Faculty of Languages and Translation

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

The Journey Just Begins: What To Do After Graduation

  On February 14, 2021, the Scientific Research Committee-Women’s Section hosted a webinar titled The Journey Just Begins: What to do After Graduation. It was presented by MA students Alaa Salem, Fatimah Abdulla, Warda Saad, and Rana Almutared, who have graduated and have been through the process of trying to find a job. The presentation was aimed at BA students who are about to graduate.   The presenters gave practical, concrete advice to students:   You cannot rely only on your good marks and a reputable degree to get a job, as there are many graduates looking for a job who have similar degree qualifications, and the competition is fierce. One strong recommendation was to do extra preparation after graduation, depending on the job type you are interested in. This could mean taking a post-degree exam such as IELTS, STEP, PGAT, Cognitive test, professional licensing, or other online courses.   The presenters also advised soon to be graduates to be involved in outside activities such as volunteer work or university club participation. This not only looks good on the CV, but the soft skills you learn from this kind of involvement is often what prospective employers are looking for and is asked about in interviews.   The students were counseled to attend conferences and forums, training programs, and use social media to make themselves visible and to social network. They were advised to be proactive about finding a job: do not just rely on advertisements or unemployment offices to know about employment opportunities, as these are well used by many other applicants and the competition is high for these jobs. Students need to be enterprising in getting themselves noticed. One effective way of getting noticed is sending out letters of inquiry to contact suitable companies.   The presentation was able to impart very practical advice while making it clear that finding a job is hard work. It requires effort, patience, confidence, and perseverance. Yet, the participants came away with a sense of hope, encouragement, and inspiration. Date: 2/16/2021 Source: Dr. Sheila Simpkins, Member of the Scientific Research Committee
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 1

  On February 10, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the first session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   "Understanding your writing strategies is important in becoming a confident writer", said Dr. Alqarni. Academic writing is a product of many considerations (i.e., audience, purpose, consideration, style, flow, and presentation), as she further illustrated. Dr. Alqarni explained the significance of employing hedging, whose job is to make things fuzzier, implying that the writer is less than fully committed to the certainty of the referential information given. She further illustrated that hedging can be expressed through the use of a variety of structures. Additionally, she explained when to use hedges, emphasizing that their appropriate use is central to developing an academic, communicative competence as it assists the writers in establishing "a relationship with the reader and with the authorities in the field".   Following this introductory section, Dr. Alqarni moved to explain the parts of the academic research paper. The introduction, the purpose of the introduction, and common mistakes that the authors should steer clear of in writing the introduction, as well as the main parts in the introduction, were the main ideas covered in the second section. She emphasized that the author should establish a research territory, identify a niche indicating the gap in the previous research by raising a question about it, and occupy the niche stating the purpose of the present research. Hence, in the introduction, authors should establish why the topic is important, outline the past-present history of the study of the topic, indicate the gap in knowledge and possible limitations, state the aim of the paper and its contribution, explain the key terminology in the field of the study and how the terminology and acronyms are used in the paper and indicate the structure of the paper.   The webinar, which was mainly delivered to MA and Ph.D. students, and attended by the vice dean Dr. Salma Alqahtani and staff members at the faculty of languages and translation, included practice on the three main parts of an introduction (i.e., the general research area, the gap in the literature and the purpose of the research paper).   The series of academic writing webinars, which are organized by the Scientific Research Committee, consists of seven sessions on Mondays & Wednesdays, February 10, 2021, to March 3, 2021, at 4:30 pm. Date: 2/14/2021 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally – Head of Scientific Research Committee
English

