About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3742-3745
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

IQRAA!: USING RESEARCH-BASED STRATEGIES TO DEVELOP JOYFULLY LITERATE EMIRATI PRESERVICE TEACHERS

P. Sowa, G. Engelbrecht

Zayed University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore Emirati preservice teachers' attitudes towards reading in Arabic and English and the impact of using research-based literacy strategies and authentic, quality children's literature to;
1. teach preservice teachers how to involve children in reading, and to create classroom environments which promote reading across the curriculum,
2. strengthen and further develop the English literacy of preservice teachers, many of whom struggle with English, which is their second language and,
3. promote reading among the preservice teachers themselves.
Iqraa means to read in Arabic. It is the first word of the holy Qu'ran. This is the culturally relevant link we use to encourage our preservice teachers to see the personal and educational benefits of reading and teaching using authentic children's literature. Using childrens's literature increases and improves children and adult language and literacy development, especially in vocabulary acquisition, writing, and reading comprehension. (Johnson, 2009; Krashen, 2004; Wells, 1986). The personal benefits of teaching children's literature include helping readers understand their lives and the lives of others, developing readers' imagination, and handing down a people's cultural heritage (Johnson, 2009).

The research study explored the research-based strategies teacher educators in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) used to educate preservice teachers about how to teach and talk about children's books and the impact of learning these strategies on preservice teachers skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking English as well as their attitudes towards reading English and Arabic books.
Data for the project consisted of open-ended surveys, student reflection papers, and projects such as writing children's literature books based on Emirati traditions and culture. We read and coded the data for emerging themes using constant comparison methods (Bogden& Bicklen, 1992; Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Themes which emerged from the analysis of data, include tensions between learning Arabic and English, improved language skills, and becoming joyfully literate. Through the analysis of data we found Emirati preservice teachers see English as being prestigious and important to learn, however they also fear that the promotion of English will result in the erosion of Arabic and a loss of national identity. Classroom strategies used to help preservice teachers develop the craft of writing also helped improve their language skills. We found that our students read very little in English and in Arabic. However, the majority preservice teachers also reported that they are beginning to read more in both languages because of our strategies. This study is significant because our vision as teacher educators is to use children's literature to help develop a culture of reading in English and Arabic among our preservice teachers, who can in turn motivate and inspire their students to be joyfully literate.
@InProceedings{SOWA2010IQR,
author = {Sowa, P. and Engelbrecht, G.},
title = {IQRAA!: USING RESEARCH-BASED STRATEGIES TO DEVELOP JOYFULLY LITERATE EMIRATI PRESERVICE TEACHERS},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3742-3745}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Sowa AU - G. Engelbrecht
TI - IQRAA!: USING RESEARCH-BASED STRATEGIES TO DEVELOP JOYFULLY LITERATE EMIRATI PRESERVICE TEACHERS
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 3742
EP - 3745
ER -
P. Sowa, G. Engelbrecht (2010) IQRAA!: USING RESEARCH-BASED STRATEGIES TO DEVELOP JOYFULLY LITERATE EMIRATI PRESERVICE TEACHERS, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 3742-3745.
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