News & Events

ELC GFP Policy Awareness Session 1

  • Published in ELC News
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The ELC GFP organized a SCT Policy Management System awareness session on May 9th 2017. Special mention was made of the policies pertaining to the General Foundation Program. The session was well attended by approximately 86 staff members from ELC and IT Department.

The Head of the GFP, Mr. Saeed Al Mashiki, addressed the gathering and reiterated the necessity of all stakeholders following the SCT Policies for the smooth and effective working of the GFP. He explained the importance of adhering to all policies and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to enhance the activities in the Center.

There were ten presenters who provided the audience with information about policies pertaining to GFP.

1. QA Policy & Staff Appraisal Policy: Mr. Michael Coleman (Member of ELC Council)
2. Policy Management System: Ms. Shalu Thomas (College Rep. to PMS Committee)
3. Health & Safety Policy: Mr. Ronilo Jayag (College Rep. to H & S Committee)
4. Risk Management Policy: Ms. Marily Gayeta (College Rep. to RM Committee)
5. Research & Consultancy Policy: Ms. Padmini Ivaturi (College Rep. to R&C Committee)
6. Staff Induction Policy: Ms. Nicola Philips (College Rep. to HRD Committee.)
7. Assessment Policy: Ms. Felicius Grace (PF Lecturer-Volunteer)
8. Examination Invigilation Policy: Ms. Claire Orpilla (QA Member)
9. Resource Requirement –SOP: Mr. Bince B (Chairman of RR Committee)
10. CRDC – SOP: Mr. Murali Krishna (Chairman of CRD Committee)

Some general information provided to the audience on SCT Policies

  • There are two kinds of Policies: Academic and Non-Academic or Administrative
  • SCT has established a Policy Management System (PMS) in compliance with Ministry of Manpower (MOM) mandates
  • Policies are developed to be the guiding principle which sets the direction for the institution
  • Policies help to govern the development and implementation of procedures and provides guidelines for all activities in the various units of SCT
  • Policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are uniformly applied and monitored in all units of SCT
  • Policies assist SCT in achieving its Mission, Vision, Values and Objectives
  • Policies also promote operational efficiency while reducing risks.
  • Policies help in ensuring that all departments/centers comply with the Ministry mandates and community expectations
  • Staff must be aware of all SCT policies and use them to ensure systematic administration of all unit/college affairs.

All the participants agreed that the policies presented were clear, informative and very useful.

The QA Coordinator, Ms. Salina Mascrelhas, thanked all the participants for a very fruitful and successful awareness session.

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PF Preparation Classes for Entry Test

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Preparation classes for entry test started from 16 to 22/05/2017. Two sessions were conducted at two different times: session one was from 10:00am to 12:00 pm and session two from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. An announcement of the preparation classes was sent to all PF students via SMS /Social Media: Twitter & Instagram and posters in all academic departments. The number of students who attended the two sessions was 154 out of 458 who registered for the exam (33.6% of students attended the preparation class.). 30 students only picked up the study material from the SAC.

82 were from Diploma level, 13 were from Higher Diploma level, 57 were from Diploma Second year and 2 were from Mix Levels. At the end of each session a survey questionnaire was distributed. The finding was 98 % of students found that both sessions were useful and both teachers were helpful. 96% of students said that they understood the exam outlines and 95% of students said that the session enhanced their study skills. 94% of them were satisfied with the materials provided. Only 77.3% of students were satisfied with the session timing.

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SCT OPEN WRITING CONTEST

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Topic: Stories of our Ancestors

Research and write the life story of one of your ancestors (e.g. grandparents, great grandparents or great aunt and great uncle, etc.) Interview family members to find out details and look through old documents and photos. Include information on ancestor’s birth, education, and career. What adventures and difficulties did your ancestor or ancestors face during his/her/their life or lives? If possible, submit a photo of ancestor(s) too. Word count must not exceed 500 words.

Contest is [currently] to be held on 31 May 2017 in ELC from 12noon till 2pm.

Entries can be written in English or Arabic.

This writing contest is open to all currently enrolled SCT student students.

Note : In order to encourage enrollment & participation, the first 15 students who both enroll in and then participate in this contest will receive a Special ELF Coffee Cup as a memento.

DEADLINE: Contact and enroll in this contest with Kevin Stoda (or Felicious Grace or Wendella Francis) in the ELC before 23rd of May 2017.

