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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2017

Fakieh Alrabai

This study attempts to assess the readiness of Saudi students for independent/autonomous learning, with a focus on learning of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The…

Abstract

This study attempts to assess the readiness of Saudi students for independent/autonomous learning, with a focus on learning of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The study used a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to gain insights from a population of 319 students (aged 15-24) about their perceptions of responsibilities, decision-making abilities, motivation, involvement in autonomy-related activities, and capacity to take charge of their own learning. The findings of the study confirmed the relatively low readiness of Saudi EFL learners for independent learning (M = 3.06 on a scale of 1 to 5, SD =.31). Learners demonstrated low responsibility levels, since only 17.27% of them perceived that they accept sole responsibility for their EFL learning. Respondents reported a moderate level of ability (M = 3.63) and motivation (M = 3.70) to learn English. A considerable percentage of participants (27.29%) reported that they are rarely involved in self-directed activities; they demonstrated high levels of teacher dependency and low levels of learner independence. Despite the participants’ reasonable level of awareness of the nature of learner autonomy and its demands, their responses identified them as EFL learners with low autonomy. This study informs EFL learning stakeholders in Saudi Arabia that learners’ readiness for such conditions must be developed before interventions aimed at promoting autonomy are implemented in this context.

.هيتاذ ةروصب ةيزيلجنلإا ةغللا ملعتل نييدوعسلا بلاطلا ةيزهاج ىدم ميقت نأ ةساردلا هذه لواحت تفظونايبتسا ةساردلا ا تلاباقمو رظن ةهجو ىلع لوصحلل319 لوح ابلاط يتاذ لكشب ملعتلل ةيلوئسملا مهلمحت ىدمةيعفادلا ،رارقلا ذاختا ىلع مهتردق ، ةغللا ملعتلةيبنجلاا ةغللا ملعتل نييدوعسلا بلاطلا ةيزهاج فعض ةساردلا جئاتن تتبثا .يتاذ لكشب ملعتلا ىلع ةردقلاو ،ةيتاذلا ةطشنلأا يف ةكراشملا ،يلجنلإا = طسوتم( يتاذ لكشب ةيز3.06 = يرايعم فارحنا ،31. ثيح يتاذ لكشب ملعتلل ةيلوئسملل مهلمحت فعض نوكراشملا تبثا .)تبسن ام ىعداه طقف(17.27 ملعتلا ىلع ةردقلل ةطسوتم تايوتسم نوكراشملا سكع نيح يف كلذل مهلمحت نيكراشملا يلامجا نم )%3.63ةيعفادلاو ) لجنلإا ةغللا ملعتل( ةيزي3.70( نيكراشملا نم ةريبك ةبسن سكعت .)27.83يف مهتكراشم مدع )% يتاذلا ملعتلا ةطشنأ ريبك لكشب دامتعلااولوح نوكراشملا اهادبا يتلا ةطسوتملا تايوتسملا نم مغرلا ىلع .سفنلا ىلع دامتعلاا فعضو ملعملا ىلع فارتعلاا بمهتاباجا نا لاا هتابلطتمو يتاذلا ملعتلا ةيمهأ هذه يصوت .يتاذلا ملعتلل مهتيزهاج مدع تتبثا ةلباقملا ةلئساو نايبتسلاا ىلعلا جمد ةلواحم لبق يتاذلا ملعتلل ةبسانملا ةئيبلا ريفوتب ةيدوعسلا ةيبرعلا ةكلمملا يف ةيزيلجنلإا ةغللا ملعت نع نيلوئسملا ةساردلا يف بلاط .ملعتلا نم عونلا اذه

Details

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-5504

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 January 2019

Elias Bensalem

The present study focuses on the link between foreign language anxiety (FLA), self-perceived proficiency, and multilingualism in the under-explored English as a Foreign

Abstract

The present study focuses on the link between foreign language anxiety (FLA), self-perceived proficiency, and multilingualism in the under-explored English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context of Saudi Arabia. Ninety-six Arabic undergraduate college-level EFL students (56 males, 40 females) answered the Arabic version of the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS – Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986). The analyses revealed that Saudi multilinguals suffered from low to moderate levels of FLA with female participants experiencing more anxiety than their male counterparts. Multiple regression analyses revealed that gender and self-perceived proficiency explained over a quarter of variance in FLA. Furthermore, the study did not find any role of experience abroad in predicting FLA.

