EFL Teachers’ Beliefs and Attitudes towards English Language Assessment in a Saudi University’s English Language Institute
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
State universities in Saudi Arabia have adopted a new educational policy, which made English the medium of instruction for all scientific departments. This has led to establishing a Foundation Year Programme (FYP) in the English Language Institute (ELI) of those universities, which aims to prepare university students to cope with the new academic requirements in their chosen majors and to improve their overall language competence. This study investigates teachers’ roles and beliefs regarding assessment practices in the ELI with the aim to uncover not only the role(s) teachers play in both continuous and summative assessment practices, but also teachers’ understandings of and attitudes towards assessment and their roles in it. Findings will also include how teachers perceive this role in this interpretive study, where the data were collected using open-ended interviews with twenty male and female expatriate and Saudi EFL teachers who work in the ELI of a specific Saudi university. The data were analysed on the basis of participants’ views and explanations about their roles in both continuous and summative assessment in the institution. The findings revealed that teachers had no role in summative assessment unless they were members of the Assessment Committee and that most teachers wanted to have a voice and be more involved. While teachers had a limited role in continuous assessment in the classroom, they felt the need for more involvement in the choice of materials/topics employed as well as more freedom regarding the way it is administered. The study also revealed that the ELI was not well receptive of criticism from teachers, which made teachers sometimes reluctant to being more involved in assessment or voicing their views in fear of being labelled negatively. Finally, some contributions to knowledge, implications for the context and recommendations are provided as well as some suggestions for improving teachers’ roles in assessment for future consideration.
English Language Institute, King Abdulaziz University
EdD in TESOL