Saudi English-Major Undergraduates' Academic Writing Problems: A Taif University Perspective

Mohamed Ali Al-Khairy


This study attempted to investigate Saudi English-major undergraduates studying at Taif University to identify a) the types of academic writing Saudi English-major undergraduates carry out at English departments, b) Saudi English-major undergraduates' writing problems, c) the reasons behind Saudi English-major undergraduates' writing problems and d) the solutions to overcome Saudi English-major undergraduates' writing problems. To collect data for this purpose, senior faculty members were interviewed and a 32-item structured Likert-scale questionnaire was developed that was administered to 75 English-major students (sophomores, juniors & seniors) studying at foreign languages department, Taif University. Data generated through the questionnaire were subjected to descriptive analyses and mean and standard deviation were recorded using SPSS. The findings of this study reveal that Saudi English-major undergraduates are very weak in writing skills and commit lots of errors in their academic writings and are usually engaged in sentence-level or at the maximum at paragraph-level academic writing and they do not consider it important at this level to write different kinds of essays. It has been strongly recommended that the language courses should be increased to strengthen all the language skills in general and writing in particular, motivate the students to use English with the teachers as well as with each, introduce modern and novel teaching techniques, equip the classrooms with necessary audio-visual aids, diagnose students’ writing problems in the beginning of their studies at university, tailor the course contents according to their needs, introduce group/pair work, peer correction, use dictionaries frequently etc.

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Copyright (c) 2013 Mohamed Ali Al-Khairy

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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