Evaluation of EFL Students’ Reading Proficiency in the College of Technological Studies in Kuwait (Published)
The research is an evaluation of the English language program implemented in the College of Technological Studies (CTS) in Kuwait. It tried to measure the improvement of the students’ reading proficiency upon completing the mandatory EFL courses (Eng. 101 and ESP course 170) which are mandatory courses offered by the program to all students joining the college. The research instrument consisted of three reading passages which move from the easier to the more difficult. A sample of 155 students (72 males and 83 females) was randomly chosen from the population of all the students in the CTS who successfully completed the two mandatory English courses offered by the English program. Participants were required to read the passages and answer the questions on each passage. Results showed that the participants’ performance in all three passages was far below expectation as the number of participants who gave correct answers in all three passages is below fifty percent. These results suggest that the English program implemented in the CTS does not equip the students with the required reading skills that enable them to read and comprehend the simplest reading passages. With these results, the paper recommends that the English program needs to be subjected to rigorous evaluation in order to pinpoint the weaknesses.This evaluation should reconsider the curriculum implemented and the teaching methods used in teaching the reading skills.
The present study investigates the variables that are believed to influence learners’ in-class Willingness to Communicate (WTC). A total of 247 EFL undergraduate students participated in the study, who were studying in two colleges in Kuwait. The study was conducted with a quantitative research design by using a modified questionnaire to measure the Instructional Willingness to Communicate (IWTC). The adapted questionnaire, which was developed by Khatib & Nourzadah (2015), comprises six IWTC components containing 27 items. The data for each component was presented and followed by a detailed descriptive analysis. The findings revealed that learners’ willingness or unwillingness to communicate is made up of specific influencing variables in several situations within the classroom. The study sheds light on the role of the EFL classroom environment on learners’ communication behaviours. Discussing the results provided some pedagogical implications for language teachers and program designers. Suggestions for further research were provided.
EFL Learners’ Perception of Using Online Language Learning Websites during COVID-19 Pandemic (Published)
The following paper presents the results of a study aimed at achieving a better understanding of the EFL Learners’ Perception of Using Online Language Learning Websites (OLLWs) among EFL learners during COVID-19 Pandemic. The purpose of this study is to elicit Learners’ perceptions about improving their language through OLLWs. Data was acquired via a questionnaire administered to 143 female Saudi learners at the College of Sciences and Arts, Unizah, Qassim University. The results provide evidence of learners’ positive perceptions towards using OLLWs. Based on the findings, educational implications for this descriptive study and future researches are suggested.
This paper aimed to investigate the impact of fear overcoming on enhancing oral communication for Sudanese EFL students. A teachers’ questionnaire was used to collect the students’ stand points about of our questions that subdivided into statements to be responded by the students. The data was analysed by adopting (SPSS) program. The results reveal the following: Sudanese EFL students feel nervous and shy when they try to speak English. Sudanese EFL students afraid of facing the experience of speaking English. Sudanese EFL students feel that they will never master spoken English. The researchers recommend that a new method of teaching should be adopted to help students to overcome fear, students should be motivated to learn English language, and they helped to build self confidence that English language can be studied and mastered.
Kuwaiti EFL teachers at the Public Authority for Applied Education: Knowledge about Disability Laws and Attitudes towards Disabled Students (Published)
This study aims to identify the Kuwaiti EFL teachers’ knowledge about disability laws in the Public Authority for Applied Education in Kuwait and their attitude towards disabled students. A questionnaire of two parts (knowledge and attitude) was distributed to 20 EFL teachers. The results of the first part of the questionnaire showed that 60% of the EFL teachers answered 10 questions or less out of 20 questions which comprised the first part of the questionnaire. In the second part of the questionnaire all EFL teachers had positive attitudes towards disabled students. No significant difference was obtained between female EFL teachers and male EFL teachers regarding their knowledge about disability laws and their attitudes towards the disabled students. The study gave some suggestions and recommendations to increase the EFL teachers’ knowledge concerning disability laws in Kuwait.
