A Master of Arts Thesis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) by Fatema Obaid Al Mazrooei Entitled, "Teachers' Views of Call Implementation in Ras Al Khaimah English Language Classes: Obstacles and Opportunities," August 2010. Available are both Hard and Soft Copies of the Thesis.
Technology integration can be considered as an extremely useful practice in teaching English; therefore, this research investigated teachers' views about obstacles with implementation of technology in English language classes in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) in June, 2009. The focus was on one educational zone or district in the United Arab Emirates which is Ras Al Khaimah, a region where computer labs are not readily available and English teachers at most have access to one computer in their classrooms. This research investigated whether or not the English language teachers in Ras Al Khaimah know how to use computers in their classrooms, and what are obstacles they might encounter with use of technology in their classrooms. Therefore, the main questions were thus: Before a CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) session, what did the English language teachers in RAK know about CALL? Then, after the CALL training session, did those teachers think that they would be able to implement CALL in their classrooms? What obstacles did they foresee hindering them from making use of what had been presented? To answer the above questions, first, 20 English language teachers in Ras Al Khaimah answered a pre-workshop questionnaire in order to identify their knowledge of computer use in their classrooms and what they thought they needed to know about the uses of CALL in their classroom. This was followed by a consciousness-raising workshop that I had organized based on informal input from some teachers at my school and our supervisor. In the consciousness-raising workshop, I presented an overview of the theory of CALL, and I showed the teachers some applications like using Hot Potatoes to make crossword puzzles, tracking changes using Word's tracking features, and using internet games in teaching vocabulary and grammar. After that, another questionnaire was answered by those teachers who attended the workshop about what they had learned from this workshop and whether or not they thought that they would be able to use what was presented, in their classrooms. Then, an open group discussion took place right after the workshop. Finally, semi-structured interviews followed the workshop to investigate the obstacles that the teachers thought might hinder them from making use of the CALL methods they learned. It was found that there is an awareness problem regarding integrating technology in the English language classrooms. The workshop, in some way, helped in raising the teachers' awareness of the importance of incorporating technology in their classrooms and they had positive attitudes towards using technology. However, when it came to the reality of using CALL in their classes, there were a number of obstacles that confront them from implementing technology in their classrooms, like the lack of resources, internet access, time, and training.