Saudis propose specialized clubs to make English teaching easier and interesting

Saudis propose specialized clubs to make English teaching easier and interesting
Updated 28 January 2014

Saudis propose specialized clubs to make English teaching easier and interesting

Saudis propose specialized clubs to make English teaching easier and interesting

Many Saudis are not happy with English-language teaching centers inside the Kingdom and have proposed specialized clubs to make learning easier and more interesting.
Some people prefer centers in Western countries to those in the Kingdom because the former gives them a chance to mix with English-speaking people.
“We should have specialized clubs to make English learning easier and effective,” said Abdul Mohsen Al-Talhi, a Saudi employee. “These clubs should have different activities including sports, picnics, and show movies and television programs, where students can interact often with their colleagues and instructors,” he told Arab News.
He said such clubs would help students speak freely without fear and learn new things every day. “This is much better than what is presently offered at our language centers,” he said. “These clubs must arrange visits to markets and institutions such as universities, English-language newspapers and international schools. They should give lessons for an hour inside classrooms and organize two-hour programs outside. This will give students more opportunities to interact with people.”
Al-Talhi said many Saudis prefer to attend courses in the US, UK and Canada because they get more opportunities to talk in English. “They don’t get such an atmosphere in Saudi Arabia.” He said instructors in these clubs should also allow students to watch CNN and BBC to learn new words and their pronunciation.
“Students should be encouraged to speak about any topic of their interest. At present they just listen to instructors,” Al-Talhi said. Students can also make use of modern communication and social media to learn the language, he said.
Khaled Aburas, a Saudi journalist who has attended classes at different language institutes, said: “The standard of the centers in the Kingdom is very poor compared to their counterparts abroad.” Language centers in the Kingdom follow the traditional teaching style without giving students the chance to practice what they have learned, he said.
He also urged language centers to conduct visits to shopping centers and museums to help students learn new words and their usage. “They should take students to open areas from their closed classrooms. It will have a big impact.”
Aburas also agreed that language courses offered in Western countries were more useful than those inside the Kingdom. “When we go to foreign countries we interact with people and learn many things on the street.” He also urged Saudi language centers to organize foreign trips.
Sabitha Rahim, an English instructor at King Abdulaziz University, welcomed the idea of language clubs. “Language is a skill that cannot be learnt through theory alone. These clubs will definitely enhance a student’s language skills with more practice and by engaging in various interesting activities,” she told Arab News.
However, Rahim emphasized the importance of internationally recognized English-language centers and institutes that provide studies based on an international curriculum with specified and structured learning outcomes. She advised students to read English newspapers, watch English TV programs and speak in English to improve their proficiency.