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Janette Donovan



Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:28 am    Post subject: Employment Questions Reply with quote

I have only recently found this website and have become an avid reader of the comments. My husband and I (plus two teenage children) are considering applying for teaching positions, preferably in Dubai/Abu Dhabi when we complete our Masters in Applied Linguistics in June 2005. I wonder if you would take the time to answer a few questions for me:

1 Is age a barrier - we are both in early 50's
2 Would our children, age 13 (boy) and 17 (girl) be disadvantaged in leaving Australia to move to the Middle East for three years to take up a contract?
3 I am a Head Teacher of Business Studies in a tafe college in Australia and my husband is a Training Manager for the Commonwealth Bank. Whilst we do not have direct experience in teaching english, do you consider that this would be a barrier?
4 Have you heard anything of Zayed University?

I thank you in advance for your feedback.
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Afra



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 389

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Age is not a barrier in the UAE but lack of experience in the field in which you wish to teach is. Have you considered a CELTA or similar and then experience elsewhere?
There are lots of Australians here with children the same age as yours so perhaps they will answer this question but there are international schools which offer English or American high school qualifications and the IB.
You are unlikely to get a job teaching English without experience or a CELTA type qualification - competition is high among well qualified and experienced EFL/ESL teachers. I think the same applies for business or e-commerce teaching: it seems to where I teach.
Your last questions is vague. Yes, there are campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Leaving good jobs to come to the UAE is madness, in my opinion. Have you taught out of Australia before? If things don't work out, are you able to return to jobs in Australia? Three years abroad can be quite disruptive for teenagers. Friends at home move on and ex-pat friends come and go depending on family circumstances. I don't want to put you off but from the information in your post, you wouldn't the ideal candidates.
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KathyK



Joined: 13 Aug 2004
Posts: 19
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No disrespect intended but I think Afra is presuming to give more personal advice than was requested in Janette's question. If a family wants to have this kind of experience for their children, they should do it! Who is to say that three years of ex-pat living won't be better than what the kids would have had at home in Australia? Some children thrive on change and adventure. I think that three years in a foreign country, living with others from all around the world would be an invaluable lesson for a teenager. And since we were not told what the conditions where in Janette's and her husband's jobs, I wouldn't presume to judge that their jobs are so great and that the family wouldn't be better off in the UAE. With free housing and two salaries, they might save a lot more than they would staying at home.

By the way, Janette, one of my best friends teaches in Zayed. She is so happy there, she just signed on for another three-year appointment. She's at the Abu Dhabi campus.

Kathy
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15608
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Janette,

Both KathyK and Afra have valid points. But, first let me answer your questions.

Your age won't be a major problem. This doesn't become a potential problem until you get to about 60 (and with outstanding credentials, some still get in.)

There are pros and cons to taking the children there. This is a very different culture and your children are at an age that can be problematic. (as I recall... long ago as it was...) Without a good understanding of the culture, it can be difficult for Western teenagers to be suddenly under cultural restrictions that they do not understand or accept. The Emirates seems very Western on the surface, but things are very different from home. But, I think that living in another culture is more of an advantage than a disadvantage in the long run. Smile

Your experience suggests two employers: Zayed University and The Higher Colleges of Technology. Both are strongly directed towards business training. These are two of the best employers in the Gulf and have very good salaries and benefits.

That is the good news. The bad is that because of that they are able to be very demanding of the education and experience of its staff. ZU prefers PhD's but hires MAs for English teaching, along with a requirement of 3+ years teaching experience 'after' the MA. HCT will hire people with BA's, CELTA, and extensive direct EFL teaching experience.

That said, you have a rather unique set of credentials that may appeal to them. You would certainly lose nothing by applying. You may also want to look into the various Australian educational institutions that have branches in the Emirates who might be interested. (sorry I can't supply any names as I am not familiar with Australian colleges or universities.)

VS
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Janette Donovan



Joined: 01 Jun 2004
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:45 am    Post subject: Sincere Thanks Reply with quote

Just a short note to thank you for your responses. All of your views have provided lively conversation at the dinner table and have assisted with our decision-making.
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
ZU prefers PhD's but hires MAs for English teaching, along with a requirement of 3+ years teaching experience 'after' the MA.


Not sure if you have insider info or not, but I just checked their website and it says 3 years of teaching experience, not post MA experience. You may be right or they have changed their policy. You're right that it does specifically say at least a Masters in TEFL or applied linguistics.

How do the benefits/salaries compare between ZU and HCT? I am seriously considering going to one of these places in 2 years.

How does ZU look upon distance masters, I am aware that HCT is in a state of flux so who knows if they will change their opinion. For time being, distance masters are OK at HCT as far as I know (not much unfortunately).

