Improving English as a foreign language proficiency in elementary schools: Exploring students’ and parents’ perceptions

Mona Kamal Ibrahim, Lucia Bombieri, Liudmila Petrovna Varenina

Abstract


Studying English at elementary school plays a big role in the educational process. That is why it is necessary to pay due attention to this subject. Based on the goals set for the collection of information it was decided to conduct an empirical study, which was to survey schoolchildren and their parents’ (legal representatives) perceptions towards studying English as a foreign language (EFL). Surveys were conducted among 150 primary students and 90 parents in Moscow, Russia and Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. The first survey was conducted to determine the students’ attitude towards a foreign language. According to the results of both surveys, one of the main problems is lack of motivation from the part of schoolchildren, and incomplete awareness of the importance of the foreign language. In addition, one more problem may be the study overload and unengaging content delivery. Several suggestions were proposed: increasing interest in foreign languages, dosing the load, using of extracurricular activities to improve academic performance and using of additional materials.


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