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Qatar Petroleum
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qatarwatch



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 5:45 pm    Post subject: an e-x-t-e-n-s-i-o-n of the above..... Reply with quote

james van cleave wrote:
I worked directly for the UAE government for a number of years. I was paid about 14000 a month,+ decent housing and other benefits... while Jordanians, Egyptians and Palestinians-- (remember the compassion the Emiratis have always had for those poor, suffering people?)--doing exactly the same job, were paid at most 7,000 a month= slummy apartments and no benefits to speak of...


This thread began with a simple request for info on QP, but most recently continued with a plea for the poor, suffering Egyptians, Jordanians, and Palestinians who are doing what appears to be similar work to that of their Western ELT coworkers, but are not getting the same compensation. I support the idea that people doing similar work, at a similar standard, should be similarly paid. However, this is an ideal which is difficult to achieve even within a mature liberal democracy, let alone in a wild-East boomtown (Doha, Dubai) with a huge expat workforce composed of individuals from all over the world. I’d like to propose a number of partial explanations for this disparity in compensation, and suggest that it’s a natural and necessary dimension of global socioeconomic development (evolution). Please comment on any or all points.

1. Cost of living in home country: Expat ELT professionals in the Gulf come from various regions of the world (i.e. Canada, UK, India, Egypt), and, in expat labour economies like those in the Gulf, it is expected that these workers will return to their countries of origin when the work is done. An Egyptian, for example, will pay far less to purchase an average family dwelling upon returning home than his/her Canadian or American counterparts. Other costs of living are also generally lower in less developed countries. Take another example: an Indian national I work with, and who is on the same pay grade as me, recently bought a comfortable new bungalow in a suburb outside Mumbai last year on money he had saved over 3 years while working in the Gulf. In comparison, I would have to work and save for 10 years to be able to do the same in Canada. (* I use the term ‘develop’ here because economies and cultures do ‘evolve’….from simple and rigid structures, to more flexible and sophisticated ones). The disparity in wages pointed out by other posters here seems much less unjust in this light.

2. Western empiricism and secularism: As ELT professionals, we are ‘selling’ more than just assistance in acquiring language skills. We are selling an entire thought paradigm and world view (as constrained as it often is here in the Gulf). In fact, leaders here in the Gulf, at least the more enlightening ones, realize that it is this secular, empirical, critical paradigm that their own people desperately need to acquire in order to become productive members of the global economy, to grapple with the challenges that the ‘end of oil’ will bring, and simply to become responsible members of their own evolving societies. ELT professionals who have been brought up in Western democracies are naturally better prepared to model and transmit these qualities and values of a more advanced cultural order. Of course, ELT professionals raised and educated in non-Western societies also have a role to play in ELT, particularly within their respective homelands. In those countries they properly constitute the leading edge of access to collaboration with English speakers worldwide. However, as expat workers here in the Gulf they are much less likely than Westerners to reproduce the desired attitudes, qualities, and propensities in their students because, in many cases, they represent precisely those traditional paradigms which have impeded the progress of these societies for generations. This is another reason why Western ELT professionals enjoy a salary premium compared to some others.

3. The demographics of overpopulation also contribute to this apparent disparity in salaries. Canada, the US, the UK and Australia, as exporters of ELT professionals, are not responsible for the fact that India, Egypt and other labour exporting countries have failed to control their national population growth, which is partly to blame for unemployment and poverty in those countries. The fact that 300 million Indians live on less than $1 per day, or that 90% of Indians are underemployed in low-quality jobs in the unorganized sector, or that more than half of Indians do not have access to formal banking services is evidence of the country’s poor national planning record and lack of political will and cooperation. Various countries in the Middle East and North Africa suffer similar economic woes, due to similar factors connected to the demographics of overpopulation, political corruption, as well as religious factionalism. It serves us well to remember that overpopulation is not an absolute value, but rather it is relative and directly related to a group’s ability to produce and reproduce their culture peacefully within a finite area. If large segments of a nation’s population are unable to produce and reproduce themselves physically and culturally due to the scarcity of resources, then we can say that this group (state/country) is overpopulated. It’s the responsibility of a nation’s leaders to guide and inspire their people toward a sustainable and peaceful society. There are many nations which have failed to achieve this, and, consequently, citizens of these places lose their bargaining power in global labour markets precisely because they are part of this large un/underemployed labour pool.

