King Khalid University

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 7

  On March 3, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the seventh and last session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   "It is highly recommended the inclusion of a short concluding section", said Dr. Alqarni. Most readers can read the conclusion as well as the abstract as they summarize the main findings of the research paper in a non-technical language, as she further illustrated. Dr. Alqarni explained the main purpose of the conclusion: "To clearly signal to the reader that the writing is finished and to leave a clear impression that the purpose has been achieved". She also indicated that there are several features of the conclusion; among them are the provision of a summary for the whole paper and the explanation of the paper's main purpose. Accordingly, she emphasized in the "possible structures of the conclusion" that the conclusion should be concise and clear.   After that, Dr. Alqarni illustrated some common mistakes that the author should steer clear of in his/her conclusion. Additionally, she stated that the author should use basic synthesis of information in the conclusion. She also emphasized that he/she should restate results, highlight achievements, outline possible applications and implications of the work, and propose future work for third parties to carry out in his/her conclusion.   Following this section about the conclusion, Dr. Alqarni moved to discuss the abstract, which was the second part of this session. "The abstract is a very important paragraph at the beginning of your research paper'', said Dr. Alqarni. She pointed out that there are many features of the research paper abstracts. She also indicated that there are two main approaches to writing research paper abstracts: "a result-driven'' abstract and "a research paper summary abstract". Dr. Alqarni further illustrated the correct order of the research paper abstract. She finally displayed an example of an abstract from the article "Use of a Writing Websites by Pre-Masters Students on an English for Academic Purposes Course".   By the end of the seventh session of the academic writing series of webinars, attendees had the opportunity to ask their questions and share their suggestions and thoughts. Date: 3/5/2021 Source: Khairyah Al-Beshri - Scientific Research Committee
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 6

  On March 3, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the sixth session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   This webinar was designed to investigate the discussion of results in a research paper. In the discussions section, writers have greater freedom than in the introduction or in the literature review. "By the time readers reach the discussion, authors can assume a fair amount of shared knowledge", illustrated Dr. Nada at the beginning of the webinar. "They can assume that the reader has understood the purpose of the study, obtained a sense of the methodology, and followed along with the results".   The purpose of the discussion section is to show that the results lead clearly to the conclusion being drawn. This may include any limitations that might cause problems with any claims being made as well as any possible explanations for these results.   Dr. Alqarni asserted that discussion should be more than a summary. It should go beyond the results. It should be more theoretical, abstract, or general. It should be more integrated with the field, more connected to the real world, or more concerned with implications or application.   She further indicated that in the discussion section a researcher should step back and take a broad look at the findings of the study and the study as a whole. "The discussion section moves from the narrow specific focus of the research to a more general view. It must clearly show how the results lead to the conclusions being drawn and therefore how these conclusions should be understood and any possible explanations for these results", she said. This should include any limitations that might cause problems with any claims being made.   A discussion section should include the following elements: a reference to the main purpose of the study, a generalized review of the most important findings (i.e., summary of results), possible explanations for the findings in general, comparison with expected results and other studies, limitations of the overall study that restrict the extent to which the findings can be generalized, and the conclusion of the discussion section. In the discussion section, the researcher should not simply repeat all the details, attempt to cover all the information, or claim more than is reasonable or defensible, she illustrated.   Dr. Alqarni also referred to the qualifications and strength of claims in the discussion section and gave examples of using modal auxiliaries to weaken claims. She also highlighted the language used in the discussion section with examples.   The webinar, which was mainly delivered to MA and Ph.D. students and attended by staff members of the Faculty of Languages and Translation and other faculties, witnessed overwhelming participation.   The series of academic writing webinars — organized by the Scientific Research Committee — consisted of seven sessions that were held every Monday and Wednesday from February 10 to March 3, 2021, at 4:30 pm. Date: 3/4/2021 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally - Head of Scientific Research Committee
English

Teaching Language Skills: Basic Ideas and Techniques for Instructing Listening and Speaking

