White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Language Transfer errors in speaking among Saudi Arabia students; a comparative study between Students in Saudi Arabia and Students in the UK.

Alhamadi, Nesreen Saud (2015) Language Transfer errors in speaking among Saudi Arabia students; a comparative study between Students in Saudi Arabia and Students in the UK. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

Thesis N. S. Alhamadi. Ph.D.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

Download (2483Kb) | Preview


In the field of language education, analysis of second language errors has become more widespread, with particular focus on the early stages of acquisition. The analysis of the errors made by second language learners communicating in their target language has received tremendous attention from researchers, linguists and EFL teachers throughout the world. The aim of this study is to investigate the most common grammatical speaking errors of Saudi learners at an intermediate level of English, focusing on language transfer theories and the role of first language in the acquisition of English grammar. Before carrying out the investigation proper, we look at the students' experience of learning English in two different learning environments: Tibah University and Leeds Language Centre. Not many studies conducted on Saudi learners’ grammatical errors in spoken production of English. This study works to establish whether the differences between the “native” environment represented in Leeds Language Centre and the “non-native” Tibah University influence the sources of grammatical errors. We also examine whether these errors result from first language interference or other environmental learning factors. The thesis is divided into six main chapters. The first chapter is a very concise description of the research overview which states the problem and gives a brief background of teaching English language in Saudi Arabia, and the role English plays in the educational system. The second chapter provides a theoretical background of theories related to language transfer and possible sources of errors. The third chapter discusses the major findings that describe the two learning environments examined in this study. Chapter four and five, discuss in great details the categories of the most common errors among the two groups, investigating into details their consistency and sources illustrated by examples derived from the interviews collected as theses chapters introduced our research main findings in the light of the discussed theories. In Chapter six, we shall discuss the important implications these findings have on second language researchers and teachers. Accordingly, we conclude our study by making various suggestions for the incorporation of these findings in the foreign language acquisition, which we are convinced, will help Saudi learners to perform better in the English language. This study does not limit research to theoretical aspects of language transfer, instead examining application in the classroom. Our investigation relies primarily on the use of reported data, via reports of English classes attended in different learning environments, to observe how learners experienced language learning. Interviews with students were conducted in order to investigate and analyse their spoken errors, to discover information about the most common speech errors that Saudi students commit during the second language learning process, and to gain insight regarding their source. As this study focused on spoken English, oral interviews were conducted and transcribed before analysis. Our findings suggest that learners’ first language plays a major role in the acquisition of a second; this is inherent to the natural learning process, and has a great impact on language proficiency irrespective of the learning environment. Furthermore, findings showed that errors occurred more as a result of first language influence, which affected the number of errors produced, not the quality. This has been attributed to factors related to the learning environments examined in this study.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Language Transfer, Speaking, Grammatical Errors, Saudi Arabia.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.669624
Depositing User: Mrs Nesreen Alhamadi
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2015 13:29
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:30
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10744

You do not need to contact us to get a copy of this thesis. Please use the 'Download' link(s) above to get a copy.
You can contact us about this thesis. If you need to make a general enquiry, please see the Contact us page.

Actions (repository staff only: login required)