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The place of writing in first grade Kuwaiti english education : a sociological case study

By Elham A. A. Mohammad


A hybridized society, Kuwait meshes Islamic ideologies with western culture. Linguistically, English exists across both foreign language and second language nomenclatures in the country due to globalization and internationalization which has seen increasing use of English in Kuwait. Originally consisting of listening, speaking, reading and writing, the first grade English curriculum in Kuwait was narrowed in 2002 to focus only on the development of oral English skills, and to exclude writing. Since that time, both Kuwaiti teachers and parents have expressed dissatisfaction with this curriculum on the basis that this model disadvantages their children. In first grade however, the teaching of pre-writing has remained as part of the curriculum. This research analyses the parameters of English pre-writing and writing instruction in first grade in Kuwaiti classrooms, investigates first grade English pre-writing and writing teaching, and gathers insights from parents, teachers and students regarding the appropriateness of the current curriculum. Through interviews and classroom observations, and an analysis of curriculum documents, this case study found that the relationship between oral and written language is more complex than suggested by either the Kuwaiti curriculum reform, or international literature concerning the delayed teaching of writing. Intended curriculum integration across Kuwait subjects is also far more complex than first believed, due to a developmental mismatch between English pre-writing skills and Arabic language capabilities. Findings suggest an alternative approach to teaching writing may be more appropriate and more effective for first Grade students in the current Kuwait curriculum context. They contribute also to an emerging interest in the second and foreign language fields in the teaching of writing to young learners

Topics: Young EFL learners, english as a foreign language, writing skills in EFL, discourse, Kuwait
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2008
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