The use of the mother tongue in Saudi EFL classrooms

Contributed by Ms. Hanan Abu Zaid
BA English Language and ESP Diploma
ESL EFL Instructor – Prep Year
Taibah University, Yanbu Female Campus

Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the topic of using L1 (mother tongue) in the EFL/ESL classes. Actually there are opposing views on using it. We find  many teachers and experts advocate using it. They believe it helps low level students to acquire and learn English in an easy way. They think that it is the most popular English language teaching method. It helps motivate students  and reduce their anxiety, too.

In contrast to this argument, other experts have opposing opinions. They say that  using the mother tongue will harm the progress of the L2 learner.  These experts assert that using L1 is a great obstacle on the students’ way to acquire the language correctly.  They indicate that teaching English should be monolingual and through native teachers.

In this article (see link below), the researcher conducted his study on Saudi students. He investigated the opposing attitudes depending on some teachers and students’ views.  By reading this study, I hope you can determine which trend you can follow to improve your students’ levels in learning English as a foreign language.

The Use Of The Mother Tongue In Saudi EFL Classrooms | Alshammari | Journal of International Education Research (JIER)



How to promote students’ motivation in learning English

Contributed by Ms. Duria Salih Mahmoud
MA English Language
ESL Instructor – Prep Year
Taibah University, Al-Ula Female Campus

“If there is a job worth doing, it is worth doing well”.

What is motivation? Motivation is a combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning the language. It plays a significant role in the process of learning a language & it improves students’ self-motivation.

Student’s motivation is influenced by internal and external factors that can intensify or discourage it.

  1. Intrinsic motivation: The urge to engage in a learning activity for its own desire.
  2. Extrinsic motivation: The individual’s motivational stimuli are coming from outside.

Points to keep in mind:

  • Create a comfortable, friendly, pleasant, relaxed, and supportive atmosphere in the classroom.
  • Give verbal and non-verbal rewards. Ignoring showing praise, encouragement or appreciating students for their efforts can erode their confidence.
  • Provide a real life situation and set a goal for learning.
  • Look for a communicative situation which brings language to life in the classroom, e.g. games which can link language with action.
  • Keep everyone involved, active, interested and participating.
  • Develop a good relationship with students.
  • Promote learner autonomy, taking into account individual differences, interests and expectations.
  • Learners must believe that they have some control over the outcomes because of their performance.
  • Use strategies like brain storming, previewing etc. to create motivation in the class, start from the previous knowledge and link it with the new lesson.
  • Give positive feedback and reinforcement to increase students’ self-confidence, competence, and encourage positive self-evaluation.
  • Encourage students to relate their classroom experience to outside interests and activities, e. g., use some apps for learning English as a means to facilitate conversation, learn, and have fun.
  • Provide pair and group activities to develop students’ confidence and collaboration.
  • Develop your teaching strategies & create appropriate & varied teaching methods.
  • Respect students as learners.Don’t be critical of your students.  When students make a contribution or attempt to answer a question acknowledge their effort and respond in a diplomatic way.
  • Correct errors with compassion.
  • Show students that you care about them and how well they are learning the subject matter.
  • Help them analyze their strengths & weaknesses & offer tools to help.
  • Ask students to analyze what make classes more or less ‘’motivating’’.
  • Avoid creating intense competition among students.
  • Be enthusiastic about your subject.
  • Encourage Students to Personalize the Classroom Environment (e.g., cover the walls with colorful posters or arrange their classroom in the way that would make them feel most comfortable).
  • Provide opportunities for students to experience & celebrate their success.


  • The major factors in students’ motivation are the teacher (attitude , i.e. set a personal example of how they should behave), the teaching method, and the learning environment.
  • The issue is not “How can people motivate others?” but “How can people create the conditions within which others will motivate themselves?”
  • Useful link:

You can access the power point presentation here:


Teacher Development

Contributed by Ms. Tahira Farid
ESL Instructor – Prep year
Taibah University, Yanbu Female Campus

Modern day teaching requires continuous growth with the help of new approaches, ideas and teaching methodologies. A teacher, in today’s fast paced world, is obliged to be engaged in continuous professional development through different means and sources. CPD (Continuous Professional Development) serves that purpose befittingly and ensures that teachers continue to be competent in their profession. It’s an ongoing process which takes place throughout our teaching careers and improves our performance on the job.

It is important to note that CPD is not merely a formal process such as a workshop, seminar or conference; it can also occur in informal contexts such as reading, discussion among colleagues, research or peer observation.

My first post (link attached) on this forum is related to the role of CPD in our profession; how we can continue to learn and develop throughout our careers and how to keep our knowledge and skills up to date.

The British Council’s website gives an overview of the complete CPD framework which is a part of British Council’s Teaching for Success Approach (written by Simon Borg). There is an overview for each of the 12 professional practices of CPD including relevant resources such as links for webinars and articles, to further help in the development of language teachers.

ASCD webinar – The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellence

Shared by Hayat Hajier
English Language Lecturer – Prep year
Taibah University, Yanbu Female Campus

Title: The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellence

Date: Thursday, November 10, 2016

Time: 03:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

Duration: 1 hour


Based on Baruti Kafele’s new ASCD book The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellence, this empowering, introspective webinar takes teachers on a reflective journey designed to challenge them to think deeply about their current practices relative to how they inspire classroom excellence

The Teacher 50: Critical Questions for Inspiring Classroom Excellence



How to increase learner engagement – linkedin learning

Shared by Hayat Hajier
English Language Lecturer – Prep year
Taibah University, Yanbu Female Campus

In this online course, professor and instructional designer Karl Kapp explores teaching strategies that engage learners and make learning interesting. He also explores different lesson formats and activities that increase cognitive engagement, knowledge retention and collaboration. To learn more, click on the link below:

Facilitation Skills in Education

Contributed by Hayat Hajier
English Language Lecturer – Prep year
Taibah University, Yanbu Female Campus
Assistant Principal at a public school in Jordan

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

Godfrey Reggio

As an English language lecturer/teacher and as an assistant principal at a school in Jordan, for about 15 years, the Teacher’s Role in the Classroom has been one of my interests. Over the years, I read a lot about this and attended several courses on the latest strategies and techniques in this field. Further, I got a MEd degree to increase and update my knowledge and views about the teaching/learning process: how people learn and retain knowledge, how to improve the opportunities of learning and how to promote education among our students. The teacher’s role -as a facilitator- attracted my attention the most because, according to my experience, some teachers don’t pay sufficient attention to this role and tend to maintain a teacher- centered class instead of having a student-centered one, which has become an important requirement for successful learning. There is a famous quote from Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese-American artist and writer, who says “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind”.

Having the above in mind, I organized a workshop on Facilitation Skills in Education, illustrating when they are required and what they are required for. In this workshop, teachers were given tasks on differentiating between teaching and facilitating (roles) and on identifying how a teacher changes her/his teaching perspective according to her/his experience. At the end of the workshop, recommendations were offered for teachers on using effective techniques to facilitate teaching, and a few poor facilitation practices were displayed to be avoided.

The following are links for the presentation and the videos. I hope you will find them useful.

My presentation direct link:


Video links:


From teacher to facilitator of learning

What do facilitators do?

Engage me !