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Incompetent instructors or whinging Saudis? Or both?
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wantok



Joined: 05 Jul 2012
Posts: 168

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Incompetent instructors or whinging Saudis? Or both? Reply with quote

And a large number of Saudi students at the college level often complain of lack of good teachers at the high school level. Equally, a great number of expatriate teachers at university level find it difficult to create a fitting teaching strategy when they compare the curricula to the students' proficiency level...

We see high interest among college-going Saudi students for learning English, and the number of students enrolled for English programs, for example, in King Khalid University is much higher than that in other subjects. What the students lack is general proficiency in English that they must have acquired at the high school level where they met with lack of a stimulating environment that could help enhance their motivation level...

What we experience among students in classes at university level includes: they have short attention spans; they are easily distracted from tasks; they are less responsive; they show no interest and willingness for self-paced learning; and they are always dependent on teachers' assistance for completion of tasks. There emerges a clear mismatch between the interest and enthusiasm that new students who get enrolled to learn English program carry when they enter the university premises and the shrinking interest and enthusiasm that they exhibit after a few months of learning...

Teachers, both at high school level and college or university level, carry the onus of creating unfriendly learning environment...

http://www.sauress.com/en/saudigazette/98826
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Incompetent instructors or whinging Saudis? Or both? Reply with quote

wantok wrote:
Teachers, both at high school level and college or university level, carry the onus of creating unfriendly learning environment...

Just like everywhere these days, it is always the teachers' faults if their little darlings don't or won't work and/or learn.

Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

VS
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jargonscott



Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...Al-Mofreh sees teaching of English at primary level a waste of money and human resources...

...Al-Mofreh's comparison of achievement level when he sees “no big difference between students at public schools and private school students who study English at a very early stage” is entirely based on personal experience, not on research studies and real time scenario prevalent in countries where English is taught as second language....

Whenever I imagine a KSA government official doing their job, Yakety Sax is always the soundtrack.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly al-Mofreh is horrendously foolish and misinformed. Any teacher in the Gulf can immediately pick out the kids from the real English based schools (versus those who say that they are, but actually teach mainly in Arabic). His opinion has obviously been pulled from his own bodily orifice rather than any real study, research, or experience in education.

His way makes sure that everyone loses... but especially the students...

Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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Abdullah the Enforcer



Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 42
Location: In a hole

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abdullah give regards to VS.
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biliana



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 53
Location: Vietnam

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS writes:

Quote:
His opinion has obviously been pulled from his own bodily orifice rather than any real study, research, or experience in education.


You're posting giving on the spot, up to date, live from the ME experience, are you?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear biliana,

VS wrote:

"Any teacher in the Gulf can immediately pick out the kids from the real English based schools (versus those who say that they are, but actually teach mainly in Arabic)"

biliana wrote:

"You're posting giving on the spot, up to date, live from the ME experience, are you?"

No, VS isn't - but I can see why you'd ask. After all, the situation could have totally reversed itself since VS's departure. And obviously, using common sense and intelligence is irrelevant.

So, sure - it's clear that students who have NOT been taught English would be at least as good (maybe better) at using that language as students who have actually received instruction in English.

I mean, anyone can see the logic in that. Sharp of you to point out the weakness in VS's post.

Regards,
John
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Sharp of you to point out the weakness in VS's post.

Regards,
John

Laughing Laughing Laughing

VS
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Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arab News covered Dr Ahmad Al Mofreh's views in this article:-
http://www.arabnews.com/node/373698

VS wrote:
"His opinion has obviously been pulled from his own bodily orifice rather than any real study, research, or experience in education."

Well, let's do our research. Let's take a look at Dr Al Mofreh's C.V.
to find out if VS is correct...
Here is a listing of Dr Ahmad Al Mofreh's academic qualifications:-

-PhD: Philosophy of Educational Management (Excellent), U.S.A, Washington, American University, 1996.
- Master: Educational Management and Supervision (Excellent), George Washington University, U.S.A, 1993.

- University: B.A. in English Literature, Morey Mount, U.S.A, 1992.-

- Others: Diploma in Teaching English Language, Morey House collage, U.K, 1984.

and here is his professional experience:-

- English language teacher in primary school, Asir Province from 1978 to 1981.

-English language teacher in intermediate school, Asir Province from 1978 to 1981.

- English language teacher in high school, Asir and Jeddah from 1987 to 1990.

- Member, the Administrative Commission, the Saudi Students Club, Washington D.C, 1987-1990.

- Voluntary teacher in the school of the Islamic Center in Washington D.C, 1991-1993.

