King Khalid University

FLT Delivers Test Preparation for IELTS to Ministry of Education Teachers

  On 31 March 2021, Hassan Costello and Dr. Sayyed Rashid Ali Shah delivered an in-service teacher training webinar to 145 participants. The webinar, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education in Asir and Rijal Alma on "IELTS Listening and Speaking" by Hassan Costello and "IELTS Preparation: Reading & Writing!" by Dr. Sayyed Rashid Ali Shah, provided both male and female teachers with exam-specific tips and how to answer different question types.   After introductions by Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, Costello began the webinar by reviewing the content of the IELTS Listening Test, and then he moved on to provide a lot of useful tips. He explained that the IELTS Listening Test is not only about listening to the recording but also about understanding the content and finding answers at the same time. "When you have your test, you need to listen to the recording, read the questions, and at the same time write down your answers. At one time, you are listening, reading, and writing. You really are multitasking during this listening test. It can be quite difficult, and it's something that you do need to practice." He then explained that concentration is the biggest challenge for test-takers. He noted that test-takers really need to concentrate during the IELTS Listening test because if focus is lost at any time, test-takers will miss an answer and lose their place in the recording. He then moved on to discuss how test-takers can do well on the 3 parts of the IELTS Speaking Test. He encouraged test takers to avoid yes or no responses in part 1 and expand their answers through examples. "The speaking task has three different parts to it: part one, part two, and part three. In part two, candidates are expected to speak for about two minutes, and there is no interruption. In part 3, it's more like an interview. If the examiner asks you some sort of question, you respond and they ask you another question, or they might ask you to go deeper into the first question. Sometimes they'll ask you to predict something, you might compare, and they might ask you to give your opinion. Remember that part 3 is based on a theme. In part 2 you're given something to describe and it might be a historical building, it might be a teacher you really liked, it might be an object precious to you. Part 3 continues from part 2, so whatever you talked about in part 2 you're going to talk about in part 3 but at a more abstract level." Towards the end of his part of the webinar, Costello advised potential test-takers not to worry about accents or about mistakes. "It's okay if you have an accent in terms of your pronunciation mark. The main thing they're looking for is that you speak clearly and they can understand what you're saying. Don't worry if you make mistakes. Treat this almost like a conversation."   Dr. Shah then began by noting a lot of the strategies covered on the IELTS Listening Test are applicable to the IELTS Reading Test, and he will provide 10 reading strategies and 6 writing strategies that candidates often need to remember. "I'll try to share my personal experience with you because I went through these different stages in my academic life. I took IELTS as a student, and more than twice I moved on, and at the end, I reached the target of becoming an IELTS examiner," he said. Dr. Shah then highlighted that there are 11-14 various types of questions, explaining that awareness of the types of questions along with identifying the types of questions will help candidates to score well. Dr. Shah then emphasized the importance of skimming and scanning long passages. He related that it would be difficult to answer all 40 questions without efficient skimming and scanning techniques. "Candidates are usually not very much familiar with the types of texts included in the IELTS academic module or general training. Reading articles online will help to widen reading skills and develop familiarity with complex texts and passages," he said. Towards the end of his part of the webinar, Dr. Shah highlighted Task 2 of IELTS Academic Writing, explaining that techniques can be applied to writing a letter in the general training module or to describe a graph or pie chart, which is Task 1 in IELTS Academic Writing. After, he explained that the IELTS Writing rubric evaluates four different aspects of your responses: Coherence and Cohesion, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Task Response. Dr. Shah then provided examples of each of the 4 aspects, noting that they should not be ignored. "It is important that you understand the question. Understanding questions solves half of the problem," he said.   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: 4/7/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Empowering Researchers & EFL Learners Through Digital Literacy

  The Scientific Research Committee - Women's section - organized a webinar entitled "Empowering Researchers & EFL Learners Through Digital Literacy" on March 31, 2021. The webinar was presented by Dr. Amal Metwally, the head of the scientific research committee, who indicated that the webinar is designed to explore the vital role of digital tools in empowering researchers and EFL learners.   Dr. Amal Metwally started her presentation with an introduction in which she differentiated between "digital natives" and "digital immigrants". Our students today are all "native speakers" of the digital language of computers and the Internet. Those of us who were not born into the digital world but have adopted aspects of the new technology are compared to them as "digital immigrants", she illustrated.   Dr. Amal Metwally asserted that digital natives may not be familiar with digital educational tools. For this reason, they need to be made aware of and taught about these educational tools since they are able to adopt new technologies into their learning quite easily.   "When teaching with digital tools and apps, you need to spend some time deciding which tools to use and how to use those tools to create autonomous, collaborative, innovative, authentic, and student-centered learning experiences", said Dr. Metwally.   "Digital Literacy" is often used as a synonym for digital or technical skills and competencies. However, comprehension of digital literacy should go beyond mere information technology skills, explained Dr. Metwally. She referred to two main types of definitions of digital literacy; conceptual definitions and standardized sets of operations intended to provide national and international normalizations of digital literacy.   Dr. Metwally referred to the definition by Richard Lanham (1995), who claims that "literacy" has extended its semantic reach from meaning "the ability to read and write" to now meaning "the ability to understand information however presented".   She also illustrated that in his book Digital Literacy (1997), Gilster identifies four key digital literacy competencies. These are: knowledge assembly, evaluating information content, searching the Internet, and navigating hypertext. Finally, she said that DL could be better defined as "The ability to use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information, and the possession of a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information".   Dr. Metwally has also investigated the four digital literacy types: language-based, information-based, connection-based, and (re-) design-based literacies. She also indicated that digital literacy comprises five major digital skills. These are photo-visual, reproduction, branching, information, and socio-emotional skills.   In the following section of the webinar, Dr. Amal Metwally introduced some significant technology integration frameworks. The importance of exploring technology integration models is that such models are used by educators to evaluate and inform how they teach with digital tools and apps.   "Our goal, as educators, is to teach students, not just by transferring knowledge to them, but by creating meaningful learning experiences that support their knowledge, understanding and skill development", she said. SAMR model (2011), which stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition, can be used as a guide for evaluating and selecting digital tools that will create meaningful teaching and learning experiences. Another model is the TPACK Framework (2006) which focuses on technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge, offers a productive approach to many of the dilemmas that teachers face in implementing educational technology in their classrooms. By differentiating among these three types of knowledge, the TPACK framework outlines how content and pedagogy must form the foundation for any effective educational technology integration. In exploring the role of digital literacy in empowering learners, Bloom's taxonomy can serve as a tool to help us select the most appropriate apps and tools based on the level and depth of cognitive knowledge students need to acquire. As we design instruction, we can consider how we might start with the higher-order thinking skills to encourage students to build their knowledge through learning experiences, explained Dr. Metwally.   She then answered the significant question, "How can digital literacy empower researchers & EFL learners?" She also reviewed some very helpful tools that can support researchers and EFL learners in their journey.   The webinar, which was very informative and highly engaging, was attended by the Dean's Assistant, Dr. Salma Alqahtani, staff members, MA & Ph.D. students, as well as some undergraduate students who showed their interest in digital tools. It is worth mentioning that the webinar was the last event organized by the scientific research committee in the second semester of this academic year 2020-2021. Date: 4/4/2021 Source: Saeeda Alfaifi, member of the Scientific Research Committee
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Dean Al-Melhi Receives Plaque of Appreciation From University President

  On 29 March 2021, Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi received a plaque of appreciation from His Excellency Falleh Al-Solamy, President of King Khalid University, in recognition of his efforts and contributions to the Saudi Journal of Language Studies as editor-in-chief. Vice President of Higher Studies & Scientific Research, Dr. Hamad Al-Garni, Scientific Journals & Societies Unit (SJSU) Supervisor, Dr. Abdullah Asiri, and SJSU Consultant, Dr. Amir Kessentini, supported all honorees in the meeting, expressing their deepest gratitude for the unfailing support and contributions made to ensuring the large body of scholarship produced at King Khalid University will be utilized.   Published by Emerald on behalf of King Khalid University, the Saudi Journal of Language Studies is an academic, open access, double-blind peer-reviewed journal focused on the diffusion of articles on all aspects of language studies. The Saudi Journal of Language Studies (SJLS) is an open forum for interdisciplinary research grounded in sound theory, practice of language research, and translation studies of interest to scholars and language educators. SJLS seeks cutting-edge interdisciplinary research from around the world that reflects diverse theoretical and methodological frameworks and topical areas, including but not limited to:   Foreign and/or second language learning, teaching, and use Language assessment and testing Language for Special Purposes (e.g., ESP) Language for Academic Purposes (LAP) Multimodal communication and Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) Teacher/learner identity studies Foreign/second language classroom-centred research Translation studies Literature studies Culture studies Bilingualism and Multilingualism Lexicographical research, Literacies, Rhetoric and stylistics Sociolinguistics Pragmatics Semiotics Discourse Analysis Psycholinguistics Deaf Linguistics Forensic Linguistics Historical Linguistics Theoretical Linguistics   Of note, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Tanuma, Prof. Abdulaziz Fageeh, received a plaque of appreciation from His Excellency President Al-Solamy in recognition of his efforts and contributions to the KKU Journal of Humanities as editor-in-chief. Both Dean Al-Melhi and Dean Fageeh extended a very warm welcome to thank authors, editors, and anonymous reviewers for contributing to the success of the journals, noting that Dr. Ismail Alrefaai has made significant contributions as a coordinator of both journals.   The website of the journal can be accessed through https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/sjls. Submit your research article today, and the SJLS Editorial Advisory Board will assess your submission based on the policy and scope of SJLS. Prof. Habib Abdesslem, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, Dr. Fakieh Alrabai, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, and Prof. Abdulaziz Fageeh all serve as SJLS Editorial Advisory Board members and look forward to your submissions. Date: 3/30/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Course Design: The Backwards Model

