Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number1 March 2021 Pp. 339- 356
Investigating Saudi EFL Students’ Knowledge and Beliefs Related to English Reading
Department of Languages and Translation
Faculty of Education and Arts
Northern Border University, Arar, KSA
Received: 10/17/2020 Accepted: 2/20/2021 Published: 3/24/2021
Reading is an essential strategic and a life-long skill required for success in learning. The current study explores the knowledge and beliefs of Saudi students of English as a foreign language (EFL) about English reading comprehension strategies. It also intends to determine if there is a significant correlation between the students’ foundational knowledge of English reading comprehension strategies and their beliefs about reading comprehension strategies. The study employed a quantitative method. The data were collected using a forty-item survey questionnaire. The respondents were 203 Saudi EFL students enrolled in Preparatory Year Program at Northern Border University in Saudi Arabia. The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics to determine frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, and a test of non-parametric correlation (Spearman’s rho correlation coefficient) was run to determine the relationship between the variables. The overall findings of the study revealed that the students have a good foundational knowledge of pre-reading, while-reading, and post-reading reading strategies. The correlational analysis showed a medium correlation between students’ foundational knowledge of reading strategies and their beliefs about reading strategies. In conclusion, the study suggests some implications for teaching English reading to EFL students.
Keywords: Extensive reading, foundational knowledge, foreign language learning, intensive
reading, reading comprehension, reading strategies, Saudi EFL students, students’ beliefs about
Cite as: Saud Alenezi, S. (2021). Investigating Saudi EFL Students’ Knowledge and Beliefs Related to English Reading Comprehension.
Arab World English Journal, 12 (1) 339- 356.
Ahmadian, M., & Pasand, P. G. (2017). EFL learners’ use of online metacognitive reading
strategies and its relation to their self-efficacy in reading. The reading matrix: an international online journal, 17(2), 117-132.
Al-Mahrooqi, R., & Denman, C. (2016). Establishing a reading culture in Arabic and English in
Oman. Arab World English Journal (AWEJ), 7(1), 5-17. DOI: 10.24093/awej/vol7no1.1
Al-Qahtani, A. (2016). Why Do Saudi EFL readers exhibit poor reading abilities? English Language and Literature Studies, 6(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.5539/ells.v6n1p1
Al-Jahwari, Y., & Al-Humaidi, S. (2015). Prior knowledge in EFL reading comprehension: Omani teachers’ perspectives & classroom strategies. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature, 4(1), 169-181.
Alshumaimeri, Y. (2017). The effects of reading method on the comprehension performance of
Saudi EFL students. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 4(1), 185-195
Alenizi, M. A. K. (2019) Understanding of reading among teachers and learners: A descriptive study of pre-university English language teaching /learning in Saudi Arabia. Arab World English Journal, 10(2)293-306. https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol10no2.23
Al Asmari, A., & Javid, C. Z. (2018). Role of content schema in reading comprehension among
Saudi EFL students: EFL teachers’ perspective and use of appropriate classroom strategies. International Journal of English Linguistics, 8(4), 96-105. DOI: 10.5539/ijel.v8n4p96
Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C., Irvine, C. K. S., & Walker, D. (2018). Introduction to research in
education. Boston, USA, Cengage Learning.
Bakhshalinezhad, L., Nikou, F. R., & Bonyadi, A. (2015). Using the think-aloud technique for
determining different reading strategies used by Iranian EFL learners. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 6(3), 15-22.
Chomsky, N. (1986). Knowledge of language: Its nature, origin, and use. California, USA, Greenwood Publishing Group.
Cohen. J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). New York:
Crossley, S. A., Kyle, K., & McNamara, D. S. (2016). The tool for the automatic analysis of text
cohesion (TAACO): Automatic assessment of local, global, and text cohesion. Behavior research methods, 48(4), 1227-1237.
Creswell, J.W., & Plano, C. (2012). Designing and conducting mixed method research, (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA SAGE.
Ehri, L. (1991). Development of the ability to read words. In R. Barr, M. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, & P. Pearson (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (Vol. II, pp. 383-417). London: Longman.
Fitrisia, D., Tan, K. E., & Yusuf, Y. Q. (2015). Investigating metacognitive awareness of reading
strategies to strengthen students’ performance in reading comprehension. Asia Pacific Journal of Educators and Education, 30, 15-30.
Haryanto, E., Mukminin, A., Habibi, A., Sulistiyo, U., & Peni, M. S. (2016). English reading
Comprehension Strategies Employed by the students of first-year English education program. In Ninth International Conference on Applied Linguistics (CONAPLIN 9). Atlantis Press. https://doi.org/10.2991/conaplin-16.2017.19
Han, S. Y., & Choi, Y. H. (2018). Post-reading question-generation activities and
cooperative learning in EFL reading. English Teaching, 73(2), 37-58. DOI: 10.15858/engtea.73.2.201806.37
Habók, A., & Magyar, A. (2018). Validation of a self-regulated foreign language learning strategy questionnaire through multidimensional modelling. Frontiers in psychology, 9. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01388
Horiba, Y., & Fukaya, K. (2015). Reading and learning from L2 text: Effects of reading goal, topic familiarity, and language proficiency. Reading in a Foreign Language, 27(1), 22-46.
Hudson, T. (2007). Teaching second language reading. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Krashen, S., & Brown, C.L. (2007). What is academic language proficiency? STETS Language
and Communication Review, 6(1), 1-4. DOI: 10.5054/tj.2011.274624
Kim, H. (2016). The relationships between Korean university students’ reading attitude, reading
strategy use, and reading proficiency. Reading Psychology, 37(8), 1162-1195. https://doi.org/10.1080/02702711.2016.1193581
Mitchell, B., & Alfuraih, A. (2017). English language teaching in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
Past, present and beyond. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 8(2), 317-317. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2017.v8n2p317
Nezami, S. (2012). A critical study of comprehension strategies and general problems in reading
skill faced by Arab EFL learners with special reference to Najran University in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Social Sciences and Education, 2(3), 306-316.
Piaget, J. (1976). Piaget’s theory. In Inhelder B., Chipman H.H., Zwingmann C. (eds). Piaget and his school (pp. 11-23). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Okasha, M. A. (2020). Using strategic reading techniques for Improving EFL reading
skills. Arab World English Journal, 11(2), 311-322. DOI: 10.24093/awej/vol11no2.22
Rajab, H., & Al-Sadi, A. (2015). An empirical study of reading habits and interests of Saudi
University EFL learners. International Journal of Linguistics, 7(2), 1-17. DOI: 10.5296/ijl.v7i2.7034
Shehzad, M. W., Anwar Lashari, T., Anwar Lashari, S., & Hasan, M. K. (2020). The interplay of
self-efficacy sources and reading self-efficacy beliefs in metacognitive reading strategies. International Journal of Instruction, 13(4), 523-544. nal of Instruction, 13(4), 523-544. DOI: 10.29333/iji.2020.13433a
Shoebottom, P. (2015). The importance of reading. Retrieved from http://esl.fis.edu/parents/
Taladngoen, U., Palawatwichai, N., Estaban, R. H., & Phuphawan, N. (2020). A study of factors
affecting EFL tertiary students’ reading comprehension ability. Rangsit Journal of Educational Studies, 7(1), 12-21.
Torres, D. B. (2017). Effectiveness and students’ perception of the use of pre-reading strategies
and summaries: A case study of adult EFL Students in a reading comprehension Course. Revista de Lenguas Modernas, (27), 285-310.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Press.
Wang, Q. (2017). English reading instruction under the background of core competencies:
Problems, principles, goals and pathways. English Language Learning, 2, 19–23.