DMC educator appointed TESOL International President

8 years

Higher Colleges of Technology educator Dr Christine Coombe has been recognized as a world leader in her field after she was recently elected International President of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) organization.

It is the first such international appointment to the prestigious body for a HCT faculty member. Dr Coombe is also the first English Language Teacher (ELT) professional from the Middle East to be elected to the position and only the fourth person to be elected from outside North America in 44 years.

Dr Coombe, a long term Dubai Men’s College (DMC) English faculty member with a love of language, will serve a three-year term on the Executive Board, with 2011-2012 being her Presidential year.

TESOL is the largest English language teaching professional organization in the world, with about 34,000 members and affiliated bodies in over 100 countries. To be eligible to hold the position of President of the TESOL organization, an individual has to have previously been elected to, and served on, the Board of Directors and must demonstrate outstanding service to TESOL and to its local affiliate.

Dr Coombe said the TESOL organization played a key role in her professional development as a language educator.

“ From the first TESOL conference I attended way back in the late 80’s I was hooked on the vibrancy of the event and on all the opportunities membership to this organization afforded me,” Dr Coombe said.

“I delivered my first academic paper at a TESOL convention, published my first book with TESOL publications, and organized my first international event through TESOL’s Professional Development Committee. I now welcome the opportunity to give back to the organization which has given me so much as an educator. ‘’

She also paid tribute to the support and encouragement of the DMC management and colleagues.

“I am proud to have been chosen to represent them on a global scale.”

Dubai Men’s College Associate Director Philip Corcos said Dr Coombe’s election to the post was “an honor and distinction for her, for DMC and HCT”.

“This is the first time a faculty member from HCT has been appointed to such an important international position,” Mr Corcos said.

Dr Coombe maintains a very active involvement in the HCT, having lectured and presented at many conferences in the MENA region on language assessment. She has also organized the highly successful Current Trends in English Language Testing Conference at DMC for the past 13 years.

She is also Vice -President Education and the founder of the DMC Toastmasters Club. During her tenure at Dubai Men’s College, she has published five internationally-referred books on language assessment, teacher effectiveness, language teacher research and leadership in English language teaching and learning.


Dr Christine Coombe has a PhD in Foreign/Second Language Education and Testing from the
Ohio State University. She is an Assessment Leader for the Higher Colleges of Technology and is based at Dubai Men’s College English faculty. Dr Coombe has lived and worked in the Arabian Gulf for a number of years and she has served as President of TESOL Arabia and as the founder and co-chair of the TESOL Arabia Testing, Assessment and Evaluation Special Interest Group. She has won many education awards in her field, while in the Middle East.

Dr. Coombe has participated in large-scale assessment and assessment development projects in Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, China, and the UAE and has presented papers in 39 countries.