The Use of Etiquette by Libyan EFL Postgraduate Students in Writing Formal Email
Journal Article

The role of email is becoming more and more important and email is considered one of the most effective tools of communication and correspondence nowadays. This research paper investigates the use of etiquette by Libyan EFL postgraduate students in writing formal emails. The aim is to shed light on the situation and determine to what extent Libyan EFL postgraduate students adhere to the rules of etiquette in their formal emails. Another aim is to try to find out if there are any problems, they face in this respect in order to find better ways that may help in dealing with them. To fulfill these aims, 39 students were asked to send a formal email to their instructor (the researcher) of subjects of their own choice. However, only 34 emails were received. The results have shown that the majority of the students who have participated in the study are aware of the overall structure and organization of emails written in formal style. However, examining details have shown that students face some problems that are not only related to style, but also to language and culture. It was apparent from the emails investigated that students lack practice and experience in writing formal emails. To overcome these difficulties, teachers are advised to raise their students’ awareness of the importance of using formal emails as a means of communication and to provide them with sufficient practice by regularly using formal email in their correspondence with their teachers. Students also need to be aware of the inter-linguistic and cultural differences; what might be acceptable and favorable in Arabic may lead to miscommunication problems when used in English.

Albashir Ahmed, (12-2020), Sabratha University Scientific Journal: Sabratha University, 2 (4), 1-16

An Introduction to Syntax

This coursebook is designed to satisfy the need for a coursebook that is suitable for the university level. It is a practical book which introduces syntactic concepts in a simple way and which gives a chance to students of syntax to understand these concepts through practice by doing related exercises. It is based on my experience of teaching syntax to university students for several years. 

The sequencing and the grading of material from simple topics to more difficult ones makes it easier to understand and grasp the ideas discussed. For example, Unit One is an introductory unit where syntax as a subject is clarified and where analysis approaches and methods of representations that will be used throughout the book are introduced and explained. Unit Two discusses the internal structure of clauses and phrases. It is only after a thorough understanding of these constituents has been ensured through illustrations and practice that the functions of these constituents are introduced in a separate unit, i.e. Unit three.  

Albashir Ahmed, (12-2020), Tripoli-Libya: Albashir Ahmed,

Writing a Research Proposal

   This book has been written to satisfy the need for a practical guide for MA Libyan students which takes them step by step in the process of writing a research proposal. It is the outcome of years of experience in teaching a ‘proposal writing seminar’ subject to postgraduates in the English department in the University of Zawia. However, we believe it will be useful for all MA students in the Libyan academic institutions who write their proposals in the English language.

    The book is not meant to teach the students the methodology of writing research which is presumably should have been dealt with in a separate subject and which is considered a prerequisite for writing a proposal. Thus, in order for students to benefit much from this book, they should be first acquainted with the terminology, procedure and methodology of writing their research which will facilitate their understanding of the process of writing their proposals. 

Albashir Ahmed, (12-2020), Tripoli-Libya: Albashir Ahmed,

Using online recorded video lectures as a substitute for face-to-face lectures
Journal Article

The main aim of this study is experimenting using online recorded video lectures as a substitute for face-to-face lectures after it has become impossible for some of the students to attend normal classes due to the fighting taking place in the areas around the capital city of Tripoli. Another aim of equal importance is investigating the students’ attitudes and feelings towards this use of online recorded video lectures. The study took place in the school of languages at the Libyan Academy and the sample was taken from MA students of applied linguistics studying the subject of syntax in the spring semester in 2019. A questionnaire was distributed to 49 students after having watched 24 videos covering material of 6 normal lectures. However, only 40 copies of the questionnaire were returned.

The results showed that students have positive attitudes towards using online video lectures and appreciated their use. They said that they had found these videos useful and that they had benefited from them in spite of the difficulties they encountered. Among the difficulties mentioned by the students themselves was weak internet connection which made it difficult for them to download these videos or even watch them online. Another difficulty was lack of student-teacher interaction and student participation found in face-to-face lectures. To solve the latter problem, students suggested using online video lectures instead of recorded ones to enable students to participate, comment, discuss and ask questions during the lecture. To solve the first problem and others, it was recommended that the Libyan government and related bodies including the ministry of education make efforts to improve relevant services and provide facilities including internet service to cope with the advances taking place in developed countries. 

Albashir Ahmed, (12-2019), مجلة كلية الآداب الزاوية: Zawia University, 0

Integrating technology in writing and supervising graduation projects
Journal Article

This is an exploratory study aiming at investigating integration of technology in writing and supervising graduation projects in the department of English at the Faculty of Arts/University of Zawia. Two questionnaires were distributed: one to teachers and the other to students to obtain relevant data. The results have shown that most of the teachers and students investigated are not using technology in their graduation project works including writing, editing, correcting, reviewing, sending and receiving these works. The results have also shown that those who integrate technology have very limited knowledge and experience related to the use of computer applications and other technological tools like using email and Windows features. It has also been found that the reasons behind this problem include lack of awareness of the importance and usefulness of using technology, negative attitudes, indifference in addition to other limitations related to the unavailability of internet service and necessary technological equipment. To solve this problem several procedures have been suggested including raising the awareness of both teachers and students of the importance and usefulness of integrating technology, providing educational institutions with the necessary equipment and providing teachers and students with the necessary training to update their knowledge and skills related to the use of computers and other technological tools.  

