Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number2.  June 2022                                            Pp.61-72

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An Exploration of Voice in the Writing of Arab Learners of English as a Second Language

Asmaa Alshehri
Department of English, College of Sciences & Arts
University of Bisha, Alnamas, Saudi Arabia,
Corresponding Author:

Muhammad Alasmari
 Department of English, College of Sciences & Arts
University of Bisha, Alnamas, Saudi Arabia

Fawaz Qasem
Department of English, College of Sciences & Arts
University of Bisha, Alnamas, Saudi Arabia

Rashad Ahmed
Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville USA.


Received: 3/19/2022                       Accepted:  4/27/2022                         Published: 6/24/2022


Developing a writer’s voicea challenging task for second-language writers who are new not only to the culture but also to the values associated with the target language. This study aims at exploring the writer’s voice of Arabic-speaking learners who study English as a Second Language. The study mainly discusses the following question: Do L2 learners who learn to write in both first and second language have an individual, collective, or depersonalized voice?  Investigating the impact of culture and society on language and identity will facilitate the discovery of voice in second language writing. Methodologically, the study employs a qualitative research design in which data are collected via a discourse analysis of written texts. The analysis of the data adopted the holistic and dynamic perspective (Zhang & Zhan, 2020) by examining the various factors affecting Arabic-speaking learners of ESL including cultural factors, linguistic resources, and educational/academic pedagogy. Moreover, the study followed the analysis of the writer’s voice proposed by Lehman (2018) and used further Lehman and Anderson’s study of voice in academic writing (Lehman & Anderson, 2021). Lehman proposed three main topics to classify the writer’s voice: (a) individual, (b) collective, and (c) depersonalized. The findings of this research showed that approximately 55.96% of the voice of Arab learners of ESL fell in the individual category, 29.97% fell in the collective category, and 14.07% fell in the depersonalized category.
Keywords: Arab learners, English as Second Language, identity, writing voice

Cite as:  Alshehri, A., Alasmari, M., Qasem, F., & Ahmed, R.  (2022). An Exploration of Voice in the Writing of
Arab Learners of English as a Second Language. Arab World English Journal, 13 (2) 61-72.


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Received: 3/19/2022    
Accepted: 4/27/2022 
Published: 6/24/2022   

Dr. Asma Alsheheri is presently working as an Assistant Professor of literature at the Department of English,
College of Science and Arts, University of Bisha. ORCID: https://orcid:0000-0002-7531-5600

Dr. Muhammad Alasmari is an assistant professor at English department, University of Bisha, Saudi Arabia. He got his PhD in Applied Linguistics from University of Memphis, USA. He is currently working as the dean of College of Science and Arts, Al-Namas Branch. His research interests and experiences revolve around language policy and planning, discourse analysis and sociolinguistic. ORCID https://orcid:0000-0003-4749-5525

Fawaz Ali Ahmed Qasem is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Department of English, College of Science and Arts, University of Bisha. His research interests include Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and Acquisition of First and Second language, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics, Corpus Linguistics, and ESP.

Dr. Rashad Ahmed is an applied linguist with a multidisciplinary background in TESOL and Composition Studies. He has a wide range of research interests that involve Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), Language Assessment, Digital Literacy, TESOL Methods, Sociolinguistics, and First-Year Composition. Among his recent publications are Enhancements and Limitations to ICT-Based Informal Language Learning: Emerging Research and Opportunities and Peer Review in Academic Writing: Different Perspectives from Instructors and Students. ORCID ID: