to spend extra time explaining the technology itself, which affects the actual learning. Thirdly, she spoke about alignment, which is all about the correlation between the course content, tests and learning objectives. Fourthly, she mentioned the ease in course design and navigation. She explained that the course teacher can make it easy for the learners by creating hyperlinks and making regular announcements. The fifth point she covered is the importance of clear expectations and directions for activities and assessments. Students should be clear about which direction they are moving towards. Finally, she emphasized making the instructor’s presence known to students. Regular correspondence between the instructor and students can solve this issue.   Dr. Sarwat, while talking about teacher-student interaction, stated that it is essential to respond quickly to student questions. By doing this regularly, such interaction increases.   Dr. Sarwat also highlighted student-to-content interaction, multimedia principles, multiple interactions with the same content, academic honesty and authenticity of student work, supporting students. She also talked about technical issues and how to solve them. She concluded her presentation by sharing some strategies that learners can adapt to overcome the challenges of online learning.   The webinar was a great success with the active participation of faculty members and graduate students. Date: 3-4-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

تهنئة

نبارك لطالبة خولة الفهد من #كليةاللغاتوالترجمة قسم اللغة الانجليزية الفوز بالمركز الأول في منافسة ماراثون القراءة والتي نظمتها وكالة ⁧‫#عمادةشؤونالطلاب‬⁩ لشؤون الطالبات بـ ⁧‫#جامعةالملكخالد
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 5

  On February 24, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the fifth session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni. This session was designed to explore reporting qualitative results of scientific research papers.   Dr. Nada Alqarni started the session by highlighting the purpose of qualitative reports. "It is designed to provide a rich and vivid description so that the reader can vicariously experience what it is like to be in the same situation as the research participants", said Dr. Alqarni. She also referred to the characteristics of qualitative reports. She indicated that these are such reports that have more freedom, diversity, and disagreement. There are no fixed formats to follow in writing such reports.   In addition, Dr. Alqarni described the structure of a qualitative report. Good qualitative reports display a smoothly flowing, natural rhythm of text and quotes. They provide some contextual information to the quotations concerning the social situation and the communicative context. This kind of report deals with data that are not easily reduced to numbers. "Data that are related to concepts, opinions, values and behaviors of people in social contexts", she illustrated. These could be transcripts of individual interviews and focus groups, field notes from observation of certain activities, copies of documents, or audio/video recordings. She further defined qualitative analysis as the range of processes and procedures whereby we move from qualitative data that have been collected into some form of explanation, understanding or interpretation of the people and situation being investigated. It is usually based on an interpretive philosophy. The idea is to examine the meaningful and symbolic content of qualitative data.   The approaches in the analysis are both deductive and inductive. The "deductive approach" is used when time and resources are limited. It is generally used when qualitative research is a smaller component of a larger quantitative study. On the other hand, the "inductive approach" is used when qualitative research is a major design of the inquiry. It is implemented using an emergent framework to group the data and then look for relationships.   Dr. Alqarni identified the steps for writing the report, the tools for helping the analytical process, and the variation in the format and language use.   The webinar, which was organized primarily for MA & Ph.D. students, witnessed resounding success and was attended by staff members and postgraduate students from different faculties of the university. It is worthwhile to mention that attendees who will attend at least five of the seven webinars on academic writing will get a certificate of attendance after the end of sessions. Date: 2/28/2021 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally - Head of Scientific Research Committee
English