Details

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-5504

Article
Publication date: 10 November 2014

Nicole Johnston, Helen Partridge and Hilary Hughes

This paper aims to outline research that explores the information literacy experiences of English as a foreign language (EFL) students. The question explored in this…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline research that explores the information literacy experiences of English as a foreign language (EFL) students. The question explored in this research was: how do EFL students experience information literacy?

Design/methodology/approach

This study used phenomenography, a relational approach to explore the information literacy experiences of EFL students. Phenomenography studies the qualitatively different ways a phenomenon is experienced in the world around us.

Findings

This research revealed that EFL students experienced information literacy in four qualitatively different ways. The four categories revealed through the data were: process, quality, language and knowledge. This research found that language impacted on EFL students’ experiences of information literacy and revealed that EFL students applied various techniques and strategies when they read, understood, organised and translated information.

Research limitations/implications

This research was conducted in a specific cultural and educational context; therefore, the results might not reflect the experiences of EFL students in other cultural or educational contexts.

Practical implications

The findings from this research offer an important contribution to information literacy practice by providing important insights about EFL students’ experiences and perceptions of information and learning that can be used to inform curriculum development in second language learning contexts.

Originality/value

There is currently a lack of research using a relational approach to investigate EFL students’ experiences of information literacy. There is also limited research that explores the impact language has on information literary and learning in EFL or English as a second language (ESL) contexts.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 42 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 November 2020

Naoko Araki

Japanese school teachers are facing challenges under the new curricula reform, and there is still a lack of preparation to guide them to a successful implementation…

Abstract

Purpose

Japanese school teachers are facing challenges under the new curricula reform, and there is still a lack of preparation to guide them to a successful implementation. Dilemmas related to teaching English language in primary schools were seen among participant teachers in a program of professional learning. This study aims (1) to identify a feeling of anxiety and readiness to the new EFL curricula and (2) to offer a professional learning program for shifting their concerns to regain their confidence and agency as educators.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted based on qualitative research. Qualitative data was collected from 40 participating teachers in the professional learning program, and later was critically analysed.

Findings

Initial findings revealed that the majority of participants felt concerned towards teaching EFL in their school, as they are homeroom teachers, not specialist teachers in EFL. Drama pedagogy helped shifting their language anxiety and repositioning themselves within the new EFL curricular implementation, as it became evident through the reflections of the professional development workshop.

Originality/value

The study highlights current educational issues that Japanese primary school teachers are facing. Failure to fully address their feeling of anxiety underlies the Japanese school culture. Drama pedagogy, despite being quite new to educational pedagogy in Japan, was effective in allowing the participants to freely express their voices.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 25 October 2018

Norah Almusharraf

An examination of the research literature suggests that no attempt has been made to examine learner autonomy development within female university-level English as a Foreign

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Abstract

Purpose

An examination of the research literature suggests that no attempt has been made to examine learner autonomy development within female university-level English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Given that English has become the world’s predominant lingua franca for academia, business, and politics, the purpose of this paper, therefore, is to fill this gap in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative case study that aims to explore learner autonomy in vocabulary development.

Findings

The results showed that teachers are cognizant of the concept of learner autonomy. However, they are not all certain of the benefits of autonomous vocabulary learning. This study reveals how six adult learners’ levels of autonomy are highly influenced by their teachers’ practices. This study draws out suggestions for English language teachers who promote learner autonomy theory and practice. It also offers specific guidance, models, and adapted learning approaches of how to promote autonomy inside the classroom.

