Managing Curriculum Change in Saudi Higher Education: A Case Study of Arabic Female Teachers Implementing Task-Based Language Teaching

Bayousef, Areej Salem m (2019) Managing Curriculum Change in Saudi Higher Education: A Case Study of Arabic Female Teachers Implementing Task-Based Language Teaching. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This study aims to explore the Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) training needs of female Arabic teachers within the Saudi Arabian higher educational context. The central focus is on teacher cognition in relation to TBLT implementation and professional development, with the premise that appropriate professional development facilitates successful TBLT implementation. This study demonstrates originality and contributes to the literature on TBLT implementation, the theory of the Concerns- Based Adoption Model (CBAM) and the Saudi higher educational context.
Dissatisfaction with students’ poor proficiency levels in Modern Standard Arabic, as evidenced in Saudi national examinations, has led to a call for a shift away from transmission-oriented language teaching to TBLT, which emphasises the use of language in communicative tasks. Although TBLT is a promising approach, its integration in practice is not straightforward because of the complex interplay between teachers’ cognition, practice and contextual factors. While teacher professional development plays significant role in educational reform, it has received little attention and the support needed to facilitate TBLT implementation remains under investigation. Therefore, this study aims to address this gap.
The study involved a qualitative case study and multiple methods, including observations, semi- structured interviews and open-ended statements adapted from the CBAM. The data was generated from a purposive sample of six female Arabic teachers implementing TBLT in a Saudi university. The findings indicated that teachers had a limited understating of TBLT due to insufficient exposure to this approach. The integration of TBLT was influenced by different factors relating to teachers’ informational, personal, management and contextual concerns. Teachers’ preference for future TBLT training was characterised as a constructivist-based approach, which was seen as opposite to the traditional approach which forms the basis of current training. Future research in TBLT professional development is needed as a consequence to investigate the impact of teacher identity and motivation.

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