A sub-page of Teaching ESL At Kuwait University

Which campus houses the English Language Centre? Decent air conditioning? How would you describe teachers' office space?

As you may have surmised, the faculties are spread out all over the city. There is no central campus, except in the sense that one of them houses the university administration offices. Everything is air-conditioned, physical conditions are generally excellent. As for offices, again it depends on which faculty. Here we have our own offices, in some faculties they are shared. Also we each have a computer in our office - in some faculties they don't even have a computer lab.

Is there a language lab? MAC and PC - or PC only? What kind of computer access exists for teachers; what opportunities do teachers have to grow technologically?

Again, depends on which faculty you're talking about. Here we have two labs, one PC, one Mac. I think we're the best endowed of the faculties. Science has nothing, Business has a lab but it is kept locked up a lot of the time, and as for the others I really don't know. In-service training is scant to non-existent, though just this month the computer department has been offering intro classes on using the internet (email & www).

As staff at the Language Centre of KU, would I have access to internet or would I have to set up my own and how expensive would that be? I plan to take my own notebook computer - have to look into adapters for it, etc. Are printers available? I also plan to bring my video camera.

Depends on which Faculty at which you end up. From conversations with instructors in other faculties I gather we are very lucky here at the Faculty of Med to each have our own computers in our personal offices. At many faculties, office space is shared and there MIGHT be access to some computers through the computer lab. At some faculties there are no computer facilities to speak of, or so I have heard. Commercial service is available at about $100 a month. If you bring your notebook, you can log onto one of the university's servers from home for free, but you'll only have access to email. Computer equipment, such as printers, is available, though I can't tell you much about the costs as I haven't bought anything here, or even been window shopping.

Regarding telecommunications, were you having trouble getting through to me because I didn't post my query properly or is the system unreliable?

Good question. I've been here 18 months and had few problems with internet communications. Here at the FOM we have our own server and our own computer department, staffed by what seem to be a group of very competent people. However, telephone communication in Kuwait is often problematic.

Can one smoke while working?

I don't know about smoking in the office. I do occasionally, as do a couple of others, but we're not regular smokers. No one else in the department smokes, so it could be a sensitive issue if you smoke regularly. The other thing to consider is that we have no windows that open in this office and in winter the smoke is trapped as the fan and air (which we have no direct control over) have been turned off. In other faculties which employ larger number of Arabs, this may not be an issue of concern as many Arabs are smokers.