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What Are The Problems For English Language Learners In Saudi Arabia?

What Are The Problems For English Language Learners In Saudi Arabia? | ITTT | TEFL Blog

I was born in Saudi Arabia and I had to finish my education from kindergarten to high school in Jeddah and other cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Table of Contents

The history of teaching English

English Level


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As a student and a resident for more than 12 years there, I think that I have some experience in the education system in Saudi Arabia. I will try here to explain English learners' problems in Saudi Arabia with my personal opinion and experience.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Hesham Z. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

The history of teaching English

It started in 1927. Then, development spanned from 1944 to the present day, the ministry of education recruited all its efforts to provide a good education level. They used massive material support, and provide the student in the sixth year of elementary, the intermediate and secondary stages exposure to the English Language up to nearly over 300 teaching hours per year, however, the final result confirms that the ability of the Saudi student in English by completing his general education is minimal.

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English Level

He is unable to have a short conversation in English, and he cannot understand a short reading text, as well as unable to write a short essay. It has reached

Average overall language acquisition rate - by some studies according to what I remember - for intermediate level (30%), and the secondary level (35%).

Faced with this unsatisfactory situation, we need to answer two big questions: where is the flaw? What led to this deteriorating linguistic situation?

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The answer, however, many different constraints have created a weak linguistic, educational product which can be divided into four main constraints:

Psychological, Technical, Administrative and Systemic educational constraints, and we will try through this brief view to discuss each disability, monitor its phenomena and track its causes and consequences.

Psycho-social readiness plays a key role in the success or failure of the English language learning experience. The Saudi student learns the English language with a set of predefined opinions in his mind. For example, English is difficult and impossible to learn. This attitude will manifest as an English learning experience that is doomed to failure as it is the case where their personal failed experience ended. This negative perception leads to whom they are learning English to lose confidence in their ability to learn the language.

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Within the circle of the psychological factor comes the role of the perception towards language acquisition as well as misconceptions about learning it. The Saudi student is in a stage where general education is used to learn English without showing any amount of enthusiasm, a serious desire to learn it and why it is primarily essential to his future, being not an important priority in his life, hence their focus is on achieving the least amount of language that leads them to the next level of schooling.

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Though this feeling has kind of changed recently due to the shift in lifestyle quality and globalization. Many Saudi public education students recognize how important knowledge and learning of English is to enable them to continue their university education in practical disciplines, being an important factor to secure a better career and to recognize that their knowledge serves as a window to enable them to.

See and see what is going on around them in the world. But, that's growing positive feeling does not prevent from saying that a large percentage is still unaware of the importance of learning English, and they are not making enough effort to improve their level of language English.

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