  On February 28, 2021, Dr. Sara Sevinj Huseynova delivered an in-service instructor training webinar to almost 500 attendees. The webinar, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education Directorate in the Asir region and Rijal Alma on "Teaching Language Skills: Basic Ideas and Techniques for Instructing Listening and Speaking", was warmly received by local participants and attendees from around the Kingdom.   The Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Dr. Abdullah Al-Melhi, opened the webinar by underlining the effectiveness of initiating the interaction of instructors teaching the same subject in order to improve their performance. Dean Al-Melhi then introduced keynote speaker Sara Huseynova, who he pointed out as well "needs no introduction".   Vice Dean for Academic Development & Quality, Dr. Abdulrahman Almosa, related that he planned this event after receiving a request from the local Directorate of Education, underlining that it was an excellent opportunity for the Faculty of Languages and Translation to provide a unique instructor training opportunity that combines professional growth opportunity with online discussions in a very business-like manner.   Following after, Dr. Huseynova started the webinar presentation noting that languages are learned through excitement and not through fear of mistakes, and shared her knowledge on how to inspire the students for a greater attitude to learning English and the 4 basic language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. She pointed out the necessity to balance those skills and practice them according to the new tendencies in the language's instruction. "The same way languages are taught at the English Department of the FLT," she stressed.   Dr. Huseynova then started the discussion of the skills teaching general approach in applied linguistics like the focal method, content-based instruction and also, task-based approach, which is currently widely used in language instruction worldwide.   Participants were then introduced to the fact that the core principles of teaching listening and speaking with the task-based approach are generally the same even though one is receptive and the other one is productive. The principles, Dr. Huseynova said, are communicative teaching, interactive and task-based learning, learner-centered instruction, group and blended learning. According to sociolinguists, communication takes place mainly visually, and also, vocally and verbally. In the communicative approach, she added, students might successfully be engaged in interactive learning, which also involves authentic language input in real-world contexts.   The keynote speaker also emphasized the appropriateness of the textbook: the material used might well include various culture and gender-appropriate topics and interactive activities that invite students to talk and respond. Moreover, teachers need to prepare lesson plans based on the textbook; however, the general instructional line of the lesson should, by all means, involve the ideas of communicative approach in action.   Dr. Huseynova recommends that the teachers help students have proper exposure to genuine English usage. The teachers should apply both controlled and non-controlled techniques along with efficient but not overwhelming use of technology in class. The presenter mentioned real-life characteristics and difficulties of listening and speaking processes, making oral communication difficult to teach, evermore during online instruction with so much possible distraction. Overall, the lessons should be fully learner-centered with less lecturing or reduced "Teacher Talk Time", with the instructor being a role model and art director to improve student-teacher interaction.   While explaining the interactive teacher roles, the presenter focused on unlocking the students' knowledge before letting the students practice listening, which activates their schematic knowledge. Pre-listening encourages discussion around the theme of the unit with inspiration from interesting questions and striking visuals. Pre-listening may include pronunciation practice as well, which may help improve the overall listening comprehension, and post-listening activities can deepen the development of all 4 core language skills.   The keynote speaker also explained in detail the basic principles of modern teaching strategies for listening, creative and interactive teacher roles, how to encourage students to listen and talk, and assessment methods, the necessity to provide the appropriate feedback in a manner that will be well-received by the students, for the right feedback to "make the students' brains smarter, even happier."   Later, she mentioned the appropriateness of using the flipped classroom model for teaching listening and speaking, especially during online education. In the traditional classroom, a lower level of understanding happens in class. With the flipped classroom model, learning is flipped, and the students can finish the lower level of cognitive work before the lesson starts, and the teacher will continue with applying the knowledge and practicing listening and speaking skills in class. The visual flipped Maslow's pyramid on Bloom's Taxonomy was a striking explanation of the usefulness of the flipped classroom method of teaching 4 skills, particularly online during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The conclusion was that it is very important to create an effective rapport with the students and share the appropriate knowledge they need. An instructor is to praise the students in a balanced way with mild criticism while giving corrective feedback, with a genuine heart-felt attitude and desire to help the student, which shows the teacher's genuine interest in each and every student's performance and language growth. The feedback should be given tactfully so that the students are not embarrassed or anxious, by any means not to lose interest in learning English.   Dr. Huseynova guided participants through a series of strategies they can use to evaluate and improve their online instruction, after which she took numerous questions from the audience, and the discussion of those questions lasted for an additional hour which shows the participants were so eager for the professional interaction concerning their professional growth. Dean Al-Melhi and Vice Dean Almosa actively participated in the ensuing discussions and exchange of views.   Overall, the webinar was, as Dean Al-Melhi noted, as informative and interesting as having a "lighthouse effect" on the participants. The webinar was a great success with 500 teacher-participants. The Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to participating in community collaboration projects as part of its role in the Community Partnership Plan at King Khalid University. Date: 3-5-2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Challenges of Online Classes and Strategies to Overcome Them

