Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-29-2019


Saudi students who matriculate in programs of higher education in Saudi Arabia confront major language obstacles that hinder their academic output, due to the transition from high school, which employs Arabic-language instruction, to the English-medium of instruction in post-high school education. Preparatory Year Programs (PYPs) established to aid students’ transition, from Arabic to English, have not produced satisfactory results (Alseweed & Daif-Allah, 2013). Those programs have rarely been submitted to any form of formative evaluation procedures (Barnawi, 2011).

This descriptive case study embarked on evaluating formatively the English Language Teaching (ELT) in a Saudi university through bridging the perspectives or evaluations of teachers and students in the program about the quality of teaching and learning practices implemented in the program. By drawing on a Communicative and Collective Formative Evaluation (CCFE) approach, this study aimed to provide the students and teachers with an opportunity to evaluate the ELT program’s implementation processes. This included the instructional materials/practices and the policies that affected the process of teaching and learning English. Data were obtained through observing classrooms, distributing surveys to the entire population of teachers and students, and conducting three sequential interviews with a selective group of the teachers and students where their views were circulated. The purpose of circulating data was to involve the teachers and students of the ELT program in a collective effort so that a reflective and well-informed understanding of how the program can improve is constructed through the participants’ experiences. Briefly, this CCFE study found most of the participants dissatisfied with aspects in relation to teaching and learning of English in the program (e.g., the instructional materials and teaching practices).

This study suggests that the CCFE approach seems to be a promising means for providing students and teachers in Saudi ELT programs with a window into each other’s needs, and an insight into aspects teachers and students need to reflect on and change in the interest of enhancing everyone’s experience in the ELT program. It also suggests that decision makers must integrate the notion of formative evaluation as an integral element in the structure of ELTs. It is in the ongoing exchange of information and the intersection of perspectives from the communication and reflection of students and teachers that ELTs can fulfill their desired goals.


CCFE, Program Evaluation, PYP, ELT, EFL.

Document Type




Degree Name

Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Carlos LopezLeiva

Second Committee Member

Holbrook Mahn

Third Committee Member

Lois Meyer

Fourth Committee Member

Allison Borden