Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number4   December 2021                              Pp.317-339

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A Need for a Substantive Change in Tertiary EFL Education

Saeed Jameel Aburizaizah
The English Language Institute
King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Received: 8/14/2021               Accepted; 10/29/2021            Published: 12/15/2021

As Saudi Arabia is increasing its international influence and educational collaboration at a global scale, promoting the importance of English language teaching and learning in basic and tertiary education has been more prioritized in the country. Diverse programs are offered in universities, incorporating foundation year programs and curricula, which have become a must for anyone passionate about his/her future, and a strategic necessity for any university that aims at preparing its graduates for their career life. This paper investigates the birth of one of the newest approaches in EFL curriculum design that tries to re-launch the link between labor markets and demands of academic requirements, global society, on the one hand, and the learners’ needs on the other hand, and questions the opinions of foundation year students who completed one academic year of the newly launched curriculum in an English Language Institute at a Saudi public university, data collection employed a large-scale survey (n = 2000) that purposefully explores the students’ opinion on the new curriculum. Results obtained from 371 respondents reveal students’ satisfaction toward a clear improvement in their language skills, specifically presentation, vocabulary, and writing, and joint agreement that the course was autonomy supportive. It was also significant that the course increased the students’ intrinsic motivation and appreciation of the challenges and inspiration this curriculum had given to them. This paper is an extended piece of knowledge for further research. It provides an illustration of students’ deep thoughts on their target language needs for policymakers and curriculum designers to consider.
Keywords: autonomy, curriculum, eclectic, tertiary EFL, outcomes, survey, syllabus

Cite as: Aburizaizah, S. J. (2021). A Need for a Substantive Change in Tertiary EFL Education.
Arab World English Journal, 12 (4) 317-339.


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Saeed Jameel Aburizaizah is a full time Associate Professor in Education and Applied Linguistics at King Abdulaziz University (KAU) with more than ten years of experience. Saeed holds a Master of Education in TESOL from the University of Exeter and Ph.D. in Education & Applied linguistics from Newcastle University – UK. Saeed currently works as a Consultant to Vice-President for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research and Vice-President for Development at KAU. ORCID: