Talk: Saudi university students’ attitudes towards their multiple non-native EMI instructors: Exploratory study
Saudi universities have, for some time now, embraced English as a means of instruction in teaching content courses. Against such a linguistic transformation at universities, little research has been done on students' attitudes towards instructors in EMI settings, and very far few in the Saudi context. However, researching students' attitudes toward English instructors has accrued the majority in the ESL/EFL literature. Therefore, this study explores students' attitudes for non-native English-(NNE) speaking instructors in content courses. The data collected by using exploratory sequential mixed methods, i.e. qualitative and quantitative approaches. The qualitative phase gathered by using four interviews and two focus groups as an exploratory stage. Results from the initial investigation (qualitative methods) revealed that students differed in their attitudes towards EMI instructors ranged from positive to negative and neutral ones based on different factors. Among the students showing favourable attitude, more students were found to be geared towards Arab instructors, mainly, local instructors, i.e. Saudi, to teach them content courses. The interview data also showed that instructors (e.g. Indian/Pakistani) do not meet the students' expectations in content courses and, therefore, receive negative evaluations. Several students do not make a specific preference for a particular group of instructors, instead of that, effective delivery of the knowledge is more important than who delivers the content courses. The findings highlight the factors influencing students' attitudes towards NNE EMI instructors, offering some implications for instructor’s recruitment and improvement in Saudi Arabia.
- Saudi university students’ attitudes towards their multiple non-native EMI instructors: Exploratory study