A lovely Twinkl UAE representative got in touch with me recently and asked me if I’d like to review their resources on my blog. I accepted their invitation as I felt this fitted in quite nicely with my post on 8 general guidelines when teaching local students in the Middle East, where I advised adapting your resources to best suit students from the region. This could be making sure to reflect the local culture in your worksheets, e.g. mentioning the Dubai Expo 2020 or the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. This also refers to removing any taboo topics from your resources, to avoid awkward conversations in the classroom.
I have used Twinkl in the UK in the past, but I’ve never used it here. I asked around and many primary school colleagues and friends here were full of praise for the resources, especially for special cultural and religious occasions, like Eid and National Day. Based on this positive feedback, I was eager to see for myself, so the lovely Twinkl rep gave me free access to their resources. Here is what I thought…
What I loved…
- The ready-made culturally-appropriate and culturally-reflective materials for primary school
- Twinkl is constantly updating their resources- there’s even a fidget worksheet up there!
- As a teacher who also teaches English as an Additional Language, I was very impressed by their EAL resources, including Arabic-English signs, an EAL Intervention Programme, and useful EAL packs.
- I was equally impressed by their K3, K4, and K5 English Language and Literature resources
- Their motivational resources, like stickers and posters, as sometimes learning through a second language can be exhausting…
What could be improved…
- The wonderful Middle East- specific resources seem to be intended for primary school, but they could definitely be used with older lower-ability students with EAL. Similarly, the English Language resources, e.g.the compound and complex sentence construction worksheets, can also definitely be used at secondary level. However, I think some more complex higher-level Middle-East resources aimed at secondary school students with higher English proficiency would be very beneficial for the older kids!
Overall, I think Twinkl have really filled a gap in the market for expat teachers who teach students in the Middle East, especially majority local, other Arab, or Muslim. It has 3 distinct advantages:
- Huge timesaver!
- Reliable resources, created and tested by teachers here
- If you are feeling a little less confident in making your own materials because of your unfamiliarity with UAE traditions and religious customs, these resources do it all for you!
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