  On March 21, Dr. Sheila Simpkins delivered an in-service instructor training webinar to almost 500 attendees in cooperation with the Ministry of Education Directorate in the Asir region and Rijal Alma entitled "Course Design: The Backwards Model". She began the webinar by asking participants to reflect on the question "What is your role in the classroom?" According to Dr. Sheila, the answer to this question is fundamental to course design.   She indicated that best practices in educational research tells us that we need to shift from the direct transmission view of the teacher's role towards the constructivist view. She introduced Bloom's taxonomy as a powerful tool to help teachers plan lesson/unit/course/program objectives that are in line with constructivist views of teaching/learning where the teacher is a facilitator, and the students are actively engaged and involved in learning. Best practices in teaching encourage teachers to set learning objectives that require higher-order thinking skills such as analyzing, evaluating, and creating.   Having introduced these two principals Dr. Sheila shared the backwards model of course design. She indicated that teachers should plan 'backwards' beginning with the end in mind. Teachers should ask themselves three questions.   Where do I want my students to 'be' by the end of this sequence of work? How will I know whether they have gotten there? What are the best strategies to support students on this journey?   Dr. Sheila indicated that all course design should take the constructivist view of teaching/learning into consideration.   With that in mind, she indicated that   Course learning objectives/outcomes should be student-centered, concrete, and observable/measurable. Bloom's taxonomy should be used here. Assessment/assignments should be aligned with the learning objectives and they should be authentic. This means the assignments/activities that students are engaged in to learn the material are also used to evaluate their accomplishments. Assessment/assignments should be student structured, and direct evidence. Examples of this kind of assessment are role play, drama, student portfolios, journals, debates, and presentations. Rubrics should be used to measure performance. In the constructivist view, traditional paper-based measurement should be kept to a minimum. Teaching strategies should match assessment. In other words, how you assess is how you teach. Conversely, how you teach is how you assess. Then you plan course content and select course materials—what textbook/film/speaker will speak to the topics and help accomplish learning objectives. The last step is to create the course schedule and sequencing. Activities must be organized to provide sufficient practice, skills must build upon another, and there must be sufficient time for feedback. Date: 3/28/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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Alumni Unit Delivers Professional Job Skills Webinar

  On March 23, 2021, Mr. Javed Ahmed delivered a webinar titled 'Professional Job Skills'. The webinar, under the supervision of Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, and technical support of E-Learning Supervisor, Mr. Mohsin Khan, was developed to help Bachelor of Arts in English program upperclassmen and alumni understand the mindset and competencies needed in the future workplace. In the webinar, Mr. Javed explained why some companies place heavy emphasis on the skill of multitasking and need new hires who have up-to-the-minute, state-of-the-art skills. "I wanted to provide alumni with an opportunity to reflect on adaptability, mental agility, and resilience," said Mr. Javed. He then pivoted into a highlight of the most in-demand professional jobs skills alumni should look to develop, noting how they will help them remain competitive job candidates. "I see we have several alumni in the webinar. Employers are looking for hard as well as smart workers, being a potential candidate one has to change his outlook towards the traditional way of thinking," Mr. Javed added. He concluded by highlighting the schematic diagram, which will definitely help our alumni to think, visualize and actualize multi-dimensional intelligence.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program is committed to providing students and alumni of the program with additional activities for their professional development, consistent with the intended learning outcomes, and labor market developments. Date: 3/26/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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Areas and Themes in Translation Studies: A Lantern Shone into the Dark Maze of Tunnels, Excavated by Translation Students and Researchers

