Graduate Programs

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

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
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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

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

M.A. Student Receives First-Class Honors Award

Abdullah Omar, the recipient of the First-Class Honors Award for his outstanding academic performance in the M.A. in Applied Linguistics Program, says he obtained his most important life lessons and ambition to succeed from his mother. From his perspective, “This achievement not only brings honor to my mother– it brings honor to the Faculty of Languages and Translation, and I hope it will have a positive impact on other students in the college.” Dean of the FLT, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, said that his most important duty on the 20th Graduation Ceremony sponsored by His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Khalid was to offer a warm welcome to honored guests, faculty members, and graduating students. He then related he was moved by many stories of students where he learned about the distances and obstacles they overcame to graduate. "As 2018 concludes, I would like to thank our faculty members, students, and staff for another extraordinary semester filled with numerous accomplishments. Abdullah Omar's award is one example among many that illustrate the upward trajectory of the Faculty of Languages and Translation." The CIO of King Khalid University, Dr. Salem Aleyani, said in a tweet: "His Royal Highness, the Prince of the Asir Region, is honoring our distinctive colleague for achieving first-class honors in his master's degree. Abdullah is one of the best IT employees for the University in his work ethics. I wish all the best to my friend." Date: 3/30/2018 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English