A Comparative Study of Proficiency in Speaking and Writing among EFL Learners in Saudi Arabia
Arif Ahmed M. H. Al-Ahdal, Fahad S. Alfallaj, Salmeen A. Al-Awaied, Abdulghani A. Al-Hattami

Learning of English as a foreign language is an imperative reality in a world largely shrinking with the advent of various revolutions, both socio-political and economic. However, it is seen that foreign language acquisition, especially of English, leaves a great deal to be desired as the learners so far in the geographical area of our study, i.e., Saudi Arabia, have failed to achieve native like fluency with the current teaching-learning practices. This raises questions as to the policies adopted vis-à-vis curriculum, pedagogy and most importantly, the stage at which foreign language learning is introduced in Saudi Arabia. The current study has undertaken an in-depth review of the available literature, which is followed up with modern testing methods to arrive at conclusions. It witnesses a dichotomy between speaking and writing abilities of college level young learners. The trend is towards a higher score on writing-ability tests as compared to the oral language proficiency tests. Thus a major communicative drawback is faced by the ‘products’ of this system of education, and numerous causes and remedies are suggested herein.

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