A Master of Arts Thesis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Submitted to the College of Arts and Sciences by Laila S. Dahan, "The Role of Culture in Teaching English as an International Language in the Arabian Gulf: A Case Study," December 2005. Thesis Advisor Dr. Fatima Badry. Available are Both Soft and Hard Copies of the Thesis.
English as an International Language (EIL) has become the lingua franca of the world today. An important factor of this widespread use of English is the fact that most people speaking the language today are not native speakers (B. Kachru, 1996). Since this is the case, what is being taught in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) courses needs to be reconsidered, especially in terms of culture and the textbooks being used. The following research seeks to determine three issues regarding EIL. First, it looks at who Arabic speaking students in the United Arab Emirates are communicating with in English. Second, it identifies how Arabic speaking students in this region feel about EIL and about learning the culture of English-speaking countries. And finally, the study looks at the extent to which English language teachers in the same region perceive the need for a different pedagogical approach to EIL. The results of student surveys show mixed interest or motivation in being taught culture along with the language because most students in the Arabian Gulf are using their English to speak to other non native speakers. The results of the teacher survey indicated that some EFL instructors see no need for changes in pedagogy when teaching EIL.