KHOBAR CHAPTER COUNCIL
Member at Large:
English Pragmatics in the Saudi Context – Khobar Meeting March 2018
Assistant Professor at King Faisal University
and Mr. Sayyid AlGhamdi Khobar Representative for KSAALT
Khobar Chapter Mini-Conference – January 27th 2018
Workshop Given by Mike Mayor
Vocabulary Workshop Given by Peter Jakes Khobar Chapter Rep – May 2017
Does This Represent Arab Women’s Roles in the 21st Century?
Gendered-Images Representation in Middle Eastern Edition EFL Textbooks
Ms. Amjjad Sulaimani
English Language Institute, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah Friday, April 1st 2016
Rowad Al Khaleej International School, Dammam
Amjjad Sulaimani has been a Teaching Assistant at the English Language Institute (ELI) of King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah since 2009 where she leads a variety of activities and is a trainer and program designer. After completing a BA in English Language in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of King Abdul Aziz University in 2008, in 2015 she graduated with an MA TESOL from the ELI of the same university. In 2014 she served as a member of the Saudi Alliance for Development of Education & Training SAFEA, Course design, “Introduction to Content and Language Integrated Learning” CLIL. She is a member of the Jeddah Chapter of KSAALT TESOL.
Khobar Chapter Open House 23 October 2015
About 60 people attended the Khobar Chapter’s Open House at the Rowad Al-Khaleej International School in Dammam on October 23, 2015 to hear a presentation by Dr. Izdehar Al-Hariri on “Motivating Students to Improve Different Skills in English”. Some of the attendees were past students and present colleagues of Dr. Izdehar’s from the University of Dammam. Nine of the sixty came at the urging of KSAALT volunteer Mr. Junneil Cuizon. He and his friends work for the Al Ezdihar Language Institute in the Qatif area. It was their first time going to a KSAALT meeting and they said they will be back. We were happy to welcome them and all our other new members and guests that day.
Dr. Izdehar, a past Vice President of KSAALT, holds a doctorate from the University of Portland and is an assistant professor in the English Department of the College of Arts at the University of Dammam. She has published Improve Your English Books I and II as well as The Basics of Islam in English. Currently she is working on a translation from Arabic to English of a work about being dutiful to parents. She is one of the founders and currently president of the Saudi Reading Society and an inspirational and much-loved pillar of the teaching community in the Eastern Province and beyond.
She began her discussion of the sources of motivation for students with a review of the research. While gender is not a factor in differences in motivation, it is important for a student to like the teacher and the teaching methods used. She reminded attendees that they must motivate the unmotivated student by helping the student to understand their own needs and goals. She provided a checklist of areas that careful teachers can improve student motivation, from their arrangement of the classroom, to their choice of themes, to the way a teacher can best speak and work with students to appealing to different learning styles. She also reminded us to make sure they do lots of pair and group work. Equally important is for a teacher to take a genuine personal interest in the students, show empathy for their needs and earn their trust.
Providing students with relevant materials was another ongoing theme of her talk and audience input, whether it was asking female students to write or speak about weddings or giving them examples of test and exam questions rather than telling them to “study everything”. An audience member recommended asking students to bring small objects from home to serve as subjects for descriptive writing. After Dr. Izdehar’s mention of the importance of games and competition, another teacher suggested playing basketball with students to get them speaking English while doing something they enjoy, while another teacher reminded us that even the weakest students will get engaged in games and learn.
Dr. Izdehar has a marvelous down to earth approach to teaching. She reminded the audience to allow the students to laugh at the teacher’s mistakes, thus teaching them the valuable lesson that making a mistake is fine as long as you learn from it. She urged teachers to be flexible, but at the same time to continue to have high expectations: it is important to remind them, she said, that it is not enough to be good now, they must also be good in the future.
Another sign of her mix of the new and the tested and true methods, when a teacher regretted that even some of the most marvelous-sounding techniques don’t get students to do their homework, without missing a beat the speaker replied “Give them a zero,” to much laughter. Through this and many other exchanges, the delightful professor kept the audience smiling and laughing. Thus she gave us the best lesson in the impact of fun on effective learning.
Dr. Izdehar demonstrated her own flexibility when the subject of using songs came up. One teacher protested that in Saudi Arabia teachers cannot use songs, another said they simply didn’t have any. Dr. Izdehar had a ready reply, “Use chants!” and she gave an impromptu demonstration of one of her own which was so fast and fun that the following notes may only be an approximation of the original:
One two / One two / Where am I ?/ Where are you?
Three four / Three four / Sit by me / Sit on the floor …
Seven eight / Seven eight / I am early , you are late
Nine ten / Nine ten / Put your pencil near my pen
With such a fun and funny teacher, what student wouldn’t want to show up for class on time and participate? With the generous distribution of some teaching materials to go along with her research and experience-based wisdom, the meeting finished with much laughter.