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"تطوير جودة التعليم1" في روتانا صلالة

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أقامت الكلية التقنية بصلالة ممثلة بمركز اللغة الإنجليزية ورشة العمل الاولى تحت مسمى"تطوير جودة التعليم الأول" وذلك في منتجع روتانا بصلالة. وقد كان اختيار اسم الندوة بناء على الحاجة الملحة للمؤسسات التعليمية بشكل عام والكلية التقنية بصلالة بشكل خاص لتحديد مكامن الضعف في العملية التعليمية وايجاد الحلول المناسبة لتطويرها وتقوية الأساليب المستخدمة في التعليم ناهيك عن اعطاء المقترحات للتغلب على كل ما يعيق الكثير من الجوانب التعليمية وتحفيز الطلبة ومنح بيئة دراسية مناسبة فاعلة لرفع المستوى التعليمي بشكل ملحوظ. حيث وجه رئيس مركز اللغة الإنجليزية ورئيس اللجنة المنظمة أ. سعيد المشيخي فريق العمل للمضي قدما والسعي في اظهار هذا الحدث بالصورة المرجوة.

شارك في الورشة العديد من الجهات والمؤسسات التعليمية ممثلة بجامعة السلطان قابوس و جامعة ظفار والكلية التطبيقية بصلالة و معهد الصيادين بصلالة ومعهد التمريض بصلالة بمعية الكلية التقنية بصلالة. وقدم المتحدثون من كل جهة أوراق عمل ركزت على العديد من النقاط المهمة المتعلقة بجودة التعليم وكل ما له علاقة برفع مستوى التحفيز لدى الطلبة في مراحلهم الدراسية.

قدم الحفل كلا من أ. إدوارد ستالارد وأ. سالم المعشني، محاضران في مركز اللغة الإنجليزية وبدءت الورشة بتلاوة عطرة من الذكر الحكيم تلاوة أ. شعيب البلوشي، محاضر في مركز اللغة الإنجليزية بعدها تحدث رئيس مركز اللغة الإنجليزية أ. سعيد المشيخي عن مدى إهتمام المركز في رفع مستوى التعليم لدى الطلبة وخاصة اللغة الإنجليزية والتي تعتمد عليها كافه المناهج فيما بعد. وأضاف المشيخي بأن هذه الورشة الأولى ماهي إلا بداية لعدد من الورش والتي سيكون محورها تطوير جودة التعليم لدى الطالب الجامعي.

ألقت الخطاب الرئيسي د. فيكتوريا تزولكوفا رئيسة وحدة التطوير الوظيفي والبحوث في جامعة السلطان قابوس، وقدمت ورقة عمل عن "مهارات التدريب المطلوبة في القرن 21 في مؤسسات التعليم العالي في عمان" حيث تناول خطابها الرئيسي ضمان أن التعليم العالي في عمان مناسب لتزويد الطلاب بالمهارات اللازمة والفعالة والتي تعتبر من المتطللبات الأساسية لنجاح اي عمل إحترافي في القرن الواحد والعشرين بالأضافة إلى مناقشتها كيفيه تفعيل اللغة الأنجليزية وتسهيل إستخدامها داخل الصف بشكل فعال.

وقدم أ. فيصل بن خليفه رئيس البرنامج التأسيسي في جامعه ظفار ورقه عمل بعنوان "الذكاء العاطفي في الفصول الدراسي" ناقش فيها ما أظهرته الدراسات عن أهمية الذكاء العاطفي وكيف أن التعلم العاطفي يمكن أن يحسن الأداء الأكاديمي للطلبة. وتشير البحوث إلى أن المهارات العاطفية ترتبط ارتباطا كبيرا بالنجاح، وبالتالي فإن الحاجة إلى تطبيق وتفعيل هذه الاستراتيجية داخل الصف من شأنها أن تساعد على تعزيز النجاح في الفصول الدراسية.

كما قدم أ. مروان اليافعي , محاضر في الكلية التطبيقية بصلالة ورقة عمل بعنوان " طرق التحفيز لطلاب المستوى التأسيسي في الكليات العمانيه" حيث سلط الضوء على دراسة ذاتية ناقشت العديد من الطرق التحفيزية وتأثيرها على الطالب عند إكتسابه لغه أخرى.

قدم أيضا أ. جمال الدين الأكرمي محاضر في قسم اللغة الأنجليزية بكلية التقنية بصلالة ورقة عمل بعنوان " الإستفادة من أنشطة ماقبل القراءة المقدمة في الحلقة الثانية للتعليم الأساسي في عمان لتسهيل فهم الطلبة" تحدث فيها عن استفادة معلمين الحلقة الثانية للتعليم الأساسي من أنشطة ماقبل القراءة المتاحة في الكتب الدراسية وكتب المعلمين لتسهيل فهم الطلبة.

وقدم أ.موكشناند جندرابو معلم لغة إنجليزية في معهد التمريض بصلالة ورقة عمل بعنوان " دمج تكنولوجيا القرن الحادي والعشرين في الفصول الدراسية" ناقش فيها أهمية التكنولوجيا في عصرنا الحالي وبالرغم من أنه لا غنى عنها للعيش والحفاظ على نمط حياة معاصر ولكن فإنه لابد الاستفادة من هذه التكنولوجيا العملاقة ودمجها في الفصول الدراسية لتدريس اللغة الإنجليزية لتنوير وإثراء وتعزيز عملية التعليم والتعلم و اكتساب المعرفة للطلبة.

