Vocabulary learning is one of the fundamental parts of acquiring any language. Almost all L2 learners start their L2 education by learning primary words without which they cannot communicate using the L2 language. Vocabulary learning is a major challenge for foreign language learners. This research concentrates on the difficulties encountered by Saudi EFL learners in their vocabulary learning, which weaken their general EFL performance. Practically, it investigates what vocabulary learning strategies are most effective and the reasons for using or not using those strategies in each stage of vocabulary learning. The main aim of this study is to explore which strategies Saudi EFL learners use at each stage of vocabulary-learning (Encountering new words - Getting the word form - Getting the word meaning - Consolidating word form and meaning in memory - Using the word). This study also gives special attention to the ways learners can be made more aware of the significance of autonomous vocabulary learning. The research aims to generate findings that could encourage Saudi EFL educators and authorities to support the use of more efficient vocabulary learning strategies. The study employs two methods for collecting information: a structured questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The research investigates Saudi learners’ experiences via a structured questionnaire, which was administered to 200 Saudi EFL students. This was followed up with interview sessions involving 20 of the participants. The purpose of the study is to identify the vocabulary learning strategies that Saudi EFL students do and do not use in every academic grade and the actual reasons for using or not using those strategies in every stage of the five essential vocabulary-learning stages; to measure how eager those students are to learn more effective vocabulary-learning strategies; and to explore the extent to which Saudi EFL teachers encourage their students to use more effective vocabulary learning strategies. It is hoped that the results of this study can be beneficial to all ESL/EFL learners worldwide and to the field of linguistics in general since the issues Saudi EFL learners encounter are similar to those encountered by ESL/EFL learners worldwide.
University of Newcastle Research Higher Degree Thesis