Exploring English language teaching approaches in Saudi Higher Education in the West Province

AlHarbi, Mohammed Salim (2018) Exploring English language teaching approaches in Saudi Higher Education in the West Province. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

There is strong evidence in the literature that communicative interaction approaches may be an appropriate method of teaching English language skills, particularly speaking. There is a long-standing deficiency at the school level in the Saudi context; that is, the English language curricula at that particular level are inflexible, and passive learning and traditional, teacher-centred teaching methods are used. However, English language teaching is more collaborative, interactive and communicative at the university level, which may contribute to the development of EFL communicative competence.

This study aimed to interview fifty-five Saudi EFL students aged 18 to 21 in three institutions at the preparatory year at the university/college level with their 11 English teachers. These interviews sought to discover these participants’ perceptions regarding the L2 teaching and learning approaches that might support the EFL students to use the TL in communicative interaction situations in the classroom. Prior to this, they were observed in their proficiency level classes, with their lessons being recorded on video. These classroom observations supported the interviews and scrutinised the communicative interaction and the TL practices taking place in the TL classroom, in order to identify congruence and incongruence in the participants’ responses. These two methodological tools played an important role in achieving the aim of the study in exploring the use of the communicative interaction approaches and their activities in that stage.

The data of this investigation were qualitatively analysed to give findings related to the employment of the communicative interaction approaches to using the TL through communicative interaction activities (CIAs). The findings suggest that the generation of a collaborative learning environment and CIAs appeared to be suitable for learners of English as a foreign language at the level examined in the higher education institutions in this study. Among the benefits of a collaborative learning environment and the use of CIAs are the development of speaking skills, the reduction of anxiety about speaking in class, and increased enjoyment and motivation to learn English. It was concluded that activities such as game-based, peer discussion and learners’ talk were suitable activities for EFL learners in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). These activities can also support the creation of an ‘authentic’ context, relevant to situations experienced by the EFL students in real life. It is therefore recommended that education policy makers in the KSA consider the inclusion of these activities in the curriculum and English language teachers’ application of these tasks using the TL in the language classrooms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Teaching approaches and methods, English language teaching approaches, communicative approach, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), post-method teaching, communicative interaction, communicative interaction activities, communicative competence, English language classroom, English as a foreign language (EFL), English as a second language (ESL), English teaching at the Saudi context, language anxiety, using the target language (TL), English language teaching and learning in the Saudi Context, university level students, qualitative approach, thematic analysis, interviews, language classroom observations.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
P Language and Literature > PE English
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Pedagogy Policy and Practice
Supervisor's Name: Crichton, Dr. Hazel
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Alastair Arthur
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-9014
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2018 11:47
Last Modified: 17 May 2018 09:21
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/9014

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