Distinctiveness of Saudi Arabian EFL Learners

Manssour Habbash, Srinivasa Rao Idapalapati


In view of the increasing concern among English language teachers dealing with students from Saudi Arabia, as it manifests in TESOL community discussions, about the uniqueness of Saudi Arabian EFL learners, this paper attempts to document the outcome of a study of their distinctiveness from the perspective of expatriate teachers working for PYPs (Preparatory Year Programs) in Saudi Arabia. This study examines the distinctiveness with regard to the learning attitudes of Saudi students that are often cultivated by the culture and academic environment in their homeland. Employing an emic approach for collecting the required data an analysis was carried out in light of the other studies on ‘education’ in Saudi Arabia that have particular reference to the factors that can positively influence student motivation, student success and the academic environment. The findings were used in constructing the rationale behind such distinctiveness. Assuming that the outcome of the discussion on the findings of this exploration can be helpful for teachers in adapting their teaching methodology and improving their teacher efficacy in dealing with students both from the kingdom and in the kingdom, some recommendations are made.

Keywords: China Distinctiveness, Saudi Arabian University context, Expatriate teachers’ perspective, Distinctiveness Theory 

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