Language Research Center

Social Constructivist Approach: A Panacea for EFL Learners' Stress and Anxiety During the Pandemic

  Ms. Sufia Sultana and Ms. Richa Rastogi gave a presentation titled "Social Constructivist Approach: A Panacea for EFL Learners' Stress and Anxiety During the Pandemic" at a webinar arranged by the Language Research Center on October 14, 2020. The presentation was based on their research that explored learners' attitude towards online learning methods.   Sultana and Rastogi introduced the topic by mentioning how COVID-19 severely affected human life in general across the world and how it impacted educational institutions, resulting in a conspicuous shift from face-to-face to distance learning.   The primary objectives of their study, they said, were to explore students' attitudes towards online learning methods, identify teachers' capability for utilizing online platforms, highlight challenges involved in teaching, and recognize students' anxiety and stress levels as a crucial factor in deciding their academic performance and well-being.   Sultana and Rastogi highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on higher education. While reviewing the literature, they mentioned a research study conducted by the World Bank in response to the crisis. According to the study1, they said, "A failure to sustain effective tertiary systems can lead to perilous social upheavals, as youth fall outside the education system, unable to engage in active learning and uncertain about the future of their education and prospects." They also mentioned a study conducted at Arizona State University on how this crisis affected students of low-income groups.   The presenters further focused on the students' perspective during the pandemic. They substantiated the major reasons for stress and anxiety. The reasons, according to their research, are insufficient information about precautionary measures, fear of personal losses with respect to standard of living, lack of support network, claustrophobic confinement at home, and lack of motivation in self-isolation. Sultana and Rastogi's research also revealed that insufficient command of the target language, lack of exposure to electronic exams, and time-consuming schedules result in higher stress and anxiety levels.   They finally made some recommendations, such as increasing teacher training in implementing high-quality courses, creating a diverse learning environment for the students, orientation programs that train the students for self-directed learning, and developing critical thinking skills. They concluded that students' overall performance was very satisfactory despite the stress they experienced. They added students' readiness for self-directed learning and training curricula are the foundations of an integrated learning experience.   It was undoubtedly a very informative webinar as the presenters successfully pinpointed the major academic issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how to address them. The webinar was a great success with the active participation of both male and female faculty members of the Bachelor of Arts in English program. 1Citation "World Bank. 2020. The COVID-19 Crisis Response: Supporting Tertiary Education for Continuity, Adaptation, and Innovation. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/34571 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO." Date: 10/15/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

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

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

Virtual Teaching of English Courses: Ways to Make it Effective

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

Simultaneous Interpreting

  On February 19, 2020, there was a presentation titled 'Simultaneous Interpreting' by two Master of Arts in Translation program students named Wafa Al-Qahtani and Raneem Riadh at a seminar organized by the Language Research Center.   Wafa and Raneem first defined 'Interpreting', followed by a detailed explanation of three modes of interpretation. "Interpreting is the transfer of one spoken or signed language into another", said the presenters. They went on further to say that it was IMMEDIACY rather than ORALITY that set 'interpreting' apart from 'translation' because orality usually EXCLUDES 'signed language'.   Simultaneous Interpretation (SI), they said, is the one in which the interpreter listens and renders the entire message in the target language at the same time the speaker is talking. They also talked about some more interesting sub-types of interpretation, such as chuchotage, bidule, bimodal interpreting, and so on. They shed light on the fact that the goal for simultaneous interpreting is NOT to paraphrase but to convey the exact message uttered in the source language.   Wafa and Raneem then talked about how SI originated, and how it is the mode officially adopted at large global organizations like the UN, EU, etc. They stated the working environment for simultaneous interpreters. In a sound-proof booth with direct view onto the conference room, the interpreter listens to a speaker through earphones and simultaneously transmits the message in another language through a microphone to the listeners' room, they added.   Wafa and Raneem, while explaining its salient features, talked about how it saves time and ensures continuity with less distraction and more concentration. They brought to light the skills a simultaneous interpreter must possess, i.e., amazing language skills, specialized knowledge, and cultural competence.   Décalage, EVS (lag time) and Word Order, the main focus of attention of the seminar, were dealt with separately, saying defining the former as the period of time between the source text input and the interpreter's target text. One important issue is that the interpreter has to make a decision on the size of units or chunks he deems suitable to form a meaningful unit to start with, when to start, when to chunk, when to wait or stall and when to start again. In relation to word order as a critical issue in simultaneous interpreting, they said, "Awkward word order is ubiquitous. The Europeans' focus of interest has been on the difficulty of putting German, Russian, Chinese or Japanese into English or French. In these source languages, a verb or predicate which are traditionally seen as the heart of the sentence's meaning and usually come early in English, may be delayed until the end". They brought this issue to Arabic. Arabic deploying VSO order is considered very hard to be interpreted alongside English. Translating an English noun phrase with one noun preceded by 5 or more adjectives into Arabic must start with the noun first and then it lists the adjectives. This poses a challenge and the interpreter's memory is the yardstick on which SI success depends. The example is elucidated by a native, shady, ornamental, high, massive, mature, mighty tree.   The seminar was informative, interactive, and an overall success. The faculty members and the MA students at the Graigor campus also participated in the seminar. Concluding the seminar, Language Research Center Director, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, thanked the participants and encouraged all other MA students to participate and follow suit. Dr. Eyhab Bader Eddin, swelling with great pride, thanked them for their resourceful content, and for their stamina and courage to have taken to the stage. Date: 2/20/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Creating Future Leaders by Teachers as Core Professionals

