Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Qatar University to have Arabic as Medium of Instruction
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Qatar
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
mesquite



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Qatar University, in Arabic once again

Posted by Saqer Almarri

I had just taken a short (but great) trip to Egypt, and while I was there I heard of the news that Qatar University (QU) is going to be adding more degree programs in Arabic, and exempting students from the Foundation requirements if they are entering Arabic-taught programs. This decision is huge. In a region where many public and private universities teach in languages other than the official languages (mostly English, but also French), taking steps to allow students to enter programs to be taught in their language is almost revolutionary.

Qatari columnist Abdulla Alathbah does not consider this to be a surprising decision, but suggests that this also an answer to the #QuFail campaign. Another Qatari columnist Jawaher Al Thani also considers this decision an answer to the campaign that was led by students at the university, but also asks how the decision will be applied. A lot of translation of resources would be needed to convert many of the degree programs into Arabic-taught programs.

It remains to be seen what will happen, but it did remind me of the American missionary Cornelius Van Dyck who had written various textbooks in Arabic for his students at the Syrian Protestant College, now the American University of Beirut. Van Dyck (according to the Arabic Wikipedia) was one of the most popular teachers at the college, and in 1882, resigned from his teaching post due to the college’s administrative decision to switch the teaching language to English, saying: “I came to the Levant to serve the Arabs by teaching them the sciences in their language.”

Further readings on the topic:

The Gulf Blog: “Public policy by whim? Qatar University to teach in Arabic”

The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Debate arises at Qatar U. over decision to teach mainly in Arabic” by Ursula Lindsey

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12297
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear stickleback,

I use the Acuplacer with my "Transitions" ESL students as a post-test. And I use the TABE (language and reading sections)

http://www.tmaarc.org/pdfs/TABE_book4web.pdf

http://www.mnabeassessment.com/TABE_resources.html

as a pre-test.

I've never heard of anyplace in EFL using them.

Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mesquite



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Qatar varsity students vent ire on Twitter Thursday, 17 May 2012

DOHA: Qatar University is in the throes of a controversy as a number of students have launched a Twitter (Qufail) campaign criticising its academic policies and administration and claiming that their woes have been ignored.By late last evening there were 1,968 followers of the Twitter campaign. It all started with some Qatari newspaper columnists comparing the convocations of Education City universities that were held recently with much pomp and show and Qatar University’s graduation ceremony which is always a low-key affair.

The attention of the columnists was drawn to Qatar University especially after H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser paid a visit recently. Some of the columnists were critical of the fact that universities at the Education City are given preference at the expense of Qatar University even while it is a national university. At least one columnist, Rabia Al Kuwari, said that one of the purposes ofH H Sheikha Moza’s visit to Qatar University was to assess the differences between it and the universities of Education City and help remove them. Al Kuwari noted in his column that Qatar University is the only university in the GCC region to have imposed English as a medium of instruction for a number of streams.It was also the first university in the region to have introduced a tough pre-admission format (Foundation Program) as a pre-condition for admission to several streams. The university, though, reversed the decision later.In the past five years more than 2,000 Qatari students have been denied admission. “It is a huge number and if this would have happened in a Western country, people would have moved the court,” said Al Kuwari.
“No university in the GCC, whether in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait or Bahrain, has ever introduced a Foundation course or a foreign language as a medium of instruction for certain key streams diluting their Arab identity,” said Al Kuwari.Many Qatari students who fail to get admitted to Qatar University either sit at home, go to Saudi Arabia for further studies or seek admission to the Community College.Community sources point out that Qatari families mostly prefer Qatar University to Education City universities because of the fact that there is no co-education at the former. This is mostly true of female students whose parents or guardians prefer them to pursue highereducation at QU rather than foreign university campuses at the Education City.Also, it is a long-standing belief of many a Qatari family that Qatar University is a national university and explains their preference for it, say community sources.

Tweets, on the other hand, called on Qatar University (QU) students to unite and campaign for improving its state of affairs.The messages rue that QU is in a sorry state as compared to Education City universities although a vast majority of its students are Qatari while the students of Education City are mostly foreigners.The woes of QU students are being ignored and there is a lack of basic facilities, say the tweets. The facilities need to be upgraded on an urgent basis.“Many students faint in the sizzling heat during the summer months,” said a student tweet implying that there are so many buildings on the university campus that are not inter-connected and there are no shaded pathways so students are forced to run around from one building to another exposed to the sun to attend classes.“We need shaded pathways,” said a student. Parking cars is a major problem on the university campus. “Traffic officials occasionally come and impose fines for wrong parking,” said another tweet.Air-conditioning systems in many buildings of the university do not work properly so students are left battling heat and humidity, said yet another student.

