Graduate Programs

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