Language policy in Dubai’s schools: From theory into practice

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The qualitative research aims at exploring the language policy in Dubai’s schools and highlight the areas that can be improved from theory to practice. There was the use of a Survey, Semi-Structured Interviews, and Secondary Data (Policy Documents). Purposive sampling was used to choose research participants with Survey Participants being taken from education professionals or those who closely work in fields related to education. This was done to ensure the reliability and validity of the data collected. The theoretical framework was based on approaches such as the Language Policy and Planning (LPP), Critical Language Policy (CLP), and Language Management Theory (LMT). These helped the researcher have a firm basis to develop the academic project and understand some of the language policy dynamics currently happening in the UAE. The outcome of the research showed huge potential for language policy research. Some of the issues that were noted to hinder the implementation of effective language policy in the UAE include poor communication of language policy across the school community, staffing issues, the lack of resources, the absence of many different native languages in the mainstream curriculum, and the mismatch between the policy expectations and the actual level of student’s aptitude. The solutions highlighted in this study include the setting of clear goals for the language policy that is shared with the policy designers and the policy users, the increased involvement of language teachers with the school leaders in the design and review process of the language policy, continuous professional development of language teachers among others.
This paper studies the challenges of implementing the language policy at international schools in Dubai and suggests some potential solutions to fill these gaps
educational policies, language policy, United Arab Emirates (UAE), professional development