  Ms. Sharmin Siddiqui and Ms. Sufia Sultana delivered a presentation titled Creating Future Leaders by Teachers as Core Professionals at a seminar organized by the Language Research Center on February 12, 2020. Their presentation emphasized the importance of building leadership among teachers and transferring leadership attributes to students of the Bachelor of Arts in English program.   The session began with a lead-in task in which the participants were asked to write names of their high school teachers. Ms. Siddiqui and Ms. Sultana focused on the fact that the teachers who had created a positive impression among their students were in general well remembered.   They pointed up leadership among teachers by quoting Richard Dufour who termed teaching profession as the creator of all other professions. They also quoted Wendell Willkie, J.F. Kennedy, Henry Adams and Alexander the Great while talking about the correlation between leadership and learning.   The main points Ms. Siddiqui and Ms. Sultana’s presentation covered were leadership qualities a teacher should possess, leadership styles, the demonstration of leadership in class, teaching leadership skills, and barriers to developing teacher leadership. They highlighted the combination of leadership qualities great teachers possess, and how they can train up the learners to achieve those leadership attributes that they can apply in their lives and profession.   The presentation was informative, interactive and a great success. It is worth mentioning that Graigor male campus also participated in the seminar through video conferencing.   Date: 2/15/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Translating Songs and Poems

  Dr. Adel Bahameed spoke on the subject of Translating Songs and Poems at a seminar organized by the Language Research Center for the Bachelor of Arts in English program on January 29, 2020. The presentation centered on the challenges involved in translating songs and poems.   The main objective of his research, Dr. Bahameed says, was to refresh translation studies with regard to the possibility of translating songs and poems.   Dr. Bahameed, based on his research, describes 'translating songs and poems' as a challenging task. "There has been a long controversy over whether songs and poems can be really translated or not", states Dr. Bahameed. He mentions a famous Arab singer Abu Bakr Salem and a famous Arab poet Hussein Al-Mihdar and how their works have been translated. While translating a song, he adds, the translator must pay attention to rhythm, rhyme, prosody, music and the culture. Some translators, while translating, only focus on forms, and some, on the other hand, give priority to content over form. He states that the translator should preferably be a poet so that he/she can appreciate the poetic text in hand.   Dr. Adel Bahameed concluded that Arabic poems are translatable, but the translation process is complicated. However, Arabic songs are untranslatable because of the extra dimension of music, which is beyond the translator's control.   The seminar was very interactive, engaging, and a great success. It is worth mentioning that King Abdullah Road Campus also attended the seminar. Date: 1/30/2020 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Interpretive Reading

