Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 15. Number 1, March 2024                                             Pp.17-29

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Effects of Motivation, Proficiency, and Gender on Saudi EFL Learners’ Utilization of Language
Learning Strategies

 Noha Almansour
Department of English Language and Literature, College of Languages and Translation,
Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Corresponding Author:

Maram Almaneea
Department of English Language and Literature, College of Languages and Translation,
Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Received:11/28/2023         Accepted:02/21/2024                 Published: 03/20/2024

This study aims to investigate the use of language learning strategies among English as a foreign language university students and examine the effect of motivation, proficiency, and gender on learners’ use of these strategies. The significance of the study lies in its contribution to the field of second language learning and its potential to inform language educators, teachers, and curriculum developers about the strategies learners employ to enhance their learning experience. The study addressed two questions: a) what language learning strategies do Saudi EFL learners utilize most frequently in learning English? b) what is the impact of learners’ gender, motivation, and proficiency on their use of language learning strategies? The sample consists of 395 Saudi EFL students selected through purposive sampling. The study utilized a self-reported questionnaire to assess learners’ motivation and language learning strategies. The results revealed that EFL learners predominately utilized metacognitive and cognitive strategies, whereas affective strategies were the least frequently employed. The study demonstrated that motivation had the most significant effect on learners’ utilization of all strategies, with statistically significant differences observed across the different motivation groups. Furthermore, language proficiency had a notable impact on learners’ use of metacognitive, cognitive, and compensation strategies. However, there were no significant differences in the utilization of LLSs among male and female learners. The study has several pedagogical implications that can inform language educators, teachers, and learners in EFL settings.
Keywords: gender, motivation, language learning strategies, proficiency, Saudi EFL learners

Cite as: Almansour, N., & Almaneea, M. (2024). Effects of Motivation, Proficiency, and Gender on Saudi EFL Learners’ Utilization of Language Learning Strategies.  Arab World English Journal, 15(1):  17-29.


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Received: 11/28/2023
Accepted: 02/21/2024  
Published: 03/20/2024

Dr. Noha Almansour is an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics. She has been teaching different courses in linguistics and language skills. She is interested in second/foreign language teaching and learning, pragmatic development, e-learning, and teacher cognition.

Dr. Maram Almaneea is an Assistant Professor at the College of Languages and Translation. She received her PhD in Applied Linguistics, and her research interests include motivational studies and bilingualism in early childhood education. Dr. Almaneea has presented many workshops for university students concentrating on voluntary work and required skills for language learners.