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Title: Attitudes towards the teaching and learning of English at tertiary level in the State of Qatar in light of the spread of English as a Global Language
Author: Mohamed, A.
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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A significant number of studies investigated attitudes towards the teaching and learning of English in different contexts around the world and from different stances. Some explored the issue from the stance of the curriculum and pedagogy; others from the perspective of English as an international language (EIL). This study, to my knowledge, is the first endeavour to combine the investigation of attitudes from the perspectives of EIL with attitudes to the curriculum and teaching methods. The spread of English and the concept of English as an International Language (EIL) are inextricably linked. EIL has emerged as a viable response to the global use of different types of English for communication (Selvi & Yazan, 2013) and does not refer to any particular variety of English, and its ownership is now shared by all people who speak it (Brutt-Griffler, 2002). Therefore, in light of these developments, it has become important to explore the impact of EIL on the teaching and learning of English, as elsewhere, in the context of Qatar. The study was based on an interpretive paradigm to investigate attitudes of students and teachers at a tertiary education college in the State of Qatar. The impetus for this is to explore low English proficiency from a broad perspective of the spread of English. The surveys were conducted in the English Learning Centre (ELC) at the Pearl College (PC) in Qatar. A questionnaire for students (n=155) and interviews for teachers (n=8) were used for the investigation. The questionnaire was analysed in the form of numbers and percentages and the interviews were coded and categorised. High level themes emerged from the surveys and were used for analysis and discussion of the findings. The major findings of this study are grouped under three themes based on the three RQs: 1) learning English in general; 2) the curriculum; and 3) the teaching methods. Students' attitudes towards learning English in general (which entails the use of EIL) were highly positive in that the students recognized the importance and usefulness of English for local and international communication, for boosting their country's economy and for their own career advancement. Likewise, teachers unanimously stressed the importance and usefulness of English for both local and international communication, but they underscored the importance of learning the standard norms for academic purposes. Generally, the questionnaire results revealed positive attitudes towards the course content and the teaching methods. The interview results also revealed that teachers held the same positive attitude as the students to the course content and methodology though with some reservations concerning some issues such as the assessment methods and the teaching time. All in all, the findings revealed that the participants' attitudes towards the global spread of English and the use of EIL were highly positive. This is likely to add an increment of knowledge to knowledge already existing in this field. Finally, based on the findings, some implications of the study, especially in terms of the curriculum and teaching methods, which I think might benefit the English Department at my college in the future, have been discussed. Among these are the consideration of the pedagogy of English for international communication, the teaching of some form of ESP, the use of the mother tongue in teaching English, and the need to specify clearly in the curriculum how language levels would align with course objectives and assessment criteria as raised by some teachers in the interviews.
Supervisor: Riley, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available