  Dr. Ahlullah Siddiqui, Bachelor of Arts in English program, delivered a presentation titled Interpretive Reading at the seminar organized by the Language Research Center on November 27, 2019. The presentation was based on a research paper titled "Interpretive reading as a strategy to construct meaning in EFL Reading Comprehension: A case study at KKU EFL Classroom ", conducted by Dr. Ahmad Ismail Assiri and Dr. Ahlullah Siddiqui.   The presentation focused on how effective interpretive reading is in reading comprehension. Dr. Siddiqui highlighted some previous studies conducted by Alsamadini (2009), Al-Jarf (2007), Carrell (1989) and Cooper (1984). The studies, he stated, emphasized the positive correlation between language competence and being able to understand written texts, and how reading helps in vocabulary building.   Dr. Siddiqui related that interpretive reading is the effective communication of thoughts and or feelings of an author to the listener. He then stated the research objectives: to determine whether interpretive reading has a significant effect on students' reading comprehension; to investigate the efficacy of interpretive reading in employing various types of texts; to compare the effect of interpretive reading to that of silent reading and reading aloud respectively; and to suggest ways in which teacher can go about using interpretive reading in their teaching. He, while explaining the methodology, also compared the statistical data of the control group and the experimental group. Finally, he explained in detail the research outcomes. Two video clips were also played, which demonstrated two examples of interpretive reading.   The seminar was very interactive and a great success. It is worth mentioning that the King Abdullah Road Campus also attended the seminar. Date: 11/30/2019 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Linguistic Markers of Metaphor in the Ever-Glorious Qur'ān Towards a Computational Identification

  Dr. Amal Metwally delivered a presentation titled 'Linguistic Markers of Metaphor in the Ever-Glorious Qur'ān towards a Computational Identification' that was based on her Ph.D. thesis at a seminar organized by the Language Research Center on November 20, 2019.   Her study, she said, attempted to establish the appropriate criteria for the computational identification of metaphors, and propose computer software for identifying metaphor candidates in the Ever-Glorious Qur'ān. The study was based on Lakoff and Johnson's (1980) cognitive theory of metaphor, Goatly's (1997) research on metaphor in the Qur'ān, and computational studies of metaphor in general. It also focused on the early research by Arab rhetoricians and grammarians on metaphor.   Dr. Metwally's study explored linguistic markers of metaphorical candidates and identified linguistic markers of lexical items that were likely to be metaphorical. It also explored the use of such markers to create a computer application that could identify metaphors in the Ever-Glorious Qur'ān in the selected Sūrahs (Sūrat Hūd, Sūrat Yūsuf, and Sūrat Ar-Rā'd). She then explained in detail the corpus used, the methodology adopted in her study, and the overall structure of her research. Dr. Metwally then explained the cognitive theory of conceptual metaphor and computational linguistics.   Dr. Metwally's study concluded that it represented a novel direction for computational linguistics research on metaphor. Computer software for processing an entire corpus (selected Sūrahs from the Ever-Glorious Qur'ān) that could yield a list of potential metaphors would thus seem to be a welcome addition to the set of tools currently available to metaphor analysts.   The seminar was very interactive and a notable success. It is worth mentioning that Al-Samer Women’s College and the main campus for the Bachelor of Arts in English program also attended the seminar via teleconference.   Date: 11/21/2019 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Dyslexia as a Language Disorder

  Two MA students named Raneem Riadh and Amani Hadi delivered a presentation titled 'Dyslexia as a Language Disorder', at the seminar organized by the Language Research Center on November 13, 2019. Raneem and Amani's presentation covered dyslexia facts, its history, the causes, the symptoms, and its treatment.   They began their presentation with some other disabilities related to learning, such as dysgraphia and dyscalculia, showing a few samples of language work done by those afflicted with same. It was noted that 'dyslexia' comes from the Greek words 'dys', meaning difficulty, and 'lexia', meaning language. Dyslexia is generally defined as a specific learning disability in basic reading skills and spelling, which is neurobiological in origin. While talking about the facts, they added that this is a common reading disorder and therefore the most common cause of reading, spelling and writing difficulties.   They mentioned its discovery in 1877 by a German neurologist Adoff Kussmaul. They also mentioned some famously successful people (Piccaso, Whoopi Goldberg, Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg and Cher) who had suffered from dyslexia.   The seminar was informative, interactive, and an overall success. The faculty members and the MA students at the main campus also participated in the seminar. Date: 11/13/2019 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English

Rbrul Statistics

  Dr. Khairiya Abudadi conducted a workshop on Rbrul Statistics, at the seminar organized by the Language Research Center, FLT of King Khalid University, on October 30, 2019.   Rbrul Statistics, Abudadi said, is a user-friendly piece of software that allows us to calculate statistical data very easily. She first focused on the application’s installation. After that, she talked about various features of Rbrul Statistics and its application to teaching and assessment in different department courses. She also mentioned how useful the application had been during her Ph.D.   She concluded that Rbrul Statistics is a very useful piece of software that helps with data analysis and complicated statistical calculation. She recommended that we all try to use it for statistical analysis.   The workshop was informative and an overall success. Graigor campus also participated in the workshop. Date: 10/30/2019 Source: Mohammad Adil Siddique
English