Ismail, Sadiq Abdulwahed Ahmed*
United Arab Emirates University, UAE (Iyad333@hotmail.com)
Shaban, Mohamad Sadeg
United Arab Emirates University, UAE (MShaban@uaeu.ac.ae)
The medium of instruction issue has continuously been discussed in relation to standards of education. It has been for a long time a controversial issue and sometimes a complicated one in many countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The main objective of this study was to investigate prospective teachers’ views about the use of English as the medium of instruction in KG classes. Sixty-two students in the Early Childhood Program in the College of Education at the UAE University participated in the study and only 21 students volunteered to take part in the focus-group interviews. A questionnaire and a focus group interview were used as the two main tools for collecting data. The overall results demonstrate prospective teachers’ positive views about English language and its use as the medium of instruction in children’s classes. Major results highlight the importance of using English in KG classes for developing children’s communication skills and assisting them to gain more confidence at subsequent stages of their education. Another important result demonstrates the role of English in helping children to develop intellectually, socially and linguistically. In order to guide future research in this area, recommendations were discussed and recorded toward the end of the article.
Keywords: English language; instruction; medium; perceptions; early childhood