To What Extent is Humanistic Language Teaching Incorporated in the Instructional Practices of the Foundation Teachers in Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT)-Fujairah, UAE? A Case Study

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This study explores the extent to which humanistic language teaching (HLT) is implemented in the Foundation Program in Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Fujairah campus. The study also examines the degree to which HLT is perceived as an innovation that can improve the teaching/learning environment in the Foundation program for students and teachers. An online survey, interviews and a focus group discussion were used for this purpose. The survey consisted of 30 closed-item statements with a 5-point Likert scale to gauge the extent to which HLT is incorporated in the instructional practices of the Foundation teachers. The respondents were 13 male and 15 female Foundation teachers who were mostly from Western countries. 26 surveys were completed and returned. In addition, ten individual interviews and a focus group discussion were conducted with the teachers in order to examine the potential value of HLT in the Foundation program. The findings revealed that although the participants were not expressly familiar with the tenets of humanistic language teaching, they were already applying many of its prescribed methodologies ‘intuitively.’ The participants were also convinced that incorporating HLT in the Foundation context was beneficial to learners as it decreased learning anxiety and helped them become more engaged in learning. However, the participants were reluctant to afford learners a level of autonomy that would have added a new dimension of HLT to their professional practice. This was, in part, due to a perception among the teachers that the students were ill equipped to learn without the close presence of a strong leader in the classroom – partly due to perceived cultural peculiarities of the local context. It has been recommended that the paradigm of HLT be given further attention in the context of UAE higher education and beyond in order to assess the degree to which English language teachers are willing to embrace this potentially liberating educational philosophy and associated methodologies.
Humanistic Language Teaching (HLT), instructional practices, UAE higher education, United Arab Emirates (UAE), English language teachers