Citation: Ahmed Alghamdi (2022) Empowering EFL Students with 21st-Century Skills at a Saudi University: Challenges and Opportunities, International Journal of Education, Learning and Development, Vol. 10, No.3, pp.39-53
This study aims to examine students’ competencies of the 21st century 4Cs skills (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking) among foundation-year students at a Saudi university. A twenty-one-item custom designed questionnaire was utilized to gather quantitative and qualitative data of 379 male and female students. This questionnaire includes two main constructs of self-report and close-ended as well as five open-ended questions. The close-ended questions were analysed through Man-Whitney U on-parametric statistical tests while the open-ended questions were textually analysed for particular themes or shared responses amongst the participants. The findings revealed no statistical significant difference between males and females competencies of the 4Cs skills. However, the frequency analysis of the responses revealed that the participants are still lacking the full potential of the 4Cs skills required to excel in their academic studies and the workplace after graduation. This study has practical implications for curriculum development reforms at higher educational institutions in different contexts to incorporate and integrate designated courses that promote the necessary skills students need to excel during their academic studies and after graduation to achieve current demands of and maintain sustainability in the workplace after graduation.
Keywords: 21st Century Skills, 4Cs Skills, Competencies, Foundation-Year Students, Saudi Context