Sahal R. Alshammari


Language skills depend on the meaning of words and the knowledge of the subject/context. The meanings of words that shape the true understanding of contexts are needed to experience language as a real-life activity. College students in Saudi Arabia struggle to develop desired proficiency in the English language that is required to further advance in their academic endeavours. It has been observed that even the minimum vocabulary level is far to be realised as reality, which consequently has posed a challenge for the various stakeholders to find the most effective strategies for Saudi learners. The present study tries to unfold the basic components which are needed to be in order first before considering the other related factors. In this study, a total of 85 male and female students were asked first appear for the vocabulary test, required to assess if they have achieved their desired levels. Their academic achievement in the specialised vocabulary course and their achievement in the standardised test have been compared with their strategies for language learning. The differences in the responses of the high achievers and the low achievers observed and found that high achievers give importance to all the strategies equally well, whereas the low achievers just focus on meta-cognitive and memory strategies. The results open up new dimensions for the teachers as well as the learners to choose and implement the best practices suited as per their academic and non-academic needs. Besides this, the other stakeholders like material developers, curriculum designers, educators and trainers will also have a macro picture of inside and outside of classrooms so that they could narrow down on the associated elements (motivation, learners’ autonomy, socio-cultural contexts etc.).


vocabulary; EFL learners; L1 interference; vocabulary strategies; Arab learners

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