Dissertations for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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    Enhancing EFL Learners’ Communicative Competence through Interactive Activities: A Case Study of Grade Four Students at an Educational Complex in Fujairah
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2024-03) BEKKOUCH, KHEIRA; Dr Emad A. S. Abu-Ayyash
    Abstract The attainment of communicative competence stands as a basic goal for learners of the English language. Interaction and communication play significant roles in the language development of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students. Interactive activities provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful interactions, practise language in a communicative setting, negotiate meaning, and develop their fluency and accuracy in English. This study aims to uncover the connection between interactive activities in the classroom and the communicative competence of primary school EFL students. Many such students encounter difficulties in language learning, whether related to acquiring a second language or experiencing challenges in communication. Exploring communicative competence allows for the identification of the specific challenges faced by young learners, facilitating the creation of targeted interventions or instructional approaches to improve their language development. Integrating interactive activities in the EFL context emerged as a promising solution. This study sought to investigate the impact of incorporating interactive activities on the communicative competence of primary EFL students. These activities were grounded in principles aimed at enhancing students' communicative competence. This qualitative research involved 30 participants (10 males and 20 females), all fourth-grade students at an educational complex in Fujairah during the 2023/2024 academic year. Various interactive activities, including role-playing, pair-work, discussions, and online vocabulary games, were designed and implemented in the classroom to foster the development of the students' communicative competence. Data were collected through classroom observations and reflections, with qualitative data being analysed based on the observations. The findings demonstrated a significant enhancement in the communicative competence of the students participating in the interactive activities. Enhancing language skills is of greater significance during the elementary school years. Therefore, examining how children develop their communicative competence in this context provides insights into language acquisition and enhancement. The findings of this research offer valuable guidance for EFL educators and curriculum developers, highlighting the benefits and challenges associated with integrating interactive tasks into language instruction aimed at improving communicative abilities.
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    High School Teachers’ and Students’ Perspectives of Effective AI Tools Used in Surmounting Challenges in TESOL Contexts in the UAE
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2024-04) KHALIL, MAALY; Dr Emad A. S. Abu Ayyash
    Abstract The purpose of this study is to investigate the attitudes of both teachers and students towards the use of Artificial Intelligence tools in educational practices such as teaching methodologies, assessment practices, and learning outcomes. Furthermore, it aims to identify the most effective AI tools used among teachers and students in 2024 in the learning and teaching process. The study also presents some of the recently appearing Artificial Intelligence educational tools used by teachers and students in the UAE and how effective they are in overcoming the challenges encountered by teachers and students. The study uses a mixed method approach—qualitative and quantitative—to reach reliable results accurately. The research sample consists of 30 experienced high school teachers who teach English to speakers of other languages and 45 high school students who are interested in research. The sample is a mix of Emirati and expat participants who live in the UAE. The survey included open-ended and close-ended questions. The questions investigated the teachers’ and the students’ perspectives on using Artificial Intelligence in the learning process, which were mainly positive and welcoming of this new technology; however, this acceptance was accompanied by certain conditions. This study is also important for future researchers and educational leaders as teachers and students have provided suggestions on using those tools inside and outside classrooms. Moreover, the results have highlighted the need for more specialized tools and more training that can help teachers surmount the educational challenges they face. Keywords: Artificial Intelligence , Educational practices , Effective AI tools
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    Using Educational Technology to Support Classroom Management in High Schools
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-10) ASANTE, KINGSLEY; Dr Tendai Charles
    Educators are compelled to rely on psychological theories formulated outside the classroom to obtain recommendations on establishing and flourishing inside educational environments. Consequently, incorporating technology has been associated with promoting the instruction of the English language, increasing learners' motivation and engagement. This mixed-method research examined the perceptions of English instructors concerning the efficacy of a classroom management technology (ClassDojo) in a private high school in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Semi- structured interviews were employed to collect qualitative data to understand the perceptions of English teachers about the efficacy of employing ClassDojo as a tool for managing the classroom. A survey was used to collect quantitative data to identify which factors discussed in the interviews were encountered by most of the English teachers. The participants comprised 3 teachers for the interviews and 38 for the survey. The study's findings were consistent with current literature and indicated that ClassDojo creates motivation and engagement inside the English classroom, thereby improving student achievement. Nevertheless, some English teachers felt negative reinforcement (deducting points) affected student engagement. The participants expressed that the visual and audio elements of ClassDojo made it a capable tool. Overall, English teachers believe ClassDojo has the components to help them increase student motivation and engagement.
