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PHD Degree in TESOL, Saudi Applicant

I am a 28-year-old Saudi Arabian man who has dedicated his life to communication in English. I love the idea of a global language, and for better or for worse, history has chosen English.

I lived in the UK for a-year-and-a-half, culminating in my MA Degree. This of course was the most professionally formative experience that I have had thus far as a TESOL Professional. I began with Intensive English courses for 3 months in XXXX College in Edinburgh. Then I moved to Durham. First I took an English course for academic purposes for 3 months in the University of XXXX then I started my Master’s studies and finished in one year. I visited the USA for 2 weeks on behalf of the language centre where I worked. We visited 6 States including New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas, in order to closely observe ESL centres. We also went on similar discovery missions to visit ESL centres in France, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain.

In 2011, after earning the MA in Arabic/English Translation and Interpreting from the University of XXXX, I was appointed to XXXX University (Saudi Arabia) as a lecturer in English Language as well as a counselor and Vice Rector for Academic an Educational Affairs. Having had this opportunity to serve the university as a lecturer in English Language has helped to make me more aware of the challenges of teaching English to students and the linguistic hurdles that they face, in fact, a whole range of obstacle that impede their ability to acquire English.

I have always gravitated towards the Liberal Arts and especially languages and translation. I seem to be drawn to path of the language professional as a result of a very early identification with words, and began learning English while still a small child as well. Thus, throughout the course of my life thus far, my capacity in English tended to serve as a measure of self worth. And this has inspired me to work very hard, to the point where I now hope to enter a doctoral program to study towards the terminal degree in my field.

After completing your program, I hope to become the Director of the English Language institute in XXXX University-Saudi Arabia. I look forward to many decades of distinguished service as a scholar in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). I have paid a great deal of attention to the issues and research going on in the area of linguistics, insofar as it is relevant to TESOL/TEFL.

I hope to continue to focus on this area in your graduate program so that I can further immerse myself in the study of the peculiar linguistic foundations that characterize or undergird the struggles of the Saudi learner of English. I am keen to embark on a life’s work, doing research and publishing concerning pedagogical issues in foreign language instruction in Saudi Arabia.

My long term goal is to be a leading figure in Saudi Arabia in the area of English Education, driving the implementation of new programs that are based on solid research into the major weaknesses of our educational systems in this area as they now operate. Saudis have a tendency towards isolationism and self-absorption, and are often noted to be somewhat rigid and inflexible, especially with respect to educational reform, and this is true. I hope to labor to open up Saudi Arabia more to the world through greater levels of more effective preparation in our global language.

For two years, while studying towards my BA, I worked part time at two different language centres in Riyadh-Saudi Arabia, where I served as a student coordinator and adviser. This position helped me to better appreciate the complexity of many of the problems in English language learning, and the special or peculiar way that they tend to manifest themselves in the Saudi classroom.

In addition to the students who studied at these centres, I also learned a great deal from the teachers, who shared their experiences with me. I made it a point to spend as much time as I could with each teacher, especially the foreigners, so as to learn from their unique experiences in the Saudi classroom. Dealing directly with students and their issues helped to inspire me to pursue graduate studies.

In 2008, after I received my BA, I worked at XXXX University in the Rector’s Office as a translator- translating documents forwarded from the rector’s office. This position sparked my special devotion to translation and helped me to more rapidly improve my own ability in written English, as well as contributing to my awareness of the linguistic and cultural differences between Arabic and English. By this time, I was finding myself increasingly engaged with the study of the multicultural aspects of TESOL.

The strongest part of my application is probably my professional employment trajectory, since I was first a student coordinator, then translator, and finally a lecturer in English, covering a variety of areas including grammar. I seek admission to a rigorous program such as yours and look forward to a full immersion in theory and fundamentals. I am convinced that, with your program as a springboard, that I will have the preparation that I need for a lifetime of valuable contributions to the study of TESOL in the KSA.

I especially enjoy strategies and solutions to English language learning—most particularly as this involves strategies for Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL).  The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to facilitate the acquisition of English as an international language by designing everything from new methodologies and techniques to the laboratories where they would be put into practice. I also plan to be very involved in initiatives to stimulate further investment on the part of the government of Saudi Arabia in the area of English Education. I am a dedicated and very hard worker, which is why, for example, I helped to build a fence to protect wild plants that are threatened with extinction in my region where I live. I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished program.

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