Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number 3.  September 2022                                        Pp. 41-53

Full paper PDF 

Difficulties in Academic Writing in English as a Second/Foreign Language from the
Perspective of Undergraduate Students in Higher Education Institutions in Oman

Arij Mustafa
Tourism and Management Studies Department
Oman Tourism College, Sultanate of Oman
Corresponding Author: Email:

Atif Noor Arbab
Tourism and Management Studies Department
Oman Tourism College, Sultanate of Oman

Alaa Ahmed El Sayed
Department of Foundation Programmes
Oman Tourism College, Sultanate of Oman


Received:03/13/2022                      Accepted: 07/28/2022                Published: 09/24/2022


The English language is the medium of instruction in Omani Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), and mastering writing in English has become a requirement for success. This study aims to investigate the challenges faced by the learners at the tertiary level when writing English from learners’ perspective and to determine what teaching approach students consider the most effective. A survey was conducted for the purpose of focusing on two main domains, the difficulties faced by them from their perspective, and the strategies they deem helpful. The results show that students’ main challenges are the limited vocabulary and range of grammatical structures, inability to comprehend reading texts, and difficulties in summarizing and paraphrasing.  Findings also show that the most helpful strategies, from students’ point of view, are feedback from the teacher, both specific and general, extensive reading about the topic, using a dictionary, examining writing models, and writing multiple drafts.
Keywords: Academic writing, difficulties, foreign/second language, Omani higher education, helpful strategies,
undergraduate students

Cite as:  Mustafa, A.,  Arbab, A.N., & El Sayed, A. A. (2022). Difficulties in Academic Writing in English as a Second/Foreign Language from the Perspective of Undergraduate Students in Higher Education Institutions in Oman . Arab World English Journal, 13 (3) 41-53.


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Received: 03/13/2022  
Accepted: 07/28/2022
Published: 09/24/2022 

Arij Mustafa is a senior lecturer at Oman Tourism College, Oman. She Holds an MA in Translation from Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. She has a substantial experience in teaching English in the tertiary level. Her research interests are in English language teaching and translation. 

Atif Noor Arbab is a Senior lecturer of English at Oman Tourism College. He has an MA in English Language and Literature from University of Peshawar. He has more than 18 years of experience in teaching ESP, ESL and EFL in Oman and Pakistan. He is interested both in qualitative and quantitative research approaches. 0

Alaa Ahmed El Sayed is a lecturer of English at Oman Tourism College. He has an MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from the University of Leicester. He has more than 25 years of experience in teaching English to EFL learners in Oman and Egypt. His research interests focus principally on the influence of L1 on the acquisition of the target language.