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King Abdulaziz University
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Chuma



Joined: 21 May 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the spirit of SENTINEL33's post, but to be fair to KAU, they do offer to put you up in a hotel for a week while suitable accommodation is found. OK, a week isn't very long, but it's not as if you've nowhere to put your head after you disembark the plane.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15857
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also agree with Sentinel33 that the new system of handing a new arrival some cash and sending them out to find a flat on their own isn't really acceptable. This has been a system that has slowly devolved from the way it was up until about 2002.

Over the years, my employers either picked me up at the airport and took me to a hotel where I waited until their provided flat was ready or took me directly to what would be my furnished housing for the contract term. That said, in Kuwait, I declined the provided roach infested campus flat and found a place immediately with the assistance of other teachers in the department. At two others, I also chose to move from the provided flat and the employer leased the better flats that I located on my own.

But I wasn't a newbie to the Gulf and knew the system. These days too many are tossed to the landlord sharks that exist everywhere in the world. Either that or they are forced to "share" with unknown strangers. A definite deterioration in the system IMHO...

VS
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 702

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Job Offer Reply with quote

ricardobaltierra wrote:

I turned it down. I didn't like the $397 housing allowance per month - seems too low. What kind of housing does $397 per month buy you these days, even in Jeddah?


A slum
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12091
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Forum Clown" ? I had seen myself as somewhere between the Prophet Job and Kilgore Trout !
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SENTINEL33



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Location: Bahrain

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chuma wrote:
I agree with the spirit of SENTINEL33's post, but to be fair to KAU, they do offer to put you up in a hotel for a week while suitable accommodation is found. OK, a week isn't very long, but it's not as if you've nowhere to put your head after you disembark the plane.


Well, I'm not necessarily targeting any specific employer - I'm targeting them all.

Tell you what.....This summer, I'll meet you in Chicago and put you up in a hotel and give you some "money" and let's see if you can find a "suitable" apt. in a week's time. You'll have to pay for your own "transportation" in Chicago, though,.

Wait!!! That's not fair. You speak and read English so that's an unrealistic advantage you have. Let's instead meet in Sao Paulo and see what happens. That's more a level playing field to compare with Jeddah or Riyadh or Dammam.
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ricardobaltierra



Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:07 pm    Post subject: What's your price? Reply with quote

I've been an EFLer with an MA for 10 years, all of them in the Gulf.

Yes, contracts have deteriorated, and I suppose you can say ELT is a victim of its own success. The more and better the English skills of the locals, the less they need us. Simple Adam Smith economics, I suppose.

I am in the fortunate position to say yes or no to an employer. Not all are. I suggest that if you are in the position that you MUST take an offer that is below what you would like, that perhaps you need to re-assess your priorities. Maybe you need to do something else. To come to the KSA to live like a poor-man/woman is not dignified.

Only you can evaluate how much self-respect you are willing to give up of yourself. I wish many ELT professionals would not cheapen themselves as I see, but that is the market. As Rick Rule (Google him) would say, the cure for low prices is low prices and the cure for high prices is high prices.

As for why I did not re-apply for my old job, I did. I have been interviewed, and an offer has been made. I left on good terms, and may come back. I had applied to the KAU job because they offered 40-72,000 USD salary range plus benefits.

No MA: $40,000 (I have heard this amount; depending on experience)
MA: $50,000 (this was the job offer I received; depending on experience)
Ph. D: $72,000 (I have heard this amount; depending on experience)

I am very uncomfortable with the attitude of Saudi employers now: Teachers fall from the sky. And, as far as they are concerned, it is true. I am looking at the requirements to come back to Saudi Arabia as set by the Saudi government - I may not even come back at all. I may just move on, say good bye to my 10 year TEFL career, and move on.

TEFL is meant to be a career for the young: go teach, make some cash, then move on. TEFL only works as an OK career in the ME and Korea, but sometimes you have to just move on.

I am deviating from the KAU topic. But I did want to write that.

That is all from me. Good bye.
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SENTINEL33



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Location: Bahrain

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:25 pm    Post subject: Re: What's your price? Reply with quote

ricardobaltierra wrote:

TEFL is meant to be a career for the young: go teach, make some cash, then move on.



Gee - so many people are suddenly being "honest" about things.

"Go teach, make some cash, then move on". In other words, don't take it seriously....nobody else does.

That's another of my pet peeves. TEFL wasn't meant to be taken seriously.....it's like slinging hash at your local fast food chain....something you do as a stop gap move until something better comes along.

TEFL is meant to teach "touristic English", not academic English. Of course, it's now big business and this basic fact has been lost. Can you really and honestly take someone that "holds" a PhD in TEFL seriously? I can't. I'm likely to guffaw in his face.

Gulf employers have been hoodwinked into thinking that a TEFL degree was what they needed. It wasn't. What they needed and currently need more than ever is a certified high school English teacher. That's what they've always needed and have refused to accept. Result = disaster.

