Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number2 June 2021                   Pp.3-21

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Investigating Competency‐Based Learning Implementation at the Northern Border University (NBU): A Descriptive Analytical Study 

  Osama H. S. Hassanein
Faculty of Education & Arts, Curriculum & Instruction Department
Northern Border University (NBU), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Received: 1/14/2021               Accepted:4/6/2021                 Published: 6/24/2021

Competency-Based Learning implementation has become a necessity at the Northern Border University (NBU), the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). However, there are still a lot of implementation challenges that need to be faced. In an attempt to overcome some of these challenges, this study conducted to identify the awareness level of competency-based learning among EFL faculty and to assess the extent to which faculty teaching practices, as well as EFL course descriptions, are supportive to competency-based learning at the NBU? The descriptive-analytical method was used in this study. The study sample included all faculty members (both male & female) teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at the NBU during the academic year 2020–2021. To achieve the objectives of this study, a self-report questionnaire was used to elicit information about NBU faculty awareness level of competency-based learning. The questionnaire was also used to assess faculty views regarding their teaching practices and regarding EFL course descriptions used. Descriptive statistics were used in the present study. Results showed that overall awareness level of competency-based learning among NBU faculty is medium. Results also showed that the teaching practices of EFL faculty at the NBU, concerning all elements of competency-based learning are generally low and do not support competency-based learning. Moreover, results showed that course descriptions used at the NBU do not support competency-based learning. In light of these results, educational implications and some recommendations for raising faculty awareness of competency-based learning and for competency-based course design were discussed.
Keywords: Competency, competency‐based learning, competency‐based curriculum, Northern Border University

Cite as:  Hassanein, O. H. S.  (2021). Investigating Competency‐Based Learning Implementation at the Northern Border University (NBU): A Descriptive Analytical Study.
Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 3-21.


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Received: 1/14/2021 
Accepted: 4/6/2021  
Published: 6/24/2021   

Prof. Osama H. S. Hassanein is a professor of applied linguistics and foreign language pedagogy in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education & Arts, Northern Border University, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Also, he works as the consultant to the rector of the Northern Borders University. His research focuses on developing foreign language skills, pragmatics, psycholinguistics (motivation), EFL instructional design and competency-based learning. ORCID ID: