Experts gather in Jeddah to discuss key role of English language teaching

Updated 17 May 2018
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Experts gather in Jeddah to discuss key role of English language teaching

JEDDAH: More than 900 educators attended a two-day conference dedicated to the latest ideas and developments in the teaching of English.

King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) President Abdulrahman Al-Youbi opened the English Language Institute (ELI) symposium, titled “New Perspectives in English Language Teaching” (ELT), at the King Faisal Convention Center in Jeddah.

Al-Youbi emphasized that the developmental theme of the symposium places ELI’s teaching and methodological procedures on the threshold of the latest theories of teaching in general and ELT in particular, which will help contribute to the achievement of the goals of the institute and the university, and in turn to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. AN Jeddah

Al-Youbi then received from ELI Dean Abdullah Al-Bargi a certificate granted to the institute this year by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) for 10-year full accreditation. The CEA had in 2013 granted ELI five-year academic accreditation.

Al-Bargi pointed out that the symposium aimed to help develop English-language learning through the exchange of international and local expertise, skills and knowledge to cope with fast-paced global changes, to achieve ambitions, and to bridge any gaps in research and knowledge.

“These major changes necessarily require continuous and sustainable development for the foundations and practices of ELT and learning,” Al-Bargi added.

The symposium featured 32 sessions, eight of which were main events led by invited speakers. In addition, there were 16 concurrent sessions and eight workshops. 

The event concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Al-Bargi, who said it was incumbent on everyone present to play their part in supporting the aims and achievement of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which he described as being “very ambitious, yet achievable.”

The panel agreed that English-language proficiency in the workforce will be pivotal in achieving the aim of a thriving economy, and that many Saudi ELT programs were indifferent to local labor-market needs and should be aligned with their requirements to provide upward economic momentum.

They agreed that research and teaching practices need to be localized and rely more heavily on “blended learning” and the use of technology to increase the positive effects. More training for teachers and increased opportunities for continuing professional development were also considered important. 


Saudi hires ex-Canary Wharf executive for Red Sea tourism project

Updated 16 min 44 sec ago
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Saudi hires ex-Canary Wharf executive for Red Sea tourism project

  • Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project has been registered as a standalone company
  • The venture will be will be headed by John Pagano, former director of London’s Canary Wharf business zone

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project, a vast tourist development aimed at opening the economy, has been registered as a standalone company and will be headed by a former director of London’s Canary Wharf business zone, the country’s sovereign wealth fund said on Sunday.
In July, the Saudi government revealed plans to develop resorts on some 50 islands off the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast and said the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, will make initial investments and seek partnerships with international investors and hoteliers.
The Red Sea Project, part of an ambitious strategy to open the economy and ease social restrictions, will be built between the cities of Amlaj and Al-Wajh, will offer a nature reserve, heritage sites and diving in coral reefs. It will break ground in the third quarter of 2019 and complete its first phase in late 2022.
PIF has two other major initiatives: NEOM — a $500 billion business and industrial zone extending into Egypt and Jordan — and Qiddiya, a multi-billion dollar entertainment resort that will be 2-1/2 times the size of Disney World.
“The Ministry of Commerce and Investment has registered The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) as a closed joint-stock company wholly owned by PIF,” a statement emailed to Reuters said.
John Pagano, the former managing director for development, of the Canary Wharf Group in London, has been appointed as chief executive officer, it said.
The Red Sea Development Co. will create a special economic zone with its own regulatory framework, visas on entry, relaxed social norms, and improved business regulations, the statement said, adding this will enable it to develop and deliver a world-class international tourist destination.
The fund, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is believed to have assets totalling about $183 billion and is set to receive a cash injection next year after the share sale of state oil giant Saudi Aramco.
The crown prince has said more than half of the proceeds from that sale would be reinvested domestically to develop promising Saudi non-oil sectors.