تبعها ورقه عمل أخيرة قدمتها أ. داليندا الزغيدي مدربة لغة إنجليزية في معهد تدريب الصيادين بصلالة بعنوان " زيادة وعي المتعلمين بأهمية التفكير النقدي" سلطت الضوء فيها على إیجاد الطرق التي یمکن من خلالھا تعزیز وتیسیر التفکیر النقدي لدى المتدربین. كما ركزت بشكل رئيسي على أهمية التفكير النقدي وكيف أنه يساعد على تطوير نظام التفكير والإبتعاد عن طرق التعلم التقليدية.

وفي ختام الورشة تناوب على النقاش الختامي المفتوح الدكتور خالد المشيخي نائب عميد كلية الأداب والعلوم التطبيقية في جامعه ظفار والدكتور ريس التميمي محاضر لغة إنجليزية بالكلية التقنية بصلالة وتناول المحاوران العديد من المواضيع المتعلقه بطرق التدريس و العوامل التحفيزية لمتعلمين اللغة الإنجليزية وماهي الصعوبات التي قد يوجهها المتعلم وكيفية مواكبة التطورات المحيطة وتفعيلها لتسيير عجلة التعليم للأفضل. حيث تمت مناقشة وتبادل الآراء والأفكار التي تهم العملية التعليمية وتطويرها بما يتناسب مع متطلعات الكليات والمؤسسات التعليمية في السلطنة.

وفي نهاية الحفل قدم أ. سعيد المشيخي الشكر والإمتنان إلى جميع الأعضاء المشاركين في تجهيز وتنظيم جميع الترتيبات المتعلقة بالورشة و تنفيذها على نحو فعال.

Improving Teaching Quality 1 at Rotana Resort, Salalah

The English Language Center at Salalah College of Technology, under the guidance of Mr. Saeed Al-Mashikhi, Head of the ELC and the Chairman of the Steering Committee, organized a workshop at Salalah Rotana Resort entitled “Improving Teaching Quality1”. It is the first workshop organized by the ELC and it aims to continuously advance the teaching and learning process by addressing staff professional needs which are aligned with staff self - appraisals. The primary goals are to provide them with opportunities to share ideas, reflect on their day-to-day teaching practices and exchange knowledge and experiences in the field in a stimulating professional environment.

Many researchers, lecturers and educational experts who are concerned about creative, innovation learning practices were participated in this workshop from different educational institutions, such as Sultan Qaboos University, Dhofar University, Salalah College of Applied Sciences, Salalah Fisherman Training Institute and Salalah Nursing Institute.

Mr. Edward Stallard and Mr. Salim Al-Mashani, Lecturers at SCT, presented the workshop and it was launched with verses recited from the Holy Quran by Mr. Shoaib Al-Balushi, Lecturer at the ELC, followed with a speech from Mr. Said Al-Mashikhi, Head of the ELC. Mr. Al Mashikhi said “the center offers a comprehensive training program prior to admission to the college and it enhances their English language, since it is the language of the instruction”. Later, he announced that this will be the start of a chain of workshops that target in assisting the students and improving the educational and to avoid the recent obstacles in learning the English Language.

The keynote was addressed by Dr. Victoria Tuzlokova, Head of Professional Development and Research Unit at Sultan Qaboos University. Her keynote speech addressed the need to ensure that higher education in Oman is suitably adapted to equip students with effective skills, which are considered as key requirements for a successful professional career in the 21st century, and to draw attention to the importance of these skills.

Mr. Faisal bin Khalifa, The head of the Founding Program at Dhofar University presented a paper titled “Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom: Strategizing Classroom Delivery”. He discussed the studies which have shown that “emotional intelligence (EI)” could improve students’ emotional learning and academic performance. Research indicates that emotional skills are inextricably associated with success, hence the need to strategize EI in class. The presenter highlighted the strategies that help in building momentum and bolster success in the classroom.

Another paper presented by Mr. Marwan Al-Yafai, Lecturer at Salalah College of Applied Sciences titled" Types Of Motivation Among College Omani Students At English Foundation Level: Which One Has The Upper Hand?” the paper emphasized a personal research which address the different motivational factors, or variables, that students have for learning a foreign language.

