2022 © University of Technology and Applied Sciences - Salalah
“Leading in technological and applied education contributing to the development of a sustainable and knowledge-based society.”
Guided by the UTAS vision, the English Language Center at UTAS-Salalah prides itself for having achieved numerous milestones this Academic Year 2022-2023.
The 2nd ELC Day on May 25, 2023 marked the celebration of the Center’s achievements in various aspects. The annual event was an homage to the ELC administration, staff, and students, whose hard work and dedication have helped exceed the UTAS vision.
The celebration started with a pictorial of staff and students in the main ELC building. The cutting of the ribbon followed in the Multi-purpose by the Guest of Honour Dr. Alamir Nasser Al-Alawi, the Dean of UTAS-Salalah, CAS.
Highlighting the event was the presentation of the ELC achievements by Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki, the Head of the ELC. These included initiatives on going green and sustainable, seminars and workshops in research and professional development, remedial and tutorial sessions, student competitions and activities, benchmarking with other higher education institutions, community outreach programs, educational field trips, ELC publications, TRC and internal funded research, GFP supervisory visit, and many more.
The Cultural Show wowed the audience as select ELC staff representing 16 countries ramped on stage with their traditional clothes. The ELC as the most diversified department at UTAS-Salalah wanted to build bridges to trust, respect, and understanding across cultures.
Another highlight of the program was the recognition of staff and students who contributed to the achievements of the ELC, more specifically in exceeding the university vision. The awarding of certificates was done by the Guest of Honour, assisted by the HoC-ELC.
To add color to the celebration, games and contests were played by staff and students. One of which was the Ikebana, the Japanese art of floral arrangement, which uses carefully selected blossoms, greenery, and other flora to convey a specific feeling or emotion to an observer. Participants to this contest put their best feet forward in making flowers come alive.
The celebration ended with a potluck lunch, where the ELC staff brought and shared their own local dishes to their colleagues, students, and janitors. It was a way of thanking all the stakeholders for sharing their precious time with the ELC academic community.Joomla Plugins
A seminar titled “Action Research: Interrogation, Decentring, and Deconstruction” shed light on the effectiveness of action research in multiple environments.
Mr. Vusumuzi Moyo, an ELC Lecturer and the presenter, shared the appropriate methods on how to use action research in an academic setting. He explained the various types of action research, its difference from scientific research, and the possible applications of both types of research.
The Head of the English Language Center thanked the presenter and organizer of the research seminar. Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki reiterated the importance of conducting action research that will benefit the ELC at UTAS-Salalah.Joomla Plugins
The importance of gamification in EFL classroom in the 21 st century was addressed in a seminar organized by the ELC Research & Consultancy committee.
Dr. Hridhya Menon, an ELC lecturer & the presenter, dwelt on the research aspects of interesting games that can be effectively used while teaching English to second language learners. She underscored that learning through gamification (games) could rejuvenate the skill sets, thus helping students develop their speech, communication, and presentation skills, which are vital for anyone.
The ELC Research & Consultancy Committee at UTAS Salalah hosted a webinar on identifying research gaps, which was attended by staff via Ms Teams.
Dr. Iyyappan Sundareswaran, an ELC Lecturer and the presenter, explained the benefits of recognizing those gaps and he proposed on developing a sustained study to overcome the challenges associated with research gaps. At the end of the session, he suggested a few online useful tools for researchers.Joomla Plugins
Mr. Salim Al Mashani, the HoS- English Language Programs, presented a webinar titled “Research and ELT: Incorporating L1 Aspects into L2” via MS Teams.
He stressed on the importance of using the first language or the mother tongue in a second language classroom context and the benefits and drawbacks of first language usage in ESL classrooms.
As per his recommendations, the first language can be used in the Level 1 and Level 2 classrooms with the positive intention of clarifying the doubts of the learners.
“Competence in the first language vocabulary is also advisable if a non-native teacher is teaching in Level 1 of the English as second language programs,” he emphasized.Joomla Plugins
To learn about Oman's rich history and cultural heritage, as well as the significance of sustainability in preserving archaeological sites, the ECO Club of the English Language Center at UTAS-Salalah organized an educational trip to Al Baleed Archaeological Park in Salalah for the top five students from Levels 1-4 during the first semester of the current academic year.
