Ali, Holi (2018) Omani Engineering Students’ Experiences of Learning through the Medium of English. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The focus and the overarching aims of the study are to investigate Omani engineering students’ perceptions of their learning experiences and the challenges which they face due to English being the medium of instruction in colleges of technology in Oman, as well as the strategies which they use to overcome their difficulties. This study also examines the views of engineering, EAP and subject teachers in Oman concerning the skills and attributes which they consider to be important for their students to succeed. Qualitative and interpretative methodologies were combined with a multi-theoretical framework to elicit the students’ experiences and perceptions of study through English as the Medium of Instruction (EMI) provision as well as their responses to it. The data for the study was generated and gathered through semi-structured interviews, observations and the review of course-related documents. The study revealed that the participating students generally held positive views towards EMI, mostly on the basis that it would help them to improve their language skills, which would in turn enhance their employability. The students, however, encountered many EMI-related and non-EMI-related challenges. The most common problems related to lecture comprehension, oral and written communication, and discipline specific issues. Students developed a range of coping strategies, one of the most common being translanguaging. The study indicates that there are a number of issues which need to be considered to improve the in-sessional EAP courses in relation to EMI-related challenges. The interviews highlighted the role and importance of subject teachers in helping students. Engineering students need an array of skills and attributes to function well in engineering programmes taught through the medium of English, including sophisticated communication skills, transferable skills, critical thinking, resilience, flexibility and the appropriate language skills. The study underlines a need to review the pre-college schooling system and foundation programmes in Oman if they are to effectively prepare students for English-medium college programmes. It is also recommended that training to teach through the medium of English should be included in the induction process for new subject teachers in Omani colleges of technology.

Holi Ali FINAL THESIS.PDF - Accepted Version
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