Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Research Student: Mohammed Sloum Rashid Al-Ghafri

Photo of Mohammed Sloum Rashid Al-Ghafri

Exploring the factors that influence students' participations in English classroom at college of Applied Sciences in Oman

Submission Date: March 2016

Some teachers judge their successful teaching and students’ comprehension by their students’ participation in the classroom. Researchers try to find what makes students participate in the classroom. In my research, I try to explore the factors that influence students’ participation. I used three research methods: classroom observation, interviews and students diaries.

I believe that teachers, students and classroom climate play important roles in students’ participation in the classroom.  All those three elements are integrated and influence the way students participate un the classroom. Moreover, each one of those factors underpins a range of explicit and implicit effects to the process of classroom interaction and students participation.


I came from Sultanate of Oman which is one of the Middle-East countries. I started my career as a primary teacher in Oman in 1989. At that time, I hold a teaching diploma. I enjoyed teaching English and I loved English language. So I decided to continue my education. I obtained my BA from Sultan Qaboos University in 1994 and continued teaching in High school. Proceeding from there, I became an English inspector in Oman where I had to help teachers in their teaching. I also conducted some workshops for teachers in teaching methods and lesson preparation.

In 2001, I completed my MA from Leeds University. It was a very good experience because I developed my knowledge in teaching and supervision. I think this has motivated me to come to Leeds to do my PhD in Education in the year 2011. Also, Leeds has a very good reputation in education and research. Leeds and Ministry of Education in Oman had a joint BA TESOL program. Around 1000 Omani teachers who hold teaching Diploma benefited from this project.  They completed their BA in Leeds. More details of this project can be found in Leeds University website.

Prior to my start of my PhD In 2011, I worked as an Assistant Dean for academic support at the college of Applied Sciences in Oman. I enjoyed my job because it gave me the opportunity to help students and teachers by providing them with good facilities so that they can learn and teach in good environment

What motivated me to undertake PhD study?

PhD was one of my dreams. I think self-development and self-esteem were one of the personal characters that I always have. Reflecting on the general human resources in Oman, getting PhD was a must for me so that I can continue my job in a leading position in the ministry. Besides, learning the research skills especially critical thinking and being open to different views are essential for any individual who thinks of improving his personality as well as his institution. 

What makes me passionate about my subject?

Students’ interaction and participation has always been one of the areas that attract me. I always look at my students’ poor interaction in the class and wondered why they cannot participate and contribute in the class. Moreover, I attend some sessions on classroom interaction and learned that there are many reasons why or why not students participate in the class. I became more passionate about the influence of culture and classroom climate. These two concepts seem to be one of the factors that will be important in my research.

What are my plans once I have completed my PhD?

I believe I will continue teaching English at university level but I plan to utilize my knowledge in developing more workshops to teachers to better understand what constitutes good lesson so that they pay attention to students culture and classroom climate.

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