  The Language Research Center organized a webinar on March 24, 2021. The webinar presenter was Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin, who conducted a workshop for those interested in research in the field of translation and, in particular, the students of translation studies. The title of the presentation was "Areas and Themes in Translation Studies: A Lantern Shone into the Dark Maze of Tunnels, Excavated by Translation Students and Researchers".   Dr. Eyhab began his session by highlighting why doing research in the field of translation studies is hard. Research in translation studies, an area which, because of its interdisciplinary nature, can present the inexperienced researcher with a bewildering array of topics, he stated. The major purpose of such research, he added, is to make a contribution to the field in several ways.   Dr. Eyhab stated different ways to contribute to the field of translation studies such as by providing new data, suggesting an answer to a specific question, testing or refining an existing hypothesis, theory or methodology, proposing a new idea, hypothesis, theory or methodology. He also specified the major factors that launch the drive for conducting research in translation studies. The factors, he stated, are a piqued sense of natural curiosity, a need to obtain a further qualification, a general desire for personal development, and areas of interest.   At the beginning of the research, he said, a researcher may be excited, but he or she may discover that someone else has already conducted the same research in the same area. Another upsetting thing about the research may be the lack of feasibility. To address this problem, Dr. Eyhab recommended that a researcher should ascertain the current state of research in the field, which involves a lot of reading.   The purpose of such research, Dr. Eyhab said, is to add the sum of knowledge. Therefore, re-inventing the wheel is a waste of time. A piece of research does not take place in a vacuum, but it relates to what has gone before. In this case, the literature review is essential.   He highlighted an overview of some research areas relevant to translation studies as follows:   A. Text Analysis B. Translation Quality Assessment C. Genre Translation D. Multimedia Translation, known as audio-visual translation, and is further broken down into dubbing and subtitling. E. Evaluating Software F. Interpreting   The webinar was an informative one with the active participation of the faculty members, MA and Ph.D. Students from both male and female campuses.   To view a recording of the webinar, please click here. Date: 3/25/2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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Your Guide for MA Studying

  The Scientific Research Committee organized a webinar titled "Your Guide for MA Studying" on 24 March 2021. The speakers of this webinar were three post-graduate students Ms. Warda Saad, Ms. Fatemah Abdulaziz, and Ms. Alaa Salem. The 1st speaker Ms. Warda Saad started the program by posing a question to the undergraduate students: What is your goal? Next, she explained the four goals listed by her, which are as follows:   Expand your knowledge of fields related to your field. Gain recognition. Start making connections. Take advantage of academic support.   After elaborating on the goals of the students, the speaker stated the students' and teachers' expectations in the MA program. In a nutshell, she urged the students to be prepared for more work, be more focused and motivated, cite every word they say or use in their work, and develop their habits. Towards the end of her speech, Ms. Warda advised the students to ask a lot of questions to their supervisors and professors. She also explained that any remarks from the professors/supervisors/teachers are never personal, and they should be aware of that.   The 2nd speaker Ms. Fatemah started her speech by explaining the meaning of scientific research. Next, she elaborated on the reading skill of researchers, which is essential. She focused on the skimming and scanning techniques used in reading, and she imparted the message to the students that to expand the knowledge of the researchers, there is no alternative to reading. She has urged the students to think critically and objectively and develop the skill of discussion as well.   In the next part of her speech, Ms. Fatemah highlighted the magic of the Internet. She has discussed how students can view YouTube as a Tutor and use Grammarly for checking Plagiarism. She concluded her speech on a motivating note by saying, "Celebrate small achievements on the way to your goal."   The 3rd speaker, Ms. Alaa Salem, started her speech by talking about Applied Linguistics research areas or where to go in research. She referred to a book titled Contemporary Applied Linguistics. She has pointed out various aspects such as globalization of language, the death of languages, language and economy, poverty and languages, religion, family and language, language and culture, translation and language, language and the brain, etc. While discussing language and economy, the speaker gave an example of a story of a Phillipino worker and showed how people are judged by how they speak a language. She pointed out that language becomes an indicator of the intelligence of a person.   Last of all, the speaker discussed language and the brain, and she said how Neurolinguistics, Speech Disorder, and Sign language could be sources for researchers.   All three speakers of the webinar were successful in enlightening the undergraduate students about the MA program. Date: 3/25/2021 Source: Ms. Shanjida Halim, Scientific Research Committee Member
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Faculty Members Receive Plaques of Appreciation for Teacher Training Webinars

