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Title: Characterising the challenges and responses of Ecuadorian universities to recent EFL language policy changes : a mixed methods study
Author: Cajas, Diego
ISNI:       0000 0004 7425 5604
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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In 2010, Article 124 of the new Ecuadorian Higher Education Law stipulated that university students need to master a foreign language as a requirement for graduation. Subsequent regulations specified that this requirement had to be a B1 level, based on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). To identify the responses, challenges and tensions that universities experienced in complying with the requirements of Article 124, an explanatory sequential mixed methods study was conducted. This comprised a survey that was administered to language centre Directors, EFL teachers and EFL students in 14 universities located in 10 different cities in the country, in-depth interviews conducted with teachers, and focus group interviews with students from 3 universities. Results of this research showed that responses of participating universities focused mainly on their physical and information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure development, and less on pedagogy and management due to dependence on the use of overseas textbooks and the adoption of the Common European Framework language indicators as the proposed EFL outcomes for ELT programmes. Challenges faced by university stakeholders included lack of budget for infrastructure and ICT improvement, effective ICT integration, identification of a target EFL language level, and a lack of status of English in the participating universities. Out of these responses and challenges, tensions emerged related to teaching qualifications and access to appropriate institutional resources for teachers. Using Mahboob and Tilakaratna’s (2012) Principles-Based Approach for English Language Teaching Policies and Practices as a lens through which to analyse EFL language policy, the study found that the principles of collaboration, alignment and transparency were not sufficiently realised and there was a lack of evidence and empowerment among Ecuadorian universities. Thus, the study proposes a more contextualised and consensual approach to formulating EFL language policy, in which English can be integrated into institutional processes that promote globalisation and the internationalisation of universities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Secretaría de Educación Superior ; Ciencia ; Tecnología e Innovación
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB2300 Higher Education