A female student of an Education City university proverbially added fuel to fire by telling a local Arabic daily that while convocations at Qatar University are shabbily organised events and are such that students grab chairs to make sure that at least their mothers can comfortably sit, graduation ceremonies of Education City universities are a delight to be at and watch.“As a student of Education City I recently attended a convocation event and received my degree. My mother was with me and she felt proud of me.”The student said that she attended a convocation ceremony of Qatar University a few years ago where her sister was to receive her degree and the event was pathetic.As for the columnists, nearly all of them were bitterly critical of Qatar University with one of them, Sadiq Al Ammari, taking the university’s administration to task over its wavering academic policies and weak administration.

“It’s like a laboratory that keeps experimenting with rats,” Al Ammari wrote implying that it first replaced Arabic as a medium of instruction for some key streams with English and then reversed the decision last year.Likewise, Foundation Programme was introduced for all courses and then waived for some. Set up in 1973, the university has only seven faculties and 60 specialisations in various streams even though its strength has gone up from a few thousands to 8,000 currently.Its pre-admission Foundation Programme is tough to qualify and cut-off marks for certain courses like pharmacy and biological sciences are as high as 75 percent.So is the case with other courses as well. “This is the reason why many Qatari students who come out of secondary schools and are unable to get admission to Qatar University either look for jobs or go overseas for further studies,” wrote Al Ammari. Community sources also lament the fact that over the years Qatari professors at QU are declining in number and focus on research is losing importance.However, Mariam Al Khater took a different view in her column on the issue in Al Sharq on May 13. She said QU students are discriminated against, talking of the high-profile way in which the convocation of an Education City university was held recently.

“Are these universities (at Education City) elitist and sophisticated? As if these universities are from another planet,” wrote Al Khater. “QU students feel themselves to be outcastes.”She quoted Dr Amira Sumbul who heads international affairs department at both QU and Georgetown University as saying that she finds QU students far better than their counterparts at the Education City.“It is double standards,” Al Khater said of the ‘treatment’ meted out to Qatar University and the Education City.There are efforts to create a wedge in society and have two social classes, one that has access to ‘elite private educational institutions’ while the other, the people at large have access only to government educational institution (implying Qatar University), she said.

The Peninsula
http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/194604-qatar-varsity-students-vent-ire-on-twitter.html

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
landcruzer



Joined: 15 Apr 2012
Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: QU Foundation Quandry Reply with quote

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/195606-19-academics-call-for-probe-into-qu-affairs.html

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/dr.-muhammad-al-kubaisi/195335-open-meeting-at-qatar-university.html

From what is being said around town, QU foundation relies on advisors who have never worked in the Gulf and who do not have a TEFL background. It appears that the criticisms of QU academics are valid. You'd wonder why they would hire people with no regional experience to make the changes. Students and others predict QU Fail. which the students are tweeting, will probably be the end result.

http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/194604-qatar-varsity-students-vent-ire-on-twitter.html


Another issue is the firing of non-Arabic teaching staff from departments that will now have Arabic as the medium of instruction. Some of these professors quit their jobs to come here with the promise of 3 or 5 year contracts with research opportunities. Now they are jobless as the SEC decree came after the first pickings for academic posts was over. Some people were recruited and quit their jobs expecting to come in September 2012 (I have a friend in this very situation) and were then told not to come. So my friend is now out of a job. He regrets being lured by the tax-free salary and wishes he'd not resigned from a tenure track post. You have to be bilingual now to work in International Relations or Business. So all the non-Arabic speaking people will be out of a job as soon as their students graduate.

And what about the surplus QU foundation teachers? What is going to happen to them? Quite a few people are leaving because the job insecurity situation is so bad. The call to abolish the foundation is resonating with a lot of people so it looks like it has a limited shelf life. No guarantees one teacher said.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15858
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you had been following the previous discussion on this topic, you would know that there are no excessive EFL teachers. The majors that changed to Arabic based curriculum will still need English courses, so many teachers will be moving up to content areas teaching ESP. In fact, QU Foundations is hiring teachers this year. Naturally some have left because of the situation and they want a more settled position, but the new program still has plenty of students and still needs teachers.

Yes, of course it is sad that these professors gave up jobs back home to try to pad their retirement funds in the Gulf. But, if they had studied the situation, they would have known that it was a risk from the start. They could have washed out the first probationary semester, hated the country, crossed their new Dean... whatever. If you come to the Gulf expecting job security, you haven't educated yourself.

If they have a year or two of experience, they should be well placed to move to another of the Gulf universities. They could yet come out ahead on this. (and I suspect that those who were there will have their contracts bought out)

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
blastermill



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: Promote Arabic Reply with quote

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=508816&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16
Read full article in Gulf Times.

