English Language Centre
The English Language Centre has been established within Taif University in Al-Haweiah as a unit at the Deanship of Supportive Studies. It also works in close cooperation with the various departments and colleges of the University to encourage students to develop their English language skills. These skills support their academic and professional life. The Centre offers a number of English courses for academic and special purposes in addition to a range of elective courses. These courses meet the needs of university students in different disciplines and colleges, as well as other courses and training courses that serve faculty and community members.
The ELC vision is to push the boundaries of limitations and exceeds in providing high quality English Language programs to various Faculties at Taif University.
The ELC mission is to prepare the University students to undertake English-medium instruction in their relevant fields of study. Also, it aims at helping students use English as an effective means of communication in their prospective endeavours.
The Objectives of the Centre
1- Preparing students to undertake their studies through English-medium instruction in their disciplines.
2- Providing credit English courses to those enrolled in theoretical faculties.
3- Establishing the corner stone for the unified EAP and ESP courses for all students across the University Faculties.
4- Conducting academic research in areas related to English language teaching and learning.
Key Achievements of the Centre
1. Faculty Members
The administration of the English Language Centre is working hard to provide it with outstanding academic competencies that contribute to the success of its vision and mission. It also contributes to meeting the Centre's increasing needs of instructors due to the Centre's significant expansion. Therefore, the Centre's administration has appointed a number of citizens to academic posts in order to attract distinguished national competencies and a group of experienced instructors from around the world has been hired.
2. The Curriculum of the Centre
The new advanced curricula were adapted to the needs of different students and colleges at the university. The curricula were chosen according to the highest international standards in cooperation with Cambridge University and based on a comprehensive field survey that analyzed the needs of students at all colleges.
3. English Language Training Courses
A. "English for Academic and General Purposes" training courses are multi-level courses that meet the needs of the local community in cooperation with the Community Service College.
B. Free intensive courses for university's male and female personnel.
4. Graduate Studies and Scientific Research
The Master's Program in TESOL has been accredited in response to the needs of the local community and students. This specialization is particularly relevant to the public education sector and the fields of scientific research that serve the educational process.
5. Cooperation with Universities and Scientific Institutions
Due to the English Language Centre's significant expansion and in keeping with the directions and visions of the Centre's administration to keep abreast of the latest methods in teaching English language skills, the Centre's administration is keen to cooperate with the finest universities and scientific institutions with a high reputation in the field of English language education and academic accreditation.
Therefore, the Centre's administration, with the support and guidance of the University's administration, concluded several cooperative agreements with the most prestigious universities and scientific institutions. An important agreement was signed with Cambridge University. This agreement included the development and support of the English Language Centre at Taif University.
An integrated study of the Centre's needs was executed, as well as a time plan was developed for the implementation of the agreement between the two parties to develop English language programs through curricula, teaching methods and assessment methods. In addition, the agreement included training the faculty members and developing their skills in line with the policy of the Centre which is keen to upgrade to the highest degrees of excellence and academic accreditation.
The Centre also signed an agreement with the British Council, which resulted in the authorization of the English Language Centre as an accredited centre to hold the IELTS test. The English Language Centre has also been accredited to offer CELTA certification in education.
6. Activities of the Centre
- Updating the website on the university's electronic portal continuously. This included the translation of the Ministry of Education and University's regulations and manuals into English. In addition, the Centre also translated official forms that serve faculty members.
- Publication of the Centre's Periodic Newsletter: The periodic newsletter of the Language Centre at Taif University is a periodic publication containing the news of the University, as well as the news of the English Language Centre and its active faculty members. The newsletter of the English Language Centre at Taif University aims to inform the faculty members of all the urgent news or important and pressing issues at the Centre, including matters and circulars concerning the progress of work academically, administratively and socially. This newsletter has been created to meet the needs of faculty members of the Centre who implement the programs of the English Language Centre at Taif University in the branches. The newsletter is also a news space where faculty members from different teaching spaces of Taif University are gathered. A series of this newsletter has been published. These publications have received wide approval.
- Launching the Syllabus Shop Program: This program offers micro workshops on the subjects of the English language course that students learn. These workshops promote language acquisition and develop skills according to the requirements of the curriculum. It also focuses on achieving the objectives of the lesson through collaborative learning by using English language as a medium of communication and using modern technologies as effective learning channels.
- Launching the Excellence Program: This program is designed for students who have successfully assimilated the current curriculum. The program provides a series of academic guidelines that help them take more initiatives to enhance performance, explore language alternatives, recognize life skills and identify career opportunities related to English language.
- Launching the Forum Program: In this program, English is used as a means of communication between students and teachers. The forum changes the atmosphere of the classroom by offering entertaining topics for discussion on important issues both within and outside the educational context.
