The Visible and Invisible Role of English Foundation Programmes: A Search for Communication Opportunities within EFL Contexts

| December 29, 2006
Title
The Visible and Invisible Role of English Foundation Programmes: A Search for Communication Opportunities within EFL Contexts

Keywords: Foundation Programmes, new students, involvement, transition, integration, communicative use

Authors
Suleiman Al-Husseini
Ibra College, Sultanate of Oman

Bio Data
Suleiman Al-Husseini (PhD, University of Leeds), is an English Language Lecturer in the Ibra College of Technology, Sultanate of Oman. He is interested in NA, course design and evaluation, and teachers professional development.

Abstract
This paper argues that in addition to teaching English, English Foundation Programmes should also help new students become involved in the new teaching environment by ensuring a transition from the previous learning experience and integration into the new context. The study also argues that the process of transition and integration contributes to creating an environment in which English can be used communicatively outside the language classroom, in institutions which teach English as a foreign language (EFL). The study follows the college impact approach to understand the influence of students’ previous education and their understanding of the new learning environment on their college studies. An open question questionnaire was used to collect data from 199 students studying in three higher education establishments in the Sultanate of Oman. The data was analysed qualitatively, using a coding system. The study finds that the participants were influenced by their previous learning experience and suffered unfamiliarity with, as well as misconceptions of, the new learning situation, which indicates that the purpose of the FP should be, in addition to teaching English, helping students overcome these problems. The process of students transition and integration could provide a golden opportunity for using English communicatively.

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See pages 35-51

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 8 Issue 4