AWEJ Volume.4 Number.3 2013                                                                     Pp.104 -123

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 Factors Impacting EFL Teaching: An Exploratory Study in the Saudi Arabian Context

Sayyed Rashid Shah
King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

M. Athar Hussain
King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Omar A. Nasseef
King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia



This paper explored factors which influenced EFL teaching in the Saudi context, and identified various teaching techniques employed by qualified teachers to handle those factors. The research utilised semi-structured interviews to elicit qualitative data from five purposefully chosen EFL teachers. The participants shared their experiences and ideas about factors that influenced the pedagogical process in a positive or a negative way. The findings of the study highlighted that EFL teaching is challenged by three major factors comprising social, cultural, and religious sensitivities; lack of learners’ motivation; and unfavourable institutional policies and procedures, thereof. However, with keen awareness of Saudi culture, thorough understanding of the learners’ needs, and professional competence, the unfavourable effects of these factors might be neutralized or minimised. The present study attempted to offer considerable insights to course designers, teacher trainers, policy makers, and prospective EFL teachers working in Saudi Arabia and raise the consciousness of TESOL community at large about the issues broached in its contents.

 Keywords: Teachers’ Self-efficacy; EFL teaching; Classroom challenges; Saudi EFL context


Mr. Sayyed Rashid Shah is a lecturer in English at King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. He earned a
master degree in TESOL from Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He is currently enrolled on EdD TESOL
programme at University of Exeter, UK. Mr Shah‟s research interests include language teacher
development, TESOL pedagogies, and EFL classroom teaching and learning.
Mr. M. Athar Hussain is a lecture in English at King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. He has master
degrees in English literature and ELT. He is currently working on his doctoral thesis at University of
Exeter, UK. Mr. Hussain‟s research interests include culture and language, L 2 motivation, TESOL
methodology, teacher learning and professional development, and professional excellence.
Dr. Omar A. Nasseef is an associate professor of MIS and Dean of English Language Institute at King
Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Newcastle University, UK. Dr.
Nasseef is also a certified trainer and visiting instructor in number of international organizations. His
interests are: MIS, E-Learning/Distance Learning/M-Learning, E-Syllabus designing, and Artificial