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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relies heavily on the official language- Arabic (Alrashidi & Phan, 2015). English is not a neutral language and is often a debatable topic. It is true that there is an increase in the use of English in Saudi Arabia;however, the language still faces stiff resistance in the country (Alrashidi & Phan, 2015). The language has been questioned regarding its validity and its contribution to the traditional practices of the country. There is limited use of the information technology in the academics (Alwagait, Shahzad & Alim, 2015). The teachers are not teaching and practicing the multimedia tools to impart the English language.There is also less acceptability of the English medium of education.
The teachers in the public schools of Saudi Arabia are inclined towards the traditional methods of the education and pay least attention to the adoption of the multimedia tools in the classrooms (Hammond & Gamlo, 2015). They are not well trained in the digital modes of education and often lack modern technology in the classrooms (Hammond & Gamlo, 2015). They are not aware of the multimedia tools that can be used effectively in the teaching process (Alghamdi & Higgins, 2015). The teachers also engage in using Arabic as the primary instruction language. This creates an over dependency on the local language and creates a resistance for the English language, which is a global language. This derives the students from gaining premium quality education.
It is important to use English as a mode of communication in the educational institutions rather than simply teaching English language as a subject. It would improve the critical thinking capabilities of the student. This research aims to identify the importance of English language for the better future of the students. It also explores the utility of the multimedia tools in delivering education in Saudi Arabia.
The aim of this research is to analyze the importance of adopting English medium of instruction in Saudi Arabia schools and the benefits of using digital tools in the classrooms.
The formation of Saudi Arabia in 1932, witnessed limited educational opportunities to few citizens in Islamic schools (Bowen, 2014). This trend has certainly changed today as there are more education opportunities for the Saudi citizens ranging from the primary education to the postgraduate education (Bowen, 2014). The education system is under the jurisdiction of “Ministry of Education” (Smith & Abouammoh, 2013). There is presence of the private schools as well as state sponsored schools known as “Kingdom Schools” (Smith & Abouammoh, 2013). The teachers in the Kingdom Schools teach by memorization and rote with little emphasis on the critical thinking skills or the problem solving abilities (Palmer, 2015). There are certain classrooms issues related to personal accountability, student time management, prior educational expenses of the students and mismatched cultural expectations.
Saudi Arabia faces several challenges in the implementation of the multimedia tools in the education sector. There is lack of professional development of the teachers who are not prepared for the integration of the digital tools in the classroom (Al-Asmari & Rabb Khan, 2014). There is non-availability of the multimedia tools in the educational institutions with insufficient funds being allocated for this purpose (Al-Asmari & Rabb Khan, 2014). The second challenge consists of a high level of resistance from the teaching faculty and the students. They are not eager to move out of their comfort zone gained in the conventional teaching methods (Al-Asmari & Rabb Khan, 2014). The teachers often view the use of the multimedia tools outside the purview of their job descriptions. The multimedia educational tools are often viewed as “informal learning methods” which is believed to dilute the actual meaning of education (Al-Asmari & Rabb Khan, 2014). There is lack of awareness regarding the multimedia tools which has made it less popular in academic context.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most traditional yet the richest state of the Gulf countries (Niblock, 2015). It provides one of the highest paying EFL teaching jobs in the world. The schools in Saudi Arabia lack good teachers who are able to give instructions to the students in English. English is a global language which is well recognized all over the world. It is a foreign language for the Saudi students; however, they must master it in order to have bright career prospects (Niblock, 2015). The students have realized the importance of English for securing high paying jobs in the future (Al Malihi, 2015). It is important to incorporate English in the school or college curriculum. The government of Saudi Arabia has encouraged their students as well as teachers to study in foreign countries such as UK, Australia and USA so that they can learn English language (Olson, 2016). This would make the students comfortable in the language without having to attend additional courses involving considerable amount of finances and time (Al Malihi, 2015). The impact of globalization has led the students to communicate fluently in the English language.
The digital tools such as multimedia tools are highly effective in providing project based learning to the students. There are several multimedia tools that can be used in teaching such as power point presentation, videos, flash animations, audio tools, e-learning software, overhead projectors and others (Vaughan, 2014).These tools help the student to form a constructive learning environment in which they can retain their knowledge in a better way. The multimedia tools are useful in designing a project that depends solely on the information technology tools (Al-Asmari & Rabb Khan, 2014). The multimedia tools allow the students to perform critical analysis on various topics. They can access a variety of information from the online sources and interpret the necessary information. The multimedia tools in delivering English language helps the students to gain a practical learning as they engage in the learning process themselves rather than merely adopting an author’s work (Vaughan, 2014). These tools induce reflective thinking capabilities in the students which is very important for their future (Vaughan, 2014). The multimedia tools help the students to retain information for a longer period of time (Vaughan, 2014). The students can learn at their own convenient time and own pace. The technology allows the students to accomplish their goals in a better way (Vaughan, 2014). The integration of the various multimedia tools in imparting English language allows the student to learn complicated concepts in short span of time.
