Teaching English with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has been a life-changing experience. The summer of 2010 was a really dispiriting time as I was facing the prospect of unemployment in the United States just as I began my career as a certified English teacher. I had applied for only the few positions that […]
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My name is Gregory Askew, an EFL teacher from the United States. In 2010, my wife, daughter, and I left our long-time home of Vermont, the Green Mountain State, for the “Green City” of the United Arab Emirates—Al Ain. I had been hired by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) to teach secondary English as part of their larger educational initiative to raise UAE schools up to an international standard. Currently we are completing our sixth year abroad and I have secured my most lucrative position yet—working as an English trainer for a UAE gas company.
Working internationally has proven to be the confluence of some of my greatest passions in life—working with young people, international travel, language learning, cultural exchange, and nature studies to name a few—and I am thrilled by the challenges and opportunities each new day abroad presents. I hope to have a long and prosperous career as an international teacher of English.
Entries by Greg
The United Arab Emirates is a small country, almost the size of South Carolina; however, it is more diverse than as portrayed in, say, the recent Mission Impossible. There’s more beyond the glitzy modern cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the vast dune-scapes of the interior. Be sure to explore some of the UAE’s […]
English teachers in the UAE commonly complain that their curriculum is too challenging and too demanding for their students, who are not proficient enough to meet those demands. Experienced ESL teachers know that class behavior can deteriorate if the level of instruction is not suited to the needs of the students. For teachers in the UAE, […]
The IELTS exam is an internationally recognized measure of an individual’s English proficiency and, in the United Arab Emirates, one of the main proficiency tests for admissions to higher education as well as professional advancement. Higher education programs typically look for a score of 4.5 to 6.0 on a 9-band scale. Many Emirati secondary students […]
Student behavior is perhaps the biggest challenge awaiting teachers new to the United Arab Emirates. While the full banquet of naughtiness is not too different from a Western school, several cultural factors can make for a rocky first year. Here are some things to consider:
In this article, Greg Askew explains how the 250-hour TESOL Diploma helped him obtain more lucrative positions in the United Arab Emirates. He started as an ADEC teacher in 2010 and began a more lucrative position with ADVETI in 2013. In the summer of 2014, Greg became a certified IELTS examiner, which he does once a month as he continues […]
In my final blog on teaching English in the United Arab Emirates, you will learn about the challenges of teaching rhetorical and syntactical structures in the UAE.
A prominent form of grammatical interference that manifests more often in students’ writing than in speech is a redundancy in the parts of a sentence (i.e. subjects, verbs, objects). It is not unusual to encounter constructions similar to “Mohammed he loves a girl he met her last year” (redundancy in the subject and object), yet […]
As mentioned in one of my previous posts, the mixed-ability classroom is the norm in the UAE, but an EFL teacher new to the country may be shocked at just how broad that range of abilities is. It is not uncommon to have a few students, who, despite vast exposure to English in school, still […]
The use of authentic material in the ESL classroom is a well recognized best practice founded on the idea that students will be more interested and consequently learn more when presented with texts that are more relevant to their daily lives, more current in the treatment of the subject matter, and more closely aligned to […]