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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

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 5

  On February 24, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the fifth session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni. This session was designed to explore reporting qualitative results of scientific research papers.   Dr. Nada Alqarni started the session by highlighting the purpose of qualitative reports. "It is designed to provide a rich and vivid description so that the reader can vicariously experience what it is like to be in the same situation as the research participants", said Dr. Alqarni. She also referred to the characteristics of qualitative reports. She indicated that these are such reports that have more freedom, diversity, and disagreement. There are no fixed formats to follow in writing such reports.   In addition, Dr. Alqarni described the structure of a qualitative report. Good qualitative reports display a smoothly flowing, natural rhythm of text and quotes. They provide some contextual information to the quotations concerning the social situation and the communicative context. This kind of report deals with data that are not easily reduced to numbers. "Data that are related to concepts, opinions, values and behaviors of people in social contexts", she illustrated. These could be transcripts of individual interviews and focus groups, field notes from observation of certain activities, copies of documents, or audio/video recordings. She further defined qualitative analysis as the range of processes and procedures whereby we move from qualitative data that have been collected into some form of explanation, understanding or interpretation of the people and situation being investigated. It is usually based on an interpretive philosophy. The idea is to examine the meaningful and symbolic content of qualitative data.   The approaches in the analysis are both deductive and inductive. The "deductive approach" is used when time and resources are limited. It is generally used when qualitative research is a smaller component of a larger quantitative study. On the other hand, the "inductive approach" is used when qualitative research is a major design of the inquiry. It is implemented using an emergent framework to group the data and then look for relationships.   Dr. Alqarni identified the steps for writing the report, the tools for helping the analytical process, and the variation in the format and language use.   The webinar, which was organized primarily for MA & Ph.D. students, witnessed resounding success and was attended by staff members and postgraduate students from different faculties of the university. It is worthwhile to mention that attendees who will attend at least five of the seven webinars on academic writing will get a certificate of attendance after the end of sessions. Date: 2/28/2021 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally - Head of Scientific Research Committee
English

تهنئة

تبارك كلية اللغات والترجمة عودة المبتعث سعادة الدكتور عيسى أحمد عسيري بعد حصوله على درجة الدكتوراه في تخصص الترجمة من جامعة مكواري بدولة أستراليا ‏تمنياتنا لسعادته بالتوفيق والعون لخدمة الوطن الغالي
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 4

  On February 22, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the fourth session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   The session, titled "Reporting Quantitative Results", started with a discussion on how to structure the results in a research paper. It stated the ways of reporting the two results – the quantitative and the qualitative. In this session, the focus was on quantitative results. An explanation was given on statistical concepts and analysis.   The next section described an acceptable results section and an unacceptable results section, showing that an acceptable results section should always tell a story, whereas an unacceptable results section gives a long and tedious analysis.   Dr. Alqarni also focused on how the results should be presented and interpreted. It was mentioned that an appropriate statistical program should be used. In this case, the software SPSS was introduced. The analysis should be completed using descriptive statistics, mean, median, standard deviation, frequencies, and proportions for the variables.   The next step discussed how the results should be presented. It was suggested to make use of sub-sections and sub-headings to organize the results for the readers. Then it was mentioned that there are various charts, graphs, and tables that can be used to support the results, but tables and graphs should be presented only when necessary.   Dr. Alqarni also focused on the common purposes of data along with comparing and evaluating different sets of data. Towards the end of the session, she also focused on what kind of language should be used for reporting results.   The session was attended by students and faculty members from the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate programs of the Faculty of Languages and Translation. Date: 2/24/2021 Source: Ms. Tanzina Halim - Member of the Scientific Research Committee
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 3

  On February 17, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the third session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   This webinar was devoted to exploring how researchers should write the methodology section in their research papers. The purpose of the methods section, said Dr. Alqarni, is to accurately and clearly describe the research design and the procedures undertaken to collect and analyze data and present the rationale for choosing each for the study. In addition, the methods section should explain in detail how a study was conducted so other researchers may be able to assess the merit of the research and even replicate the study themselves. This section should also highlight the unique features of a given study and show the reader that the research has been carried out appropriately and, therefore, the results can be believed.   Dr. Alqarni indicated that the methodology section has certain features. It explicitly describes the exact procedures and rationale when developing data-set, results, and conclusions in an empirical research study. It does not include much background knowledge; however, it should contain justifications, explanations, and examples.   "There are four key elements included in the methodology. These are research design, population sample and selection of participants, data collection procedures, and statistical treatment/planned data analysis or analytic procedures", said Dr. Alqarni. Dr. Alqarni explained the basic methodological concepts: the variables, reliability, validity, and bias and error. She also reviewed the study design, including a description of the study setting and population of interest as well as a description of the study's sample or units of evaluation.   Dr. Alqarni explained the data collection methods, including qualitative research, interviews, and observational studies. She then reviewed some examples clarifying the methods of data collection and the language tense and grammatical structures commonly used.   The webinar, tailored to MA & Ph.D. students, was also attended by staff members who all enriched the discussion. The participants were engaged in the discussion, and the webinar witnessed chat interaction.  Date: 2/21/2021 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally – Head of Scientific Research Committee
English

Academic Writing Webinar: Session 2

  On February 15, 2021, the Women's Scientific Research Committee of the Bachelor of Arts in English program organized the second session of webinars on academic writing by Dr. Nada Alqarni.   Dr. Alqarni started her speech by referring to a common mistake that the authors should steer clear of, which is to sprinkle references liberally around with insufficient thought as to how they fit into the theory and the theme. She explained that a good start would be to place the topic into a historical perspective and identify key landmark studies. Additionally, the authors could establish a context for their own interest and research and distinguish what has been done in order to identify a space for their work. Dr. Alqarni asserted that the literature review should indicate the core concepts, the variables, and the findings of the research paper. She then reviewed the steps researchers should follow in writing the review of the literature. First, they should find the information and studies that are relevant to their topic. Second, they should summarize these studies (organize and evaluate them), indicating who found out what, when, and how this developed the study of the topic. Finally, the researchers should finish with a conclusion, explaining the gaps in knowledge that they have identified and how their research will fill these gaps left by previous research.   Dr. Alqarni highlighted the significance of the works cited in a research paper. Researchers, she said, should apply a mental test every time a work is referred to or a quotation is included. This mental test consists of asking the questions if this reference adds to the development of the theory. How does it follow the thread of the research paper? And how does it relate to the research questions? Then the research should indicate the gap in the knowledge to be filled. Dr. Alqarni discusses the rules of citation tense. She illustrated that a move from past to present perfect and then to present indicates that the researchers reported are increasingly close to the writer in some way. She then reviewed the methods of giving a general panorama of past-to-present literature, reporting what specific authors have said, and highlighting the limitations of previous studies. Dr. Alqarni provided many valuable examples that clarified all the steps for writing the literature review effectively.   The webinar, which was very informative and highly interactive, was attended by MA & Ph.D. students and staff members who all indicated the significance of the webinar content. Date: 2/21/2021 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally – Head of Scientific Research Committee
English

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

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