JEDDAH: The English Language Institute’s (ELI) sixth annual training day for teachers has been held at the King Abdulaziz University (KAU).
The recent event celebrated the achievements of English teachers, professors and researchers in the field of education. It also provided a platform for them to showcase the best practices, with an emphasis on foreign language teaching.
Organized by Salwa Ali, the university’s ELI branch’s head of the cooperative and practical training section, the event saw a number of high profile speakers share their ideas in this complex field.
These included speeches from the head of the professional development unit, Reem Maghrabi, as well as the Vice Dean Nouf Al-Khattabi, and Hanaa Al-Nuaim, dean of KAU Women’s Campuses.
But perhaps the highlight of the speakers was the youngest teacher trainer in the Gulf, 13-year-old Majd Asiri, who demonstrated her training skills and fluency in the English language — proving a big hit with the audience.
Speaking via a teleconference, Abdullah Al-Bargi, vice dean for development at the ELI, thanked members of the faculty. He also spoke of the need for continuing with research-backed professional development.
Meanwhile, adult education consultant at UBT Academy, Samar Mohammed Shoaib, set people’s imaginations flowing as he raised the question of whether there were similarities, globally, in how English was taught as a second language.
Other presentations and workshops included “reducing teacher talk in the classroom,” by Alaa Abdul Aziz Al-Zahrany, and “how to become a better public speaker,” presented by Sara Tabassum Ansari.
Elsewhere Hussam Rajab and Naila Masud, in their presentations on content and language integrated learning, reflected on new educational technology. While Asmaa El-Sayed spoke on using animated videos to enhance speaking skills.
There was also presentations on the analysis of language, including the field known as corpus linguistics, that sees language broken down to provide data on areas such as word usage.
Bushra Latif expanded on research-based language teaching methods, while Nada Al-Qahtani shared her vision on keeping up with the 21st century learner.
This year’s event set a precedent for the future, with a poster presentation, held by ELI branches affairs. There members of faculty could meet presenters and hear their views on the various topics up for discussion. These included the use of debate, to improve speaking skills.
There were also discussions on the use of modern technologies and social media events, such as TEDx and using Snapchat to develop vocabulary.
The aim of the ELI is to constantly exploring new avenues as it strives to gain recognition from renowned international accrediting bodies. A spokesman said: “Obtaining the CEA accreditation has been a major achievement for the ELI… The ELI is currently in pursuit of achieving national accreditation from the Commission for Academic Accreditation (NCAAA), its next goal.”