Reseach methods in teaching English language and learning

Introduction Immigrant students coming to United Kingdom schools do bring with them their own cultural background and knowledge. Their learning in their country of origin has provided them with their own culture, exemplified by their use of a different language and the propensity for ethnic group formation. However, once in UK, they are confronted with a changed situation, a new society and new social dynamics. There is a wealth of studies, in UK, US and Canada, which examine the scholastic underachievement of students from minority groups (Bradshaw amp. Gallup, 2008. Gratz, 2005. Dei, 1993). These studies reveal that there are many barriers to success for minority students and the issues involved are often quite complicated. Studies have highlighted the lack of black role models in schools, the labelling of students and their lack of encouragement from teachers, the effects of streaming and standardized testing, the poor communication between parents and schools, and the lack of an inclusive school environment and curriculum, as some of the important issues which affect black students (Bradshaw amp. Gallup, 2008. Gratz, 2005). However there is a lack of literature in the area of academic underachievement amongst Arabic students, there is a need for more exploratory studies in this area. Methodology In light of the small amount of literature in the area of academic underachievement amongst Arabic students in United Kingdom, there is a need for more exploratory studies in this area. Studies with a preconceived framework of the nature of the problem may miss finer processes at work within the relationship of immigrant students to their schools (Creswell, 2003). It is necessary to study the causes of academic underachievement with attention to the context in which it takes place and with a flexible methodology that allows for all variables to be taken into consideration. This qualitative study explores the adaptation experiences of Arabic students at one inner-city school in U.K, with the aim of shedding light on how students position themselves within the school and how they perceive their abilities. Initially, the researcher will conduct pilot study involving four students which would help in the evolution of the research questions. Instruments Used in the Study The specific instruments that I used to collect data, other than through participatory observations, were interviews and a questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to all the students participating in pilot study through their teachers, as a way to obtain general data about their background and feelings towards the school. The questionnaire contained ten questions, which were written in English on one side and Arabic on the other. The instructions were given to teachers that the questionnaire would only take students a couple of minutes to complete and that students should complete it in the language that they felt most comfortable. This would yield additional information about their language preference. Results The results yielded aggregate data concerning the country of origin of the students, their length of residency in U.K,