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    Teachers’ and Students’ Perceptions and Barriers to Technology Utilization at Higher Education Institutions in Abu Dhabi, UAE
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-05) HASSANALI, NADA NADEEM
    Technology has revolutionized every aspect of modern life, and education is no exception. The necessity of utilizing technology in education, especially in higher education, cannot be understated. With the ever-increasing demands for lifelong learning, students must develop digital literacy skills and be able to navigate and use various technological tools. Incorporating technology into the classroom not only prepares students for the real world but also enhances the learning experience. Therefore, this research aims to investigate the perceptions of teachers and students regarding technology utilization at different higher education institutions in Abu Dhabi and to understand the barriers that can hinder their effective integration. The participants of the study were 39 ESL teachers and 53 students. By gathering data from both teachers and students, this study aimed to capture a diverse range of perspectives on the use of technology in the English language classroom. The study employs a mixed-methods approach, including both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The quantitative data is gathered through a survey that is distributed to both teachers and students, while the qualitative data is collected through focus group discussions with a subset of participants. The findings of the study are showed that teachers perceive technology as a crucial aspect of a modern teaching approach and that the most prominent factor the perceive as a barrier is the facilitating condition of the institutions. These findings are expected to shed light on the extent of technology utilization in college classrooms, the factors that influence its adoption, and the barriers that prevent its successful implementation. The study's results are expected to contribute to the development of effective strategies that can be used to overcome the identified barriers and promote technology integration in Abu Dhabi's college education.
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    The impact of blended learning on learners’ academic performance and emotional well-being
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-02) EL KHOULY, MARWA FAROUK ALI
    This research seeks to investigate the learners’, teachers’, and school management's perceptions of blended learning. The study has adopted the mixed method approach to explore the effectiveness of blended learning implementations on middle and high school students in a private school in the UAE. The study sampling participants were 60 students who set for a questionnaire and interview. 18 teachers were requested to participate in the survey. There were also interviews with teachers who had a wide range of experience in teaching via blended learning. Teachers’ attitude toward blended was investigated against students’ attitude to compare the findings and achieve the goals of this study. Based on the data analysis, the study has concluded that teachers reported a positive attitude toward blended learning, while students indicated a negative attitude to the blended learning implementation. The study findings indicated that students encountered sophisticated challenges that negatively impacted their academic progress and emotional well-being.
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    An Investigation of Foreign Language Teaching Anxiety among EFL and EMI Arab Teachers in UAE.
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-01) ALBIRBARY, RUBA
    Teachers' fear, apprehension, unease, or worry might be related to foreign language teaching or teaching other subjects using foreign languages. This is referred to as "foreign language teaching anxiety". The present research aims at investigating teaching anxiety among EFL and EMI Arab teachers in UAE. The research questions are addressed using a transformational concurrent mixed method research. The study representative sample included one hundred thirty-six Arab EFL (English teachers) and EMI (math, science, and ICT teachers) from three different school types (American, British, and MOE curriculum schools) in the UAE. A mixed-form questionnaire was used as the research instrument. SPSS was used to analyze the study’s quantitative data. While qualitative data analysis was done through thematic analysis. According to the results, rarely do teachers experience foreign language teaching anxiety; they rarely faced problems of self-perception of language proficiency, teaching inexperience, fear of negative evaluation, and difficulties in time management. However, they sometimes faced a lack of students’ interest. The study indicates that there is a statistically significant difference in the level of foreign language teaching anxiety according to (gender, years of experience, school type, and age). The results of the study also showed that anxiety has positive impacts on teachers as it enhances their self-improvement, motivation, and creativity and it urges them to plan and self-control. On the other hand, teaching anxiety has negative impacts on teachers that affect their personality, teaching process, and evaluation. Future studies recommended may investigate other factors affecting teachers' anxiety. These factors include supervision and evaluation consequences, student level of language proficiency and type of the skill being taught.
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    The Impact of Games in Teaching Vocabulary for ESL Students
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-03) AL SARABI, AHMED ALI
    This study sets out to examine the effectiveness of games as a useful method of introducing vocabulary to ESL students. It also sought to determine if they are an effective method. In the researcher's opinion, students are more likely to learn new vocabulary more quickly when they participate in games that include new vocabulary in a comfortable setting. In addition, they are more likely to retain it. Furthermore, he confirmed that when ESL students were taught using games as part of the content in the classes, the process of learning and retaining new vocabulary was more efficient and effective than when they were taught using traditional methods, such as memorizing. This study was carried out using the quantitative method of collecting data and observing the results during the observation process. It was decided to divide a total of twenty female students into two groups, one group that would be experimental and the other that would not be experimental. Each group would take a pretest and a posttest. There was a significant difference between the experimental group and the non-experimental group as far as the scores achieved at the posttest go, which shows that games are effective in helping ESL learners acquire new vocabulary in English in an effective manner.
