Facial reconstruction

Search LJMU Research Online

Browse Repository | Browse E-Theses

The Influence of First Language Aptitude and Print Exposure (Arabic) on Foreign Language Learning Performance (English) And the Effectiveness of the General Aptitude Test in Saudi Arabia

Aldurayheem, A (2020) The Influence of First Language Aptitude and Print Exposure (Arabic) on Foreign Language Learning Performance (English) And the Effectiveness of the General Aptitude Test in Saudi Arabia. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

2020abdulhameedphd.pdf - Published Version

Download (4MB) | Preview
[img] Text
2020abdulhameedphdinternal.pdf - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (2MB)


This study seeks to examine areas of influence of the first language on the second language that have not yet been explored, supported or evaluated in the domain of language skills transfer. The extent that one’s ability in one’s first language (L1) can predict success and performance in learning a second language (L2) is of special interest to researchers of second language acquisition (SLA). This area of study seeks to better understand language learners and the factors involved in learning a new language. Cross-linguistic influence (CLI) is a phenomenon the presence of which is confirmed by investigations into speakers’ language performance in many aspects of language. However, most of the studies have been concerned with Indo-European languages which use the Latin script. This study investigated the influence of Arabic, which is a Semitic language that uses a different script to that used in English. It focuses on reading skills and exposure to print deriving from the premises of the interdependence hypothesis that all languages share common cognitive mechanisms. This study aimed to report on CLI for English FL adult learners. Moreover, the study examined the role of other influential factors for foreign language learning (FLL) that are thought to affect the relationship, such as motivation and learning strategies. Understanding the relationship between performance in Arabic as a first language and English as a second language is important because, in Saudi Arabia, admission to English language courses at university is determined by the General Aptitude Test (GAT) which is a test of students’ aptitude in Arabic. This study, therefore, evaluates the effectiveness of the GAT to predict students’ performance on English courses. Previous studies have found the GAT is effective in predicting overall performance at university, but this study focusses on English language performance and reading skills in particular. This study also analysed different constructs within the test to identify which ones may be more effective predictors of English language performance. Data were collected from tests and questionnaire involving 248 students at a Saudi university. Analysis included correlation, regression and path analyses to test the study’s hypotheses regarding the proposed relationships, whether directly or indirectly. The main findings were as follows: 1. There is a moderate and predictable relationship between aptitude in Arabic and English reading skills. 2. There is no relationship between print exposure in Arabic and performance in English. 3. The GAT is effective in predicting performance in English language courses at university. 4. Intrinsic motivation and problem-solving learning strategies can moderate the relationship between the L1 and L2. These findings contribute to the body of research in relation to cross-linguistic influence, specifically in relation to Arabic speakers learning English. It also provides support for the application of the GAT as a requirement for university admission to English language courses in Saudi Arabia and can inform policymakers regarding the use of GAT in other Arabic-speaking regions. Aptitude in Arabic, with students having an intrinsic motivation for learning languages and adopting problem-solving strategies for learning can contribute to the prediction of performance in an English language programme at university.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cross-linguistic influence; First language aptitude; Foreign language performance; Print exposure; Aptitude in Arabic (L1); Performance in English (L2); The General Aptitude Test; Learning English in Saudi Arabia; University admission in Saudi Arabia; The Oriental Languages Aptitude Test; Motivation in learning a foreign language; Learning strategies in learning a foreign languages; Prediction relationship between L1 and L2; Reading comprehension; Interdependence hypothesis; Universal Grammar in learning a second language; Individual differences in language learning; Skills transfer; Mathew effects; Different writing systems and scripts in learning FL; Language achievement; Metalinguistic awareness
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PJ Semitic
Divisions: Doctoral Management Studies (from Sep 19)
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2020 10:29
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2023 15:22
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00013509
Supervisors: Mason, A
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13509
View Item View Item