- Envoy of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs to work at the Saudi Embassy and the Islamic Center in Washington, 1995-1997.
- I was assigned to work in the Teachers Collages Agency by a resolution from H.E. the Minister of Education .

- Worked as a supervisor of the Development Unit in the Teachers Collages Agency in the Ministry.

- Dean of the training programs and community service in the Teachers Collages Agency, 1997-2002.

- Worked as an Acting Deputy of Teachers Collages for several times while the Deputy is enjoying his vacation or being outside of Riyadh city in official assignments.

- Director General of the Educational Supervision, Ministry of Education, 2002.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conferences And Symposia:

- Serving Pilgrims – three times.
- Participation in the official students visits to Egypt and Yemen. - Participation in many internal scout camps.Member in the Ministry of Education's visiting team to Egypt, 1997.

- Meeting of Educational Training Officials – Qatar University, 1999

- working paper. - Meeting of Educational Training Officials – Qatar University, 1999 – working paper.> - Meeting of the deans of community centers and continuing education in the Gulf Cooperation Council – Kuwait, 2000 and 2001.

- Member of the Ministry of Education team to visit the U.S.A, 2000.

- Member of the Ministry of Education team to visit Singapore and Malaysia, 2002.

- Participated in many educational and religious T.V. programs (in Arabic and English) .

- 19 of which are in English.> - Writing in many Saudi newspapers and magazines.

- Supervised and participated in designing and implementing the diploma programs (13 diplomas) in the Teachers Colleges, 2002 and 2003.

- Supervised and participated in designing and implementing the training package for trainees in the Teachers Colleges, 2003.

- Participated in the mechanization of work projects in the Agency of Teachers Colleges in the Ministry.

- Participated in developing the Schools Principals Course conducted in the Teachers Colleges.

- Teaching at Teachers College in Riyadh in the Department of English, the subjects of Language and Culture and the Use of Computers in Teaching English language, the first semester, 2003.

- Head, the sport mission to the 16th Asian Taekwondo Championships – Korea, 2004.

- Representative for the Saudi Arabian Karate, Taekwondo & Judo Federation to the meeting of the General Assembly of the Arab Federation – Amman – Jordan, 2005.

- Member of the Ministry of Education team to visit Yemen, 2005.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Membership:

- Chairman, Scholarship Committee, Teachers Collages Agency, the 1st and 2nd terms.
-Chairman, Faculty Committee, Teachers Collages Agency in its 3rd term 1999-2001.

- Member, Faculty and Scholarship Affairs Committee in its 1st and 2nd terms 1998-1999.

- Chairman, Faculty Employment Committee in America for the Teachers Collages and Education Colleges for Girls in the Ministry of Education for the academic year 2005.

- Member, the Supervision Committee for the Development of Curricula in the Ministry of Education for the year 2003, 2004 and 2005.

- Chairman, New Building Committee in the Teachers Collages Agency, 2000.

- Chairman, Employees Committee, Collages Agency.

- Member, Development of Teaching Strategies Project in the Ministry of Education, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

- Member, the National Family for Preparing Teachers in its 6th term 2000.

- Member, the National Family for Preparing Teachers in its 7th term 2001.

- Chairman, Faculty Employment Committee in Egypt, Sudan and Tunisia, 2001.

- Chairman, Faculty Employment Committee for the Teachers Collages and Education Colleges for Girls in Cairo, 2002.

- Member, English Language Committee in Teachers Colleges in its 3rd, 4th and 5th terms.

- Member, the Higher Supervision Committee for the Development of Curricula in the Ministry of Education for the year 2003. - Member, the National Family for Measurement and Evaluation for the year 2003.

- Member, the National Family for Educational Supervision, Ministry of Education, 2004.

- Member, Teaching Strategies Team, Ministry of Education, 2003 and 2004.

- Chairman, the 2nd Committee for Sending Teachers for Teaching Abroad, 2003.

- Chairman, the 2nd Committee for Sending Teachers for Teaching Abroad, 2004.

- Member, Teaching English Language in Primary Level Team, the Higher Committee for Education Strategies, 2003.

- Member, the International Study for Mathematics and Sciences Exams, 2003.

- Member, the Evaluation Study for Teaching English Language in the Intermediate and Secondary Levels, Umm Al-Qura University, 2003.

- Chairman, the Study of the Human, Financial and Technical Cost for Teaching English Language in Primary Level Committee, Educational Supervision, Ministry of Education, 2003.

- Member, the Committee for Recourse of Education Posts Incumbents, 2003.

- Member, GLOBE Environmental Project Team, Ministry of Education, 2003.

- Chairman, GLOBE Environmental Project Executive Committee, Ministry of Education, 2003.