An Examination of Vocabulary Learning Strategies Used by Kuwaiti EFL Students at the College of Basic Education (Published)
This study aims to investigate the vocabulary learning strategies used by Kuwaiti EFL students at the College of Basic Education. It tries to explore the following research questions: what strategies do EFL students use to understand the meaning of unknown English words? Which vocabulary learning strategies do they prefer to use, determination strategies or social ones?The data was collected by means of a questionnaire with 11 multiple-choice questions and one open-ended question. Questions 1 to 7 examine determination strategies: analysing affixes and roots, checking for L1 cognates, analysing available pictures or gestures, guessing the meaning from textual context, using a bilingual dictionary, using a monolingual dictionary, and using word lists. Questions 8 to 11 examine social strategies: asking the teacher for an L1 translation, asking the teacher for a paraphrase or a synonym of the unknown word, asking the teacher for a sentence including the unknown word, and lastly, asking classmates for the meaning. The open-ended question asks the participants about what factors they think can help them understand the meaning of the new vocabulary.After the data was collected, the analysis was carried out, and the results revealed that the participants used most of the determination strategies in questions 1–5, and avoided questions 6 and 7. The findings also showed that the participants used all the social strategies in questions 8–11. In the open-ended questions, some students expressed their preference to study ESL with bilingual teachers and avoid native speaker teachers. They claimed that national EFL teachers helped them in learning new English vocabulary by translating them to Arabic in an easy way, which reflected positively on their understanding of the lessons.
This practical action research examines the choice between using unabridged novels and graded readers in the context of an extensive reading project. The comparison mainly consists of data on word-count gains as recorded throughout two ten-week sessions with the same target group. For the comparison, thirty-five first year non-English-major Japanese university EFL students in a year-long communication class were assigned to read an unabridged novel through a ten-week period during the first semester of the school year. For another ten-week period during the second semester, the same group read graded readers in tandem with the M-Reader computer-assisted language learning program. The findings suggest that a change in pedagogy in favor of the method involving graded readers with the M-Reader program is the most beneficial choice for the course.
Getting Students to Talk in Class: A Case Study Comparing English vs. Non-English Majors’ Willingness to Communicate in the English Class (Published)
In EFL college classes in Taiwan, students have often been characterized as being reluctant to voluntarily speak up. To better understand why many college students in Taiwan choose to adopt passive learning behaviors in English classes, the present study examines Taiwanese EFL college students’ willingness to communicate (WTC) in class by comparing 27 English majors and 45 non-English majors on their responses to a 65-item questionnaire adapted from three self-report measures previously administered in other studies. Interviews were conducted with eight students to gain an in-depth understanding of reasons influencing their willingness to communicate in class. The study’s findings revealed that both groups of students appeared to be more reticent in teacher-fronted class discussions and expressed higher willingness to speak up in group or pair work and discussions revolving around topics of their interest. Nevertheless, the non-English majors were generally found to be less anxious than the English majors in the English classroom, more willing and motivated to communicate in English in different classroom activities.
EFL Teaching-Learning Utilizing English Literature: A Source of Exploring the World of English (Published)
The universal truth is that language whatever is meant for communication either written or spoken and each language has its own niceties and subtleties loaded with social and cultural norms. The present study specifically focuses on the teaching and the learning of not only English language skills but also the importance of English literature, i.e. prose, poetry, peculiarities, weird, quirks, and bizarre of English language have also been encompassed. Now the question arises, how all this can be utilized in EFL classroom. The best possible answer is the use of different forms of literature in the target language. Another important point is that the selection of different literary texts, poems and other helping material have been suggested as a model according to the level of ESL learner, i.e. under graduate students. Some model texts and couplets have been given in Table-1 and Table-2. It would be appropriate to provide a suitable modern literary text to improve the language skills and competency, critical thinking, stylish and effective communication either written or spoken as closer to native speakers as possible. All this is possible through well- thought, well-planned, well-presented pieces of literary work and S-S and T-S interaction. The most important are motivation and the roles of teachers and students toward an overall success.
