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English at ABHSS An Honorable Reality, A Promising Future

Published by Ahmed Bin Hanbal Language & Training Centre 2010-2011

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Ahmed Bin Hanbal Language & Training Centre An Introduction

Ahmed Bin Hanbal Language & Training Centre was created to respond to the growing academic needs of the schools’ students. The idea consists in providing opportunities for the students to develop their linguistic and communicative skills through using English outside the classroom. Starting from the previous academic year, the centre has been able to run various extra-curricular activities that cater for the students’ aspirations notwithstanding their achievement levels, and is planning to carry out a set of innovative projects that comply with the same vision. 1. The Book Week:

The centre runs the school’s Book Week which is part of the Bloomsbury Publishing-Qatar Foundation programme and assists in coordinating the inter-school

debating in conjunction with Qatar Debate. 2. Inter-School Debating: As a department, we have been involved in debating from the first days the school was founded. We strongly believe that debating is

a crucial skill in the development of both, personality and linguistic capabilities. It also involves the students in the community and encourages them to discover more about the world they live in. To concretize this, our school collaborated with Abu Bakr

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Assiddeeq independent secondary school and have developed an inter-school debating competition. We are presently looking to expand the exchanges by including more schools. 3. The Doha Debates: The department regularly takes a group of students to the BBCQatar Foundation Doha Debates. Our students have gained a good reputation as they were able to participate actively through their interesting questions for the debaters. The Doha Debates is watched by over than 50,000 people around the world.

is an organization which will foster the knowledge of the English language. The completion of the novel and the stories readings is followed by a vetting stage which is a test that simply assesses the students’ ideas and what has been sieved in their memories.

5. The upcoming projects: The department facebook page has just been created after

4. The Reading Program and the Book Fair: Visiting the book fair has become part of our traditions. It is an excellent opportunity for the students to choose books with the help of their teachers. This program

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equipping the school with an internet connection. At present, the following projects are underway: • The department blog. • The English webcast. • The Connecting Classrooms (in cooperation with the British Council)

Mr Tim Sebastian in our school

Mr Reda Mahdy, the Academic vice-principal, showing the school magazine

The English Department has hosted a major event on November 11th, 2010 through the invitation of the renowned Mr Tim Sebastian, the founder and chairman of the Doha Debates. The visit was held in the Learning Resource Centre where a group of students had the opportunity to talk to Mr Sebastian on different topics. Mr Sebastian started his talk by asking the students about their interest in debating and what they got out of it. He wanted to know if being to the debates had changed their minds. He tried to convince the students to ask questions to the people around them: parents, teachers and decision makers. He told them that they should not be mere receptive and accept things as they are presented to them. Life, to

him, is the life that one makes and not what people give as granted. This seems to be the main slogan “The power to change minds” and “unleashing the power of words”. Then, roles were reversed! The students started to ask Mr Sebastian questions. They wanted to know about his long career in the media. They tried to ask him about his personal opinion about serious issues related to the current international events and to the motion of the Doha Debates series. The interesting point is

Mr Reda Mahdy, the Academic vice-principal, showing the school magazine

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Mr Tim Sebastian talking to the students about his long experience in the media

that throughout his answers, Mr Sebastian always focussed on the idea that everything in life is worthwhile. One should always do all that he can to make his ambitions come true and this is exactly what happened to him when he first started the Doha Debates project with a letter that he wrote, and sent by regular mail.

important people he has invited to the debates. He did not hide that he was hoping to receive Mr Barack Obama in one of the upcoming debates.

The English Department staff as well as the guest teachers took part in the discussion and asked about how the subjects are chosen and the guests are selected. Mr Sebastian spoke about the most

He also thanked the Senior Management Staff for the efforts they incessantly make to keep a wonderful school with clear vision and great ideas. Before leaving Mr Sebastian signed in the guest book.

Mr Sebastian with the school principal, Mr Jameel Shemmari.

Mr Sebastian signing the guest book.

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Mr Sebastian showed his pleasure and admiration of the students’ level, who, he said, asked him “tough” questions.


Commitment & Endeavour T

he interest in debating has always been one of the priorities of the English Department staff. This commitment stems from a will to guarantee an active communication with the community and to meet the requirements needed to develop the learners’ creativity. Thus, the department has engaged in a series of workshops enabling students to wield acquire the suitable techniques to

foster speech as a skill so that to effectively lead the debates. These workshops have been presented by a number of specialists thanks to a great cooperation with the Qatar Foundation. The workshops are introduced in a chronological order. Our debate trainers take into account the inception of a debates generation armed by the freedom

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of speech with relevant techniques. More workshops, mini-debates, conversation groups, quizzes and competitions to promote English are to be carried out at the beginning of the second academic term. The following is a list of topics that will be discussed: • This house believes that newspapers are wack news carriers and therefore do not reflect reality. • This house believes that Qatar is well-prepared to host the 2022 World Cup. • This house believes that the internet isn’t faithful enough to be trusted for the information released through it. • This house believes that education cannot in the contemporary world satisfy our intellectual needs. • This house believes that the Qatari schools are not offering

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any opportunities for the freedom of speech and the development of the student’s personality. • This house believes that parents should not control nor interfere with the youngsters life. • This house believes that cinema does not by any stretch of the imagination reflect reality and hovers around aspects of life in vain. • This house believes that colonization can be in two forms: ‘Real colonization’ and ‘Camouflaged colonization’. And what we live in our present moment in our Arab countries,with no exception, is the second type which proved to be more lethal and virulent than the first one.

The English Staff at the Doha Debates

The reading program

Project-based teaching

Debating Workshops

Some of the students’ projects


Published by Ahmed Bin Hanbal Language & Training Centre 2010-2011 Page 1 Page 2 1. The Book Week: The centre runs the school’s Book Wee...

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