EFL materials in public school classrooms in Saudi Arabia: an investigation of the extent to which teachers engage in materials/textbooks development in order to design learning experiences to meet the needs of their students as an indicator of teacher autonomy

Albedaiwi, Sultan Abdulaziz (2014) EFL materials in public school classrooms in Saudi Arabia: an investigation of the extent to which teachers engage in materials/textbooks development in order to design learning experiences to meet the needs of their students as an indicator of teacher autonomy. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This study aims to investigate the ways in which EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia use, design, and evaluate their teaching materials, in a context where teachers are expected to use only the prescribed textbooks inside the classroom. The extent to which teachers supplement and adapt the set textbook is used as an indicator of their willingness and ability to adapt their teaching in response to the needs of the learners in their classrooms. Saudi teachers’ willingness and ability to take control of their personal teaching and learning in this way is investigated using Huang’s framework of autonomy. The study explores the different responses of the teachers in the study to the policy of the Ministry of Education regarding the use of the prescribed textbook and the extent to which through their use, design and evaluation of teaching materials, teachers are able to enhance their professionalism. Data was collected using classroom observations and semi-structured interviews of 6 male EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers in Saudi public schools and analysed using Narrative and Grounded theory approaches. The hybrid approach adopted for this study proved useful in uncovering much rich information about teachers’ perceptions about and use of the textbook and the implications of the extent to which they engaged in materials development in response to the needs of their students. The study revealed different perceptions and degrees of responsiveness to the need to adapt materials for the learners in the classroom. In some instances, whilst teachers described themselves as exercising autonomy the observation of classroom practice was not entirely consistent with such a perception. Conversely, some teachers were more proactive in the classroom than responses in interviews might suggest. The study builds on previous work into the trend for learners in EFL classrooms in Saudi Arabia to exercise more learner autonomy and the relationship between learner demands, the capacity of teachers to engage in materials development and teacher professionalism is examined. The study concludes that more research into providing scope for adaptation and variation in the use of textbooks in EFL in classrooms in Saudi Arabia could shed light on how institutional and personal constraints on teacher autonomy could be mediated without jeopardising the quality and consistency of learning and teaching.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Textbooks, materials development, teacher professionalism, eacher autonomy
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Pedagogy Policy and Practice
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Baumfield, Prof Vivienne
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Mr Sultan Albedaiwi
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5502
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2014 15:06
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2014 15:51
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/5502

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