Teaching Gifted English Language Learners in Saudi Arabia Paper Presentation
Author(s): Badriah Alkhannani (University of Glasgow, UK), Margaret Sutherland (University of Glasgow, UK), Niamh Stack (University of Glasgow, UK)
Currently in Saudi Arabia, English language is playing an important role; it is used in technological education, medicine, and in numerous other areas as a basic language of communicating knowledge. In addition, many Saudi students have recognised that English is no longer just a language needed to pass an examination, but that it is an important subject for higher education, business and international communication. The teaching of English as a foreign language (EFL) has therefore gained significance and consequently there is substantial literature relating to teaching EFL. However, while there is also a significant body of literature relating to the teaching of gifted learners, to date there is a paucity of literature that has synthesised the two sets of findings in a way that supports teachers of EFL when they have gifted English language learners in their regular class. This paper will present initial findings from a review of the literature. The main themes arising from the review of literature include: 1) The concept of gifted English language learners. 2) Teachers` attitude towards gifted English language learners. 3) Teachers` support towards gifted English language learners. 4) Teachers` understanding of gifted English language learners. Having highlighted these themes the paper will then conclude by identifying the emerging questions relevant to the development of gifted education research, policy and practice in this curricular area in the Saudi Arabian context.