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ESL Student Believes That Learning for Himself Is His First Priority



Jan 06, 2014

Mitab Al shammari is a new student at the Roanoke Valley Campus who is from Saudi Arabia.  Mitab found out about ANU because of a friend who told him about the ESL program. He holds a master’s degree in anthropology from a Jordanian university. 

Mitab will be transferring to Georgetown University soon to continue his studies in comparative literature and earn a doctoral degree.   He said that he enjoys “studying for his mind first [and that he] does not care about work,” but added that he will likely return to Saudi Arabia to teach at a university.  According to Dr. Eric Rothgery, ESL program director, he is a great role model for other students because of his wonderful attitude about learning. 

Mitab said that he is enjoying being in Roanoke because he likes the friendly people and the nice weather.  His favorite experience so far has been “talking with Dr. Eric”; particularly about philosophy.  (Eric holds a doctorate in religion and other degrees in theology, philosophy and religion).   Mitab has also enjoyed what he calls the “cocktail of students” in that ANU has students from other countries such as Congo, Colombia, France, and South Korea, among others. 

Mitab’s favorite ESL instructor has been Eddie Hobson-Hardy because she is so professional.  Mitab explained that he taught Arabic in high school in Saudi Arabia and because he was a teacher, he knows how difficult teaching is.  He added that Eddie has taught the ESL students not only English but also how to teach. 

Mitab said that he would recommend ANU to other international students.  He said that the reality of the American culture is much different experienced in person compared to the image that he had in his mind; just as the American image of Saudi Arabia is that the country is completely uncivilized and that the primary mode of transportation is riding camels.  He reiterated that Americans are “friendly.”

ESL student Mitab Al shammari (l) with Dr. Eric Rothgery, ESL Program Director (r). 

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tags: VA-Roanoke English as a Second Language: (ESL)