AWEJ Volume.4 Number.2, 2013                                                                              Pp.106-121

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Students’ Attitudes and Perceptions towards Learning English

 Amal Ali Alkaff
English Language Institute
King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Abstract
This paper studies the attitudes and perceptions of Foundation Year (FY) students towards learning English, at the English Language Institute (ELI) of King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.  English is one of the required courses, the rest of which are primarily taught in Arabic. The researcher attempts to find out the students’ opinions regarding the importance of English, whether they think it is difficult or not, and where the difficulty lies. The author also endeavors to examine the ways by which they try to improve their English and the frequency and areas of their use of the language. After the selection of a random sample of 47 female students of levels 3 and 4 (pre-intermediate and intermediate levels), who represent the largest majority of the students during the time of the study, a questionnaire was developed and students’ responses were tabulated and analyzed. The study shows that most students have a positive attitude towards learning English and that they try to improve their English and to use the language even though there are a lot of demands on their time and few opportunities to practice their English. The study also reflects on the obstacles confronting the students and their suggestions to facilitate the learning process.
Key words: attitude, EFL, learning English, perception

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Mrs. Amal Alkaff is a language instructor at the English Language Institute of King Abdulaziz
University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She has a BA in English language and literature and an MA
in English literature. She is also a member of the ELI Testing Unit. Among her interests are test
construction and analysis and conducting and analyzing feedback on assessment