My Teaching Philosophy

Teaching for Comprehension and Motivation

 
            My characteristic approach to teaching is based on my own long academic experience in the British educational system. When I started to teach at King Saud University, my main objective was to teach my students in the way I was taught by emphasizing comprehension in my teaching approach rather than encouraging rote memorization which students are unfortunately very familiar with in the Saudi educational system. My focus has continually been to make the curriculum functional and meaningful.
            I enjoy teaching linguistics. I have tried to foster students’ enthusiasm and interest in the field, too. My love of linguistics has impelled me to constantly update my knowledge in the field by attending courses, workshops, and conferences outside the kingdom. Furthermore, I continue to participate in many training courses and workshops provided by the Skills Development Deanship at King Saud University that seek to develop my teaching skills. 
            I am passionate about learning and have always set myself a high standard when teaching and while studying. I want students to be motivated, also. I promote this in several ways. I set a standard of academic achievement that is both challenging and attainable by most students. I demand self-discipline from students which I believe ultimately fosters a conscientious work ethic. Accordingly, I maintain a strict policy of no make-up exams and only make exceptions when students provide a compelling excuse. I espouse a policy of no bonus points because more frequently bonus points provide inappropriate incentives by rewarding low-achievers.
           I frequently adapt my teaching style to my students’ learning needs. I emphasize understanding to enhance reasoning skills. I try to teach with clarity and focus because I want students to leave my classroom with a basic understanding of the knowledge presented to them. I clarify concrete information (e.g. definitions, rules) in my lectures with visual information (e.g. diagrams, charts). I supplement my teaching when necessary with web-based material. I often use an inductive approach to teach certain concepts and rules by providing students with questions that encourage them to reach a generalization. I apply active learning strategies to develop students’ analytical skills while capturing their attention and interest. I encourage students to critically think and question the material presented to them. More significantly, I value originality and hard work.
          My overriding concern has always been to maintain a fairness and balance in my evaluation. As such, I evaluate students’ knowledge of significant course content by using several approaches. I employ objective questions to test their comprehension skills, problem questions to evaluate students’ reasoning skills, and guided writing questions which examine students’ ability to communicate their acquired knowledge. I design classroom assessment techniques that integrate a variety of individual and group-based active learning activities. I provide students with the background knowledge to use class presentations to develop their oral proficiency, to search the vast resources of the web, and to take advantage of audio-visual aids in presenting the topic creatively. This method also provides students with an opportunity to enhance their communication as well as interpersonal skills. The aim is to encourage students to become active participants in class whilst stimulating their intellectual growth.
           Outside the classroom, I use Blackboard to continue assessing my students and to engage them. I design on-line exercises that test their understanding of particular topics. I set tasks that encourage learners to expand on their knowledge of certain areas. Students are often required to use discussion forums as a platform to relate course material to their own experiences. Thus, I promote the use of technology to enhance students’ educational environment.
           My intention has always been to empower young women with an education so that they can achieve personal-fulfillment, and moreover be able to partake in the social and economic development of our society. Whenever possible I try to relate course material to career opportunities. Whatever path they choose to pursue after graduation, my goal has been to motivate my students to excel and actively participate in changing their socio-cultural reality. My objective has always been not only to teach, but to inspire young women positively. Hence, I view my teaching as a social mission.