Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number1.  March 2022                                           Pp.129-144

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Investigating the Low English Proficiency of Saudi EFL Learners 

Hammad Ali Alshammari
English Department, College of Arts, Jouf University
Sakaka City, Kingdome of Saudi Arabia


Received: 10/7/2021                     Accepted:   3/4/2022                     Published: 3/24/2022


Saudi students studying English as a foreign language often do poorly in their English courses, and despite a growing number of studies on this issue the root causes have remained a mystery. To gain a more comprehensive perspective, this study investigated the underlying reasons for Saudi EFL learners performing poorly in English by including all major stakeholders. This study attempts to find out the potential underlying reasons for the low performance of Saudi EFL learners. The researcher conducted qualitative interviews with two educational consultants, six university teachers, six graduate students, and six high school teachers. In addition, quantitative data came from high school students via a questionnaire addressed to 100 participants. The data revealed a shared chain of factors related to objectives, learners, teachers, curricula, assessment, and practicality. The findings suggested a gap between the theories consultants used to set class objectives and actual practice. This gap stemmed from consultants not consulting with or directly evaluating people in the field, such as educators, students, or university staff. The study recommends researchers get an overview of Saudi English learners at the macro level rather than focusing solely on their performance in one language skill. That should produce more valid, reliable, and practical suggestions to improve Saudi EFL learners’ performance.
Keywords: English as a oreign anguage, English anguage hallenges

Cite as: Alshammari, H. A.  (2022). Investigating the Low English Proficiency of Saudi EFL Learners
Arab World English Journal, 13 (1) 129-144.


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Received: 10/7/2021  
Accepted: 3/4/2022 
Published: 3/24/2022   

Dr. Hammad Ali Alshammari is an assistant professor in Applied Linguistics, English Department, Jouf University. His research interests include second language acquisition, second language assessment and others.