Scope of Cooperative Learning (CL) Strategies in Teaching English to Saudi Adult EFL Learners: A Study of Practical Barriers and Possible Implications

Muhammad Ishtiaq, Muhammad Sabboor Hussain


This study aims at investigating the teachers’ practices and perceptions in teaching English in Saudi Arabia by viewing their stance on Cooperative Learning (CL) — an innovative teaching approach proposed to raise the language proficiency level of adult EFL learners. The study has been conducted in Qassim University, Saudi Arabia—a vibrant and flourishing EFL context. A quantitative tool (a questionnaire) has been used to collect data and to serve qualitative purposes. It reports 80 EFL teachers’ (40 males and 40 females) perceptions about CL using a 17-items comprehensive survey covering all the possible barriers in the way of implementing CL strategies in EFL classes. The survey items also explore how the EFL teachers in Saudi Arabia foresee the implications of making such an innovative move in their classes. The responses have been analyzed on a 5-point Likert scale which ranges from strongly disagree-disagree-neutral-agree-strongly agree. Major findings are that CL strategies have practical barriers but their implications are far more positive. The barriers are mainly due to the wrong learning habits of the adult EFL learners in Qassim University and lack of will and vision of the educational administration. The study recommends that CL strategies need to be given due consideration and support by the administrators and policy makers to raise the proficiency level of adult EFL learners. The study also allays the misconception that majority of the practitioners in English language teaching field are not ready to practice and implement CL strategies in their classes.


Adult Learners; Barriers; Cooperative Learning (CL); EFL; Implications

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