The English Club recently sponsored a social gathering at the Al-Lasan Campus which was open to all students and faculty members. Student activities director Faisal Alfadhil explained that he planned the gathering to serve a variety of important purposes. First, the event was to strengthen the relationships between students and faculty members. Also, the gathering helped further develop positive relationships among the students, and encourage their participation in future departmental and university-wide activities. Third, the event provided students in the department an opportunity to practice English. 'It is beneficial for language learners to practice the target language in a natural, informal setting' said Director Alfadhil. Finally, the festivities allowed the students time to unwind after the mid-term exam period, and gave them a chance to have some collegial fun.
The evening was busy with many activities. First, there was a series of 5-on-5 football matches. After each match, the prevailing team retained the field to face a new challenger. The football competitions were friendly, but fierce. Every team performed well, and each player exhibited gentlemanly sportsmanship. After a short rest period, everyone prayed en masse.
Next, the Spelling Bee competition commenced to the great excitement of the participants and the audience. Seasoned teacher and word-master Hassan Costello directed the Spelling Bee, assisted by Director Alfadhil keeping score, and English Club President, Abdulaziz Dahlan, monitoring the timer. After several rounds of excellent performance, the first-place finish came down to a ‘sudden death spell-off’ between senior students Fawaz Al-Qahatani and Saud Al-Shahrani. Many of the words used in the competition contained reverse ordered, double vowels which are notoriously difficult to spell even for native English speakers.
After a lively exchange of spelling efforts, Fawaz ultimately prevailed taking first prize with Saud as a most worthy runner up. Vice Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Yahya Asiri, presented the Spelling Bee awards. The top finishers received 100 SAR and 50 SAR Jarir Bookstore gift certificates for first and second place respectively. Many of the students who watched the competition expressed interest in participating in future spelling bees.
After the Spelling Bee, the department hosted an open forum discussion. All students and faculty members were allowed and encouraged to raise issues about the FLT department operations. Everyone was free to discuss issues, problems, suggested improvements and the like. The purpose of the form was to get honest feedback from stakeholders. This is an essential component of the FLT's commitment to continuous improvement. Among the topics discussed was the need for greater informal student-teacher engagement. The consensus was that additional social gatherings would greatly help to advance the goal of reinforcing relationships.
Vice Dean Asiri, Chairman, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, Academic Development Unit Head, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, Academic Guidance and Counseling Unit Head, Dr. Dawood Mahdi, and Dr. Saeed Al-Surf all spoke to the students. While their remarks varied, the theme was the same. The faculty and staff are there to help the students succeed in their academic and subsequent careers. In his address to the students, Vice Dean Asiri eloquently summarized the faculty adjurations in saying:
'Educating the next generation of leaders is a critical duty. Helping all of you become consummate professionals and upstanding citizens is our mission. Our nation’s future depends upon your drive, abilities, and integrity. The college experience involves many challenges, hardships, and frustrations. We encourage you to embrace every difficulty as an essential part of learning and a building block for your ultimate success'.
The faculty expressed optimism about student attitudes towards education and their apparent eagerness to make the most of their time at the university.
After prayer, the attendees enjoyed a delicious meal. The dinner conversation was lively and convivial. The discussions continued well into the evening, and a fine time was had by all. This social gathering is indicative of FLT's commitment to the students and higher education.
Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation