I’m Magda and a hopeful/prospective PhD student at the School of Education. I come from Poland, my husband is English, we have two children, and are working in Doha, Qatar, Arabian Gulf. I hold an MA in English Literature and TEFL from Warsaw University.
In my doctoral research, I’m planning to focus on classroom cultures and appropriate methodology in the TESOL context of the Academic Bridge Program (ABP) where I teach literature and essay writing to pre-university Qatari and international students. In the course of this academic year, when I studied at the School of Education on a distance learning basis, I was introduced to Holliday’s approach to classroom culture via the framework of small cultures and the host institution complex. The approach makes a lot of sense in the ABP environment with its multiple institutional connections and diverse student population.
The ABP is part of Qatar Foundation’s Education City (EC) and it operates as a feeder programme preparing local students for entry into English language universities in the country and abroad. To date, six American universities, contracted by the Qatar Foundation, have set up branch campuses in EC: Texas A&M (engineering), Weill Cornell Medical College, Virginia Commonwealth University’s (design), Carnegie Mellon (business, computer), Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (international relations), and Northwestern University (journalism and media).
Last year, I published an article about Education City and its cultural setting. It’s called “Liberal Arts Education in Qatar: Intercultural Perspectives”, in Intercultural Education 20/3 (2009). 219-229. The article was based on a paper I wrote for a conference in Warsaw two years ago (Celebrating the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue: Theory & Practice in Intercultural Education, Warsaw, 30/06– 3/07 2008, International Association of Intercultural Education).
I have also written a chapter on the Qatar Foundation for a book published in Poland, “Panstwo Katar – Gospodarka, Polityka, Kultura” (“The State of Qatar – Economy, Politics, Culture”), ed. K. Gorak-Sosnowska and R. Czulda, Lodz: Ibidem, 2009.
Below is a list of some of the papers and presentations on educational issues in the Qatari context that I’ve delivered over the last few years:
Reading Kafka in Qatar – presentation for MUN advisers at the GU MUN conference in Doha, January 2010;
Student Motivation in Qatari Educational Settings – presentation at Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar Foundation, Doha, October 2008;
Liberal Arts Education in Qatar – paper at Intercultural Education Conference, Warsaw University, Warsaw, July 2008;
Significance of Co-curricular Activities in Motivating Students – co-presentation at TESOL-Qatar Conference, the College of the North Atlantic, Doha, Qatar, April 2008;
The Love of Learning; the Joy of Reading – paper at mini-TESOL conference, Qatar, Education City, January 2008;
Optimizing Arab Students’ Performance through Debating and MUN – co-authored paper at The Gulf 2007 Conference, the University of Exeter, Exeter, UK, July 2007;
Culture and Academic Integrity – presentation at a series of working lunches on Cultural Perceptions of Plagiarism, Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar Foundation, Doha, April 2007;
Qatari Students’ Motivation to Learn – presentation at a series of working lunches on Enhancing Student Motivation, Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar Foundation, Doha, April 2006.
Here is a link to a very interesting article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
It’s quite impressive how India is expanding and globalising education.