Arab English language teaching candidates climbing the IELTS mountain: A qualitatively driven hermeneutic phenomenology study

Ali Al-Issa, Ali H. Al-Bulushi, Rima Al-Zadjali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


As a high-stakes international language proficiency benchmark, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requires different and special Language Learning Strategies (LLS), which pose numerous challenges to its takers. Some Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) majoring in English Language Teaching (ELT), have therefore, failed to achieve an overall score of Band 6 on the IELTS as a language proficiency requirement and a condition mandated by the Ministry of Education for selecting English language teachers among. This qualitatively driven hermeneutic phenomenology study, hence, discusses this issue from an ideological perspective. The study triangulates data from semi-structured interviews made with six fourth-year ELT Student Teachers (STs) at SQU and the pertinent literature. The critical discussion revealed various ideologies about the powerful impact of the IELTS on the STs’ English language development. The findings have important implications for the practices of the teachers in the Omani ELT school system and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)848-863
Number of pages16
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 8 2016



  • English language teaching
  • Hermeneutic phenomenology
  • Ideologies
  • Language learning strategies
  • Student teachers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Cultural Studies

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