Sorry to hijack your thread Janette, but this could be good info for both of us. I do know VS knows her stuff regarding UAE. Thanks.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15608
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gordon,

I think you might be confused about HCT. (probably because of the MLI problems - they have brought in HCT to try to fix things there... no 'flux' problems at HCT.) HCT has been a pretty stable and well-run organization from even before I taught with them in the very early 90's. Other than the occasional quirky manager, a fact of employment everywhere, things go pretty smoothly there. Thus, you do see a warning now and again about one or two of their branches.

HCT and ZU offer pretty much the same package. Both are under the Ministry of Higher Education and thus accept distance MAs from legitimate colleges and universities (and they WILL check out your credentials carefully - getting transcripts from the institution itself independently from you).

As to the experience question, through the years everywhere that I worked wanted X number of years 'after' the MA - even though that may not be how it was stated. Normally the only times that it seemed to be waived was if the applicant had extensive pre-MA experience in the Middle East with Arabic speakers and in directly related teaching that they were looking for.

This rather puts most teachers in the Far East at a disadvantage. Experience teaching conversation classes is pretty much irrelevent. They are looking for experience teaching academic reading and writing.

Hope that helps

VS
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Truth Hurts



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Location: Truthville

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
HCT and ZU offer pretty much the same package. Both are under the Ministry of Higher Education and thus accept distance MAs from legitimate colleges and universities


"Legitimate" colleges and universities... don't you think that sounds a touch hideous? While there are of course HCT/ZU requirements and guidelines (partly to protect from bogus or forged certificates), your reading of "entry qualifications" makes it sound as if the universities of say Bucharest, Sofia, New Delhi, Karachi, Nairobi are illegitimate (worthless) places of study (and somehow of a different ilk from Princeton, MIT, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge etc)

Let's just say that HCT/ZU (and you as well it seems) don't recognise their worth which is of course totally aside from questions of college legitimacy.

TH
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS,
By the time my masters is finished I will have 4 yrs of Japanese uni teaching, 2 yrs of high level college teaching in Canada and 5 more years of ESL/EFL teaching. No experience in the ME.

Would this experience not count for anything becauwse it was pre-MA?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15608
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hideous? huh? I don't know where you learned reading, but my posting said nothing of the sort.

Apparently you think the word 'legitimate' doesn't include anything but the US or the UK? That is not my meaning of the word, not does it seem to be HCT or ZU's meaning. They had a very international staff when I was there. Yes, the majority are educated in 'western' universities, but that makes sense in that they purport to give a 'western' based education in English conforming to the goals set by the Ministry of Higher Education when both these systems were set up.

HCT and ZU require that their teachers have degrees from legitimate educational institutions - whether it is done on campus or by distance learning, not some office that mails out diplomas. They have many teachers from all over the world, including India, Pakistan, Europe, North America and the Middle East. My MA is not from the US, though it is a US accredited university.

Based on this response, I can only assume that you are not a Westerner and feel that you have been unfairly treated by HCT or ZU?? You must also be aware of the hundreds of highly qualified 'Westerners' who don't pass the interview process of these two institutions every year. Life is rarely fair, but I do resent your insulting me because they hurt your feelings.

VS
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Truth Hurts



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Location: Truthville

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
I don't know where you learned reading...

I normally cope quite well when things are written coherently. But I suspect you have problems with joined up thinking.
Laughing
TH
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15608
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Truth Hurts

Fortunately native speakers have no problem comprehending my English. Most dictionaries would have provided you with a definition of 'legitimate' since that seems to be where you became all confused. Before you went off half-c o c ked, you should have perhaps thought a bit more

VS
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15608
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon,

I wouldn't say that your experience was 'useless.' Since it is university related, it should at least get you to the interview stage.

But, there are places that do have set minimum requirements. And, I'm not certain if ZU is one of them or not. For instance, when I wanted to apply to two jobs in Oman back in the 80's - just after completing my MA - I was informed not to apply. At that time SQU required an MA and 1 year of experience and the other, a technical college, required an MA and two years of experience. In both cases, it had to be 'post' MA. (and even odder that the technical college had a higher requirement - the director that told me that it was set by the Ministry!!) I stayed where I was and got a year of experience, then went to SQU.

You may want to send off an email asking them for clarification. Then, you could let us know how (if?) they respond.

VS
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Truth Hurts



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Posts: 115
Location: Truthville

PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
Most dictionaries would have provided you with a definition of 'legitimate' since that seems to be where you became all confused. VS

I'm really pleased to learn that you have progressed onto quadri-syllabic words!

Very Happy
TH
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Ka-CHING!



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 102

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon,

I was hired by UAEU on the basis on pre-Master's experience. I had been teaching for a little over ten years and only two years at the university level, but I still made it. Very Happy To be fair, though, the majority of the other new hires had post-Master's experience.
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