Transforming the teaching of reading in Libyan Secondary School English Classes: implementing the communicative approach

Boufarrag, Adel F.E. (2021) Transforming the teaching of reading in Libyan Secondary School English Classes: implementing the communicative approach. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In Libya, a new textbook was introduced in 2000 for teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The textbook requires teachers to teach reading interactively using the communicative approach. This study aimed to investigate how teachers might be best supported to develop their teaching methods to incorporate communicative approaches in the Libyan secondary EFL classroom.

This study employed a qualitative research design as a mode of inquiry. The data were collected using different tools, namely: initial semi-structured interviews, an intervention represented in demonstrating reading lesson followed by group discussion and classroom observation and final semi-structured interviews. Audio recording was used during all the stages of collecting data. Participants in the study were three EFL Libyan teachers who taught English in one of the secondary schools in Alnor town (pseudonym).Ethical issues were considered by the researcher in this study for entering the school and meeting teachers. In this study, I followed the principles of grounded theory after transcription to encode data for analysis. A framework was designed to analyse the coded data in order to triangulate the findings gathered from observation and interviews.

The data in this study were analysed through two stages; before and after the intervention. The findings that emerged before the intervention revealed that the teachers applied the grammar-translation method “GTM” because they believed this was the appropriate method to help their students to pass the exam. Students were not provided with the opportunity to do collaborative work, such as group and pair work. The teaching process in the Libyan classroom was dominated by the teacher in which his/her role was knower who transmits knowledge to the students rather than supporting them to use the language.

The data that emerged after the intervention showed that the teachers had started building their understanding of communicative language teaching “CLT” in terms of collaborative teaching. The teachers shifted from being the knowledge transmitter to the scaffolder. The students were encouraged to participate in group activities which meant that the teaching process had shifted from teacher-centred to student-centred approaches with some support from the teachers when necessary.

The progress that the teachers made was an indicator that specific professional learning opportunities may help EFL Libyan teachers to implement the CLT approach. On the other hand, the findings illustrated some challenges EFL Libyan teachers might face to implement the CLT approach such as the exam, time, method of teaching reading, lack of training, large class and noise, mixed gender, students' level, and confidence and lack of facilities.

The research shows that specific teachers training can be effective in enabling teachers to implement the intended policy which will have significant implications on teaching and learning English in Libya. The findings showed that teachers need to develop their skills in conducting group activities and how they support the learners to facilitate their learning. Also, they need to develop the ability to ask interactive questions to encourage their learners to practise the language. This study contributes new insights on EFL Libyan teachers’ perception of the CLT approach in the contexts where English is not the first language “L1”. The findings that emerged in this research have potential implications for EFL Libyan teacher education and training and for developing the role of language inspectors in Libya. These implications might be applied in similar contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Supported by funding from the Libyan Government.
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Livingston, Prof. Kay and Crichton, Dr. Hazel
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82298
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2021 15:12
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2021 15:18
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82298

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