Vocabulary Learning Principles and Tasks in EFL Classrooms: A Study on the Higher Secondary Level in Bangladesh (Published)
The research was conducted to explore the effect of vocabulary learning principles and tasks (VLPT) on developing higher secondary level students’ vocabulary knowledge. Looking into the use of vocabulary learning principles and tasks contributing to vocabulary development, the study examined the key aspects that might develop the students’ EFL vocabulary. A Mixed-method approach was employed for data collection and data analysis. To elicit the relevant data, the study used: questionnaires from 100 students, in-depth interview with 10 teachers The findings of the study showed that VLPT had a positive and strong connection with vocabulary learning achievement and it was found helpful for developing students’ vocabulary knowledge. It was also found that EFL students studying at HSC level were not sufficiently aware of the significance and effectiveness of VLPT in classes. The findings of the study have some pedagogical implications for both the teachers and students. The teachers may systematically introduce and reinforce VLPT that can help students as active vocabulary learners. The investigation will also provide information to the teachers on how effectively VLPT may impact on developing students’ vocabulary achievement. The study has pedagogical implications for raising awareness about VLPT among EFL learners.
How teaching and learning receptive skills in a rich environment improve the (PYP) students’ overall language production at Majmmah University, KSA (Published)
The study attempts at investigating the impact of the rich learning environment at Preparatory Year Programe (PYP) in Majmmah University, KSA on the overall improvement of EFL/ESP students’ productive skills. The PYP deanship at Majmmah University has been witnessing a great development and impressive advances in terms of preparation of distinctive curricula that meet students’ specialization for the required standards at colleges of medicine, engineering, applied medical sciences and computer sciences. The progress in providing the effective teaching and learning materials is also evident today. And the huge progress in constructing the rich learning environment was not possible without a vivid awareness of the importance of teaching and learning aids in motivating students for better language production. Thus, it seems as if decision makers have been investing more money for the overall development of education quality at this newly established university. The establishment of the Preparatory Year Programme (PYP) deanship at Majmmah University couple of years ago appeared to be integrated in different terms. For instance, classes are well equipped with different learning and teaching facilities that make the application of technological mediums such as CDs, MP3s and USBs easier in accomplishing language learning process. Furthermore, classes are also equipped with lap tops, headphones, two enormous speakers, a podium through which instructors control the smart boards operation and a TV screen which is freely used by the students as a listening exposure device with multiple access such as watching movies or watching some breaking news. Additionally, syllabus selection was also done in such a way that covers the needs of the EFL as well as the ESP learners. For almost three years the researcher has taught English in modern classes occupied by 16 maximum students who were divided into 4 main groups, each group seated around a big table. In a situation similar to such a modern and effective model of PYP classes, intensive receptive skills are easily taught and their intensity will definitely impact the students’ production of language skills by the end of the day. To undertake this study, a qualitative method is adapted where the researcher interviewed a sample of instructors who are currently teaching at PYP deanship. The interview questions aim at determining the strengths of the intensive receptive sessions on improving the quality of the output for the EFL/ESP students. The researcher has also conducted a classroom observation reflecting on his experience of three years of teaching at PYP deanship of Majmmah University. Finally, the study resulted into some significant findings among which are:
- Using modern technology and different classroom seating attract students’ attention and motivate them.
- A productive classroom promotes minimal anxiety through well-defined expectations, appropriate instruction, and sufficient scaffolding.
- An effective learning platform is the one that establishes strong interactions and promotes a collaborative learning culture.