Therole of multimedia tools is immense in order to fulfill the academic needs of the students. It is important in the English learning outcomes in the classrooms (Liu & Long, 2014). The multimedia systems offer a potential avenue for it enhancing the understanding of the students in a foreign language (Liu & Long, 2014). It creates an optimum learning environment in the classroom through the use of multimedia technologies. The multimedia teaching system is a combination of the interactive as well as instructive multimedia systems as it can integrate the audiovisual systems with the actual course materials (Liu & Long, 2014). There are innovative features in the multimedia teaching methods such as use of authentic course materials, instant feedback, learner control, graphical illustrations and pictorial depiction of the key concepts (Liu & Long, 2014). These components help the students to grasp the English language in a better way. They can understand the practical implementation of the English language (Liu & Long, 2014). They can also understand the English Grammar like tenses, subject verb agreement, numbers and others so that they can understand the fundamental concepts of the English language (Liu & Long, 2014).
The researcher would follow a series of steps in formulating this research (Pickard, 2012). The first step involves the identification of the problem, review of the appropriate literature, clarification of the problem, definition of the key concepts related to the topic, definition of the population, development of the plan, collection of the data and the analysis of the data (Pickard, 2012). The researcher would also ensure that the study is conducted in an ethical manner.
This study involves the collection of both qualitative as well as quantitative data (Punch, 2013). The researcher chose a sample of 70 undergraduate as well as post graduate students and 70 high school students from various academic institutions located in Saudi Arabia and collected quantitative data from them. A close ended questionnaire is to be created and the respondents would be asked to answer them one by one. The researcher should also engage in qualitative research by choosing 10 teaching faculty in the educational institutions in Saudi Arabia. They would be exposed to an interview process and open ended questionnaires (comprising of 10 questions) that focus on the key concepts of the topic such as role of multimedia in teaching and comfort level for imparting EFL classes (Punch, 2013).
The researcher presents some real facts regarding the teaching of the English language through the use of multimedia tools. It demonstrates the attitude of the teachers regarding the adoption of the multimedia tools as well as the implementation of English language in schools. The research must fulfill the objectives of the research objectives. It would help the researcher to derive useful facts about the research topic.
The data collected would be analyzed in order to gain in-depth analysis of the topic (Abbott, 2014). The exploratory data analysis is performed by using a statistical tool known as SPSS and the Microsoft Excel (Abbott, 2014). The correlation and frequency distribution analysis is also done on the collected data.
The sampling method would be used by the researchers to select the necessary respondents for the purpose of conducting research on a particular topic. In this research, the researcher would use the stratified sampling method which is used in the probability sampling (Levy & Lemeshow, 2013). The population is segregated into groups based on their occupation. The two main groups are the students and the teachers (Levy & Lemeshow, 2013). The study would be done on these two groups in order to measure the impact of the key variables (English teaching methods and role of multimedia).
There are certain limitations in this study which may impact the research outcomes. The research is performed in the educational institutes of Saudi Arabia; hence the results may not be applicable for the non-Saudi educational institutions. The second limitation includes the lack of previous research on the subject domain. The sample size is not so large which provides a limiting knowledge regarding the research topic. There may be cultural bias of the researcher as he may not be familiar with the educational system of Saudi Arabia.
The researcher must ensure that the participants are not forced while undertaking the research. The teachers and the students voluntarily must participate in the research and gave their responses from their real life experiences. The researcher should not engage in dishonest means of data collection and collect truthful data only. The data analysis would be done in an ethical manner with true representation of the collected data. There would not be any manipulations involved with the collected data. The researcher is honest in his ways of data analysis means.
Abbott, M. L. (2014). Understanding educational statistics using Microsoft Excel and SPSS. John Wiley & Sons.
Al Malihi, J. F. (2015). Saudi EFL Teachers' Readiness and Perceptions of Young Learners Teaching at Elementary Schools. English Language Teaching, 8(2), 86.
Al-Asmari, A. M., & Rabb Khan, M. S. (2014). E-learning in Saudi Arabia: Past, present and future. Near and Middle Eastern Journal of Research in Education, 2.
Alghamdi, A., & Higgins, S. (2015). Investigating how teachers in primary schools in Saudi Arabia were trained to use interactive whiteboards and what their training needs were. International Journal of Technical Research and Applications, Special Issue, 30, 1-10.
Alrashidi, O., & Phan, H. (2015). Education context and English teaching and learning in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An overview. English Language Teaching, 8(5), 33.
Alwagait, E., Shahzad, B., & Alim, S. (2015). Impact of social media usage on students academic performance in Saudi Arabia. Computers in Human Behavior, 51, 1092-1097.
Bowen, W. H. (2014). The History of Saudi Arabia. ABC-CLIO.
Hammond, M., & Gamlo, N. H. (2015). How and why do language teachers use ICT in a University in Saudi Arabia?. Proceedings of Global Learn 2015, 248-257.
Levy, P. S., & Lemeshow, S. (2013). Sampling of populations: methods and applications. John Wiley & Sons.
Liu, C., & Long, F. (2014, January). The Discussion of Traditional Teaching and Multimedia Teaching Approach in College English Teaching. In 2014 International Conference on Management, Education and Social Science (ICMESS 2014). Atlantis Press.
Niblock, T. (Ed.). (2015). State, Society and Economy in Saudi Arabia (RLE Saudi Arabia) (Vol. 6). Routledge.
Olson, M. R. (2016). Issues and Trends of International Students in the United States. Issues, 4(1).
Palmer, B. M. W. (2015). Understanding cultural conflict in EFL classrooms in the UAE. Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1(2), 77-95.
Pickard, A. (2012). Research methods in information. Facet publishing.
Punch, K. F. (2013). Introduction to social research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. Sage.
Smith, L., & Abouammoh, A. (2013). Higher Education in Saudi Arabia. London: Springer.
Vaughan, T. (2014). Multimedia: making it work. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.
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