JEDDAH: The president of King Abdul Aziz University (KAU), Abdulrahman Obaid Al-Youbi, announced the establishment of the Saudi Association for English Language Education at the Saudi International English Language Teaching (ELT) Conference & Expo on Wednesday.
Al-Youbi explained that the association — the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia — will be based at KAU and will offer training, events, research, school visits, and more for English language teachers in the Kingdom. It will also offer advice and suggestions to the Ministry of Education.
“The association has been established to act as a reference for more than 30,000 English educators around the Kingdom — whether in schools or universities,” Abdullah Al-Bargi, dean of the English Language Institute at KAU, told Arab News.
Nearly 2,000 English language teachers from the region gathered at the ELT conference, which addressed a wide range of topics under the theme “The Learner and the Context: Glocalization of ELT Practices,” including the management of educational institutions, teaching approaches, student psychology, technology, assessment and curricula, and the potential of the local ELT market. The accompanying expo included representation from Microsoft, Cambridge and Oxford universities, Target English, and many other institutions.
KAU’s English Language Institute also signed agreements with four public universities to improve English-language education in the Kingdom.
Al-Bargi said that local English language educators need help with their teaching methodology and training, and that the event will take place regularly in the future. “We noticed many cases of poor outcomes from the basic education system,” he said. “The curricula are fine, but the educators are the ones who need support.”
Asmaa Al-Sayed, who has been teaching English for more than 10 years, said: “My seminar is targeting educators and learners, and I am here to share with them applicable classroom strategies to help students learn effectively and successfully.
“I want to promote effective English language teaching strategies and highlight ways that students can (establish the) perfect mindset to learn a new language,” she told Arab News, adding that she was also focusing on “the importance of students’ awareness of their learning process, which plays a major role in the success of the learning experience.”