Global Scale of English will help improve learning outcomes for English language students in Saudi Arabia and wider region.

Conference Discusses Future of English Language Testing in the Arab World
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 25th April 2013: Leading international thinkers in English language teaching and assessment have gathered in Riyadh with local experts to discuss the best methods for improving the standard of English language training in the Arab world.

The “English Language and Translation Forum” hosted by the Prince Sultan University on the 24th and 25th of April was the first English Language Teaching (ELT) forum held by the University, aimed at increasing the quality of English amongst Arab students. The Conference was supported by the British Council and delegates included experts in the field from within the Kingdom and around the world.
The Conference reinforced the importance of equipping Arab learners with excellent English language skills, as the region’s economies become increasingly globalised. Embedding quality English language training into education systems has been a priority of regional governments who understand the link between graduates with strong English skills and the ability of economies to thrive in a competitive, international market place. Improving the English language capabilities of school and university leavers also has wider socio-economic impacts in Arab countries, where graduates with effective English skills are more likely to find meaningful work, and enjoy higher salaries.
As governments in the region pour unprecedented funding into their education systems, many students want to upgrade their educational level and future prospects by learning English.  This calls for English language teaching and assessment methods to stay innovative and responsive, says Professor John De Jong, Senior Vice President of Standards and Quality at the world’s largest education company, Pearson, and Professor of Language Testing at Amsterdam’s VU University.
Professor De Jong was a leading presenter at the English Language and Translation Forum, using the opportunity to explain the benefits of the Global Scale of English (GSE) to delegates. The GSE has been developed by Pearson to provide a comprehensive and robust global benchmark for English proficiency. The scale has been in use for a number of years as a reliable scoring system for Pearson’s trusted English test, PTE Academic™. But Professor De Jong explained the advantages of the GSE across a range of uses.
The GSE offers a standardised, numeric scale from 10 to 90 which can measure English language proficiency more precisely with reference to the widely known and employed Common European Framework of References for Languages, or CEFR. The GSE is a benchmark for English language proficiency that can be related to other English language tests and national examinations as well as a measure of the level of English needed for a range of academic and professional purposes. The GSE has been academically validated, and when linked to instructional content can be used as a benchmark for English language courses offering a truly global and shared understanding of ELT course levels.
 
Professor De Jong is confident the GSE will help improve the quality of English language education in the Middle East as it allows for a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of a learner’s English language ability and progression. He says: “The intention of this scale is to encourage the profiling of learners, rather than merely classifying them by levels, as the CEFR tends to do. The GSE is more useful for students and instructors because it provides them with the information to understand English language proficiency more precisely within a CEFR band, and to monitor learner progress within course levels, as well as allowing them to make informed choices about teaching and learning goals to improve their English”.
Using the scale to determine the English language level of learners will have significant benefits for English language education in Saudi Arabia and neighbouring countries. Professor De Jong says:
“Pearson is excited to see the changes the Global Scale of English can make to the learning outcomes of English students in the Middle East. Using this scale will mean we can accurately pinpoint the very specific listening, reading, speaking and writing capabilities of a learner, and provide them with a much more accurate and detailed learning plan than ever before. The GSE is less prone to misinterpretation, meaning the course or level the student is studying will be a much more accurate reflection of their learning needs. Ultimately, this should improve the results of English language students in the region, and we all know the far-reaching impacts good English language skills can have on an individual’s future, and the collective benefits this can have on communities”.
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About Pearson:
Pearson is the world’s largest learning company, operating in more than 80 countries around the world, bringing powerful learning solutions to millions of learners every year. Pearson takes learning personally. Our courses and resources are available in print, online and through multi-lingual packages, helping people learn whatever, wherever and however they choose. Our education imprints combine 150 years of experience and include online support for every learner.  Our innovative and dynamic digital learning products and services are changing the learning landscape all around the globe and our qualifications are positively transforming the futures of learners of all ages and backgrounds.  Pearson can boast a comprehensive English Language offering that consists of engaging content and cutting edge testing solutions, including the internationally acclaimed PTE Academic™. To find out more, visit www.pearson.com

HBMeU receives Golden Order of Merit for Wise Leadership in Arab World

 Award dedicated to H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
 April 9, 2013 –Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University (HBMeU) recently received the Golden Order of Merit for Wise Leadership in the Arab World during the recent Tatweej Academy Excellence Awards in Dubai, in recognition of the University’s quality and excellence in delivering enhanced knowledge and education across the Arab World.

