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Language Teacher Cognition on English Grammar Assessment: Investigating EFL Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices regarding Classroom-based Assessment in Public Higher-Educational Institutions in Saudi Arabia

Alsalem, M S (2020) Language Teacher Cognition on English Grammar Assessment: Investigating EFL Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices regarding Classroom-based Assessment in Public Higher-Educational Institutions in Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates teachers’ beliefs about English grammar assessment (EGA) and how these are linked to their professional practices when writing their grammar exams in their educational contexts, in higher educational facilities in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The central focus of this study is threefold: (a) teachers‘ beliefs and factors which shaped these beliefs, (b) their actual practices and the factors that influenced their EGA, and (c) the relationship between teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding EGA. The study is guided by the theoretical framework of Activity Theory (AT) and more specifically by Engeström’s (1999) third generation of AT which was used as the interpretive tool to explore the two systems: how teachers’ view EGA and how they actually assess EG in their classes. AT also allows to identify the contradictions that create conflicts between EFL teachers’ beliefs and practices with regards to EGA. A mixed-method research design was used and included a questionnaire (N= 94), semi-structured interviews (N= 32), retrospective thinking (N= 20) and document analysis (N= 28) with EFL teachers in four public higher educational facilities. The study showed both congruence and tensions between teachers‘ beliefs and practices. Teachers‘ beliefs were greatly congruent with their practices regarding the purposes of EGA, EFL teachers’ role in constructing their grammar exams, preferable items format and the sources from which EFL teachers draw exam question . Conversely, teachers‘ beliefs were incongruent with their practices concerning how EG should be assessed: integratively vs. explicitly. In addition, several factors: contextual, personal and conceptual, were identified as to have helped shaped , affected and/ or altered EFL teachers’ beliefs and practices with regards to EGA. This study concludes by providing some implications which could serve more than one purpose by creating knowledge which would be useful for researchers in the field of language teacher cognition and English grammar assessment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Mashael Alsalem
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2020 06:45
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2020 06:45
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28366

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