Malpass Library Hosts Visiting Algerian Scholar

Picture of Ziad Khaled in the Garden Lounge

For a few weeks at the end of the fall semester, Western’s Malpass Library had an interesting guest. Khaled Ziad is a scholar who visited the United States from A. Boussouf University Center in Algeria, where he teaches foreign languages, such as English and French. He studies foreign language programs in the US as part of his doctoral research on applied linguistics in education, focusing on curriculum and evaluation. During his research, he came upon the Web site of Western Illinois University. Then, he came to the library’s Web page.

““I was amazed,” Ziad said. Western’s library convinced him that he wanted to visit the WIU campus and continue research for his thesis there. He contacted Dean Michael Lorenzen, and after having a discussion and answering a view questions, Dean Lorenzen agreed to help organize Ziad’s visit to WIU. He arrived on December 3rd and stayed through December 23rd.

The library that initially drew Khlaed to WIU was the most enjoyable part of his visit, Ziad said. “I was already a fan of books, but this has been an unforgettable experience.” Ziad was given office space on the 6th floor in which to work, but could often be found camped out on the 5th floor at a table or using computers on the 2nd floor. He said that he appreciated the nighttime hours, the helpful staff, and that everything in the library exists to help with research. The collections also proved useful to his work. “My university has some journals, but not the like the ones I found here,” he said, stating that WIU has a more diverse selection of online journals that his home institution.

In addition to conducting research in the library, Ziad was also introduced to WESL staff, attending their classes and meeting with their coordinator, David Bell, and several others to discuss their policies. Of these meetings, Ziad said “It is very interesting, in fact, to discuss how they choose their textbooks,” and to explore their curriculum choices. Student evaluations of instructors, and how they lead to accountability and quality, also interested him for his research. Both his time in the library and his conversations with WESL staff, Ziad said, were “for the purpose of change, change for the better” at his home institution.

Ziad has also met with Dr. Jeff Hancks, interim director of the School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach, from whom he learned many things about WIU. “My university may establish a relationship with WIU,” Ziad said following these meetings. “We may send more of our best students here for their Master’s or PhD.” Hancks added that they discussed “the need for ESL instruction to Algerians” as well as the potential for making an arrangement with Ziad’s institution in Algeria.

Ziad did venture off-campus at times during his visit. With Dean Lorenzen, he visited Wal-Mart and HyVee and “found everything [he] needed.” He also described the atmosphere of Macomb and the shops on the square as “calm” – “I like the calm,” he said. “It’s suitable for studying at university, not a lot of distractions.”

“We are very glad to have hosted Ziad and expanded the WIU experience to include people from across the globe,” said Dean of Libraries Michael Lorenzen. “The Libraries welcome all those in pursuit of knowledge, and we’re glad that we could assist Ziad in his studies.”