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    The Impact of Differentiated Instruction on the Acquisition of Short Stories by High School ESL Learners in an American School in the UAE
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2023-03) AL RWAIS, SALEH YOUSEF
    Abstract This study was conducted to examine the impact of Differentiated Instruction on the acquisition of short stories by high ESL learners in an American school in the UAE. To achieve the objective of this study, a quasi-experimental design was used, in which pre- and post-tests were administered to two groups of participants, a control group and an experimental group. A traditional instructional approach was used in the control group, whereas differentiated instruction was used in the experimental group. Using the t-test, a statistical analysis was carried out on the results of the study. In light of the higher scores achieved by the experimental group as compared to the control group, it can be concluded that differentiated instruction is a worthwhile approach. Through the use of Differentiated Instruction, this study will contribute to the existing body of literature concerning the teaching of short stories and will thereby enhance the literary skills of students. As a final point, additional research should be conducted to examine the impact of differentiated instruction on the acquisition of different literary genres.
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    The Influence of Sight Words Instruction in Reading Fluency in Blended Learning Context.
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-06) AL MESAFRI, AAESHA ABDULLA
    The action research takes a mixed method strategy to curry out demonstration and examination of the effects of Sight word instruction in reading skills in a blended learning context with year three students. The sub-objective was to demonstrate primary English teachers’ opinions on sight word instructions. The study context was in a privet school in Ras Al Khaimah, and it focused on the primary section. The sample size was thirty participants: twenty-two English primary teachers and eight students. The data collection that was used are questionnaires, Semi- Structured Interviews, and artefacts. The data collection was done through triangulation to enhance validity and reliability. The major findings were: 1) Using sight word instructions improves reading skills, especially comprehension and fluency skills. 2) Sight word instructions enhance the confidence of year three students. 3) Many English teachers in the UAE believe in the effects of sight word instructions. 4) Sight word instructions are ineffective if there is no support from other language teaching approaches. Finally, the study's limits are depicted, and further implications are supplied.
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    Online Feedback in a Visible Learning School: An Investigation to Study the Effect of Online Feedback during Online Sessions Conducted through Nearpod
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-01) QANDEEL, KIFAH
    Since feedback is one of the most significant elements that support the learning process and online learning is a demand nowadays, the present study utilizes a mixed methodology to investigate the effect of online feedback that is conducted through Nearpod during online sessions in one of the private schools in Sharjah, UAE that implements the visible learning principles. Classroom observations qualitatively collected the data about the characteristics of online feedback, which are summarized as being 1) immediate 2) frequent 3) able to increase the students’ awareness of each other’s mistakes 4) able to allow the students to think critically 5) balanced 6) able to foster equity and establish a sense of community 7) having 3 levels, which are task level, process level and self-regulatory level. Besides, a quasi-experiment quantitatively gathered data about the effectiveness of online feedback during online sessions, which was found very effective after comparing the pre-tests and post-tests data of both the control and experimental groups. The results were in agreement with the qualitative data collected from the teachers’ semi-structured interviews.
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    The use of Technology in Education: A Study About the Impact of Using Nano-Learning in Teaching English as A Foreign Language in Higher Education Institutions in the United Arab Emirates.
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-05) AL-SHEHHI, MAHA
    This study case focuses on the changes made in the education sector during the pandemic of COVID-19 and how to use the impact of the pandemic on future learning through using the nano-learning strategy in teaching English as a foreign language at the academic level. The study includes 90 students who are learning English as a foreign language in different institutions in the Emirates of Dubai in the UAE and is supported by English language tutors. The methodology instruments varied from students' questionnaires to teachers face to face interviews and an online interview with a specialist in nano learning strategy in teaching and learning. The study revealed the essential role of technology nowadays in developing new learning environments and the need for immediate changes in the educational system of learning new curricula due to the technological background that the new generation developed in the world of the 21st century.