21st Century Teaching and the Global Scale of English

  At a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on February 24, 2021, Ms. Arshi Khatoon presented her topic: 21st Century Teaching and the Global Scale of English. She put emphasis on the dynamics of the most modern concepts of learning and teaching and its proper implementation to have better learning outcomes.   Ms. Khatoon, first, stated the fact that in this global and interconnected world, all learners need new skills and knowledge to be successful in their lives. 21st-century skills are essential for the fulfillment of such success, she added. She quoted David Nunan, "The Global Scale of English represents the most significant advance in performance-based approaches to language learning, teaching and assessment since the development of the Common European Framework of Reference".   Teachers, Ms. Khatoon, said, can use the global scale of English to guide their students properly. The teachers first ask themselves how good their English is, whether they are progressing and what they need to do next. To answer these questions, both teachers and students need to follow the steps of the English learning ecosystem. A teacher should know a clear definition of a particular level of proficiency, alignment between the learning materials and the 'levels' of definitions, and have tacit knowledge of assessment tests designed to profile learners' proficiency across the four basic skills. The Global Scale of English, Ms. Khatoon explained, is an accurate, standardized scale that measures English language proficiency. Unlike other frameworks, this particular scale identifies what a learner can do at each point on the scale across the four skills. The purpose of the scale, she said, is designed to motivate learners.   She focused on Learning and Innovation Skills that comprise 4Cs – Critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. These skills help students thrive in their working lives. These 4Cs help students have opportunities in advance to develop basic skills or foundation knowledge. They also ensure that students have proper academic, social-emotional, and workforce skills to be successful.   The key elements of 21st-century learning help students prepare for their future jobs independently. She, therefore, emphasized that lessons should be designed according to the 21st-century theme.   Ms. Khatoon concluded that students need the ability to think critically and creatively, collaborate with others and communicate clearly.   The webinar was a great success with active participation from students and faculty members of the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs. Date: 2-25-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

تهنئة

تبارك كلية اللغات والترجمة عودة المبتعث سعادة الدكتور عيسى أحمد عسيري بعد حصوله على درجة الدكتوراه في تخصص الترجمة من جامعة مكواري بدولة أستراليا ‏تمنياتنا لسعادته بالتوفيق والعون لخدمة الوطن الغالي
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 4

  On February 22, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the fourth session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   The session, titled "Reporting Quantitative Results", started with a discussion on how to structure the results in a research paper. It stated the ways of reporting the two results – the quantitative and the qualitative. In this session, the focus was on quantitative results. An explanation was given on statistical concepts and analysis.   The next section described an acceptable results section and an unacceptable results section, showing that an acceptable results section should always tell a story, whereas an unacceptable results section gives a long and tedious analysis.   Dr. Alqarni also focused on how the results should be presented and interpreted. It was mentioned that an appropriate statistical program should be used. In this case, the software SPSS was introduced. The analysis should be completed using descriptive statistics, mean, median, standard deviation, frequencies, and proportions for the variables.   The next step discussed how the results should be presented. It was suggested to make use of sub-sections and sub-headings to organize the results for the readers. Then it was mentioned that there are various charts, graphs, and tables that can be used to support the results, but tables and graphs should be presented only when necessary.   Dr. Alqarni also focused on the common purposes of data along with comparing and evaluating different sets of data. Towards the end of the session, she also focused on what kind of language should be used for reporting results.   The session was attended by students and faculty members from the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs of the Faculty of Languages and Translation. Date: 2/24/2021 Source: Ms. Tanzina Halim - Member of the Scientific Research Committee
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 3

  On February 17, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the third session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   This webinar was devoted to exploring how researchers should write the methodology section in their research papers. The purpose of the methods section, said Dr. Alqarni, is to accurately and clearly describe the research design and the procedures undertaken to collect and analyze data and present the rationale for choosing each for the study. In addition, the methods section should explain in detail how a study was conducted so other researchers may be able to assess the merit of the research and even replicate the study themselves. This section should also highlight the unique features of a given study and show the reader that the research has been carried out appropriately and, therefore, the results can be believed.   Dr. Alqarni indicated that the methodology section has certain features. It explicitly describes the exact procedures and rationale when developing data-set, results, and conclusions in an empirical research study. It does not include much background knowledge; however, it should contain justifications, explanations, and examples.   "There are four key elements included in the methodology. These are research design, population sample and selection of participants, data collection procedures, and statistical treatment/planned data analysis or analytic procedures", said Dr. Alqarni. Dr. Alqarni explained the basic methodological concepts: the variables, reliability, validity, and bias and error. She also reviewed the study design, including a description of the study setting and population of interest as well as a description of the study's sample or units of evaluation.   Dr. Alqarni explained the data collection methods, including qualitative research, interviews, and observational studies. She then reviewed some examples clarifying the methods of data collection and the language tense and grammatical structures commonly used.   The webinar, tailored to MA & Ph.D. students, was also attended by staff members who all enriched the discussion. The participants were engaged in the discussion, and the webinar witnessed chat interaction.  Date: 2/21/2021 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally – Head of Scientific Research Committee
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 2

