Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.8 Number.1 March, 2017                  Pp.339-354

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  Second Language Learning and the Clash of Civilizations 

Salwa Al harthi
College of Languages and Translation
Department of English Language and Translation
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


This researchinvestigates the relationship amongsecond language learning, identity, culture, and motivation in Saudi Arabia (SA). SA’s education system concentrates on teaching, while identity and social aspects have only been given little attention. The researcher seeks to redress this balance by exploring the impact of pupils’ negative views toward the linguistic communities and of themselves as Muslim pupils. It aims to investigate how negative views toward the English language speaking communities could affect or demotivate Arab Muslim female learners to learn the language. The researcher supports the arguments using a qualitative approach and data drawn from pupils’ focus group interviews and one-to-one teachers’ interviews. The current study involves 132 second-year pupils from a secondary public school in Taif city, in SA and three Saudi English language teachers.The findings indicate the impact of various social factors relevant to the Saudi identity and culture on pupils’ English as a second language (ESL) learning in the Saudi context. Participants’ beliefs and practices of ESL appear to be influenced by certain negative views towardthe English- speaking communities.Finally, the study recommends extending the setting of the sample for future study to include more than one city in order to compare cultural and social attributes that impact ESL, ascultures and identities vary from one area to another in SA.

Keywords: Beliefs, culture; identity, motivation, second language learning

 Cite as: Al harthi, S.(2017).Second Language Learning and the Clash of Civilizations.
Arab World English Journal, 8 (1).