You can always get a TEFL "teacher".......Heck, send me to Bangkok for a week and I can find you at least 50 "certified" TEFL teachers eager to grace your classrooms. I couldn't vouch for their moral turpitude, but they'll all have a TEFL "certificate".

What a blasphemous joke.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15857
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Re: What's your price? Reply with quote

SENTINEL33 wrote:
Gulf employers have been hoodwinked into thinking that a TEFL degree was what they needed. It wasn't. What they needed and currently need more than ever is a certified high school English teacher. That's what they've always needed and have refused to accept. Result = disaster.

I would have to disagree with this one because my first degree is in Secondary Education/English and could be certified to teach high school English and there is pretty much nothing in such a degree that prepares you to teach a foreign language. TEFL in the Gulf is teaching a foreign language... a whole other thing from teaching HS English in an English speaking country.

Now I would agree if you said an ESL trained high school or even middle school teacher. They are teaching non-native speakers a new language and are more used to working with various levels of immaturity. (therein lies much of the problem in the Gulf...)

VS
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ricardobaltierra



Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:08 pm    Post subject: Mea Culpa Reply with quote

It is my fault: I started this "TEFL-is-not-worthy" thread.

I think everything that had to be said has been said: KAU ELI is not for me, at least not the present contract they offer.

This will be all from me. Thank you to those who contributed.

Good luck to you!

Best,

Ricardo
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SENTINEL33



Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 112
Location: Bahrain

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, yes, VS. I agree with you up to a point.

My point is that I'm morbidly suspicious of the TEFL "certificate". I don't see how getting one suddenly imparts a chemistry, business, history etc. BA/BS holder with the ability or the wherewithall to teach academic English.

I can't remember the times I've asked such a "teacher" to explain to me the difference between the simple present tense and the past perfect tense and how they're formed, where they're used, where they're obligatory and so on.

In so many cases, the poor devil didn't even know what I was talking about. And yet, there he was, "teaching" English next door to me.

These people aren't teachers. They're lightweight peddlers of their native language, masquerading as the "great white father".

That's why a TEFL "certificate" is totally invalid and useless in the USA....Even the schools you get them from will not hire you to teach even ESL students at the same institution.

The TEFL degree is purely for export purposes......but totally invalid in the USA. Can you imagine someone trying to get a high school or university English teaching job with a TESL certificate picked up "anywhere"? They'd be laughed out of the interview room......but they turn right around and start teaching in the Gulf. As I said, to me the whole scene is laughable.
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sicklyman



Joined: 02 Feb 2013
Posts: 421

PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are distinguishing what you call "TEFL certificates" from Trinity/RSA/CELTA certificate qualifications aren't you?
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cultofpersonality



Joined: 12 Jan 2012
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

State teaching qualifications usually deal with a range of different teaching methods. These skills are helpful in all classrooms. Certain aspects such as classroom management, different teaching strategies, knowledge of different learner types, the use of formative assessment, lesson planning etc are very important to any teaching process. I'm not sure about the US, but in the UK there is a component or a competency which is aimed towards EAL students. This is to ensure that teachers are fully aware and prepared to deal with students whose native language isn't English.

The TEFL/CELTA certificates I'm not too sure about them. I don't feel I can comment too much on what the courses equip students with. I'm sceptical of the notion that someone can do a crash course in a month and become an effective teacher knowledgeable in his craft. I am not surprised the Gulf demand the TEFL/CELTA. A lot of people have them in comparison to state teaching qualifications. Let's be honest with ourselves...these people don't really care about the quality of their education system.

The other aspect is how they intend to use us as teachers. We are here to increase their communicative competence, not their linguistic competence. Linguistic competence is an easy skill to teach and it is usually the non-native teacher's playground. Tell him to teach communicative competence and he would look at you like you are crazy. It is well documented that native teachers suck at linguistic competence. Native teachers on the whole struggle with explaining the use of grammar because it was unnecessary in their language development. We know how to communicate effectively in our language and it could be argued that the knowledge of grammatical structures is overestimated in learning English as a second language. My students could easily explain when to use the past perfect or present continuous but God forbid if they had to conduct a three minute conversation in English. We are here for our English speaking skills, first and foremost. It helps when we look the part as well. The TEFL/CELTA are just there to prove the teachers have 'some' qualifications. An industry as big as ELT in Saudi Arabia...it's a TEFL/CELTA paradise! No surprises there!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3590
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread has gone way off topic; I suggest one of you start a new thread to continue this discussion.
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ricardobaltierra



Joined: 30 May 2013
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: Well Said! Reply with quote

The topic is KAU ELI. Let's stay on topic!
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 348
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to the topic of KAU ELI......

My age let me down- everything else was 'hunky dory'! Shocked
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