- Launching the Chatter Box Program: A program that focuses on providing a live English speaking environment. This program features a series of discussions that will help students engage in live conversations on carefully selected topics. These discussions aim at stimulating their interest and enthusiasm to engage in activities that enhance conversation skills.
- Launching the Cambridge Learning Management Program: An online training program designed in collaboration with Cambridge University through which faculty members are trained in various teaching subjects according to modern methods of education. Then, trainees offer an educational project through training workshops.
- Launching the Professional Development Program: The English Language Centre has been holding regular training workshops by faculty members to exchange their teaching expertise and experiences. As a result of the adoption of new curricula under the review and restructuring plan, it was necessary to adopt a professional training program to cope with these developments. Moreover, the English Language Centre in partnership with Cambridge University offers workshops and trains the trainer program for faculty members to develop their skills. At the end of the program and workshops, trainees offer educational projects.
- Launching the Teacher Mentorship Program: It is a collaborative program aimed at integrating new instructors at the Centre into their new learning environment. This program guides the instructor to reflect on his / her educational performance, method and strategies. It also aims to raise the level of professional competency with a focus on Saudi teachers to become competitors in the labor market.
- Vitalizing the role of the Translation Committee at the Centre through the contribution of its members to the translation of many documents related to the Centre and the University, including, but not limited to, the translation of the University's academic accreditation project. These contributions originate from the vision and mission of the Centre in the maximum utilization of human resources.
Units of the English Language Centre
Academic Coordination and Supervision Unit
The Academic Coordination Unit is responsible for facilitating the educational process in the English Language Centre and providing all the information, data and statistics to the director of the Centre in order to make the appropriate decisions.
- Preparing invigilation and supervision schedules on periodic and final exams for all students.
- Preparing the decisions related to the organizations of periodic and final exams and submitting them to the director of the Centre for approval.
- Preparing students' schedules in coordination with the Deanship of Admission and Registration.
- Receiving students' problems and offering them opinion and advice to solve them.
- Confirming that students' grades are entered correctly into the University's system after being revised and checked.
- Cooperating with the concerned units to write, supervise and correct the exams.
- Coordinating with the Vice-Director of the Centre for female students to solve the problems that instructors may face related to the Deanship of Admission and Registration.
- Receiving transferred students from inside or outside the University and from inside the college between academic departments.
Curriculum and Research Unit
One of the tasks of the English Language Centre is to develop its curricula and study plans periodically in accordance with its strategic plan according to the latest scientific developments in this field. It is known that the strength of the study plans and the content of their scientific curricula is one of the most important criteria considered in the academic accreditation. Therefore, the Centre has taken care of this matter and established several administrative units. The most important one is the Curricula and Research Unit which seeks to develop the Centre's study plans and update them periodically so as to keep abreast of the scientific development and the requirements of the labor market. In addition, this Unit follows-up the implementation of these plans after accreditation and the development of necessary standards and forms to ensure the implementation of the study plan, the curricula vocabulary and their outputs. Moreover, the Unit ensures that the curricula meet the requirements of academic accreditation and the plans of academic structuring.
- Developing the study plans of the Centre's programs and updating them periodically so as to keep abreast of the University's requirements, scientific development and the requirements of the labor market. The study plans for English courses for academic purposes and English courses for special purposes were developed in accordance with academic accreditation standards.
- Providing students with the necessary books through communication with the concerned bodies.
- Providing teachers with resources packages to support English language teaching.
- Vitalizing the standards of academic accreditation within the curricula to meet the accreditation requirements. The accreditation standards were taken into account in the development of plans.
- Developing the necessary standards and forms to ensure the implementation of the study plan, the curricula vocabulary and their outputs after accreditation.
- Providing feedback to teachers through workshops and meetings in order to support their research activities in order to develop the education process.
Training Courses Unit
The unit provides intensive courses in English language skills for all levels in a sophisticated learning environment utilizing professional teaching methods and materials. Each course takes a place two or three times a week. Before the commencement of the training course, the unit tests the level of applicants and then allocates them to the appropriate levels based on the result of the test.
1. Developing a comprehensive program plan which includes:
- Asking for academic advice from the Director of the English Language Centre and transferring them to faculty members in a timely manner.
- Acting as a reference for faculty members.
- Devising and developing a comprehensive program for academic support.
- Working closely with faculty members to improve student motivation towards success and excellence.
- Administrative supervision of the progress, development and success of students in English language.
- Preparing the reports required by the Director of the English Language Centre at the end of the English language course.
- Developing a plan for the program to meet the desired results.
2. Providing support for the leadership:
- Providing advice and guidance to faculty members.
- Participating in faculty members' meetings.
- Facilitating cooperative planning with faculty members.
3. Activating the management of administrative processes:
- Utilizing electronic mail as a means of communication.
- Finishing administrative tasks before deadlines.
4. Measuring the impact of the program:
- Improving the program by using evaluation and statistics data of the program.
