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Title: English language teaching and learning at government schools in the United Arab Emirates
Author: Mustafa, Ghassoub Sharif Hassan.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3437 4965
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis presents the findings of a study that investigated the teaching and learning of English in female government schools in the United Arab Emirates. The research was conducted by means of qualitative methods and 61 participants participated in the interviews. The research sample represents the three main parties that are directly concerned with teaching and learning English and they are: schoolteachers, school graduates, and higher education teachers. The investigation reveals three main aspects of English language teaching and learning at school. First, schoolteachers use ineffective grammar-translation methods with some principles from the direct and communicative methods. Second, school graduates have negative perceptions of English language teaching at schools and blame it on their failure to learn the language. Finally, tertiary institutions receive school graduates with poor English. There are a number of factors that affect teachers' performance in the English class. First, the syllabus is prescriptive and there is a heavy emphasis on textbooks and exams. Second, teachers operate according to a given scheme, which prioritizes high success rates in English as a school subject, and de-emphasizes English as a medium of communication. This has led to restricting teachers' autonomy and causing stagnation in the process of learning English. Also due to teachers' beliefs and other overwhelming circumstances, they resorted to the transmission model to deliver information to exam takers rather than language learners. The abovementioned conditions reflect negatively on students' attitudes, motivation, and learning style. However, they cling to a small amount of instrumental motivation that energizes them to study for the exam. Although many students are aware of the importance of English, they are not given an opportunity to learn it appropriately, which lowers their motivation substantially. Additionally, the English classroom lacks a humane classroom environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Teaching methods