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Attitudes of Saudi Foundation Year Students towards Learning English as a Foreign Language: A Qualitative Study

Massri, Rolla (2017) Attitudes of Saudi Foundation Year Students towards Learning English as a Foreign Language: A Qualitative Study. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Over recent decades, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), in view of the growing importance of English as a lingua franca within the globalised knowledge economy (Kirkpatrick and Barnawi, 2017), has invested heavily in EFL provision and reforms within the KSA educational settings to enable Saudi citizens to participate effectively in the global workplace and society (Mitchell and Alfurai, 2016). However, despite this investment on the part of the government, literature suggests that the reforms have not been as successful as envisioned, with a possible constraint being the attitudes of the Saudi EFL learners towards learning English (Alrabai, 2016). Against this backdrop, this study sought to examine the attitudes of Saudi EFL learners within a tertiary setting at a leading university in the KSA, with a view to understanding the role of student attitudes in the effectiveness of EFL learning. A phenomenological approach was adopted to inquire into the Saudi EFL learners’ attitudes towards learning English, and data was collected over the course of an academic year through interviews, diaries and narratives from 30 students at a Saudi university. Some of the prominent findings in this study include support for the earlier research suggesting the instrumental nature of Arab EFL language learner motivation and the identification of a number of factors of influence ranging from family obligations and/or pressure, financial implications as well as higher education achievements and travel/study abroad upon EFL learning in the KSA context. The resulting insights are expected to assist policymakers, educational managers, teachers and students in understanding the centrality of language learner attitudes to effective EFL learning and to respectively serve as a point of reference for future policies, pedagogical decision-making, classroom practices and student learning processes in the KSA tertiary context.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.739942
Depositing User: Mrs Rolla Massri
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 16:12
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20245

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