“Students’, Parents’ and EFL Teachers’ Perceptions about the Project of Learning English From Grade 1 in Bahraini Primary Government Schools”
Hashim, Sofia Ahmed Ahmed
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The purpose of this case study is to explore the perceptions of Bahraini students, parents and English as a Foreign Language, EFL, teachers about the project of learning English starting from Grade 1 in Bahraini primary government schools. This case study describes and analyses the similarities and differences between the perceptions of all participants. Data was collected from self-completed questionnaires and interviews from students, parents and teachers were analysed. The sample consisted of 262 Grade 6 students with whom the project was applied, 234 parents whose children have been part of the project, 69 parents whose children were not part of the project, and four Bahraini EFL teachers who have been applying the project since it first started in September 2004. The study administered semi-structured interviews for the EFL teachers and Likert-scale questionnaires for students and parents. Interpretation of the data revealed that the participants have a positive stance towards the project. They agreed on the advantages of starting English from Grade 1. They also revealed the perceived importance of learning English from an early age for the future of both their children and the future of Bahrain. The participants expressed their concerns about the project’s textbooks and claimed that they lacked aspects of the Bahraini culture. The parents of the students who were not part of the project had divergent perceptions towards the project. They approved of the advantages of the project of learning English from Grade 1 but were perturbed that their children were not part of it. The EFL teachers stated that the project needed some improvements because it had not been developed since it was first applied in 2004. The study recommends giving voice to the EFL teachers in the improvement of the project by involving them in the project’s developmental plans and processes. The study also recommends adjusting the project’s English language textbooks to include the Bahraini culture and heritage and not just the culture of English speaking countries.
EdD in TESOL