Attrition of Oral Communicative Ability among Saudi EFL Graduates A Study in Qassim University

  •  Raghad S. Al-Sulaiman    


After graduation, many Saudi EFL graduates find themselves losing their oral communicative competence, which could be attributed to the period of their English non-use. To explore such a pressing issue, the following study investigates the effect of English non-use on a surveyed sample of Saudi EFL graduates, and how such disuse correlates with the attrition of their English speaking and understanding abilities. The study also sheds light on the most used language maintenance strategies among the subjects. Situated in Qassim University, the study surveyed 101 female and male Saudi EFL graduates majoring in English fields, using a structured questionnaire design. The quantitative results suggest that the longer the period of language disuse, the more likely the attrition of oral communicative abilities of Saudi EFL graduates will occur. They also suggest that EFL Saudi graduates are more likely to lose their understanding abilities of English than they are to lose their speaking abilities. Finally, it was found that Saudi EFL graduates engage in a variety of language maintenance techniques, such as watching movies and conversing in English with both native and non-native speakers. The study urges employers and decision-makers to help Saudi EFL graduates in making the best use of their abilities as soon as they graduate, as they are more likely to be vulnerable to attrition as the years pass.

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