ELSD Curriculum & Educational Technology Unit

ELSD CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK

The King Saud University, Common First Year (KSU CFY) provides a foundation year of studies to students entering the university. The English Language Skills Department (ELSD) supports the overall goals of the CFY in using English as the medium of instruction for all degree courses.

To achieve this, the ELSD equips learners with the academic English language skills required to succeed in their undergraduate studies. ELSD learners receive intensive English language instruction that effectively integrates pedagogic theory and praxis, relevant content and innovative technology, creating a community of active, competent and autonomous learners.

Courses

Students sit a placement test upon enrolment and the outcome of which categorizes them into three proficiency groups A, B & C.  Thereafter, they pursue their respective course objectives through the support of resources and materials aimed to meet their specific learning needs.

Tracks

Students originate from a number of different tracks (Humanities, Science, Business, Engineering, and Health Colleges) and are required to complete their foundation program in the CFY before progressing onto their respective undergraduate studies.

HUMANITIES track students are required to successfully complete semester one courses ENGS 101, ENGS 102 or ENGS 103 depending on their proficiency group. 

English for academic purposes underpins the courses’ content and learning objectives.  Integration of the four language skills is achieved using an increasing range of listening, reading, and writing texts and genres. The focus on communicative interaction is maintained and supported by means of a variety of familiar topics offering students greater exposure to authentic texts and cultivating an appreciation of all four language skills through communicative and functional activities. 

SCIENCE, BUSINESS & ENGLINEERING track students are required to successfully complete semester one courses ENGS 104, ENGS 105 or ENGS 106.  These groups transition to ENGS 111, ENGS 112 and ENGS 113 in semester two respectively. 

Proficiency groups A and B complete English for Academic Purposes (EAP) modules while Category C students have an integrated EAP and ESP (English for specific purposes) module.  These courses provide a consolidation of the four language skills and develop students’ competencies through relevant academic contexts, a wide range of vocabulary and more advanced grammatical structures.  Focus is on key cognitive skills needed for academic discourse such as analysing, synthesizing, and evaluating. An additional component of the Category C module is a focus on development of academic English writing.

HEALTH COLLEGES track students are required to successfully complete semester one courses ENGS 107, ENGS 108 and ENGS 109 and transition to ENGS 114, ENGS 115 and ENGS 116 in semester two respectively. 

These integrated English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and Medical English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses aim to consolidate language proficiency through exposure to, and practise of listening, reading, and writing texts and genres. The focus on communicative interaction is maintained and supported by means of a variety of academic topics offering students greater familiarity with authentic texts and cultivating an appreciation of all four language skills.  ESP focus is an extension of the courses which aims to support students with productive and receptive texts in the discipline of medicine.  The medical component of the courses further equips students with the specialist vocabulary needed to participate successfully within a medicine faculty.

 Course Materials

All EAP textbooks consist of two strands: reading & writing and listening & speaking.  These textbooks are also supported by a learning management system (LMS) and teachers’ ancillary resources. ESP textbooks are integrated skills courses with companion websites with additional resources.  Teachers are encouraged to develop supplementary materials in line with course objectives to further cater for students’ specific learning styles.

 

Educational technology Unit:

Educational technology and E-learning enable the design, deliver and facilitation of instruction and learning, and has become an important way of engaging learners to understand the implications of technology in today’s society through empowerment and critical thinking.

Mission:

The EdTech division of the Curriculum & EdTech Unit enhances teaching and learning through the integration of educational technology, and with ongoing needs assessment, the unit researches, tests and deploys technology and services that promote higher order thinking in innovative, transformative learning environments.  The unit maintains infrastructure to support educators in their utilization of technology that engages students in authentic learning experiences to engender lifelong learning skills.

Objectives:

To promote the program’s curricular mission and objectives to ensure teachers’ and students’ access to suitable online applications and software learning resources thus promoting an environment conducive to a range of learning styles and strategies.

Improve instructional practices by effectively integrating technology in the classroom

Lead research and innovations in online teaching and learning

Utilize technology to design and develop creative teaching materials and assessment tools

Operations:

ELSD Online provides students and teachers access to print and multi-media instructional resources and support material.  To promote student engagement, classrooms are equipped with e-podiums, projectors and smartboards.  KSU Blackboard LMS is a web-based server software and learning management platform which supports in-use textbooks and forms part of the students’ course requirements. The unit actively delivers trainings and workshops to assist teachers integrate educational technology in their classrooms in order to facilitate a variety of learning experiences.