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The impact of the use of English as a medium of instruction on Arab students’ Modern Standard Arabic proficiency and Arab identity at higher education in the United Arab Emirates.

A joint Doctoral Research Forum and Language Education Network event

Speaker: Taghreed Masri

Event details

Using English as a medium of instruction has been a prevalent policy in the Arabian Gulf universities. There is a fear that this policy might lead to academic language attrition in Arabic. When a language is no longer used as a medium for academic discourse, the students’ mastery of that language cannot be expected to attain the level that it would if it was used as a medium of instruction (Wong & James, 2000). Large scale studies that examine the Arabic proficiency of EMI university students are almost nonexistent in the Arab world. The study aims to problematize the use of English and the impact of using it as MI on the participants’ proficiency in Arabic language and their identity by questioning the policy. Thus, in order to critically analyze the impact of the use of EMI on Arab students’ first language and identity, a critical study, founded on critical theory, using mixed methods approach examined the perceptions of Arab students in three EMI universities in the UAE. 20 interviews, 268 questionnaires, and 10 classroom observations were used in this study.

Taghreed Masri is a full-time lecturer in the Canadian University of Dubai, Dubai. She is a doctoral student in the EdD TESOL program at the University of Exeter. She has a Master degree in TESOL from the American University of Sharjah. She has a Bachelor degree in English language and literature from the United Arab Emirates University. Masri has written on flipped approach, writing courses at university level, proficiency and identity. She has also presented in different TESOL conferences. Her areas of specialization are: Proficiency, writing and identity, language and culture, EMI, and research skills.