ACADEMIC SOCIALIZATION: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE EXPERIENCES OF THE EMIRATI AND SAUDI STUDENTS AT U.S. UNIVERSITIES

Open Access
Author:
Al Morshedi , Ghadah Hassan
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
November 11, 2011
Committee Members:
  • Jamie Myers, Dissertation Advisor
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • James F Nolan Jr., Committee Member
  • Jamie Myers, Committee Chair
  • Ladislaus M Semali, Committee Chair
  • Robert Clark, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Culture Shock
  • Gulf Region Students
  • Disciplinary Socialization
  • Language Socialization
  • Academic Socialization
Abstract:
The present study examines academic, cultural, discipline-related challenges Emirati and Saudi students face at U.S. universities and investigates Emirati and Saudi students’ coping strategies to face their challenges. Based on a sample of 219, a mixed methods approach was used to analyze responses from participants who responded to a 15 item Likert-type scale Gulf Region Students’ Questionnaire that had been posted online (Qualtrics). The results of the questionnaire instrument revealed that the majority of Emirati students and Saudi students indicated that their linguistics deficits “rarely” prevent them from classroom participation. Also, the survey shows that the majority of Emirati and Saudi students indicated that gender is not an issue when collaborating with other students. However, the interviews results indicated that the language challenges kept the Emirati and Saudi students silent and afraid to participate in the classroom. Also, female Emirati and Saudi students stated that they try to avoid interaction with male students in their classroom interaction. Writing is the most difficult aspect the Emirati and Saudi students’ face, so to overcome this difficulty they go to writing centers, take more writing courses and use dictionaries to improve their writing. Further analysis used in-depth interviews from six participants to expand the analysis of their lived experiences. Some categories are produced from the data, related to academic preparation and literacy; classroom environment; cultural adjustment and gender issues. In general, results show more similarities between Emirati and Saudi students because UAE and Saudi Arabia are global countries and have strong connection with U.S., are the wealthiest countries among the Gulf Region countries, have similar history of education system reform, and similar religion that has been impacted by “Sharieah” in Education and social life. The dissertation appendices contain details of the quantitative and qualitative research instruments used in the study.