This article is based on a qualitative oriented methodology to examine the written performance of six MA students majoring in English as Foreign Language (EFL) in the MA Program at one of the recently established universities in Saudi Arabia. Students’ final exam sheets were thoroughly looked at for the description of the syntactic structures in the students’ writing performance. The sampling process was selective and purposeful in the sense that it comprises three outstanding and the three poor performances out of a total of fourteen students’ exam sheets. Deviated structures together with the correct ones were analyzed and described with the aim of mapping common issues in writing performance in targeted university and assumingly which might help the targeted university and other similar contexts inside Saudi Arabia and other neighboring countries, two major sources of the unacceptable performance is lack of knowledge of the target language together with mother tongue influence. Additionally; diagnosing a remedy for the deviated forms was proposed. More reinforcement and support for those who were successful were too recommended.
Exploring EFL Learners’ Engagement in Virtual Reality Environments: A Case Study on King Abdul-Aziz University (KAU) Learners in KSA (Published)
Virtual reality (VR) is used for many applications, ranging from medicine to space and from entertainment to training. In this research paper, VR is applied in EFL education in order to explore the effect of virtual reality environments (VR) on the engagement of female students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) at King Abdul-Aziz University (KAU) in Saudi Arabia. A mixed-research approach was taken to examine the correlation between three major variables (students’ engagement, students’ cognitive load, students’ behaviour in VR). The quantitative research made use of three research instruments: 1) a pre/post self-perceived engagement questionnaire, 2) the NASA TLX (Task Load Index), which was used to calculate the learners’ cognitive load, and 3) a Students’ Behaviour in VR rubric, which was used to analyse learners’ video-recorded interactions in VR. I used the qualitative interview tool to collect data from each participant after the experiment in order to analyse students’ perceptions and subjective assessment of their VR experience. The study includes (n=10) EFL female students from the Department of European Languages at King Abdul-Aziz University. I used various statistical treatments from IBM SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) to investigate any significant differences or correlations between the three major variables in the quantitative data. The findings indicated that the level of engagement among students was significantly improved when using VR, while the results did not reveal any significant correlations between students’ cognitive load and behaviour in VR that could affect their engagement.
The purpose of this research was to explore the overall perceptions of EFL teachers at the PYP towards the use of graded readers in motivating Saudi EFL learners to go extensive reading. This area as the researcher thinks has not been given due investigation therefore, The literature reveals that literary texts including songs, poetry, short stories and plays could positively impact learners knowledge of English. However, this paper attempted to highlight using graded readers that are judiciously chosen and within learners experience in motivating them to read extensively or intensively. A total of twenty six male and female teachers at the PYP Najran University, Saudi Arabia participated in the study. They were given the chosen copies of graded readers to examine and form ideas about them. Also these teachers were strongly encouraged to do online reading to acquaint themselves with such readers.Data were collected by means of questionnaire to give answer to the two major questions: to what extent could SRs or GRs (the ones familiar to learners) motivate learners to go extensive reading? And are the teachers at PYP aware of GRs?The findings from the study showed that even the few who were not familiar with graded readers have become proponents of the approach once they had seen and read the copies. They also expressed a fondness for graded readers as source of motivation for young adults because of the simplified language and appealing themes that characterize such reading materials, hence the participants expressed willingness to urge upon their students to continue reading them. Teachers also recognized the linguistic benefits of extensive reading including vocabulary expansion, positive reading attitude, and a sense of accomplishment from reading extensively. The paper will also argue that many of the claims and criticisms raised against using literature are not supported by empirical research. I will assert, therefore, that grader readers within students experience are indispensable in our teaching scenario.
Intercultural Communication Competence Projects within English as a Lingua Franca Contexts (Published)
Highlighting the essential role intercultural communication plays as an integral component of effective communication skills in a globalized world, the current paper portrays an intercultural communication competence project the main aim of which is to augment students’ communication skills in English as a lingua franca, whilst targeting both intercultural communication competence and electronic communication. The research project lasted for over three academic years in a row, involving two universities in Dubai and Bonn. Utilizing modern communication tools synchronously and asynchronously, the participating students engaged in intercultural communication online for nine weeks each academic semester. Throughout project implementation, the participating students used self-created texts, audio and video posts. To measure project effectiveness, the researcher administered a questionnaire the results of which indicated subjects’ positive attitudes towards the intercultural communication competence project as a means for fostering intercultural communication, enhancing language mastery, and enriching technology literacy.