  On 14 March 2021, faculty members were delighted to be invited to attend an award ceremony at the General Directorate of Education in Asir where Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, was presented with several plaques of appreciation for the management and implementation of the first in-service EFL teacher training series of webinars to over 500 teachers in the Asir Public School System.   Director of Education in Asir, Saad Al-Jouni, welcomed all participating faculty members in attendance, noting that the Faculty of Languages and Translation demonstrated outstanding work. He looked forward to increased cooperation and commended the professional development series of webinars developed under the supervision of leadership at the Faculty of Languages and Translation. Deputy Director, Safar Al-Butaidi, and Administrative Supervisor, Mohammed Al-Tarish, echoed Director Al-Jouni's remarks and called for increased cooperation.   The webinars, generously supported by the technical capabilities of King Khalid University's Deanship of E-Learning, were also run under the supervision of Department of English Head, Hussein Asiri, at the General Directorate of Education in Asir. Asiri explained that continuous professional development of teachers will increase awareness of best practices in the latest modern teaching methods.   The following faculty members received plaques of appreciation for past and/or future planned work:   Dean, Dr. Abdulllah Al-Melhi; Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa; Mr. Hassan Costello; Dr. Sara Huseynova; Mr. Mohsin Raza Khan; Dr. Sayyed Rashid Ali Shah. Dr. Sheila Simpkins.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program is committed to offering expertise to teaching staff in the Asir Public School System in accordance with a plan that meets their needs and contributes to the development of their performance. Date: 3/15/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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Lexical Borrowing: French Loan Words into English

  At a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on March 10, 2021, Dr. Shazia Tabassum spoke about Lexical Borrowing: French Loan Words into English. The presentation was all about how the English Language has so far been enriched with lexis from other languages.   Dr. Shazia, first, started her presentation stating an intriguing fact that English is not a pure language in terms of lexicon, but a heterogeneous one. This particular phenomenon is because of its exposure to frequent cultural changes over ages. The English language is composed of words from different languages across the world, she added. As a result, many of the everyday words used in spoken and written English have been adopted from other countries in which the first language is not English, she highlighted. She quoted David Crystal who termed English as an “insatiable borrower”.   Dr. Shazia explained the term Lexical Borrowing. She explained it as a process by which a word from a donor language is adapted for use in the recipient language. It is a two-way process in that a recipient language interestingly may sometimes become a donor language too, she added and also emphasized the fact that lexical borrowing plays a vital role in bilingualism.   Dr. Shazia spoke about foreign invasions, wars, foreign trade and travel that resulted in such lexical borrowing. Most of the English lexical items have been taken from Greek, Latin, and French she added. She also mentioned some other donor languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Hindi, and Urdu. The interesting point is that 70% of the modern English words have been all borrowed from other languages, and French is the major donor language, she said.   She showed the similarities and differences between English words and the main donor language French. She exemplified gender for inanimate things in French. She gave some more examples of French load words and phrases that are frequently used in English.   Dr. Shazia finally emphasized the learner-centered approach to teaching vocabulary in a language class.   The webinar was a great success with the active participation of the faculty members, PhD and MA students. Date: 3/14/2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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FLT Faculty Member Leads Virtual Workshop for Quality Matters

  Under the supervision of the Deanship of E-Learning, E-Learning Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, recently delivered a 2-day training course on "Applying the Quality Matters Rubric Workshop (Virtual)". Ms. Safa Al-Shehri and Mr. Abdullah Zubain at the Deanship of E-Learning provided holistic support.   The Quality Matters (QM) Rubric introduces participants to best practices, instructional design, and research-based design principles of an online/hybrid course to ensure quality assurance.   "The 10-hour virtual workshop was particularly helpful to those new to QM or those considering the adoption of a quality assurance process for online and blended learning. It was a great opportunity for 30 faculty members from various disciplines to learn more about the QM Rubric and its use in reviewing the design of online and blended courses," Khan said.   The Deanship of E-Learning explained that the QM Rubric is a widely respected set of standards used to design effective online courses through a faculty peer review process. Participants in the virtual workshop commented that the QM Rubric increases learn engagement and learning achievement.   The Bachelor of Arts in English program is committed to offering expertise to teaching staff in other colleges, allowing them to participate in professional and academic development programs in accordance with a plan that meets their needs and contributes to the development of their performance. Date: 3/11/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
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