  On February 15, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the second session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   Dr. Alqarni started her speech by referring to a common mistake that the authors should steer clear of, which is to sprinkle references liberally around with insufficient thought as to how they fit into the theory and the theme. She explained that a good start would be to place the topic into a historical perspective and identify key landmark studies. Additionally, the authors could establish a context for their own interest and research and distinguish what has been done in order to identify a space for their work. Dr. Alqarni asserted that the literature review should indicate the core concepts, the variables, and the findings of the research paper. She then reviewed the steps researchers should follow in writing the review of the literature. First, they should find the information and studies that are relevant to their topic. Second, they should summarize these studies (organize and evaluate them), indicating who found out what, when, and how this developed the study of the topic. Finally, the researchers should finish with a conclusion, explaining the gaps in knowledge that they have identified and how their research will fill these gaps left by previous research.   Dr. Alqarni highlighted the significance of the works cited in a research paper. Researchers, she said, should apply a mental test every time a work is referred to or a quotation is included. This mental test consists of asking the questions if this reference adds to the development of the theory. How does it follow the thread of the research paper? And how does it relate to the research questions? Then the research should indicate the gap in the knowledge to be filled. Dr. Alqarni discusses the rules of citation tense. She illustrated that a move from past to present perfect and then to present indicates that the researchers reported are increasingly close to the writer in some way. She then reviewed the methods of giving a general panorama of past-to-present literature, reporting what specific authors have said, and highlighting the limitations of previous studies. Dr. Alqarni provided many valuable examples that clarified all the steps for writing the literature review effectively.   The webinar, which was very informative and highly interactive, was attended by MA & Ph.D. students and staff members who all indicated the significance of the webinar content. Date: 2/21/2021 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally – Head of Scientific Research Committee
English

Professional Development of Language Teachers: Need for Self-Appraisal

  Dr. Shadma Iffat Rahmatullah conducted a workshop titled Professional Development of Language Teachers: Need for Self-Appraisal, at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center (LRC) on February 17, 2021. The emphasis of her presentation was on being a reflective teacher.   Dr. Iffat began by emphasizing the importance of the professional development of teachers for their career enhancement. She also highlighted that teachers are always engaged in lifelong learning throughout their lives and therefore need to cope with the ever-changing teaching and learning environment. She raised some questions about whether teachers evaluate themselves, predefine learning outcomes and evaluate how effective the teaching is from the point of view of learning.   Dr. Iffat, while explaining the need for quality professional development, showed the correlation between the teaching practice and students' learning achievement and how teaching goals are related to students' actual learning needs. In this case, she added, professional development is increasingly important. This primarily focuses on the way teachers construct their professional identities in the continuous interaction with students. Teachers, she said, should understand the underlying theory behind instructional strategy. According to some research, students placed with high-performing teachers make progress three times as fast as those placed with low-performing teachers.   Dr. Iffat also focused on how a teacher's performance is affected by his or her personal life factors. In this case, she added, teachers need to develop certain skills to balance their personal and professional lives.   Dr. Iffat compared teacher training and professional development by explaining that professional development puts emphasis on teachers' awareness of their teaching contexts, which helps them apply their practical skills in their teaching, whereas teacher training helps them learn essential pedagogical skills.   Overall, Dr. Iffat highlighted the importance of self-reflection or being a reflective teacher who has the ability to evaluate himself or herself and understand what, why and how they should do things in class. She explained the distinction between a reflective and non-reflective teacher as a reflective teacher always conducts self-evaluation. Further, she explained how such evaluation can be carried out.   Dr. Shadma Iffat concluded that teachers' professional development enhances the understanding level of students. Also, teachers' ongoing reflection of their own teaching practices is the most required element of professional development.   Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi, in response to her presentation, proffered positive comments on how important being a reflective teacher is and congratulated Dr. Iffat for her informative presentation. He also added the importance of coping with new technology along with the regular practice of being reflective teachers. He thanked the Ph.D. students in addition to all participants in the webinar. LRC Director, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, emphasized putting such webinars under the umbrella of Teachers' Professional Development. He added that technology can also help with such self-evaluation. While repeating the main points highlighted by Dr. Iffat, he added that teachers should reflect on students' feedback and evaluation and accordingly improve themselves.   The webinar was informative, interactive, and a great success with male and female faculty members' and the Ph.D. students' active participation. Date: 2-19-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English