Why Do Emirati University Students Need English Preparation Programs When Entering the University – Research Proposal Example

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper “ Why Do Emirati University Students Need English Preparation Programs When Entering the University? ” is an intriguing example of a research proposal on English. According to Melanie Swan, (2012) the head of the high-school exam board CEPA stated that “ 88 percent of students graduate with inadequate English to cope at University, where almost all courses are taught in English” (p. 1). This relates to why Emirati students spend at least one year in foundation programs offering English language learning opportunities despite having learned the language in high school.

As a result, the purpose of the proposed study is to explore the reasons that contributed to the lack of Emirati students’ readiness with the English language when they enter the university although they studied English in the school. A qualitative case study design will be used in the investigation. Random purposeful sampling will be used to select the participants. Credibility and reliability in the study will be achieved by different methods of qualitative data collection including individual interviews, focused group interviews, and observations. Ethical issues likely to arise in the study will be addressed by seeking approval from relevant authorities and consent from the participants.

The process data collection will involve individual and focused group interviews and the data analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. Keywords (Emirati students, English language, Qualitative research, Case Study design, English foundation programs, lack of readiness, University) Introduction Education in the UAE encounters several changes since the declaration of the federation in 1971. One of the main fields that the UAE government invested in is the education system in the country where it encouraged provided free education for local people, male and female, in schools starting from KG to the University level.

Due to the global changes around the world especially in the field of education, different changes happened in the educational system in the UAE in order to be able to compete, play roles and cope with the challenges around them in the world. The higher education is the door for preparing Emirati people to face the continues and the changeable challenges around them in the world. Most of the higher education institutions in the UAE provide the majority of the courses in English because English is the language that facilitates communication around the world and being able to use English will help students to have more options when entering the field of work.

Learning English considered being a challenge for some people who learn the language as a second language; they have to undergo short-term or long terms courses in order to learn the language (Youssef, 2012). Many Emirati students graduate from government schools with a low academic level in English although they study English at school.

Most of the courses in the universities are taught in English, so students are given remedial classes to improve their English language proficiency and are required to pass remedial tests so they can start studying at the university (Othman & Shuquir, 2013). In addition, many of them after graduating from high schools spend years in the English foundation programs, provided by the University they choose, before starting the study at the university. Through case study research and interviews, we will explore from Emirati student's perspectives the reasons that contribute to the lack of their readiness with the English language when entering the university.


Alkaff, A. A. (2013). Students' attitudes and perceptions towards learning English. Arab World English Journal, 4(2), 106-121.

Al-Mahrooqi, R. (2012). A student perspective on low English proficiency in Oman. International Education Studies, 5(6), 263-271.

Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., & Sorensen, C. (2010). Introduction to research in education (8th ed.). Australia: Wadsworth.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research methods in education (6th ed.).London: Routledge.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2013). Research methods in education (7th ed.). London: Routledge.

Coombe, C. (2014). 10 Characteristics of highly effective EF/SL teachers. Perspectives (TESOL Arabia), 22(2), 6-12.

Creswell, J. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach (4th ed.). Thousand’s Oaks: California: Sage.

Deveci, T. (2015). A comparative study of the lifelong learning propensities of English language learners: Nationality, gender, and length of study. Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, 12(1), 1-24.

Diallo, I. (2014). Emirati students encounter Western teachers: Tensions and identity resistance. Learning & Teaching In Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, 11(2), 1-14.

Garinger, D., & Schoepp, K. (2013). IELTS and academic achievement: A UAE case study. Perspectives (TESOL Arabia), 20(3), 7-13.

Gitsaki, D. C., Robby, D. A., & Bourini, A. (2014). Preparing students to meet the English language requirements for higher education: A pilot Emirati study. Education, Business & Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, 7(2/3), 1.

Hatherley-Greene, P. (2014). The cultural border crossing index: Implications for higher education teachers in the UAE. Learning & Teaching In Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, 11(2), 1-21.

Hopkyns, S. (2014). The effects of global English on culture and identity in the UAE: A double-edged sword. Learning & Teaching In Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, 11(2), 1-20.

Jewels, T., & Albon, R. (2012). "We don't teach English, we teach in English": Teaching non-native English speaking university students. Learning & Teaching In Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, 9(1), 1-29.

Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2012). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches (4th ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Khan, I. (2011). Learning difficulties in English: Diagnosis and pedagogy in Saudi Arabia. Educational Research, 2(7), 1248-1257.

King, N & Horrocks, C. (2010). Interviews in Qualitative Research. London: SAGE.

Malcolm, D. d., & Majed, M. (2013). Foundation-level gulf Arab student response to self-Access learning. Studies In Self-Access Learning Journal, 4(4), 323-338.

Mamun, S.A., Rahman, A., Rahman, A.R., & Hossain, A. (2012). Students’ attitudes towards English: The case of life science school of Khulna University. International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities, 3(1), 200-209.

Othman, F.H., & Shuqair, K. M. (2013). Effectiveness of the remedial courses on improving EFL/ESL students’ performance at the university level in the Arab world. International Journal of Higher Education, 2(3), 132-138.

Salem, O. (2014, January 05). FNC to debate scrapping of English foundation courses at UAE universities. The national UAE. Retrieved from http://www.thenational.ae/uae/government/fnc-to-debate-scrapping-of-english-foundation-courses-at-uae-universities

Sivaraman, I., Balushi, A., & Rao, D. (2014). Understanding Omani students’ (university) English language problems. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research, 13(1), 28-35.

Swan, M. (2012, May 25). Almost 9 in 10 students not ready for university in English. The national UAE. Retrieved from http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/almost-9-in-10-students-not-ready-for-university-in-english

Youssef, A. M. (2012). Role of motivation and attitude in the introduction and learning of English as a foreign language in Libyan high schools. International Journal of Logistics, 4(2), 366-375.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us