Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number 2.  June 2021                                                   Pp. 142-157

 Full Paper PDF

Language Difficulties Faced by Saudi Diploma Students at King Abdulaziz University:
A Case Study

Amal Ibrahim Shousha
English Language Institute, King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 

Received: 3/6/2021                  Accepted: 5/27/2021              Published:6/24/2021  


This study aimed to explore the language difficulties faced by English diploma students and provide solutions to overcome them. The data collected in the form of a questionnaire administered to 39 female students were compared in percentages for closed – ended questions and thematically for open-ended ones. Results showed that diploma students struggled with listening, speaking and reading’s higher cognitive skills such as guessing the meaning from context and reading between the lines. In addition, tenses, question formations, and reported speech were the most difficult grammatical points for them. These challenges were attributed to the institutional, dispositional, situational, academic, and pedagogical barriers faced by students as adult learners resulting mainly from the students’ study gaps and their lack of contact with the English language. Solutions included the use of more varied activities and up -to -date interesting reading passages, more practice of listening and speaking inside and outside classrooms, and having a placement test before joining the diploma program.
Keywords: academic challenges, adult learning, diploma students, learning theories, pedagogical challenges, Saudi Arabia

Cite as:  Shousha, A I. (2021). Language Difficulties Faced by Saudi Diploma Students at King Abdulaziz University:
A Case Study.  Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 142-157.


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Received: 3/6/2021  
Accepted: 5/27/2021   
Published: 6/24/2021  

Dr. Amal Ibrahim Shousha is an English language instructor at the English Language Institute, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She has 30 years of teaching experience at university level both in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. She holds a PhD and an MA in Applied Linguistics. She is a Cambridge certified teacher trainer. Her current research interests include trends in education, teaching strategies and methodologies.