The event, which saw the participation from Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria and Iraq, was the result of mutual cooperation between Tatweej Academy and the Arab Organisation for Social Responsibility, to celebrate high-profile personalities and leading universities, academic institutions and banks whose contributions towards creating a culture of quality and excellence have greatly benefited the Arab communities.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor, HBMeU, was grateful to receive the Golden Order of Merit on behalf of the University. The latest honour further reaffirms HBMeU’s ongoing efforts to promote a culture of e-learning and total quality management across the Arab World. Dr. Al Awar dedicated the award to H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMeU, whose wise directives and continuous support have been crucial to the success of HBMeU in the region and worldwide.

Dr. Al Awar stressed on the importance of recognising the contributions of leading universities, banks and individuals for their active role in supporting excellence in the Arab World. He also commended the efforts of Tatweej Academy and the Arab Organisation for Social Responsibility to recognize the successful, outstanding achievements and performance of leading banks, administrations and educational institutions in the region. The university Chancellor further stressed on the need for intensifying efforts to raise the bar of excellence for education and knowledge as these elements are integral to the development of nations and to enhance their growth and welfare. This ultimately reflects the need to support academic institutions that are working to develop education and spread knowledge across the Arab World.
“The vision of Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University is to create new, contemporary learning methodologies, such as the Smart Learning program which represents an all-round change in terms of the gaining, disseminating and optimal use of knowledge to achieve e-transformation and sustainable development,” added Dr. Al Awar. “This is in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to shift from the traditional learning methods to a new phase of Smart Learning, which will allow us to join the new global race and ultimately reach outstanding development.”
Dr. Al Awar finally thanked H.E. Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police Chief and Chairman of HBMeU’s Board of Governors, for his ongoing support to the vision of achieving a new learning experience and developing a socially and academically qualified generation that is able to compete in a global society while laying the foundations for comprehensive growth, development and progress in the UAE. Dr. Al Awar further lauded the efforts of the administration and faculty members to make HBMeU one of the leading academic institutions at the regional and international levels.
Tatweej Academy honored the UAE with four Golden Orders of Merit during the ceremony. In addition to HBMeU’s Golden Order of Merit for Wise Leadership in the Arab World, Zayed University, represented by Mr. Ali Al Awadi, received the Golden Order of Merit for Corporate Social Responsibility, while Union National Bank, represented by CEO Dr. Mohammad Nasr Abdeen, received the Golden Order of Merit for Achievements. A number of high-profile Arab leaders and administrators were also rewarded during the ceremony, namely Dr. Eng. Ali Mohamed Al Khouri, Director General, Emirates ID.  

HBMeU’s Board of Governors underlines need to take practical steps to promote e-Learning in Arab World .

  
April 3, 2013
The Board of Governors of Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University(HBMeU) recently concluded its third annual meeting for the academic year 2012/2013, addressing a wide range of topics related to the University’s vision of promoting a culture of e-Learning and total quality management across the Arab World. The minutes of the previous meeting were also reviewed.

During the meeting, the Board called upon the University’s administration to pursue the last meeting’s recommendations to encourage Arab ministries of higher education to adopt the e-Learning concept, as well as the programs offered by the University. It further underlined the need for the University’s administration to conduct a comprehensive study on the Arab market, in addition to tapping new markets and raising awareness about the programs offered by the University.

The Board of Governors also touched upon HBMeU’s involvement with the initiative of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the world capital of Islamic economy.