Foundation Knowledge for Teaching Listening and Speaking Effectively

  Dr. Sara Sevinj Huseynova conducted a workshop titled Foundation Knowledge for Teaching Listening and Speaking Effectively at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on February 03, 2021. She emphasized what a teacher needs to know to teach the skills mentioned above properly.   Dr. Huseynova first introduced that the core principles of teaching these two skills are generally the same even though one is receptive and the other is productive. The principles, Dr. Huseynova said, are communicative teaching, interactive/task-based learning, learner-centered instruction, and group/blended learning. According to sociolinguists, communication takes place visually, vocally, and verbally. In the "Communicative Approach", she added, students should be engaged in interactive learning, which also involves authentic language input in real-world contexts.   Dr. Huseynova also emphasized the textbook's appropriateness, which means that the material used should include various gender-appropriate topics and interactive activities that make students talk and respond. Moreover, teachers need to prepare lesson plans based on the textbook; however, the lesson's general instructional line should 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 use of technology in class. Sara mentioned real-life characteristics and difficulties of listening and speaking processes, making oral communication challenging to teach. 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.   While explaining the interactive teacher roles, Dr. Huseynova focused on unlocking the knowledge of the students 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.   Dr. Huseynova also explained the basic principles of a task-based approach to listening, modern teaching strategies for listening, creative teacher roles, how to encourage students to listen and talk, assessment methods, and the necessity to provide the appropriate feedback.   Dr. Huseynova mentioned the appropriateness of using the "Flipped Classroom" model for teaching listening and speaking, especially during online education. 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 continues with applying the knowledge and practicing listening and speaking skills in class.   Dr. Huseynova concluded that it is very important to create an effective rapport with the students and share the appropriate knowledge. A teacher should praise the students in a balanced way with mild criticism while giving corrective feedback, which shows the teacher's genuine interest. Feedback must be given tactfully so that the students are not embarrassed or anxious, not to lose interest in learning.   The webinar was informative and a great success with both male and female faculty members' active participation. Date: 2-5-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

From Normal to New Normal: Rethinking Methodologies

  Ms. Sharmin Siddiqui presented her research paper titled From Normal to New Normal: Rethinking Methodologies, at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on January 27, 2021. She highlighted the dramatic shift from one teaching move to another due to the current pandemic.   Siddiqui first defined the new normal with a reference from Wikipedia on how the term 'New Normal' was first used in 2007 and 2008 during the financial crisis and used until COVID-19. She mentioned how the traditional classroom pedagogies during the lockdown abruptly took a backseat, and virtual learning became the only way of teaching in mainstream education. She also stated how the sudden disruption required many professionals to change their conventional mindsets and acquire a new set of skills compatible with the latest online pedagogies.   Siddiqui focused on the dramatic success of online teaching at King Khalid University during the outbreak. She mentioned that faculty members and students could communicate effectively and successfully in this virtual teaching mode during the pandemic, although many educational institutions of different countries halted their activities sine die.   Siddiqui also talked about the two most popular learning management systems: Moodle and Blackboard. She brought out some limitations of using virtual platforms exclusively and put forward some issues to reconsider the teachers' methodologies. Referring to a case study, she mentioned that if learners are provided with the same learning material, quality of teachers, and resources as in the traditional mode of learning, the same academic outcomes will be achieved.   The primary issue associated with virtual classrooms, Siddiqui said, is the difficulty in addressing individual interests and needs according to the learners' different learning styles. Also, lecturing is the commonly used method in the online mode, she added. The intended communicative gestures that are considered important vehicles for building rapport with learners are not possible in a virtual platform. Besides, reassessing absenteeism criteria is one of the needs for ensuring the learning outcomes, she mentioned. She also highlighted some drawbacks of applying a particular test type in a virtual platform and questioned its validity.   The presenter concluded her presentation with some recommendations. To differentiate instruction in virtual platforms, teachers need to switch between the modes. Using different kinds of synchronous and asynchronous communication ensures successful collaboration between teachers and students, she emphasized. To ensure the learners' attention and attendance, teachers should announce that at the end of the session, there will be an incentive-based assessment.   The webinar was very interactive and a great success with both male and female faculty members' active participation. Date: 1-29-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Spring 2021 Orientation Day

  On 26 January 2021, the Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation held an orientation program for first-year students. At the gathering, new students received important information delivered in a small group and discussion format in line with COVID-19 social distancing measures. Several members of the leadership team and functional units of the FLT were there to introduce the curriculum and the culture within the campus.   Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi began the program by welcoming the students. He explained that this meeting is not just a perfunctory gathering, highlighting that this welcoming activity was designed to help students overcome the challenges and difficulties they will face while keeping an eye on success. Dean Al-Melhi then imparted important instructions about the English program and useful tips for academic success.   Vice Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Yahya Asiri, then introduced students to the intended outcomes of the Bachelor of Arts in English program, how they will be assessed, an overview of Blackboard, and the expectations of their performance as they progress through the university. English Department Chair, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, echoed Vice Dean Asiri's advice and familiarized students with university rules and regulations. Academic Advisor, Dr. Dawood Mahdi, followed after and encouraged students to use the services available on campus to support their success.   At the end of the event, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Raza Khan, guided students through the basics of Blackboard, such as how to log in, upload assignments, use the discussion forum, and take exams. He explained that if they need help throughout the semester, the Blackboard Student Support team is also just a call or click away.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program is committed to providing a comprehensive orientation for new students, ensuring their full understanding of the types of services and facilities available.   Date: 1/26/2021 Source: FLT Web
English

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