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Eric.ed.gov – Learning Preferences of Saudi University Students with Native English Speaking Teachers

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Like many countries building up human and technological resources, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has embarked on the goal of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) to its citizens. One goal for the KSA Ministry of Education is increasing acceptance rates at teacher colleges for both genders specializing in English, in addition to Arabic, Math, Science and Computer Science (The Executive Summary of the Ministry of Education Ten-Year Plan, 2005). Virtually all government policies come with unexpected results. For example, Native English speaking teachers (NESTs) teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) often interact in ways that can be at odds with their host countries. Concerns involving pedagogy have been expressed in many countries with TEFL programs using NESTs (Degen & Absalom, 1998; Liu & Zhang, 2007; Madrid & Perez, 2004; Putintseva 2003; Xiao & Tiajin, 2006). Relatively little is known about Saudi university students’ experiences with NESTs and their preferences for student centered learning. This exploratory study surveyed 310 Saudi female university students enrolled in university TEFL programs. The following research questions were investigated: (a) Do Saudi students prefer student centered learning; and (b) Are there cultural differences with Saudi students’ and their NESTs’ teaching style? The findings of this study showed that students are open to the student-centered learning approach, with certain activities within the student-centered learning approach being more favorably preferred. Implications from this study clearly display that teacher training programs should seriously examine and implement innovative ways of teaching English for their pre-service teachers. Results of the English version of Saudi University Student Questionnaire are appended.

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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