Non-Western ELT professionals who come from overpopulated, and/or politically and economically unstable nations feel the consequences of this in at least two ways: one, highly competitive job markets due to so many unemployed individuals from the same region tends to put downward pressure on salaries and benefits, a situation employers are often happy to exploit and; two, employers in the Gulf likely use the presence of lower-salaried employees as a tool to signal the rest of us that we could be replaced one day and consequently that we better limit our demands for increased salary and benefits. An example of this tactic can be seen in the Korean government’s recent attempt to begin issuing E-2 visas to Philippine and Indian nationals to teach EFL, with salary caps of W1 500 000 ($1500) per month. However, the government had to back down after thousands of parents mounted a campaign against this policy for reasons which include a preference for North American accents, as well as a preference for social, economic, and political ties with the West rather than India and the Philippines, from which they likely see little to emulate that would enhance their own prospects.

4. Excellence in Education and Innovation: Let’s face it, for the past 200 years; the West has set the bar for excellence in education and training and its associated industry, empirical research. Of course, Japan was an early convert to this paradigm as well, and its institutions of learning are also revered as world-class. More recent joiners include South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and, most recently, China. A survey of most any World Ranking of universities, for example, will not turn up any representatives from the Middle East (outside Israel), the Indian subcontinent (despite the fact that IISc Bangalore [itself modelled on MIT]does produce quality researchers), or Africa (outside the RSA). There are a range of factors responsible for this, some of which are discussed above. The bottom line is that our approach to education, training and research has led directly to most of the technological innovations which we currently enjoy in this world. It’s plain to anyone who has ever visited or lived in the Gulf that every important item of technology that mediates between humans and the harsh desert environment here comes either from the West, or from the Far East. I challenge anyone to take an inventory. The modern Gulf States have all been built on Western (and Far-Eastern) knowledge-based industries and we Western ELT professionals are an organic part of this tradition. Most of the non-Western faculty working in the ELT business in the Gulf are aware of this, and this is why many of them have sought degrees from Western universities. Finally, I might also point out the fact that it’s been Western universities from Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US which have been encouraged to set up campuses in places like Dubai and Doha, and not universities from Egypt, India, or Jordan, which would certainly have been less expensive. I wonder why this is the case. I think it’s necessary to speak plainly here - a degree from the West is worth more than a degree from any other region of the world.
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lall



Joined: 30 Dec 2006
Posts: 358

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:36 am    Post subject: Dissertation Reply with quote

Dear Qatarwatch,

Good, crisp use of the English language. You have been able to get across your thoughts concisely and unambiguously.

I concur with around 80% of your ideas.

A slightly-less-condescending tone would have helped, though.

Regards,

Lall.
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james van cleave



Joined: 25 May 2005
Posts: 59

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, thank you..I have seen the error of my ways. Working for Qatar Petroleum was one of the most moving experiences of my life. the students were kind, industrious and well.....fun-loving. The staff were a delight as well. they were a delight just as every orginization I have ever worked for in the Persian...oops... Arabian Gulf were delightful. (did I say "worked"?...I meant enjoyed!).
The generosity, the tolerance , the decency that have been showered upon me in that fabled principality were overwhelming. My charges were inquisitive, forthright, knowledgeable and determined to lead their nation onto even greater glories.
I would especially like to thank Veiled Sentiments for guiding me to onto the path of righteousness.
Again, thank you. Next time I will gladly expound upon the munificent virtues of the United Arab Emirates. Just saying that name makes me tingle.
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qatarwatch



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:28 am    Post subject: Re: Dissertation Reply with quote

lall wrote:
Dear Qatarwatch,

Good, crisp use of the English language. You have been able to get across your thoughts concisely and unambiguously.

I concur with around 80% of your ideas.

A slightly-less-condescending tone would have helped, though.

Regards,

Lall.


Yes, you are likely right. I could have tempered the tone a little. However, I think the tone is probably normal for its purpose; it's just not a tone that is normally found here on Dave's discussion boards. Smile If I could have expressed those points in a shorter, more informal space I surely would have.

Thanks
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pkers07



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the rant about hiring non-natives as long as they can do the job?I don't know why some people are just been racist?If Griffith or GSSG decides on a flat pay scale for all and sundries,why blaming the poor Indians,Fillipinos or Nigerians?
Some of the best,dedicated and professionally conscious EFL teachers i've met during my EFL sojourn in many countries are non-native speakers.They know their jobs well and empathize with the students because they themselves know what's it like to learn a new language.
So if one is not satisfied with the job conditions,why don't you move on in life instead of been racist and blaming the poor Indians/Fillipinos teacher who are doing their jobs judiciously.
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Native Speakers are usually better teachers. Reply with quote

I haven't been understanding why native speakers are always getting their knickers on a twist when it comes to compensation. We non-natives are doing just the same occupation and it renders me from the bottom of my heart to contemplate why in earth there should be such injustice. I have Masters from the University of Igotnomoneydad so am deserving of equitable payment.

