Best Practice in ELT: 10 Traits of a Highly Effective Teacher

Dr Christine Coombe of Dubai Men’s College explores the 10 characteristics that she finds essential for success in the classroom and in educational institutions.

As ELT practitioners face the pressures of an increased workload, institutional accountability and continual change in curricula/assessment, the need for effective teachers has never been more important.


Dr Christine Coombe

Christine Coombe has a PhD in Foreign/Second Language Education from Ohio State University. She is currently on the English faculty of Dubai Men’s College. She is the former Testing and Measurements Supervisor at UAE University and Assessment Coordinator of Zayed University. Christine is co-editor of Assessment Practices (2003, TESOL Publications); co-author, A Practical Guide to Assessing English Language Learners (2007, University of Michigan Press); co-editor, Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness in EF/SL Contexts (2007, UMP); co-editor, Language Teacher Research in the Middle East (2007, TESOL Publications), Leadership in English Language Teaching and Learning (2008, UMP) Applications of Task-based Learning in TESOL (2010, TESOL Publications), The Cambridge Guide to Second Language Assessment (2012, Cambridge University Press) and Reigniting, Retooling and Retiring in English Language Teaching (2012, University of Michigan Press). Christine’s forthcoming books are on research methods in EF/SL and life skills education.

Christine has lived and worked in the Arabian Gulf for the past 21 years. In this capacity, she has served as the President and past President of TESOL Arabia and as the Founder and Co-chair of the TESOL Arabia Testing Special Interest Group who organise the Current Trends in English Language Testing (CTELT) Conference. Christine is also the Founder and Chair of the TESOL Arabia Leadership & Management SIG.

During her tenure in the Middle East, she has won many awards including: 2002 Spaan Fellowship for Research in Second/Foreign Language Assessment; 2002-03 TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award; TOEFL Board Grant for 2003-04, 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2009-10 for her work in delivering assessment training assessment in developing countries. Most recently she served on the TESOL Board of Directors as Convention Chair for Tampa 2006 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Teacher of the Year for 2003-04. She served as TESOL President (2011-2012) and was a member of the TESOL Board of Directors (2010-2013). Christine received the British Council’s International Assessment Award for 2013.

Dr Christine Coombe was a Keynote Speaker at The IAFOR International Conference on Language Learning 2015 (IICLL2015) in Dubai, UAE.

Posted by Thaddeus Pope

Born and raised in Brighton, England, Thaddeus Pope is an experienced commercial and editorial photographer with a BA in Photography from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Thaddeus’s duties at IAFOR include overseeing the design, media and marketing output of the organisation, as well as producing photo-essays, short documentaries and other visual content for IAFOR and its publications, including THINK. In January 2015, Thaddeus was named as the Creative Director of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award. tpope@iafor.org (in English)