Mr. Mokshanand Gandrapu presented a paper titled “Integration Of 21st Century Technology into The Classroom”. According to him “In these technologically advanced times, it is quite difficult to imagine a world that does not have the Internet, cellphones, smartboards, i-Pads, or any other iconic inventions and devices that have become indispensable to living and maintaining a contemporary lifestyle. Even though technology is the crux of our lives, it doesn’t seem to be yet possible to tap into this giant area of potential and integrate it into the English classroom to enlighten, enrich and enhance the teaching and learning process and experience.

After that Mr. Jamaluddin Al Akremi,a lecturer in the English Language center at Salalah College of Technology also presented a paper entitled “Taking Advantage Of The Pre-Reading Activities Provided In L2 Cycle 2 Basic Education Textbooks In Oman To Facilitate Learners’ Comprehension" in which he talked about how ESL teachers of C2 Basic Education took advantage of the pre-reading activities available in C2 BE textbooks and teachers’ books to facilitate their learners’ comprehension.

A final paper work presented by Ms. Dalinda Zghidi, English Instructor at the Fishermen Training Institute titled “Raising Learners’ Awareness of the Importance of Critical Thinking”. The paper highlighted the importance of critical thinking and how it helps to develop a system of thinking that goes beyond the traditional rote learning and encourages higher-order thinking.

At the end of the workshop, a panel discussion was held by Dr. Khalid Almushiki, Assistant Dean of College and Applied science at Dhofar University and Dr. Rais Attamimi, post foundation coordinator in the ELC at Salalah College of technology. They discussed important topics regarding the best teaching practice and L2 motivational factors: common characteristics and implications. Lastly, many points of views were shared through the panel discussions that reflect the concern of the researchers and the lecturers to improve the educational process in the center, college and the region around.

At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Saeed Al Mashikhi extended a word of thanks to the Committees members for organizing the schedule, arrangements pertaining to the workshop and ensuring its effective implementation.

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ELC to hold one-day seminar

  • Published in ELC News
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As a part of the English Language Center professional development annual plan, The ELC at Salalah College of Technology will hold a one-day seminar on Monday, April 10, 2017, on “Improving Teaching Quality” at Salalah Rotana Resort.

The first seminar aims to provide an opportunity for academicians and professionals in the Dhofar region from various educational fields with cross-disciplinary interests to bridge the knowledge and skill gap, to promote research, and to increase awareness of pedagogical trends.

For more information about the seminar visit https://www.sct.edu.om/web/index.php/elc-seminar

Time Event
8:00am Registration - Front Desk
8:30am Opening ceremony and recitation of the Holy Quran
9:00am Welcome address by:
Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki
Head, English Language Center and Seminar Chairperson
Salalah College of Technology
9:10am Recognition of the Keynote Speaker, the Paper Presenters, and the Moderators
9:20am Keynote address by
Dr. Victoria Tuzlokova
Centre for Preparatory Studies
Sultan Qaboos University
Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

The skills required for 21st century training in higher education institutions in Oman: Helping students realize their highest potential in relation to the job market

9:50am Breakfast
10:20am Paper presentation by
Mr. Faical Ben Khalifa
Director, Foundation Program
Dhofar University

Emotional intelligence in the classroom: Strategizing classroom delivery

10:50am Paper presentation by
Mr. Marwan Alyafi
Lecturer and Assessment Coordinator of English Department
College of Applied Sciences, Salalah

Types of motivation among college Omani students at English foundation level: Which one has the upper hand?

11:20am Tea / coffee break
11:30am Paper presentation by
Mr. Jamel Eddine Al Akremi
English Language Lecturer
Salalah College of Technology

Taking advantage of the pre-reading activities provided in L2 cycle 2 basic education text-books in Oman to facilitate learners’ comprehension

12:00pm Paper presentation by
Mr. Mokshanand Gandrapu English for Specific Purposes Teacher
Salalah Nursing Institute

Integrating 21st century technology in our classroom

12:30pm Paper presentation by
Ms. Dalenda Zghidi English Instructor
Salalah Fisherman Training Institute

Raising learners’ awareness of the importance of critical thinking

1:00pm Lunch Break
2:00pm Panel discussion
Dr. Khalid Al-Mashikhi (Moderator) Assistant Dean of College of Arts and Applied Sciences
Dhofar University

Best teaching practices

2:30pm Panel discussion
Dr. Rais Attamimi (Moderator)
Post-Foundation Coordinator of English Language Center
Salalah College of Technology

L2 Motivational Factors: Common Characteristics and Implications for EFL Teachers

3:00pm Closing Ceremony

Bio of the Keynote Speaker

Dr. Victoria TuzlukovaVictoria Tuzlukova has a PhD in Comparative Linguistics from Moscow State University. She is currently on the English faculty of the Centre for Preparatory Studies at Sultan Qaboos University. Victoria is a co-editor of General Foundation Programmes in Higher Education in the Sultanate of Oman: Experiences, Challenges and Considerations for the Future (2013), Language, Learning and Teaching (2011), The Omani ELT Symphony: Maintaining Linguistic and Socio-Cultural Equilibrium (2010), Language of Professional Communication in Focus of Linguistics and Cultural Studies (2009), and ESP and Technology in Oman. Special Issue of Journal of Teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes (2016). Victoria has participated in a number of large scale projects in Oman. Her forthcoming publications are on skills training and community-based projects in English language teaching and learning.

Abstract of the Keynote Speech

This keynote speech addresses the need to ensure that higher education in Oman is suitably adapted to equip students with effective skills, which are regarded as key requirements for a successful professional career in the 21st century, and draw attention to the importance of these skills. More specifically, it involves the audience in careful examination of how the English language classroom can be facilitated and suitably adapted to equip students with 21st century skills and focuses on quality pedagogy, motivating strategies and pedagogical conditions necessary for building and extending students’ skills through English language learning.

Paper 1: Emotional Intelligence in the Classroom: Strategizing Classroom Delivery

Abstract

Studies have shown that emotional intelligence (EI) could improve students’ emotional learning and academic performance. Research indicates that emotional skills are inextricably associated with success, hence the need to strategize EI in class. The presenter will describe the strategies that will help build momentum and bolster success in the classroom.

Over the last two decades, emotional intelligence (EI) has come a long way to prove its efficiency in many fields. Statistical and anecdotal evidence has shown that once utilized in the classroom, EI could impact both teaching and learning and yield astonishing results in developing students’ academic performance (Durlak et al., 2011). The question remains why this is not part of everyday practice in the classroom. This presentation shows not only how important EI is in the classroom but also goes a step further into showing how this could be implemented by demonstrating strategies and techniques that can readily be mastered and implemented. Keeping EI away from academics is a disservice to both educators and students, hence the need to enlighten the former and maximize the full potential of the latter.

Bio

Mr. Faical Ben Khalifa Mr. Faical Ben Khalifa has been in the field of education since 1997. He is currently the Director of the Foundation Program in Dhofar University and the FP Quality Assurance Chair. He is also a translator, a certified trainer in Human Development, a member of the Arab Trainers Union and a member of the International Academy of Personal Training and Leadership Development.


Paper 2: Types of motivation among college Omani students at English foundation level: Which one has the upper hand?

Abstract

Much research has been carried out in order to address the different motivational factors, or variables, that students have for learning a second language. Based on research findings to this date, three factors have been identified, and these are described as intrinsic, extrinsic and instrumental. It has been argued that if a student has a motivation to learn a language, he or she will likely learn more than a student who lacks motivation to learn.

This argument sounds logical. However, does it rise to the level of an observable fact? If yes, which type of motivation leads to better qualitative or quantitative language achievement? In this research, I have aimed to find out the correlation between beginning level students’ type of observed motivation and their achievement level in the English language by the end of semester. Over 200 students have been chosen as a sample to complete a 7- point Likert scale questionnaire ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. In these questionnaires, there are fifteen statements; five questions used to measure the three known motivational factors. A correlational method is used to show any significance between students’ achievement and type of motivation.

Bio

Marwan alyafai Mr. Marwan Alyafai is an English language teacher and educator with a teaching experience of over 20 years. He is currently working at Salalah College of Applied Sciences. His fields of interests are Threshold Concepts, quality of knowledge at the tertiary level, teacher education and learning-driven motivation. Meanwhile, he is about to complete his Ed.D degree (Doctorate of Education) at Durham University, UK.


Paper 3: Taking advantage of the pre-reading activities provided in L2 cycle 2 basic education textbooks in Oman to facilitate learners’ comprehension

Abstract

The primary objective of the study was to investigate how ESL teachers of C2 Basic Education took advantage of the pre-reading activities available in C2 BE textbooks and teachers’ books to facilitate their learners’ comprehension. To this end, a sequential mixed methods design was employed in two phases. First, three units of each of 7th, 8th and 9th Grades of C2 BE were evaluated in order to find out whether there were enough instructional pre-reading activities. Second, ten ESL teachers of C2 BE were observed with a main focus on the pre-reading stage, and how they took advantage of the pre-reading activities provided in the prescribed textbooks. Third, follow-up semi-structured interviews were conducted with those teachers being observed to get insight into their attitudes about the impact and importance of the pre-reading activities and whether these attitudes conform to what they actually did in class. Finally, a closed-ended questionnaire was administered to 60 male ESL teachers of C2 BE to probe further into their attitudes to the effect of pre-reading activities and the activation of background knowledge on reading comprehension. As a whole, the findings of the study revealed that there was a strong agreement of the important role of schema theory-based pre-reading activities and the activation of prior knowledge in promoting L2 learners’ comprehension. Taking into account of the findings reported in this study, some implications for ESL teachers as well as in-service training for teachers of C2 BE are suggested.