Sorry, in my experience native speakers have been the better teachers not only in terms of language ability, but methodology, techniques, ideas and so on.
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qatarwatch



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pkers07 wrote:
What's the rant about hiring non-natives as long as they can do the job?I don't know why some people are just been racist?If Griffith or GSSG decides on a flat pay scale for all and sundries,why blaming the poor Indians,Fillipinos or Nigerians?
Some of the best,dedicated and professionally conscious EFL teachers i've met during my EFL sojourn in many countries are non-native speakers.They know their jobs well and empathize with the students because they themselves know what's it like to learn a new language.
So if one is not satisfied with the job conditions,why don't you move on in life instead of been racist and blaming the poor Indians/Fillipinos teacher who are doing their jobs judiciously.


Check your text above for errors (italicized). Perhaps you are not the best qualified to judge who are the 'best' instructors of English.

Also, you haven't understood the post you are criticizing.

First, I mentioned specific examples of 'countries', not races.

Second, I mentioned the important role NNS EFL teachers play WITHIN their own countries. However, when these same individuals move outside their native countries to teach English they lose much of what made them valuable in their native contexts. Also, as I implied in my last post, currencies are relative mediators of economic activity. Therefore, if, taking your example, 'Griffith' wants to pay nationals from very economically disparate countries the same salary, it will (should) cause conflict. Should an Indian or Egyptian teacher working in Qatar expect to make 4, 5, or 6 times a middle-class income in his/her home country? If so, shouldn't a Canadian or American expect the same - relatively speaking?

Third, I speak French and some Korean in addition to being a native English-speaker. Therefore, I also have experience learning other languages. I think most professional NS teachers also have 2nd language learning experiences.

Fourth, people who are committed to a profession don't simply 'move on' at the first sign of trouble, as you've suggested. Professionals discuss the core issues impacting their field and attempt to understand them so that knowledge, practice, and, yes, working conditions can be improved. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with this sort of dialectic process - it is a standard in Western education, and is one of the factors underlying Western ingenuity.

Finally, I do not subscribe to cultural relativism. Cultures are products of evolutionary processes that are driven by countless variables, including climate, physical terrain, religion, food, individual acts, and education to name just a few. And while far from perfect, Western post-industrial social democracies are the products of processes which have achieved far more in terms of both the technological innovations which enhance the quality of human life and the liberation of individuals from superstition and oppression than ANY other culture or group of cultures in the history of humankind. Consequently, because culture is embedded in language [and language in culture] (most particularly within individuals who have learned the language as their mother tongue) and is transmitted directly through systems of education (among other mediums), NS EFL teachers are the best qualified not only to teach English, but also to transmit the meanings which are embedded in this language.
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pkers07



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If NS are the best in teaching English,why are some of them finding it difficult to land jobs in China and other countries.
I mentioned this cos i've got friends from NS countries that i've linked up with reputable schools in China but they couldn't perform in the class.Fine,they speak perfect English but they just couldn't impart knowledge.Even in many cases students and parents(western educated parents) complained that some NS teachers just play games and speak under their breath and students couldn't understand their English unlike some NNS teachers who speak clear and concise English and are highly dedicated and can motivate students.What can you say to that,buddy?

For some people that think long epistles on this forum and just being a NS makes one a good teacher,that's far from it.How one can impart knowledge is far more important than economic,mother tongue or countries comparism when it comes to EFL teaching.


N.B - Don't get me wrong,educated and experienced NS EFL are still the best but some highly educated,experienced and professionally conscious NNS too desrved respect, are worth their onions and could compete anytime anyday with NS in the EFL arena and i don't fancy some people bringing racism into EFL.

I REST MY CASE.
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WhatsGrammar?



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pkers07 wrote:
If NS are the best in teaching English,why are some of them finding it difficult to land jobs in China and other countries.
I mentioned this cos i've got friends from NS countries that i've linked up with reputable schools in China but they couldn't perform in the class.Fine,they speak perfect English but they just couldn't impart knowledge.Even in many cases students and parents(western educated parents) complained that some NS teachers just play games and speak under their breath and students couldn't understand their English unlike some NNS teachers who speak clear and concise English and are highly dedicated and can motivate students.What can you say to that,buddy?

