English Language Center News

ELC holds first virtual award ceremony

In adherence to the decision of the Supreme Committee to strictly observe physical distancing in the workplace, the English Language Center (ELC) held its first ever virtual award ceremony on the 29th of June 2021 via MS Teams.

During his message, Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, expressed his gratitude to the entire ELC staff for their contributions to the Center amid the global pandemic. The Head of the ELC mentioned that both the academic and support staff play a crucial role in the success delivery of remote learning because of their spirit of teamwork, patience, and cooperation.  

The Patron of the ceremony was Dr. Mohammed Rashid Almamari, the Dean of UTAS-Salalah College of Technology. He commended the ELC administration for initiating such an event and the ELC staff for their hard work and dedication.

The awardees in different categories are as follows:

ELT National Virtual Symposium

  1. Ms. Huda Al Huraibi           –          Organizer
  2. Ms. Muna Kashoob            –          Organizer
  3. Ms. Kamla Koofan              –          Organizer
  4. Ms. Samha Al Mashali       –          Member
  5. Ms. Nawal Al Jameel         –           Member
  6. Ms. Amal Alawadi              –          Member
  7. Mr. Shoaib Al Balushi        –          Member
  8. Mr. Khalid Al Ghafri           –          Member
  9. Mr. Randy Magdaluyo       –          Member
  10. Dr. Rais Attamimi               –          Member
  11. Mr. Edward Stallard          –           Member
  12. Mr. Antony Jawahar          –          Member
  13. Ms. Laveena Lazar             –           Member
  14. Mr. Bernard Ugalde          –           IT Support
  15. Ms. Melissa Juanillo           –         IT Support
  16. Mr. Melanio Calangian      –          ETC Support
  17. Mr. Abdelaziz Gali Hamid  –          ETC Support
  18. Mr. Amir Hajjaj                    –         ETC Support
  19. Ms. Hakima Mohammed   –         ETC Support
  20. Mr. Junn Eric Timoteo       –           ETC Support

ELC Webinar Speakers

  1. Dr. Muna Muqaibal        –              Staff Professional Development
  2. Dr. V.M. Sundar                –             Staff Professional Development
  3. Dr. Aju Thomas                –             Research and Consultancy
  4. Mr. Edward Stallard        –             Research and Consultancy
  5. Dr. Manizhe Alami          –            Research and Consultancy

International Webinar Speakers

  1. Dr. Lorna Beduya               –           Staff Professional Development
  2. Ms. Gaby Lawson             –            Staff Professional Development

ELC Magazine

  1. Dr. Claire Orpilla                  –         Editor in Chief
  2. Mr. John Richard O’Neil     –         Associate Editor
  3. Mr. Jon Chittick                   –         Copy Editor
  4. Mr. Anurag Thota               –          Feature Editor
  5. Mr. Melanio Calangian      –          Cover Editor
  6. Ms. Huda Al Huraibi           –          Contributing Editor
  7. Ms. Sharooq  Reehan          –         Contributor
  8. Dr. Muna Muqaibal            –         Contributor
  9. Ms. Rachel Joseph              –          Contributor
  10. Ms. Hridhya Menon           –          Contributor
  11. Mr. Osman Mohammed    –         Contributor
  12. Ms. Marion Wilton             –          Contributor
  13. Dr. Wifred Blessing             –         Contributor (IT Department)
  14. Dr. Mohammed Nazeer      –        Contributor (Business Studies Department)
  15. Sharifa Al Kathiri                  –        Contributor (Engineering Department)
  16. Majed Al Ghassani              –         Contributor (English Language Center)

ELC Staff who are Leaving

  1. Ms. Marily Gayeta       
  2. Ms. Radhika Kumar
  3. Ms. John Richard O’Neil
  4. Mr. Zaid Owda

ELC Management Support

  1. Ms. Muna Al Maashani      –         Timetable Coordinator
  2. Dr. Rana Aslam                    –          Post-Foundation Coordinator
  3. Ms. Rekha Siby                    –          Level 4 Coordinator
  4. Mr. Aminah Sutphen         –          Level 3 Coordinator
  5. Mr. Musallam Al Mahri     –          Level 2 Coordinator
  6. Ms. Samha Al Mashali       –          Level 1 Coordinator
  7. Ms. Salina Mascrelhas       –          QA Expert
  8. Mr. Shoaib Al Balushi        –          Registrar & Data Analyst
  9. Ms. Yusra Said                    –          Assistant Registrar
  10. Mr. Farrukh Irshad             –          GFP Exam Coordinator
  11. Dr. Iyyappan S.                   –           PFP Exam Representative
  12. Mr. Kamal Moaaz              –           Resource Requirement Coordinator
  13. Dr. Claire Orpilla                –           Department Coordinator

