Reima Al-Jarf's Blog – March 2009 Archive (49)

The Power of the English Language.

English is, undoubtedly, the global language. One of every four people in the world can communicate in English. English is the official language of 85% of world organizations. It is the language of political meetings, the language of international conferences, the language of technology, commerce, banking, tourism, most research papers, reference books, terminology, economics, and international business. It is the language of the most widely-circulated newspapers, T.V. programs, movies,… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 11:32am — No Comments

The Role of Higher Education Institutions in the Arabization Process

Findings of an exploratory study with a sample of students at the colleges of medicine, pharmacy, science, and computer science revealed that English is the language of classroom instruction and most textbooks used in most of the courses at those colleges. Students reported that they do not study the Arabic equivalents of English technical terms in their major area of study. It was noted that students have misconceptions about the Arabization processes. Most of them believe that borrowing and… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 11:29am — No Comments

Global Themes in Saudi history textbooks for Grades 4-12

The study tried to find out whether Saudi history books for grades 4-12 contain global themes; in which grade levels global themes are introduced; the percentage of global themes, local history themes and Islamic history themes; and which global history themes are taught. A checklist of global history themes was developed. Those are: global systems; historical periods; ancient civilizations; world empires; world religions; human immigration; major wars; colonization and liberal movements;… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 11:27am — 1 Comment

Combating Students' Difficulties with English Spelling

Although the language program at the College of Languages and Translation, King Saud University offers several English language courses: Listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary building, grammar a dictionary skills in the first four semesters, the spelling skill is completely ignored. Since many college students at COLT are poor spellers, I developed a spelling course that was integrated into the teaching of listening, reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary and dictionary skills… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 11:25am — No Comments

The Saudi National Reading Curriculum: Global Issues

This study aimed at finding out whether the National reading curriculum for grades 7-12 in Saudi Arabia contains global themes, in which grade level those global themes are introduced, the percentage of global themes in each grade level, and which global themes are emphasized more than the others. A checklist consisting of four main global themes was developed. Those are (1) global systems such as cultural, political, economic, ecological, technological, social, educational and healthcare… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 11:02am — No Comments

Using 3 Online Course Management Systems in EFL Instruction

Nicenet, WebCT and Moodle were used to teach grammar to freshman students at the College of Languages and Translation, King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. The subjects were divided into three groups and were randomly assigned to the three online courses. The same questions, discussion threads, grammar websites, daily grammar lesson, exercises and quizzes were posted in the three online courses. Daily observations of student reactions, questions and discussions as well as responses to… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 11:02am — No Comments

Connecting Students across Universities in Saudi Arabia

The author and her students at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were connected with a professor and his students at Umm Al-Qura University (UQU) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia shared an online grammar course using www.makkahelearning.net. The experiment proved to be a total failure. Factors contributing to students' inadequate participation in the online course, and hesitation to register and interact are discussed.



Prof. Reima Al-jarf

King Saud… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 11:01am — No Comments

Task-based Instruction for EFL Struggling College Writers

65 EFL freshman students were enrolled in a 4-hour writing course. Pretest results showed that the students could not put two words together. The posttest results showed a great improvement in writing ability. The students could write fluently and communicate easily. Spelling, punctuation and capitalization errors significantly decreased. Improvement was noted in essay length, neatness, mechanical correctness and style. Improvement was due to student factors and efficient task management… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:59am — No Comments

From Reticence to Fluency

52 EFL students were enrolled in a two-hour Speaking III course. At first, the students were shy, refused to talk, could not generate ideas and produce correct sentences. Three months later, students’ speaking ability significantly improved. They could speak fluently using correct grammar and pronunciation and could easily generate ideas. Improvement was due to efficient task-based instruction. Each week a variety of small speaking tasks were practiced individually, in pairs and in small… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:58am — No Comments

Issues in Designing English for Islamic Studies Courses

Undergraduate students majoring in Islamic Studies at the women’s colleges in Saudi arabia need to take an English-for-Specific-Purposes (ESP) course each year of the B.A. program. The material for all four courses was specially developed in-house by a group of instructors at those colleges. An examination of the course material in general and reading texts in particular revealed many weaknesses. It was found that each textbook consists of 6 units, each of which consisting of a reading text,… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:57am — No Comments

