Linguistics and English Language

Language variation and change

Speaker: Abeer Alshehri

Title: Attitudes and perceptions of Saudi students towards their non-native EMI instructors

Abstract: In this talk, I will present the results of my PhD project on students’ attitudes and perceptions towards their non-native English medium instruction (EMI) instructors in Saudi Arabia. English has been increasingly used as the medium of instruction for content-based courses at the higher education level (Dearden, 2014), and non-native English speakers (NNES) instructors are teaching in English instead of their first languages. Few studies have examined students’ attitudes and perceptions of NNES EMI instructors within the EMI context and how they relate to three speech constructs: intelligibility, perceived comprehensibility, and perceived foreign accentedness. The research design for this study used mixed methods with qualitative and quantitative phases but in this talk I will be focusing on the quantitative phase.

The findings of the research showed that although respondents acknowledged that evaluation of instructors should be in accordance with subject-level expertise, many were ready to offer opinions on accent, comprehensibility and intelligibility. The research concludes that even if Saudi participants expressed negative attitudes towards a certain instructor, this does not always imply that they are unable to comprehend them. Furthermore, the results of this study indicated that a favourable attitude does not necessarily entail high intelligibility and comprehensibility. The findings offered implications for different stakeholders at the university, including students, instructors, and university decision-makers.

Contact details

Christian Ilbury

Nov 07 2022 -

Language variation and change

2022-11-07: Attitudes and perceptions of Saudi students towards their non-native EMI instructors

Room 1.17, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AD