- Writing reports.
- Collecting and recording data and grades.
Development and Quality Unit
This unit was established as one of the English Language Centre's units in order to meet the requirements of the quality of education and its increasing importance globally. It is also considered an active component in providing a distinguished educational service, in producing a highly competitive graduate and in the service of scientific research and community issues. The Unit makes its best efforts to introduce and establish a culture of regular self-assessment, continuous improvement and assurance of comprehensive quality by creating a common language for the concept of quality and spreading awareness among the academic, administrative and student community at the Centre. The objective is to ensure quality, accreditation and participation in the service of the University, meet the challenges of rapid development and gain the confidence of the community in all outputs of the education system from graduates, research and professional and community services in accordance with national, regional and international standards.
- Developing and implementing a system to evaluate students, courses and educational programs as a whole. Moreover, adopting self-evaluation of university performance as an input to internal and external audit and implementing quality assurance systems until achieving accreditation.
- Preparing questionnaires that help to introduce a culture of regular self-assessment, continuous improvement and assurance of comprehensive quality by creating a common language for the concept of quality and spreading awareness among the academic, administrative and student community in the Centre until achieving quality and accreditation.
- Designing and implementing the appropriate model to evaluate the performance where all components of the university system are integrated and compatible with national, regional and international standards.
- Developing a complete and realistic diagnosis of the obstacles to the development of performance at the level of the Centre with the proposal of solutions and developing plans for improvement in various areas.
- Training academic cadres in the field of performance assessment, quality assurance and accreditation through workshops and meetings.
- Cooperating with quality assurance and accreditation units, centres, committees, bodies and organizations at national, regional and global levels.
- Holding workshops to improve the performance and effectiveness of faculty members.
This unit was established as one of the English Language Centre's units in order to coordinate with the Deanship of Admission and Registration. This unit overcomes all the difficulties that can impede the process of completing the allocation of student schedules in English language courses. It also reviews all the details related to the numbers of students in the groups, the identification of classrooms, the division of groups with large numbers of students and the allocation of staff members to groups.
- Preparing study schedules for all English language courses for academic purposes in coordination with the Deanship of Admission and Registration.
- Preparing examination and invigilation schedules for all English language courses for academic purposes.
- Coordinating with the Deanship of Admission and Registration regarding examination schedules for English Language courses for academic purposes.
- Coordinating with the Deanship of Admission and Registration regarding the processes of registration, deletion and addition of students and merging of groups and determine the halls for students of English language courses.
- Following-up the large or small numbers of students in groups and fix these problems.
- Approving all English language courses at all university headquarters and branches in cooperation with the Academic Coordination and Supervision Unit.
This unit works on a scientific and professional basis to raise the level of student assessment at the English Language Centre. Moreover, it uses the latest scientific methods in designing tests and managing the process of student assessment.
- Preparing and administering the diagnostic test for new students.
- Forming testing committees at the Centre.
- Coordinating with the concerned committees regarding the tests of the branches.
- Coordinating with the concerned bodies at the University regarding midterm and final tests for all students.
- Holding orientation workshops for new teachers to familiarize them with testing procedures.
- Preparing for all tests needs (test-correction machine – answer forms – various tests tools).
- Preparing reports of the final results to be approved by the Director of the Centre.
- Addressing the students' conditions related to the tests regarding substitute tests, preparing lists for the substitute test and submitting them to the Director of the Centre in order to present them to the department council.
- Following-up forms of grades modification for all students, auditing them and then following-up their approval by the committee.
- Receiving requests to review the results and replying to them.
Scholarship and Academic Support Unit
The Unit takes full responsibility for overseeing the internal and external scholarships and providing administrative and academic support to the scholarship students.
The tasks of the Unit are divided into three parts:
- First: Pre-scholarship.
- Providing the scholarship candidates with all the forms of scholarship and preparing them.
- Opening the file with the Scholarship Administration.
- Obtaining the Financial Guarantee.
- Helping with obtaining admission to both Master’s and PhD.
- Providing academic recommendations that facilitate obtaining admission.
- Providing consultation regarding determining the country of study, selecting the University, the program, the Academic Supervisor, and the research proposal.
- Obtaining the scholarship approval.
- Executing the travel procedures and issuing the boarding-passes.
- Second: During Scholarship.
- Following up all the transactions of the students in coordination with the administration and the Cultural Mission.
- Receiving emergent queries and contributing to solving them.
- Providing teaching consultation for both Master’s and PhD stages.
- Following up students' progress in coordination with the scholarship administration and the Cultural Mission.
- Third: Post-scholarship.
- Executing the scholarship completion transaction for the staff members who completed their study and making their start of work official.
- Receiving staff members who came back from scholarship and introducing them to the educational policies of the Centre.
- Preparing the documents necessary for promotion to the higher position once the required qualification is gained.