Under the auspices of His Excellency the King Khalid University President Prof. Abdulrahman Hamad Aldawood, the Faculty of Languages and Translation (FLT) organized a national symposium titled," The Present and the Future of the English Language in Saudi Arabia: Research Concerns." The conference is arranged to start on Sunday morning, the 25th of Dhu Al-Hijjah and to finish on the 27th.
On this occasion, Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, FLT Dean and Chairman of the Scientific Committee, explained the university's keenness on arranging specialized symposiums and scientific meetings. He further asserted that it would definitely be of great benefit as well as serve to raise the levels of scientific research and their applications in all scientific and educational institutions in Saudi Arabia. He also explained that the University President's eagerness and leadership to hold the symposium reflects the university's interest in dealing with emerging technologies in various areas of learning and teaching of the English language. He related that it also indicated a significant commitment to the development of services provided to both faculty members and graduate studies students alike. Furthermore, it will also serve to inculcate the culture of scientific research throughout King Khalid University.
Dr. Melhi added, "A lot of research and scientific papers will be presented during this symposium. Accordingly, the Scientific Committee presented 22 research papers from a number of topics, of which the Scientific Committee accepted 17. The most prominent research topic is that which discusses language planning and the use of technology in teaching and learning of the English language, as well as research on the relationship between culture and the teaching and learning of the English language. Moreover, the role of literature in English language learning and teaching will be discussed, in addition to the strategies of reading the English language. There will be 12 discussion sessions during the days of the symposium.
Dr. Melhi stated that they were going to host some specialists such as Dr. James Brown of Hawaii University, USA, and Dr. Alan Firth of Newcastle University, United Kingdom. They are expected to present a workshop, in conjunction with Prof. Sultan Al-Hazmi of Jazan University, and Prof. Abdullah Hadi, Dean of Faculty Members and University Staff. The schedule shows that on Sunday, 25/12/1435 AH, Dr. James Brown will present a workshop for Graduate Studies students and the teachers of the English Language, male and female, who are affiliated with the Ministry of Education. The time for that is 5 to 6 pm. Also on Monday the 26/12/1435 AH, Dr. Allen Firth will present another workshop directed to the same audience from 10 am to 11 a.m.
The symposium focuses on increasing the awareness of academicians, with respect to current and future trends in teaching the English language, in addition to addressing critical research issues in the field of Applied Linguistics at the levels of both theory and application. The organizers of the symposium hope that such events will promote the dissemination of knowledge related to the latest trends and publications in Applied Linguistics. Also, researchers and practitioners in the field of linguistics, and related sciences will be invited to discuss relevant issues of common interest.
The symposium will discuss a number of issues such as language and literature, methods of teaching, language, culture, language planning, language policy, methods of teaching English, curriculum development, and technology and language learning.