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My wife and I decided that we would attend the TESOL Arabia meetings last month. It was over 6,000 km of driving and two weeks of our hard earned vacation, but we also got to see Dubai and Oman for the first time.
We missed the first day of TESOL because the people responsible for getting our exit visas took five days getting our papers so we could leave Saudi Arabia. I won't criticize the country about requiring exit visas, but someone taking too long cost me a full day of pre-meeting events and more than 2,000 km of driving around the clock to make it when we did.
Why do English teachers need to go to meetings? There are two reasons that are most important to me. These are:
1. the opportunity to hear papers read by other teachers who are experts and
2. the chance to see the latest books and materials for teaching.
This is one of the meeting halls where we heard about research on how students use electronic media and the best approaches for using modern technology in the classroom. There were other papers being given at the same time so this hall is not as crowded as I expected.
Maybe my favorite part was the exhibit hall with row after row of exhibits from publishers and educational programs.
There were books for every kind of English need I could imagine, like airplane flight crew, oil and gas workers, auto mechanics, hotel workers, hospital workers and almost anything else that may require English.
The city was nice to see too.
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