Back to work – A new academic year begins


“First, thank you to whoever took this photograph. The black and white backdrop, the papers on the desk, the telephone. They all nicely depict how I would describe my desk, and my day! A lot of things to think about as the new academic year begins, new challenges, re-visiting ideas and looking through my increasingly longer ‘articles-to-write’ list. Of course in the new world of professional networking, it’s imperative to ‘link-up’ with people who share the same passions, wherever they are in our increasingly intertwined close-knit world. It’s going to be fun and I’m looking forward to the ride. Have a good year fellow educators. And for the rest, if you’re not an active student, why not think about learning something new?”


Language and Engineering


Do you really need to speak the same language to understand these? Or can we understand these in over 200 hundred different languages?

English in Saudi Arabia from Year 4

When anyone has reservations about the introduction of English, it often results in accusations of being conservative. At the same time, those who want to start English from Year 1, are accused of being anti-Saudi or ‘liberal’.

At the moment, a few schools are implementing the ‘new idea’. Many no doubt believe that starting English earlier, is bound to be better.

But here’s a question. Does more English necessarily mean better English?

Saudi students that I’ve taught make it clear that their teachers did not ‘teach properly’. Without realising, our students are alluding to an issue that may not have been considered. It’s called ‘TEACHING METHODOLOGY’. Basically, if English continued to be taught from the current Year 7, then as long as a new teaching methodology was being introduced, the results could be much better than they currently are.

So the bottom line here, is better teacher training, and better materials. Starting from Year 4 may sound great, but is it really the answer