Research limitations/implications

This study encountered several limitations. The first is time: the study took place over the course of two months in the Summer of 2016, when students were fully encumbered with schoolwork and social duties. The recruitment of participants during that time was a challenge. Some of the students who agreed to participate in the study were not fully engaged in the research. Additionally, the study faced difficulties with faculty commitment – one of the professors delayed the interview session multiple times and perceived some of the interview questions negatively. In addition, Dickinson’s (1993) characteristics of learner autonomy are largely related to the opportunities that are presented to the students by the teacher. It appears that Dickinson’s scale was meant to be used to identify students’ level of autonomy, particularly inside the classroom. However, because of some of the examples of activities pertaining to how they learned vocabulary outside the classroom, they were not related to classroom teaching. Also, the number of the participants is limited in this study.

Practical implications

A future study could be undertaken to measure and quantitatively analyze learners’ vocabulary development on a larger scale. Research could also be conducted using a pretest, an intervention, and a posttest to measure the effectiveness of learning vocabulary autonomously. In addition, other pedagogical approaches could be utilized to measure EFL students’ intrinsic motivation and autonomy, which play critical roles in learning. Allowing learners to self-select their preferred method of learning can help them to develop their vocabulary knowledge. The findings from this study reveal that learner autonomy plays a significant role in enhancing EFL students’ vocabulary development.

Originality/value

When students learn vocabulary autonomously, they are better able to source the lingua franca’s core pronunciation of a word and its spelling without the influence of the teacher’s cultural background. Given the magnitude of teachers’ workloads, they may lack the time for designing lessons that adequately meet the needs of diverse learners. Therefore, the practical way to ameliorate the problem of inadequate time is to provide them with methods (e.g. using strategies such as inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, and project-based learning) that they can use to more readily foster learner autonomy.

Details

Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-7604

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2022

Mahmood Reza Moradian, Akram Ramezanzadeh and Fatemeh Ershadi

This narrative study seeks to explore cultural identity (CI) construction of Iranian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers in light of Tong and Cheung's (2011…

Abstract

Purpose

This narrative study seeks to explore cultural identity (CI) construction of Iranian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers in light of Tong and Cheung's (2011) definition of CI.

Design/methodology/approach

Ten language teachers were selected using purposeful sampling. Data were collected through reflective teacher journals and focus group interviews. Murray's (2009) data analysis procedures were utilized to analyze the data, which included coding the transcripts of data, looking for connections between codes and grouping codes into categories, configuring the participants' story from the data, sending the story to the participants for their comments, carrying out a cross-story analysis and noting themes as they emerge from the stories.

Findings

The inductive analysis of data led to the emergence of three core themes: cultural engagement, openness to differences in L2 cultural values and social practices and navigation of a hybrid CI. That is, the EFL teachers defined their CIs in terms of their commitment to both native and target-language cultures as well as their preservation of cultural diversity.

Originality/value

Findings revealed that L2 acquisition leads to changes of soft cultural forms such as food, clothes and houses as well as modifications of hard cultural forms such as institutional systems and spiritual values. In fact, the participants of this study spoke of the crucial effects of the English language and its culture with regard to both soft and hard cultural forms such as values and standards that brought so many positive changes into their previous lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1999

Barbara F.H. Allen

The field of teaching English as a second or foreign language has become increasingly important at colleges and universities. Academic libraries must provide TESL students…

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Abstract

The field of teaching English as a second or foreign language has become increasingly important at colleges and universities. Academic libraries must provide TESL students and professionals with an adequate selection of journals in the field. This annotated bibliography and summary chart of TESL‐related journals will aid collection development librarians in evaluating and building their collection, provide TESL students with an overview of available professional journals, and help TESL faculty and professionals identify journals in which to publish articles.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2019

Manjet Kaur Mehar Singh

The purpose of this paper is to investigate and understand academic English language-related challenges in listening and speaking faced by English as a foreign language

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate and understand academic English language-related challenges in listening and speaking faced by English as a foreign language (EFL) international Master students enrolled in various taught Master programs in a Malaysian university from the viewpoint/lens of 16 lecturers teaching the students.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research relied upon 16 in-depth one-to-one interview sessions with 16 lecturers teaching the taught Master programs at a higher education (HE) institution in Malaysia for data collection. Data collected were coded and categorized according to themes via qualitative analysis software, NVivo.

