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Considering moving to the UAE - savings and experience?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4855
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good for you for being proactive in your career planning. As for other Gulf countries, you might consider Oman.

Good luck!
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rossc



Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nomad Soul, actually, I meant Oman!

I have no idea why I wrote Sudan. I haven't even considered looking at that as a place to teach. Think I'm just tired!
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iggyb



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The book below isn't geared for ESL, but it has some ideas that can work.

http://www.amazon.com/Image-Grammar-Grammatical-Structures-Writing/dp/0867094664

If you are teaching Korean university students, the book should offer some useful ideas -- even at the intermediate level -- due to the amount of years the students have already been exposed to English.

I'd think it would also fit with Koreans due to the amount of grammar they have crammed down their throats in secondary school. The book will give them a different feel for grammar and the language. It shows in a way that is easy to understand how professional writers do their craft.

I haven't used it with Koreans myself, but an instructor in writing I loaned the book to at a program where we taught Korean English teachers ended up basing his curriculum on it. (In fact, he kept begging to keep it so much I finally gave it to him and have to replace it...)
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16125
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whew... Oman is a much better choice than Sudan. Laughing

BTW, your plan sounds good. Doing another contract and looking at various ways to teach writing is a good idea.

VS
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16125
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iggyb wrote:
The book below isn't geared for ESL, but it has some ideas that can work.

http://www.amazon.com/Image-Grammar-Grammatical-Structures-Writing/dp/0867094664

While that text looks great for native speakers, it looks a bit too "wordy" for the majority of Arabic speakers. (don't know about Korean student needs)

In the Gulf, you are working with very low levels and they need Academic Writing. What shows up on Amazon appear to be directed towards creative writing.

VS
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rossc



Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS and Nomad Soul,

Seems like u have been out in the Gulf for awhile. Used any good textbooks for writing u can recommend which may be good? I reckon Arabic and Korean learns are not so different!
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12866
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear rossc,

I think this is a decent series:

"Focus on Writing is an academic writing program that provides students with essential tools to master not only the key steps in the writing process, but also the grammatical structures, lexical knowledge, and rhetorical modes essential for academic writing.

This five-level series progresses with students as they grow in confidence and ability from sentence level (Book 1) through paragraphs (Books 13) and essays (Books 35). Each unit leads writers step-by-step through the process of prewriting, writing a first draft, revising, and editing before producing a final draft. Not only do students write an entire paragraph or essay in each unit, they are also given plenty of practice at the sentence and word levels."

I'd have used it in Saudi if it had been available then - I'm using Book 3 now with my ESL upper-level Transitions students, most of whom will be taking college credit classes next.

The series builds nicely, from sentences (simple, complex, compound) to paragraphs, to essays.

Regards,
John
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iggyb



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS

I think you can look at it two ways: 1 that it does focus more on creative writing than academic -- but -- 2 that it's primary focus is on building an understanding of grammar through process writing. And a better feel for grammar in reading and writing should transfer between styles.

I don't really believe in focusing only on academic or creative writing. I much prefer to have the students experience creating a variety of texts. That is why I dislike the formulaic academic writing too commonly taught in the US to native speakers.

In the writing process I used in the US, the first finished text they wrote would be an essay - because the tests they have to take before graduation are so important, but for the newsletter, I'd have them change it to a news format or poem or something else.

One thing I liked about it was how it helped deal with mixed level classes: The lower levels had a hard time with the formal essay, but they did practice it, then they could change it to a type of text that better suited their ability.

That book I linked is geared to native speakers, but I believe it isn't too difficult to modify it to suit the ESL classroom. Much depends on the type of texts you select to read and your expectations on what they write.

I think it would work with Korean adults, because they have spent so many years studying English already - even if their abiity to use the language is still low.

I'm not sure that is true in the ME.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16125
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can tell you that it isn't a process that will work in the Gulf. It is near impossible to do much creative writing when you have a class where most of them can't write a simple one clause sentence. You have usually a max of 2 semesters (best case 3 or 4) to get them from that level to the 5 paragraph academic essay. The reality is that you can't, but they are pushed ahead anyway. You spend most of your time teaching them ways to deal with their deficiencies. You have no time to waste on "creativity" or fun little exercises. It is a hard slog of drafts and more drafts... and teaching them how to find their mistakes (often by finding them in their classmates' essays) and correct them.

