Bagigni, Ainas (2016) The Role of English in Libya and its Implications for Syllabus Design in Libyan Higher Education. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The aim of this sociolinguistically-oriented study is to determine the elements of a suitable English Language syllabus for university students in Libya. The syllabuses currently being used to teach English Language in the Libyan Higher Education sector were originally designed back in the 1980s. In view of the sweeping changes which have taken place both in the role of English in the world and also in Libya itself since that decade, and in view of concurrent developments in language teaching practice, this thesis starts from the presumption that these syllabuses and the materials used to implement them are unlikely to be adequate. It attempts to achieve its aim by three means. Firstly, using observational accounts and fieldwork, it seeks to provide a sociolinguistic profile of this major world language in Libya in order to ascertain the domains in which it is used and the role which it currently plays in Libyan society (and therefore what it is that Libyan university students might need to be able to do with it).
Secondly, using an attitudinal questionnaire, it investigates the attitude of Libyan students in higher education towards learning English, the English language, and towards those who speak it as their mother tongue since research suggests that attitude can be of crucial importance in the language learning process. Thirdly, it conducts a critical evaluation of the English language syllabus and teaching materials presently in use at one university in order to identify the extent to which they follow current recommended practice in EFL course design and match the needs of learners.
Findings suggest that although English does not enjoy any official status in Libya and its use in some domains remains restricted, it is currently expanding at an unprecedented rate and has already acquired the status of a second language in some domains.
Questionnaire results indicate that Libyan university students hold favourable attitudes towards English, native speakers of this language and learning EFL. Crucially, many view a good level of English as a prerequisite for success in their chosen career.
The evaluation of current EFL teaching materials and course syllabus reveals that these materials no longer reflect the current role of English in Libya or the needs of university learners. In addition, in methodological terms, they are out-dated, following the traditional grammar-based syllabus rather than the contemporary emphasis on the communicative approach.
The thesis concludes by recommending that an integrated syllabus approach could be used to address the problems with the existing syllabus and proposes a multi- or integrated syllabus which aims to integrate grammatical components and linguistic skills to meet the needs of the learners and to address the language needs of Libyan society.

Final thesis - BAGIGNI.pdf - Accepted Version

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