A Study of the Spelling Errors committed by Students of English in Saudi Arabia: Exploration and Remedial Measures

Paikar Fatima Mazhar Hameed


The craziness of English spelling has undeniably perplexed learners, especially in an EFL context as in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In these situations, among other obstacles, learners also have to tackle the perpetual and unavoidable problem of MT interference. Sadly, this perplexity takes the shape of a real problem in the language classroom where the English teacher has a tough time rationalizing with the learners why ‘cough’ is not spelt as /kuf/ or ‘knee’ has to do with a silent /k/. It is observed that students of English as second/foreign language in Saudi Arabia commit spelling errors that cause not only a lot of confusion to the teachers but also lower the self-esteem of the students concerned. The current study aims to identify the key problem areas as far as English spelling ability of Saudi EFL learners is concerned. It aims to also suggest remedial and pedagogical measures to improve the learners’ competence in this crucial, though hitherto, nascent skill area in the Saudi education system.

Keywords: EFL; error-pattern, spelling instructions, orthography, phonology, vocabulary, language skills, language users 

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