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    The Impact of Online Practice Reading Using “ReadTheory.Org” on Second Language Learners’ Reading skill Improvement
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-05) JABBAR, OMER AYAD ABDUL;
    Not only do the animals and plants have adaptable tricks, strategies, and natural features to defend their existence during peril, but also the human beings as well. Recently, Covid-19 has changed the life tactics, means, and facets and caused great damage in all sectors, including health, policy, economy, and education. Education has been shifted from physical campuses to be online (Distance learning or Online learning) or blended. The current study conducted in the United Arab Emirates during Covid-19 used a questionnaire to check the impact of Covid-19 on the students’ second language reading skill acquisition using the ReadTheory.Org website. The participants are 50 students who attend grades 4,5,6, and 7. The results reflected many advantages and drawbacks of online learning including saving both teachers’ and students’ time, paying students’ attention.
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    Comparing the effectiveness of concept-based curricula and video-based curricula in ESL primary classrooms
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2022-07) AMER, HEBA;
    Various countries around the world have benefited greatly from the technological advancements in the education sector. Modern technologies provide teachers the ability to set up new capabilities that can support not only their subject areas, but also various aspects of education. In the past, the use of video was just for entertainment and the teacher used to play videos that had nothing to do with educational content, and this is known as negative consumption. Currently, the video has become the teacher’s partner in explaining lessons and curricula through a reliable, effective, and attractive technology that makes lessons successful and allows students to comprehend the information more easily. The purpose of this research is to examine how digital videos can be used in education and to measure the effectiveness of digital videos on students from the perspective of teachers as technical integrators. Twenty classroom observations were conducted in grade 5 classrooms to examine the effectiveness of concept-based compared to video-based learning for teaching English grammar. Additionally, eighteen English teachers were interviewed in semi-structured interviews as part of the research. Methods and Procedures: In grade 5 classrooms, twenty observations were carried out and eighteen teachers were interviewed to determine what impact video-based curriculum applications had on the English primary classroom while studying English grammar lessons and how teachers viewed video-based curricula in comparison to content-based curricula. Outcomes: The findings from this study demonstrate that the students who studied using video-based learning as a learning approach, accompanied by discussion, performed significantly better than those who studied with concept-based learning in understanding English language grammar. In light of these findings, using video in the classroom is recommended for providing information to students in an easy and innovative manner.
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    Teaching New English Vocabulary Items by Using Collocations in English as a Second Language classes at a Private University.
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2021-10) AL-NABHANI, MOHAMMED NABHAN
    Teaching English vocabulary has not been given a sufficient attention in English as a second language classes. The perspectives on how to teach English words have altered since 1970s. As far as learning a second language is concerned, vocabulary is an essential component that helps learners to master the language. Thus, English vocabulary items must be treated as one of the main constituents of the English language and they should be taught intensively at the first levels. Several techniques, methods and approaches to teach vocabulary have appeared. One of these techniques is to teach words by using collocations.To teach vocabulary by using collocations is regarded as a comparatively new method. This research aims to test the effectiveness of teaching vocabulary by using collocations. This technique would lead to better results than introducing words by using the ordinary approaches like definitions, synonyms, antonyms and translation to the mother tongue. The research was done at a private university at the foundation department. The participants were 76 intermediate level students.The first chapter of this research includes a brief background about this research, problem statement, study’s goal, scope, importance of the investigation and research questions. The following chapter contains the review of the literature that discusses vocabulary in second language teaching, definitions and types of collocations. Chapter three includes the methodology of the research, materials, the chosen participants, the implemented procedures and the explanation of the statistical analysis. Theorists, teachers, researchers, and others involved in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) did not realize the role and significance of vocabulary in the acquisition of the English language. However, some scholars in linguistics have conducted some pedagogical materials and experimental studies that show the significance of vocabulary teaching and since then vocabulary teaching has been a valued issue in the field of teaching English. Most English language teachers think that the number of English words that learners know represents the knowledge of their vocabulary skills. However, some scholars indicate that the vocabulary knowledge includes other abilities. It refers to the student’s knowledge of the possible relation of words in a sentence, which word is convenient with which word. Combinality is a term that should be granted a special interest as it is a subject that English learners do not know how to deal with and they constantly produce incorrect collocational uses.
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    The Study of the English Article System Errors Made by High School Students in the United Arab Emirates.