Findings

It was found that academic English language-related challenges in listening and speaking from the viewpoint of the 16 lecturers are such as lack of discipline content knowledge to communicate, lack of confidence in communicating orally, difficulty in understanding lectures and other oral activities in the classroom, and coping with differences in learning culture.

Research limitations/implications

This study suggests policies and programs to equip lecturers and university administrators to overcome the challenges faced by the students in their academic English language practices especially in listening and speaking to ensure meaningful academic adaptation in the current context.

Originality/value

The uniqueness of this study is that it is a retrospection of the lecturers teaching EFL and English as a second language (ESL) international Master students in taught Master programs in a Southeast Asian country. The focus of the retrospection is on academic English language-related challenges in listening and speaking faced by EFL international Master students who are currently pursuing their Master education at a HE institution in Malaysia.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 May 2022

Abdullah Ahmed Zughaibi

English instructors' pragmatic competence (PC) is an aspect of the overall communicative competence forming the basis of language instructors' knowledge. Their knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

English instructors' pragmatic competence (PC) is an aspect of the overall communicative competence forming the basis of language instructors' knowledge. Their knowledge of pragmatics should not be overlooked when seeking to understand foreign language learners' communicative ability. This study aims to investigate the pragmatic awareness and teaching practices of non-native EFL instructors with different qualifications and from various cultural backgrounds in Saudi Arabia.

Design/methodology/approach

To obtain a broader perspective, this study adopted a quantitative research design. An online questionnaire, developed from Ivanova (2018) and Tulgar (2016), was accessed by 320 instructors at one English teaching institute in Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire consisted of demographic information about participants and 12 closed Likert-type questions.

Findings

The data analysis showed that most of the language instructors were aware of PC. However, some variations were evident in their views of the importance of pragmatics in teaching and learning and in their actual pragmatic teaching practices.

Originality/value

This study emphasizes the importance of pragmatic awareness for EFL instructors. It indicates that while non-native English instructors' academic levels and cumulative experience in teaching English play a major role in teaching, instructors have several challenges in teaching pragmatics and promoting students' awareness of pragmatics in this context. For effective second language teaching of pragmatics, instructors, managers and policymakers need to recognize the importance of pragmatics and competencies that students need to develop in EFL contexts.

Details

Saudi Journal of Language Studies, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2634-243X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Heebon Park

The purpose of this study is to address the situation that although the theoretical benefits of using drama projects in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language

1016

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to address the situation that although the theoretical benefits of using drama projects in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) have been described in a number of studies, researchers have identified a lack of literature on their practical use, particularly in terms of different institutional settings, teaching styles, learning styles and proficiency levels. This paper therefore describes three case studies in universities in Korea, showing that the use of drama projects can be successfully used in different teaching situations and is an effective means of promoting meaningful language learning in students often demotivated by traditional methods and the test-driven classroom.

Design/methodology/approach

In these adult-learner EFL settings, a process approach to drama projects aimed to promote meaningful language acquisition and holistic learning in students of different proficiencies and majors. Drama projects were used as: syllabus supplementation by an individual teacher in a Korean-mediated English program (Case Study 1); core content on an English-mediated pre-service teacher training course (Case Study 2); and syllabus content on a Freshman English program taught by 25 native-speaking instructors (Case Study 3). Data were collected from pre/post-course questionnaires, semi-structured interviews and students’ evaluations. These were then triangulated to identify trends in participant perceptions.

Findings

Results indicated positive attitude change and promotion of cognition, positive affect and social skills in all three case studies, confirming earlier research findings and showing that the drama project is a viable and effective educational tool for the foreign language teacher, from individual syllabus supplementation to incorporation into a language program curriculum. Rather than resisting the innovation presented by drama projects, the adult learners involved welcomed the opportunities for creativity, autonomy, group work and performance.

Originality/value

The practical confirmation of the theoretical benefits of EFL drama projects across individual and institutional settings indicates the potential value of including them in university language programs and teacher-training EFL curricula, enabling and encouraging language teachers to promote holistic, meaningful language learning.

Details

English Teaching: Practice & Critique, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1175-8708

Keywords

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