Faculty of Languages and Translation

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

Translation of Metaphors, Metonymy, and Similies in the Holy Quran

  Second-year Translation students, Wafa Al-Qahtani, Raneem Riyad, and Renad Al-Fudailii, delivered a webinar titled: "Translation of Metaphors, Metonymy, and Similes in the Holy Quran" at a regular biweekly event organized by the Language Research Center (LRC) on November 11, 2020. LRC Director, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, and Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin MCIL CL MITI sincerely thanked the students for their participation, which allowed for a better understanding of the challenges involved in rendering the sacred text into English, as the classical Arabic in which it is written is lexically complex with unique linguistic features.   The presenters highlighted the significance of how challenging it is for translators to translate the Quran's rhetorical features or tropes. The presentation was centered on three kinds of tropes – Metonymy, Simile and Metaphor.   Wafa began her part by talking about Metonymy, explaining its etymological background with some relevant examples. Metonymy, she added, is a critical figure of speech, which significantly plays an important role in expressing the accurate meaning of particular messages in the Holy Quran. She explained in detail the role of Metonymy in the Holy Quran by comparing different examples of Quranic translation. The examples conspicuously highlighted the extent to which translators maintained Metonymy in translating the Quranic verses.   Raneem focused on how to translate Simile in the Holy Quran. She first defined the term etymologically and explained in detail with an example. Simile, she explained, is a figure of speech in which one thing is likened to another in such a way as to clarify and enhance an image. While comparing two versions of Quranic translation, she highlighted ambiguity in using a word that may confuse English readers or non-native Arabic speakers. She also focused on how the actual meaning is lost or not adequately expressed in such translation.   Renad's part was centered on Metaphors. She defined the term with an example. Metaphors, she said, is a figure of speech in which one thing is described in terms of another. While comparing two versions of Quranic translation, she pointed out the metaphorically more accurate version that conveys proper metaphorical sense.   The presenters came up with the conclusion that translating the Holy Quran involves tremendous challenges. The difficulty increases in the case of translating a sacred book like the Holy Quran as it needs an honest transfer of meaning. Also, the fact that many Arabic words do not have exact English equivalents makes translation even more challenging. It was undoubtedly a very informative webinar, garnering the active participation of both male and female faculty members and students alike.   The Master of Arts in Translation program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to providing student-centered professional development activities that are consistent with program learning outcomes and labor market developments. Date: 11/12/2020 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

Literary Translation: A Cynosure of Hopeful Translators, Yet Too Hard to Master

  First-year Translation MA student, Abeer Al Asmari, delivered a webinar titled: "Literary Translation: A Cynosure of Hopeful Translators, Yet Too Hard to Master" at a regular biweekly event organized by the Language Research Center (LRC) on September 30, 2020.   Abeer, while quoting John Keats, first defined Literary Translation. She said, "It is a genre of literary creativity in which a work written in one language is recreated in another." She emphasized literary creativity by labeling literary translation as a form of creative writing. Abeer moved on to talking about the significance of literary translation. Literary translation, she added, helps us have proper exposure to other cultures and a better understanding of other countries. She argued that a literary translator should be bi-cultural in addition to being bilingual.   She highlighted controversy over literary translation by specifying that there are boundaries between translating and re-writing literary texts that require demarcation in new standards. She thought that it is upsetting to find some translators exceeding the beauty hidden in the original texts. She, therefore, emphasized that the beauty of the original texts must be maintained by the translators so that it is not lost in the translated version. She added some more lucid points by quoting Pinker (1997), Newmark (1988), and Benjamin (1973). She also quoted Daniel Hahn, director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, by calling his statement even more convincing.   Abeer highlighted the challenges involved in this genre by explaining why translators stay away from this. The worst challenge, she added, lies in the phonological level, which includes rhyme, rhythm, meter, assonance, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and consonance. This level, she noted, makes translation an arduous task for the translators. Another challenge involved is in the stylistic level that includes metaphor, puns, and similes. Culture is also another challenge a translator may face, she added. She finally focused on potential solutions by explaining the ways to overcome those challenges.   Abeer concluded by quoting Umberto Eco and said, "Translation is the art of failure."   LRC Director, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, and Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin MCIL CL MITI, Abeer's instructor, sincerely thanked Abeer for her effective presentation, which allowed for a better understanding of literary translation through unique insights. They stressed the importance of throwing weight behind MA students who possess burning enthusiasm and pluck up the courage to follow suit. Abeer's fellow students provided her with unflagging support by their attendance. It is hoped that such webinars would create a window of opportunity for other students to stand on the stage and take up the torch lit by Abeer. It was undoubtedly a very informative webinar, garnering the active participation of both male and female faculty members and students alike.   The Master of Arts in Translation program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to providing student-centered professional development activities that are consistent with program learning outcomes and labor market developments. Date: 10/1/2020 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

Virtual Teaching of English Courses: Ways to Make it Effective

  Ms. Amatul Hafeez Alvi conducted a workshop on Virtual Teaching of English Courses: Ways to Make it Effective, at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on September 16, 2020.   Alvi started the session by stating the objectives of the webinar – creating interactivity, reliability in building online learning experiences, forging online connections to build the teacher-learner relation, the application of key principles to create teaching presence and avoidance of "turning off" students to the online paradigm.   First, she emphasized the proper knowledge a teacher should have about instructional technology. She specifically focused on being familiar with devices, the Internet, e-content, related problems associated with the course website and connectivity. She also added the importance of having proper knowledge of how to handle problems with students and troubleshoot them efficiently.   Secondly, Alvi emphasized the teacher's presence. She focused on how a teacher should introduce himself or herself by, for instance, uploading an introductory video or emailing. Doing this, at least, can create an impression that the teacher is around. A teacher should use both synchronous and asynchronous communication methods to connect with the learners, she added. Furthermore, she stressed on being a reflective teacher who is able to evaluate himself or herself after what he or she has done.   Alvi also talked about fostering communication by being a role model, allowing students to know each other, creating a safe learning atmosphere and social opportunities, and emphasizing teamwork. Clarity and simplicity are also essential in designing a course, said Alvi. A teacher must be able to consider different learning styles, she added. For example, there are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners who acquire things differently.   Alvi concluded that a teacher must keep on searching for new ideas, for example, from the Internet and colleagues.   The webinar was very interactive and a great success with the active participation of both male and female faculty members from the Bachelor of Arts in English program.  Date: 9-16-2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English