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Preparing Emirati students to meet the English language requirements for higher education: a pilot study

Preparing Emirati students to meet the English language requirements for higher education: a... Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on an applied research project that was conceived in response to the low number of Emirati high school graduates entering directly into undergraduate programmes in higher education institutions mainly due to lack of adequate academic English proficiency. Performing well in international standardised testing such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is of primary importance in preparing non-English speaking learners for higher education delivered through the medium of English. Design/methodology/approach – Three hundred ninety-one secondary education Emirati students were involved in an intervention study. The study was cross-sectional, and it used a pre/post-design to measure change and impact on the students’ IELTS scores with comparisons between different experimental groups by gender, region and overall. Additional attitudinal data were collected using a survey with students, teachers and principals involved in the intervention programme. Findings – Results showed a statistically significant and educationally meaningful pre/post-improvement for the students who attended the IELTS preparation programme and a positive attitude towards the intervention programme. Research limitations/implications – A limitation of the study is that it used a quasi-experimental design with some threats to the validity of the design, so some caution is suggested in drawing conclusions which are too strong. Originality/value – This project is the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirated as it endeavoured to raise secondary education Emirati students’ awareness of the knowledge and skills involved in succeeding in the IELTS exam and provided evidence of the kind of programme that could have a positive impact on student learning. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues Emerald Publishing

Preparing Emirati students to meet the English language requirements for higher education: a pilot study

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1753-7983
DOI
10.1108/EBS-10-2013-0037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on an applied research project that was conceived in response to the low number of Emirati high school graduates entering directly into undergraduate programmes in higher education institutions mainly due to lack of adequate academic English proficiency. Performing well in international standardised testing such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is of primary importance in preparing non-English speaking learners for higher education delivered through the medium of English. Design/methodology/approach – Three hundred ninety-one secondary education Emirati students were involved in an intervention study. The study was cross-sectional, and it used a pre/post-design to measure change and impact on the students’ IELTS scores with comparisons between different experimental groups by gender, region and overall. Additional attitudinal data were collected using a survey with students, teachers and principals involved in the intervention programme. Findings – Results showed a statistically significant and educationally meaningful pre/post-improvement for the students who attended the IELTS preparation programme and a positive attitude towards the intervention programme. Research limitations/implications – A limitation of the study is that it used a quasi-experimental design with some threats to the validity of the design, so some caution is suggested in drawing conclusions which are too strong. Originality/value – This project is the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirated as it endeavoured to raise secondary education Emirati students’ awareness of the knowledge and skills involved in succeeding in the IELTS exam and provided evidence of the kind of programme that could have a positive impact on student learning.

Journal

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern IssuesEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 26, 2014

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