  At a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on March 3, 2021, Dr. Sarwat Un Nisa delivered a presentation titled Challenges of Online Classes and Strategies to Overcome Them. The presentation was based on several research studies conducted on the above issue.   Dr. Sarwat started her presentation by stating that the rapid shift from a face-to-face learning mode to a distance learning mode has given rise to many challenges for ELT instructors around the world. One of the challenges, she states, is handling classroom management issues. It is crucial and important to admit that virtual classroom management strategies are different from face-to-face classroom management.   Dr. Sarwat's presentation was divided into three parts – online pedagogy, challenges faced by students, the strategies instructors can adapt, and the challenges students face and the strategies they can adapt to overcome them.   According to Pelz (2009), she said, learning is more effective when students do most of the work in class. Interactivity is the heart of effective asynchronous learning. While explaining online pedagogy, first, she emphasized using technology as a tool. Creating a successful online learning experience begins with the deliberate application of instructional design principles, she added. Secondly, she emphasized keeping technology as simple as possible. If technology turns hard for the students to understand, the instructors need to spend extra time explaining the technology itself, which affects the actual learning. Thirdly, she spoke about alignment, which is all about the correlation between the course content, tests and learning objectives. Fourthly, she mentioned the ease in course design and navigation. She explained that the course teacher can make it easy for the learners by creating hyperlinks and making regular announcements. The fifth point she covered is the importance of clear expectations and directions for activities and assessments. Students should be clear about which direction they are moving towards. Finally, she emphasized making the instructor’s presence known to students. Regular correspondence between the instructor and students can solve this issue.   Dr. Sarwat, while talking about teacher-student interaction, stated that it is essential to respond quickly to student questions. By doing this regularly, such interaction increases.   Dr. Sarwat also highlighted student-to-content interaction, multimedia principles, multiple interactions with the same content, academic honesty and authenticity of student work, supporting students. She also talked about technical issues and how to solve them. She concluded her presentation by sharing some strategies that learners can adapt to overcome the challenges of online learning.   The webinar was a great success with the active participation of faculty members and graduate students. Date: 3-4-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

تهنئة

نبارك لطالبة خولة الفهد من #كليةاللغاتوالترجمة قسم اللغة الانجليزية الفوز بالمركز الأول في منافسة ماراثون القراءة والتي نظمتها وكالة ⁧‫#عمادةشؤونالطلاب‬⁩ لشؤون الطالبات بـ ⁧‫#جامعةالملكخالد
English

