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Category: Research Project

How many students are in this class??? ?>

How many students are in this class???

When you arrive at a school for your first visit, usually someone will become your sponsor and walk you around.  They will introduce you to the principal, all the English teachers and find classes for you to visit. Meeting with a principal is always interesting because there is the expected sit down and chat (How do you like it here?  Oh, so your children are here!  What school do they go to? Are you doing ok?) which eventually moves to…

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To Future Fulbrighters ?>

To Future Fulbrighters

Last week, I tallied up the school visits I have been able to accomplish.  So far, it looks like I have had 18 visits to 5 different schools.  I was able to teach a sample lesson at 1 school already and I have 1 more this week.  I feel like an old pro at school visits. It was tough getting permission to visit schools at first.  I mentioned before that since I am only the 2nd group of Fulbright DATs…

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I miss teaching ?>

I miss teaching

Teachers will understand this.  There are a lot of feelings associated with teaching. For example:   Then there are the first day of school Pinterest photos showing the utopia of teaching. What I miss though is the day to day because I really *like* teaching. I avoided this career.  I come from a family of teachers.  I mean EVERYONE is a teacher (mom, 3 aunts, grandmother, multiple cousins of all generations, you get the picture).  My dad was planning on being a…

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Observations about Schools ?>

Observations about Schools

The great thing about the busy social calendar is that we meet a lot of people. One of the luckiest breaks in my research has been that two of my kids’ friends have both an uncle AND an aunt who are supervisors at the Ministry of Education (MOE). They were really helpful in giving me an overview of the educational system in the area. Plus, my advisor at the university was able to get appointments for me with the principals…

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Day in the Life ?>

Day in the Life

I have hit a rhythm now with my research. I had a little hiccup this week since I caught a stomach bug and had to stay home an extra day because the servee ride to the university makes me carsick on a good day! But I have successfully had 8 observations days, with multiple classes each day, and 4 on-the-record interviews. Considering I didn’t really get to “start” until September 24, I’m counting that as a win. My day starts (Monday-Thursday)…

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Speaking Arabic ?>

Speaking Arabic

As promised to some of my students, here is a video of me speaking Arabic.  I am reading off my homework sentences for all to hear.  My homework for this evening is practicing reading some conversations, but honestly I am terrible at reading Arabic script so I skipped videoing that one!  Give me a few more weeks! For those of you wondering if I am forgetting my Spanish.  No.  I actually keep tossing Spanish words in accidentally when I forget…

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If wishes were… ?>

If wishes were…

Let’s take a moment and write a little post for those who will go after me.  (Like on their #fulbrightteach in January!)  Currently for international flights each passenger gets one 62″ suitcase.  Which means you add length+width+height and the result is 62″ or less.  Suitcases can be 50 lbs.  You may have additional weight for extra fees or a second bag for about $100.  That means that space is at a premium.  In our family, our plan was to bring…

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So what are the schools like? ?>

So what are the schools like?

I can’t really answer the question what the schools are like because I have only been able to go to 1 school so far.  I really enjoyed the school, but I know that any one (of anything) is not a full picture.  I have been able to attend 2 classes: 1 English and 1 Writing.  Both were actually good. The English class was really interesting.  It was grade 11, I believe. She was reviewing past tenses: simple, continuous and perfect….

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Hey, where does this thing go? ?>

Hey, where does this thing go?

Today was my first class in Arabic.  It began at 8 am so I had to travel from my apartment (north of the city) to the class in the center.  We have only traveled by taxi and someone had told me that you can prearrange a taxi, but I was too chicken to talk to the cab driver the day before.  I thought I’d go to the cab office in the morning and ask.  Ha!  In the morning there are…

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Making progress ?>

Making progress

As I have mentioned before, my research deals with finding better ways of teaching writing for Arabic speaking students.  Possibly using oral history as a motivator to WANT to write and thus gain better proficiency.  To get a handle on the situation and how it is taught in the schools here, I am doing 3 main things: 1) taking an Arabic language course 2) observing English writing classrooms and 3) interviewing teachers and students. Class starts Tuesday: check. So the…

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