Standard 3

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

Using Pools and Random Blocks to Increase Test Security

  On September 21, 2020, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, delivered a webinar titled "Using Bb Random Block for Online Midterm Exam/Quizzes". The webinar, supervised by Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Yahya Asiri, was developed to provide faculty members with tools they can use to reduce academic misconduct in their online exams and quizzes, leading to an effective mechanism used to verify that the work and assignments of students are of their own.   As the overall participation of teaching staff in the assessment and development activities of the Bachelor of Arts in English Program (BAEP) is paramount, Mr. Khan welcomed the participants and thanked them for attending, noting that a recording of the session will be available in the near future. Mr. Khan then introduced the attendees to the concepts of creating Pools and Random Blocks. He then explained that Pools are a collection of questions that function as a sort of test bank. He mentioned that we have the ability to edit or delete each question in a Pool and change the default point values for each assigned question. It is important to remember, he noted, that when instructors select Pool questions for a test, any changes made in the Pool will take effect anywhere the question appears.   Mr. Khan then moved on to Random Blocks, defining them as assessments created from Pools at random so each student’s exam is unique. He then made an important point about Random blocks in that they can be created from one or more Pools of questions. He showed why it is essential that each Pool have a variety of questions with no similarity. It is critical, he explained, that instructors edit the number of questions to display within each Random Block while monitoring the assigned points per question and variety of questions pulled from the Pool.   The Bachelor of Arts in English Program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to developing and improving the professional skills and capabilities of faculty members in line with modern developments. To view the recording of this session, please (click here). Date: 9/21/2020 Source: FLT Web Team
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

Fall 2020 Freshmen Orientation

  On 3 September 2020, 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 not only the curriculum but also 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 towards success. Dean Al-Melhi then imparted important instructions about the English program and useful tips for academic success.   English Department Chair, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, echoed Dean Al-Melhi's advice and familiarized students with university rules and regulations. Academic Advisor, Dr. Dawood Mahdi, then informed students about the university facilities and resources.   At the end of the event, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Raza Khan, delivered an interactive Blackboard training session using iPads. He highlighted the key areas students need to be aware of and noted strategies for success in the online learning environment. Date: 9/6/2020 Source: FLT Web
English

FLT Announces New PhD Program in Applied Linguistics

  Under the supervision of Dean Abdullah Al-Melhi, the Faculty of Languages and Translation has received approval to launch its first doctor of philosophy (PhD) program, beginning fall 2020.   The degree will be in applied linguistics and under English Department supervision. The approval comes from the Ministry of Education in line with the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA) standards in time for fall enrollment to begin.   "We have many gifted language teachers and researchers in the region who could, through the Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Linguistics program, enhance their qualifications and skills, making it possible for them to contribute to the solution of practical language problems that occur in educational and professional institutions locally and regionally," said Vice Dean for Higher Studies and Scientific Research, Dr. Munassir Alhamami.   The decision to expand the FLT's graduate programs is best characterized as a team effort with many colleagues over the years participating. While we cannot individually recount each person for their contributions, we are deeply appreciative to all who generously donated their time and effort.   The primary target audience for the PhD in Applied Linguistics includes new professionals who have recently graduated from a master's program in applied linguistics, licensed Ministry of Education English teachers who hold a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics or a related field, and highly qualified international students with native-like fluency in both Arabic and English.   For more information about the new program, please contact Graduate Programs Coordinator, Dr. Ismail Alrefaai, at ikalrefaai@kku.edu.sa or visit https://flt.kku.edu.sa/en/content/2288. Apply by visiting the Deanship of Admissions and Registration's website at https://registration.kku.edu.sa/kku/ui/guest/application_online/index/typeHighApplicationOnlineIndex.faces. Date: 5/15/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages & Translation
English

Helping Students Get Ahead: English Club Delivers Online Webinar

  On May 4, 2020, the Guidance and Counselling Unit, in cooperation with the English Club, organized an online webinar titled 'Staying Home & Time Management' delivered by Dr. Karem Abdelatif Ahmed. The purpose of the webinar, which was attended by nearly 50 participants, was to show students that time management during these trying times is about taking control of the time available and optimizing it for productivity, keeping in mind life balance and well-being.   Guidance and Counselling Unit Head, Dr. Dawood Mahdi, and English Club Director, Khalid Al-Qasemi, jointly supervised the event and thanked the students for their attendance, noting that they are conscious of the challenges students face during this crisis.   Dr. Karem Ahmed began his program by stating, "The aim of good time management is to achieve lifestyle balance." He noted that spending more time on something doesn't necessarily achieve more. Focusing on results in the most simplest and productive way creates value in that managing time effectively is not about working harder. Dr. Karem Ahmed then provided 10 tips for time management and stated his strategy: "Remember that successful time management today can result in greater personal happiness, greater accomplishments at home and at work, increased productivity, and a more satisfying future." In short, Dr. Karem Ahmed admonished the students to achieve their education and personal goals through effective time management.   Near the conclusion of the webinar, students were introduced to 'Real Life Stories'. Dr. Karem Ahmed narrated a series of stories designed to instill life lessons in our students to help them reach their potential. During this time, participants were allowed to chime in with some stories of their own. Academic Development & Quality Unit Head, Dr. Hasan Jaashan, commented that students are to make use of this time, citing examples from history of philosophers who engaged in groundbreaking discoveries while the world was in quarantine. Agreeing with Dr. Jaashan, Dr. Mahmoud Radwan spoke about how Daniel Defoe's master of social distancing, Robinson Crusoe, speaks across the centuries, especially now as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. On the island, Crusoe sees the beauty of the simple things in life and discovers new and unexpected sources of fulfillment. Those fulfillments, explained Dr. Karem Ahmed, can be realized by being closer to Allah.   The Bachelor of Arts in English Program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to providing world-class language education and empowering the students with the tools to succeed in challenging academic programs. Date: 5/7/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Keep Teaching: FLT E-Learning Supervisor Delivers University-Wide Webinar on Blackboard

