Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of  2nd  MEC TESOL Conference   2020                   Pp.343- 359

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An Insight into Female EFL Learners’ Difficulties and Needs in Writing: The Case of
Secondary High Schools in Saudi Arabia


   Fatima Yousef  Alzahrani(correspondent author)
The English Language Institute
King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Eatedal Mohammed Alghamdi
The English Language Institute
King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Maysa Mohammad Sadiq Qutob
The English Language Institute
King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia




Curriculum development has been carried out to improve English as a Foreign Language (EFL) courses in Saudi public schools; however, EFL learners still have difficulties in writing. This study examines the difficulties that Saudi female EFL learners face in writing in secondary high schools. The study also aims to identify 12th grade female EFL learners’ needs in improving their writing skills. The research findings might help curriculum designers and EFL teachers to make improvements to a curriculum that meet EFL learners’ needs. The participants were 216 female EFL learners studying in public schools in Jeddah. A questionnaire including closed items on a Likert scale and one open-ended question were used to collect data, which were then analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The results illustrate that female EFL learners’ main difficulties in EFL writing are mechanics, use of proper vocabulary, and organization of texts. Additionally, female learners expressed their needs and suggestions for improving their writing skills which are related to the specific difficulties they face. Accordingly, the researchers suggest establishing a well-designed writing program which provides learners with sufficient training in writing skills by increasing the number of hours given to writing.
Keywords: curriculum design, difficulties, high school, needs analysis, Saudi female EFL learners, writing skills

Cite as:  Alzahrani, F.Y., Alghamdi, E. M., & Qutob, M. M. S. (2020).  An Insight into Female EFL Learners’ Difficulties and Needs in Writing: The Case of Secondary High Schools in Saudi Arabia.  Arab World English Journal(AWEJ). Proceedings of 2nd MEC TESOLConference 2020: 343- 359.


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Fatima Yousef Alzahrani has a Bachelor degree in English language from King Abdulaziz
University, Jeddah. She has an MA in TESOL from the English Language Institute at King
Abdulaziz University.

Eatedal Mohammed Alghamdi has BA in English literature. She has been teaching English to
secondary students since 2001 and the last two years she was nominated to teach the gifted students. She is also a TESOL MA student in the English Language Institute at King Abdulaziz
University in Jeddah, KSA.

Maysa Mohammad Sadiq Qutob has a Bachelor degree in English language from King
Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, KSA and earned an MA in TESOL from the same university. She
has 25 years of experience in the field of education as she has worked as an English teacher for all
grades and an English HOD for high school at Albayan Model School, Jeddah. She is interested
in research especially, in the field of TESOL as she has already published four research since 2018.
She is looking forward to having collaboration with experts around the world in the same field.