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ERIC Number: ED568584
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 230
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-7036-1
Reforming English Curriculum in United Arab Emirates: An Examination of Emirate Teachers' Beliefs and Practices Regarding the Adoption of "English Continous Assessment Rich Task" (ECART)
AlAlili, Sara
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
United Arab Emirates (UAE) is currently undergoing massive educational reform, especially in the teaching and assessment methods of all subject-matter areas. In Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) has mandated the revamping of English language teaching and assessment in grades 6-12 through the introduction of English Continuous Assessment Rich Task (ECART), which is a framework that helps teachers implement ongoing and alternative assessments in the English as a Foreign Language classroom (EFL). The purpose of this exploratory multiple case study was three-fold: a) to explore Emirate EFL teachers' beliefs regarding English teaching, learning and assessment in UAE, b) the extent to which their beliefs influenced their use of the ECART framework in the classroom, and c) the impact that different contextual factors--classroom environment, curriculum, professional development--had on their beliefs and classroom practices. The overarching question that guided the current study was: How do Emirate teachers' beliefs regarding English teaching, learning, and assessment in general and the use of an English reform initiative (ECART), in particular, impact their instructional and assessment practice in the classroom? Four EFL experienced teachers from two different schools in the Emirate of AlAin in UAE participated in the current study. Data was generated over a two-month period from interviews, classroom observations, field notes, and document analysis. A constant comparative analysis method was used to analyze the data. The findings of this study revealed that even though Emirate teachers acknowledged some of the benefits of the ECART, they held beliefs that were incompatible with the underlying principles of the reform. Emirate teachers' beliefs regarding what constituted effective English language teaching and assessments were highly consistent with their classroom behaviors. However, in few instances, there was a discrepancy between teachers' reported beliefs and classroom practices as they attempted to implement the ECART. Some of these discrepancies stemmed from the lack of deep understanding of some of the ECART guiding principles, others, from disagreement with its orientation to language teaching and assessment. In addition professional development support for the teachers was limited and of uneven quality. Support for experienced teachers' reflection on change by means of dialogue and instruction in new approaches was not a central element of the ECART, as at least some of the teachers in this study had experienced it. It is hoped that findings from this study will be useful to in-service teachers, teacher preparation programs, and educational policy makers in United Arab Emirates and in other nations where large-scale educational reforms of classroom instruction and assessment are being attempted. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)