  On March 10, 2020, E-Learning Unit Supervisor, Mohsin Khan, delivered a university-wide workshop titled 'Transformation to Full E-Learning'. The workshop, under the supervision of the Deanship of E-Learning's Training Manager, Mohammed Jarallah, was developed to ensure faculty members, whether they are seasoned experts or first-time users, understand the essentials of posting documents, assignments, quizzes, tests, videos, and discussion boards. Perhaps the most important part of the webinar, which was attended by nearly 200 faculty members, was the in-depth review of the specific features and functionality of Blackboard Collaborate and Blackboard Ultra.   With the evolving public health situation presented by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), proper precautions were put in place for our teachers at King Khalid University to increase their online teaching presence. "A huge part of your success will be leveraging the technology we have made available to you. Blackboard Collaborate is a synchronous video conferencing tool that you can add files to and share your screen. I recommend that you use the virtual whiteboard to interact," said Mr. Khan. He also looked at both the 'Collaborate: Ultra Experience' and the 'Collaborate: Original Experience'. The main difference between the options – which are both offered – is that 'Ultra' is an entirely web-based interface while 'Original' requires that Java be installed.   As course content, course design, and instructor readiness are essential to implementing the best practices of online pedagogy, Mr. Khan also introduced participants to the eight standards of Quality Matters, which will ensure faculty members achieve the university's goals for delivering quality online learning. This set the foundation for the suggested online classroom model, which places focus on not just the platform, but also interactivity.   Of noteworthy mention, an adapted version of this webinar was delivered to teachers of the English Language Center on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Commenting on future webinars, English Department Chairman, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, said, "We plan to hold a similar webinar this Monday. You will learn best practices, available tools, and where to find support for teaching your classes online. I will be a part of that webinar and highly encourage you to attend."   The Bachelor of Arts in English program at the Faculty of Languages and Translation is committed to providing a supportive organizational climate and academic environment to ensure that teaching and learning strategies are student-centered. Ensuring our students are provided with an active learning environment remains a high priority through continual teaching staff participation in professional and academic development programs. Date: 3/12/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Usefulness and Learnability in Teaching Vocabulary to ESL/EFL Students

  With the commitment to advancing the practice of quality teaching, the Women's Academic Development and Quality Committee organized the "Usefulness and Learnability in Teaching Vocabulary to ESL/EFL Students" workshop on Monday, 24 February 2020. The workshop was conducted by Ms. Shanjida Halim, Ms.Tanzina Halim and Dr. Rizwana Wahid. The workshop was tailored to new teachers, graduate students, and teachers of the Bachelor of Arts in English program who have not taught ENG 214 Vocabulary Building 1 or ENG 219 Vocabulary Building 2. The objectives of the workshop were as follows:   Importance of vocabulary as ''the building blocks of a language ''and some basic principles; Types of Vocabulary; Incidental vs. Intentional Acquisition/Learning of Vocabulary; What to teach while teaching vocabulary; Different/Various ways of presenting and Teaching Vocabulary; Selection of Vocabulary: Two Criteria: Usefulness and Learnability in teaching vocabulary; Tips/Suggestions on promoting long-term retention.   The workshop mainly focused on the selection of vocabulary, which is very important for teachers to have awareness of. The two criteria: 'Usefulness' and 'Learnability' in teaching vocabulary were discussed in detail. Apart from this, the trainers emphasized on active vocabulary of the target language, which every learner needs to have to be a fluent speaker and an effective writer. The workshop was concluded by recommending some useful strategies of teaching and learning vocabulary, and the presenters urged all practicing teachers of vocabulary to promote long-term retention of vocabulary in ESL/EFL students.   The workshop proved to be very informative. Dr. Salma Musleh, Dean's Assistant, Dr. Mona Al Shihry, Vice Dean, Dr. Nada Alqarni, Head of the Department, esteemed colleagues, and graduate students attended this workshop. Date: 3/11/2020 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

Scientific Research Requirements for Program Accreditation

  The Women's Scientific Research Committee organized a seminar on Monday, March 2, 2020, on Scientific Research Requirements for Program Accreditation. The seminar was presented by Dr. Eman Alzaanin, Supervisor of the Academic Development and Quality Unit, who highlighted the significant role of scientific research in the program accreditation.   Dr. Alzaanin started her presentation by defining program accreditation. "Program accreditation is an evaluation process whereby a program of study provides information on its activity and achievements to an external body (i.e., NCAAA in Saudi Arabia) that independently evaluates this information in order to issue a public judgment based on set standards for the value and quality of the program," said Dr. Alzaanin. She then reviewed NCAAA standards for program accreditation and program mission and objectives, which should guide all its operations.   Dr. Alzaanin asserted that the focus is on both faculty members' and students' research competencies. She further illustrated that program administration should be responsible for preparing and monitoring the scientific research plan, monitoring its commitment to implement its role in the research plan of the institution through specific performance indicators, and activating the values of scientific integrity, intellectual property rights, rules of ethical practices, and proper conduct in all academic, research, administrative, and service fields and activities.   She concluded that teaching staff should regularly participate in academic activities (e.g., participation in conferences and group discussions, research projects, arbitration of theses, and research). They should also participate effectively in research activities and scientific production, and their participation in these activities is considered as one of the criteria for their evaluation and promotion. The seminar was attended by Bachelor of Arts in English program staff members and included several valuable contributions from the audience that enriched the discussion. Date: 3/7/2020 Source: Dr. Amal Metwally – Women's Scientific Research Committee Coordinator
English