Albashir Ahmed, (12-2018), مجلة كلية الآداب الزاوية: Zawia University, 0

Using Assignments as a Method of Assessment of postgraduate students’ achievement
Journal Article

This research paper was motivated by the observation that exams are the main (if not the sole) method of assessment in the postgraduate programs in the English departments in the University of Zawia and the Libyan Academy. The aim was investigating and experimenting the use of assignment as another method of assessing students’ achievement.

To fulfill this aim, the researcher taught the students in the two English departments separately and simultaneously one of the subjects, namely ELT Methodology. Instead of giving them a typical midterm exam, students were asked to do an assignment in which they evaluate the suitability of some textbooks in teaching and learning English as a foreign language and adapt these books to be suitable for the Libyan context. The same students were given a formal and final exam at the end of the course. The comparison of the scores of the two assessment methods has shown that students did better in the assignment than in the exam. This has supported the results of the questionnaire which was given to the same students. These results indicated that half of the students preferred using assignments to using exams while another considerable number preferred the use of a mixture of assignments and exams. Only a few students selected exams as their preferred method of assessment.

Therefore, it is recommended that assignment as a method of assessing students achievement should be integrated into MA programs in Libyan universities and academies due to its role in improving the students’ practical skills and abilities and enhancing their understanding of the learned subjects.  

Albashir Ahmed, (06-2018), مجلة كلية الآداب الزاوية: Zawia University, 25 (2), 270-292

MA Candidates' Views towards the Entry Exam and the Graduate Program in the Department of English at the Libyan Academy
Journal Article

The paper aimed at investigating MA candidate's views towards the entry exam and the graduate program in the department of English in the School of Languages at the Libyan Academy. This was part of the effort to reform and improve the learning/teaching process in the department. A questionnaire was distributed to 157 candidates who attended the entry exam held on November 2014 to admit students for the academic year 2015. Results show overall satisfaction with both the entry exam and the MA program. However, some critical remarks and suggestions were given. Most of these remarks and suggestions argue for making more effort to improve the quality of the entry exam to make it fairer, more valid and more reliable. The ultimate goal is to have a more effective way of measuring students' qualifications required to join the MA program

Albashir Ahmed, (06-2015), مجلة كلية الآداب الزاوية: Zawia University, -19 (-1), 317-340

Teaching Vocabulary to Fifth Year pupils in Libyan Primary Schools
Journal Article

The paper has evaluated a sample of material which focuses on the teaching of vocabulary in Libyan Primary Schools. The major objective was to examine the underlying organising principles, teaching approaches and the learning processes, and to discover any shortcomings that might hinder the achievement of the intended outcomes. To fulfil this aim, as much information as possible was collected from various resources such as books, theses, study papers, journals and the World Wide Web. The discussion of the topic has covered three main points. They are a review of the relevant literature, analysis and evaluation of the material in question and, finally, suggestions of how this material might be improved. Because it was difficult to assess the material in isolation, reference to other involved factors such as the teacher, the student and the teaching/learning environment was occasionally made

Albashir Ahmed, (12-2014), مجلة الأكاديمية للعلوم الإنسانية والإجتماعية / العدد السابع - ديسمبر 2014: Libyan Academy, 7 (1),

Investigation in the Application of Email in Thesis Supervision in Libya
Conference paper

The role of technology is becoming more and more important in the different aspects of our life, and its role in ELT is no exception. An example of the application of technology in ELT is email, which is considered one of the most effective tools of communication nowadays. The paper investigates the application of email in thesis supervision in Libya taking the Department of English at the University of Zawia and its counterpart in the School of Languages at the Libyan Academy as examples. The aim is to shed light on the situation and determine to what extent Libyan supervisors and supervisees benefit from email as one of the modern technological tools in facilitating their work. Another aim is to try to specify the problems they face in this respect in order to find better ways that may help in dealing with them. To fulfill these aims, two questionnaires were designed; one for supervisors and the other for supervisees. These questionnaires sought answers to the main research question: To what extent do supervisors and supervisees use email in their communication with each other and for what purpose. The results show that half of the participating supervisors do not use email in their supervision. Similarly, half of the supervisees investigated were found not to be using email to communicate with their supervisors mainly because their supervisors were not willing to use it. One of the possible reasons for not using email by supervisors is that they are technophobes because they lack knowledge and experience in using technology and thus they are not aware of its importance and usefulness amongst other reasons 

Albashir Ahmed, (06-2014), The Second Conference for the English Language at Zawia University: Zawia University,

English and Arabic Vowels: A comparative study of vowel quality and duration
Journal Article

 This study is a comparison between English and Arabic vowels. First a description and classification of vowels in the two languages is given. Then the two sets of vowels are contrasted to find which vowels are similar and which are not. Finally, the set of similar sounds are analysed acoustically to find out to what extent they are similar. This is done by recording two sets of words containing these vowels and measuring their formants and duration. The findings show that although these sounds are similar in some aspects, Arab learners of English do not replace English vowels with their Arabic counterparts but, instead they try to reach the target sounds even though they are not completely successful in achieving their goal. 

Albashir Ahmed, (12-2010), University Bulletin: Zawia University, 12 (2010), 45-70