Saudi Students’ Attitude towards World Englishes

Afnan Almegren

Abstract


In order to create and adopt better educational and pedagogic policies, it is important to understand students’ attitude towards the varieties of English. This study aims to investigate young Saudi EFL learners’ attitude towards the concept of World Englishes. It also explores Saudi learners’ preference of one English variety over the others. This study is significant since few studies have been done on the awareness of World Englishes among Saudi EFL learners and the present research is designed to fill this gap. The present study will help apply the concept of World Englishes to the teaching of English language in a sample Saudi educational environment. In addition, it will help develop a positive attitude towards cultural understanding and cultural diversity in Saudi Arabia. This study has three objectives: to examine and understand how EFL learners see World Englishes, and varieties of English as a second language in particular, in the Saudi Arabian context; to find out how Saudi EFL learners view the apparent domination of one variety of English over others; and to investigate the reasons why one variety of English is preferred to others. The study uses both direct and indirect techniques of measuring the attitude through interviews and a questionnaire. The questionnaire contained both open-ended and close-ended questions, one of which was a verbal guise test. The samples were obtained from the two largest public educational institutes in Saudi Arabia with both male and female adult students.The findings indicate that Saudi students are aware of some varieties of the English language, though they seem to have varied attitudes towards the diverse varieties of World Englishes. Students generally viewed American and British English as the standard English varieties and did not accept other varieties of World Englishes as standard. The results also showed that in spite of the fact that most of the students generally considered a ‘native’ teacher’s English as superior, they principally favored a Saudi teacher to teach them.

Keywords


EFL, World Englishes, Attitude, Saudi, Native English Varieties, Non-Native English Varieties

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.7n.4p.238

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