The College of Education, UAEU has approved two PhD dissertations. The first one was about “Exploring Critical Reading Experience in the English of Emirati 11th Grade Students” by Maryam Ali Salem AlSereidi , whilst, the other dissertation was about “An Investgation of Multimodal Mobile Literacy Effect on Promoting 10th Graders’ Efl Writing, Motivation and Intercultural Competence” by Amin Mefreh Amin Elkhayyat, under the supervision of Dr. Negmeldin Omer Alsheikh, Associate Professor , Curriculum and Instruction Department with the presence of the Supervisory Committee, a number of faculty members, and students.
The researcher, Maryam, explained that the study aimed at exploring the critical reading experiences of Emirati 11th grade students in public high schools. In the first phase of the study a total number of 11th grade students (n=645) participated by filling a questionnaire about their critical reading experiences While, during the second phase of the study featured an in-depth investigation of the teachers’ and students’ views about critical reading practices. The results of this study revealed that there is a consistency among students’ self-reporting, students’ views and classroom observations. The two phases of the study provided evidence that the students use basic critical reading skills and they do not use higher order critical reading skills. English curriculum used is not flexible and lack a fundamental English literature component and the curriculum assessment is based on teaching to the test. The study recommends a general reconceptualization of English curriculum contents, curriculum assessment, and teaching strategies with regard to critical reading.
Regarding to the second dissertation, the researcher, Amin Elkhayyat, indicated that his study aimed at investigating the effect of integrating multimedia mobile learning as a platform on promoting EFL writing performance, motivation and intercultural competence. Two mechanisms were implemented: (1) a writing pretest/posttest was used to assess students’ writing achievement, (2) an online retrospective questionnaire was administered to assess students’ writing motivation and their intercultural competence. The study was consistent with the real cases targeting a better understanding of the effects of WhatsApp as an m-learning platform on students’ writing performance, motivation and intercultural competence.
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