A critical study of EFL pre-service teachers' beliefs about learning and teaching of English: a Saudi Arabian perspective

Alfawzan, Mateb (2021). A critical study of EFL pre-service teachers' beliefs about learning and teaching of English: a Saudi Arabian perspective. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The present thesis identifies the beliefs held by a hundred and forty-five pre-service teachers about the learning and teaching of English as a foreign language. The participants were studying in their final year in an English language teaching undergraduate programme at a mid-western university in Saudi Arabia. The thesis examines the impact of the teaching practice (practicum) on promoting belief change. It also aims to discover if the beliefs held differed significantly depending on the type of programme the participants in this research study attended (Educational vs. Non-educational). In addition, the impact of gender being a variable on the nature of the belief about learning held was also examined. The study further investigates the extent of alignment between perceived beliefs and actual classroom practices. The most critical past experiences of the pre-service teachers on shaping their beliefs are also examined. To achieve these aims, the thesis adopted a mixed-methods design. Data was collected through BALLI (questionnaire), semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and reflective essays.

Findings from this thesis revealed that the pre-service teachers held various beliefs about the learning and teaching of English. The inferential analyses showed that completing the practicum experiences did not lead to significant changes in existing beliefs about learning. Similarly, no significant gender-based differences in the participants’ beliefs about learning were observed for most of BALLI constructs. The inferential analyses also pointed out that the type of programme attended, did not lead to significant differences in the beliefs about learning held by the participants. The analysis of the observational data demonstrated that mostly, the professed beliefs did not align with the actual classroom practices. The analysis of the reflective essays identified several themes which the pre-service teachers perceived to be influential on shaping their beliefs about the learning and teaching of English.

Based on the results of this thesis, several implications have come to light and consequently, recommendations are proposed for modifying teacher education programmes in Saudi Arabia and in other countries. As an example, the importance of identifying the pre-existing beliefs held by students early on in their ELT programmes is of considerable value as it determines and shapes their conduct in a classroom setting. The thesis concludes by identifying some areas for future research and also discusses the limitations of the research.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Shaqra University
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12083


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