Challenges and Induction Needs of Novice English as a Foreign Language Teachers in Saudi Arabia

Rufaida Alhamad


The first year of teaching poses massive challenges that lead to attrition among novice teachers. School communities often fail to provide adequate support to novice teachers to help them adapt to their new professional environments. In Saudi Arabia, attrition among novice teachers is a significant problem that hinders the development of the educational system. This study was conducted to examine the challenges that Saudi Arabian EFL novice teachers face as they transit into their first teaching jobs, and to determine whether these teachers have adequate support or would benefit from a formal induction process.  Two kinds of data collection methods were used in this study, namely quantitative and qualitative. In this mixed methods study, 150 novice teachers were surveyed and 5 teachers were selected for semi-structured interviews. The quantitative analysis of the data was accomplished using descriptive and inferential statistics to answer the research questions. The qualitative analysis of the data was accomplished by interpreting the responses provided to the interview questions. The findings indicated that the challenges surrounding novice teachers hinder them in their development as new teachers. The most conspicuous challenges reported by the study participants were dealing with low English proficiency students and managing the negative attitudes of students toward learning English. This report also determined additional perceptible challenges: adoption of various teaching methods and the establishment of a student-centered approach, student behavior management, course planning, dealing with individual differences, and communication with parents.  This study showed that these teachers had left their pre-service training with a very limited knowledge and skills for dealing with the reality of teaching. Mentoring and observing veteran teachers were identified by novice teachers as the two most beneficial strategies for implementing a teacher induction program that could mitigate the challenges they face in their first few years.


EFL novice teacher, teacher’s challenges, induction needs

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