Adult learning in an EFL context is one of the most current issues researched in education. Just as the importance of learning a language is growing by the minute, the number of adult learners is enhancing too. The current study investigates the motivation of EFL adult Learners to go back to higher education, their preferred learning styles, and difficulties faced by them. The study consisted of 132 female participants from the College of Basic Education, who answered a 45 statements questionnaire. The answers were analysed quantitatively through SPSS to find the means, frequencies, and significance in correlation with several independent variables. It has been found that female adult learners have mixed intrinsic and extrinsic motives towards learning EFL, and while learning styles varied, institutional barriers such as poor facilities, strict regulations and traditional teaching practice appear to be the greatest difficulties to learners. The study is concluded with several suggestions that aim to provide effective adult EFL learning.
Active Learning Opportunities Provided By Digital Technologies to Albaha EFL University Students (Published)
This paper aimed to investigate the active learning opportunities provided by digital technologies to EFL Saudi University Students at Albaha University, at first semester (2015-2016). The intentional samples consisted of (43). To achieve the goals the researcher developed a questionnaire consist of (16) items. The reliability and stability has been verified. The paper tries to highlight the extent to which do digital technology gives EFL students opportunities for practicing and enhancing their English language and their future career. The researcher hypothesized that using digital technologies provide Albaha university EFL students with ample and active learning opportunities. To examine this hypothesis, the researcher adopted descriptive and analytic methodology. Data were collected from different resources including student’s questionnaire. The results showed that using digital technologies provide EFL Albaha university student with ample learning opportunities. The collected data were analyzed and the paper concluded with many recommendations.
This paper explores the incidence of communication anxiety as well as evaluative anxiety among university EFL students in four countries in the Arabian Peninsula (Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE), and examines factors associated with anxiety in the classroom. The study discusses the nature, implications, some causes and effects of communication anxiety and suggests possible prevention and coping strategies to this problem.
Mediating Cross-Cultural Barriers in English as a Foreign Language Classroom: A Pilot Study on Teachers (Published)
Recent researches on the impact of cultural barriers in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teaching-learning suggest that cultural barriers emerge due to the lack of successful mediation between the native language culture and the target language culture. Eventually, the teaching-learning of EFL in Bangladesh, a south-east Asian country, encounters cross- cultural barriers quite extensively as the home language culture is quite distinct from the target language culture. Therefore, this study concentrates on EFL teachers’ role in promoting intercultural communicative competence among EFL learners through successful mediation of native language culture with foreign language culture. 12 EFL teachers and 200 tertiary level students from Bangladeshi private universities were chosen as the subjects of this study to identify their perspectives on this issue. The findings of the study suggest the need for constructive changes in the choice and use of teaching-learning materials and teaching methods in EFL classrooms.
The Pronunciation Component in the Competence-Based EFL Curriculum in Cameroon Secondary Education (Published)
The shift from the objective-based approach to the competence-based approach in English at the secondary level in Cameroon places too much emphasis on real life situations and the vocabulary thereof, in its current field implementation. Apart from vocabulary, the other structural components are very shallowly dealt with, not only grammar, but, much more the teaching of pronunciation and speech sounds. Using the contents analysis theory, the paper brings up the shallow presence of English sounds, paramount element in pronunciation and ipso facto in oral communication in the curriculum. The paper justifies the need to stress the sounds of English in actual EFL pedagogy. It argues that the sounds of English must be significantly present in the classroom implementation of the curriculum and prescribes recordings, audio visual materials specially designed for the purpose of supporting and concretising the constitutional official bilingualism policy that is most current in the nation presently on the one hand, and worldwide intelligibility on the other hand.