i. that students at the early stage of school


This paper
examines problems caused by the interference of the first language (L1) upon
the second language (L2) acquisition ??at the Saudi primary Schools. This is a subject with
many aspects to it, and there is a very diverse literature that handles these
problems. The vital goal of this research is not to present an analytical case
of one of these problems, but simply to try to develop key issues and relevant
research connected to the problems and their causes generally. Introduction

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The Arab
world has witnessed a very positive and drastic change in the use of English
language both in business and education. This change is significant in many
ways including a society more inclined to literacy, as well as keenness to
learn and command the English language. However, in different
educational institutions a peculiar feature of the Arab EFL learners is that
they cannot understand the oral as well as written English language even when articulated
normally. It has also been observed that still a few of them “prefer” the use
of L1 i.e., Arabic, in acquiring the English language (L2) for diverse reasons
including not fully skilled and trained in this language or often lacking
motivation to communicate in L2.

Literature Review

In his
study about the problems that encounter the EFL learners Khan (2011) observed
that teaching of English as a Foreign Language is always a challenging task. English in Saudi Arabia functions a very restricted
purpose. Thus far, it is very vital for community as well as for scientific growth.
Consequently, English language teaching in Saudi Arabia clasps consideration of
many academics. In spite of good preparation, purposive syllabus, cohesive schoolbooks,
competent educators, attainment is below the expectations. Hence, investigative
studies should better be carried out so that teachers may spotlight problems
and the related factors.

Former grammatical
knowledge of the first language plays an awkward role in students’ academic performance
in learning English as a second language. Many linguists assured that students
at the early stage of school always try to implement semantic and syntactic
approaches from L1 while learning L2 different skills.

Al Sharaeai (2012) indicated that Arab EFL students make mistakes
in the verb phrase; tenses, verb formation, and subject-verb agreement. Alsaigh
& Kennison (2017) states that EFL learners face numerous spelling problems
in English mostly in the primary stages of spelling progress. Also, EFL students
encounter severe complications in using the suitable preposition in their

Halasa &
Manaseer (2012) indicate that Arab EFL students face problems in vocabulary,
grammar, organization of ideas, spelling, and referencing. Al-Jarf (2007)
reported that Arabic speaking students commit errors when they produce
collocations in English, particularly the English lexical combinations.

In a
wide-scale study about the problems being faced by Arab students, Dillon (2011)
observed that these problems are categorized into two: First, most errors
committed concerned with the pronunciation, morphology, knowledge of the use of
syntax, and spelling; Second, most Arab students have difficulty expressing
themselves contentedly and competently either when faced with scholarly
subjects or usual everyday issues.


1.    Participants

researcher chooses a sample of 36 students. They were divided into two groups. The
first one which worked as (the experimental group), was from a government
school (Qurtoba Primary school) with total number of 16 students. The second group
which worked as (the control group), was from an international school (Nada
International School) with total number of 20 students. Both international of
them are in the primary stage; both of the classes belong to (Grade 6).

2.    Procedures of the study

This study
will be conducted in two different places; one of them is an international
private school that hires native speakers to teach English language for the
Saudi students. The other one is a government school where they recruit Saudi
teachers whose mother tongue is Arabic. They will take a similar placement test that covers
the four main skills of the English language to determine students’ real
achievement before they attend a well-built class test by the researcher. Questions
were written professionally to show problems that hinder both of the two groups
in the different skills. Both of the tests consist of twenty multiple choice
questions to facilitate data analysis. Also, a questionnaire of 15 questions
will be given to 10 English language teachers from the two schools to
investigate their opinions about problems caused by the interference of (L1)
upon (L2) acquisition in Saudi primary schools.


This study
will hinge on three main tools;

A) The
study sample will be given a pre-test, and then they will take the post-test
which works as an assessment tool.

B) A
questionnaire of 15 questions will be distributed to 10 English teachers to spotlight
their opinions on the language problems caused by the interference of (L1) upon
(L2) acquisition.

Statistical Package (SPSS) will be used as a medium to analyze the data
gathered from the questionnaire and pre/after tests.

Expected Results

performing the practical part of this study and reviewing the former related
literature, the researcher expects that problems which encounter Saudi students
in learning skills of the English language (EFL/ESL) can be solved through A) –
intensive training for teachers by English natives. B) – Teaching strategies
can be a keyword to overpass ESL anxiety for our students. C) –Education
technology proved to play a crucial role in avoiding EFL common errors through
imitating natives. According to the researcher’s point of view, English
language Problems can be classified into two major parts; the first factors are
related to linguistic approaches such as word order, articles, grammar, and
capitalization…etc. The other factors focus on the social context and the
exposure to the target language.


First, condensed studies should be performed in
establishing the theoretical framework which regulates the ESL learning in the
Arab world. This framework may find applicable solutions for the obstacles face
students in their learning. ESL problems still need to be researched in more
detail regarding its nature, causes.