Innovative linguist wins Study UK Alumni Award

  • Date

    Thu 3 Mar 22

Portrait of Dr Faisal Al-Homoud

Innovative linguist Dr Faisal Al-Homoud has won the culture and creativity category of the Study UK Alumni Awards in Saudi Arabia.

Dr Al-Homoud, who graduated from Essex in 2003 with a Masters in Applied Linguistics, has devised easy and effective strategies to teach English in the classroom, which he has expanded to social media where he has more than 300,000 Instagram followers, alongside a WhatsApp course helping more than 3,000 people learn English.

An Associate Professor at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University and Majmaah University, Dr Al-Homoud said he was ”delighted” to be a finalist in the Alumni Awards’ culture and creativity category for Saudi Arabia.

“The University of Essex was my gateway to academic endeavour and excellence,” said Dr Al-Homoud. “Studying at UK universities changed my way of looking at how international students learn English.”

When he started teaching in Saudi, he wanted to be different and bring innovative and effective ways of teaching English to EFL (English as a foreign language) learners at a university level and published a paper promoting extensive reading.

He is thought to be the first person in Saudi Arabia to introduce “graded readers” to learners in a systematic and research-based way. It proved very effective in developing EFL learners' vocabulary and, since then, has been using the same system whenever he teaches a reading course.

In 2015 he decided to branch out into the world of social media and now has 300.000 followers on Instagram where he delivers his English teaching. He then started my own WhatsApp-based English course which has helped more than 3,000 learners in learning English and recently launched his own website for teaching English

The Study UK Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. Award winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries.