Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 14. Number 3 September 2023                           Pp.137-150

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Saudi Teachers’ Perceptions of Teaching English at the First Grade

 Sultan Altalhab
Curriculum and Instruction Department, College of Education
King Saud University, Saudi Arabia


Received:05/26/2023         Accepted:08/10/2023                 Published:09/24/2023


Since English was recently introduced into the grade 1 curriculum in Saudi primary schools in 2021, this questionnaire study examines the perceptions of 1766 Saudi English teachers regarding the introduction of English into this stage, the obstacles posed to its success, and suggestions as to how to ensure the new policy’s effectiveness. The data were collected three months prior to the introduction of English in the grade 1 curriculum using a large-scale questionnaire. The teachers expressed positive perceptions of the introduction of English teaching and learning at this level, and the majority reported that it will have a positive effect on the proficiency of Saudi students in the English language. The respondents reported on the potential challenges they may encounter when teaching English at grade 1, with the major obstacles including the large number of students in classes, the use of textbooks that contain too much information, and a lack of access to new learning technologies. They overwhelmingly expressed that providing teachers with modern technologies, enrolling grade 1 English teachers on specialized courses, and increasing the number of English classes per week, would all help ensure the effectiveness of the new policy.
Keywords: Grade 1, Primary, Saudi teachers’ perceptions, Teaching English

Cite as: Altalhab, S. (2023). Saudi Teachers’ Perceptions of Teaching English at the First Grade
Arab World English Journal, 14 (3) 137-150. DOI:


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Received: 05/26/2023
Accepted: 08/10/2023 
Published: 09/24/2023  

Sultan Altalhab is an Associate Professor at College of Education at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. He is interested in TESOL areas mainly vocabulary research and teacher education. He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate TESOL courses and supervises postgraduate research projects.