A Call for New Benchmarks at Saudi Language and Translation Schools

| December 28, 2008
A Call for New Benchmarks at Saudi Language and Translation Schools

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Reima Al-Jarf
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Bio Data
Reima Al-Jarf is a professor at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where she has taught courses in EFL, ESP, linguistics, and translation to graduate and undergraduate students. She has four books and 66 articles published in refereed international and national journals. She has given 100 presentations and attended about 150 conferences in 25 countries (USA, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Iran, Ukraine, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Cyprus, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia). She is a member of 22 professional organizations and serves on international and national committees.

Since the year 2000, Saudi universities have cancelled all admission tests and have adopted an open admission policy that depends on high school GPA only. Many high school graduates in Saudi Arabia, especially females, show a great interest in joining colleges of languages and translation and admission to those colleges has been highly competitive. Despite the fact that the lowest GPA for high school graduates admitted to the College of Languages & Translation (COLT) in Fall 2007 was 98.3%, results of the fall 2007 final exams were exceptionally shocking with only 21.8% passing the reading course. The attrition rate in Fall 2003 was 20% and it went up to 30% in Spring 2004. Few students drop each week and many re-register in the following semester adding up to the total number of enrollees. This status quo shows a need for adopting new admission benchmarks at Saudi language and translation schools. Recommendations for improving the current status are given.

See page 60-74

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 10 Issue 4