A Critical Inquiry into Orientation for Expatriate Faculty in the GCC
Keywords:Critical Applied Linguistics, TESOL, Mentoring, International Teacher Education, Teacher Induction
With increased internationalization of higher education, many institutions have adopted English as a medium of instruction (EMI). This generates an increasing demand for English language professionals, many of whom are expatriates, potentially creating cultural issues for students, institutions, and teachers. As with most new teachers, orientation programs are organized to assist in their adaptation to their new position, a more complicated undertaking due to the international nature herein. This study takes a critical view of one such program at a higher education institution (HEI) in the Middle East’s Gulf States, also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), investigated through a series of semi-structured interviews with the newly-hired teachers. Several key themes emerged, engendering heightened stress amongst the teachers: official communication, settling in, permanent accommodation, use of time during orientation, and starting classes with new students. In line with other research and the literature, recommendations for orientation programs are made to address the issues arising in this study.