- Member, Educational Researches Advisory Committee, Ministry of Education, 2003.

- Member, Scholarship Central Committee, Ministry of Education, 2001 and 2002.

- Member, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

His C.V. is available on the official Shura website:-
http://www.shura.gov.sa/wps/wcm/connect/ShuraEn/internet/CV/Dr.+Ahmed+S.+AL-+Mofarh

Please remind us VS; how many times have you visited Saudi Arabia?


Geronimo
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Geronimo,

So, you really believe this:

"While Al-Mofreh sees teaching of English at primary level a waste of money and human resources, Al-Muqbil advocates for greater motivation to schools and teachers, in addition to revising the curriculum to improve the performance of English teachers. Rather English is to be taught, as Al-Mofreh envisions it, intensively at high school where it can be compensated.
One big question as to how English can be compensated at high school level where both teachers and students have to start from ABC is a difficult question. And where and how can the school find more classes for English to teach them intensively? The problem is not that schools will start devoting more time and classes for English learner at high school level, but giving less time and classes at elementary level."

Now, I spent 19 years teaching English in Saudi, but I wouldn't have had to set foot in the country for one second to know that "starting from ABC at high school level" is NOT going to produce Saudi university students with anything like enough English.

As for the resume, well, I guess you may not have had similar experiences to mine for I have seen "teachers" with highly impressive resumes who were - well, what's the kindest, nicest term I can use - idiots.

Regards,
John
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Abdullah the Enforcer



Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 42
Location: In a hole

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abdullah see nothing on resume since 2005. Abdullah ask, "What have you done for me lately"?
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Abdullah,

Probably on Sabbatical - or, in Saudi, would that be a Fridaytical?

Regards,
John (or in Saudi, Yahya)
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15600
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Please remind us VS; how many times have you visited Saudi Arabia?

One would never have had to set one foot in KSA to see that his ideas about education in a second/foreign language were.... to move from John's term... idiotic.

I would be more surprised at his ability to ignore reality if it were not for the current election in America which is showing me that delusion seems to be a widespread problem... Laughing

VS
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Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 404

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Johnslat,

I'd like to think that the necessary resources can be provided in time for the extension of the English Language provision down to the 4th grade to prove successful. However, I also believe that Al Mofreh's concerns about resourcing this operation shouldn't be dismissed as the ravings of an idiot. I think that they do represent a serious threat to the success of this project.

Al Mofreh was quoted in the "Arab News" article as follows:-

"Male and female graduates of the elementary and intermediate stages will have the least minimum skills in English due to many factors including an unattractive learning environment and a lack of specialist English language tools and labs, among others.”
He also said the little time given to teaching English in elementary and intermediate stages and the number of classes is not enough to yield good results.
“From my point of view, I think teaching English in elementary and intermediate levels should be abolished, allocating this time to the teaching of Arabic, which is a mother tongue. Abolishing English can be compensated for during secondary level,” he said.
Al-Mofreh saw no big difference between students at public schools and private school students who study English at a very early stage.
“Graduates of secondary schools start searching for English-teaching institutes when they have the opportunity to study abroad,” he said.
“They perfect the language in six months, contrary to students who are taught English during their elementary and intermediate schooling, who graduate knowing nothing about the language.”


Al Mofreh was the main author of the 6th grade course book for Saudi boys' schools. An evaluation of that textbook is available here:

http://faculty.ksu.edu.sa/amri/Documents/MA%20thesis.pdf

More contextual background to Saudi Arabia's Primary School EFL provision
developments are available in a couple of "Guardian" articles:-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2005/oct/21/tefl and

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/jun/07/tefl2?INTCMP=SRCH

The latter of these 2 articles concludes with a concern about the availability of
suitably trained teachers at the start of the academic year.

Regards,

Geronimo
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Geronimo,

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. One thing I do know from personal experience is that, of the (literally) thousands of students I taught during my 19 years in Saudi, the "best and brightest" (regarding English, anyway) were those who'd had classes at the elementary, intermediate, and high school level (the elementary, especially.)

I've always made a point of finding out how much English my students have studied before coming to my classes (I still do that today; I've updated the questionnaire I use, but it's basically the same one I used in Saudi.)

I doubt that all - or maybe even many - of their instructors at any of those levels were either super competent in English or great teachers. But at least some of it stuck in the students' minds, and more than occasionally, a surprising amount.

So, my experience appears to contradict that of Dr. Al Mofreh. And it may seem facile of me to say so, but it seems pretty commonsensical to figure that more instruction in English is probably better than less.

However, I am not a Ph.D nor do I have such an impressive resume as the good doctor.

Regards,
John
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