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Country Comparison

 
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stonethecrow



Joined: 04 Jun 2013
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:19 pm    Post subject: Country Comparison Reply with quote

Hello there,

Does anyone know of a particularly exceptional website/article which compares the conditions a teacher of English will face in Middle Eastern countries?
I'm thinking of factors like bureaucracy, social life, pay and security. I've seen quite a few good sites but none are comprehensive. Maybe there aren't any that are...

Thanks in advance
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4780
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt you'll find any such list comparing countries in this region. The country-specific forums will be more useful to you. Ditto for the country-specific expat forums populating the Internet.

Issues like pay will really depend on your qualifications. Minimal quals like an unrelated BA + TEFL cert + 2-3 years experience put you at the bottom of the ladder and leave Saudi Arabia as your only option if you're looking to earn money. On the other hand, a related MA + 3 years experience opens more doors for you to more countries, especially the UAE. As for social life, the UAE offers the best opportunities for getting out and about; not so much for Saudi Arabia, however, due to its ultra-religious society and strict gender segregation law. Oman is good for a social life but doesn't rank as a place to earn major money. I'm not sure what you mean by security---if that's job security or security of life given the continuing unrest in the region. Maybe you mean both?
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stonethecrow



Joined: 04 Jun 2013
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By security I meant bombs, fundamentalists, kidnappings, etc.

I have taken job security as a given, maybe I shouldn't have for this region.

I'm not taken by Saudi at all. Having recently been in Jordan, that's a level of Islamic culture I could probably get used to. Just gotta get a flat that's a lot more than 20m away (unlike the hostel I stayed in recently) from the mosque loudspeakers!

But regarding experience, me having only a BA, CELTA and 1 year is putting me in the Saudi bracket it seems.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4780
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your one year of experience would put you at the bottom of the bottom of teaching opportunities in Saudi Arabia. That equates to working for a Saudi contracting company, and very likely one of the dodgier ones. Have you considered heading to Korea? The pay is decent and you could have a social life.
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stonethecrow



Joined: 04 Jun 2013
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a piece of advice I've had before. It was from someone now teaching in Saudi actually. I'll look into it. I've been put off by the number of scam stories surrounding the 'hagwon' schools.
Thanks
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Fatboy



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:44 am    Post subject: Your choices Reply with quote

As you correctly mentioned, your qualifications limit where you can work in the the Middle East. You need an MA for the UAE and Qatar. I don't know about Kuwait and Oman. There are decent places in Saudi that do not require an MA, for example KFUPM. You can also work for BAE, Dhahran.

If you want to save money and can put up with the boredom, Saudi Arabia is not a bad option. As far as safety goes, I found KSA far safer than the UK and definitely safer than the US

Wink
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 884
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get work in Oman with a degree and a CELTA or equivalent (online is not generally accepted) but you won't get ric h with just that. I find it safe here except for the roads...There's no job security however.....
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16118
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
There's no job security however.....

That is true of most of the Middle East. It is always contract to contract and with low credentials in KSA or Oman, it is 1-2 year contracts at best. Most of the university jobs that require an MA are 3 year contracts and unless you do something really stupid, it will likely be renewed.

VS
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4780
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
MuscatGary wrote:
There's no job security however.....

That is true of most of the Middle East.

Not to mention the uncertainty caused by the continuing instability in this region. Here in Iraq, we're very much aware of how things can change in a flash... literally.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12370
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some jobs in KSA are not too bad - just remember that the days of "Eldorado" are over !
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 333
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contracts at the top gov't universities (as far as I have come to understand - KAU does) are for a year at a time, but are automatically renewed if you are a capable teacher. If you really do something bad, or can't teach your way out of a boot even if the instructions are written on the heal, the university will send you a letter informing you that they don't not wish to renew your contact. Splitting hairs a little, but KAU does not write contracts with time limits at all (one year vs. three years). Again, officially for a year at a time, but it really means you can stay for as long as you like as long as you do your job and are under 62. In addition, KAU does not write contracts based on teachers with lower credentials (BA vs. MA, for example.) except in regards to salary and housing allowance. Peace out!

Last edited by lcanupp1964 on Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ttxor1



Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lcanupp1964 wrote:
... or can't teach your way out of a boot even if the instructions are written on the heal,...


lcanupp1964, does the ELI provide instructors with a lesson plan/guidelines or are you allowed to teach/select materials/activities as you wish? i understand that the ELI uses a special MENA edition of Headway...?

thanks!

ttxor1
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 333
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the ELI uses a special ME edition of Headway Plus. The only real difference is that some pictures of women were replaced.

The ELI uses a very detailed (way too much detail in my opinion) lesson plan which breaks down what should be taught for every single hour for each 8-week term. Most of the hard work has been done for you. "OK, Teacher-Monkey, teach!!!

It's good (I guess) for new teachers, but the more senior teachers ignore it and teaches their class based on what should be taught and not what someone thinks looks good, so the Dean gets a nice "warm and fuzzy" feeling. The good news is that nobody comes up to you and asks you if you are on the correct part of the lesson plan. You have to use the book, but you can bring in other materials/activities that you feel makes the items covered in the book more effective. I guess this means that teachers have a little more freedom then teaching military classes.
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