21st Century Teaching and the Global Scale of English

  At a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on February 24, 2021, Ms. Arshi Khatoon presented her topic: 21st Century Teaching and the Global Scale of English. She put emphasis on the dynamics of the most modern concepts of learning and teaching and its proper implementation to have better learning outcomes.   Ms. Khatoon, first, stated the fact that in this global and interconnected world, all learners need new skills and knowledge to be successful in their lives. 21st-century skills are essential for the fulfillment of such success, she added. She quoted David Nunan, "The Global Scale of English represents the most significant advance in performance-based approaches to language learning, teaching and assessment since the development of the Common European Framework of Reference".   Teachers, Ms. Khatoon, said, can use the global scale of English to guide their students properly. The teachers first ask themselves how good their English is, whether they are progressing and what they need to do next. To answer these questions, both teachers and students need to follow the steps of the English learning ecosystem. A teacher should know a clear definition of a particular level of proficiency, alignment between the learning materials and the 'levels' of definitions, and have tacit knowledge of assessment tests designed to profile learners' proficiency across the four basic skills. The Global Scale of English, Ms. Khatoon explained, is an accurate, standardized scale that measures English language proficiency. Unlike other frameworks, this particular scale identifies what a learner can do at each point on the scale across the four skills. The purpose of the scale, she said, is designed to motivate learners.   She focused on Learning and Innovation Skills that comprise 4Cs – Critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. These skills help students thrive in their working lives. These 4Cs help students have opportunities in advance to develop basic skills or foundation knowledge. They also ensure that students have proper academic, social-emotional, and workforce skills to be successful.   The key elements of 21st-century learning help students prepare for their future jobs independently. She, therefore, emphasized that lessons should be designed according to the 21st-century theme.   Ms. Khatoon concluded that students need the ability to think critically and creatively, collaborate with others and communicate clearly.   The webinar was a great success with active participation from students and faculty members of the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs. Date: 2-25-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
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

Foundation Knowledge for Teaching Listening and Speaking Effectively

  Dr. Sara Sevinj Huseynova conducted a workshop titled Foundation Knowledge for Teaching Listening and Speaking Effectively at a webinar organized by the Language Research Center on February 03, 2021. She emphasized what a teacher needs to know to teach the skills mentioned above properly.   Dr. Huseynova first introduced that the core principles of teaching these two skills are generally the same even though one is receptive and the other is productive. The principles, Dr. Huseynova said, are communicative teaching, interactive/task-based learning, learner-centered instruction, and group/blended learning. According to sociolinguists, communication takes place visually, vocally, and verbally. In the "Communicative Approach", she added, students should be engaged in interactive learning, which also involves authentic language input in real-world contexts.   Dr. Huseynova also emphasized the textbook's appropriateness, which means that the material used should include various gender-appropriate topics and interactive activities that make students talk and respond. Moreover, teachers need to prepare lesson plans based on the textbook; however, the lesson's general instructional line should involve the ideas of communicative approach in action.   Dr. Huseynova recommends that the teachers help students have proper exposure to genuine English usage. The teachers should apply both controlled and non-controlled techniques along with efficient use of technology in class. Sara mentioned real-life characteristics and difficulties of listening and speaking processes, making oral communication challenging to teach. Overall, the lessons should be fully learner-centered with less lecturing or reduced "Teacher Talk Time" with the instructor being a role model and art director.   While explaining the interactive teacher roles, Dr. Huseynova focused on unlocking the knowledge of the students before letting the students practice listening, which activates their schematic knowledge. Pre-listening encourages discussion around the theme of the unit with inspiration from interesting questions and striking visuals. Pre-listening may include pronunciation practice as well, which may help improve the overall listening comprehension.   Dr. Huseynova also explained the basic principles of a task-based approach to listening, modern teaching strategies for listening, creative teacher roles, how to encourage students to listen and talk, assessment methods, and the necessity to provide the appropriate feedback.   Dr. Huseynova mentioned the appropriateness of using the "Flipped Classroom" model for teaching listening and speaking, especially during online education. With the "Flipped Classroom" model, learning is flipped, and the students can finish the lower level of cognitive work before the lesson starts, and the teacher continues with applying the knowledge and practicing listening and speaking skills in class.   Dr. Huseynova concluded that it is very important to create an effective rapport with the students and share the appropriate knowledge. A teacher should praise the students in a balanced way with mild criticism while giving corrective feedback, which shows the teacher's genuine interest. Feedback must be given tactfully so that the students are not embarrassed or anxious, not to lose interest in learning.   The webinar was informative and a great success with both male and female faculty members' active participation. Date: 2-5-2021 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

From Normal to New Normal: Rethinking Methodologies

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

Spring 2021 Orientation Day

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