The Role of Grammar in Developing EFL Freshman Students' Writing Skills

EFL Freshman students at the College of Languages and Translation are required to take a writing course (4 hours per week) in addition to a grammar course (2 hours). The aim of the present study was to find out whether grammar instruction had an impact on the development of freshman students' writing ability. For this purpose, two groups of freshman students participated in the study. The experimental group received a combination of writing and grammar instruction, whereas the control group… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:56am — No Comments

Time Management for Teachers

The goal of this workshop is to introduce participants to strategies that maximize use of available time and assist them in alleviating time management problems. It will focus on time awareness, time wasters, getting the right things done, setting priorities, planning, handling interruptions, disorganization, dealing with procrastination, dealing with (or avoiding) crises, and controlling their life. After attending the workshop, participants should be able to do such things as: write a… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:55am — No Comments

Do ESL College Students' Comprehend News Headlines

The present study aimed at investigating ESL college students’ ability to comprehend news headlines, to identify the stylistic features of news headlines, to find out the features that are easy to identify, and those that are difficult to identify and to identify error causes. 68 ESL junior college students enrolled in a stylistics course took a test which consisted of a sample of news headlines. The subjects were asked to identify the stylistic features of those news headlines, give examples… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:54am — No Comments

Should English Be Taught to Saudi Children under the age of six

English has become a global language. It is widely used in Saudi Arabia, although the official language is Arabic. As a result, many Saudi parents are wondering what the optimal age for teaching English to young children is. Should they talk to young children at home in English, in Arabic or both? Should they send their children to a kindergarten that uses English as a medium of instruction, teaches English as a subject or teaches Arabic only? Does teaching English (L2) to young Saudi children… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:53am — No Comments

Can ESL students identify emphatic features of advertisements

The study aimed at investigating ESL students’ ability to comprehend and identify emphatic structures in advertisements, to find out the emphatic features that are easy to identify, and those that are difficult to identify. 60 ESL junior college students enrolled in a stylistics course took a test which consisted of an advertisement. The subjects were asked to identify the emphatic features of that advertisement and give two examples that illustrate the feature they give. Analysis of the… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:51am — No Comments

Videoconferencing for a Segregated Learning Environment

Male and female college students in Saudi Arabia study in a segregated environment. King Saud University (KSU) has 50,000 students in 3 campuses each of which is 35 kms away. Due to increasing student enrollment, all departments for female students are understaffed. Due to latest development in technology, all three campuses were upgraded and are now connected through fibre optics with a LAN. The Olaysha campus hosting women’s colleges of Education, Arts, Administrative Science, Languages, and… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:44am — No Comments

Academic Needs and Communication Strategies Revealed by Students’ e-mails

E-mail messages from 190 students were analyzed for types of requests, academic needs, reasons for seeking help, communication strategies and cultural differences. The message content revealed no differences between Saudi, Arab and non-Arab students’, nor between male and female students’ requests. Differences were noted in communication strategies. Undergraduate students sought help with assignments and how to improve their English, whereas graduate students requested resources and help with… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:43am — No Comments

Boosting EFL College Student Writing Achievement

65 EFL freshman students were enrolled in their first writing course in college. Before instruction, they were pretested. Pretest results revealed many writing problems. Then, the students studied Interactions One. Each week, one chapter was covered and the students completed all of the skills, exercises and writing tasks in the chapter and wrote two one-paragraph essays. They were encouraged to write and not to worry about spelling, grammatical, punctuation or capitalization mistakes. While… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:26am — No Comments

Current practices in reading instruction

The aim of the present study was to examine the amount of reading texts, reading exercises and reading skills covered by reading instructors in ESL college classrooms at each college level. Subjects of the present study consisted of 12 instructors (3 instructors per level) who taught reading in Fall 2000 and Spring 2001. Since students usually mark texts, do exercises and take notes on their textbooks, 3 reading textbooks per instructor were collected from students in levels 1-4. Each book was… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 4, 2009 at 10:16am — No Comments

Global Themes in Saudi history textbooks

The present study tried to find out whether Saudi history books for grades 4-12 contain global themes; in which grade levels global themes are introduced; the percentage of global themes, local history themes and Islamic history themes; and which global history themes are taught. A checklist of global history themes was developed. Those are: global systems; historical periods; ancient civilizations; world empires; world religions; human immigration; major wars; colonization and liberal… Continue

Added by Reima Al-Jarf on March 3, 2009 at 2:12pm — No Comments

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