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2021-12) DERBAS, MOHAMED NOUR
    Abstract The purpose of this study is to determine the errors made by grade 12 students in the use of definite and indefinite articles in one of the secondary schools for boys located in Sharjah educational zone. English articles system can be confusing for Arab ESL/EFL students, because the Arabic language only has a definite article and no indefinite article. In contrast, the English language contains both. The study sought to identify the most often occurring errors and to offer teaching and learning strategies to solve these obstacles. Moreover, it is discovered that the most frequently occurring errors made by the study's sample are intralingual errors caused by ineffective and old approach in teaching the article system. As a result, several pedagogical applications were recommended to assist English teachers in teaching students how to acquire the English article system. It is hoped and advised that the findings of this study would be used to develop exercises to assist students in developing a more appropriate use of the definite and indefinite articles. Keywords: English article system, error, sources of errors
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    Perceptions of Teachers and Learners on Teaching Methodology used in Online ELT Classrooms
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2021-03) MOIN, HERA AQUIB
    The objective of this study was to find out the perception of teachers and learners on teaching methodology (TBLT or PPP) used in online English classrooms in an HEI setting in the UAE. Surveys and semi-structured interviews were conducted, as the study took the Mixed Method route. Data was collected from 62 participants and the quantitative data was analyzed by calculating mean and standard deviation on Google Sheets, whereas the qualitative data was analyzed through Thematic Analysis. Findings from learners’ data revealed a positive perception overall, towards both PPP and TBLT, but preference for TBLT out of the two methodologies was also observed for reasons such as Groupwork, Interaction, TTT, and Monotony, which were identified through findings of the qualitative analysis. On the other hand, findings from teachers’ quantitative data showed a neutral perception towards both methodologies along with mixed preferences which were concluded on the basis of aspects disclosed by findings from the qualitative analysis such as Level of Learners, Administrative Pressure, Familiarity, and Assistance.
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    In-Person and Online Learning in Communicative Language Teaching Classes: Interaction Levels and Parents’ Perspectives
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2021-03) Jbarah, Lara
    This study aimed to understand the interaction of students through online classes, provided useful information for curriculum designers, forwarded suggestions on ways in addressing individual student learning needs and generated ideas for the development of training programs for online instructors. The purpose of the present study is two-fold: 1) to explore the interaction levels in CLT in-person classes and online language classes, and 2) to gather more enriching data from parents about their preference to in-person classes, their perspective of what could affect students’ interaction levels during online classes and their recommendations for teaching methods to enhance online lessons. The study sought to answer 4 research questions: How does distance learning versus in-person teaching affect Communicative Language Teaching methods in the interaction levels of ESL elementary students? What are the interaction differences between high level English students and lower-level English students through online learning? What are ESL students' needs in distance learning methods? How can their needs be better met? and What are the parents’ needs to assist their children in ESL online teaching? How can their needs be better met? To answer the research questions data were gathered through interviews and observations in an international private school in Abu Dhabi. Four interviews with parents were administered and analysed using thematic analysis. The following themes emerged from the data: social connectivity increases learning success, online learning provides potential growth for students’ learning due to new methods, parents and students struggle and lack focus in online learning, and parents do not know how to interactively teach their children. Moreover, 10 classroom observations were conducted, 5 of which were in an online setting and 5 in in-person ones. The data from observations were transcribed and analysed. The data from observations led to indepth understanding of students’ interaction levels in both settings, which would hopefully aid in breaking down the wall distance learning has built during the pandemic. The study forwarded a number of recommendations to (the audience: e.g. researchers, practitioners and policy makers).
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    POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE POLITENESS IN EGYPTIAN AND AMERICAN MEDIA DISCOURSE (A CONTRASTIVE STUDY)
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2017-09) MOHAMED, WALED MOHAMED SALAHELDEEN
    The current study attempted to examine the use of positive and negative politeness strategies by the American and Egyptian participants talk shows. A contrastive analysis of both spoken Egyptian Arabic and spoken American English was done. Brown and Levinson‟s (1987) theory of politeness formed the pragmatic framework of the study. The pragmatic functions of negative and positive politeness strategies utilised by the participants was the main focus of the study. The study results revealed significant similarities between both groups; however, there were certain differences too. Egyptian host used more positive politeness strategies while the American hosts used more negative ones. In addition, the use of hedges, avoid disagreement apologies was done by the Egyptian hosts exclusively. While the American hosts used assert or presuppose the guest's knowledge of and concern for host's wants exclusively.
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    Attitudes of Students and Teachers Towards Using Technology in Cooperative Learning Activities in ESL Classes
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2021-01) Mostafa, Shorouk
    The current study aims to explore the attitudes of high school students and their teachers towards using technology in cooperative learning activities during ESL classes. For this purpose, the TAM model was used to design surveys to explore the stakeholders’ attitudes. The study is conducted in an American school in the UAE, and the researcher adopted a quantitative method that involves two weeks of technology intervention in a cooperative learning setting. A survey is distributed to teachers and students to explore their attitudes. The findings suggest that most teachers and students have positive opinions about integrating technology into ESL cooperative learning activities.