Upon arrival at the museum, students were given a guided tour by Mr. Mohammad Al Mahri, a museum expert. He provided detailed explanations about the exhibits, their historical significance, and how ancient artifacts are preserved and displayed for public viewing.
According to Mr. Al-Mahri, the museum houses a collection of artifacts from the pre- Islamic era to the present time, such as ancient pottery, coins, jewelry, and tools. There is a separate section for showcasing old manuscripts, as well as various places from all over Oman, that is of great value to tourism and history.
Additionally, the museum features a section dedicated to the history of the frankincense trade, which has been a key source of income for Oman since the ancient times and continues to be so till today. Moreover, there is a dedicated section showcasing the history of boat and ship design, that highlights Oman's trade relations with various countries.
The science exhibit on meteors was considered to be the most informative and educational by students, as were able to physically touch and feel the meteors. There was also a buggy tour to the archaeological site, which, students think, was cool and fun. They were thankful to the Eco club for providing them a unique experience, supplementing their classroom learning, and ensuring their safety.
The success of educational trip was attributed to the support of the ELC management headed by Mr. Saeed Al-Mashiki and to the Al Baleed Archaeological Park administration.Joomla Plugins
Dr. Nayef Jomaa, an ELC lecturer at UTAS Salalah, presented a seminar titled “Patterns of Corrective Feedback” at the Self Access Center on the 3 rd May, 2023.
A variety of feedback techniques was discussed by the presenter to the staff. Then, the discussion centered on how and when teachers should give feedback to students more effectively, by considering the latter’s self-confidence. According to the speaker, a longitudinal study enables teachers to measure students’ progress based on the feedback given. He also suggested some types of feedback techniques where teachers provide students with linguistic accuracy in less direct ways, which are especially effective for Arabic students.
A workshop focusing on the useful teaching applications was conducted by the English Language Center at UTAS-Salalah on April 12, 2023.
The resource person, Dr. Lorna Beduya, shared her experiences of using applications and gave a practical workshop called “Skills Share: Tools to Flip the Language Classroom.” The rationale of the workshop was to highlight the importance of flipping the classroom as a student-centered strategy by promoting active participation, flexible/blended learning, and a deeper comprehension of the language. Instead of the teacher's agenda, the learner's needs are the main focus. The students can use principles they have learned in class and collaborate with their peers to further their understanding through in-class activities. Deeper learning and improved knowledge retention may result from this.
Various tools for the English proficiency assessment, like Mentimeter, Youglish, and English Central, were introduced and practiced.
Mentimeter is a tool for creating presentations online that encourages audience participation. The application, Youglish, provides the standard pronunciation of words in a variety of languages. It is really easy to use, and as it is built on Youtube. On the other hand, English Central is the best source for online assistance with English conversation.
The speaker also gave details about the tool for English Proficiency Assessment, the EF Standardized English Test created by the experts, and the entire CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) spectrum.
The ELC Eco Club at UTAS- Salalah organized a photography contest from March 27, 2023 to April 16, 2023, in order to raise awareness about environmental issues. It also aimed to showcase the beauty of the UTAS-Salalah, by capturing the eco-friendly elements of the campus and encourage staff and students to explore the natural beauty of their surroundings.
The contest was judged based on four criteria: relevance, creativity, technical excellence, and overall impression. The photographs submitted were in color and digital format.
The judging panel consisted of two UTAS-Salalalh staff from the IT Department, namely, Mr. Allan Subaro and Mr. Yashir Ambula. The judges were selected based on their expertise in photography and environmental issues.
HODA SAID AMER AL MASHANI - 41s1830
Mayssm Mohammed Awadh Al Darwish - 42s22404
|RANK||STAFF NAME / DEPARTMENT||PHOTO|
Rakesh Namdeti - ENGINEERING
Dr. Lorna Beduya - ELC
Dr. Nagamurali Eragamreddy - ELC
A workshop titled Collaboration and Socialization in Improving Teaching was hosted by the English Language Center at UTAS-Salalah based on a prior needs analysis conducted through evaluation surveys and the class observations at the Center.
