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Title: Models of bilingual education in majority language contexts : an exploratory study of bilingual programmes in Qatari primary schools
Author: Al-Maadheed, Fatma G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 9326
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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The purpose of this thesis was to explore and describe how bilingual programmes are organized and implemented within the unique linguistic and socio-economic case of Qatar. Specifically the thesis explored bilingual programs offered by two types of primary schools in Qatar: international schools and independent schools. Qatar launched a new initiative for educational development in 2001 but with hardly any research linked to these changes. The study was positioned within a qualitative interpretive tradition drawing on elements of ethnography and grounded theory as tools of methodology. However, quantitative methods were also incorporated within the design. The research design is structured within two main phases: phase one included statistical analysis of secondary data investigating three variables: average teaching time in the first and the second language, students’ and teachers’ nationality. Phase two utilized a multi-case study design. One school from each type was examined in depth over a period of nine weeks. Data were collected by means of school documents, interviews, and non-participant observation of English and Arabic classes. The first phase made an initial impression of the model of bilingual education followed by international and independent schools compared to bilingual typologies found in the literature. The analysis of the two cases examined revealed various differences across the two types. Findings reveal that the international school followed a partial immersion type of programme while the independent school followed a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) type of programme. The study reveals that the Qatari bilingual schools context was one of heteroglossia, with three codes in operation: Modern Standard Arabic, Colloquial Arabic dialects and English. Findings reveal that teachers and students in the international school adopt a strict separation policy between the two languages following a monoglossic belief. Language teachers and students in the independent school were found to apply a flexible language policy inside English and Arabic classes. The study revealed a gap between claimed programme features and implementation of these features. An absence of a clear language policy in the schools was also a main finding relating to the practice of these schools. In light of these findings, adopting a clear and explicit language-in-education policy should be a priority for policy makers in Qatar. The study revealed how the diglossia situation in Qatari schools is unique and therefore schools must be aware of the languages at the disposal of students and teachers. Schools must also concentrate on developing academic language skills needed for success in L2 schooling.
Supervisor: Murphy, Victoria; Macaro, Ernesto Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Linguistics ; Arabic ; Learning ; Social Sciences ; Education ; Applied linguistics ; Comparative and international education ; Early and Child learning ; Literacy ; Teaching and teacher education ; Evaluation of social policies,programmes and practice ; Ideologies ; National identity ; bilingual education ; language education ; language policy ; bilingual programmes