An investigation of the relationships between Libyan EFL lecturers’ beliefs about the teaching and learning of reading in English and their classroom practices in Libyan universities

Zraga, Ahmed Rashed Ahmed (2018) An investigation of the relationships between Libyan EFL lecturers’ beliefs about the teaching and learning of reading in English and their classroom practices in Libyan universities. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.

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Abstract / Description

Although the significant influence of lecturers’ beliefs on their practices in the classroom is well known, not much is known about teachers’ beliefs and the extent to which they influence reading instructional techniques (Woods, 2006). Furthermore, no comprehensive studies have been carried out in the context of Libyan universities, where lecturers in English are non-native speakers of the language and have only minimal resources and limited access to published research and scholarship regarding this topic.

The present qualitative study aims to fill this gap in knowledge, considering contextual factors such as limited access to expert knowledge, a fixed curriculum, time restrictions and the isolation of lecturers, in an analysis of the beliefs that lecturers in English hold and the correspondence between these beliefs and their teaching practices. The study explores the factors that shape lecturers’ beliefs and examines the relationship between their beliefs and practices. Twenty-three unstructured observation sessions were conducted with male and female lecturers teaching English reading. Each class was observed 3 times, giving a total of 69 classes. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty male and female lecturers. The observation and interview data were analysed inspired by grounded theory. The findings revealed that lecturers held a variety of beliefs, and these did not always inform their practices in the classroom.

This study provides a more in-depth understanding of the multifaceted relationship between what lecturers believe and what they practise regarding the teaching of English reading. The study acknowledges the themes of the differences and similarities between lecturers’ beliefs and practices, with observations such as ‘lecturers knew, but did not do’; ‘lecturers did, but were not aware that they did’; and ‘lecturers did, and they knew’. In addition, the study demonstrates that correspondence between beliefs and practices does not necessarily result in positive pedagogical consequences, while a lack of such correspondence may not have negative results. The research also reveals that, irrespective of the relationships between beliefs and practices, the underpinning rationales are linked to the complex relationship between lecturers’ beliefs and practices and a range of other factors. The findings of this study could be of benefit to both current and future EFL lecturers of reading and should also provide directions for further research in this field.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: lecturers -- attitudes, beliefs; Libya; teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL); English as a foreign language (EFL); English reading
Subjects: 400 Language
400 Language > 420 English & Old English
Department: Guildhall School of Business and Law
Depositing User: Mary Burslem
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2018 09:23
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 09:23


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