Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 1 March 2023                                             Pp. 166-182

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Enhancing Academic Writing Vocabulary Use through Direct Corpus Consultation: Saudi
English Majors’ Perceptions and Experiences

Raniya Abdullah Alsehibany
College of Languages and translation
Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University
And Riyadh Female College of Applied Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Corresponding Author:

Safaa M. Abdelhalim
College of Languages and translation
Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Received:12/31/2022         Accepted:03/02/2023                 Published: 03/24/2023


Using corpora as a learning tool in Second Language writing has gained popularity recently.  The present study aimed to explore how Saudi EFL students perceive and engage with direct corpus consultation activities in academic writing as an effective method of overcoming their vocabulary errors. Hopefully, this study will provide insights into the issue of raising awareness among both EFL university students and writing teachers about the benefits of direct corpus consultation in academic writing, as well as highlighting the potential challenges students might face. Two specific questions were addressed in the study: How do Saudi EFL students perceive direct corpus consultation as a method for overcoming vocabulary errors in academic writing? What are the challenges that EFL students encounter when they use direct corpus consultation?  Based on convenience sampling, a total of 32 Saudi female students majoring in English participated in the study. The study employed a mixed-method approach to increase the credibility of the study results. The study data were collected from a structured questionnaire based on a 6-point Likert scale and semi-structured interviews. The corpus used was the Corpus of Contemporary American English. The findings of both the quantitative and qualitative analysis revealed that the participants were positive about using direct corpus consultation to improve vocabulary and academic writing. In addition, some challenges associated with using direct corpus consultation were outlined in the study findings. The study concluded with several recommendations for future research and pedagogical implications.
Keywords: data-driven learning, direct corpus consultation, mixed-methods, Saudi English majors,
academic writing, vocabulary errors, students’ perceptions

Cite as: Alsehibany, R. A., & Abdelhalim, S. M.  (2023). Enhancing Academic Writing Vocabulary Use through Direct Corpus Consultation: Saudi English Majors’ Perceptions and Experiences. Arab World English Journal, 14 (1) 166-182.


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Received: 12/31/2022
Accepted: 03/02/2023 
Published: 03/24/2023  

Raniya Abdullah Alsehibany is a lecturer at Riyadh Female College of Applied Technology. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature , a master’s degree in Linguistics and a PhD degree in Applied Linguistica from Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. Her research interest includes Corpus linguistics Academic writing development and Vocabulary learning. ORCID:

 Dr. Safaa M. Abdelhalim– Professor of applied linguistics/ TESOL, College of Languages and Translation, Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University, and an international certified teacher trainer. Her areas of expertise include TESOL, second language acquisition and assessment, computer-assisted language learning, teaching effectiveness and teacher education. She is an author of 21 research articles and three books in the field of applied linguistics. Her research interests lie in the areas of, L2 writing and reading, language assessment, use of corpus linguistics in language learning and teaching, and teacher cognition. ORCID: