Saudi EFL Pre-service Teachers' Perceptions Regarding the Design of the Diploma of Education Programme
Date: 8 April 2019
University of Exeter
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to investigate how a better understanding of EFL student teachers views on the Diploma and Education programme can contribute to the evaluation of the process and indicate areas for future development. The need to learn about these two areas arises because the existing literature on teacher education ...
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to investigate how a better understanding of EFL student teachers views on the Diploma and Education programme can contribute to the evaluation of the process and indicate areas for future development. The need to learn about these two areas arises because the existing literature on teacher education in Saudi Arabia suggests that the quality of teacher education is poor and inadequate, and therefore that issues may be highlighted in this work are achieved with the view that there is an existing body of work regarding concerns about the quality of teacher education in the country. Discussing the issues related to English teaching with practising teachers also suggests that they find English teaching in Saudi classrooms very challenging. Some authors (for example, Al-Seghayer and Saud, 2014; Al-Nasser, 2015) blame the current teacher education system and the condensed-nature of the curriculum. However, no previous researchers have attempted to explore the issues pertaining to education of student teachers of English and the quality of the Diploma of Education from the student-teachers’ perspective. Therefore, this study asks two research questions aiming to gain insights into understanding EFL student-teachers’ perceptions of the Diploma; “Which aspects of the Diploma of Education do the student-teachers identify as helping them to teach English in the classroom? and which ones do not? and “What are the students’ perceptions of the extent to which the Diploma of Education programme develops their English language proficiency?” These two questions have been answered by collecting qualitative data from 15 student-teachers from two universities in Saudi Arabia. These research participants were interviewed to seek their opinions about the Diploma. The qualitative data was analysed using a thematic approach. This study has found that practical aspects such as teaching practice were very useful for teaching English in Saudi classroom. However, modules that inform student-teachers about the education system and overall awareness of teaching-related issues were considered to be less useful. This study found that it was the perception of the student teachers of English that the Diploma did not contribute to a considerable extent to improving student-teachers’ language proficiency. Based on the evidence, this study concludes that the Diploma programme should concentrate on modules that teach the student teachers of English how to use teaching methods to teach English effectively in actual classroom as well as teaching them language skills to improve their own language proficiency.
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