 

Meanwhile, the master of ceremonies during the event was Mr. Salim Al-Maashani, the HoS-English Language Programs, while Ms. Khayar Alamri, the HoS-Curriculum and Teaching Methods, closed the event by expressing her profound gratitude and felicitations to all staff for a job well done despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Various features of MS Teams which help facilitate online classes more interactive and engaging were explored through a virtual workshop conducted by the ELC E-Learning Coordinator on May 19, 2021.

Mr. Antony Jawahar provided hands-on training on different features of MS Teams such as Announcements, Polls, Insights, Integrating Moodle, Class Materials, and Class Notebook. More than 70 participants from the ELC and other departments of UTAS-Salalah attended the virtual workshop, and all their queries were addressed.

Before the workshop started, Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, HoC-ELC, appreciated the staff for their efforts and encouraged them to effectively use the said online platform. Ms. Aminah Sutphen, Level 3 Coordinator and member of E-Learning Committee, moderated the workshop.

Around 45 ELC staff participated a webinar on “Ideas for Teaching Academic Reading Skills” last Tuesday, May 11, 2021, which was organized by the Staff Professional Development (SPD) committee.

The webinar was presented by Ms. Gabriella Lawson, a teacher, presenter and teacher developer at Monash College, Melbourne, Australia. She shed light on teaching various reading strategies and skills. She also shared useful websites, materials, and ideas on how to help students learn vocabulary and summary skills.

At the end of the webinar, the SPD committee chair Ms. Muna Kashoob thanked the speaker, the HoC-ELC, and the participants for making the webinar possible and successful.

Around 40 ELC staff joined a webinar on “Best Online Teaching Practices and Useful Applications” last Sunday, May 2, 2021, which was organized by the Staff Professional Development (SPD) committee.

The webinar was presented by Dr. Lorna Beduya, a former English Language Lecturer at UTAS-Salalah and now working at Hiroshima Bunkyo University, Japan. She gave a brief introduction about her teaching experiences in her current workplace. Then, she recommended useful applications and platforms which facilitate online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. She likewise shared some tips on how to use technology in online teaching.

At the end of the webinar, Ms. Muna Kashoob, SPD committee chair, stated that actively pursuing professional development among the ELC staff helps ensure that their knowledge and skills stay relevant and up-to-date.  She thanked the administration of Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki for the support extended to the committee. She also disclosed that her team is planning to conduct another webinar on May 11, 2021.

A webinar on “Research from the Online Classroom and its Different Aspects” was conducted for the ELC staff on the 29th of April, 2021 by Mr. Edward Stallard, ELC Lecturer.

He explained the different ways to get the most out of Microsoft Teams and he also introduced certain applications that may make online class much interactive. Around 45 attendees contributed their ideas in making online teaching a fruitful task during the interactive session. All the queries related to the topic were addressed by the speaker.

Meanwhile, Mr. Saeed Al Mashiki, HoC-ELC, encouraged the staff to engage in research by focusing on the different aspects of online teaching. He thanked Dr. Aju Thomas and other members of Research and Consultancy Committee for organizing the said webinar.  

The Research and Consultancy (R&C) committee of the English Language Center (ELC) spearheaded an informative webinar on Research Writing Proposals and The Research Council (TRC) Grant Schemes and Funding Criteria.

Dr. Aju Thomas, the R&C committee chairperson, organized and delivered a webinar, explaining in detail how to write research proposals and how to submit such proposals for TRC funding to around 40 participants last February 23, 2021.

The TRC under the umbrella of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, envisions Oman to become a regional hub for innovation, and a leader in producing new ideas, products and services. The new administration of the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS)–Salalah is raising the threshold and encourages staff in all departments to take these opportunities in research writing.

“We need to focus more on the research prospects in English Language Teaching (ELT),” Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, the Head of ELC, emphasized when he addressed the participants. He also urged them to work on different research areas related to ELT and motivated them to apply for TRC grants.

Dr. Mohammed Rashid Al Mamari, the new Dean of UTAS-Salalah joined the said webinar.

