Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of  2nd  MEC TESOL Conference  2020               Pp.329-342

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Significance of Mother Tongue influence on Saudi Female EFL Learners: a Critical
Discourse Analysis

Shadma Iffat Rahmatullah
Department of English, Faculty of Language and Translation
College of Science and Arts, Khamis Mushait
King Khalid University, Abha, KSA




The speculation, that the Saudi EFL learners with less exposure to the target language exhibit more mother tongue influence on their second language speaking, is apparent. The phonetic similarity of two languages helps EFL learners to grasp the lexical accent with the accurate articulation of the words from the second language. However, the difference in sound patterns in various languages prompts the learners to mispronounce the words more frequently. This critical study endeavors to evaluate the influential aspects of the mother tongue on the EFL learners’ second language (L2) discourse. This research is carried out through a qualitative method for critical discourse analysis to answer the main question; what significant errors students make that reflect their mother tongue influence? For a comparative study, the participants are the Saudi undergraduates from multidimensional sections of female colleges in King Khalid University and the non-native English-speaking teachers from five different nations, who also manifest the influence of their mother tongue on English language speaking. Their recorded presentations and conversations were analyzed to identify the interference of their mother tongue on their English language performance. The language patterns of both students and the teachers eventually affect their English language efficiency. The significant outcome of this study reveals the possibility of the pros and cons of the mother tongue on L2 learning. The data also revealed that the inability of faculty members to produce the flawless accent of the English language has a significant effect on Saudi learners’ oral performance.
Keywords: Discourse analysis, interlingual errors, mother tongue influence, non-native teachers, Saudi EFL learners

Cite as:  Rahmatullah, S. I. (2020). Significance of Mother Tongue influence on Saudi Female EFL Learners: a Critical Discourse Analysis.
Arab World English Journal(AWEJ). Proceedings of 2nd MEC TESOLConference 2020:329-342.


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Dr. Shadma Iffat Rahmatullah is an assistant professor at King Khalid University, Abha, KSA.
She has been teaching Saudi female undergraduates for ten years at the faculty of Language and
Translation. Her research interests include literature and language studies, educational technology,
educational psychology, and pedagogical development.