Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 9. Number 2. June 2018                                                Pp. 379-396

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Use of Saudi EFL Adult Learners’ L1 to Address Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety 

Khaled Besher Albesher
Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

Muhammad Sabboor Hussain
Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

 Aisha Farid
Qassim University, Saudi Arabia



This study highlights the major emotional and psychological factors related to the medium of instruction (use of First Language (L1) in the classroom) in the domain of bilingual education for adult Saudi English as foreign language (EFL) learners. The primary area of emphasis is to consider whether the use of L1 in the class reduces the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCA) or it deprives the learners of the real and constant language inputs, viz., the words of the teacher in the target language. Thus, the main research question of the study is how the medium of instruction (use/mixing of Arabic or use of English-only approach) impacts the FLCA (Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety) of Saudi adult learners. The quantitative research tool of survey has been administered on the teachers and students on five-point Likert-scale with the responses ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. There are twelve items in the survey and each item tends to explore different psychological dimension of the issue. 100 adult Saudi university students and 100 EFL teachers have responded to these items. The main finding of the study is that  learner’s L1 speeds up the language learning process in a natural way if used occasionally and judiciously with the objective of keeping self-esteem and self image of the learners intact and bringing their FLCA down. The research study not only brings to surface the current state of bilingual EFL education in Saudi context, but also puts forth recommendations for learners, teachers, administrators, and policy makers to strengthen English language teaching/learning in EFL perspective in the bilingual context.
Keywordsbilingual education, foreign language classroom anxiety, medium of instruction,
psychological factors, quantitative tool

Cite as:  Albesher, K. B., Hussain,M. S., & Farid, A. (2018).  Use of Saudi EFL Adult Learners’ L1 to Address Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety.
Arab World English Journal, 9 (2).


Dr. Khaled Besher Albesher is currently the Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics in
Department of English at Qassim University, Saudi Arabia. He is PhD in Applied Linguistics from
the United Kingdom. His research interests include Applied Linguistics and ELT related issues
particularly in the EFL context in Saudi Arabia. He has many publications in the reputed journals.
He is the patron-in-chief of English Language Research Team [ELRT] at Qassim University, Saudi