First Language Proficiency as a Facilitator in Foreign/ Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Marajan Awad Adam


English is taught as a foreign language in the Arab world even though practical concerns call for greater emphasis on the language. In all personal interactions too Arabic is the preferred language. Thus the environment for English is really very limited as by the time the learners are exposed to the language they are well entrenched in Arabic. While this may be a handicap in some EFL situations (for example where adults are concerned), in the Arab context this can prove a big boon. This is because young language learners who are proficient in their first language can apply the learning techniques while acquiring the second language. This paper targets the teaching fraternity in the Arab world to help them understand how first language proficiency can aid second/foreign language acquisition.



Language acquisition, Saudi EFL learners, language proficiency, Arabic as a first language

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