Elabbar, Ageila Ali
An investigation of influences affecting Libyan
English as Foreign Language University Teachers
(LEFLUTs), teaching approaches in the language
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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In this thesis I aim to investigate the influences affecting the teaching approaches adopted by Libyan English as foreign Language University teachers (LEFLUTs) in language classrooms. The thesis explores the context in which LEFLUTs work in terms of the opportunities and challenges of teaching English in Libyan universities. In particular, the concept of two generations of teachers, Older Generation Teachers (OGTs) and Newer Generation Teachers (NGTs),resulting from significant political and cultural shifts in attitudes to the English speaking world that have occurred in Libya in recent times, is critically examined . The perceptions of teachers in one university in Libya were analysed through their responses to a series of scenarios presenting typical problems encountered by EFL teachers in the classroom. The scenarios were designed to elicit their interpretation of the situation, the kinds of knowledge and experience they drew upon and the pedagogical strategies they might employ to deal with the situation. In addition to scenarios, semi-structured interviews enabled the respondents to develop and expand on their interpretations. The design and use of scenarios represents an innovative approach to research in the Libyan context where very little work has been done to try to understand how teachers make sense of their practice and how the negotiate the challenges of the political and cultural context. The investigation of the influences affecting LEFLUTs has drawn upon the work of Shulman on the different forms of knowledge required in teaching and the absence of a well developed body of pedagogical content knowledge within the LEFLUTs community is discussed. The need for more opportunities for initial and continuing professional development (CPD), raised in the interviews is set within the context of typology of CPD that emphasises the benefits of working within a community of practice, and an approach to professional development through action research is proposed. The overarching theoretical framework for the thesis is social constructivism both in terms of understanding the dynamic influencing how the LEFLUTs make sense of their experience and also in the proposals for developing an approach to CPD.
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