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

Updated 17 May 2018

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. 

First Saudi woman presents main news bulletin on Saudia TV

Updated 22 min 15 sec ago

First Saudi woman presents main news bulletin on Saudia TV

JEDDAH: Weam Al-Dakheel has become the first woman to anchor the main evening news bulletin on Saudi Arabia’s main national TV station.
Al-Dakheel presented the news alongside Omar Al-Nashwan on Thursday on Saudia TV channel.
Saudis took to Twitter to celebrate her achievement and the new milestone for Saudi women.
Writer Rayan Al-Jidani said: “Her performance was distinctive in terms of concentration, presence and clear articulation. I wish her more success in her career in media with the national channel @saudiatv.”
Television broadcaster Wael Rafeeq said: “Today, we are very pleased with this great development and quantum leap that the national television is undergoing.”
“It is beautiful to see our national channel in this honorable image. I hope this level of dedication at work is maintained, and developments continue being executed,” Twitter user @abukhaled2030 said.
@aliya_m1khan tweeted: “She is a champion. Such a strong and confident character, a great example.”

Al-Dakheel previously worked for CNBC Arabia and was an intern at Dar Al Hayat Newspaper.
Women have presented the news on other Saudi channels like Al-Ekhbariya for several years.
Their increasing profile in Saudi Arabia’s media comes amid the sweeping social reforms brought in by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including the lifting of the ban on women drivers.