Why Do Saudi EFL Readers Exhibit Poor Reading Abilities?

  •  Abdulaziz AL-Qahtani    


The aim of the current study was to investigate the reasons behind Saudi learners’ poor reading skills. To this end, the objectives were to identify the reading habits of Saudi English as a Foreign Language (EFL) middle school learners, to understand the extent to which Saudi EFL middle school learners use reading comprehension skills and to explore the perceptions of learners, teachers and supervisors regarding Saudi EFL learners’ reading abilities. The study sample consisted of 90 Saudi EFL middle school students, eight EFL teachers and six supervisors. The students were surveyed and interviewed about their reading habits and use of reading skills, while the teachers and supervisors were interviewed to explore their perceptions about reading instruction in the Saudi context. The results revealed that most Saudi EFL students lack the necessary reading habits in L1 and L2. In addition, they rarely make use of important reading skills when they read English texts. This study identified “lack of exposure to target language”, “poor teaching skills and teacher training programs”, “little attention to comprehension and more attention to reading aloud”, “students’ lack of motivation”, “little emphasis on reading skills in textbooks”, “unfamiliar and unsuitable reading topics”, “lack of reading skills training for students”, “students’ limited vocabulary” and “lack of parental involvement” as the most important factors behind Saudi students’ poor reading abilities. The study concluded with important recommendations and suggestions for future research.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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