For some people that think long epistles on this forum and just being a NS makes one a good teacher,that's far from it.How one can impart knowledge is far more important than economic,mother tongue or countries comparism when it comes to EFL teaching.


N.B - Don't get me wrong,educated and experienced NS EFL are still the best but some highly educated,experienced and professionally conscious NNS too desrved respect, are worth their onions and could compete anytime anyday with NS in the EFL arena and i don't fancy some people bringing racism into EFL.

I REST MY CASE.


That is your case???? Jeeeeeeeeeeeeez. Try learning some structure.
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lall



Joined: 30 Dec 2006
Posts: 358

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Structure Reply with quote

Whatsgrammer's got a point, Pkers07.

Why! This one sentence of yours: "If NS are the best in teaching English,why are some of them finding it difficult to land jobs in China and other countries."

more than justified Biffinbridge in making this one (made earlier on, on this thread and reproduced below).

"I haven't been understanding why native speakers are always getting their knickers on a twist when it comes to compensation."
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:55 pm    Post subject: Watch out lall Reply with quote

My God! We've got a writer of the epistles on Dave's.

By the way pikeyo7........ the NS teachers who speak without trying to exhale have usually gone to bed very late the night before pished as newts.

That was my experience teaching New Year's Day in the Gulf.

Imparting knowledge is not standing at the board all day. Most native speakers try to encourage independent learning and learner centred teaching. Guided discovery techniques also require a bit of thought on the part of the learner. So, many NS teachers may well appear to be doing nothing to those used to direct method teaching. Fact is, most Palestinian, Sudanese and Iraqi teachers I've come across have MAs in Englis Lit. and don't know much about what you call 'imparting knowledge'.

Your average Gulf student is so lazy that he generally appreciates a teacher who stands at the board and gives him stuff on a plate so to speak.

As for the Chinese...well, they're hardly at the cutting edge of ELT.

No. It is my firm belief that NS should get paid more than non NS even if they have the same level of experience. You can learn the rules all you like but it's hard to impart appropriacy if you don't know what's appropriate in the first place, and THAT is worth something.

It's a sad fact that language institutions hire non NS because they're cheaper. If they weren't, they wouldn't get jobs teaching above the beginner level. If money not teaching is the game, it doesn't surprise me that NS teachers sometimes don't get hired.
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Imdramayu



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 384
Location: Prince Sultan University

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: Is QP EFL program expanding? Reply with quote

Is the QP EFL program expanding? For the past 1 or 2 years, CNA-Q have been teaching these QP students (TPP). But I've heard this was only a temporary stop-gap project. Now, QP is supposed to take back most (or all) of their students and teach them in their own teaching facility. This means CNA-Q will lose hundreds of students. Has the new teaching facility opened yet?

I interviewed for the QP job at TESOL Arabia. The interviewer scared me with his description of the classroom conditions so I wasn't even interested in the job. He mentioned they were planning to open up a new teaching facility soon.
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lukey



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:40 am    Post subject: CNAQ Reply with quote

Well, CNAQ is supposed to be a Technical College, not an EFL school, so it would make perfect sense for QP to teach them English
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:30 am    Post subject: QP Reply with quote

I spent 3 years teaching QP students, first as a subby and then on a 'direct hire' married status contract, so I know a bit about QP.

Pros
1. The 'direct hire' married status contract is a good money spinner. Good salary, housing allowance, furniture allowance, car loan, flights for the family, bonus, free medical and dental care and free membership to the Falcon Club, which has excellent facilities.

Cons
1. Dreadful students.
2. Managerial incompetence.
3. A 'do it or you're fired' mentality.
4. A huge number of native speakers, many of whom do the same job for less money, which always ends in trouble. There were so many people there who were willing to drop you in the shite and for what?
5. A 'pass them or else' mentality.

Yep, the Gulag was and is a good description of the QP experience.

Looking back, I really don't know why I stayed so long. I suppose it was a good doddle until they put supervisors over the road. That put the breaks on buggering off early for beers at the 'Madarin'.
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Imdramayu



Joined: 09 Feb 2007
Posts: 384
Location: Prince Sultan University

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:58 am    Post subject: It's an EFL school Reply with quote

CNA-Q advertises as a technical college. But they have more EFL students than students studying in a technical program.
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