Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Macdonald, Doris

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of English


English language--Study and teaching--Foreign speakers; Sociolinguistics; Teaching


This dissertation explores the shared and individual experiences of Saudi women studying English as a Second Language (ESL) in the United States at an intensive English language program prior to entering college and graduate programs. Saudi English language learners (ELLs) face cultural communication practices that they would not encounter in their home countries, most notably the use of the English language but also the integration of multiple gender identities in a single institution. Often recognized by themselves and others as shy, Saudi women bring their own cultural and educational needs and preferences to the classroom. Understanding the needs of this population is imperative to their language proficiency and intercultural competency in the ESL classroom and beyond. This examination of linguistic, sociocultural, and feminist issues for Saudi learners in the United States focuses on the intersection of many important ESL issues in order to advocate for an engaging learning environment. An analysis of their general perceptions of self and their experiences learning English reveals the approaches and methods that they find most beneficial and suggests how to invite reticent learners into the linguistic space.


Advisors: Doris Macdonald.||Committee members: Amy K. Levin; Kristen Myers.||Includes bibliographical references.


vi, 170 pages




Northern Illinois University

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