Nadia Abdallah

Department: English
Discipline: Education
Research Centre/Unit: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Project Summary

The title of my research project is: Collision or synergy? Do parental attitudes at IB schools in Jordan support English/Arabic biliteracy in the primary section? I decided to focus on biliteracy because there is an assumption among stakeholders at an international school in Jordan that English/Arabic bilingualism and biliteracy can and should be developed simultaneously in the primary school years. This assumption is enshrined in the school’s ‘language policy’. It is largely driven by parental expectations and the desire for their children to become competitive in a globalised world in which English is seen as the key to educational and economic opportunity.

The problem is the mismatch, or the potential mismatch between the school’s language policies and parents’ understand of bilingualism/biliteracy. At the same time, parents feel the need to ensure that their children do not lose touch with their cultural, social and religious Arabic heritage. The language policy of the school therefore represents an unsatisfactory attempt to achieve a kind of equilibrium in the competition for curricular time and resources between Arabic and English.

The purpose of this study is to determine parents' attitudes towards a bilingual education policy at an international school in Amman. This study will aim to bridge the gap between parents and school officials with regards to the language policy of the school, with a particular focus on the primary school. For this study, an exploratory research methodology will take place. Focus groups, secondary research, surveys and open-ended questions will allow for the implementation of the exploratory research into a research plan, most of which will be a part of this study. 

 

Supervisory Team

I will be supervised by one of the Professors at the University of Exeter. 

Wider Research Interests

Although I have an interest in Bilingualism, I am even more interested in changing the Grade 12 National curriculum in Jordan. I believe that after decades of memorising content that will not be used after examinations, a new approach to education should be used in such an advanced country like Jordan.