2008 - Feature article:|
Kobtan, has been a faculty member and library technician in the United
Arab Emirates for over 30 years. As a second language learner herself,
she has had first hand experience as a student, to transform her into
the exceptional English teacher she is today. At Zayed University, Hoda
helped establish the Learning Enhancement Center (LEC), a part of the
Library dedicated to both curricular support and independent learning.
"My work with Emirati schools has given me a good understanding
of the background our students bring to their university experience; what
the students need; what the university has to offer them; and, how we
can encourage them to take advantage of learning opportunities, independently,"
The LEC in Dubai is a collection of books, graded readers, and English
language reading materials used by teachers to supplement their classroom
instruction, and students wanting to improve their skills independently.
More recently, however, faculty and students are seeking non-print and
online sources to advance their speaking, reading, and listening skills.
In response to this, the Library has introduced several web products for
instruction, including English-To-Go.
"I was thrilled to find such a treasure of materials for teachers
and students. I like the variety of resources dealing with different skills
of learning English from elementary to advanced," said Hoda.
With English-To-Go, faculty can find quick and easy lessons on a variety
of skills and levels. Hoda, especially, likes the Max Vocab!
"Our students work very hard to pass their IELTS exams. Vocabulary
is often a challenge for them, and having ready made lessons reduces the
stress every English language teacher faces."
Zayed University was established in 1998 by the federal government to
educate U.A.E. women. Zayed has approximately 3,200 women enrolled on
campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and now a new campus in Sweihan provides
language instruction and baccalaureate programs to armed forces cadets.
"ZU moved very quickly to set up this new campus," said
Ross T. LaBaugh, one of the Librarians working in Sweihan. "In
fact, when the LEC opened, we had only a few books, and even fewer teacher
resources. Fortunately, we had English-To-Go to help us through those
first weeks. The teachers and I were very happy we did!"