Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) 2nd Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges January 2022        Pp.135-154

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Investigating Saudi Female Students’ Familiarity of Word-Formation Processes Related to
COVID-19 Pandemic Terminology

Salma Musleh Alqahtani
Faculty of Languages and Translation
King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia


Received:11/5l2021                Accepted:12/8/2021                Published: 1//24/2022


With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, new words appeared in English. EFL learners need to learn the new words. Learners depend on many strategies to help them learn new terms. Investigating this topic is significant because it will contribute to the knowledge of teaching and learning new words that appeared rapidly and suddenly. This study aims to investigate the acquisition of word-formation processes related to COVID-19 terms. The research seeks to answer two questions: (1) Are Saudi female EFL learners familiar with English word-formation processes? (2) Do word-formation processes aid Saudi female EFL students in learning COVID-19 pandemic terms? The study used a quantitative method. The data was collected from 71 Saudi female students via a multiple-choice electronic questionnaire. The results revealed that the percentages of incorrect responses were higher than the percentages of correct ones, thus suggesting that the students were not familiar with word-formation processes. The findings showed that they had similar results in words formed via compounding and blending, indicating they failed to distinguish between the two processes. The findings show that the Saudi female students did not prefer to use a word-formation process over the other. Further, results showed that even though some of the common COVID-19 terms frequently were used on a daily basis, the students failed to predict and use the correct word-formation processes for those terms. The findings as a whole reveal that Saudi learners had difficulty in learning word-formation processes deriving COVID-19 terms. The study proposes some recommendations for further research.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic terminology, EFL learners, Saudi female students’ familiarity, vocabulary learning,
word-formation process

Cite as: Alqahtani, S. M.  (2022). Investigating Saudi Female Students’ Familiarity of Word-Formation Processes Related to COVID-19 Pandemic Terminology.  Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) 2nd Special Issue on Covid 19 Challenges (2) 135-154.


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Received: 11/5l2021
Accepted: 12/8/2021
Published: 1//24/2022

Dr. Salma Musleh Alqahtani is an assistant professor of linguistics in the Department of English Language, Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia. Her fields of interest are linguistics, applied linguistics, Saudi Arabic morphology and syntax, language learning and teaching, and First and Second language acquisition.