Bio

Jamel Eddine Al AkremiMr. Jamel Eddine Al AKremi is currently a lecturer at Salalah College of Technology. He received an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Sunderland, UK. He also obtained a CELTA Certificate. He has taught English to ESL and EFL learners for nearly two decades. He has worked as a regional supervisor in the Department of Human Resources Development, Directorate General of Education from 2009 to 2014. His fields of interest encompass research methods in teaching, assessment and curriculum design.


Paper 4: Integration of 21st Century Technology into the Classroom

Abstract

In these technologically advanced times, it is quite difficult to imagine a world that does not have the Internet, or cellphones, or smartboards, or i-Pads, or any other iconic inventions and devices that have become indispensable to living and maintaining a contemporary lifestyle. Our homes, offices, transportation systems, communications and educational institutions are intricately built and sustained by technology. At the same time, many phrases have emerged into our day-to-day language, such as ‘google it,’ ‘text in,’ ‘tweet & re-tweet,’ ‘blog & blogger’ and so on. So, it’s not surprising that many of students are very much adept at using mobile devices such as ‘i-Pads, i-Pods, smartphones and other mobile devices.’ They, too, are the prolific users of these ingenious technological tools and social media. Even though technology is the crux of our lives, it doesn’t seem to be yet possible to tap into this giant area of potential and integrate it into the English classroom to enlighten, to enrich and to enhance the teaching and learning process and experience.

Bio

Mokshanand GandrapuMr. Mokshanand Gandrapu has been a teacher of English over two decades starting from the secondary level and ranging to the tertiary levels of education. After a 13-year stint with the Ministry of Education, Oman, he has worked at the Salalah Nursing Insitute, which is administered by the Omani Ministry of Health, serving as an ESP teacher since 2011. Improving and consolidating vocabulary through reading and writing has been his primary interest


Paper 5: Raising learners’ awareness of the importance of critical thinking

Abstract

Scholars in education are keen on improve the teaching quality in every scholastic institution. This paper, entitled “The Importance of Critical Thinking”, can be introduced within this context with its primary focus on finding out ways on which learners’ critical thinking may be enhanced and facilitated. Its main focus is to highlight the importance of critical thinking and how it helps to develop a system of thinking that goes beyond the traditional rote learning and encourages higher-order thinking.

Within the scope of this topic, the following research questions are addressed:

  1. What is critical thinking? (Bloom’s Taxonomy)
  2. What are the characteristics of critical thinkers?
  3. Why is it important to foster critical thinking?

Samples of classroom activities that promote critical thinking are introduced.

Critical thinking helps to create skilled thinkers able to understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create the optimal conditions to become successful learners to be ready for life. In addition to reviewing the theoretical side, this paper will provide some critical thinking activities. The audience will be invited to practise these activities in a classroom-like setting.

Bio

Dalenda Zghidi Ms. Dalenda Zghidi is originally from Tunisia, lecturing on English language courses at Salalah Fisherman Training Institute. She has participated in several different presentations and workshops, among them the Forest 5 workshop in 2006, entitled “Everyday One Word,” another seminar at Sultan Qaboos University entitled “Teaching Through Drama” in 2007, a PFP Needs Analysis at the College of Tourism in Muscat in November of 2013. Her interests have shifted to work ethics and team building.

Dr. Khalid Al-Mashikhi

Dr. Khalid Al-MashikhiDr. Khalid Al-Mashikhi is the Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Applied Sciences at Dhofar University. Khalid received his MA and Ed. D in Education and Leadership from the University of Nebraska Omaha, the USA. His teaching and research interests include leadership, teaching and learning.


Dr. Rais Attamimi

Dr. Rais AttamimiDr. Rais Attamimi currently lectures in English Language at Salalah College of Technology. Previously, he taught EFL at Aden and Hadramout Universities in Yemen. His Doctorate from the Malaysian University of Science reflects his interests in sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.

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English Language Center (ELC) –General Foundation Program (GFP)

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What is the GFP?

The General Foundation Program was established in 2006 by the OAAA to nationalize the program adopted by all COTs. The GFP provides a strong foundation to the higher education sector in Oman. Most Omani students undertake the GFP prior to their higher education programs. To meet international standards the GFP is now undergoing the Accreditation Process.

How far has the GFPA progressed?

ELC-GFP is now in the second stage of preparation for Accreditation.

In April 2016: the first stage of phase one commenced.

On the 20th and 27th April 2016: the GFP Council Committee conducted two workshops to ensure all GFP Staff is aware of the Accreditation Project.

On the 2nd and 5th October 2016: two more workshops were conducted for GFP Audit Awareness.

18th October 2016: ELC GFP Council members met to decide the 7 GFP Working Groups, the members and their responsibilities.