The English Language Center (ELC) honoured six lecturers and eight security guards in recognition of their valuable contributions to the Center in particular and to the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS) - Salalah in general.

Held on February 23, 2021 in the Self-Access Center, the awards ceremony aimed at boosting higher staff morale apart from work productivity and efficiency.   Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, the Head of ELC, believed that it is vital to make the staff valued in the organization and offer them a sense of growth.

The first set of awardees were staff who served in the ELC Council as Head of the Section, Quality Assurance Coordinator, Level Coordinators, Afternoon Shift In-Charge, and Assistant Registrar:

  1. V. Murali Krsihna
  2. Salina Mascrelhas
  3. Helen Jemima
  4. Randy Magdaluyo
  5. Kamal Moaaz
  6. Shurooq Reehan

Another batch of awardees were UTAS-Salalah security guards who helped in the smooth and safe conduct of the General Foundation Program in-person final exams during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Amal Al Huli
  2. Asma Sameer
  3. Moomina Fada
  4. Naseem Al Noode
  5. Ayman Duhaish
  6. Fatak Awadh
  7. Nail Sultan
  8. Talal Baraka

Meanwhile, the event was graced by the Dean - Dr. Mohammed Al Mamari, the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs – Dr. Nasser Al Kolbani, and the Assistant Dean for Administrative and Financial Affairs – Mr. Ammar Al Shanfari.

Safety precautionary measures were strictly observed during the awards ceremony.

The Research & Consultancy Committee of the English Language Center organized a webinar on Research Skills Enhancement and its different aspects on the 26th of January, 2021.

Step-by-step procedures on how to write an academic paper were explained in detail by Dr. Manizheh Alami, ELC Lecturer. She also presented the relevance of classroom action research in the webinar. Around 40 participants attended the webinar, and all the queries related to the topic were addressed.

Mr. Saeed Al Mashiki, HOC, ELC stressed in his introductory remarks the need to focus more on the different research aspects related to English Language Teaching. He also encouraged all the participants to engage in research which may strengthen the research-teaching nexus.

Dr. Aju Thomas, R & C Committee Chairperson, thanked all the staff who participated actively in the webinar.

To keep teachers abreast with the changing trends and directions in the teaching and learning processes, the Staff Professional Development (SPD) committee of the English Language Center has organized a webinar series.

Ms. Muna Kashoob, Chair of the SPD committee, believes that actively pursuing professional development helps ensure that teachers’ knowledge and skills stay relevant and up-to-date.  She is thankful to the administration of Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki for the support extended to the said committee.

The first webinar was presented by Dr. Muna Muqaibal on Tuesday, 19th January 2021. The webinar focused on how to use the Quizlet application in teaching vocabulary. After giving a brief introduction about the application, Dr. Muqaibal explained in detail all the steps necessary to use and create lessons via Quizlet.

On Wednesday, 20th January 2021, another webinar was conducted with Mr. Antony Jawahar as speaker. The ELC E-Learning Coordinator refreshed the participants E-Learning know-how, including how to use the MS Teams platform to conduct quizzes and to teach effectively amid the current worldwide pandemic

The next series of SPD webinars will be conducted in the first week of February 2021.

The ELC Health and Safety (H&S) and Risk Management (RM) Committees once again rose up to the challenge in helping prepare for the in-person GFP Final Exams for semester 1 conducted from December 20, 2020 to January 6, 2021.

The following steps were taken, adhering to the guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health and the Supreme Committee, in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. The security near the entrance of the college, at the ELC building, and the outsourced labs was augmented.
  2. Additional custodians were brought in to sanitize the exam halls between each exam session.
  3. Staff from the Student Affairs controlled the flow of students from the student parking lot to the exam locations.
  4. A temperature scanner was installed at the entrance of the ELC building.
  5. Auto dispensing sanitizing machines were mounted at the entrance of the ELC building.
  6. Spray hand sanitizers were provided in all the classrooms and labs.
  7. Masks, gloves, and paper tissue boxes for staff and students were provided in all the classrooms and labs.
  8. The chairs in the classrooms were arranged so as to maintain social distancing.
  9. Each floor had an in-charge staff member to regulate the flow of students and to ensure that students did not congregate in the corridors.
  10. Students who had any symptoms of cold, cough, shortness of breath were not allowed to take the exam.

Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, Head of the ELC, commended the said committees, the SCT Administration, the ELC Afternoon Shift In-Charge, the ELC staff, and the ELC custodial workers for their help during this period.

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