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Dr. Abdulkhaleq Al-Qahtani Shares Sabbatical Leave Research Experience

  Dr. Abdulkhaleq Al-Qahtani, associate professor of the Department of English at the Faculty of Languages and Translation, presented a paper titled "Reading comprehension and strategies of Saudi Arabian learners in two learning contexts: EFL vs. ESL" at a webinar hosted by Department of English Chair, Dr. Munassir Alhamami, on April 8, 2021. As a visiting professor for the University of Southern Indiana on sabbatical leave from King Khalid University, Dr. Al-Qahtani obtained data from five different universities across the Midwestern United States, a region that contains the largest population of Saudi students.   In this talk, Dr. Al-Qahtani presented evidence of a significant difference between EFL and ESL students in the strategies they use. ESL students were found to favor Global Reading Strategies (GLOB), which can be explained as universal techniques that we all use when reading. Dr. Al-Qahtani noted that he used the Survey of Reading Strategies (SORS) instrument developed by Kouider Mokhtari and Ravi Sheorey in 2002. SORS measures three categories of reading strategies, namely global reading strategies, problem solving strategies, and support strategies. At the macro level, Dr. Al-Qahtani highlighted that the findings of the 141 participants in his study indicate a predominant use of problem solving strategies, followed by global strategies, and support strategies.   "Saudi Arabia is traditionally an EFL context. Students usually have friends around the globe and use English as their preferred language of communication. English is no longer limited to the classroom," he said. Dr. Al-Qahtani then went on to mention that although the USA was traditionally a pure ESL context, that is no longer the case for many Saudi students, who through technology, communicate with friends and family in Saudi Arabia as if they were face to face. This observation, he noted, supports the notion that the ESL learning environment does not always lead to better acquisition of the target language in comparison to the EFL context.   Dr. Al-Qahtani informed the audience that his paper is accepted for publication in the near future, and he looks forward to collegial dialogue on the implications of his study and the potential for further research. Date: 4/12/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation
English

FLT Delivers Test Preparation for IELTS to Ministry of Education Teachers

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

Course Design: The Backwards Model

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

Alumni Unit Delivers Professional Job Skills Webinar

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

Areas and Themes in Translation Studies: A Lantern Shone into the Dark Maze of Tunnels, Excavated by Translation Students and Researchers

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

Faculty Members Receive Plaques of Appreciation for Teacher Training Webinars

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

Lexical Borrowing: French Loan Words into English

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

FLT Faculty Member Leads Virtual Workshop for Quality Matters

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

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