On 6th November 2016: the Steering Committee met with the 7 GFP Working Groups to discuss the mechanism for collecting GFP Self-Study data. A detailed schedule with milestones for each task was documented and disseminated to all members.

From 18th October to 1st December 2016: the 7 GFPWKs met several times to discuss and list required Support Material.

On 1st and 4th December 2016: the Monitoring Committee met the GFPWGs to discuss the Approach and Support Material available. The Feedback in the form of comments/suggestions from the Monitoring Committee was then incorporated.

On 28th February 2017: the Steering Committee met the members of the GFP Working Groups to discuss problems faced and solutions, also to ensure that the required support and guidance are provided.

On 26th March 2017: the Steering Committee conducted a workshop to train the members of the GFP WGs on how to write the Criterion for each Scope in the ADRI format.

Each group is now working independently at the task. The next workshop is scheduled in the third week in April 2017.

Mr. Saeed Al Mashiki
Chairman ELC GFP

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Awarding Ceremony

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The awarding ceremony was held on the 29th, March 2017 at 12:00 in the SAC. The awarding ceremony was under the patronage of Dr. Said Omar Al Mashiki, the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. The ceremony started with a welcome speech by Mr. Saeed Al Mashiki, HELC. Dr. Rais Al Tamimi and Mr. Jon Chittick continued with a brief description of the courses provided by the ELC which were: English Refresher course and English in the Workplace. This was followed by student representative’s speeches and individual student testimonials. The ceremony ended with distribution of certificates and then refreshments were provided.

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First Intercollegiate "Knowledge Bowl" held in Dhofar Oman this week

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Pictured below is the victorious team in the intercollegiate competition, which is known as a Knowledge Bowl and was held in the Language Resource Center at Salalah College of Technology on Tuesday afternoon. The winning team was from Dhofar University and consisted of Sumaira Idrees Toor, Lobna Awadh Ali Al Awadi, Bayan Mohammed Khalil, & Ala Aref Ahmad Wazwaz.

winning team

"Knowledge Bowl" is a name for several types of interdisciplinary quiz bowl-like competitions held around the world. On 21 of March 2017, 6 teams from two local colleges here in Salalah, Oman faced off in the region's first intercollegiate level knowledge bowl or "General Knowledge Quiz Contest".

score

This event was held on the campus of Salalah College of Technology's ELC Building starting at noon that Tuesday. Noor Kashoob opened the event by welcoming all 6 teams on behalf of the Head of the ELC, Saeed Mashiki, who was called away to an important College Council meeting.

SAC

Each of the two college campus's sent 3 teams to this competition. Through the final round, scores of the teams remained competitively close and almost any of the total of six teams might have become champion for the Knowledge Bowl that day.

SAC 2

In all, Dhofar University was represented by 12 students from the College of Arts and Applied Sciences. These students were all English majors. Meanwhile, 10 students participated from Salalah College of Technology, and they represented both the college's Business Department and students taking intensive English courses at SCT.

Each of the six teams in the Knowledge Quiz Contest was represented by 3 or 4 student participants for each of the 6 teams. Each team was assigned colored name tags, so that the judges could readily recognize which team was being called on by the moderators and which team had answered the questions correctly.

In all, there were 4 rounds of competition. The following topics were involved: Oman history, world history, famous persons & famous places in the world, English grammar & vocabulary, nationalities & flags, geography, distances, sizes, and weights. The famous persons focused on for this event included inventors, mathematicians, and scientists.

Kevin Stoda, Wendella Francis, and Felicious Grace--all lecturers in the English department--organized the event as coordinators of the ELC's English Language Forum. (The English Language Forum is the committee that handles many extra-curricular activities and excursions for Salalah College of Technology students.)

The visiting sponsors or organizers from DU's College of Applied Arts and Sciences for this day's event were Vijay Singh Thakur, Ehsan Elahi, and Susan Crosbie. Prior to the event, teams at both colleges were given a list of websites on the 8 topics to be reviewed in advance for this impending Quiz Bowl.

The judges and scorekeepers for this event were Jon Chittick, Amy Cheadle and Marc Carmichael-Brown (all from the English Language Center). Marc noted of the day's events, "The interaction and engagement of the students made the quiz a very positive experience."

"The contest was planned thoughtfully, well-organized and interesting." Amy Cheadle summarized her opinion of the day's events, "The students were very enthusiastic and everyone had a good time."

Jon Chittick added, "As a whole, the competition seemed very energetic. There were many students with energy who were demonstrating a remarkable level of confidence."

The winning team received trophies for each member and a certificate for each of the 4 victors. All the SCT and DU students in the event received certificates-of-participation as well as mementos-of-the-day which were specially designed for this event.

