Saturday Sortie

Originally published Oct. 12, 2008

Dr. Jim, Steve and I and Dr. Graham drove to Ras Al Khaimah to lead a 2-hour professional at the Higher Colleges of Technology Women’s College for 32 TESOL teachers.

On the way (it’s a 21/2-3 hour trip) we got to see some CAMELS!

I think that I didn’t quite grasp the concept of “wild” camels. Imagine, if you will, the herds of deer some people see in their towns (and complain about because they’re overrun and the deer eat their plants). Now, imagine TALL deer with a hump and you’ve got what we saw wandering the land on either side of the highway sitting, strolling and reaching up to snag some greenery. Many of the highways are lined with fences so the camels don’t wander across. But you will also see signs like this:

Back to the workshop.

Many were graduates of the HCT-RAK and so were quick to grasp the educational objectives of our workshop as well as the power of “fun” in teaching. Anna Bailey, the TESOL Arabia representative, noted, “You know they enjoyed themselves because they stayed around to fill in the evaluation. If they don’t, they just leave.”

Nice to know that there are some universal about teachers. <g>

We took a group photo (TBA), got gifts AND a certificate. 

Afterwards, hosts Annie and Darcy (good luck with the gallery!) took us to eat some yummy yummy food at the Indian restaurant, Venus, and then we made the long trek home. More camels, but what was exciting was that I think we caught a quick glimpse of an Oryx, the mountain gazelle that Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan saved from extinction.

Staggered into the hotel, mumbled something about seeing people in the morning, and then disappeared into the mists.

Sleep is a wonderful thing…


2 responses to “Saturday Sortie

  1. Helen and Steve – How did this workshop differ from what you’re focusing on in Al Ain (other than time)?

  2. The biggest difference is the “population.”

    The Al Ain students are in various majors – english lit, translation, mass communication, poli-sci. They have not, as far as I can tell, taken and “education” classes, per se. So, when we’re working with them, we have to make sure our vocabulary recognizes that. For instance, there’s no reason they should know fine and/or gross motor skills, pedagogy, etc. etc.

    The teachers from UGRU we worked with — Undergraduate Remedial University — were primarily ex-pats, and they were working on building the english skills of their college age students – and those skills were very diverse. So, we had much discussion of how to heighten/ease the challenge of each activity.

    Over at RAK, the teachers were mostly UAE folks, and there were a LOT who specialized in early childhood, so we spoke the “same language.”

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