Grammar Teaching in Sharjah Preparatory (Cycle 2) Schools Teachers' Beliefs and Classroom Practices
The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Purpose - The main purpose of this exploratory study was to investigate teachers’ stated beliefs towards grammar teaching and their practices when teaching grammar in EFL classrooms. It aimed to collect evidence of their instructional practices and examine the relationships between their thoughts and actions. Furthermore, it attempted to stand on the probable contextual factors that influence the transformation of beliefs into practice. Methodology - All the teachers involved in this study were Arabs, teaching English language in eight government preparatory schools in Sharjah. In the first stage of the study, 46 in-service teachers were invited to fill in a self-report questionnaire to elicit their beliefs and classroom practice regarding grammar teaching. In the second stage, two semi structured interviews were conducted with eight of these teachers to gain deeper understanding of their personal opinions, beliefs and perspectives. Findings - The findings revealed that teachers undeniably have a set of multifaceted beliefs regarding the eight beliefs dimensions under study including the grammar role in learning, grammar approaches, grammar practising, error treatment, the use of grammatical terminology and students' first language. The quantitative data revealed that teachers' stated beliefs are to a large extent consistent with their classroom practices. These findings thus add support to previous research findings that teachers’ beliefs are powerful and can greatly shape and guide their professional practices and influence the way that students learn. However, the qualitative data showed a different picture; the beliefs and practices were different in some domains, though. For example, although many participants reported that they believed in inductive, implicit, problem solving activities, and presentation through authentic texts, the findings revealed that formal instruction, the use of grammatical terminology, students' first language and explicit grammar teaching are still valued among teachers participated in the study. This inconsistency between beliefs and practices are related to various contextual factors, including class density, time constrains, length of text books, lack of teaching resources and examination format. In addition to students' needs, expectations and proficiency levels.
DISSERTATION WITH DISTINCTION
grammar teaching, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), teachers' beliefs, classroom practices, EFL classrooms, preparatory (Cycle 2) schools