It is hoped that many more events like this one can be held in the future at SCT. For example, the English Language Forum and ELC at SCT have already approached DU and Salalah's neighboring College of Applied Arts to participate in 'student debates' this coming May 2017.

Finally, competitions, like this knowledge-quiz-contest or "Knowledge Bowl", often "offer exciting opportunities for students to develop and exercise their scholastic abilities. Recognition, publicity, and appreciation for students and schools committed to educational excellence are also important benefits of these events."

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The ELC In- house Induction Program for New Intake Students; Semester 2

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The English Language Center conducted its In-house Induction Program in the SAC for its new intake students on 11th January, 2017. The program included a Power Point Presentation about the college rules and Bylaws, ELC Vision, Mission and Administration. Also, Levels, new assessment, and Curricula were clearly explained. The students were also informed about the ELC services such as the Self Access Center, Learning Support Center, Math Help Center, Writing Center, Speaking Club and the English Forum. According to the GFP aim which is to involve students in the learning process to promote high quality of student-centred education, a L2 student Talal Madian Al Yafai, was invited to take part in the student induction. It was an attempt to motivate the new intake students by showing a live example of a good student. The student helped L1 Co-Ordinator with the student competition which was to choose a number and answer the question. Students were given some tips about how to study and improve their English. At the end of the Induction Program, students were given a questionnaire to give their feedback on the program.

The Presenters were:

  1. Khayar AL Amri (Level One Coordinator)
  2. Talal Madian Abdullah Al Yafai ( Level 2 student)
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More Teachers Comments from the SCT and DU Contests on 29th of November

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Last week, I published a story on the first intercampus event or contests between Dhofar University (DU) and Salalah College of Technology (SCT) held at the end of November on the DU campus. That article was entitled: Fun Contests and Events at Dhofar University with SCT Students in November.

I completed that article by focusing on what one of our SCT instructors had hadto say on the event and the days activities at DU. Namely, Irina Kazumyan, who assisted with some of the events at DU, stated concerning what she had observed: “Well-organized with various activities. The jeopardy [team contest] was especially good. A really motivating event not only for students, but for teachers as well. Proves that teaching and learning can be fun. Probably for the future, more students should be there [at such a competition] not only for participation, but for support of their team. Also could be motivating.”

Since that time, I have received a variety of comments by other SCT and DU staff involved in that day’s competitions.

These staff members on both campuses evaluated the event and what they thought about having more activities in the future. For example, my DU English Club counterpart, Sucharita Gopalan stated of the competion, "It was very heartening to see the students show their skills in the English language. The event was designed to give the participants an opportunity to use the language outside the classroom setting. And more importantly, it was meant to be enjoyable, not competitive. We look forward to an improvised event in the future."

I agree. The main goals of the events on the 29th of November at DU included having fun and discovering how college campuses in Dhofar might work together more in the future.

Another DU Foundations Program organizer of that day’s events was Nathaniel Lotze, who commented, "It was a lot of fun. It was encouraging to see students who were willing to put themselves out there and use their English in a public setting. I thought it was really brave of them. And the point really was to just have fun, and I think that’s what was had. We’re looking forward to an even bigger and better competition next time."

Sharooq Bait Reehan, an volunteer assistant judge from SCT at the Competitions, noted of the friendly competition between SCT and DU students: "It was a great opportunity for the students to challenge each other. The competition inspired them to do their best. This kind of competitions help them to learn to work with others and to develop the performance under pressure. "

Faical Ben Khalifa (HoD of Foundations Program at Dhofar University) also noted in his closing speech to the awards ceremony that soon he hoped that the very next time our foundation programs could meet that we all would like to include the math departments and math clubs in the next intercampus event. Moreover, he stated, both SCT and DU Foundations Programs would also like to have the Salalah College of Applied Sciences join us in similar competitions or multi-campus events in 2017 or 2018.

Finally, I have special congratulations for all of the Foundations students at SCT and DU: "You all did a great job in the Jeopardy competition, the writing competitions and the speaking competitions."

I should add:" I was especially proud of one SCT student's attitude and efforts. Talal Al-Yafai of Level 1 competed in four events at the competitions--often competing against mostly Level 2 and Level 3 students. Whenever there was a lapse in activities, Talal always gave his utmost and encouraged fun and involvement of all. He set a great example with his wonderful attitude. Talal really exemplified the spirit of fun and competitive spirit, which DU and SCT would like to encourage in all students at future events like this. Talal may not have gotten first place in any of the competitions but his enthusiastic effort was admirable and something we'd all like to see replicated by other students of ours."

The HoD of the Foundations Program at SCT, Saeed al-Masheikhi, has indicated that as early as next term he would like to see a similar set of competitions involving neighboring colleges take place in theELC building here at the Salalah College of Technology.

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