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29-10-2012

TESOL Arabia conference very well attended in Al Gharbia

The first TESOL Arabia Regional conference of the new academic year,  organised by the Western Region Chapter of TESOL, was held this month at the Ruwais Higher Colleges of Technology campus.

There was a rich offering of talks from some very experienced speakers, a teaching master-class and a delicious lunch with the chance to network and share experiences with colleagues who are normally spread out across the vast and sparsely populated area of Al Gharbia.

Newly appointed Jill Hill did a skillful job as the area representative, and she was assisted on the day by Abir Ramadan as Treasurer, and Mahmoud Zaki as Membership Secretary.  There were also two CELTA graduates on an information table giving information about the CELTA and DELTA courses offered at Madinat Zayed and Ruwais colleges and this generated a lot of interest.

The conference was privileged to have Dr Christine Coombe speaking on ‘Personal and Professional Growth through Life satisfaction’ focusing on her research into this area; Peter Davidson speaking on the future of Education and Beth Weins on Professional Development Opportunities.

In addition there was a group discussion, led by Madinat Zayed and Ruwais HCT Chair Peter Stanfield,  on assessment in Place Based Learning, and Jonathan Turner giving a featured master class, a teaching demonstration of an English speaking lesson.

The Higher Colleges of Technology sees supporting the community that surrounds it, to grow and develop as an important part of its role in the wider society.  Sharing the expertise of its staff and improving the teaching of the younger generation is an important part of its holistic vision of education for the future of Al Gharbia.

Professional Development is an important aspect of education and it is essential for teachers to have the chance to gather in one place and learn from each other as well as from experts in the field.  The Western Region has many small population centres, isolated in a huge and inhospitable desert landscape.  Teachers came from as far apart as Sila and Liwa, almost 400 kilometres distant from each other, for the chance to enhance their own learning and improve the teaching in their own schools.

The event ended with Dr Phil Quirke, Director of the Colleges, thanking everyone for coming and issuing certificates to all who attended.  The interest in the event and in TESOL Arabia bodes well for the future.  The planning is now underway for the next event, a mini workshop that will take place before the December break.

 

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