Referring to the recent decree issued by the Supreme Education Council (SEC) stating that Arabic should be the official teaching language of Qatar University, Sheikha Moza stressed the importance of the Arabic language in reinforcing national identity. She encouraged the university to continue to work on advancing the students’ skills in English by offering various programmes for this purpose, and noted that English proficiency should be mandatory upon graduation rather than upon admission.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
blastermill



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:37 pm    Post subject: Lack of Qatarization at QU Reply with quote

This is not the first time Qatar University is in the throes of a controversy in recent months. Quite recently, a number of its students launched a campaign against the university on Twitter on the issue of ignoring Arabic as a medium of instruction for some key streams and adopting what the campaigners said were tough admission criteria for Qatari students.The issue of tough admission criteria and denial of entry to many Qatari students caused so much hurt to some in the community that a few of them even approached the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) for help.
http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/qatar/197901-qatarisation-campaign-jolts-qatar-university-.html
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15858
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiled children... give us the grades... we don't want to do the work... it's too hard... lower the pass grades... Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

Gee... poor things... it is not as if they even pay tuition either.

I expect that the NHRC was rolling their eyes too.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
blastermill



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject: NY Times Article on Arabic Reply with quote

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/world/middleeast/11iht-educlede11.html?_r=1
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nolan Chance



Joined: 13 Apr 2012
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patricia Ryan, Zayed University in Dubai wrote:


“Latin was the language of the powerful Roman Empire, and where is it now?”



Without it would seem not perhaps fully understanding the import of the question she asks, Patricia Ryan gets right to to the quick of this matter.

The real reason why English has been so important in the Gulf has been because of the political, economic and particularly military hegemony of the US and its allies.

The decion to move away from the language of the empire might well be because is has been sensed that this dominance is, or soon will be, no more. If Qatar's action is informed by such an assessment then the consequences for the region could be tumultuous.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15858
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nolan Chance wrote:
The decion to move away from the language of the empire might well be because is has been sensed that this dominance is, or soon will be, no more. If Qatar's action is informed by such an assessment then the consequences for the region could be tumultuous.

While this makes complete sense to many of us... I'm not so sure that this move is quite that well thought out.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
La Reve



Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 62
Location: Ici

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject: Qatar Reply with quote

I taught in Saudi Arabia back in '84-'86. We had to write our own EFL material for two reasons: there weren't that many books on EFL back then and the Saudis wanted to make sure all the written material fitted their culture.

It became evident to the Saudis 30 years ago, it was impossible to translate all the needed college textbooks into Arabic. They tried, but that project failed.

Personally, I do think each Gulf country should have at least one college or university where the textbooks/material is in Arabic, if possible. My heart breaks for the students who can't learn English. Some are great in math, but as modern brain research has shown, brains good at math often have lesser abilities with language. And dyslexics like myself would have tremendous problems learning another language to attend college.

That's why the new teaching of English and core subjects in English at primary schools is such an excellent idea in the UAE and other countries. Brain research shows children can learn languages faster and easier before the age of 12.

English is the language of science and money. It's also the international language that helps people around the world communicate with each other. I don't even think the Chinese want people to learn their language - IMHO, they'd rather keep their secrets to themselves and speak English to the world.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15858
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Qatar Reply with quote

La Reve wrote:
It became evident to the Saudis 30 years ago, it was impossible to translate all the needed college textbooks into Arabic. They tried, but that project failed.

How is it that the Levant and North Africa have managed to have universities that taught in Arabic. (the exception always being medicine - taught in either French or English)

IMHO, the GCC could have trained translators and done the texts for a fraction of the millions (billions?) of dollars that they have wasted on the folly of teaching in English. If they had worked together on this, it was easily doable. Of course, they have historically had a difficult time working together on educational issues.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
blastermill



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a very valid point. However, Qatar is now on the world stage in aviation (world's number one airlines), real estate (they own a lot of real estate around the world including NY and California), education (all those Ivy League colleges); business & finance (they own a lot of companies lock, stock and barrel); agro-business (they own a lot of agricultural land in Uganda and other Afican countries); politicds - policy makers and brokers for Arab world conflicts.

Qatar small as it is is a very important country. They have very astute leaders with money to invest, so English is more needed here than in KSA opr even the UAE. The most intelligent people at the UN come from Qatar.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15858
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So... are you enjoying your new job with the PR department of the Qatari government? Laughing

Let's be serious. They have lots and lots and lots of money... a handful of bright people... and ginormous egos. The Emirati ego crashed their ideas of being the "next Hong Kong" and as they are licking their wounds, Qatar has taken over the hype. And what is currently happening at QU shows exactly where their limitations are...

If they are as smart as you think, they would be best directed to make darn sure that there isn't a war with Iran... cause their goose could also get cooked.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Qatar All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 3 of 5

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC