Teachers’ and Students’ Understandings of and Attitudes towards the Policy of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • Asma Jooaan Alblooshi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Literature on teacher beliefs and epistemologies indicates that these constructs strongly influence pedagogical practice as well as teacher motivation to implement curricular innovation. Such is the case with the implementation of Content and Language Integrated learning (CLIL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).This study used qualitative cross sectional research, employing interviews, focus group sessions, observations and analysis of documents to examine teacher beliefs and epistemologies held by two groups of CLIL teachers in the MAG (Madaris Al Ghad) programme within the UAE context, with special focus on their classroom behaviours and praxis. The research was designed to identify the role of teacher beliefs and epistemologies in impacting their attitudes and motivation towards CLIL and its implementation.Analysis of the interview and observation data revealed that unexamined teacher beliefs and epistemologies have created a dissonance between their practice and the demands of CLIL manifested most clearly as teacher resistance to adopting CLIL effectively and the use of counterproductive teaching and learning strategies.On the basis of the emergent findings, a number of recommendations aimed at bringing about necessary improvements in the training and support of CLIL teachers are made. Broadly, it is recommended that key stakeholders should foster teacher participation in decision-making to create ownership of curricular reforms for effective implementation of CLIL. They may also consider the creation of school- based learning communities to facilitate support for and development of CLIL teachers. The thesis also delineates in detail the practical measures needed to effect these changes.In providing insights into the beliefs, epistemologies and motivations of the CLIL teachers in MAG schools, this inquiry serves as a timely and relevant contribution to the sparse literature on the impact of CLIL implementation in the UAE context, thereby providing the means to research this area more extensively and to empower key stakeholders tasked with the job of implementing CLIL at the classroom level.
Date of Award27 Jun 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorTrevor Grimshaw (Supervisor) & Santiago Sanchez (Supervisor)

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