Andrew MacLeod

English teacher and recently-published author, Ministry of Education / Zayed Educational Complex Dubai

Andrew Neil MacLeod is a dedicated MOE English teacher who lives in Dubai. He gained his honours degree from University of Aberdeen Scotland, and a TEFL Diploma from Trinity College London, teaching in countries as diverse as Scotland, France, Malta and the UAE. Andrew is also a former musician signed to Warner Brothers, but has since taken up writing as a hobby and means of artistic expression. During lockdown, Andrew felt inspired by the heartfelt messages of support projected onto the nearby Burj Khalifa, which gave him the impetus to complete a novel from his balcony, for which he received a 3-book publishing deal only four months later. Andrew’s debut novel has received many positive reviews in publications such as Herald Scotland, The Daily Record and The Courier, and the Washington Post, and a featured spread in Khaleej Times. Andrew has recently appeared on several radio shows, and last month he was invited by Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh OBE to appear on The Alex Salmond Show, aired all over the world to an audience of millions, where he took an in-depth look at Scottish literature with the former First Minister of Scotland. Despite this recent attention, Andrew keeps his feet firmly on the ground, and is devoted to his teaching role here in Dubai. He is a strong advocate of the Reading For Pleasure initiative, encouraging his students to see reading and writing not just as a tool for learning, but as tool for self-development.

Wellbeing Space

14 November 2021 | 13:35 - 13:55 | English | Encouraging Young Learners to Read for Pleasure / Writing as a Tool for Personal Development

Storytelling is an art as old as humanity itself, and something that all cultures have in common. Reading gives confidence and allows us to communicate more freely. It creates memory pathways and enables us to remember new words. Reading helps us to understand other cultures, increases our general knowledge, expands our vocabulary, and stimulates empathy and imagination. It transforms us, opens us up to other worlds and endless possibilities, and provides us with comfort and reassurance in times of solitude or hardship. With these benefits in mind, this seminar will explore techniques that allow educators to promote reading for pleasure in the classroom; e.g. joining book clubs, introducing literacy-targeted awards, providing choice in reading material, and how to support students who struggle with their reading and writing. I will discuss the benefits of creative writing as a bridge to academic success, providing students with a key to unlocking their own imaginations.