Presented by ELC staff members Dr. Rana Aslam and Ms. Marion Wilton, the workshop emphasized that there is a fundamental need to foster a rich environment for collaboration amongst students to encourage and support their academic performance, as well as for teachers to stay abreast of dynamic and adaptable teaching approaches.
The first part of the workshop focused on collaborative learning, five elements for successful collaboration and the benefits of collaborative learning. The second part included a review of examples of collaborative learning and best practices in collaborative learning. This was followed by an interactive and engaging discussion by participants addressing challenges and issues faced by teachers in implementing these initiatives in the classroom.
The event was concluded by Dr. Rana who expressed his gratitude to audience members for their active engagement and participation, as well as stressing the importance of such topics to contribute to the academic discussion in teaching and learning, to create a holistic and conducive teaching environment for both students and teachers.Joomla Plugins
An ELC workshop was conducted on the topic “Mixed Augmented Virtual Reality and useful applications in ELT.”
Dr. Lorna Beduya, an ELC Lecturer, explained the difference between terms of virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, and how each of these is used in classrooms. She also stressed the importance of investing in technology to enhance students’ learning experience. As an example, students can do trips all over the world from their own classes in Expeditions Pro by just wearing a pair of glasses appliance in which they can see places such museums and famous buildings.
The presenter also shared different useful applications and websites where teachers can create their own platforms, which may yield to a multi-sensory learning experience, instead of merely becoming sedentary and passive learners.Joomla Plugins
The English Language Center at UTAS-Salalah managed to invite one speaker from the National Geographic Learning to present a webinar on the topic “Power of Image.”
Alex Warren, a Senior ELT Academic Consultant for the National Geographic Learning, is a DELTA qualified teacher trainer with over 19 years’ experience of working in ELT as a teacher, teacher trainer and academic director. He has presented in over 50 countries throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
In this hands-on and practical session, the participants’ attention was drawn to look at a number of activities based around the images in the course books Pathways that they can use in their classes to drive not only communication but critical and creative thinking as well.
It was an interactive session where the attendees took active part in discussion and responded with a variety of thoughts. They also came across various ways to utilize textbook images for enhancing students critical thinking and creative skills.Joomla Plugins
A group of 15 ELC students at UTAS-Salalah, accompanied by two lecturers, visited the Dhofar University (DU) on the 2nd of May 2023.
The ELC staff and students were given a warm welcome and gift packs and were guided to the Foundation Program Block. They were briefed by the Director Dr. Moosa Ahmed Bait Ali Sulaiman regarding the working system of the department. He encouraged students to overcome challenges in honing their English language skills.
Thereafter, the ELC delegation was taken to the different departments, laboratories, and classrooms, where they interacted with DU staff and students to share each other’s ideas.
According to the students, the educational field trip was inspiring and exciting and they look forward to more trips like that in the future to gain more exposures.
The ELC Clubs thanked Mr. Saeed Al Mashiki, the Head of the ELC, for making all the necessary arrangements, which resulted to a smooth and a memorable field trip for both students and teachers.
On Wednesday, April 19, 2023, the English Language Center of UTAS-Salalah hosted a seminar cum workshop titled “Speaking is a problem! Who is responsible and what can be done,” with Ms. We’am Al-Jilani, an ELC lecturer, as the resource person.
The presenter shared her ideas and research on the topic. Her discussion covered various points related to the research objectives, a brief profile of the Level 1 student participants, data collection tools like semi-structured and open-ended questionnaire, and the statistics of the encoded data.
Based on her findings about the speaking problems of Level 1 students, she stressed that it is the responsibility of all the stake holders, teachers, students, decision makers to take steps to overcome this problem. As teachers, we need to give students more practice, use only English as a medium of instruction in the classroom, motivate students as much as we can, and focus more on vocabulary and pronunciation.
In the second part of the session, the participants were involved to play a game and learn Spanish as a new language. The purpose of this game was to highlight the importance of practice in learning the second language.
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