After getting past those first essays where the 2nd draft is miraculously fabulous... written by the Filipino maid, their US graduate student big brother, or even their father... (he got his PhD in the UK)

I never used textbooks except at the lowest levels, and have used the ones John mentioned. Mostly I used my own materials directed to the course and students. Low level texts are easy to find and there are lots of good ones. The problem comes once you get to the essay. Native speaker texts are totally unusable, as are even the ESL texts used in Anglophone countries. They are WAY over their heads.

VS
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 751
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iggyb,

I have to agree wholeheartedly with VS about writing skills in the UAE.

Try to get hold of a copy of "Keep Writing" by Richard Harrison (Longman), which is a basic writing coursebook designed specifically to develop writing skills of Arab students. There are 2 books, Levels 1 and 2.

This was used on the Foundation programme at HCT.

http://www.books.google.com/books/about/Keep_Writing.html?id
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rossc



Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnslat, had a look for the Focus on Writing book at my local ESL bookstore but couldn't find it to flick through the pages to assess it. I did however have a look at Effective Academic Writing (1,2 and 3) published by Oxford, and First Steps in Academic Writing (L2) and Introduction to Academic Writing (L3) published by Pearson and Longman.

Have you used any of those books? Can you offer any comments as to how they compare to Focus on Writing? Anyone found these books to be pretty good? They looked like the most user-friendly ones on the shelf. The only thing is there is a lot of material and realistically I can only teach 1 hour a week for maybe 12-14 weeks.

Not sure how much progression I can make with the students during that time! When you gentleman teach writing courses, how many hours a week do you have students for?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16125
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rossc wrote:
Not sure how much progression I can make with the students during that time! When you gentleman teach writing courses, how many hours a week do you have students for?

This gentlewoman Cool normally taught writing only courses. The students in most of my university/college foundations programs usually had pure writing only courses for about 5-10 hours a week. (hint... it wasn't enough) At places like HCT they also had a 10 hour a week integrated skills course, which included a writing component. (take a moment to pity students in 20 hours a week of English classes...)

For a credit course... like those given by US universities for Freshman/First year students... it was officially 3 hours a week, but I spent much more in individual work with the students outside of class.

The "Keep Writing" texts are good and very commonly used in the Gulf.

VS
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12866
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear rossc,

The "Effective Academic Writing" series is, in my opinion, also quite good.

I wouldn't say the same about First Steps to Academic Writing. Some of the exercises involve sentence parsing (analyzing sentence structure,) which may appeal to some students but generally speaking tends to produce confusion rather than understanding.

"Introduction to Academic Writing," the 3rd edition, is an improvement over the 2nd edition, but both books (i.e. "First Steps" and "Introduction") are, to my mind, a little too "Western oriented" for the Middle East.

"Keep Writing" may be the best for the Middle East.

Regards,
John

P.S. I use the "Focus on Writing" text only as supplement. Most of the materials I use are self-produced.
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rossc



Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS, I do apologise for my assumption. I am sorry to make such a generalisation!

I went to buy Effective Academic Writing today but the shop was closed, I guess that gives me time to check out Keep Writing. If that book is being used in Arabic countries it would be good to have experience teaching it. I'll look into it.

One final question, a bit of the topic but it is relevant for me. For people who have worked in Oman and the UAE, how do the locals perceive the police. I ask as before teaching I was a police officer for seven years in the UK and I was wondering whether that should be something I should try avoid when talking about my work history. I found in Korea, Koreans reacted very positively and my experience was it actually helped my applications. I was wondering if anyone can offer insight as to Arab perceptions of my work history?


Last edited by rossc on Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12385
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

' "Keep Writing" by Richard Harrison (Longman), which is a basic writing coursebook designed specifically to develop writing skills of Arab students. '

This says it all. Your students will not be up for CREATIVE WRITING. They are at a very basic level - think of how you might be with a foreign langauge after a couple of years in school.

As for being an ex-policeman I would be honest. Police do NOT have a very high status in UAE or KSA ! (Or in the UK after Hillsborough.)


Last edited by scot47 on Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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